School is reopening for in-person learning on September 9! Please read our safe reopening plans here!
August 5, 2020
I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy your summer. We have been working around the clock to best prepare our building, faculty, and staff to safely and successfully welcome our students back in person. I’m happy to report we continue to make great progress on that front.
We wanted to share some updates with you around our reopening plan:
- Low Class Sizes: Our maximum number of class size is still 15 students. However, we are thinking classroom size may be even lower this school year — each class at 12 or 13, which will help to create a small family-like network within each classroom.
- Distance Learning Plan:We have been working hard planning for the best distance learning plan possible (in the case where we would need to move to distance learning). Here are some components of this updated distance learning plan:
— Your child will meet with his/her teacher twice every day. Once in a large group setting and then once in a small group setting. The large group meeting will focus on connecting with one other and then the small group meeting will focus on a lesson.
— Your child will have access to two virtual choice boards: a curriculum board that will encompass lessons from the different learning areas, and a kindergarten board that will focus on more kindergarten-based activities.
— Your child will have access to a library of pre-recorded videos of your child’s teacher reading books and singing songs to incorporate into your day of home learning.
— Your child will receive hands-on materials and resources to use at home.
- Air Purifiers:We are installing two air cleaners (HEPA filters) with ultraviolet lights on our whole HVAC system. This will help improve air quality overall in our building. We are very excited about this project!
We are so excited to see everyone soon!
April 7, 2020
Dear Beverly Montessori Community:
We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health and adapting to the
unprecedented stresses and demands of the COVID-19 crisis. These are difficult and uncertain times across the city, the Beverly neighborhood and Beverly Montessori School (“BMS”). As your School’s leadership, we are focused on three critical items:
• Providing as much learning and enrichment for our students as we possibly
can. Your children are our School, and we hope they are using, enjoying and
benefiting from the distance learning tools our teachers have developed. We
will continue to enhance and provide these tools for as long as the School is
required to remain closed.
• Employing and retaining our teachers. We are blessed with a talented
faculty who show incredible devotion to BMS and the families it serves. Our
faculty members – some of whom have taught here for decades – are the life
of our School, and we are doing everything possible to avoid layoffs. BMS –
the children and families who make the School – needs these teachers in
order to thrive.
• Opening our doors when this crisis ends. The unfortunate reality is that
some institutions will survive this crisis, and others will not. BMS has served
this community for over 50 years, and we expect to continue doing so for
many years to come. But this will only be possible with your support.
With these three principles in mind, we are writing you to address the difficult issue of
tuition payments for the rest of the 2019 – 2020 school year. At this time, we are asking
families to pay their April tuition, even though the State of Illinois has directed us to remain
closed through at least April 30, 2020. We understand this may seem unjustified, as the School cannot provide everything you expect. However, we hope you will understand our situation. BMS planned its budget and made commitments with the expectation it would receive these tuition payments. We cannot meet our commitments without tuition revenue. In particular, without this income we will be forced to lay off teachers. The teachers have worked, and will continue to work, throughout this crisis. They need to be paid for their work, and their salaries are funded entirely by tuition payments.
The federal government recently passed the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which provides financial assistance to small businesses and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entities like BMS. We are applying for a loan under the PPP. If our application is approved, we would be able to pay our faculty with the loan proceeds – allowing us to reassess our situation before final tuition payments are due on May 15th. But this takes time. Meanwhile, we must ask for the support and understanding of the families who can make their April tuition payments.
As we ask for your support and understanding, please know that you have ours. This crisis will hit some families harder than others. If you cannot pay April tuition, please tell us. We will work with you. But if you can, please help us by doing so. If you have questions, reach out. Open communications are critical, and we are happy to talk about this issue or any other. Thank you for your continued support of BMS. We will get through this together.
Beverly Montessori School Board of Directors
Kelley Ciraulo, Head of School
Here are some frequently asked questions:
When will be able to come together as a school community again?
- This answer is still unknown. As we all know, the Governor has mandated all schools to remain closed until April 30, 2020 . We are following all requirements of the Governor and the Illinois State Board of Education.
Do I still need to pay tuition during this distance learning time?
- We have moved to a distance learning plan that we will continue to provide throughout this unique time.
- Beverly Montessori School is an independent, not-for-profit, private school. We are completely tuition based, and need your support at this time.
- At the heart of our school is our teachers; many who have been at our school for 20+ years. Tuition is necessary to make payroll. Our teachers are very dedicated to our school. They have been working daily to provide your children with the best distance learning experience possible, researching new ways to stay connected and ways to bring Montessori to your child remotely.
- At this time, we don’t know what to expect, as the situation evolves daily. April tuition is due at the normal time and as things continue to evolve we will reevaluate mid-April depending on the situation at that time. I will keep you posted weekly. Thank you for your commitment to our school!
How can I talk to my children about this situation?
Are there Montessori resources or support groups for Montessori parents?
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/505430923483302/ — 3-6 Montessori at Home During School Closure: Parent Support – This is different from our private parent group.
Has the school been sanitized?
- Yes, our school received a deep and thorough cleaning during the closing and will again before classes resume. We will be all ready for the children once we can open the door.