To find out more about International Montessori Schools, please e-mail admissions@imschools.net
or call us at 484-661-0584 (all locations except Wilmington) or (302) 217-8543 (Wilmington location only)

COVID-19 FAQ and Handbook

Dear IMSchools Families,

The handbook and answers below contain important information intended to familiarize you with revised policies following the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic. Our purpose is to help ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and families. There is an inherent risk that viruses will spread among students and staff, including but not limited to COVID-19. While IMSchools cannot eliminate this risk, we have adopted policies to help reduce the risk.

Download COVID-19 Handbook (PDF)

If you have any other COVID-19 related questions that have not been answered in the handbook or below, please contact jacky@imschools.net for the PA Schools or annie@imschools for the Wilmington, DE, location. Please note there may be differing regulations for schools based in PA and DE.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will IMSchools be opening for the Fall session?
When is the first day of school?
How do you social distance in the school?
What are the Family Responsibilities?
What are the staff testing requirements?
What will drop-off and pick-up look like?
Will Parents be able to enter the school building with their child?
Will my child have to wear a mask to school?
Where does IMSchools in PA get its information?
Where does IMSchools in Wilmington, DE, get its information?
What happens when a child/staff member becomes sick?
What happens if COVID-19 is suspected in a child/staff member?
What happens if COVID-19 is confirmed in a child/staff member?
What are the different regulations for the Wilmington, DE school compared to the PA Schools?
What are you doing about cleaning?

Will IMSchools be opening for the Fall session?

IMSchools is preparing to start the school year on campus August 31st as originally planned as long as we continue to be in the yellow or green phase of the PA State opening plan as outlined by Governor Wolf.

In parallel we are also preparing a virtual platform should we move back into the red phase.

We will continue to follow CDC and State guidelines/recommendations. Should any updates occur we will communicate with you as soon as possible. As always, we appreciate your flexibility and patience.


When is the first day of school

First day of school will be August 31 2020 for all PA Schools. See Full 20/21 Calendar

First day of school for the Wilmington, DE, School is September 8th 2020.


How do you social distance in the school?

To avoid the number of interactions IMSchools has implemented a ‘unit’ system whereby classes will include the same students and the same teachers, each day, in their assigned room. Where possible we will have separate entranceways for each classroom. If we cannot have separate entranceways, drop off/pick up times will be staggered to limit mixing of children. If possible, at nap time, children’s naptime mats (or cribs) are spaced out as much as possible and cots will be placed head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread. Lunch tables and chairs will be spaced out as much as possible and there will be no sharing of food. There will be limited direct contact between parents at pick up/drop off. Classrooms will also have separate play areas.

It is important that we still care for the whole child.  We will comfort crying, sad, and/or anxious children. Although at IMSchools we will encourage social distancing, we appreciate the challenge this can be for young children and we will work within the government and state guidelines whilst still ensuring our students are wholly cared for.


What are the Family Responsibilities?

Trust between families and the school at this time is paramount and ask that parents keep children home if they are ill. Children with fevers greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit will be sent home. No child may return to IMSchools until fever-free for 72 hours. If a child becomes ill at school, they will be isolated until they are picked up. Timely pick-up is required.

Families are expected to report any known exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals to the school. All parents will be required to complete a Parent/Guardian agreement:

Download Parent/Guardian Agreement


What are the staff testing requirements?

All staff members will report their daily temperatures and have a health screening upon arrival at work. Staff will remain with their assigned group throughout the day except for providing absentee coverage, staff breaks or as requested by their supervisor. Staff must wash hands frequently using soap and water including before and after food preparation, assisting a child with eating, and changing diapers. Face coverings must be worn, at all times, by all employees.


What will drop-off and pick-up look like?

IMSchools has have implemented a separate entrance for each classroom for summer camp. If this is not possible in the Fall we will introduce staggered arrival and drop off times. We ask parents/guardians not to enter the classroom. The teacher will receive confirmation from parent/guardian that the child is well and has not been knowingly exposed to COVID-19 as well as making a visual inspection of the child. Ideally, the family will take the temperatue of the child at home and their temperature will also be taken on arrival and recorded on the sign in sheet.  The child (or teacher, if help is required) will clean their hands either by using hand sanitizer or washing of hands prior to entering the classroom. Specific instructions will vary for each school and families will be informed prior to the first day.


Will Parents be able to enter the school building with their child?

Although we will never deny a parent entry to the school we ask at this time that only necessary personnel enter the school and we look forward to welcoming you back into our building when it is safe to do so.


Will my child have to wear a mask to school?

PA REQUIREMENTS

The State of PA requires all adults wear a face mask/covering both inside and outside at all times. Masks are recommended for ALL children 2 years and older unless they fit one of the following exceptions;

If a child is outdoors and able to consistently maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.

If a parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place a face covering safely on the child’s face.

If a child is unable to remove a face covering without assistance.

Clear face shields will be provided to all staff members in order to assist children who need to see the staff members entire face for teaching purposes.

We ask Parents provide 2 face masks daily and taken home to be washed daily.

We will continue to support children in learning how to wear masks. With repeated exposure and guidance it will get easier overtime.

DE REQUIREMENTS

Based on the department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, in cooperation with the state of Delaware states that:

Children under age 2 should NOT wear face coverings.

Children age 2 years and older who can wear a cloth face covering safely and consistently should wear one in accordance with CDC guidance. There are a variety of strategies parents/guardians and child care providers can use to assist children with becoming comfortable wearing cloth face coverings. Parents/guardians are encouraged to practice these strategies at home to help their child become comfortable with wearing a cloth face covering prior to use of a cloth face covering in a child care.

Cloth face coverings are recommended for children ages 2-4 when feasible.

It is strongly recommended that children ages 5-12 in child care wear face coverings, if doing so will not either pose a health risk to them, encourage unnecessary touching of the face, create behavioral challenges, or if they cannot safely put on and take off the face covering.

Face coverings are required for children older than age 12.

A child should not wear a face covering if it poses any health risks, such as choking, strangulation, difficulty breathing, constant touching of the face, or inability to remove or put on a mask without assistance.

Face coverings should never be worn during nap time or during meals and may be removed for outdoor activities if social distancing can be maintained.


Where does IMSchools in PA get its information?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, IMSchools has constantly reviewed and updated information provided by both CDC, OCDEL (Office for Child Development and Early Learning) and Governor Wolf’s office along with other schools in the region and beyond in order to implement best practices.


Where does IMSchools Wilmington, DE, get its information?

IMSchools Wilmington obtains and implements guidelines in relation to COVID-19 prevention provided by the State of Delaware, Department of Services for Children, Youth, & their Families, as well as, the Office of Child Care Licensing. We also gather recommendations from Delaware Stars to ensure quality care that is essential to decrease/ prevent the spread of COVID-19.


What happens when a child/staff member becomes sick?

If your child is sick please do not send them to school. Teachers will be trained to identify symptoms of COVID-19 and the same following guidelines will be applied to IMSchools staff if they demonstrate symptoms.

  • An isolation area (such as a cot in a corner of the classroom) will be used to isolate a sick child.
  • Parents need to pick up their child, in a timely manner, once they have been informed they are sick.
  • Outside doors and windows will be open, when appropriate and feasible, to increase air circulation in the area.
  • The isolation area and surfaces they may have been in contact with will cleaned and disinfected after they have gone home.

We understand that children often show signs of allergies and the common cold that have symptoms similar to COVID-19.  With parent and teacher feedback based on the child’s health history, and the child is behaving normally and has no fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or shortness of breath then exclusion from school is not recommended and is consistent with PA Code and ‘Caring for Our Children (CFOC)’.


What happens if COVID-19 is suspected in a child/staff member?

The child/staff member must leave school immediately and can return to school after ALL three following criteria have been met;

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 48 hours with no fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

Depending on your healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if your child still has COVID-19. If you are tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved, and you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.


What happens if COVID-19 is confirmed in a child/staff member? 

The child/staff member can return to school after the following;

  • 10 days have passed since test
  • You received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart

There will be the assumption that anyone who has had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case is likely infected and should, therefore, stay home for 14 days as per CDC recommendations.

IMSchools reserves the right to close at any time if such action is deemed appropriate to minimize the transmission of disease.

REQUIRMENTS FOR PA

If a staff member or child presents with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they must inform the school who will contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258 and inform OCDEL by contacting the appropriate Regional Office of Certification.

REQUIRMENTS FOR DE

If a child or employee tests positive for COVID-19, we will contact the Division of Public Health at 1-888-295-5156 or dphcall@delaware.gov to discuss next steps.  We will then follow DPH guidelines for cleaning guidance specific to our facility.  IMS Wilmington will notify the Office of Child Care Licensing as well as families within one business day in the event that we decide to close the facility.


What are the different regulations for the Wilmington, DE school compared to the PA Schools?

IMSchools, Wilmington regulations based on the requirements by the State of Delaware and Delaware Department of Health and DSCYF:

  • IMSchools Wilmington will adhere to DSCYF regulations and adopt the following:
    • Adults who drop off and pick up children must do so at the entrance to the school, not the classroom, nor the playground.
    • Screening practices upon arrival include, parent/child review of a COVID-19 health questionnaire, daily to assess the child’s health; temperature check (using touchless thermometer)
      • A document will be provided daily for the parents to review and respond to verbally during drop off. Parents will be asked to remain with your child/ at the entrance until you have provided your responses and had your child’s temperature checked.
      • If a staff member or child reports or is noted to have body temperature at or above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, a discussion must be had with the staff member or parent to determine if there is an underlying cause. The staff member or child may be admitted to the child care, but increased monitoring throughout the day must follow to ensure the temperature does not increase or additional symptoms do not develop. If a staff member or child reports or is noted to have a body temperature at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they must be sent home
      • If a child/staff member has a fever of 100.4 or higher, and all other causes (asthma, COPD, chronic sinusitis, etc.) have been ruled out, or the staff member or child is otherwise symptomatic and considered at risk for COVID-19 exposure, the staff member or child may not be admitted to the facility and should isolate at home.  The staff member or child should remain at home for a total of 7 days after symptoms have resolved defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath); and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared before being permitted to return to work or child care.  Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing, avoid sustained close contact with others and maintain good hand hygiene, for the remaining four days (for a total of seven days) before returning to work.  Staff or children who have been excluded may return after this 7 day period however should continue to recognize the risk of infectiousness and self-monitor for symptoms.
      • If a child/staff member has been in close contact (e.g., within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, the staff member or child will be required to stay at home for 14 days from the time they were exposed to confirmed COVID-19.
    • We will be suspending the use of all outside contractors, programs, and entertainment, both indoors and outdoors, except:
      • a. Contractors doing work outside of child care hours (ensure that proper cleaning/sanitizing has been conducted before children re-enter the facility or areas where work was being done)
      • b. Physical therapy/Occupational therapy appointments
      • c. Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants
    • Groups mixing must be restricted as much as possible
    • Staff and children must wash hands upon entering the classroom and upon leaving

What are you doing about cleaning?

To help prevent the spread of infection IMSchools will Clean & Disinfect More Often Than Usual.

** CLEAN means to use soap and water and remove visible dirt.

** DISENFECT/SANITIZE means use a product that will kill germs e.g. diluted bleach solution.

We will routinely/daily clean, sanitize and disinfect commonly used areas and items and continue best practices for Hand Washing, Food Serving, and Diapering according to the CDC and OCDEL guidelines.

Comprehensive cleaning guidelines can be found in the IMSchools Handook addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

This institution is an equal opportunity caregiver and doesn't discriminate on the basis of race,color,religious creed,disability,ancestry,national origin or sex.