Health and safety at Guidepost
Guidepost is committed to safely serving our families. Learn more about the extra measures we’ve undertaken at each of our operating campuses to give your family peace of mind in uncertain times.
Each of our operating US campuses have adopted a set of health and safety procedures designed to rigorously reduce the risks to your child and family, as well as our staff. These procedures, outlined below, are based on our current understanding of the COVID-19 situation. We are committed to continuing to meet or surpass all CDC guidelines and state regulations.
Our team would be more than happy to connect with you to discuss our programs and the health and safety measures we are taking in order to help you make an informed decision that fits your family’s needs. Here’s some of what we are doing.
Reduced group sizes
Group-size regulations vary by state, so it’s important to understand where your state falls. Some states allow up to ten children per classroom; others require ten people total (including staff) per classroom, and yet others are completely different. No matter the particulars of your state‘s regulations, in order to promote social distancing and minimize the possible spread of disease, Guidepost Montessori will have fewer students and staff than our normal ratios allow in each classroom, and we will not mix students between classrooms.
Limiting exposure between groups
It’s important that we limit exposure within and throughout our building to keep our community safe and healthy. We do not allow anyone with symptoms to enter the building or classrooms. All staff and students have their temperature taken each morning before being permitted to enter.
The best way to minimize exposure among small groups and preserve our containment efforts is through consistent, responsible use of face coverings:
Staff: All staff members wear a face mask at all times. Face coverings should be washed daily, or a new one should be worn each day.
Students: Aligned to CDC recommendations, children over the age of 2 are supported in wearing face coverings at school and on the playground, though children never wear face coverings while napping or eating. We know that wearing a face covering can initially be a challenge for children, so we work with them to help them reliably wear, remove, and feel comfortable wearing their face covering at school.
Regular deep cleanings
It is important for our classrooms to be as self-contained as possible. Keeping children’s items, such as clothing, shoes, and lunch boxes within the classroom helps prevent cross contamination among other groups on campus. By minimizing cross contamination, we increase the possibility of closing just one classroom vs. the entire school if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Each morning, staff clean all classroom materials and surfaces (tables, counters, faucets, doorknobs) with EPA-approved disinfectants. Each evening, our janitorial staff will conduct a thorough deep cleaning of all bathrooms, classrooms, and common traffic areas in the school.
Daily containment routines
There are a variety of heightened health and safety procedures throughout the day, that may look different than you’re used to at school. Here’s a general list of what will go on throughout the day:
- Guides will wipe down high-traffic areas (door handles, light switches, etc.) using an EPA-approved disinfectant at least 3 times a day, and administrators will wipe down any high traffic areas they touch.
- Children will remain in the classroom during the day and avoid common spaces.
- Guides will limit touching children by using creative communication (air fives, waving, air kisses) to encourage social distancing. However, we fully understand that it is not possible to keep children six feet apart in a classroom and are not discouraging any natural situations that may arise.
- Children will remain in their group without any mixing of groups at the beginning or end of the day.
- We will provide additional space between napping cots.
- Use the school thermometers to implement midday temperature checks for all children and staff.
- Be hyper vigilant about classroom materials that go into a child’s mouth. Remove any material that was in a child’s mouth from the classroom environment once the child has finished.
Drop-offs occur outside of the building with families staggered at least six feet apart. A staff member will perform a temperature check of all students before escorting them inside to change into their indoor shoes and cleaning their backpacks and lunch boxes. Each day, a staff member will ask each family whether they have observed any symptoms of COVID-19 to determine if it is safe for the child to stay at school. If symptoms exist, the child may not remain at school. Once a child has changed into their slippers/indoor shoes, they are escorted by a staff member to their classroom and then allowed to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
We take heightened precautions during lunch and snack time to keep our meal times a safe, healthy, and meaningful part of the day.
- Guides use gloves or wash hands whenever serving or helping children with food.
- Guides serve all food. Children cannot assist with any classroom food prep or serving.
- We will not serve family style meals or snacks.
- At this time, no outside food should be brought into the classroom to be shared.
Outdoor Playground Routines
To further our containment efforts and minimize exposure across classrooms, we are intentionally scheduling outdoor and gross-motor time to eliminate overlap and allow for cleaning between uses. Classrooms will follow an outdoor schedule that allows for one classroom on the playground at a time, with cleanings performed by staff in between classes. High-touch playground surfaces will be sprayed with soap and water and wiped clean after each use. This excludes wood surfaces. Buggy rides are strongly discouraged to avoid a situation where children are in close quarters. Children do not need to wear a face covering when in outdoor spaces so as to not restrict their breathing while exercising.
At the end of each day, guides will follow these guidelines to facilitate a safe departure for the children and get their environment ready for the following day.
- Facilitate pick-up with parents at the classroom or designated door.
- Assist the child in gathering items and bring the child to the door for departure.
- Wipe down all high-traffic areas with an EPA-approved disinfectant before leaving the classroom.
- Wash and replace sheets and blankets used for napping.
Staff breaks and social distancing
By social distancing and taking elevated sanitation precautions when in common spaces like break rooms and restrooms, we can actively minimize exposure of our staff members at school.
Read more about our policies
Higher Ground Education Funding COVID-19 Vaccinations for All Staff
Higher Ground urges state health departments to prioritize teachers and school staff for COVID-19 vaccinations. The company will help subsidize any vaccination costs incurred by its 2,000+ staff members.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
We answer your frequently asked questions about COVID-19.
Keeping Schools Open During COVID-19
In the face of COVID-19, we continue to serve our families who send their children to Guidepost Schools.
Giving children the keys to life
Guidepost Montessori enables children to understand the world and choose their place within it.
With over 80 campuses across the US and Asia, and at-home and virtual learning programs serving more than 7,000 families worldwide, Guidepost is the world’s largest Montessori network.
Learn more about our:
Do you want to learn more about Montessori? Visit The Prepared Montessorian for flexible online courses, from beginner to expert level.