We are The Montessori Garden School. Since the pandemic started for us officially on March 17, 2020, we decided not to close down our school. We had spring break the week after March 17, so it was decided that after spring break we would open for those people that needed to continue working, especially our health care working parents. We went from 75 students enrolled in two school locations to four students and one school setting. Was it difficult? YES! I had two teachers in the infant room taking turns to work and I was working with two students from the toddler and primary class. April 2020 was extremely difficult. The owners of the two locations were extremely helpful and very understanding and were vital in our survival as a school. We ended up closing down one of our locations, because we could not afford to keep both open.
As May approached, some parents decided to bring back some children and our numbers went up to 8. In June our enrollment increased to 15. So on and so on, and incredibly this upcoming new school year we are back to almost full capacity at 45 children registered.
As a school that never closed and did not require the children to wear masks, we have been extremely lucky at not having any active cases at school. Two children did contact Covid-19, but they had been out on vacations and did not return to school until they were negative and cleared. We do require the teachers to wear their masks and the parents drop off their children with masks as well. Why have we been so lucky? I guess it’s not luck, but taking care of ourselves: constant hand washing, cleaning the children’s hands every morning and every transition activity we have, the parents having their children tested when children appeared sick, constant cleaning and spraying our lessons, even when Lysol and disinfecting sprays were hard to find. It was the cooperation of everyone involved. Whenever anyone found disinfectant sprays they bought and donated them to the school or we let each other know so we could go and get that 1 can they allowed us to get. Obviously the parents were a vital part in keeping everyone safe. It’s not only what the school does, it’s all of us working together. Did some children wear masks? Yes! But it was up to the parents. The children who wore the masks were older children who understood the situation better. Thankfully, we will continue to follow our cleaning procedures and we will continue to teach our children in the school environment. Learning from their hands on experiences and