COVID-19 Info and Remote Learning

Mandatory Closure Order

 

The Montessori School of San Antonio will begin our 2020-2021 school year on Monday, August 24, with remote learning. This decision follows a mandatory closure order from the City of San Antonio Metro Health department with a directive for all Bexar County schools to conduct remote learning through Monday, September 7. You may read our Remote Learning Program here: Remote Learning Program 2020-2021 or at the menu on the right.

 

Below is our plan for Reopening once that is allowed. Please remember our plans are a work in progress as guidelines from state officials and health organizations change almost daily. While it remains challenging to predict how the school year will progress, our students and families remain our top priority. We thank you for your patience in this ever-evolving environment.

 

2020-2021 Reopening Plans

 

2020-2021 Reopening Plan

 

MSSA Health and Safety – Back to School Opening

 

COVID-19 Task Force

The MSSA Reopening Plan was created with input from our COVID-19 Task Force. The COVID-19 Task Force is made of members who are parents, physicians, and board members.

The Montessori School of San Antonio COVID-19 Task Force:

Simone Norris, MD

Sam Mehta, MD (current parent)

Tim Biela, MD (current parent)

David Lam, MD (current parent)

Liza Lam, RN (current parent)

Alex Nava, BA, JD (current parent)

Ben Newman, PsyD (current parent)

Many Orono (current parent)

MSSA Video Channel

The Montessori School of San Antonio has a new Youtube Channel for Communications. To see past videos or to subscribe for the latest MSSA Videos: Click Here

The Dispatch Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Issues:

August 6, 2020 • COVID-19 Testing and Facebook LIVE Dates

July 30, 2020 • Remote Learning Program

July 23, 2020 • Remote Learning notes and new virtual Parent Meetings

July 16, 2020 • Summer Informational issue

July 9, 2020  • Interview with Head of School and campus security improvement

July 2, 2020 • Plan for reopening

June 25, 2020 • SchoolPass application and summer reading lists

June 18, 2020 • Campus changes due to COVID-19

June 11, 2020 • Communications Survey and a note from the campus nurse

Campus Contacts

Head of School: Dr. Dan Ahlstrom dahlstrom@montessorisa.org

 

Program Director: Theresa Powers tpowers@montessorisa.org

 

Director of Admission: Maru Galarza mgalarza@montessorisa.org

 

Director of Communications: Jocelyn Durand jdurand@montessorisa.org

 

General Inquiries: communications@montessorisa.org

 

Previous Communications

Keep up with the latest communication through the MSSA Weekly Dispatch emailed every Thursday.

Community Email - April 17

April 17, 2020

 

Dear MSSA Families,

 

By now you are probably aware of Governor Abbot’s declaration that all public and private school campuses remain closed for the remainder of the school year. While I am relieved to have clarity, at the same time I am saddened at the loss of the small hope that we would somehow come back together before summer.

 

Distance learning will continue as it has through the end of the school year. We are planning distribution of students’ personal items and will update you when those plans are finalized. 

 

Take care,
Chuck

Community Email - March 17

Dear MSSA Parents, Tue 3/17/2020 

 

I write to you today from a far-too-quiet campus, an unfortunate necessity of the moment in which we live. The image of this empty school once again filled with joyful children is an uplifting and sustaining thought. Until – as well as after – that time, MSSA is making the following necessary adjustments in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

MSSA’s plan for distance learning is well into development and will be ready for distribution soon. Our overarching goal is to replicate the MSSA experience as closely as possible.

 

School events that involve large gatherings or significant numbers of campus visitors are cancelled. These include Family Fun Run, Student Art Exhibit, Middle School Musical, PTC Spring Event (separate information to come), Multi-Cultural Fair, LE Lock-in, Book Fair, Spring Concert, Mothers and Others, Middle School Oral Presentations, and LE Day of Drama. One exception is Graduation, which will be evaluated at a later date. For some of these events, students will continue to work on academic components such as research and presentation preparation.

 

Except for track, for which we are still hopeful to train in time for an April 23 meet, competitive sports are cancelled for the remainder of the school year. The athletic department is making plans to replace cancelled sports with similar sports that will not involve competition with other schools. Any difference in fees will be processed through the Active software system. Assuming MSSA reopens April 6, after school activities and athletics will proceed as scheduled with the applicable session/season extended through the end of the school year. Credits will be issued to family accounts in FACTS for lunches that were ordered for March but not utilized.

 

It is understandable that you may question paying tuition during the period of campus closure. While the physical plant is not open to students, our staff, teachers, and assistants remain employed. Teachers and assistants are fully engaged with the distance learning program, and administrative staff continue to attend to the tasks necessary for the continuity of our school. MSSA, in short, is doing all it can to maintain normalcy under these extraordinary conditions. That said, MSSA recognizes that child care and/or unpaid work may create a hardship for some of our families. In light of this, you may appeal for relief of up to 50% of tuition for the closure period by sending a letter directly to me outlining your specific situation. A small committee will review requests and make a recommendation based on family circumstances and the pool of available funds. As with regular financial assistance, all requests will be held in strictest confidence.

 

During the closure, we ask that students and parents do not visit campus unless requested by administration. School office hours are 9:00 to 3:00, and we will be answering calls and returning emails as we would during normal school operations. Nurse Kimberly Gomez may be reaching out to you to coordinate transfer of student medications kept on campus.

 

In closing, I wish all of you good health and a rapid return to full lives!

 

Sincerely,
Chuck

Community Email - March 6

Dear MSSA Families, Fri 3/6/2020 1:10 PM 

As you prepare for Spring Break, I write to update you regarding MSSA’s response to COVID- 19, also known as the coronavirus. We are actively monitoring the situation on a local, state, and national level, and will continue to adjust preparations according to instructions from health officials. Please note these actions specific to our school: 

  • MSSA has engaged our cleaning service to perform extra detail disinfectant cleaning beyond their regular scope of work. This includes all areas of the school with special attention to frequent touch points such as door knobs, drinking fountains, and arms of chairs. 
  • In addition, beginning last evening, we have begun monthly treatments of classrooms and high activity areas with Razor Antimicrobial Coating. This will continue through the end of the year. 
  • Due to heightened concerns over transmission of germs, students will not be preparing or sharing food as part of their upcoming Multicultural Fair projects. 
  • If you or your children are travelling to a country that is on the Centers for Disease and Prevention travel advisory list (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/travelers/index.html), please notify School Nurse Kimberly Gomez at kgomez@montessorisa.org. In order to prevent the spread of infection, MSSA may ask to partner with your primary care physician to coordinate a safe return to school. 

We will continue to update you with additional information as it becomes available. In closing, I wish you a restful (and healthy!) Spring Break. 

Best always, 

Chuck Raymer Head of School

Community Email - March 3

March 3, 2020 

Dear MSSA Parents, 

I write to update you about MSSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Blending information from medical experts, health officials, and peer institutions, MSSA has determined that the best course of action for the safety of our community is to close school from March 16 through April 3. Next week will be considered an extended holiday for students. For the following two weeks, the school will do its best to provide meaningful distance learning opportunities coordinated through our teachers. During that time, we will closely monitor the situation, remaining hopeful for news that would permit a speedy return to normalcy. 

This decision is consistent with similar schools in San Antonio. I understand and appreciate that the closure will be highly disruptive to your lives, and for that I am sincerely sorry. By suspending operations, we hope not only to protect our own community but to do our part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the larger San Antonio community. 

Subsequent emails will provide details regarding cancellation or rescheduling of school-related activities. In closing, I thank you for your patience and support as together we work through this unique and challenging situation. 

Respectfully, 

Chuck Raymer 

Head of School

FAQ

What Preventative Measures has MSSA Taken?

Prior to the School Closure, the School put into effect many School-wide
Preventative Measures.

  • During times of widespread illness or outbreak, MSSA’s infection control standards are reinforced and heightened to help reduce the spread of illness throughout the school community. Due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus globally and nationwide, we took increased preventative measures to protect the health and safety of all students and staff.
  • MSSA has engaged our cleaning service to perform extra detail disinfectant cleaning beyond their regular scope of work. This includes all areas of the school with special attention to frequent touch points such as door knobs, drinking fountains, and arms of chairs.
  • In addition, beginning last evening, we have begun monthly treatments of classrooms and high activity areas with Razor Antimicrobial Coating. This will continue through the end of the year.