Lower School Plan

What follows are Lower School-specific updates to our reopening plan. This is a fluid situation, so these plans are subject to change. We ask that you take time to look this over during the next week. Click here for my video newsletter. Please click here for the most recent remarks from the Head of School on our campus reopening.

Lower School Discussion Forum:

When: Aug 3, 2020 6:30 p.m. 

Recording of Lower School Discussion Forum

Meet and Greet:

Meet and Greet will be held by appointment only on August 17. Families will be asked to wear masks. Please click on this link for more information. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080944AFA72FA3FB6-lsmeet

Back to School Nights:

Montessori and Lower School Back-to-School Nights will be held in a “flipped” format. Families will receive a video link to the teachers’ recorded presentation prior to the Back-to-School Night meetings. On the previously scheduled night and time, families are then invited to meet our homeroom teachers on Zoom for a question and answer session. Zoom-specific links will be sent closer to the meeting date. As a general reminder, these meetings are scheduled for:

  • Toddlers: August 18 at 6:15 p.m.
  • Montessori and Kindergarten: August 18 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Grades 1-5: August 26 at 6:15 p.m.

Lower School Calendar Events:

For the safety of everyone in the community, events will be held virtually when possible. Events that cannot be held virtually are canceled at this time. Calendar changes to make note of include:

  • August 17: Welcome Back Picnic – Canceled
  • August 26: Second Grade Parent Sacrament Meeting – Virtual
  • September 11: Vision and Hearing Screening – Canceled
  • September 16: Third Grade Parent Meeting – Virtual
  • October 1 and 2: Grades 1-5 Fall Conferences – Virtual
  • October 8: Fifth Grade Mother Daughter Program – Virtual
  • October 14 and 15: Toddler and Montessori Conferences – Virtual
  • October 23: Barn Dance – Canceled
  • November 20: Grandparent’s Day – Canceled
  • December 4: St. Nick’s Nook – Canceled

Returning to the Classroom:

Classroom Set-Up: In order to keep students physically distanced, classrooms will look different than they have in previous years. Desks will not be in sets, rows, pods, etc., and additional furniture is being temporarily removed from classrooms to allow for distancing. Portable dividers will be used in Montessori classrooms during work times in order to help our youngest friends visualize separate workspaces. Teachers also will make use of outdoor learning spaces.

Masks and Handwashing: At the beginning of the school year, Montessori and Lower School teachers will be working with the students on rules for proper handwashing and wearing of masks. We will be providing mask lanyards to help students keep track of their masks throughout the school day.

Sanitizing Throughout the Day: Visitation is providing teachers with materials to sanitize desks, doorknobs, light switches, etc., throughout the day. There are Viz-wide polices for daily and weekly deep cleaning. This does include playground equipment.

Specialty Classes: All specials EXCEPT PE will push into the homeroom.

Fourth and Fifth Grade Classes: Ms. Carnie, Mrs. Skubic, and Mrs. Horton will go to the fourth and fifth grade classrooms in lieu of students coming to them.

Water Fountains: Water fountains are closed. Students should bring their own water bottle from home.

Recess: Classes will stagger recess times and attend together as follows:

  • Toddler and Kindergarten
  • Montessori – Attend together for lunch, separately at other recess times
  • First, Second, and Third
  • Fourth and Fifth

Lunch: Toddler, Montessori, and Kindergarten students will eat lunch in their classrooms. Grades 1-5 will eat lunch in the LS lunchroom. Students will be distanced at tables, with no more than four students per table.

All students are required to bring their lunches including a drink.

  • No microwaves or refrigerators are available to Montessori or Lower School students.
  • Dr. Albert will keep a small supply of lunch foods on hand for students who forget their lunch.
  • Snack will still be provided through third grade.

Before Care: Students arriving at 7:00 a.m. will go to the Montessori gym. The gym will have designated areas for each grade. Students will go to homerooms by 7:30 a.m. Students arriving after 7:30 a.m. will go directly to their classroom.

After Care: Parents enrolling students in aftercare should be aware that students will be in multi-age groupings. Aftercare staff will encourage students to stay socially distant, practice regular hand-sanitizing and disinfecting procedures, and spend time outside when possible.

Birthdays: Students may not bring in a birthday treat from home. Dr. Albert will provide a special treat for each student from the school. Montessori birthday celebrations will be held virtually.

Masses: Classes will attend Masses face-to-face on a rotating basis. Classes not attending face-to-face will attend virtually.

Assemblies and Field Trips: All assemblies are canceled at this time.

Lower School Clubs: Lower School clubs will be held in limited capacity and may not enroll more than 12 students. Mask rules will apply during club meetings. Parents enrolling students in a Lower School club should be aware they will be in multi-age groupings. Lower School choir is an exception to this rule. More information from Mr. Bell will follow.

As noted previously, Mr. Colón and I will be hosting a Lower School Back-to-School meeting on August 3 at 6:30 p.m. to go over these plans and answer questions. Please feel free to bring your questions that evening or email them to me in advance at malbert@visitationacademy.org.