May 3rd, 2020 Update

Dear VMS families,

It has been a long time since we have seen you, and just know that we miss you very much!  I will be happy when we are able to return to VMS, in whatever capacity is safest.  I’m sure most of you heard or know that the governor has extended the stay-at-home rule through May 31st.  While this is longer than expected, we are hopeful that it will ensure a safer return to public life.
Our plan is to start back to VMS on Monday June 1st.  We will return regardless of whether the ban is extended.  At that point, we will have been home and quarantined for 10 weeks, well past the CDC suggested 8 weeks.  When we come back, it will be for summer camp.  This means that you can enroll weekly, as much or as little as you’d like.  We will maintain smaller class sizes, and social distancing for as long as it is suggested by Washington State.  We will also increase cleaning and sanitizing procedures throughout the school day.
For the foreseeable future, children who have low grade fever above 100 degrees, or any of the symptoms the CDC outlines for coronavirus, they will need to stay at home as a precaution.  Thank you for your understanding. 
To find out more information on VMS summer programming, visit our Summer Camps page. You can find tuition and registration information here, too.

March 13th, 2020

Dear VMS families,
We are writing to inform you of the voluntary closing of VMS from Monday March 16th-Friday April 3rd.  We will reassess the situation at that time for a potential reopening on April 6th.
Many of you have wondered how VMS would be affected by the Washington State closure of all private and public K-12 schools.  As a childcare provider, we must weigh the community responsibility of Social Distancing against the need for care for the children of medical personnel and other critical roles.  
At this time, we are following what is mandated by the state for K-12 schools.  While we recognize that this may create hardship for some families, in the long run I am hopeful that closing for several weeks will help to stem the tide of this spreading virus.  We will continue to listen to reports and direction from authorities and weigh the overall common good for the next few weeks, and potentially reopen in a limited fashion after Spring Break. We will keep you posted in the meantime.
We had scheduled in-person conferences for next week, and we will now be offering telephone and emailed conference reports. Please reach out to your child’s teacher and let her know which you would prefer.  All lead teachers are cc’d in this email.  Trisha and I will be at VMS on Monday from 9-1pm in order for families to pick up any items they may need for the next few weeks. 
We plan to readjust our schedule at the end of the school year to make up these 9 days.  Therefore, VMS will be open Friday, May 22nd, originally planned as an in-service day.  We will also extend our school year through Wednesday June 24th. The school will close the 25th and 26th of June in order to prep for our summer camp program.  Camp will run for 8 weeks, ending on Friday August 21st.  We will only be closed for one full week prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  
Below is a link to an interesting article regarding social distancing. https://www.ariadnelabs.org/resources/articles/news/social-distancing-this-is-not-a-snow-day/

Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day | Ariadne LabsMarch 13, 2020 Download a printable PDF version of this article here.. I know there is some confusion about what to do next in the midst of this unprecedented time of a pandemic, school closures, and widespread social disruption.www.ariadnelabs.org

Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our children, our staff and the greater community.  We will get through this together.  In deepest gratitude,

Lisa Morse
Administrative Director|
Vancouver Montessori School
(360) 256-0872