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Country Montessori School

Admin Corner

August 17, 2020

Country Montessori School

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” Dr. Maria Montessori

Upcoming Dates/Events:

  • August 20 – Virtual Orientation, Owls 1-2, Eagles 2-3, EC 3-4
  • August 21 – New student/new classroom orientation, 9:00-10:00
  • August 24 – First day of school (On-site and Virtual)
  • September 7 – No school, Labor Day

Dear CMS Families,

We want to thank all of you for your support and patience during this time.  Our goal is to keep our community informed and be as accurate as we can in our communication with all of you.  Our first priority is and will continue to be providing a safe learning environment for our students, staff and families and adjusting accordingly to meet mandated guidelines.  

CMS wants to honor our families who want to have their students on-site and we are committed to that.  Currently the state mandate does not allow us to have elementary students on-site.  We will be prepared to offer on-site instruction as long as there is no county or state order that prohibits us.  In the event that we are required to temporarily stop on-site instruction, we are offering a high quality virtual option.  CMS has submitted an application for the elementary waiver for our elementary program.  Our early childhood program is not impacted by the latest updates to schools reopening.     


Waiver Status

On Monday, August 10,we submitted our application for the state waiver to be able to have our elementary students on-site.  We are waiting for their response.  Once we receive notice we will notify our families that have chosen the on-site option.  Should the waiver be approved this week we will start the 2020-21 school year on-site and virtual (based on the option your family selected).  

Early Childhood Program/ Kindergarten

Our EC classrooms, Ladybugs, Bumblebees and Dragonflys will be on-site, as the EC program is under Community Care Licensing and as of now there have been no changes.  

Virtual Learner Orientation

Each classroom will be hosting an orientation for our virtual program for parents and students on Thursday, August 20.  The Owls will be 1:00-2:00, Eagles 2:00-3:00, Lady Bugs, Bumblebees, and Dragonflies will be at 3:00.  A Zoom invitation will be sent out from your classroom teachers for this meeting.  

New student/new classroom orientation

This is for students who are new to CMS or are starting in a new classroom and level.  If your student falls into one of these categories you will be receiving a Zoom invite from them for this meeting.  It is Friday, August 21 at 9:00-10:00.   

Child Care

For our families who submitted their child care needs we will be able to offer morning child care from 7:30-8:00 and after school care until 6:00 PM.  Due to the requirements and restrictions drop in child care will not be available.  Small cohorts to the extent possible will be formed and it will take place outdoors as weather permits.  If you have questions please contact Jose at Joseb@countrymontessori.org.  

2020-21 Faculty and Staff

Owls – Vicki Rehkopf, Dr. Rader, Tracy Rendon

Eagles – Erika Dukes, Alaina Beadette, Mandy Odenwalder, Jess Stanphill, Jen Ruttenburg

Ladybugs – Karin Osterberg, Tiffany Wass

Bumblebees – Wendy West, Hirona Tsang

Dragonflies – Dawn Bohn, Gabriella Pons

Spanish, Music, PE, Art – Nadia Salas, Dennis Short, Tracy Rendon, Joshua Rehkopf

Administration – Adela Corrales, Jose Bolanos, Part time – Susan Kolle, Part time – Tammy To

***Nadia Salas is excited about resuming her original role as the school’s Spanish teacher.  She will be working with all CMS students 3-11 years of age.  Nadia is a native speaker, enthusiastic and her Montessori experience adds to her natural ability to teach a foreign language.  

***Tiffany Wass is joining the Ladybug teaching team.  We are very excited about her addition to the CMS faculty.  Tiffany comes with 14 years of experience as a certified American Montessori Society 3 – 6 EC teacher and is very enthusiastic about working at Country Montessori School.  

***Alaina Beudette is joining the Eagles teaching team and will be partnering up with Erika Dukes to teach our first level students.  Alaina comes with her strong experience of teaching Kindergarten and her strong knowledge of Montessori philosophy.  We are excited about our good sized first level class and Alaina is a great addition to this teaching team. 

Lunch Ordering

We will be postponing lunch ordering from outside vendors.  We will not be offering lunch ordering through winter break.  In the coming months we will revisit lunch ordering and provide updates.  Parents will be responsible for providing their own lunch for school. 

Virtual Program Basics

Our virtual option will mirror the on-site classroom and will be live Monday-Friday. Our goal is to have our virtual learners experience be as close to what they would have on-site. We know that in the beginning, it may require additional communication with our parents and students, with the intention to have the communication balance out as it would if the student were on-site. 

  • Class will begin on time
  • Attendance/Tardies will be recorded
  • Each student needs access to an electronic device and a quiet workspace/desk/table
  • Students need to be dressed and fed breakfast before class begins
  • Recess/snack and lunchtime will be assigned
  • Google classroom and Zoom will be used
  • Lessons
    • All lessons will be given live, some pre-recorded may be used
      • Zoom lessons will not be recorded
    • Lessons will be given individually and in small groups
      • Work will be sent home and turned in 
      • Schedule to be determined
        • Will occur during the regular school day dismissal procedure
        • Materials/Supplies will be provided
    • Enrichment Classes
      • Spanish-Live
      • Music-Live
      • PE-Live, may have some pre-recorded lessons
      • Computer-Pre-recorded lessons will be phased in
      • Elementary Art-Live 
      • Reading Groups-Live
  • Communication
    • Students 
      • Individual check in times will be arranged on as needed basis
    • Parents
      • Check in times will be arranged
        • Before or after school, not during the regular school day on as needed basis


Virtual Drop off and Pick Up of Work

For our virtual learners and for our on-site learners who will temporarily be virtual, there will be an assigned day/days and time for you to drop off and pick up your students work.  Your classroom teachers will be emailing you this specific information.  

On-Site Arrival/Dismissal and Virtual Drop off and Pick Up of Work Parking Lot Procedures

  • Please do not get out of your car, your teacher will take your student from or to the car 
  • Your teacher will bring or retrieve your students work from your car
  • Please take a right hand turn out of parking lot
  • Lane 1 Curbside – 4 level and 5 level cohorts
  • Lane 2 Lane closest to crosswalk – 2 level and 3 level cohorts
  • Lane 3 Middle lane- 1 level cohorts and Dragonfly cohorts
  • Lane 4 Lane farthest lane with parking spots – Ladybug and Bumblebee cohorts

On-Site Classrooms – Elementary and Early Childhood

Below you will see pictures of our elementary and Early Childhood classrooms that we have designed to meet the required criteria by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education.

Classroom Environments:

  • Stable groups (numbers to be provided based on enrollment)
  • Classroom spaces divided by shelving or partisan
  • Tables/work rugs spaced 6 feet apart and assigned seating for both (each child will have their own workspace not shared by anyone else)
  • Plastic/Cardboard table corrals for tables of more than one student
  • No apron/jacket racks
  • Designated bathrooms
  • Designated cubby space for lunches, work 
  • Student water bottles will be permitted (will be placed on their table)
  • Each student will have a pencil box of supplies on their table
  • Group snack
  • Assigned lunch tables/seats-Rotation for elementary 
  • Utilizing outdoor learning spaces
  • Designated/Rotation of playground
  • Open windows

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Face Masks

CMS will be following the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Schools regarding face masks.  All students in 3rd grade – 5th grade will be required to wear a face mask.  For 3rd – 5th grade (who are required to wear a face mask) a face shield is not an acceptable alternative to a face mask. At this time all other grades (Early Childhood – 1st Grade) are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask.    In accordance with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH): All persons two years of age or older who are present in the county shall have possession of a face covering when they leave their home or place of residence.


We are requiring that ALL students, regardless of their age, wear their face mask during morning arrivals and dismissals as they are entering their respective classrooms.  This will help us to ensure we are all in compliance with the CDPH requirement that everyone have a mask in their possession.  Once in their classroom, Early Childhood through 2nd grade students may take their mask off if needed in accordance with their parents preference.  However, we strongly encourage all students to wear their face masks as much as possible. Teachers and staff will wear a face mask throughout the day. 

School Health & Safety

Country Montessori School is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for all our students, their families, our staff and the community.  We are diligently working to ensure we are following county health, community care licensing and CDC recommended safety measures.


CMS will be implementing the following safety procedures in addition to existing health and safety protocols:

  • Daily temperature checks are mandatory for all students and staff before drop-off.  Any student with a temperature exceeding 100 degrees will not be allowed to attend school that day.
  • Stable groups of students will be put in place
  • Teachers will remain with the same stable group to the extent possible
  • Visitors on campus are limited and must be allowed in by administration
  • CMS will follow enhanced sanitation practices and practice frequent handwashing
  • Handless sanitizer stations will be in all buildings
  • Staff will sanitize supplies and facilities throughout the day
  • Daily cleaning and enhanced sanitation will occur at the end of each day with a focus on disinfecting all “high touch” areas
  • Lunch areas for all students will be set up to allow for social distancing
  • CMS staff will wear face mask throughout the day
  • County regulations require children 2 years and older to be in the possession of a mask and to wear it when it is not possible to meet the 6 feet social distance.   
  • Outdoor space will be utilized as much as possible
  • Recess times will reflect the same grouping of students 
  • Play structures will be phased in and sanitized (schedule TBD)
  • Water fountains will be taped off
  • All outdoor playground toys / equipment used will be sanitized regularly
  • Parents who are dropping off at CMS will also be subject to a temperature check
  • Parents will sign in using a no touch sign in with a QR code they will scan with their smartphone camera app. 
  • Parents who are dropping off must also wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth
  • Parents will be asked to fill out a daily self-disclosure form 

Daily Self-Declaration by Families

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our entire community families and staff will need to fill out a daily self-declaration prior to entering the campus.   

Country Montessori School


The CMS Family