COVID-19

COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS AT WEM

ARE FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED AT WEM?

Children ages 3-4 have a choice to wear a cloth face covering and face shield.  Children ages 5+ are required to wear a cloth face covering and may wear a face shield in addition to a cloth face covering.  All staff at WEM are required to wear a cloth face covering and may elect to wear a face shield as well.

WHICH GUIDELINES ARE YOU FOLLOWING TO ENSURE SAFETY?

  • Washington State Department of Health (All Ages)
  • Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (K-6)
  • Department of Children, Youth, and Families (Preschool-age Children)

WHAT IS STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO AT WEM:?

10:1 at all levels.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM CLASS SIZE AT WEM? 

Based on square footage, WEM can accommodate up to 20 students per classroom while ensuring the required social distancing protocols.  Smaller class sizes and lower student-to-teacher ratios allow WEM to manage required social distancing protocols more safely, creating a safer environment for students and staff.  Smaller classroom cohorts may be in place to begin the school year.

SMALLER IS SAFER

With a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio at all instruction levels, WEM offers more direct-instruction time in a smaller class setting during on-campus schooling, as well as a more in-depth, rigorous, synchronous, and asynchronous curriculum for all students during any period of e-learning. Under any e-learning protocols mandated by Federal, State, and Local Legislature, WEM maintains a five day/week schedule with an early-release on Fridays.

WHAT IS WEM DOING TO ADDRESS SAFETY?

  • Daily disinfecting in each classroom of all touchpoints, bathrooms, and shared-use materials with electrostatic fogging machines
  • HEPA filtration systems in all classrooms
  • Hand sanitizing stations inside each classroom door
  • Temperature checks with infrared thermometers at arrival for all staff and students
  • iOS/Android App for touch-free arrival and departure
  • iOS/Android App for daily health screening reporting
  • iOS/Android App for contact tracing and exposure reporting protocols
  • Stocked supplies of hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves
  • OpenWorks professional cleaning services contracted for daily, deep-cleaning procedures

E-LEARNING AT WEM

When we think about the quality of learning experience a child can have in a remote setting, we are reminded of Dr. Montessori’s belief that children need to be educated for the times in which they live. Life during a pandemic requires different skills, abilities, and approaches. Adapting to a remote learning environment during times of crisis seems to meet Dr. Montessori’s edict.

The Montessori approach to education embodies an attitude to Life and underlying principles that can be applied to any situation, providing an environment and a supporting adult that considers the needs of children as they grow and develop. 

If, at any time during the school year, we return to e-learning, you do not need to recreate ‘school’ nor become a Montessori teacher. It is also quite possible to do without Montessori materials and still have a successful Montessori approach. 

At all times, we try to adopt an approach that helps children learn for themselves. You helped them learn to walk, talk and become sociable, and so much more, you did this patiently and were delighted when the children responded, showed determined interest, and surprised you with what appeared to be sudden acquisitions that seemed to come out of nowhere! Your children absorbed what was around them, practiced it in their own time, and mastered it. More importantly, you didn’t make them feel like a failure if they didn’t learn these things following your timescale of expectation. 

Here are a few things that might be useful during e-learning modalities: 

  • Research shows that children who are relaxed and happy learn much more quickly than those who feel stressed. Much of what your young children learn can be picked up automatically in the way you go about everyday tasks in Life.
    Children learn best when they do so at their own pace; learning and mastering the everyday things in life gives children confidence and confident children are ready to embrace challenges.
  • Children need to make their discoveries. Learning how to give just enough help but not too much is an art form – let children experience the joyfulness of discovering things and telling you all about it. It is an experience that cannot be lost. 
  • Children learn when they are interested, it may help choose the right time of day when they are ready for something new and challenging. Things that just need practicing can be done at any time of the day. Be prepared to stop a game if they are unwilling to play or becoming frustrated. 
  • Children learn by doing, the more active and involved they are, the more likely they are to become engaged and interested. Getting that balance right can be challenging at any time. 
  • Children need encouragement and recognition rather than praise or treats. Focusing on extrinsic rewards takes away from the intrinsic value of learning. Use phrases that recognize effort “that took a long time, you must be happy to have completed it” or “that wasn’t easy, but you kept going.”
  • Mistakes are an opportunity for learning. When children make a mistake, it shows that they encounter ideas, actions, skills, and thoughts that are new. It is essential to cultivate a positive attitude toward these ‘mistakes’ and help your child feel that it is okay to make a mistake. They can just try again and will gradually gain mastery of the activity. 

And some critical Montessori principles: 

  • Repetition. Allow your child to repeat an activity as much as they want.
  • Movement. This is the way young children develop. Encourage movement during the day at all times. 
  • Choice: Children learn best when they have chosen an activity. If your child is struggling to choose an activity, you can give a (limited) choice “would you like to do this or this?”
  • Observation: Take time just to watch and observe what your children are doing. You can see what they are interested in, what they enjoy, where they need more help or repetition, what distracted them, what they concentrated on, and much more. You will be surprised by what you discover. 

Lastly, e-learning can be a challenging time, and everyone is coping as best they can. Try not to put yourself or your children under too much pressure. Your children will continue to amaze you with their capacity to learn even in these very different circumstances.

I: E-LEARNING

DEFINITION: Work from Home mandated by Federal, State, or Local Legislature. School is open, campus is closed

DELIVERY OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: e-learning online which may include individual and/or group lessons, both live and pre-recorded, along with parent coaching and/or support.

PARTICIPATION: Remote via e-learning

STAFFING: Teacher, Assistant, and dedicated e-learning Teacher for additional lessons

CLASS SIZE: PK: 20 EL:20

CLASS GROUPS: 1

EARLY RELEASE FRIDAY: A 1.5-hour “early release” for full-day and elementary students. These times would be as follows based on classroom ending times; 3:00 = 1:30, 3:15 = 1:45, and 3:30 = 2:00 departure times on early release days.

ACTIVITY CLUB: No before and after school Activity Club will be available during this time

TECHNOLOGY: Zoom for PK, Google Classroom for Elementary, Large Displays in each classroom, classroom webcam stations for e-learning lessons.

III: ON CAMPUS LEARNING

DEFINITION: Campus is open. E-learning protocols are available. Campus may close at direction of Federal, State, or Local Legislature.

DELIVERY OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: In-person on-campus at WEM. Limited e-learning online available which may include individual and/or group lessons, both live and pre-recorded, along with parent coaching and/or support.

PARTICIPATION: Students attend WEM on-campus. Limited e-learning options available.

STAFFING: Teacher, Assistant, and occasional dedicated e-learning Teacher for additional lessons.

CLASS SIZE: PK: 20 EL: 20

EARLY RELEASE FRIDAY: A 1.5-hour “early release” for full-day and elementary students. These times would be as follows based on classroom ending times; 3:00 = 1:30, 3:15 = 1:45, and 3:30 = 2:00 departure times on early release days. Families enrolled in extended day programs would receive activity club coverage on these days at no additional cost. 

ACTIVITY CLUB: Before and after school Activity Club will be available for all families enrolled in Extended Day programs at WEM.

TECHNOLOGY: Zoom for PK, Google Classroom for Elementary, Large Displays in each classroom, classroom webcam stations for e-learning lessons.

II: ON CAMPUS HYBRID LEARNING

DEFINITION: Campus is open. E-learning protocols are available. Campus may close at direction of Federal, State, or Local Legislature

DELIVERY OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: IN-PERSON & E-LEARNING. E-learning online which may include individual and/or group lessons, both live and pre-recorded, along with parent coaching and/or support.

PARTICIPATION: In-class part-time and remote via e-learning part-time

STAFFING: Teacher, Assistant, and dedicated e-learning Teacher for additional lessons

CLASS SIZE: Class sizes are determined by the DCYF for PK age students, and by OSPI for Elementary age students.

CLASS GROUPS: Again determined by DCYF and OSPI. PK students may be allowed to be all together in 1 group whereas Elementary students might be in 2 groups

GROUP SCHEDULES: Half-day AM students, and Extended-day students will be grouped together in the same classrooms. Where possible, siblings will be grouped together in the same classrooms. All classes operate 5-days/week unless Federal, State, or Local Legislature determine schools should run on an alternate schedule which could look like the following:  alternate between a 2-day in-class, and 2.5-day e-learning schedule one week, and a 3-day in-class, and 1.5-day e-learning schedule the following.

EARLY RELEASE FRIDAY: A 1.5-hour “early release” for full-day and elementary students. These times would be as follows based on classroom ending times; 3:00 = 1:30, 3:15 = 1:45, and 3:30 = 2:00 departure times on early release days. Families enrolled in extended day programs would receive activity club coverage on these days at no additional cost. 

ACTIVITY CLUB: Before and after school Activity Club will be available for all families enrolled in Extended Day programs at WEM.

TECHNOLOGY: Zoom for PK, Google Classroom for Elementary, Large Displays in each classroom, classroom webcam stations for e-learning lessons.

IV: ON CAMPUS ONLY

All operations return to on-campus learning only.