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How Safe is School in a Pandemic?

What We’re Doing to Protect Your Child’s Health


The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives. For many of us, our child’s educational experience is one of the countless things that has been transformed. The idea of going back to school has been a source of anxiety for many parents—understandably so. While familiar routines that normally play a part in sending our kids back like orientations and classroom visits, attending school plays or volunteering on campus are not currently possible, there are ways for parents and children to have a healthy, engaging and joyous school experience. The team at Montessori Schools worked closely with medical professionals to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our children and staff. Our reopening plan was designed with our community’s health and wellness in mind. It includes everything we are doing to keep our students, families, faculty, and staff safe at school, which is possible—in part—due to New York City’s low infection rate. Below are the procedures currently in place at Montessori Schools.

This is a dynamic situation and we view our Health & Safety protocols as a fluid, living document. As guidance and facts change in real time, we will adjust the practices and protocols described below. Our job at Montessori Schools is to find the pathways to nurture the growth and development of children in the context of the times in which we are living no matter how challenging or different they may be.

Testing/Screening Protocols

Parents are asked to perform a health screening at home before coming to school. If there are any signs of illness (cough, headache, fever, loss of taste/smell), the child must stay home. The child must also stay home if they have been in contact with anyone in quarantine or with another student who has displayed symptoms. 

Upon arrival at the school, each child receives a visual health check for signs of illness and a temperature check. Another temperature screening (touchless) is performed midday.

Any child with a temperature over 100 degrees will receive an additional health screening and will then be sent home.

The school has a relationship with the pediatric department of a local hospital system to test symptomatic students and staff with results available within a few hours.

Onsite Safety Measures

All staff is required to wear face masks. Children wear face shields for most of the day and children over five years old will wear masks as recommended by NY state.

The children remain with the same classmates or “pod”, throughout the day. Classroom pods do not intermingle. Children are also encouraged to keep six feet of distance from their classmate whenever possible. To facilitate proper distancing, arrival and dismissal as well as play times, are staggered.

Hand washing is mandatory and supervised throughout the day. A few instances of when children will be required to wash their hands include after they change into their indoor shoes; before leaving and upon returning to the classroom; before and after eating; before and after toileting; and before and after using classroom material.

All facilities are cleaned and disinfected regularly, nanoseptic (self-cleaning) door handles have been installed and all classrooms are provided with masks, sanitizer, tissues and cleaning material. 

MERV air filters have been installed on all HVAC units as per NYC guidance to help reduce the likelihood of airborne transmission (


COVID-19 Protocol

If a child displays symptoms of COVID-19, they’ll be taken to a designated isolation room, the parents will be contacted, and the child will be sent home.

Before returning to school, the child must present a negative COVID-19 test and be symptom-free without the use of a fever reducer for 72 hours beforehand, even if the COVID-19 test is negative. 

If a child comes into contact with an infected person outside of the school setting, the child must self-quarantine for 14 days and the parents are required to report it to the school so other contacts can be monitored and/or notified. If that child develops symptoms, the rest of the classroom pod must also self-quarantine for 14 days during which time class instruction will pivot to distance learning.

If a child at the school tests positive for COVID-19, the school will begin the notification process which includes notifying the local and state health department and all parents and caregivers of children attending the school.

Furthermore, all children who came into close contact with the affected child (within six feet for 10 minutes) will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days. 

The classrooms and children affected will pivot to distance learning. 

We invite you to register for our next virtual open house to learn more and answer any questions you may have. Please begin by filling out an Inquiry Form to receive more information on our schools.

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