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School reopening: Washington Montessori Public Charter School

With students split into two categories, primary (Kindergarten through 6th grade) and secondary (7th through 12th grade), instruction at Washington Montessori Public Charter School will look different depending on a student’s grade level. The first day of school is slated for Aug. 17. All families at the school will have the option to choose remote instruction based on their needs, and WMPCS has allocated $30,000 to ensure all students are able to access a computer at home. The WMPCS pre-school program has been put on hold.

Campus wide, students will be required to wear masks and will undergo temperature checks at the beginning of the school day. Additional hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the school, and social distancing protocols will be followed in the classroom. The school has also stepped up its cleaning routines, and if a student or family member tests positive for COVID-19, they will be restricted to remote learning until they are cleared by a medical professional.

Primary school students will all have the option of on-site instruction at the beginning of the school year, and will remain remote learners until parents decide to send them back to campus. Some buildings will be repurposed for overflow classroom space, with co-teachers and assistant teachers moving between classes. Drop off may be extended to allow for temperature checks in the morning.

“We believe our primary students need face-to-face instruction to be successful,” said Darla Prescott, WMPCS co-head of school. We have adjusted almost every aspect of our school’s operation to ensure we can have as many students on campus as possible depending on family’s individual needs.”

Secondary students, meanwhile, will fall into one of three sectionals: seventh and eighth grade, ninth and 10th grade and 11th and 12th grade. Those sections will each be divided into two groups. Group A will meet on campus Mondays and Tuesdays and Group B will meet on campus Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be used for deep cleaning of secondary program spaces and to schedule individual lessons or interventions based on each student’s needs.

“We learned that our secondary program students adapted much quicker to remote instruction,” said WMPCS Co-head of School Austin Smiegel. “They were accustomed to the learning management system which resulted in a minimum learning curve for them.”

To learn more about WMPCS, visit www.wmpcs.org.