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Tag: COVID-19

On-site Testing Has Begun

The first day of on-site COVID testing went smoothly. 25 students were selected for this first round of randomized testing; 3 of the 25 were unable to attend; 2 were a no-show. With advance knowledge of the absent students, Margaret selected 2 individuals to take the available slots. In total, 21 tests were conducted on students ranging from toddlers to sixth grade. One staff member was selected for testing. As previously reported, all tests had negative results. Phew!

The students were awesome. They lined up patiently to await their turn, listened very carefully to the directions and cooperated fully with all involved. Several of the upper elementary students were amongst the first tested and remarked they had lost count of the number of COVID tests they had already completed. Their confidence/nonchalance helped set the tone for the session. A life-sized, plush rainbow trout accompanied a 1st year lower elementary student and was a great diversion to those awaiting their turn. Kudos to the students who gently helped and supported those who were a little nervous. One lower elementary student was overheard explaining to an early childhood student that it [nasal swab] was comparable to the sensation experienced when picking your nose!

This success of the event was due in no small part to the parents who volunteered their time to make this possible.

  • Words cannot do justice to the gratitude we feel for those on the Test Team who helped research and implement the program. Simply said, thank you Elena, Tera, Matthew and Sophie.
  • In addition, we are grateful to Eyal for reaching out and offering to conduct the selection of students for each week’s randomized testing.
  • And lastly but by no means least, our heartfelt appreciation to the parents who showed up to conduct the first test session. Set up, swabbing, timing and reading of tests, and clean up was conducted with very careful attention to detail.

The Test Team met on 1/6/22 to discuss the possibility of expanding our testing capabilities to include a Test-to-Stay option. This was recently proposed by the CDC as an alternative to quarantine in an effort to keep students attending in-person school. Several members of our community have also enquired about the possibility of MCS providing Day 5 testing (the recommended testing date for those exposed to COVID-19). Both options require more research and consideration. The community will be updated on developments in either of these areas.

We currently have 64.28% of those eligible to participate registered in the program. Registration for testing remains open.

Air Quality & Ventilation

The Montessori Community School takes air quality very seriously.

While our recent concerns are related to the spread of airborne infectious diseases such as Coronavirus, we have always considered air quality to be an important issue. The school has recently taken a number of actions based on industry suggestions, science and feedback from our Health & Safety Committee. Our hope is to continue this dialogue since we know that indoor air quality will continue to be a major point even when some of the immediate concerns subside. We would like to invite more parents to become involved and assist with this effort and work towards some of our goals.

Helping Salt Lake City with Better Outdoor Air Quality

Montessori Community School has a rigid policy about outdoor air quality as it pertains to a student’s outside time. Our staff uses the Utah Air IOS and Android app in order to get the closest and accurate outdoor air quality index. Based on this, if the AQI ever rises to the moderate level we start restricting outdoor activities. Our policy is summarized in the Parent Handbook here. The school installed a large array of photovoltaic solar panels in 2013 to offset our carbon footprint and in 2019 two electric vehicle (EV) chargers were installed on the south-west side of our building. We also have a Purple Air outdoor sensor which reports current outdoor conditions. With current concerns about the transmission of airborne illness being at the forefront of many people’s minds, we are engaged in continued conversation about indoor air quality.

Taking Steps Towards Ensuring Better Indoor Air Quality

Based on the feedback we received from medical experts, our Health & Safety Committee and HVAC engineers we have upgraded all of our existing indoor air circulating units with MERV13 filters; the best filtration possible for our current system to filter out airborne illness. We are working towards getting some specific readings in each area of the school to determine what additional steps can be taken to ensure the best indoor air quality and to eliminate airborne illness. Based on our research, we are determined to obtain Purple Air indoor sensors to help us have a continued gauge on our indoor air quality. We also have a separate policy that the staff follow in the summer to ensure the best air flow possible in each of the classrooms.