MFS COVID-19 Resources
The DRAFT MFS Environmental Protocol explains procedures that prioritize practices to lower the risk of disease transmission in our school. The focus is on the safety of the MFS community, as we continue our tradition of providing authentic Montessori education in the East Bay.
The Environmental Protocol was developed in consultation with The Board of Directors, the COVID Resource Team, and administrative leadership. We also reviewed plans from other independent schools and engaged with experts to evaluate our thinking. We recognize that the COVID-19 situation changes frequently, so we remain flexible and prepared to adapt procedures in response to current conditions and public health recommendations, because we must adapt to the times in which we live and model for the children what flexibility and adaptability look like.
We can imagine a little humor will be key, as well.
Our Admissions Offices remain open. We offer rolling admissions for 2020 - 2021 on both campuses, and we offer both in-person options as well as yearlong virtual learning options guided by the Montessori pedagogy. We have also begun admissions for the 2021-2022 school year. The admissions team is ready to help answer questions, schedule a virtual tour, or organize a consultation with teachers for both the current year and next year.
We are preparing to welcome back our students as well as giving our families the flexibility to meet their needs. Come see what Montessori education can be, even in these challenging times!
FAQ ABOUT MFS'S OPEN AIR PROGRAMS
Quick review of terms:
Our Early Childhood Campus in Berkeley is not subject to Contra Costa County restrictions
MFSYear@Home refers to students that will be remote all year
Open-air pods are in-person groupings meeting at MFS campus
MFSPods@Home refers to when open-air pods are unable to meet in-person due to health and safety concerns
Is MFS's El Cerrito Campus now operating in full instruction mode, in person?
Yes! As of October 13th, we have been cleared to instruct in person for all students K Bridge through 8th Grade.
Where is open-air school happening?
Each pod will have a designated classroom spot on campus where school will be held. It will be entirely outdoors, so please make sure to dress your child appropriately.
Initial information about pods can be found here.
How will the in-person classes cope with poor air quality during fire season?
When outdoor air quality is poor, MFS will be remote, meaning that open-air pods will move to MFSPods@Home. We have moved to a day-by-day model, which means that we currently read air quality between 7-7:30am and make a decision by 7:30am if school for open-air pods at MFS will be available. We only make an announcement about air quality if it is very close, or if we will be closed. Otherwise, families may assume that we will go forward with in-person school.
How does MFS make air quality decisions?
During the California wildfire season, or in the event of any other local hazard that causes issues of air quality, Montessori Family School will cease all outdoor activities and instruction when the AQI PM2.5 is 100 and above. MFS uses purpleair.com with the US EPA filter to most accurately assess hyperlocal AQI within an averaged 10-minute period.
What safety protocols are you taking?
We will be operating an entirely outdoor school (except bathrooms), which is the safest way to gather. Masks, physical distancing, health screenings, and surface cleaning and disinfection will all be implemented. Read the full DRAFT MFS Environmental Protocol and Sanitation Protocol.
What happened to the Contra Costa County waiver?
We have submitted our waiver AND Contra Costa County has let us know that with the new clearance to operate, it is no longer necessary as a part of our ability to re-open.
My child is enrolled in another camp/program. Can they attend both?
Both the State Guidance for camps as well as the MFS Pod Protocol limit students to be associated with just one cohort at a time.