COVID-19 Information

Covid-19 Scenarios and Actions:
CMS Covid-19 Procedures:

List of 10 items.

  • Outdoor/Weather Teaching Policy

    Beginning January 4th, 2021, classes will be taught indoors -- in-person or remotely. Until that time, if the wind chill/temp is 45 degrees or above and conditions are mild, classes can be taught outside for up to 60 minutes, at the teacher’s or specialist’s discretion. Parents should dress their children to be comfortable and warm during these outdoor lessons. Rain and snow pants are strongly encouraged, as are warm jackets, hats/gloves, and warm shoes and socks. Beginning January 4th, Specialists will be assigned to one pod only for teaching and coverage, and lessons and instruction beyond that pod will be done remotely. Throughout the fall, Specials not able to be held outdoors will be held via a remote model. Recess and gym will continue to be allowed outdoors, weather permitting. 
  • Testing and Holiday Travel

    CMS is exploring student and staff testing prior to the return from winter break, and will report to our community once that decision has been finalized. And, we wanted to remind you that CMS requires every CMS student or staff member comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order, which states that any person traveling outside of Massachusetts must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to school OR produce a negative Covid-19 (PCR) test within 72 hours prior to returning to school (prior to this update, all persons were required to quarantine, regardless of test result). If you are traveling to a state considered “low risk” you do not need to quarantine or produce a negative Covid-19 test before returning to school following weekend or holiday travel. For a list of exempt “lower risk” states, please refer to the State’s Travel Order of Lower Risk States.

    It is critical to the health and safety of our community that we continue to observe this order, especially during the holidays when there is more frequent travel. If you are traveling outside of Massachusetts to a state not listed as a lower risk state, your child will need to quarantine for 14 days before returning to CMS, or produce a negative test result, which can be shared with Mary Zizzo at 617-492-3410 x 117 (forwards to mobile phone after school hours) or mzizzo@cambridgemontessori.org. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, and thank you for your cooperation in these important steps in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. 
  • Sick/Absence Policy

    CMS is closely monitoring every absence that occurs in our school each day. If your child is absent, it is of critical importance that you email their teacher and CC the school nurse, Mary Zizzo, to report the absence and whether or not it is due to illness. A follow-up call from the school nurse may be warranted. 
  • Mask Policy for Students

    • Students should bring two clean masks to school each day. Masks should cover their nose and mouth at all times.
    • Masks should be cleaned daily, and we recommend parents have a rotation of masks for their child.
    • Please check the mask fit before school: stretched out masks which fall off the nose easily should not be sent with your child to school.
    • CMS has children’s disposable face mask for students, should both masks become dirty during the day.
  • Community Agreement

    To minimize the risk that we will be exposed, or expose others, to COVID-19,  it is expected that all members of the CMS community (students, families, faculty, and staff) will adhere to the following guidelines:
     
    • Wearing a face covering over nose and mouth at all required times at school.
    • Keeping at least 6-feet physical distance from others whenever possible.
    • Completing the daily screening questionnaire honestly prior to arriving at school each day and staying home when sick or after possible exposure to COVID-19. 
    • Committing to pick up a sick child from campus within 60 minutes of receiving a call from the school nurse. Be sure your phone numbers, and those of your emergency contacts, are up-to-date in OnCampus.
    • Following basic health precautions including frequent hand washing/sanitizing and shared-space hygiene.
    • Participating in testing and contact tracing when required, and isolation and quarantine protocols when required.
     
    CMS will do its part by:
     
    • Strictly enforcing mask-wearing, physical distancing requirements, and hand washing
    • Restricting access to buildings
    • Thorough and regular cleaning, with extra attention paid to high-touch surfaces
    • Minimize any cross-pod/cohort contact
    • Training staff on COVID-19 policies and procedures
    • Sharing information in a prompt, consistent and confidential manner
  • Exposure and Sibling Policy

    According to our CMS COVID-19 policies and CDC and DESE guidelines, close contacts of close contacts (i.e., sibling or family members of the student in the affected classroom) are not deemed to be close contacts of a positive case. Therefore, siblings of close contacts are continuing on-site learning. We ask that these families continue to monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19 daily, and students not to come to campus if anyone in their household develops symptoms. 
  • Covid-19 Exposure Communications

    In the event of a positive case, CMS Communications will follow the steps below:

    1.) Notify teachers/specialists of that pod/close contact of the individual by email
    2.) Notify parents of that pod/close contacts of the individual by email
    3.) Notify all faculty and staff of the exposure
    4.) Notify all of the community of the exposure (whether or not any school action is needed). 
    5.) **Send community-wide text message/SMS linking to letter/information (**in the event there is a building or all-school closure)
     
  • Daily Attestation

    CMS requires that all students and staff fill out a screening questionnaire daily BEFORE 7:30 am. Teachers will be able to confirm that parents have completed their child/children’s questionnaire before drop off each morning. IF THE QUESTIONNAIRE IS NOT COMPLETED, STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE SCHOOL BUILDING. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. To practice using the questionnaire, please use this link: bit.ly/CMSDaily.  
    The School Nurse will be checking responses every morning starting at 7:00 am. Please leave the best contact number for her to reach you if you have a YES answer to any of the questions. She will be in touch before 9:00 a.m. that day.
  • Testing Resources for Parents

    Update: The City of Cambridge is now offering expanded free testing to all residents. These tests are available to Cambridge residents (although ID's are not required, and non-residents are encouraged to take advantage as well). We understand that routine "surveillance" testing is a best practice, and should your family choose to take part, please continue to report any positive result to School Nurse Mary Zizzo. 

    We acknowledge that testing has been an obstacle to many. There are multiple ways people can go about testing, which has led to confusion of which, where, and how to get tested is best. We would like to provide our community with some guidance on getting your student(s) tested, and have compiled the following information to share with our community.

    • City of Cambridge TestingFree PCR testing to all residents, no ID required. Make an appointment online 7 days a week. Drive through appointments available. 
    • Primary Care Physicians/Pediatricians: The Commonwealth currently recommends consulting your physician/pediatrician to obtain a referral and set up a testing appointment. 
    • Stop the Spread: Massachusetts has launched a strategic testing program in communities across the state that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. These communities are offering expansive testing sites to anyone. You do not need to be a resident of these communities to receive a free test. Right now, Everett is the closest community on this list to CMS. You can view the testing sites currently offered in Everett by clicking here. Appointments are not necessary, but it is recommended to show up as early as possible. 
    • Urgent Care Centers: While the State does recommend going through your PCP, some families have reported positive experiences in obtaining testing through local urgent care centers. This Google search may assist you in finding a testing location close to CMS. Please note that access to testing which is covered by insurance only applies to those who have been exposed to Covid-19 through a close contact (i.e. students in our Toddler and Primary Programs), or those who are experiencing symptoms. Out of pocket costs apply to those who don’t fall in the criteria listed above. 
     
     
    MEMA COVID-19 Test Site Locator
  • Who Stays Home to Quarantine or Isolate

    As we detailed in our Reopening Plan, the following situations apply to people who should stay home and quarantine for two weeks.
    • CMS students, faculty, or staff who are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, OR have received a positive test result (isolation).
    • CMS students, faculty, or staff who have a family member (or close relative/friend) who tests positive for Covid-19.  
    • CMS students, faculty, or staff who themselves have been in close contact (15 minutes or more at less than 6 feet apart) with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. 
Updated 12/2/2020

CMS Will Be Fully Remote Week Following Winter Break

Due to the surge in Covid-19 and high demand for testing we have adjusted our schedule after we return from Winter Break. As you know, we have made changes since the beginning of the school year as a result of the ever changing guidelines and conditions. We are eternally grateful to you for your patience as we make the best decisions to keep us safe. 
 
After careful examination of testing demands, wait times, and varying turn around times for test results, CMS has decided to stay fully-remote for the first week when we return from Winter Break, 1/4/2021-1/8/2021. Testing access continues to change considerably week to week, and we are mindful of these challenges. We believe this change will allow for greater testing access, smoother test results reporting, and provide the school nurse proper tracking and processing of those results from our community. Please note that all families will be required to upload their test result via Magnus Health.
 
Monday, January 4th will continue to be a community-wide testing day, with no remote instruction. Tuesday-Friday will be fully-remote. We understand this change poses challenges to many families, and we recognize how challenging it may be to get tested within the timeline allotted. Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. 

Updated 11/10/2020

Cambridge Expands Free Testing For All

Update:
 The City of Cambridge is 
now offering expanded free testing to all residents. These PRC tests are available to Cambridge residents (although ID's are not required, and non-residents are encouraged to take advantage as well). Make an appointment online 7 days a week. Drive through appointments available. We understand that routine "surveillance" testing is a best practice, and should your family choose to take part, please continue to report any positive result to School Nurse Mary Zizzo. 

Updated 10/27/2020
Updated Covid-19 Related Policies 
 
Outdoor Weather Teaching Policy:
Beginning January 4th, 2021, classes will be taught indoors -- in-person or remotely. Until that time, if the wind chill/temp is 45 degrees or above and conditions are mild, classes can be taught outside for up to 60 minutes, at the teacher’s or specialist’s discretion. Parents should dress their children to be comfortable and warm during these outdoor lessons. Rain and snow pants are strongly encouraged, as are warm jackets, hats/gloves, and warm shoes and socks. Beginning January 4th, Specialists will be assigned to one pod only for teaching and coverage, and lessons and instruction beyond that pod will be done remotely. Throughout the fall, Specials not able to be held outdoors will be held via a remote model. Recess and gym will continue to be allowed outdoors, weather permitting. 
Sick/Absence Policy:
CMS is closely monitoring every absence that occurs in our school each day. If your child is absent, it is of critical importance that you email their teacher and CC the school nurse, Mary Zizzo, to report the absence and whether or not it is due to illness. A follow-up call from the school nurse may be warranted. 

Close Contact Guidelines
Per the CDC’s updated (this week) guidelines, a “close contact” is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes, or more, over a 24-hour period.
Covid-19 Exposure Communications:
In the event of a positive case, CMS Communications will follow the steps below:

1.) Notify teachers/specialists of that pod/close contact of the individual by email
2.) Notify parents of that pod/close contacts of the individual by email
3.) Notify all faculty and staff of the exposure
4.) Notify all of the community of the exposure (whether or not any school action is needed). 
5.) **Send community-wide text message/SMS linking to letter/information (**in the event there is a building or all-school closure)
 

Testing, Holiday Travel, and the State Travel Order:
 
CMS is exploring student and staff testing prior to the return from winter break, and will report to our community once that decision has been finalized. And, we wanted to remind you that CMS requires every CMS student or staff member comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order, which states that any person traveling outside of Massachusetts must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to school OR produce a negative Covid-19 (PCR) test within 72 hours prior to returning to school (prior to this update, all persons were required to quarantine, regardless of test result). If you are traveling to a state considered “low risk” you do not need to quarantine or produce a negative Covid-19 test before returning to school following weekend or holiday travel. For a list of exempt “lower risk” states, please refer to the State’s Travel Order of Lower Risk States.

It is critical to the health and safety of our community that we continue to observe this order, especially during the holidays when there is more frequent travel. If you are traveling outside of Massachusetts to a state not listed as a lower risk state, your child will need to quarantine for 14 days before returning to CMS, or produce a negative test result, which can be shared with Mary Zizzo at 617-492-3410 x 117 (forwards to mobile phone after school hours) or mzizzo@cambridgemontessori.org. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, and thank you for your cooperation in these important steps in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. 


Updated 10/14/2020

Holiday Travel for CMS Community and the State Travel Order

With the holidays approaching, we wanted to share an update to the
Massachusetts Travel Order which applies to all persons traveling to and from Massachusetts. As we shared prior to the beginning of school, CMS requires every CMS student or staff members to comply with the order, which states that any person traveling outside of Massachusetts must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to school OR produce a negative Covid-19 (PCR) test within 72 hours prior to returning to school (prior to this update, all persons were required to quarantine, regardless of test result). For a list of exempt “lower risk” states, please refer the State’s Travel Order of Lower Risk States. If you are traveling to a state considered “low risk” you do not need to quarantine or produce a negative Covid-19 test before returning to school following weekend or holiday travel. 

It is critical to the health and safety of our community that we continue to observe this order, especially during the holidays when there is more frequent travel. If you are traveling outside of Massachusetts to a state not listed as a lower risk state, your child will need to quarantine for 14 days before returning to CMS, or produce a negative test result, which can be shared with Mary Zizzo at 617-492-3410 x 117 (forwards to mobile phone after school hours) or mzizzo@cambridgemontessori.org. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, and thank you for your cooperation in these important steps in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. 

Updated 10/8/2020

Important Policies and Resources:

Testing:
We acknowledge that testing has been an obstacle to many. There are multiple ways people can go about testing, which has led to confusion of which, where, and how to get tested is best. We would like to provide our community with some guidance on getting your student(s) tested, and have compiled the following information to share with our community.
  • Primary Care Physicians/Pediatricians: The Commonwealth currently recommends consulting your physician/pediatrician to obtain a referral and set up a testing appointment. 
  • Stop the Spread: Massachusetts has launched a strategic testing program in communities across the state that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. These communities are offering expansive testing sites to anyone. You do not need to be a resident of these communities to receive a free test. Right now, Everett is the closest community on this list to CMS. You can view the testing sites currently offered in Everett by clicking here. Appointments are not necessary, but it is recommended to show up as early as possible. 
  • Urgent Care Centers: While the State does recommend going through your PCP, some families have reported positive experiences in obtaining testing through local urgent care centers. This Google search may assist you in finding a testing location close to CMS. Please note that access to testing which is covered by insurance only applies to those who have been exposed to Covid-19 through a close contact (i.e. students in our Toddler and Primary Programs), or those who are experiencing symptomsOut of pocket costs apply to those who don’t fall in the criteria listed above. 
 
 


COVID-19 TRAVEL ORDER - CMS families and staff are expected to follow the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order, which requires a two-week quarantine period for those who have traveled out-of-state to any of the higher risk areas for COVID-19, or a negative Covid-19 (PCR) test within 72 hours prior to returning to school. 
Please see link: COVID-19 Travel Order and the latest Lower Risk States. If you or a member of your family have traveled to a state that is not low-risk within the last 14 days, please contact Mary Zizzo prior to coming to school at: mzizzo@cambridgemontessori.org

DAILY ATTESTATION - CMS requires that all students and staff fill out a screening questionnaire daily BEFORE 7:30 am. Teachers will be able to confirm that parents have completed their child/children’s questionnaire before drop off each morning. IF THE QUESTIONNAIRE IS NOT COMPLETED, STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE SCHOOL BUILDING. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. To practice using the questionnaire, please use this link: bit.ly/CMSDaily.  
I will be checking responses every morning starting at 7:00 am. Please
leave the best contact number for me to reach you if you have answer YES to any of the questions. I will call you as soon as I can, before 9:00 am at the latest.

COMMUNITY AGREEMENT - To minimize the risk that we will be exposed, or expose others, to COVID-19,  it is expected that all members of the CMS community (students, families, faculty, and staff) will adhere to the following guidelines:
 
  • Wearing a face covering over nose and mouth at all required times at school.
  • Keeping at least 6-feet physical distance from others whenever possible.
  • Completing the daily screening questionnaire honestly prior to arriving at school each day and staying home when sick or after possible exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Committing to pick up a sick child from campus within 60 minutes of receiving a call from the school nurse. Be sure your phone numbers, and those of your emergency contacts, are up-to-date in OnCampus.
  • Following basic health precautions including frequent hand washing/sanitizing and shared-space hygiene.
  • Participating in testing and contact tracing when required, and isolation and quarantine protocols when required.
 
CMS will do its part by:
 
  • Strictly enforcing mask-wearing, physical distancing requirements, and hand washing
  • Restricting access to buildings
  • Thorough and regular cleaning, with extra attention paid to high-touch surfaces
  • Minimize any cross-pod/cohort contact
  • Training staff on COVID-19 policies and procedures
  • Sharing information in a prompt, consistent and confidential manner
 
Notifications On Positive Cases in Our Community:
If there presents another case of Covid-19 in our community, we will alert the entire CMS community of the case. In the future, we will communicate all positive cases school wide ONLY after we have communicated with: the impacted family or individual, their teachers, other families in that classroom or pod, and finally all CMS faculty. Once those channels have been notified, we will send out a school wide communication that the case occurred to all parents (but for privacy reasons, cannot share which pod or department is impacted except to those individuals). 

Who Stays Home to Quarantine or Isolation:
As we detailed in our Reopening Plan, the following situations apply to people who should stay home and quarantine for two weeks.
  • CMS students, faculty, or staff who are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, OR have received a positive test result (isolation).
  • CMS students, faculty, or staff who have a family member (or close relative/friend) who tests positive for Covid-19.  
  • CMS students, faculty, or staff who themselves have been in close contact (15 minutes or more at less than 6 feet apart) with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. 
General Information
We understand that parents and staff alike may have additional questions about risk, your children, best practices for avoiding exposure, etc. While the school makes every effort to respond to school-related inquiries, we also encourage you to take advantage of additional resources available to all. By dialing 211 from your phone, you will be able to connect with someone who can answer your questions about Covid-19 (who should quarantine, what “close contact” means in exposure, and myriad other questions that people may have). Once you dial 211, select the instructions for Covid-related questions and you will be connected to a live person. 
Additional valuable information can also be found on the CDC’s Covid-19 website, as well as on the Mass.gov Covid-19 page

Please see the following CMS quick reference guide which outlines the various procedures for COVID-19 events: 
 
 
Questions or feedback? Please contact Katy Jordan, Director of Communications, at communications@cambridgemontessori.org.
Resources:
Holiday Travel:

Speaking with Children:
We understand that talking to children about Covid-19, classroom shutdowns, friends who may be impacted by the virus, and more is a sensitive matter to kids. Here are some helpful resources for families: 



Children’s Books about COVID-19 and Easing Anxiety

Located in the heart of Cambridge, MA, CMS is a private school serving children twenty-one months through grade 8 in four distinct programs: Toddler, Primary, Elementary and Middle School. CMS educates the whole child, applying the Montessori philosophy in a joyful learning environment.

info@cambridgemontessori.org