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August 2020 Newsletter: This has been sent to you POST mail and will require a response from you. Please check your mailbox and send us back your signed form by AUGUST 19th to confirm your place in this new program format. Thank you!
Thank you for your patience as we have waited as long as possible to make a final plan for this school year. We have heard from almost all of our families and after listening to the hopes and concerns of all of you, it is clear that our original A/B proposal is not an option right now. If we are able to shift to that later in the year, we will do so. We are presently able to offer the options detailed on the next page.
The key word this year is going to be flexibility! If something changes, it changes. Our goal is to be as flexible as possible and as supportive as we can to your family and to our students in having a great year at Rainbow Montessori School, and at home.
PLEASE READ THIS THOROUGHLY AND SEND BACK YOUR RESPONSE BY AUG 19th. By all means, call us to discuss, but as this is essentially a replacement for the program you previously signed up for, it is imperative that you provide us with a paper record of the option you choose.
We will contact you regarding scheduling for the first several days of the school year. We look forward to talking with you and hopefully seeing you soon!
Renate Chadwick, Director
Barbara Davis, Assistant Director
OPTION 1: REMOTE LEARNING ONLY (no scheduled screen time required) $200
Please contact us if you would like access to last spring’s Google Classroom to get a feel for what our remote program looks like. It was fun, interesting, and silly. We had a great time doing it and we think students of all ages will have a great time learning with our lessons and projects at home.
We pre-record fun, short (usually 3-5 minutes) videos which are released Monday through Thursday morning and can be watched any time that is convenient for you. We send home packets filled with projects, crafts and paperwork to go along with interesting curriculum lessons like plant and animal studies, German vocabulary, science lessons, sounds of the week, poems of the month, and more. Last year we did remote learning projects on bees, the solar system, and volcanoes. It was a blast!
We will also work with you to assess each of the children individually to determine their current academic level for sounds and reading, numbers and math, penmanship and other basics, and send home work tailored to meet YOUR child at their current level. Every couple of weeks, they will exchange their finished work for their next packet. 3 and 4 year olds will get less paperwork than the Pre-K and Kindergarteners but otherwise they will get to do all the same curriculum and projects.
A simple guide for parents will be included to help you with the various projects and your teacher will be in regular contact for support. This may include occasional one-on-one time with the teacher for short sessions, (possibly inside with some time to play with the materials, possibly outdoors at a table under a canopy) to go over their finished work and their next steps in person. This will connect the children to their teacher and their classroom and make them more excited to do their school work at home.
OPTION 2: REMOTE LEARNING + POD GROUPS OF 5 CHILDREN & 1 TEACHER $280
(potentially 2 days/week depending on enrollment, COVID curve, etc: $325)
These pods will consist of 1 teacher and 4-5 families at a time. We have large classrooms where each child can sit at their own table while still chatting with other children at nearby tables; a circle area where 2 children at a time can play, distanced, on their own mats; and a large outdoor area with additional tables where children can work and play as well. We are confident that we can offer a safe and sensible environment in which to conduct these very small group sessions where the children can socialize and the teachers can have ample time in which to work with each child one on one while still giving them plenty of time to play in the classroom.
Presently we feel that we must offer this option FIRST to the kindergarteners and older children, and THEN to the younger ones. We love our littlest ones, but we believe it is most important to support the older students in their academic and social progress. Nonetheless, if you would like to be in a pod, please indicate that on your form and we will make every effort to include everyone who wishes to do so.
Returning children will be placed with their teacher from last year if possible. Otherwise, pods will be created from scratch using all information available to make the best combination we can for the students. We encourage you to consider contacting members of your pod for play dates, so that your child’s school pod is also your child’s social pod. Let us know if there are families you would like to be grouped with, preference of day of the week, etc. We will do what we can for you. Flexibility!
UPON OPENING, we plan to have pod sessions from 8:45 am to 11:45 am, one day per week, Monday through Thursday. If we have enough people signed up, we will add a 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm session. If we have very few people signed up, we might be able to do each pod of 5 twice per week. Flexibility!
We will follow all safety guidelines available to us. Parents will be asked to take your child’s temperature before coming to school, and asking yourself “Are we all healthy? Should we be going to school today?” Children will wash hands when they come in, before they leave, before and after snack, and any other time they need to. We will wash or wipe materials as they are used. Teachers will wear masks and children will wear masks and/or face shields. Children will be able to go outside and sit in their own space to remove their masks when they want to. We will work outside as much as possible. We will do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy!
Contact us with questions! We are so sincere in our intent to support you and your children in their education. PLEASE SEND BACK YOUR NEW REGISTRATION FORM BY AUGUST 19th!
PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM TO US BY AUGUST 19th!
We have enclosed for your convenience a stamped envelope. Please reply ASAP.
_____PLEASE SIGN US UP FOR OPTION 1: REMOTE LEARNING ONLY. I agree to pay $200/month for participation in the remote learning program. I will give written notice if I withdraw during the school year.
_____PLEASE SIGN US UP FOR OPTION 2: REMOTE LEARNING + PODS. I agree to pay $280/month for participation in the remote learning program, plus in-class sessions 1 day per week; and/or $325 for in-class sessions 2 days per week, if that option becomes available. I will give written notice if I withdraw during the school year.
Further, I commit to doing my very best to ensure that my family will take absolutely minimal risks and avoid exposure from other activities in order to protect our teachers, the other members of our pod, and our school community.
_____PLEASE WITHDRAW US FROM YOUR PROGRAM. I acknowledge that I am not guaranteed my spot back this year in case the program or our decision changes at a later date.
_____Please refund our tuition payment
_____Please accept our tuition payment as a donation
_____Please apply our tuition payment to hold our place for September 2021
(THIS FORM IN ITS ENTIRETY IS IS INCLUDED IN THE LETTER MAILED TO YOUR ADDRESS. PLEASE FILL THAT FORM OUT AND SEND IT BACK ASAP IN THE STAMPED ENVELOPE PROVIDED.)
JULY NEWSLETTER 2020
PLEASE READ THIS NEWSLETTER THOROUGHLY AND CALL US WITH QUESTIONS
Even as we write this, we remain uncertain about how this year will go. But you know, predicting the future has never really worked anyways! So, onward we go. We have made a few changes to our program in anticipation of potential closures, safety requirements, and/or a required reduction in students allowed in the classroom at one time.
First, rest assured that you have a place in our program for the year, and we are not in danger of closing as a business. We developed and strengthened an at-home program for our students when we had to close our classroom in March, and we found it to be fun and effective. One way or another we are expecting this year to be exciting, interesting and engaging for your children. Our teachers are committed to excellence in educating our students and making learning FUN!
The one permanent change for the year regardless of what else happens is that our 2½ hour classes will be 3-hour classes with no lunch hour in between. This is to minimize cross-contact between classes, to give the teachers enough time for a thorough cleaning between the morning and the afternoon class, and to increase the number of hours the children will get to be in class.
In planning for the year, we have accepted that that the ideal scenario—regular, full classes—is highly unlikely. However, we plan to keep our program flexible so that we can flow freely between full classes, A/B schedule style classes with half the students at a time, and even remote learning with very small in-person sessions if necessary. We will let you know in August if you will be on an A schedule or a B schedule. We will try to balance our classes with a blend of boys and girls and children of varying ages. Please let us know if you have any preference or would like to be grouped with another family.
On the following page, we have detailed these THREE SCENARIOS. We will be calling EACH of you to discuss these changes, confirm your enrollment and answer any questions you have. Please read and consider these options, and prepare any questions or concerns you have to discuss with us by phone.
PLAN A (we anticipate this is how we will begin in September):
All students will attend school on an A/B schedule with 10-12 students attending on Monday and Wednesday, and the other half attending on Tuesday and Thursday. The alternating two days at home will include some paperwork, some fun short videos, and guidance and support for the parents on how to help your children learn at home. The more intensive in-class time with two teachers and half the students will still ensure that they are all getting a strong balance between academics, play, and social interaction, and the at-home activities will be fun and simple for everyone.
PLAN B (keep hope alive!):
This is the ideal scenario! If we can have full classes again at any time of the year, we will simply resume having all students attend Monday through Thursday. If we are able to begin this way in September, we will be delighted, but we are presently assuming that won’t be the case.
PLAN C (worst case scenario):
In the event that schools are required to close our doors again (or to stay closed), we will pivot immediately into our at-home remote learning program with packets sent home filled with fun projects, sounds of the week, poems of the month, etc.; with academic work tailored to meet the needs of each individual child at their ability level; videos Monday through Thursday to show the students how to do the work in their packets; and a written weekly guide and regular phone call support for the parents. We will invite the new parents to view our Google Classroom from our Spring 2020 remote learning program to see what we did and how we did it. We will discuss this more when we talk by phone.
If we are allowed to have any students at all in the classroom, we will offer parents the option of bringing your student to school for what will amount to essentially in-person tutoring and, hopefully, some social interaction with a few peers at a time.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU MONITOR OUR WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION. THINGS CAN CHANGE QUICKLY!
Will children need to wear masks? Children under 5 years old are encouraged but not required to wear masks; children 5 and up should wear masks. Teachers will wear masks and/or face shields. We encourage you to find face masks or shields that your children can get used to and will be excited to wear to school.
How will drop off and pickup work? Parents for the AM/PM classes will bring your children to the ramp, where they will be greeted by their teacher. Parents for the 4-hour class will bring your children to the doorstep where the teacher will open the door for them. At pickup, your teacher will see you from the door and dismiss your child to meet you. All parents should wear masks for drop off and pickup and practice social distancing. If a parent is already waiting near the entry, please wait to approach.
What kind of safety measures will be taken by the school? We will do a health check at entry; will wipe or wash materials as they are used; we will have indoor and outdoor work areas; we will do thorough cleaning between classes; children will wash hands upon arriving, before snack and lunch, and before leaving. Our classrooms are large enough and we have enough tables and floor space that the children can spread out and still socialize with each other. We will follow all CDC and NSD guidelines. Safety first!
So…how do we actually start the school year? Great question!
We will begin on Wednesday, September 2nd for NEW students only. We start with NEW students only and for just an hour. On that first day, Mom or Dad stays with them for that hour.
Thursday September 3rd is also new students only.
Day 2 is again one hour only, new students only, but this time parents drop off and return at the end of class.
FIRST TWO DAYS OF SCHOOL, SEPTEMBER 2ND AND 3RD: NEW STUDENTS ONLY
Introducing the new students to the school by easing them in before the returning students arrive ensures that they have a comfortable and peaceful beginning at Rainbow Montessori School. The first days at preschool can be anxious ones. It helps that Mom or Dad stays on the first day while the children get familiar with the classroom and their teachers and maybe make a new friend. On the second day, they are usually eager to return and stay on their own.
Please no tears and lingering hugs when you kiss your little ones goodbye. Smile and be happy and calm. Your anxieties are transferred almost 100% to your child. To further help their mood, make sure your child gets enough rest. Children this age need 10-11 hours of sleep at night.
Our first regular school day will be Tuesday September 8th, with new and returning students. We will be in touch with you again in August to confirm your A/B schedule and provide a 2020/2021 school calendar.
Complicated enough? Ha! We know this is a lot of information, and as we close this letter, we are SO EXCITED at the prospect of having students back here again! We hope, hope, hope that we will soon hear the clatter of work being moved around, the chatter of voices of happy children at play, and the thrilled crowing of a student proudly exclaiming “I did it!”. One way or another, we look forward to supporting you and your children in their lifelong journey of loving to learn.
We will be calling each of you to confirm your enrollment and answer your questions. We look forward to talking with each of you, and hopefully seeing you all in September!
Renate Chadwick, Director
Barbara Davis, Assistant Director
UPDATE: JUNE 2020
We are waiting for guidance and requirements from the Northshore School District regarding how to re-open in September. We DO anticipate re-opening and we have a number of backup plans of how to do so, one way or another. Parents who are enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year will hear from us in late July or early August with a detailed plan--or set of plans--to go forward. Although things are still rapidly changing, we want to let you know that whatever does happen next, we are pleased to be able to provide a strong social and academic program by thinking outside the box and having fun, flexibility, and a willingness to always find some way to engage with our students. As soon as we have some solid answers to share, we will reach out to you. Until then, be well and have a fun summer!
UPDATE: MONDAY, APRIL 6th
We are so sad to hear that schools will be closed through the end of the year. However, we've got this distance learning thing in full swing and we will keep up the videos and packets through April, May and June. Log on to the Google Classroom for more fun stuff.
Tuition for May will be waived; donations will be accepted but we want to assure you that we are going to be OK. June tuition will be due for returning children only because that is for September.
If you have any questions, ideas or requests, call us! We'll do everything we can to help you keep learning fun at home. We love you, we miss you, and we'll let you know what we come up with for a virtual "festival". Stay tuned!
RAINBOW MONTESSORI SCHOOL NEWSLETTER: MARCH 2020
Be sure to check here and follow us on Facebook for regular updates.
Despite our high hopes that this health crisis would be short lived and that we could simply make up these closures later in the year, we are now aware that we will be closed at least through April 24th. We are therefore going to begin our own Rainbow Montessori version of a home-school style program for the SHORT TERM while we let this global crisis play out. We are going to attempt to keep the students engaged and provide support to our parents as you guide your children through learning at home. We will do our best to share our love of teaching with our students while keeping everyone as safe as possible at this unusual time.
As of now, we know that we will be unable to have class at least most of the way through April. We are therefore waiving the next tuition payment, which would have been due April 1st. We cannot begin to speculate how long this will go on for, so we will simply take it as it comes for these next couple of months. We continue to welcome your input as we navigate our way through this closure. We do still intend to make up whatever days we can. At this time, it is likely that we will add two weeks and go through June...assuming we are able to resume at all.
In the meantime, we are going to start providing regular “homework” packets, individualized for each student, including some basic instructions for parents. We will post some short videos with some fun lessons and activities, and we will refine and adjust our plan as we go. The teachers will be reaching out with regular phone calls to parents to discuss each child’s progress and to say hello to our students. This will be a learning curve for all of us, and we are excited to develop a completely new approach to teaching in the face of this completely new scenario!
We ask that you bear with us as the future unfolds. If you have thoughts and ideas, please share them with us. We look forward to blazing a new trail in this wholly unprecedented time. Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll hopefully see you SOON!
Renate and Cynthia
Janice and Martha
Barbara and Julie
We usually make closure announcements by 7:30 a.m. on days where we are facing inclement weather, but check back regularly for updates.
We generally follow the Northshore School District on closures. Please visit the Northshore School District for district closure/late arrival information.