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Fall 2020 Reopening

OFS Fall 2020 Reopening Plan


The Oneness-Family School Fall 2020 Reopening Plan is based on the following principles:

  1. Preserving and protecting the health and safety of our children, families, and staff.

  2. Meeting the learning needs and interests of different student age groups.
  3. Monitoring and respecting the workload of our teaching staff.
  4. Understanding and supporting the needs and stressors of working parents and other family caregivers.
  5. Working within the capabilities and limitations of our facilities and campus – as well as surrounding community resources.
  6. Ensuring the financial sustainability of Oneness-Family School.

In consideration of the above principles and factors, and after many consultations with our board, our Return to School Committee, our faculty, and our parents, we have decided to start the year with a tailored approach that best supports the needs of students and parents at each level of our school program.

We will re-evaluate our decision on an ongoing basis and announce any modifications or changes no later than November 2. Meanwhile, as circumstances warrant, we may add to or reduce the number of meet-up times for students in Grades 1-12. A phased-in reopening of Grades 1-12 would depend on a variety of factors, including conversations with faculty and parents. This underscores the necessity and importance of our continued dialogue and cooperation.

Our Preschool through Kindergarten Levels will begin the year with redesigned in-person classes, following the protocols required by the Montgomery County Office of Childcare and implemented successfully at other preschools throughout the DC area. These protocols include morning temperature and health checks, masks for all staff and children, daily deep cleaning of the classrooms, air filtration systems in all classrooms, and packaged snacks, in addition to no adults beyond staff being allowed in the building. For the first two weeks of the school year, we will begin with part-time only classes to allow for everyone to adjust to the new protocols and routines.

Students at these levels will break into pods with designated teachers and will remain within those pods without interacting with students in other pods. There will also be a strong emphasis on outdoor time, including outdoor classes and play, in areas that will be designated for each pod. Our focus will be to address both the academic development of the students as well as their social-emotional needs. With the pods being smaller than usual class sizes, we’ll be able to give students personalized support in both of these crucial areas. Additionally, we will have regular mini-town hall meetings with teachers and admin, where parents can share how things are going for them and can ask questions.

Our 1st through 12th Grade Programs will begin the year with a blended program (distance learning plus student meet-ups at parks and nature trails). The distance learning component will have a strong focus on student engagement through modified high-interest instruction modules, small group lessons, and one-on-one student-teacher support sessions. Learning and project packets will be sent home to keep the Montessori hands-on element alive. While we intend to still meet all of our academic benchmarks, we will also be scheduling fun activities each week when students can share a passion or a skill, work on a project or play a game together. Additionally, students will be meeting up each week for safe and socially distant activities at the park or outdoor excursions at a local nature trail. All outdoor activities will occur in “pods”, which are stable groups of students that do not intermingle with other students.