We are Back on Campus!

photo credit: Carrie Tallon

This morning when we were headed out the door for drop off he said the good thing about leaving school is that you get to go back the next day. I believe it’s safe to say he’s already loving it!a Children’s House Parent

After 24 weeks of being apart, we reopened our campus last week! Those 24 weeks were difficult for our staff, our parents, and especially for our children. And while we here at Villa di Maria did plenty of grieving and worrying about the pandemic, we also poured our hearts, minds and labor into planning and preparing for a safe and responsible reopening. And we did it!

Well, technically speaking, we are still doing it. The pandemic is not over, and we are fully committed to remaining vigilant in the modified processes and daily routines we put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our plan starts with stable groups, expanded classroom spaces and a face mask requirement (when physical distancing is not possible) in the admin, Children’s House and Elementary environments (yes, even the 3-, 4- and 5 year-olds are wearing their masks!). You can read about our full plan here.

We are also offering a tandem distance learning program for our Elementary families who are more comfortable postponing their return to campus. We will take a peek (show off!) that plan on next week’s blog.

photo credit: Melissa LeBeau
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Melissa LeBeau

Our reopening would not have been possible without these three things: our campus, our staff and our community of parents and grandparents.

We are lucky enough to sit on 6 acres of land, which has allowed us to spread out and increase our students’ work and play spaces while still allowing them to remain in their stable groups.

photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon

We are proud to say we have a staff of dedicated and hard working people who put in hours upon hours of discussion, research, planning, preparation, brain power, muscle power and truly thoughtful care to get our campus and classroom environments reconfigured and ready to reopen.

photo credit: Robyn Milos
photo credit: Robyn Milos
photo credit: Robyn Milos

And we are grateful, if that word were enough, for our community of parents and grandparents who have contributed their time, skill and dollars to support our reopening. Parent and grandparent volunteers came to our campus in the heat of August to clear shrubbery, expand patios, trim trees, pull weeds and do any other thing we asked of them to modify and beautify our outdoor spaces. Our parents and grandparents have also contributed to our much needed COVID-19 Fund, so that we were able to purchase shade structures, cleaning and disinfecting materials, equipment for the additional play spaces, picnic tables to use for lunch and work, air purifiers and so much more. In just a few short weeks, the fund grew to a little over $20,000 and allowed us to cover these necessary but unexpected costs. There is truly no way we could have reopened without our community’s incredible generosity and support.

photo credit: Carrie Tallon

So now we are back on campus. And we are so happy (thrilled! elated!) to be back together! No one more so than our children…

photo credit: Melissa LeBeau
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon
photo credit: Carrie Tallon