Re-Opening Plan

Plans to re-open The Woodlands Methodist School come with much prayer and diligent planning. Our leadership team has been working all summer to stay current on the latest authoritative information and make plans to provide the best and safest learning environment for our students and staff.

As a private school, we are not mandated to follow any decisions of CISD, a district with over 60,000 students. Our smaller class sizes make social distancing and health monitoring much easier than larger public school classes. Unless local and state government requires us to close the school, we plan to begin Lower and Middle School classes on our campus.

We know many of you want your child to attend school in person if schools are open. We plan to open our Lower and Middle Schools as scheduled on Wednesday, August 19, and our priority is the safety of our students and their families, as well as our staff. We also understand that some families with differing risk levels or concerns may prefer to begin school with online learning. For this reason, we will be offering a choice for Lower and Middle School students to attend school in person, or to participate in online learning instead. This decision will be effective for the entire grading period.

Based on overwhelming response from our preschool families, we will delay the opening of our preschool until September 9th and 10th. This will allow time to monitor the COVID levels in our area a bit longer before bringing our youngest students back to campus. As previously communicated, Preschool will not offer an online alternative if Preschool remains closed.

I would ask that we all approach the start of school prayerfully and with a sense of cooperation, much flexibility and lots of grace. We know parents, students and staff are somewhat apprehensive, but we all want to get back to class in person while making sure we do so as safely as possible. We know that no matter how careful we are, and how many precautions we take, there will still be some risk of contracting COVID-19. Everyone has a different comfort level with the precautions, but we want you to know our approach at the outset will be very conservative and cautious. Our goal is to start school and to make every effort to ensure we remain open. To do this, we all need to work together to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Guidelines

The guidelines below are from our school nurses and Directors based on the latest information from health authorities.

As COVID-19 is a new virus and much is still to be discovered, the guidelines and policies for the school may be changing as the school year progresses. The Woodlands Methodist School actively monitors the recommendations and guidelines for schools from the CDC, Texas Department of State Health Services, American Academy of Pediatrics, and National Association of School Nurses, as well as state and local agencies. We will continue to do so throughout the 2020-2021 school year to determine appropriate actions for our health policy development, the delivery of care in our school and the evaluations of these interventions. We will communicate with families any changes that occur. Our goal is to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff while also recognizing the educational and mental health needs of each student.Although steps will be taken to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 at TWMS, there can be no guarantee a student or teacher will not become infected with COVID-19 when at school.

  • Screening for COVID- 19 will occur daily with screening questions and/or temperature checks.
  • Staff and students are required to stay home if sick or not feeling well. Education for staff and parents on the definition of sick or feeling unwell will be provided.
  • Face coverings are mandatory for all staff members.
  • All Lower and Middle School students will wear face masks for arrival and dismissal. All students will be required to wash hands or use hand sanitizer when entering or departing classrooms.
ALL GRADE LEVELS
  • Only essential visitors will be allowed on campus.
  • Parent visits to campus are restricted at this time.
  • Students and staff who have fever or show symptoms of possible COVID-19 will be in a separate clinic room to prevent possible spread of COVID-19.
  • Students and staff will be educated on importance of, and proper method for handwashing, and covering coughs and sneezes. In areas where handwashing may not be available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will be provided or applied. Students will be monitored to ensure proper technique.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the Lower and Middle School, and hand sanitizer will be easily accessible to Preschool staff.
  • Signs will be posted on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures and properly wear a face covering.
  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned more often.
  • Recommended age-appropriate social distancing practices will be in place.
  • Lunch will be in the classroom. Snacks and lunches will be brought by students daily. There will be no optional food service at this time.
  • Health policies have been developed in accordance with the CDC’s and Montgomery County Health Department’s recommendations for possible or confirmed COVID-19 infections.
PRESCHOOL
  • The children in each individual classroom will be considered a cohort.
  • A cohort will remain together throughout the school day.
  • Transitions in hallways will be scheduled to maintain social distancing between cohorts.
  • Each Preschool class will attend Music and Motor individually, and the supplies will be disinfected between uses.
  • Each class will have an individual time on the playground, and the supplies will be disinfected between uses.
  • Classroom teachers will present the weekly Chapel lesson in class, using the Bible curriculum supplied by TWUMC Children’s Ministry.
  • Face coverings are optional for Preschool students.
  • Preschool policies meet the guidelines of the Texas Health and Human Services.
LOWER SCHOOL
  • A classroom will be considered a cohort.
  • A cohort will stay together as possible.
  • All students in 4th grade will be required to wear a face covering with the exception of recess, PE (once they are in position and social distanced) and when eating.
  • For K-3rd grade it is recommended to wear a covering, but it is not required based on the age group’s developmental needs.
  • K-3rd grade will be provided individual face shields to wear in the classroom for times when social distancing may be difficult. Examples include Centers and Circle Time.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be utilized at the teaching table for Guided Reading and any other small group or individualized instruction where it is important to see mouth formation or expressions.
  • Transitions in hallways will be scheduled to maintain social distancing between cohorts.
  • All students will have individual classroom, music and art supplies.
  • Specials teachers other than PE will travel to each classroom.
  • In PE each cohort will be distanced at opposite ends of the gym.
  • Recess will allow for 1 cohort on the playground and 1 on the field daily to maintain separation. TWMS will disinfect high touch areas between uses as possible and disinfect at end of the day.
  • Plexiglass shields are being acquired for teachers’ desks to allow teachers to work with students in instances where the teacher’s face needs to be seen.
  • Chapel will be virtual at this time.
  • No field trips at this time.
MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • Core classes will be divided to have a class be defined as a cohort. Teachers will switch classrooms and students will remain in the same classroom for all 4 core classes. The exception will be for needed Science labs.
  • All 5th-8th grade students will be required to wear face coverings per the Governor’s mandate.
  • Desks will be positioned to allow for social distancing.
  • Electives will be held in classrooms that allow for social distancing.
  • Transitions between classes will be alternated to allow for social distancing.
  • Locker use will be spaced to allow for social distancing.
  • Chapel will be virtual at this time.
  • Students taking Art will have individual supplies.
  • Students will have individual classroom supplies.
  • No field trips at this time.
KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 8TH GRADE
  • Eagle Club will be offered for K-8th grade students for AM and PM care.
  • Face coverings will be required for all staff and students.
  • Lower School and Middle School students will be in two different spaces.
  • Although Lower School and Middle School will be in two different spaces, students within those groups will be combined, but they will be separated into smaller groups within the space based on their cohort (class) groups.
  • All rooms will be disinfected before and after care.
  • Kindergarten students will have an option of two different morning Eagle Club blocks.
    • 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. block
    • 8:10 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. block
  • No drop-in care for Eagle Club will be provided for safety reasons.
PRESCHOOL – TODDLERS THROUGH TRANSITION
  • Eaglet Club will not be offered for the Fall 2020 semester and will be re-evaluated at a later date for the Spring 2021 semester offerings.

Questions?

After reviewing this information, should you have further questions, please contact the appropriate director.

Linda Wilmoth
Director of Preschool
lwilmoth@twumc.org

Amy Shaffer
Director of Lower School
ashaffer@twumc.org

Mike Bordelon
Director of Middle School
mbordelon@twumc.org


VISION STATEMENT

As an outreach ministry of The Woodlands United Methodist Church, we adhere to these core beliefs: win people to Jesus Christ, disciple them in faith, and help those in need.

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide a joyful, Christian education through which children develop a lifelong love of learning, pursue excellence, and positively impact the world.

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