In March of 2020, Greensboro Montessori School formed a task force of administrators — the Pandemic Preparedness Committee (PPC) — who continue to closely monitor news, updates, and guidelines about the new coronavirus, so Greensboro Montessori School is ready to put into place any needed responses. The PPC follows these guiding principles in their discussions, decision making, and communication.
- Safety | The safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, families, and faculty are always our top priority. As a school, we monitor and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), the Guilford County Department of Public Health, and our local health care professionals.
- Family Partnership | At Greensboro Montessori School, we view learning as a life-long pursuit which starts in the home. We have tremendous respect for families as our students’ first teachers, and we know our students’ success is maximized when we work together and support one another in a true partnership. Throughout the pandemic, we have been doing everything we can to stay in close communication with our families. Click here to view our communication archive surrounding COVID-19.
- In-Person Learning | As a Montessori school, we believe in tactile learning, multi-age classrooms, individualized instruction, and assessment through continuous observation. While we had great success with remote learning (distance learning) in the spring, our preference for our students, families, and faculty is to be learning in person on both our main campus on Horse Pen Creek Road in Greensboro and on our 37-acre satellite campus in Oak Ridge.
- Montessori Learning | Maintaining our commitment to Montessori values, no matter where we’re learning, is of great importance to our community. As we develop strategies for safe and effective in-person learning, we look for sustainable models that are developmentally appropriate at each age level and support our families’ lives beyond school. We know that some solutions, such as A and B days for students to attend school, do not align with our approach to learning and will not work for us.
- Ongoing Monitoring | The daily evolution of COVID-19 makes ongoing monitoring a critical component of our scenario-based planning. We review updates from the CDC, NCDHHS, the Guilford County Department of Public Health, and local health care professionals on a daily basis. We also reach out to our families weekly, if not more, to maintain open lines of communication and monitor their ongoing needs.
Decision MakingStrategic and operational decision making during the COVID-19 crisis is managed by three primary groups:
- PPC | This working task force includes the head of school, the associate head of school, and the respective directors of upper school, finance, human relations, admission, and marketing. The frequency with which the PPC meets ranges from daily to weekly, based on the needs of the School and the evolution of the pandemic.
- Board of Trustees | Greensboro Montessori School is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, with a board of trustees as its governing body. The board is responsible for formulating policy, for establishing and maintaining the sound financial condition of the School, and for managing the forward progress and direction of the School. The board also appoints, evaluates, and supports the head of school, who, as chief executive officer, directs all day-to-day activities and operations of the School. During this time, the executive committee of the board meets weekly and the entire board meets monthly.
- Internal Legal Counsel | Greensboro Montessori School has a lawyer on staff who reviews the legal implications of our decisions to ensure we’re protecting our students, our families, our employees, and the overall business of the School.
When making decisions, the PPC, the board of trustees, and legal counsel consider multiple perspectives in navigating the best path forward for our School. These perspectives include:
- Medical guidance from the CDC, NCDHHS, and local health care professionals.
- Operational guidance from state and local government, including gubernatorial executive orders and guidance from the North Carolina Department of Non Public Education.
- Industry guidance from the Southern Association of Independent Schools, the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, the American Montessori Society, and other independent schools.
- What is best for students and families, our faculty and staff, and our finances and business. There is rarely a solution that is ideal for everyone, so the School must continuously balance the varying — and sometimes competing — needs within each constituency.