This page will be updated as new information evolves, current as of 6/28/2020

Staff and administration will be operating according to our health and safety plan developed in accordance with the Johns Hopkins University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA Department of Education and Department of Human Services.  Our plan will be revisited and revised as additional information and guidance become available. Using this modified hierarchy of controls, Covid-19 mitigation at the New School will look like:

  • Check-in and temperature checks – You will be met in our “Drop off” area by a previously identified New School teacher. There will be no need to get out of the car, for your child will be escorted safely into the building. As staff will have done upon arrival, all students will have their temperature checked before entering the facility by a no-contact thermometer kiosk. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be sent home immediately. Upon entry after temperature checks, students will be led to a handwashing station to wash hands.
  • Physical Distancing — Physical barriers, where necessary between students and adults and added visual reminders for students to remember physical distancing. We have reconfigured classroom spaces to accommodate pods, limit communal use, allow for physical distancing, and accommodate frequent surface cleaning.
  • PPE — All students (age three and up) and staff are required to wear nonmedical cloth masks. Please note, any child who suffers from asthma may not be required.
  • Outdoor activity — In line with our established Montessori pedagogy, we will prioritize outdoor programming to afford the lowest risk of transmission .Recess times will be staggered among several outdoor spaces.
  • Engineering controls
    • Disinfecting of shared and frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, tabletops, light switches, and faucets.
    • Hand washing breaks and hand sanitizer are available at all times.
    • Classroom materials are returned to a central location for disinfecting before being returned to shelves.
    • Increase circulation of outdoor air by opening windows and doors when possible.
    • prohibit the use of communal drinking fountains
  • Administrative controls
    • Limiting toddler and primary classrooms/pods to small groups of approximately ten students to mitigate risk.
    • Wherever possible, we will be staggering staff and administrative hours and workspaces to minimize contact.
    • Pursue virtual parent/staff events, gatherings, or meetings

Any suspected COVID 19 cases will be immediately isolated, and all families will be notified of possible exposure. In such a case, we will seek additional guidance from local health officials to determine the course of action.

Individuals with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may return under the following conditions: 

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Daily Structure
  • Arrival and dismissal times will be staggered, *note Primary half day students will continue to attend in the morning.
  • Children will be kept in groups/pods of approximately ten. Teachers and teacher assistants will likely move between two pods.
  • Students will continue to eat lunch/snacks in the classroom or outdoors. All food must be sent in disposable and easy to open packaging.
  • Schedules will be evaluated to identify pods for students For example, siblings may be assigned to the same class and students who attend before or afterschool programming may be assigned to the same class.
Before and After School Programs
  • We will continue to offer before and after school programs however our afterschool daily enrichment program will be temporarily suspended in order to mitigate risk.
Teaching and Learning
Virtual Structure if in-person instruction is suspended
  • Focus on small group instruction mimicking the lesson structure in our physical classrooms
  • Focus on live lessons that align with Montessori principles.
  • Keep in-school schedule in place when we transition to distance learning.
  • Provide materials to support at home learning lessons.

If school is able to open, but you prefer to have your student join virtually, doing so is an option. Your student will be provided with a materials box.  They will join their small group lessons and community time virtually. More information will be available as we know enrollment numbers and begin to prepare schedules. 

Sample Daily Schedules: Grades 1–6

Morning Meeting and time to make a work plan, 
Spanish- small group (synchronous or asynchronous)
Math Lesson-participate in a live math lesson with a small group, led by an elementary teacher
Reading group- led by reading specialist in a small group (frequency is individualized)
Conference with teacher
Extended work period to complete follow-up work. 
Science lesson typically a class presentation, led by an elementary teacher 

Morning Meeting and updating work plan,
History lesson typically a class presentation, led by an elementary teacher 
Spanish- small group (synchronous or asynchronous)
PE/Art or Music
Extended work period to complete follow-up work, and finally end the day with a 
Language lesson small group of peers and an elementary teacher.

Teachers will meet with small groups of students for direct lessons throughout the day and the week as well as have multiple check-ins and short student conferences weekly, as we do in our physical classrooms. We are establishing ways for our teaching staff to incorporate Montessori materials into their digital lessons and adapting some materials for use at home by students. 

To help ease the transition between in-person and digital learning students will have school-issued Chromebooks preloaded with teacher-selected resources and In line with Montessori philosophy of preparing the environment, we will continue to incorporate technology lessons, including the use of Google Classroom, for long-term assignments such as 3rd Year Biography, Research Mosaic, or SYP, research, and typing. Individual Chromebooks will replace the use of classroom laptops and provide a smooth transition among virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning and teaching.