GTMS Life > News November 25, 2020

Important Update-GTMS Plan for Return to Campus Dec. 7

  Dear Families, I recognize that our abrupt move from in-person learning has created much stress and inconvenience for families in the recent weeks, and I apologize for that. I truly put the health and safety of our community above all else. Over the last several days, I have been meeting with our medical advisors, […]

 

Dear Families,

I recognize that our abrupt move from in-person learning has created much stress and inconvenience for families in the recent weeks, and I apologize for that. I truly put the health and safety of our community above all else. Over the last several days, I have been meeting with our medical advisors, the COVID-19 Advisory Group, and senior administrators, and I am pleased to say that we have created a strong plan that will enable us to return to school on Monday, December 7. In order to do so, we have made several adjustments and additions that require families’ commitment, cooperation and careful attention.

 

This letter provides a summary of updates in the following areas:

  • Updated Health and Safety Protocols

  • Expanded Community Agreement

  • New Testing Requirements & Health Screening App

 

Updated Health and Safety Protocols

The changes we have made to our protocols and Health and Safety Plan are based on the best and most informed and cumulative knowledge of COVID-19 virus and its spread.

 

The latest research findings from CHOP support the overall effectiveness of masking and washing hands above all else. Greene Towne is also adopting changes in our program in order to comply with more restrictive mask requirements from the state of Pennsylvania, which emphasize the powerful protection that wearing masks provides. 

 

Refined Health and Safety Plan. A summary of the changes:

  • Adding face shields for toddler teachers along with masks. Parents of children under the age of two are invited to consider providing child face shields for their children. All children over the age of two are required to wear masks at school.
  • If there is an exposure in a classroom, we will require that siblings and household members of students in the exposed classroom also quarantine for 14 days.
  • In order to decrease the risk from children without masks while eating lunch: 
    • We are suspending the Toddler Lunch program until February 1, when we will revisit. Morning-only Toddlers will be dismissed at 11:30 am. School-day Toddlers and Toddler ADM students will bring in their lunches from home.
    • Spreading children out in classrooms during lunch, in single spots at least 6’ apart in both primary and toddler classrooms.
    • Specifying that families and staff seek PCR type COVID-19 tests when needed for diagnosis, rather than rapid antigen testing.
  • Strongly recommending flu shots for all families.

As testing for adults has been a challenge, we have identified two testing sites for faculty and staff who have been exposed or are symptomatic, both of which are timely in scheduling appointments and aim to have results within 24-48 hours of testing.

 

Expanded Community Agreement

We have developed a new and expanded Community Agreement for families and faculty/staff. The agreement includes specific restrictions and descriptions of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors to safeguard the health and safety of all in the community. With this expanded agreement, we are articulating the commitment that we all have to prioritize in-person learning above activities that would put that at risk. Families are required to sign this agreement in order to return to school. 

 

New Testing Requirements & Health Screening App

Out of concern for increased risk during the holiday seasons, Greene Towne is working to arrange for and will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing of all students, faculty and staff. We are in the process of finalizing a school wide testing plan in support of a safe return to school. We will provide details as soon as we have them. This testing is in addition to our daily health screening for all students and staff. Beginning in December, we are transitioning our screening to take place via the rSchoolToday app. Parents and caregivers will complete the health screening questions at home, with a temperature reading cross-check taken by an administrator upon arrival at school. Stay tuned for additional information via email on how to register with the app.

 

We all know that in-person learning is best for young children and that all of you are depending on us. I am confident in the elements we have added and strengthened and the resources we are leveraging to meet the goal of providing the safest environment for in-person learning at Greene Towne Montessori School. 

 

With gratitude for our shared community,

Sarah Sweeney-Denham

Head of School

 

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