Our response to COVID-19
This unprecedented time can be fearful for families. Kendalwood Montessori is committed providing a quality program that is safe, educational, child-friendly and fun. Several new policies have been implemented and procedures have been enhanced and developed based on guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Childcare and Early Year Services and Durham Public Health.
Explore the many ways we are keeping students and staff safe during the pandemic.
In the event that a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease during the day the following procedures will be followed to help reduce the risk of the illness spreading:
- Symptomatic child(ren) and staff will be immediately separated from others until they are able to leave the school. Please be aware that the first symptom of a COVID-19 infection in children can be gastrointestinal, including diarrhea.
- Parent/guardian will be notified to come pick up the child(ren) as soon as possible.
- A child with COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to return to school until s/he has been symptom free for 48 hours AND provide proof of a negative COVID test OR isolate for 10 days.
- Staff, where possible, will maintain a distance of at least 2 meters while supervising the ill child. Appropriate PPE (mask and eye protection in licensed classrooms) will be worn by the staff member supervising the child. Staff will follow procedures in place on what PPE is required as it is dependent on the type of symptoms the child is experiencing.
- Staff will properly discard PPE and perform hand hygiene.
- If tolerated and the child is over age 2, the child should wear a surgical/procedure mask.
- Environmental cleaning and disinfecting of the space in which the child was separated will be conducted immediately after the child has been picked up. All items used by the sick person will also be disinfected. Anything that cannot be cleaned will be removed and stored in a sealed container for a minimum of 7 days.
- Families will be responsible for paying during an absence due to presented symptoms. If a room is required to close based on Durham Public Health, families will not be charged.
- Staff who develop symptoms during a shift must be separated from others, wash their hands and put on a surgical/procedure face mask or a 2- or 3-layer cloth mask until they can leave the school.
- Staff who report feeling unwell before coming into school should stay home.
- Suspected and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 symptoms will be documented in the Daily Written Communication log as well as be recorded in the child’s file on the Symptoms of Ill Health.
- The Principal and/or Licensing Supervisor will contact the OPH OB Reporting Line for further guidance.
- Should the Health Department confirm a positive case within the school, parents/guardians will be informed via email. Signage will also be posted for at least 7 days notifying parents of the situation. The notification will also include information regarding the sanitary procedures and follow up precautions in place to ensure the well-being of others within the school. Parents will be asked to monitor the health of their child(ren) and to notify administration if their child develops symptoms. Further instructions will be provided directly from the Durham Health Department regarding testing, isolation, etc.
All students and teachers will be screened prior to entering our facility.
Click on the link below to watch how our daily screening process is completed.
Please note that during the colder months, the screening process will take place indoors at the Theatre Entrance.
Cleaning and disinfecting is an important tool in minimizing the exposure of COVID-19. We have dedicated staff working tirelessly throughout the day to clean high touch surfaces throughout the school. Classrooms and materials are sprayed during the school day.
Pristine Maintenance preforms nightly cleaning and disinfecting measures on site after hours.
All belongings entering our school will be sprayed with an electrostatic sprayer to neutralize contaminants on personal belongings. By following the link below, you will be able to watch a demonstration of how these sprayers work.
Classroom Set Up
A lot of time and energy has gone into setting up all classrooms to ensure students will be safe when returning to school. Several safety measures were introduced this year such as:
- Limiting the amount of students at each work table
- Using 3mm plexiglass table shields to divide working tables (in the school age rooms)
- Assigning spaces at tables for contact tracing
- Having extra materials within the classroom to minimize sharing
- Specially preparing individualized materials for each child
- Organizing student work books in bins/baskets for each child
- Name tags on hooks, cubbies, shoe shelves and snack bins to keep everything separated
- Spacing between cots and/or cribs
- Replacing curtains with vinyl blinds that can be cleaned
- Having sanitization stations throughout classrooms
- Limiting the amount of students using classroom washrooms at a given time
- Introducing air purifier systems in interior classrooms
To watch how some of these systems have been implemented inside of one of our classrooms, please watch this video clip: https://youtu.be/Axbsu7E6djY
Students in Casa and Elementary are encouraged to visit the West Side of the building during the work cycle to maximize outdoor time. This area is shady, a mixture of grass and stone pathways and we have set up a variety of tables for students to use. There are also two benches and several trees for students to complete their work during the Montessori Work Cycle.
Students in the younger programs will enjoy outdoor snack, circle time and gym outdoors inside of their dedicate outdoor zone/playground until the weather permits.
All staff will be wearing masks and eye protection throughout the day. Students from grades 1-6 are required to wear a mask during the day. Students in Casa are encouraged to wear masks during partner work, afterschool clubs and during extended care. Masks are not recommended for children under the age of 2.
Masks do not need to be worn outdoors, gym class or during meal times.
Feel free to take a look at ‘The Teachers Behind the Masks’ video to meet our lovely faculty. https://youtu.be/ztuu1HmVAjg
In the event that classrooms are at capped due to size limitations, a waitlist will be established and maintained by members of Administration. Priority placement of children will take place using the following considerations:
- Families who were already enrolled full time in the school
- Children with siblings attending another program within the school
- Children of essential workers or other professionals that require work outside of the home
- Families without access to alternative care
- Families with special circumstances that would benefit from children returning to care, such as children with special needs
- Based on a proactive “move-up” planning strategy
A waitlist will be maintained in accordance with the initial contact day. When an interested party makes contact by phone and/or email, a Waitlist Application will be provided.
The length of time that an incoming child will be eligible for any given age group will be considered in the context of the “move-up” planning strategy. Should the first child on the wait list be very close in age to moving up to the next age group, and there will be no space available in the next age group, the next child on the list may be admitted first.
All applications remain on file unless it has been requested to be removed. A member of Administration frequently reviews the waitlist and will move applications into the next age group, should a candidate age out of the requested program. Should a space be available, the family will be contacted and provided information regarding the space available, fees, intake information, etc. The space will be available for acceptance for 48 hours, before moving onto the next application.
Kendalwood Montessori does not charge a fee or deposit to be placed onto the Waitlist.
Rescheduling Group Events/In Person Meetings
In the interest of reducing risk of infection, we will be putting in place the following guidelines:
- All group events will be held outdoors where possible.
- Indoor special events will be organized to only allow one group at a time. Time will be allowed in between groups to allow for sanitizing.
- Where possible, meetings will be held on the phone or via video conference.
- In person meetings will be limited and must be pre-arranged. Visitors will complete a COVID self screen and show proof of vaccination.
- In person staff meetings will be limited to 50 people and social distancing rules will be in effect
- Only staff, children enrolled and essential visitors will be permitted to enter the school unless by appointment.
Immunization Disclosure Policy
All staff and frequent visitors of Kendalwood Montessori are required to submit:
- Proof of all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization; OR
- Written proof of a medical reason, provided by either a physician or nurse practitioner that sets out:
- That a person cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
- That effective time period for the medical reason; OR
- Be subjected to rapid testing twice a week AND complete an educational session approved by Kendalwood Montessori.