August 21, 2020
This past Friday ended the first week of school for 2020/2021. I am pleased to report that it was a typical start to school in many ways despite the new COVID-19 protocols and procedures. Students were eager to get back on campus and happy to see their friends and teachers. (Montesaurus even made an appearance!) It’s always fun walking in on the first day with your new tote bag/backpack, lunch box, and supplies. A fresh start to a new school year!
The best news of the week is that it was uneventful in terms of COVID-19. (One week down and 35 more to go!) We are fortunate that with our small, committed community we can do what is necessary to protect each other and minimize the risk of transmission. If we are vigilant in our efforts each day to wear masks, social distance and communicate, we can greatly reduce the likelihood that someone in our community will become infected.
Looking ahead, Labor Day weekend is not that far off and some may be thinking this would be a good time to get away or to visit with friends and family. We understand the need to do those things even during this health crisis. To make sure that our MSA community stays healthy though, we are asking families to do the following:
Please report any travel plans to the school nurse - email@example.com. (CDC guidelines regarding travel continue to be updated, so this will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but certain situations may necessitate quarantining or testing before a child is able to return to campus.)
Please report any suspected positive COVID-19 exposures to the school nurse - firstname.lastname@example.org. (This will also be handled on a case-by-case basis, but certain situations may necessitate quarantining or testing before a child is able to return to campus per SC DHEC.)
MSA will communicate with families about known positive COVID-19 situations when your child may have been directly exposed on our campus. Due to HIPAA regulations, however, no personal information may be shared and communication will be limited to families in the affected classroom, program, or building unless there is a school-wide situation as deemed by SC DHEC.
Just like any year, a child’s education is a partnership between home and school and that relationship is especially important now. We want this year to be full of joyful learning experiences for your child with as few interruptions as possible and a healthy community all year long!
Peace, love, & Montessori,
Dr. Dana Hill
Dates to Remember
Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events.
August 31 - Maria Montessori's 150th birthday
September 7 - Labor Day holiday, All Programs Closed
September 11 - Friday pizza lunches start (order through main office)
September 25 - Primary Planet Pajama Party
I hope that you and your family are staying healthy and well. First, let me begin by sharing with you how proud I am of your student(s). The entire community has done an extraordinary job of using masks, socially distancing, practicing hand and respiratory hygiene. Thank you for being "all in" for following procedures and ensuring safe, face to face education.
MSA continues to follow CDC and SCDHEC interim guidelines for health and safety as the Covid-19 data changes. We will continue to monitor student, teacher and staff health, follow evolving procedures and protocols, and make the best decisions for our MSA community. Changes in protocol are based on the safest practice and at times may be inconvenient, but these changes are for everyone's safety and hopefully will be temporary. If this crisis has taught us anything, it has taught us that children and adults alike are agile and their adaptation is instinctual. I have had the privilege to witness it daily at MSA. MSA is committed to educating the children in the safest environment possible and to nurture their academic, physical and mental health needs.
If you have not already done so, please visit the school nurse webpage https://www.msasc.org/nurses-forms on the MSA website. You will find resources for Covid-19, Return to School information, immunization schedules, etc. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at email@example.com.
During Covid-19 and the state's mandated stay-at-home orders, children may have missed well check-ups or immunizations. It is important to continue to be proactive in maintaining current wellness visits with healthcare providers. These visits are a time to review and discuss each of the important areas of your child's growth and development, including physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. Many offices offer special early visit hours, telehealth options, and make every effort to keep you and your child safe during the visit.
Health reminders for a safe 2020-2021 academic year:
MSA Infectious Disease Policy
Children are expected to be in good health when in school. All students must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school (without taking fever-reducing medication). Absences, excused or unexcused, will be recorded for all students. Any student experiencing a fever greater than 100.4°F, vomiting, diarrhea, or simply feeling too ill to focus or concentrate on classwork, will be removed
from the classroom. The child's parents will be called to pick them up and the child will be safely isolated until the parent arrives. No student will be allowed to leave campus without the direct consent of the parent/guardian.
COVID Change: Any student (or faculty/staff) who is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive will be reported to SC DHEC and MSA will follow their guidelines for when the student may return to school and whether others must be isolated/quarantined.
All students must have a South Carolina DHEC immunization record on file in the MSA Health Office within 30 days of admission or the first day of school. If you are a transfer student from out of state or country, all immunization records must be transferred to a SC DHEC Form at your physician's office or at a South Carolina Health Department. If the student has received any additional immunizations in the last year, a new record must be submitted to MSA. Any student not in compliance with South Carolina's Immunization mandated guidelines must be excluded until a immunization record has been received. Please make every effort to meet this deadline so there is no interruption in your child's educational experience.
All students with health concerns should contact Nurse Merriman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 226-5344 ext. 201 to discuss the student's health and any emergency medications that need to be available should the student need medical treatment. Supporting documentation from your healthcare provider will be discussed and an Emergency Care Plan will be developed for your child's needs. All forms must be updated annually and signed by your child's healthcare provider.
Wishing you safety and continued good health.
Susanna Merriman, RN