North Star Montessori Academy is Starting Up Safe! 

We know this is a difficult time for students, parents, and educators, and we want to let you know that we are taking all possible steps to keep our students safe while providing an excellent educational experience.

Documents & Resources

Click the links below to view or download important documents related to NSMA's COVID-19 plan.

Back to School:
What will it look like?

TRANSPORTATION​

Our school intends to continue traditional busing services for existing routes. Masks are required for all students and staff while riding the bus due to close proximity. All students will be assigned seats on the bus and children who live in the same household will be seated together. Hand sanitizing will be required when entering and exiting the bus. Transportation vehicles will be frequently cleaned and disinfected daily. When possible, windows will be down for air circulation, as recommended by the CDC.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

Breakfast will be delivered to individual classrooms every day. Lunch times will be extended and divided between the lunch room and gym to ensure social distancing. Please note, parents/visitors will not be allowed to eat meals with students in the school facilities. Parents are encouraged to limit the times they check their students out for lunch and/or drop-off lunch, in an effort to minimize unnecessary potential exposure. All cafeteria and food service staff will wear masks, gloves, and face shields during food preparation and food distribution.

CLASSROOMS

​Classrooms and common seating areas (including tables and work mats) will be arranged to maximize space between students to meet distancing guidelines.​ Schedules will be created to minimize movement within the classroom and hallways. The number of students in each classroom will be greatly reduced to provide more physical space.

HALLWAY & PASSING TIMES

Students will adhere to procedures in the hallways and passing times to minimize direct contact and possible exposure. Clear traffic patterns and specific schedules will be established to encourage social distancing.

RESTROOMS

Student and staff restrooms will be frequently cleaned and disinfected throughout the school day. A daily bathroom break schedule will be made for each classroom to limit bathroom interactions and establish regular cleaning times.

RECESS​

Students will attend recess EVERY day. Hand sanitizer and/or handwashing will occur before and after recess. Each elementary classroom will develop a recess schedule that allows for outdoor playtime throughout the day with only one classroom at a time on the playground. Middle and High School students will have scheduled outdoor breaks and/or classes held outside.

ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL​

​Arrival​: Students will not be allowed to congregate in front of the school buildings prior to the doors being open. Please keep this in mind when dropping your student(s) off in the morning. Busses will arrive at school at 8:15am. Students being brought to school in personal vehicles will begin drop off at 8:30am. Grade levels will have designated entrances into the building. Traffic flow maps and door assignments will be shared soon. Parents will not be permitted to enter the building. Teachers and staff will be at arrival doors to greet your child and assist them in going to class.

Dismissal:​ Students will be directed to remain in their classroom or common area until their bus number or car name is announced. Students riding the school bus will leave campus at 3:30 pm. Parent pickup will begin at 3:40 pm. Parents will wait in a car line and NSMA staff will be present in the parking lot and dismissal doors assisting students getting safely into the family vehicle. 

COVID-19 Exposure Safety Protocols

Home Health Screenings

It is important that all families and staff partner with us in monitoring health. We ask that students and staff take their temperature on a daily basis at home prior to coming to NSMA facilities and events, and follow the self-screening checklist on page 7. No student or staff with a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher may enter any NSMA facility. No fever reducing medication may be taken to reduce fever.

If Family Member of Staff or Student Test Positive for COVID-19​

If any of your in-home immediate family member(s) have tested positive for COVID-19, please do not enter the NSMA facility or attend NSMA events. This decision is due to typical in-home proximity and interactions. Please contact our school office to alert us of your absence and health situation.

Attendance

​It is imperative for the health and safety of all students to stay home on days they have a fever or other symptoms of illness. A virtual platform will be provided to all students for at home learning on days of absences when appropriate. Students who have a health reason that is verified by a parent/guardian or medical professional will receive an excused absence.

If Staff or Student Test Positive for COVID-19​:

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they cannot return to NSMA facility until they are symptom free, receive a negative test result, and have been approved by a doctor to return (medical release required and must be provided to the front office staff). During recovery, the student will transition to Virtual Learning, and their teachers will work with him/her to complete missed assignments. Please contact our school office to alert us of your absence and health situation.

If Temperature Develops While at School

If a student or staff member exhibits a fever of 100.0 degrees or greater while at school, they must immediately be picked up from school or leave (if they are a driver). Students will be placed in an isolation room to avoid spreading illness until they can be picked up from school. They cannot return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication and negative COVID testing results.

If Classmate or Teacher Test Positive for COVID-19​:

NSMA will notify all applicable school staff and students’ parents/guardians who have been potentially exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Students will not be required to be tested unless they begin displaying symptoms.

 

FAQ

Are face coverings required?


NSMA will make every effort to promote healthy practices and protocols. Social distancing will be implemented in all areas. ​Mask requirements may change due to the COVID-19 health climate, local, state, and/or federal requirements​.

  • Masks and face coverings will be required in all areas of the school when social distancing cannot be maintained and/or when developmentally appropriate.
  • Mask and face coverings are not always best for the health of our students with medical concerns. Their parents/guardians must contact our school office personnel to receive an exemption and provide medical documentation. Face shields may tbe considered in place of face masks.
  • Face coverings and masks must not include messages or images that distract from the learning environment as outlined for other articles of clothing in school dress code policies.
  • Students will be provided with multiple opportunities throughout the school day to get outside and participate in “mask breaks.”




What cleaning & disinfection protocols is NSMA following?


NSMA will increase sanitization of high-contact surfaces throughout the school day. All shared materials will be cleaned between student use, as well as at the end of each class period, before lunch, and at the end of the school day. We are developing new protocols for our custodians to ensure deep cleaning is completed each day. Frequent hand-washing and other healthy protocols will be practiced and highly encouraged for all students and staff. Hygiene lessons and expectations will be taught explicitly at the elementary level. A hand washing schedule will be established throughout the day for our students. Hand sanitizer will also be easily accessible throughout all schools. Upon notification of a positive COVID-19 case, classroom(s) and school buildings will be deep-cleaned.




Can students share school supplies?


Sharing of supplies such as crayons, markers, scissors, and pencils will not be allowed. Students will keep their individual supplies separated from those of others in individually labeled containers or cubbies. NSMA will purchase individual supplies for each student. NSMA is asking for a $25.00 donation from each student to purchase the necessary supplies.




How will other supplies and equipment be used & shared?


All technological devices, classroom manipulatives, and montessori materials needed for instructional purposes will not be shared with another student without first being sanitized. All shared items and spaces will be cleaned/sanitized at mid-day, at the end of the day, and between each use. Middle and High School students will be assigned a Chromebook to use during the school day. All devices will be cleaned during the day and thoroughly at the end of the school day. Teachers will have access to the school library to check out books for student use in the classroom (no books will be going home). Books will not be shelved for 72 hours after being returned. At this time, all Book Fairs will be virtual.




Are "special" classes (PE, Music, Tech, Art) still taking place?


Students will attend specials in their own classroom. Equipment and materials will be sanitized between classes. Specials may be held outside of the classroom (PE & Technology) where students will be instructed to follow social distancing guidelines and equipment will be sanitized .




Are visitors and volunteers able to come NSMA?


Visitors must have a temperature check upon arrival at the school, wear a mask or face covering, and answer essential questions. Visitors will only be allowed for essential purposes.




Are before & after-school care still available?


Before and After Care programs will not be offered at the school facility at this time. Before and/or After Care will be provided by local childcare facilities and bussing will be arranged for pick up and drop off.




Are assemblies & open-house events taking place?


Grade-level/individual classroom assemblies, which include fewer participants, may occur with principal permission and healthy procedures followed. There will not be large gatherings in a traditional format such as whole school assemblies, music programs, and fundraising events. Open House activities will shift to an assigned time slot experience. This will allow a quick “meet and greet” for our students and staff, as well as an opportunity for families to obtain necessary paperwork. More detailed information will be provided soon.




Can classes still have special snacks and celebrations for birthdays?


Prior arrangements should be made for all special snacks and birthday treats. No birthday parties in the classrooms/cafeteria. All snacks and birthday treats must be store bought, no exceptions




Are student clubs still meeting?


After school clubs will be suspended for the Fall Semester.




What mental health resources are available for students and their families?


The social, emotional, and mental wellness of our students and staff are essential to a successful learning environment. Our social worker and school counselor are prepared and available to help our students and families both virtually and in-person.




What are NSMA's plans for in-person vs distance learning?


In-Person Montessori Classroom Education

  • Remain a NSMA Student
  • In-person learning and engagement with small class sizes
  • Masks and face coverings will be required in all areas of the school when social distancing cannot be maintained and/or when developmentally appropriate. Students will be provided with multiple opportunities throughout the school day to get outside and participate in “mask breaks.”
  • Montessori materials available and accessible in a safe and sanitary environment
  • Materials will be cleaned and sanitized between each use, mid-day, and end of the day.
  • Social interaction with peers and staff
  • Students will still receive instructional time in art, music, technology, and physical education. Students will participate in recess throughout the day
  • Bussing Services will continue. Masks are required for all students while riding the bus. Bus routes and times will be distributed after data is collected.
  • Virtual Polar Bear Online Academy
  • Remain a NSMA Student
  • NSMA will partner with an online learning platform Edgenuity (K-12th Grade)
  • Supervised by NSMA teachers
  • Adaptable online program that can be individualized for each child’s learning needs
  • Completely online, flexible, accessible anywhere, aligned with NSMA standards
  • Video based explicit instruction, supported and independent practice, standards aligned assessments
  • Students are responsible for maintaining recommended course content pacing
  • Progress monitoring along with grading of completed assignments, and assessments will be used to determine term grades
  • The online academy will be rigorous and include daily requirements for content completion and participation
  • In the event we have to transition from the Traditional Setting to Virtual Learning due to COVID-19, students in need will be assigned a device to use at home.





 

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