School District: Wissahickon School District
School: Centre Square Academy – We are a small private Montessori school with a total of 43 children from K-3.
Administrator: Patricia McNicholas
Address: 1775 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA. 19422
Email/Phone: firstname.lastname@example.org, 610-275-1775
Goal of Plan:
As a result of Governor Wolf’s order for Pennsylvania residents to stay-at-home and the resulting school closure, the goal of Centre Square Academy is to continue with education based on the Montessori Method. Each student will continue to learn at his/her own pace while moving through the curriculum. Attention will continue to remain on organization and independence in academic advancement with the aid of their educators.
Overview of Plan:
Each student will continue with his/her progression and mastery of concepts of all of the domains: Math, Language Arts, Handwriting, Science, History and Geography. The school will continue to provide as many Montessori resources as possible and will supplement lessons with individual learning packets, lessons via Google Classroom, Zoom, Skype, NAMC (North American Montessori Center) provided online lessons, and any other pertinent means of instruction. As usual, each student’s skills, needs and support will be taken into consideration. We understand that this requires a great deal of time and effort from parents and caregivers, and we will be attentive to those complications and worries.
Expectations for Teaching and Learning:
Before schools were closed, because of Covid-19, we taught in a synchronous classroom. We will now be using a blended remote approach for our students (synchronous/asynchronous). It is intended to engage the students in a learning process that will both interest them and extend their learning. Our teachers are expected to review student work, and provide feedback and guidance.
We will provide this by posting assignments on-line, and provide weekly hard-copy instructional packets with paper work that the students are used to seeing in the classroom. This will include worksheets and materials for math, language arts, grammar, science, reading comprehension, health, history, spelling and music. It will also include workbooks – Writing Without Tears and Sadler’s Vocabulary. It will also include directions for homework, projects, or written assignments. Our music teacher will post a weekly YouTube video for the students.
As this is a new experience for both students and teachers, patience will be required on both sides as this new learning style progresses.
Students are expected to complete work, request needed assistance and turn in work in a timely manner. Work will be reviewed for assessment and guidance in further instruction. Each student’s abilities, strengths, areas for review, and need for ELL support will be taken into consideration, as always, by the teachers. Lessons will be for practice and to reinforce previously taught skills and concepts. Each student will continue with grade appropriate skills in each area as well as problem solving skills.
Communication Tools and Strategies:
It is imperative, during this time, that there is a convenient means of communication between students, parents and teachers. Students can contact their teacher twice a week, for a half hour, if they need additional individualized instruction (more time if need). They will do this through Zoom or Face time. Otherwise, parents and students are able to email the teachers at any time or they can use Google classroom. Updates and important information will continue to be provided by the school and teachers via email to all parents and students. Office hours are restricted, but we will be as prompt as possible with requests for information.
Access (Devices, Platforms, Handouts):
Students can access enrichment and review/planned instruction using Google Classroom and Zoom. They are also being provided instructional packets to enhance their learning. Students were also provided a thumb drive with Montessori specific software which they can use at home. This software contains lessons and instructions for math, grammar and geography. If any of our students did not have a computer to use at home, we provided one for them.
General Staff Expectations:
All staff are expected to provide meaningful activities and instruction while working from home. Staff are also expected to be available for assistance and questions from students and parents during regular school hours between 8:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. Communication will continue via Google Classroom or email and response will be maintained in a timely manner. Teachers are responsible for reviewing all student work for assessment purposes.
During their remote learning experience, students will experience review and enrichment planned instruction in all areas: math, language arts, handwriting, science, history and geography. Students should check class assignments available on Google Classroom. Work packets will be available every Monday for pickup outside the school building on the front porch. Work will be returned in the same area, and it will be checked for assessment. Parents and students are encouraged to contact their teacher for any assistance and questions via Google Classroom, Zoom or email.
Attendance and accountability will be based on completion of online assignments and instructional packets. They will also check in with their teachers once a week. Teachers will use completed work for assessment purposes. We are empathetic to the stresses of both students, parents and families at this time. We are also dedicated to the continued success of all of our learners and will provide all assistance necessary for the advancement and achievements of our students to be the future contributors to our society.
Our plan for end of the year assessment and accountability will look very different. Because we are now teaching/learning in a remote environment, we will need to adjust what we traditionally do. For our second semester we will record progress as we have always done, up until our school closure. After that date, we will implement: Full Participation, Moderate Participation, Minimal Participation scale. We will also include a written narrative for each student.
Good Faith Efforts for Access and Equity for All Students:
We are cognizant that this is a challenging time for everyone in our community. We consider ourselves not only a community, but a family, and we are trying to provide the best educational experience for each individual. The Montessori Environment is highly specialized, with many intricate materials designed by Dr. Maria Montessori. While this environment does not easily lend itself to remote learning, we are committed to advancing in these unprecedented times to support all of our learners. We also understand the challenges all of our families are experiencing. We will succeed together.
Special Education Supports, ELL Supports, Gifted Education:
Maria Montessori’s quote “Follow the Child” guides all of our instruction. Each child is treated as an individual with their own strengths and talents. We accommodate the needs of each learner as necessary for their individual success.