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Montessori Children’s School

4200 S. Higuera Street

San Luis Obispo, CA.  93401


School In-Person Instruction Plan –

I. Completed Application Form

We have two elementary classrooms, a first to third grade with 19 children enrolled and a fourth to sixth grade with 14 enrolled.  We have planned to have half of the children attend on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other half on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be available for children whose families do not want to come two full days but will come for an individual time for one hour on Wednesdays.

* We have previously submitted re-opening plans to the public health department that have been approved. These plans were submitted before the waiver component was available.

1. Healthy hygiene practices –

*Both of our elementary classrooms have in person sinks for hand washing and each classroom has a separate designated bathroom.  

*The students will be given hand-washing instructions to model and will wash hands upon entering the classroom, as well as every half hour throughout the day.  They will also wash hands before and after eating and any other times necessary.

*We have hand-sanitizing stations in each classroom and in the hall.

*We have a hand-washing sink in the play yard.

2. Face Coverings –

* All staff is required to wear masks at all times.

*We will require all students in the third through sixth grades to wear masks when they are inside and outside the classrooms and masks will not be removed during recess or other unstructured time.

*In addition to face masks, child sized face shields are available at our school for students and adult sized face shields for teachers, for individuals who have medical reasons exempting them from wearing cloth face covers.

* Face coverings will be required for staff, parents and students above first grade and for any off campus visitors.

*Face coverings may be removed during meals and snacks, while maintaining 6 feet distance from others.

3. Cleaning and Disinfecting –

*Each student will have their own desk, chair and bag for their personal belongings that will hang on their chair or a plastic box on their desk with their personal essential supplies.

 *All Montessori materials will be sanitized and air-dried after each use.

 *We have a designated table in each class for used materials to be placed for teachers to sanitize before they are returned to the shelf.

     * Lunchboxes will be sanitized upon entering everyday and upon leaving at the end of the day.

     * All high touch surfaces – computer keyboards, light switches, desktops – will be sanitized throughout the day. Bathrooms will be sanitized every half hour –or more often during high use times.  

*Coverall cleaning company will do a deep cleaning before school starts and will be cleaning and sanitizing all areas each evening using CDC listed products.

* We have hired an extra support teacher for sanitizing and cleaning throughout the day.

*The drinking fountains have been turned off or removed. Each child will bring their own water bottle in their lunchbox each day.

* We have installed one, no touch light switch and are working on installing one, no touch sink in each bathroom as well as 5, no touch soap dispensers in each bathroom.

* We have ordered one, no touch flush component for the staff bathroom.

*The children arrive and depart from school in family’s cars, no buses are used.

*The children bring their own snacks, lunches and water bottles, the school does not have on campus food service.

4. Ventilation and Use of Outdoor Space

*Each of our two elementary classrooms has at least 2 doors to the outside as well as multiple windows that will be kept open.

*We have set up the classroom tables with more than 6 feet distance apart and in addition each class has a patio and outdoor space where all of the children can be outside at one time playing or working with at least 6 feet distance from each other. *The students can take work outside at any time.

5. Distancing –

*We are fortunate to have kept our enrollment very low on purpose. We have plenty of room for students to be inside or outside throughout the day, 6 feet apart.

*In the first to third grade classroom we will have nine children at most, in a classroom that has had 33 in the past.

* In the fourth to sixth grade classroom, we will have no more than seven students at a time in a classroom that has had up to 22 in the past.

*We have marked the floors with what six feet apart looks like and have placed the tables all at least 6 feet apart.  

*Group time and lunch time will be at the student’s tables or outside, 6 feet apart. *Our students arrive and depart in our “drive-through” driveway at staggered times, and sit on markers 6 feet apart in the yard for pick-up time.

6. Sharing Objects –

*All materials will be sanitized between uses.

*We have a table clearly marked for “used materials that need sanitizing”. The students will place their used materials there and a teacher will sanitize.

*All personal materials will kept at the student’s desk for their use only.

*A teacher will measure out Art and science materials for student use so there is no sharing of community containers, materials or utensils.

7. Cohorting

*We have 2 cohorts in our elementary groups. One of our two elementary classrooms has 19 children total, with half coming 2 days per week and 1 day for students whose families prefer one hour private tutoring. This class has its own classroom, outdoor area, sunroom and bathroom.

      The other classroom has 14 children total, again with half coming two days per week and 1 day for students whose families prefer one hour private tutoring. This classroom also has its own classroom, outside patio and area and bathroom.

* Each of these cohorts also has their own sink in the classroom and separate times for play in our larger yard.

* The cohorts in each classroom will not mix. The Monday/Tuesday and the Thursday/Friday groups will stay stable and the students in each cohort will stay in that cohort. Parents will not be able to switch their child to join a different cohort.

*The large yard play structure and bars will be sanitized between each group. The 2 groups will not be meeting at any time.

8. Teacher and other staff safety –

*Teachers will be symptom and temperature checked each day.

*Teachers will stay in their own classrooms for the majority of the day, will wear masks, wash their hands regularly and keep 6 feet apart.

*We have moved the copier to a room if its own for one staff member to use at a time.  

* By having no more than 10 children at a time in any given classroom, the number of people coming into contact with the teachers is less.

 *Staff meetings are being held on platforms such a zoom or held in the yard with all of us masked and 6 feet apart.  

* Teachers are instructed to stay home if not feeling well

*Visitors will be greeted outside the front door by the director and will not be allowed into the school building.

9. Training staff and educating families-

    *Signage is posted throughout the school regarding distancing, proper hand washing and COVID information on how to protect others and ourselves.

*Training through the San Luis Obispo Office of Education slide show and written information is being provided to the teachers on COVID 19, cleaning and sanitizing, and personal responsibilities for all of us in slowing and stopping this virus.

* Each teacher has taken the State’s Integrated Germ Management class regarding cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. The certificates of passing are filed at school.

*Staff will be trained on identifying and responding to medical emergencies by 2 of our teachers taking the “Adult, Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED” online course. This information will be shared with all teachers and our certificates will be on file at school.

*We have provided e-mails and a zoom meeting for parents to understand the requirements of symptom checking, mask or face shield wearing, physical distancing and non-essential travel.

*Parents will be asked to read all procedures and policies and to sign an agreement that they will comply.  

*Training staff on differences between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting, plus proper cleaning technique.

*Contracting with a local urgent care clinic for teacher COVID 19 testing.

10. Health Screening and Isolation –

* Each day when the teachers and children arrive, before they come into the school building, they will have their temperature taken and will be screened with the following questions:

For children:

Take temperature – if over 100.4 they may not be at school.


1. Is your child feeing sick today?

    If yes, do they have a cough? Fever? Runny nose?

Has their behavior changed: are they lethargic? Do they have a poor appetite? Itching? Unusually cranky?

2. Was your child given any fever reducing medication today?

3. Has he/she had contact with anyone who is sick?

4. Has anyone is your household been sick in the past 3 days?

5. Has anyone is your house been exposed to a confirmed COVID 19 case and/or is anyone in your household awaiting COVID 19 test results?

6. Has anyone is your household been contacted by a public health department? If so, are they following Public Health Department instructions?

   **If you answer yes to any of these questions your child will not be able to attend school today. There are no exceptions.

2.  If your child becomes sick while at school, we will guide them to the isolation room. We will immediately call you or your child’s guardian to come pick up your child.

*Symptomatic student’s parents will be directed to contact their health care provider and get tested immediately.

For teachers:

Take temperature when they arrive, if over 100.4 they may not be at school.

Then, record their answers to these questions:

1. Have you had any known exposure to COVID 19?

2. Do you have cough?

3. Do you have any shortness of breath?

4. Are you unable to taste or smell?

5. Have you had any signs of illness in the last 48 hours?

6. Have you taken any fever reducer in the last 48 hours

*If a staff member becomes sick at school, she will be sent home immediately and directed to contact her health care provider to get tested immediately.

11. Managing Cases

 *We will keep detailed attendance records of all children and teachers every day.

* We will immediately notify the Public Health Department of confirmed cases and provide the Public Health Department with contact information for exposed students and staff.

*We will document all symptoms of illness with children and teachers everyday.

12. Testing

* We will direct symptomatic students and staff to get tested immediately. 

If anyone in a student or staff member’s household is sick with COVID 19 symptoms, they should stay home too.

* Sick staff members and students who test negative for COVID19 must not return to campus until symptoms have significantly improved and no fever for 24 hours (without using fever reducing medicine).

*Sick staff members and students who test positive for COVID 19 or do not get tested for COVID 19 must not return to campus until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue isolation, including at least 24 hours with no fever (without using fever reducing medicine), symptoms have significantly improved, AND it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

* Our staff has contracted with the Urgent Care Center on Santa Rosa Street for intermittent and suspected testing for our teachers.

*We will refer parents to for the current list of testing locations.

* When a confirmed case happens at our school, we will immediately call each family and teacher involved, as advised by the public health department.

*We will notify all families by email, that a confirmed case has been identified at our school.

* We will comply with HIPAA guidelines, keeping each individual’s medical information confidential.

* We are working with a local urgent care center to be our testing site.

13. Point of contact – Mary Kern is the point of contact.

14. Sports and extra curricular activities – 

* Our school does not have any extracurricular sports and we have stopped standard P.E. class. We will use the play yard for outside time, with masks and with 6 feet physical distancing.

*We have also moved single play games, jump rope, legos, etc to yard use and will sanitize these materials in the same format as the inside materials.

* We will avoid any equipment sharing, but if unavoidable, we will clean and sanitize materials between use, by different people, to reduce the risk of COVID 19.

15. Widespread flu vaccination –

* Our school will encourage seasonal flu vaccination in the fall to all families, students and teachers and will support the public health efforts in this. We will encourage this in our weekly email newsletters in the fall.

16. Triggers for switching to distance learning –

* Our school will revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases OR 5% of the students and staff test positive within a 14-day period.

*Closure decisions will be made in consultation with our local public health department.

*After 14 days, our school may resume in-person classes with the approval of the local public health officer.

* We will closely watch the monitoring list and will switch to distance learning only when/if the case rates in our county move to more than 200 cases per 100,00 population or on any recommendation from our local health department to move to distance learning only.

14. Communication plans

* Our director will be in constant contact with our local health department, Dr. Penny Borenstein and the Superintendent of San Luis Obispo County schools, Dr. James Brescia, for guidance and updates.

* The school will share all updates and recommendations with the teachers and families in a timely manner.

15. Identifying a “point of contact”

*Designated person to contact for the public health department is the school director:

Mary Kern

2686 Price Canyon Rd

San Luis Obispo, Ca 93401



Paul Kern


II. Verification of approval by the school governing board or agency of waiver request.

   The Montessori Children’s School is a sole proprietorship owned and directed by Mary Kern, who is submitting this application for reopening waiver.

III. Documentation of consultation with:

Teachers – – 7/29/20- staff meeting to discuss waiver options, in-person and zoom

7/31/20 – emailed a copy of our reopening plan waiver to the teachers.

Letters from teachers attached.

Parents –– 7/28/20 Zoom meeting with the parents, recorded version sent out to all families to discuss school options and expectations.

7/31/20 – emailed a copy of our reopening waiver plan to the parents. Letters from parents attached.


* 8/4/20 Waiver plan emailed to County Office of Education and San Luis Coastal Unified School District to publish on their website.

*Waiver plan published on our website 8/9/20. Will publish edits and final plan if approved.

*Approval on 8/19/20

* 8/3/20 Letter to Dr. Rene Bravo, local pediatrician, whose office is located 2 miles from the school informing him and getting approval for our waiver application. Dr. Bravo phoned on 8/4/20 to confirm his support and approval of our plan.

*8/3/20 Letter to the owner of the office complex across the street from the school, Mr. Warren Dolezal, informing him of and getting approval for our waiver application.

Thank you for your consideration of our school-reopening waiver. Our desired re-opening date is Monday, August 31, 2020 – Maria Montessori’s birthday.


Mary Kern


Montessori Children School