Video provided by Michiko Owaki
Dear BMS Family,
You may be aware that the Monroe County Health Department recently sent a brief communication to administrative staff at all local schools. This e-mail noted the spike in positive COVID-19 tests last week in Monroe County. It encouraged school administrators to think about implementing “Plan B” for the beginning of the school year.
After consulting with our available resources and discussing the situation as a group, our decision is to maintain our current reopening plan and to start school on August 5th as scheduled. The Board of Directors has not taken this decision lightly. We closely examined our own plan, other local school plans, and current public health data. We are confident that our plan and enrollment numbers support on-campus education with the current positive case rate in Monroe County.
We are incredibly fortunate to have a large campus, spacious classrooms, outdoor workspaces, high teacher ratios, and a curriculum that includes care of self and others. We have been able to put all of these advantages to best use in our reopening plan. BMS policy mandated mask-wearing throughout the day before it was mandated locally. Our administrative staff has spent months procuring PPE and updating cleaning procedures and supplies, in addition to developing our reopening plan. Our teaching staff have planned and communicated classroom practices which maintains social distancing and minimizes the use of shared materials. Each classroom effectively functions as an individual unit, with separate entrances, staff, and materials. Finally, our on-campus class sizes are smaller due to the distance learning program options provided at every level.
We will continue to monitor local transmission and evolving guidelines on a daily basis, and revisit on-campus program decisions as needed. We are also prepared for short-notice, intermittent, mandated closures for on-campus students, and we will work to make those transitions as smooth as possible. If transmission rates rise and increase the risk to our on-campus families, or in the case of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at BMS, we will put our emergency plan into immediate action. We also encourage all on-campus families to attend the distance learning parent meeting so that you may be prepared for intermittent closures if they occur. In addition, if you currently have selected on-campus enrollment and you are feeling unsure about your choice, please contact Quinn McAvoy or Jess Davis. We want to hear your concerns and be flexible in meeting your needs.
The BMS mission is to strive to meet the needs of a diverse population to the greatest extent possible, and to fully acknowledge inequity in our systems. We empathize with an instinctual need to protect our children. We also see the inequity working families are faced with in school decisions, as some do not have the flexibility necessary to pursue distance learning or a homeschool partnership. We know that some families feel that on-campus education is critical to their child(ren)’s holistic development, and that some have found distance learning to be incompatible with their child(ren)’s learning styles. We recognize that whether families have chosen distance learning or on-campus education, they also have not made their decisions lightly, and we know that one system cannot fit all at this time.
We are grateful for your presence in the community and your support and patience as we prioritize the safety of our staff and families.
BMS Board, Administration and Faculty
Bloomington Montessori School: Educating Children to be Empowered, Inspired Life-long Learners
Founded in 1968, Bloomington Montessori School has as our mission to guide students from self-discovery to global citizenship through Montessori education. The Montessori Method is a child-centered educational approach that sees the child as naturally eager to learn and capable of initiating learning. Our school provides a self- and teacher-guided education of the whole child.
We serve children ages 3 through 12 in multi-age classrooms that include Early Childhood, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary levels. Our curriculum includes language arts, math, science, social studies, the performing and visual arts, Spanish, PE, the environment, peace and global citizenship. Our curricular integration gives students a larger picture of the interdependence of life.
Our teachers strive to create harmonious, child-centered learning environments in which children can grow and thrive. From well-crafted materials to inviting arrangements of activities and lessons, each classroom offers the children an inviting variety of learning opportunities. Guided by the teachers, children engage their interests and explore the full range of subjects through activities and lessons appropriate to their ages and abilities, working at their own paces and acquiring fundamental skills to become articulate, confident learners. We offer an education that is inspiring and relevant, and that encourages intrinsic motivation and love of learning.
At BMS, we value
- A love of learning
- Nurturing peaceful, self-reliant, empowered citizens
- Respect for ourselves, each other, and the earth
- Open and honest communication
- Working hard and working together as a welcoming community
- Care and stewardship of the environment
BMS in the Community
As a reflection of who we are and who we wish our children to be, students, faculty and families at BMS regularly volunteer with organizations around Bloomington to help others in our community. We frequently work to address issues of food insecurity and support the many organizations in and around Bloomington who are tackling this challenge. We have enjoyed partnering with those dedicated to making Bloomington a wonderful place to live and grow for everyone.
Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school, but for life. — Maria Montessori
ARTICLES/VIDEOS OF INTEREST
Disability Nondiscrimination Policy
a. Bloomington Montessori School does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability, including against applicants or members of their families, students or members of their families.
b. Applicants and students with disabilities and members of their families have an equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations provided by Bloomington Montessori School.
c. Bloomington Montessori School may not deny admission to or disenroll a child on the basis of the child’s disability, or because of Bloomington Montessori School regards the child as having a disability.
d. Bloomington Montessori School will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, and procedures when the modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities.
e. Requests for reasonable modifications beyond the scope of daily classroom accommodations may be directed to Bloomington Montessori School’s Head of School, either formally (as in writing) or informally (as in orally) and will be addressed in collaboration with the Director of Montessori Programs within three (3) business days.
f. Bloomington Montessori School will not make decisions about admission, continued enrollment or re-enrollment, or about needs for reasonable modifications, based on assumptions, myths or stereotypes about people with disabilities. Before making any enrollment decision where disability or behaviors associated with a disability is considered as part of the decision-making process, Bloomington Montessori School administrators will engage in an interactive the process that includes consultation with or consideration of information provided by the following individuals: the child’s parents or guardians, current teacher(s), anticipated teacher(s), and any persons providing support, therapy or other services to the child, to determine whether reasonable modifications to Bloomington Montessori School policies, practices and procedures could allow the child to attend Bloomington Montessori School;
g. If Bloomington Montessori School denies admission, continued enrollment or enrollment to a child with a disability, Bloomington Montessori School shall set forth in writing its reasons for the denial, including the names and titles of all persons consulted, any modifications proposed or considered, and the reasons, if any, why Bloomington Montessori School decided reasonable modifications were not available or would not allow the child to attend Bloomington Montessori School.
h. Bloomington Montessori School will not retaliate against or coerce in any way any person trying to exercise the rights of any person under this Agreement.