Dear MCH Families,
After the proclamation from Governor Inslee on Sunday modifying the “Stay Healthy – Stay Safe” COVID-19 restrictions on a variety of activities and businesses, the Educational Leadership Team and I met to discuss the implications for our community and to decide what, if any, changes needed to happen for our community as a result. Although these restrictions did not specifically apply to childcare and K-12 education, our position has and will continue to be to prioritize the health and safety of our students and faculty. The intent of the Governor’s order is to reduce the chance for exposure and transmission across all segments of the broader Washington community and we feel strongly that it is important for us to contribute where possible.
As we have shared previously, we have been preparing for the possibility of moving to Stage 1 since the beginning of the school year. Though we have had no COVID cases on campus so far, and while we are confident in our detailed, intensive risk mitigation strategies, the past few weeks we have seen an increase in the spread of illness throughout our campus that has adversely impacted both families and our faculty alike. With everything else we have in place, the only way we can further mitigate the risk of COVID spreading into our community is to scale back the density in the classrooms and time spent on campus.
Thus, with a heavy, yet resolute heart we are announcing with this letter that we are moving to Stage 1 through Winter Break, starting Monday, Nov. 30th, 2020, following Thanksgiving Break. In order to provide our staff with the time they need to prepare for this transition, we will also be closing down the campus for all students on Monday and Tuesday next week, 11/23 and 11/24. Students in the Upper School will have asynchronous work sent home for them to complete during those first two days before Thanksgiving Break begins. At the end of December, we will reassess our Staging decision.
Hours of OperationAs per our COVID Playbook, we will be reducing our hours of operation in Stage 1 as follows:
Childcare Hours of Operation will be 8:00am-4:00pm
Lower School Schedules (Early Childhood and Infant/Toddler Programs):
Extended Day Schedule 8:00am-4:00pm
Extended Day Morning Schedule 8:00am-3:00pm
Extended Day Afternoon Schedule 9:00am-4:00pm
Morning Schedule 9:00-12:00pm
Full Day Schedule 9:00-3:00pm
Upper School Schedules (Elementary and Middle School Programs):
Before and After Care Schedule 8:00am-4:00pm
Before Care Schedule 8:00am-3:00pm
After Care Schedule 9:00pm-4:00pm
ProgrammingEarly Childhood Programming
Please refer to the MCH COVID Playbook to refresh yourself on the details of Stage 1. As a reminder this is a reduced schedule childcare model. New Cohorts will be formed for this Stage 1 move. We will do our best to keep classroom communities together, however your child may not have the same teaching team. Childcare Cohort and School at Home announcements will be made and sent out by next Tuesday, November 24th.
For families in the Early Childhood program, if you chose Reduced Childcare on Campus during Stage 1 and are rethinking your decision, we will have a limited number of spaces for families interested in switching to a School at Home modality. If you want to make that switch through the end of December, please email Attendance@mchkids.com by Friday 11/20/20.
Please refer to the MCH COVID Playbook to refresh yourself on the details of Stage 1. As a reminder this is a reduced schedule childcare model. Fortunately, we will be able to keep cohorts and teaching teams consistent during Stage 1.
Upper School Programming
Please refer to the MCH COVID Playbook to refresh yourself on the details of Stage 1. As a reminder this a reduced schedule childcare model. The teachers will be delivering School at Home virtually and those children enrolled in Care on Campus will be in one Cohort with the support and supervision of MCH support staff.
GratitudeAs we move into the Thanksgiving Break, I want to express how grateful I am to all members of this community for leaning in and getting through this crisis together. It has been a difficult nine months, and these new restrictions and our response to them feels exhausting, particularly as we move into the Holidays and more unknowns reveal themselves. We trust in science, public health officials and the Governor’s office in making these recommendations and know that they are not easy to accept. However, it is also our sincere belief that this measure is the responsible and right choice.
I have faith in our community, and I know we share the same values when it comes to the well-being of each community member. That faith and knowledge give me confidence that we will once again come together to prioritize the health and safety of everyone at MCH and the greater community at large. Through those actions we are modeling and guiding our children into becoming adaptable and resilient adults. Thank you for your understanding and support. We will get through this and come out stronger on the other end.
Stay safe and be well,
Head of School