Our goal is to create and sustain an environment where on-campus learning can take place. To do this, we need the active commitment of every member of the Harborlight community – teachers, staff, parents, and students.
This document provides guidance and expectations for the Harborlight Montessori community. The guidance and protocols in this document have been adopted after compiling guidelines, recommendations and protocols from numerous sources including other educational institutions as well as international, federal, and state agencies.
We accept that there is an assumed level of risk of contracting and/or the spread of COVID-19, however, we believe that following these guidelines mitigates that risk and will afford Harborlight the opportunity to operate and serve our community as safely and effectively as possible.
We will continuously review these protocols and make adjustments as necessary.
(updated June 2021)
Daily Health Attestation
SYMPTOMS OBSERVED IN ABOVE NAMED OR HOUSEHOLD MEMBER IN THE PAST 24 HOURS:
Fever of 100.0 or higher
Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (not physical activity induced)
Fatigue (fatigue alone should not exclude a student from school attendance)
Headache (headache alone should not exclude a student from school attendance)
New loss of smell/taste
New muscle aches
WITHIN THE LAST 14 DAYS: Have you or your child had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual?
If your answer is yes to any of the above, please do not enter the campus.
Harborlight COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Health Policy
List of 3 items.
If a Student Becomes Symptomatic:
If a student becomes symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status, Harborlight will immediately isolate the student from others and minimize exposure to staff. Whenever possible, children (age 2 and older) will cover noses and mouths with a mask or cloth face covering. Parents will be contacted to have the child picked up as soon as possible.
If a Staff Becomes Symptomatic:
If a staff member becomes symptomatic, regardless of vaccine status, they must cease all duties immediately and be removed from others until they can leave. Staff must regularly self-monitor during the day to screen for new symptoms.
If a Child or Staff Contracts COVID-19:
Sick students or employees who are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic and presumed to have COVID-19 must not return to Harborlight until they have met the criteria for discontinuing home isolation and have consulted with a health care provider. Together with the student’s family and health care professional, or with the staff member and their health care professional, Harborlight’s Health Care Consultant will 1. determine the date of symptom onset for the student/staff; 2. determine if the student/staff attended/worked at Harborlight while symptomatic or during the two days before symptoms began; 3. identify what days the student/staff attended/worked during that time; 4. determine who had close contact with the student/staff at Harborlight during those days (staff and other students).
If the individual tests positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, isolation may be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test, as long as the individual remains asymptomatic. For example, if the individual was tested on August 1, isolation may be discontinued on or after August 11 if the individual still has no symptoms.
If an unvaccinated student or staff has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of whether the individual has symptoms or not, the student or staff must not be permitted to enter Harborlight and/or must be sent home. These exposed individuals must be directed to stay home according to the Massachusetts isolation and quarantine guidelines.
Harborlight will consult the local board of health for guidance on quarantine for other students and staff and what additional precautions will be needed to ensure the school space is safe for continued services.
We know that it is not possible to create a completely risk-free environment; however, the processes and procedures are designed to mitigate risk.
Below you will find the list of policies and procedures that are being implemented to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. No single mitigation strategy substantially reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission; we believe a layered approach to be most effective.
To help support the health and safety of the Harborlight community, our Health & Safety Committee will regularly analyze the data collected on the health screening forms and attendance, collect and review daily classroom cleaning checklists, and keep abreast of new information.
We will oversee contact tracing to help minimize community transmission, review policies and procedures, and coordinate trainings and community health and safety initiatives.
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems at the School are serviced regularly. The rooftop units are designed with fresh air economizers, which have been set to provide maximum fresh air exchange. All classrooms have a portable air purifier, which includes HEPA filtration and a UV germicidal component. All classrooms have multiple exterior windows that are frequently opened to allow for fresh air exchange.
Harborlight has a staggered arrival and dismissal for students.
Early arrival for students enrolled in A-Block begins at 7:30AM. Elementary students are expected to arrive no later than 8:15AM. All Children's House and Infant & Toddler House students not enrolled for A-Block arrive at 8:30.
Dismisals are staggered depending on the student's individual schedule.
Parents/guardians bring their children to the deck door for their assigned classroom.
Parents/guardians will have conducted a daily screening at home (see Health Attestation)
A staff member invites your child into their classroom with their belongings.
Parents/guardians bring their children to the main entrance (lobby of the building) for attendance.
Parents/guardians will have conducted a daily screening at home (see Health Attestation). No paper is required.
Grade 1 and up walk independently to their classroom. Younger children are walked to their classroom by a staff member.
AFTERNOON DISMISSAL: (11:30 half day, 12:30 half day with lunch, 3:00 Academic Day, 4:30 B block, 5:30 C Block)
Parents pick up children from the Infant/Toddler playgrounds or at the classroom door on the deck from the playgrounds. When the parents knock on the door, the teacher brings the child out.
Main Building (Dismissal times 11:30; 12:30; 3:00)
Students remain in their classrooms until called for pick up when the parent/guardian arrives. Parents place the pickup card with the student's name clearly written on the dashboard of the car.
A faculty member brings the student to their car.
Main Building (Dismissal times 4:30; 5:30)
Parents/guardians may pick up from the playgrounds. Whenever inside, students remain in their classrooms until called for pick up. Parents/guardians may wait in the main entrance/school lobby. A teacher will bring the student and their belongings to their parents/guardian.
Masks are required indoors for all students age 3 years and older and for all adults regardless of vaccination status.
Masks must not be worn while students are eating/drinking, sleeping, and napping/resting. Physical distancing is practiced during these activities whenever possible.
While students are engaged in active outdoor play or learning in the outdoor classroom masks and facial coverings are optional.
Parents/guardians wear a face covering/mask when indoors and by preference when outdoors.
Families should provide their children with a sufficient supply of clean masks or face coverings for each day. These personal masks/face coverings must be clearly marked with the child’s name and a mark to distinguish which side of the covering is to be worn facing outward so they are worn properly at all times.
Harborlight respects individual choices to keep masks on when not required.
Please choose the most appropriate facial covering for your children with health and prolonged use in mind. Some factors to consider are:
fit (a facial covering with adjustable staps or flexibility to fit securely without touching)
layered or with a filter that protects airborne particles from being released
allows breathing and talking without restriction
one-time use coverings are disposed of at the end of day or when contaminated/compromised
reusable are laundered daily without altering the shape or level or protection
face shields are only used with an accompanying facial covering/mask
There will not be tuition refunds issued for closures and absences.
As always, we will continue to work with individual families as their circumstances evolve. To that end, we urge families who have not done so to purchase tuition insurance. This is a very modest investment that could be of great help should a student withdraw at some point during the year.
Hand washing sinks with soap, water, and disposable paper towels are to be readily accessible to all students and staff. Hand washing instructions are posted at every hand washing sink and where they can easily be seen by students and staff.
Required hand washing routines are built into the schedule for all students, faculty and staff. These times include, but are not limited to:
upon arrival to school,
entering a classroom (from another classroom, recess, etc.)
before and after eating,
before putting on and taking off face coverings,
personal care (coughing, sneezing, nose blowing, toileting)
before and after using shared equipment such as computer, copier, white board, etc.
after contact with mask or facial covering
after removing gloves (staff)
While hand sanitizer (approved product with at least 60% alcohol) may be used by children over 2 years of age with parental permission, handwashing is the preferred and safer method.
Hand sanitizer stations are positioned in high traffic areas of our campus (indoors and outside).
Harborlight's Instructional Plan has been developed with the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families in mind.
Implementation of our safety protocols, small class size, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and minimizing crossover between students and teachers supported Harborlight being in-person, full-time since June 29, 2020.
However, our instructional plan is designed for a smooth transition to our Distance Learning Program if and when necessary.
Harborlight uses a designated room for any student with suspected symptoms of COVID-19.
This is a separate space where a student can comfortably wait to be picked up from school.
If a student is sent home from the isolation room- all siblings will need to be dismissed as well.
Symptoms that require isolation:
Cough or difficulty breathing
Fever (temperature of 100.0 or above)
Excessive fatigue or body aches
If any student appears to have severe symptoms, Harborlight will call emergency services immediately. Severe symptoms include: extreme difficulty breathing (i.e. not being able to speak without gasping for air), bluish lips or face, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, severe persistent dizziness or lightheadedness, new confusion or inability to rouse someone, or new seizure or seizures that won’t stop.
Students bring their own individual snacks to school in their lunchboxes and a personal water bottle. Snacks can be packed in a separate cooler or lunch box or should be clearly labeled if packed in the same lunch box to avoid confusion. When students are staying for Extended Montessori, they will need additional snacks. Extra snacks (for when a student runs out or forgets) will be made available by Harborlight in pre-packaged or ready to serve individual portions.