Archive for the ‘Urgent Alerts’ Category

CLOSED (along with all of New Jersey)

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

I wanted to let you know, right away, that The Montessori House is closed effective immediately.  The reason is the Covid-19 emergency.  I hope the school will reopen when this emergency has passed.

The calls many parents have scheduled with me for next week will proceed, so that we can discuss your current student’s development.

We will continue to respond to your calls, texts, and emails to The Montessori House.

Finally, I want to thank all our families and staff for their support of the school and of our efforts on behalf of your children. I miss all of our wonderful children and families!

Be well, and be safe.

— Maria Morningstar, Director

Covid-19 — some changes at our school

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

With the ever-evolving story of the Covid-19 pandemic, including tonight’s Bergen County-wide closure of public schools, I’ve had many conversations with parents, staff and friends regarding the best path for The Montessori House School at this time.  As always, we want to do what’s best for our students, their families, and our staff.

First, we plan to keep the school open.  We’ll continue to do so until circumstances dictate otherwise.  For many families, having childcare available during the work day is essential, and we aim to meet this need. Our parents work in a wide variety of professions and occupations, some of which are required to respond to critical needs in our communities, such as health care professionals.  Our mission is to make available to families a safe, wholesome, and developmentally beneficial environment for their young children, and we would fail in this mission if we closed before required to do so.

As with weather emergencies, if we can safely keep The Montessori House open, we do so.

However, if parents feel it’s in their child’s best interest, they should not hesitate to decide stay home.  

With that in mind, here are several principles, policies and procedures, we plan to follow in the coming weeks and months:

  • If we can provide a safe environment for children (adequate staff and supplies), we will remain open on our normal schedule.  This applies to the regular school day, after-school classes, and after care.
  • Our aim is to isolate our students and staff during their time at school.  From the morning through school, after-school classes, and after-care, we will put in place isolation practices that keep unnecessary vectors of contamination (people and goods) out of the classroom/playground environment.
  • Only staff and students will be permitted in the classrooms and on the playground.  Until further notice, we will curtail prospective parent classroom tours, and curtail classroom visits by family members, including parent visits for in-school birthday celebrations and the current Kindergarten presentations.  We will, however, permit staff members to bring to the classroom their own school-age children, if necessary to keep our doors open.
  • At arrival and dismissal we ask parents and caregivers to keep in mind public health recommendations regarding social distancing.  In other words, keep distance from one another while waiting to drop-off or pick up students.  And please keep our staff healthy by having caregivers and siblings keep their distance: our staff will provide hugs or handshakes only to current students.
  • We ask families and staff to be hyper-vigilant with regard to their own health, and to err on the side of caution if they show any symptoms of respiratory infection, including fever, cough, congestion, or shortness of breath.  In other words, please do not come to school if you have such symptoms, and please follow public health advice regarding medical care and Covid-19 testing.
  • Similarly, if members of your household visit CDC Level 3 or Level 4 regions (currently China, Iran, South Korea and all countries in Europe except the United Kingdom), or if you have visitors from such regions, please consider isolation for 14 days before anyone from your household comes to school.
  • I will work with our Nutrition Committee (Snack Volunteers) to implement guidelines to safeguard our school-provided snacks from risk of contamination.
  • We always work diligently to teach students proper hygiene.  We are now extra vigilant with respect to frequent, proper hand-washing with soap and water, and proper covering when sneezing or coughing (into the elbow).  Hand sanitizer is far less effective than hand-washing, and we use it very little.
  • We’ve reviewed all our cleaning products to ensure they are EPA-designated disinfectants, and that they are effective against corona viruses generally (N.B., no available disinfectant has been tested specifically for effectiveness against Covid-19).
  • For students who bring lunch to school, we ask families to take extra care to disinfect lunchboxes daily (inside and out).  As a reminder, our standard practice already prohibits food sharing among students.
  • As much as our staff absolutely appreciates the gifts of food some parents bring us, to assure isolation we’ll refuse such gifts.

Like so much in these uncertain times, it seems uncomfortable and out of character for The Montessori House community to have to change its ways as outlined above (can you image me, Ms. Maria, not hugging a former student! or not welcoming a parent gift of sweets!).  I hope this storm will pass soon, and we’ll be able to return to most of our familiar ways.  But, in the interest of keeping the doors open for the benefit of our entire school community, these steps make sense.

CLOSED: Wednesday March 21st due to snow.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

SCHOOL CLOSED Thursday March 5

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The Montessori House will be closed today, Thursday March 5, due to weather.

We will schedule a make-up class for after school Chess Club.

OPEN — Monday February 9th

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The Montessori House is open today on the usual schedule.

Conditions vary locally.  Parents should use their judgment and feel free to keep children home, come to school late, or pick up early, as they see fit.

If children arrive late or leave early, please be patient, as it may take some time to respond to your request.


CLOSED: Monday, February 2nd

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Due to weather, The Montessori House will be closed Monday, February 2nd.

We expect to re-open Tuesday February 3rd on the usual schedule, conditions permitting.

If our plans change, we will update our website, and our phone message.   

We hope all families are safe.

CLOSED — Tuesday January 27th

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Due to weather, The Montessori House will be closed Tuesday, January 27th.

We expect to re-open Wednesday, January 28th on the usual schedule

If our plans for Wednesday change, we will update our website, and our phone message.  Please note, if we lose power we may not be able to update the website.  For the latest information on Wednesday plans, please check our phone message after 7 a.m. on Wednesday  (201-816-8343). 

Finally, even if the school opens Wednesday, parents should evaluate their unique snow and transportation situation and should feel free to keep children at home.

We hope all families are safe.

Open Monday January 26th — Chess Canceled

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The Montessori House will be open on its regular schedule today, Monday January 26th with the following exceptions:

  1. Beginner Chess is canceled this afternoon.  We have a make-up class scheduled for March 23rd.  Parents should pick up children at 3:00 p.m. dismissal.  For Chess students we will provide After Care until 3:20 p.m. at no charge.
  2. If you plan to use After Care today, we ask that you plan to pick up your child by 4:00 p.m. to allow our staff to leave before the worst of the blizzard begins.  If you will not arrive by 4:00 p.m., please call before 4:00 p.m. to provide your estimated pick-up time.

We will confirm before tomorrow, but most likely The Montessori House will be closed on Tuesday, January 27th.

Normal Schedule — Jan 21, 2014

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The Montessori House is operating on its normal schedule today, despite the snow.  We’ll dismiss at the normal time (11:15 a.m. for the morning session, 3:00 p.m. for the afternoon session). 

After school, Piano and After Care will proceed on the normal schedule today.

Parent who wish to take children home early may do so following the standard procedure: park, ring the bell at the front door, and we’ll invite you to come to the top of the stairs to receive your child.  Note, because of winter clothing, and the likelihood that other parents may also come early, you may have a slight wait until your child is ready — please be patient.   In addition, after 2:45 p.m. we may ask you to wait in car line to pick your child up at normal dismissal.

Welcome Back! School Re-Opens Monday, November 5th

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

The Montessori House has regained electric power and plans to reopen on its regular schedule Monday, November 5th.  Right now we can confirm that we will have After Care, but we’re still waiting to hear if Ms. Lisa is available for Suzuki Violin after school.  

In case repairs elsewhere cause a further loss of electric power (which we consider possible but unlikely), we suggest parents check our phone message after 7 a.m. on Monday to confirm that school is open (201-816-8343).