Greensboro Montessori School is using scenario-based planning to prepare for 2020-21, which means we are making concurrent plans for multiple operating models for the upcoming school year. Please note, we have three plans (A, B, and C), which are wholly independent and different from the three plans (which also happen to be named A, B, and C) released by the state of North Carolina.
For the fall, we are planning an in-person start to the school year on Wednesday, August 19 under Plan A. Operating under Plan A is our preference for the entire 2020-21 school year, and the School is doing everything in our power to prepare ourselves, our campus, and our operations for this possibility.
During Plan A, we also offer concurrent remote learning for students who are required to go home for sickness or to self-quarantine per guidelines set forth by the NC DHHS. It is also available for families who remain fully enrolled but prefer their children continue to learn from home.Under Plan A, the School follows guidelines issued by the CDC and NC DHHS for schools to safely reopen and operate in-person learning.
Plan B allows students in Toddler and Primary to remain on campus for in-person learning, even if external circumstances dictate our Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Junior High divisions return to remote learning.Under Plan B, the School can remain open as a child-care facility for Toddler and Primary students per guidance from the (1) North Carolina Department of Non Public Education, (2) NC DHHS, (3) the Guilford County Department of Public Health, and the (4) North Carolina Association of Independent Schools.
Remote LearningDespite our desire for sustained in-person learning, we are prepared to learn any and everywhere throughout 2020-21. The three main reasons a highly performing Remote Learning program might be necessary for 2020-21 are:
- If a family chooses to remain fully enrolled but would prefer their children continue to learn from home.
- If a student is sent home for illness, suspected illness, or suspected or known exposure to COVID-19. Students may also be sent home if a member of their household has a suspected or known exposure to COVID-19.
- If the School must operate under Plan B or C as dictated by a gubernatorial executive order.
We want to thank all our families who completed out our 2019-20 End-of-Year survey, which was heavily focused on the Remote Learning program we ran from Wednesday, March 18 through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. During the month of June, our faculty and staff will be exploring ways we can further improve Remote Learning based on your survey feedback, our own self-reflection, our conversations with families, and professional development opportunities.
As we begin this work, there are already improvements we know we are going to make for 2020-21. Three concrete examples include:
- In Lower Elementary there will be more live lessons via Google Hangouts. Most every day, teachers will host two live lessons, which will be scheduled at the same time each day. Live lessons will provide opportunities for faculty to guide work and track student progress in real time.
- Faculty and staff throughout the School are brainstorming solutions as to how we hold students accountable and assess their work in a remote-learning model. In a Montessori classroom, student assessment is done mainly by observing the child. As a community of educators, we struggled with finding alternate methods of assessment during our Remote Learning last spring. We are committed to finding new and improved ways for student assessment and accountability for 2020-21.
- We know we will provide more live lessons from our cultural educators. We received strong marks for the positive experience our Primary students had during live music lessons, and we will implement live cultural education lessons in all divisions.