Adjusted Operations Plan

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AUGUST 3, 2020


Dear Golden Oak Families,


I hope you and your student(s) have had a restful summer. We appreciate your patience and feedback as we solidified plans for our 2020-21 academic year.


As you know, Golden Oak Montessori will begin the academic year with Distance Learning based on directives from state and county officials. This means the building is still closed to students, and teaching/learning will be done remotely. Distance Learning will be our core instructional model for the months ahead.


Once local officials indicate schools can begin to transition into a Blended Learning model that includes both Distance Learning and in-person instruction, Golden Oak will move slowly and cautiously. We will use a series of phased steps - with each phase lasting several weeks and only changing as guidance indicates it is safe to do so. We tentatively anticipate these phases to begin with in person individual student/teacher check in appointments, then move into small cohorts of students coming to campus on alternating days. Cohort sizes and frequency of days on campus during Blended Learning are dependent on numbers of students participating in the Distance Learning-Only Opt-In Program that will run concurrently with the Blended Learning phases. We plan for the cohorts to be small, and siblings will be scheduled for the same on-campus school days.


This Adjusted Operations Plan outlines procedures our school is implementing for the 2020-21 academic year as we move through this process toward re-opening. It is an ever-evolving document that we will add to and update with more detail as we move through the coming months and (hopefully soon!) welcome students back in the building.


The environment around us continues to change and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we move through the months ahead. Health, safety, and student learning are our priorities, and families and students should know that we will do everything possible to follow state and local guidance. Please continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash hands regularly so that we “flatten the curve” and get our school building open to children again. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by calling (510) 931-7868 or email info@goldenoakmontessori.org.


I wish you and your families a good start to the academic year.


In partnership,

Jen Heeter

Head of School

SECTION 1: GETTING STARTED WITH DISTANCE LEARNING

DISTANCE LEARNING & BLENDED LEARNING

Golden Oak Montessori will begin the school year with Distance Learning – this is because students cannot come on campus per state and local orders. During this Distance Learning period there will be daily attendance taking, daily “live” connections between teachers and classmates, and new instructional material provided through both live and recorded lessons. Students will be required to turn in work for review and feedback. Our attendance policy remains in place during this time (see below for details).


Once we are told by local officials that schools can begin to transition students back onto campus, we will use a Blended Learning model that includes both Distance Learning and in-person instruction. This transition process will go slowly and cautiously. We will use a series of “phased” steps - with each phase lasting several weeks and only changing as guidance indicates it is safe to do so. We tentatively anticipate these phases to begin with in person individual student/teacher check in appointments, then move into small cohorts of students coming to campus on alternating days. Cohort sizes and frequency of days on campus during Blended Learning are dependent on numbers of students participating in the Distance Learning-Only Opt-In Program that will run concurrently with the Blended Learning phases. We plan for the cohorts to be small, and siblings will be scheduled for the same on-campus school days.


For families that would like their student to only participate in Distance Learning during the Blended Learning phase, there will be a Distance Learning-Only Opt-In Program that will be available for as long as appropriate. A form will be sent to parents to sign up for this program when we have a better idea of when Blended Learning can begin. If a family signs up for the full distance learning model and then decides they would like to have their student participate in the on-campus instruction, the student will need to wait (possibly until the next phase of Blended Learning) so we can rebalance their classroom’s cohort to ensure small class sizes. If a student begins in the Blended Learning program, and then needs to move to the Distance Learning-Only Opt-In Program, we will try to accommodate.

ATTENDANCE TAKING, TARDIES, AND REPORTING AN ABSENCE

During Distance Learning, Attendance is taken during the classroom’s morning Community Meeting.


If a student is Absent for the day, the parent should complete the Reporting a Student Absent form. If a student is absent and the school is not notified, the office will reach out to the parent to inquire about the absence. Golden Oak Montessori’s Attendance Policy is still in effect during Distance Learning and three or more unexcused absences will result in a truancy notice and school staff contacting the parent directly to discuss strategies to ensure the student is actively participating in class meetings and lessons and submitting assignments.


If a student is Tardy, meaning they missed their morning classroom meeting but is participating in school that day, the parent should complete the Reporting a Student Tardy form so the school knows the student is actively working. The form must be completed before 3 p.m.


If a student misses a scheduled “live” lesson or appointment with a teacher, the teacher will email the parent a notification. If a student misses 2 or more scheduled lessons or appointments, a meeting will be scheduled with the teacher, student and parent to discuss strategies to ensure reliable attendance to scheduled academic activities.

ASSIGNMENTS AND WORK COMPLETION

During Distance Learning, a minimum of four hours (240 minutes) of schoolwork, lessons, and/or meetings will be provided daily for students. The expectation is students will do their best to complete that work each day, but not necessarily in consecutive hours. Students have the flexibility to complete the work over the course of the day (or the week) as long as it is submitted by the deadlines indicated by the individual teacher.


Students will have a variety of assignments to complete over core subject areas during the week. Some items will be presented as a “live” lesson over a video conference call (synchronous), some will be “recorded” lessons presented as a link that a student watches (asynchronous), and some will be independent follow up work completed after the lesson. Individual teachers will provide details on how to access the work, submit work, and retrieve work with corrections and follow up. Please expect more information at Back to School Night. Students will also use a small array of academic software, consistent across levels, which teachers will be monitoring to ensure comprehension of the information and progress.


Classroom boxes will be located outside of the building for teachers to collect assignments and distribute items to students for pick up as needed.

ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING PROGRESS

During Distance Learning, students will be assessed at the start of the academic year to help identify their academic strengths and target areas for support, and to determine individual overall social/emotional health given recent events. Based on these assessments, support services will be provided as needed.


Teachers will provide regular feedback on student progress to parents/guardians in the form of trimester report cards and parent/guardian conferences. If at any time a parent/guardian has questions or concerns about their student’s performance, please do not hesitate to reach out to your student’s teacher. Likewise, if a teacher has concerns regarding a student, he/she will reach out to the parent/guardian.

SPECIAL EDUCATION & SUPPORTIVE ACADEMIC SERVICES

Students receiving Special Education, English Language Development support, and other academic support services, will start the year receiving these services through a Distance Learning model. These services will be scheduled with families on an individual basis and conducted through meetings individually or in small groups through a video conference. We are hopeful to provide supportive services appointments on campus once the Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health indicates it is permissible to do so. If you have any questions, please contact:


- Special Education: Jessica Stryczek – jessica@goldenoakmontessori.org

- English Language Development: Deb Eskie – deborah@goldenoakmontessori.org or Laurel Schwarzbach – laurel@goldenoakmontessori.org

- Academic Support Services: Kara Desmond – kara@goldenoakmontessori.org

COMPUTER RESOURCES

If your student does not have a computer at home to access online educational resources and participate in class meetings, Chromebooks are available for check out from the school. Learn more and request a Chromebook through the Technology Request Form.


If you do not have Internet access, Comcast is offering a temporary free Internet service for qualifying families. Learn more at internetessentials.com/covid19. If you are unable to obtain Internet through this program, or your current Internet is inconsistent and creating challenges for your student’s Distance Learning, please contact info@goldenoakmontessori.org so that we can work with you to make accommodations.

EMAIL AND GOOGLE CLASSROOM

All students are issued a Golden Oak Montessori email account (accessible through Gmail) which provides them with access to Google Classroom and a suite of other Google tools (calendar, documents, etc.)


During the first weeks of school, teachers will provide students (and parents/guardians) lessons on how to use these online tools, and instructions on our school’s etiquette regarding communicating with classmates and teachers in online meetings, shared documents, and through email. As a reminder, all students and families sign the Acceptable Use of Technology agreement annually and students are not to share their passwords.

TECH SUPPORT

Golden Oak Montessori uses Charter Tech Services for technical and computer support. If a student needs their Golden Oak Montessori email account password reset or is having issues with a Chromebook or other school issued device, the student can request help by emailing helpdesk@goldenoakmontessori.org, or can contact their teacher directly, who can connect with the Help Desk.

VIDEO CONFERENCE CALLS

Teachers will provide students with information on participating in daily and by- appointment video conference calls either through Zoom or Google Meet. Students are asked to be on time and ensure they are prepared as if they are entering the classroom (dressed, not eating, not distracted by toys/pets/technology, etc.)

RECORDINGS OF STUDENTS

Golden Oak students participate in school assemblies which will be conducted online until further notice. Each classroom takes turns presenting at the assemblies which will be done as a pre-recorded presentation done through a video conference call. If a student has a “no media release” indicated on their individual consent forms, the teacher will contact the parent directly to inquire if they are comfortable with their student being part of the presentation which will be recorded.

GRAB AND GO MEALS

Golden Oak Montessori students can pick up Grab and Go Meals every week during Distance Learning. On the weekly pick up day, which is Tuesday, students can take home up to 5 breakfasts and/or 5 lunches with pre-order. There will be a variety of meal options provided that can be eaten either cold or hot (heating instructions are provided). Students must pre-order their meals by the deadline to ensure we have sufficient quantities. The cost of the meals varies depending on if a student qualifies for:


- Free Meals - $0.00 per breakfast / $0.00 per lunch

- Reduced Price Meals - $0.30 per breakfast /$0.40 per lunch

- Full Price Meals: $2.35 per breakfast /$3.35 per lunch


Families who have reduced or full price meals should add money to their student's MealTime account in advance. The account will be charged at the time of pick up.


To order student meals for pick up, please complete the Grab and Go Meals request form by the deadline indicating how many meals will be picked up each week.

COUNSELING RESOURCES AND SUPPORT

Teachers and staff will provide regular check-ins and screenings for all students for mental wellness, building relationships, and developing social emotional learning (SEL).


If students or their parent/guardian would like to speak with our school’s psychologist/counselor, Jennine Blackmon-Powell, regarding the student’s mental wellness as a result of the pandemic, please email jennine@goldenoakmonessori.org to schedule an appointment.

COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

Connecting with classmates and friends and feeling the community atmosphere of a school is a very important part of learning and growing for students. During the fall, teachers and staff have plans for activities and events that will connect students in classrooms and school-wide, even if remotely. Stay tuned for details and please support and encourage your students participation in these important community activities.

FACE COVERINGS IF COMING TO CAMPUS

If your family needs to come to the campus to pick up or drop off items, please always wear a face covering that meets the standards outlined by the Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health.

NO BUILDING ENTRY AT THIS TIME; APPOINTMENTS REQUESTED

At this time, Golden Oak Montessori’s campus is closed to students and families. Only staff, who are considered essential workers, will be permitted to enter the building. If your family needs to come to the campus to pick up or drop off items that require a staff member’s support, please schedule an appointment in advance to ensure an individual is at school to assist you. Staff are working both on campus and remotely from home.

CONTACT US

Although we may not be together in our building, staff are working and accessible on school days. Email is currently the fastest way to reach individual people (see list), but you can also call the school's main phone number (510) 961-7868 and the message will be relayed to the appropriate person. A secure mailbox on the front of the school (on the left side of the front doors) is available if forms or correspondence need to be dropped off for a staff member.

SECTION 2: TENTATIVE PLANS FOR RE-OPENING

ANTICIPATED TIMELINE

The Alameda County Department of Public Health (ACPH) will determine when schools can re-open to in-person instruction. Once ACPH makes this announcement, Golden Oak Montessori will begin preparations to re-open the building to students, and families will be provided with a more detailed timeline.


Our tentative plan begins with individual students coming on campus for teacher appointments, moving into small groups of students coming to their classroom one day a week. After some time those one-day a week groups would merge into two-day a week groups. Cohort sizes during Blended Learning are dependent upon numbers of students participating in the Distance Learning-Only Opt-In Program that will run concurrently while we are doing Blended Learning phases.


Registration for the Distance Learning-Only Opt-In Program will open once we have an idea of when the Blended Learning can begin.

FACE COVERINGS

When the building opens to students, cloth face coverings, that meet the Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health requirements, will be required (except when eating or drinking) for all students and all school staff, with the exception of students unable to wear them due to special circumstances such as a particular developmental or health diagnosis that would limit their ability to wear a face covering. (An approved size face shield with cloth drape at the bottom tucked into a shirt would be an alternative option.) Face coverings with a one-way valve are not permissible per Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health.


In the event a face covering is forgotten, the school will provide a disposable surgical mask which meets Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health requirements.


If a student will not wear a face covering and is not exempt from wearing one, in order to comply with guidance, the school will contact the parent/guardian to request their student be picked up.

SCREENING FOR SYMPTOMS

When the building opens to students, the Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health has stipulated that students and staff are required to self-screen for symptoms at home or before coming to campus. These symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and/or loss of taste or smell – see full list. Upon arrival, the school will conduct on-site visual and temperature (no touch) screening at Health Check stations at school entry points.


Prior to students coming back onto campus, more detailed information will be provided to families about the expectations for Pre-Screening at home and the Health Check stations at designated entry points into the school.

PROCEDURES FOR AN ILL PERSON ON CAMPUS

Any person (staff or student) exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should stay home, or if they come to campus displaying symptoms, they will need to go home promptly.


If a student displays symptoms at school, their family will be contacted and asked to come to the campus promptly to pick up the student. Students will remain under the supervision and care of a staff member while waiting to be picked up by their authorized adult and will remain in an area separated from others to the extent practicable. They must wear a mask while waiting.


In the event there is an exposure or diagnosed positive case on campus, Golden Oak Montessori will use the California Dept of Public Health’s decision tree for determining what measures should be taken when a student, teacher or staff member has symptoms, has had contact with someone infected, or is diagnosed with COVID-19. This includes when to quarantine a classroom or the entire school.

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE FROM CAMPUS

Prior to students coming back onto campus, more detailed information will be provided to families about Drop Off and Pick Up procedures. The points of entry and exit into the building will be adjusted by grade levels to ensure physical distancing. Timing for each grade level’s arrival and departure may shift slightly. (Plans will be in place for siblings in different grade levels to have similar timing.)

PHYSICAL DISTANCING ON CAMPUS

Physical distancing will help limit the spread of the virus. To ensure sufficient space for everyone to spread out, the following procedures will be implemented.


● Students will stay with their classroom’s cohort during the entire school day. Classrooms will not mix to the greatest extent possible.


● Work spaces in the classrooms will be designated for each student and spaced further apart per Alameda County Dept. of Public Health recommendations. When weather is permitting, classrooms or individual students may have designated outdoor work spaces.


● Hallways and corridors may be designated as one-way traffic flow during peak periods of student movement.


● Large gatherings will not be held until further notice.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Precautions for preventing transmission of COVID-19 when students are back in the building include, but are not limited to, the following.


● Handwashing stations with soap and paper towels are in every classroom. Hand sanitizer boxes have been installed in every classroom and the front hallways. All students and staff will be encouraged to wash/clean their hands regularly including every time they enter/exit the building or their classroom, before using a shared item, or if they cough/sneeze.


● Staff will follow cleaning/disinfecting guidelines developed by Centers for Disease Control. During the school day staff will wipe high contact areas (restrooms, door knobs, etc.) and each evening classrooms will be cleaned/sanitized by a professional custodial service using EPA approved disinfectants for COVID-19.


● Water fountain use will be discontinued until further notice. Students are asked to bring a reusable water bottle to school, which can be refilled in classrooms. Students will keep their water bottle at their seat or in their backpack during the school day – not on a water bottle cart. Disposable drinking cups will be available for students who forget their water bottle.


● Classrooms will limit the use of shared items in the classroom. However in the event there is a need for students to use the same item during the course of the school day/week, classrooms will have procedures for cleaning items between uses using recommendations from the Alameda Co. Dept. of Public Health.


● Classroom doors and windows will be open (weather permitting) to increase air ventilation as suggested by Alameda County Dept. of Public Health.

LUNCH AND SNACK

Students will stay with their classroom cohort during lunch and snacks and eat in a designated area – most likely in their classroom or in their classroom’s courtyard. Classrooms will not be eating in the Multipurpose Room together during Blended Learning.


Students purchasing meals will pre-order in the morning with their teacher and school staff will bring the meal to them in their classroom. Learn more about Revolution Foods safety procedures.

RECESS

To ensure social distancing, students from different classrooms will not be playing together at recess during Blended Learning.


Students will stay with their classroom cohort during recess in a designated “zone” with their teacher. The zones will rotate so students have variety in their recess activity opportunities.

AFTER CARE AND EXTRACURRICULAR CLASSES

At this time, we are hopeful to be able to have a service to provide After School Care for students; however, its operation is dependent on how many students would want to participate in the program and requirements for keeping cohort groups of students separated as determined by the Alameda County Dept. of Public Health. More information will be provided when available. Extracurricular classes on campus (Drama and YOSAC) are on hold until further notice.


The following Alameda County Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies are able to refer those seeking childcare to providers in their area:

- Southern Alameda Co. (including Hayward): Alameda Co. 4C's, (510) 582-2189

- Northern Alameda Co.: BANANAS Inc., (510) 658-7353

- Eastern Alameda Co.: Hively, (925) 417-8733


Golden Oak Montessori contacted 4C’s of Alameda County regarding childcare options in the Hayward area. They provided a listing of possible providers in the immediate area as a starting point for families to consider. Please contact 4C’s, or one of the other regional programs above, for the most current listing of childcare options in the area best suited for your family’s needs.

VISITORS ON CAMPUS

The number of visitors (parents, guardians, etc.) on campus will be very limited this year and most interaction will happen at the door (dropping off forms, making a MealTime payment, picking up a student early, etc.)


If entering the building is deemed necessary, visitors will be asked to follow the same self-screening process as students and staff, and will need to pass through a Health Station checkpoint.