MIR is closely monitoring the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continually update our community via email and through resources on this page. Sign up for our text alert system by texting MIRRED to 41-411 to get notified of updates as well.
Following Spring Break, the MIR campus will be closed until Friday, May 1. This is in line with the Redlands Unified School District closure dates.
Our campus is closed, but Montessori education continues.
We have transitioned to our Montessori Home Learning Program, which began on Tuesday, March 24. While our campus is closed, office staff will be available via email at email@example.com during our office hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please refer to the resources and links below for more information.
MIR COVID-19 Relief Fund
Many families have reached out to us about making donations to support MIR families experiencing job loss or reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MIR has created a Relief Fund to provide financial aid assistance to current MIR families in this situation. If you wish to make a donation, you may do so here.
MIR is sending regular email updates regarding the situation, and texting families when a new email goes out. Due to the increase in volume of emails, many email clients are filtering us as spam and emails may not even be in your junk folders. Please whitelist the domain mir.org to receive these emails. We are also posting emails to this page.
- Log in to your Gmail at gmail.com.
- Click the gear icon in the top right, and select Settings.
- Click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.
- Click Create a New Filter.
- In the pop-up window, enter mir.org.
- Click Create filter.
- Check "Never send it to Spam".
- Click Create filter.
- Sign in to your account. Go to inbox.
- Click Options located at the upper-right side of the page.
- Select More Options.
- Under Preventing junk email, click Safe and blocked senders.
- Click Safe Senders.
- In the text box, type in the domain mir.org, then click Add to list >>.
- If you use the Outlook email application on your computer, sign in to Outlook.com on a computer (not a mobile device) using your email address and password. Often our emails are in the junk folder on Outlook.com and are not passed along to the Outlook app.
- If you use the Focused inbox feature, click on "Other" to see if email is listed there.
- Microsoft has further instructions for whitelisting in Outlook here.
better if done from a computer rather than a mobile device
- Click on the settings icon (the gear near the top right)
- Scroll down and click on More Settings
- Click on Filters
- Click Add New Filters
- Under Set Rules, select From > Contains and enter mir.org.
- Under Choose Folder to Move To, select Inbox.
- Click Save
All events, field trips, and after-school activities have been canceled through the end of the school year. A final decision on the 6th year capstone trip will be made by April 15 (6th year families should read the email titled "Grove Lottery Tonight and Boston Update" from Jessica Brockardt for more information).
Letters from Jenny Davidson
MARCH 27: Researching Financial Assistance and Emergency Childcare
Dear MIR families,
We hope this email finds you and your family well. Thank you for your patience, support, and well-wishes as our entire community adjusts to California’s current stay-at-home order and to home learning.
Above and beyond our anxieties about the spread of this virus, I know that many MIR families have already experienced a loss of income or employment as a result of the pandemic. Our finance team is exploring multiple options to help our community through this difficult time and they are prioritizing support for the most vulnerable members of our school community. Please contact me directly if you have lost employment or if you are experiencing financial hardship due to this pandemic.
Some families have chosen to make donations to help our community through this time and I offer you my sincere gratitude. Your support will help us assist families who need it the most and will help MIR retain its teachers and staff. I know that not everyone is in a position to give, and that's okay. I am deeply moved by how much our community cares for each other and for the long-term sustainability of our school.
Many of you are healthcare professionals, first responders, or work in other crucial roles essential to our local pandemic response. MIR is investigating whether we are able to offer an emergency childcare program for you as essential workers.
If this is a service you would qualify for and be interested in accessing, please fill out this form to help us make a more informed decision. Thank you sincerely for your work, we are all deeply grateful.
Thank you and be safe,
MARCH 24: Pick Up of School Materials and Student Belongings
We hope everyone is well and finding moments of inspiration and fun while at home!
As we launch the Montessori Home Learning Program, MIR is scheduling time tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25) for students from the following classes to pick up work and belongings for the students. (Please note: it's perfectly fine if another family picks up items for you.)
If your class is not listed here, we are planning to arrange times for you to pick up your student's belongings directly from the classroom.
Items will be handed to you through your passenger-side window. If you prefer to have us put them directly into a trunk or back seat for you, just let us know when you arrive.
PICK-UP SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS
South Campus Classes
Line up on the curb like you do for drop-off.
- 8:30-9 a.m.: Emily's class. Parents with siblings in Teesie's class can park on the curb between the office and Toddlers and wait for Teesie's pick up.
- 9-9:30 a.m.: Teesie's class.
North Campus Classes
- Kristen's class: Line up on the west side of the parking lot (usual location for afternoon pick up).
- Kelly's class: Line up on the east side of the parking lot.
- Venus's class: Line up on the west side of the parking lot.
- Roslyn's class: Line up on the east side of the parking lot (usual location for afternoon pick up).
- Kara/Jenny's class: Line up on the west side of the parking lot.
- Maria/Jennifer's class: Line up on the east side of the parking lot.
If you need something specific from the classroom, please let us know. We will ask you to pull into a parking spot and will retrieve the item for you.
All student bags not picked up on Wednesday will be brought to the MIR yoga room. Please arrange an alternate time to pick up your student's items.
Some families have reached out to us to let us know that they do not have (or have enough) computing resources at home to support Montessori Home Learning for multiple students. We have limited supplies of devices that we will check out. If this is your situation, please let us know by 12 p.m. on Wednesday by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the first distribution of devices on Thursday. By necessity, we will prioritize families with the highest need. We will schedule a second distribution time as needed.
MARCH 24: Introduction to Montessori Home Learning
Dear MIR families,
Over this past week, you and your children have been at the forefront of our minds. The MIR staff shares a mission and long history of supporting child development through Montessori education. This work will continue.
As this pandemic prompted school closures across the globe, Montessori schools began collaborating at a blinding pace to develop strategies for supporting students’ learning and development from a distance. Over the Spring Break closure and during yesterday’s staff in-service, the MIR team has developed our own plan for our Montessori Home Learning Program. We have relied heavily on suggestions from other Montessori schools who are thinking creatively about this, and on many who have refined these approaches after being closed for several weeks already.
Each day this week, we will introduce you to a new component of the Montessori Home Learning Program. Today, we would like to start by sharing the Montessori Home Learning Handbook. It is an orientation to how we expect this process to unfold and the roles that our staff, you, and your student will play.
This work is rooted deeply in our Montessori philosophy: we believe children need both freedom and structure, children are naturally motivated to learn and develop, and adults should serve as a bridge to the children’s environment and learning opportunities.
Our priorities in developing this approach are to:
- Continue to foster each child’s love of learning and to guide learning opportunities for them.
- Support the emotional and mental health of both the child and the parents within the context of this situation.
- Maintain, extend, and encourage community connection in new ways.
We know that this is an extraordinary time and parents are overwhelmed. Starting tomorrow, your teachers will begin sharing resources and suggestions with you. The goals of these resources are to help you and your child establish routines that support learning, and to offer you both some independence.
We acknowledge that you, as parents, have many essential priorities right now. If you are not able to use these resources right away, please be forgiving with yourself. Your teachers will help you prioritize your family’s time and energy by sharing individualized recommendations for your child.
Take care, stay well, and please know that we are here to help.
Jenny Davidson, Head of School
Mandie Schadwinkel, Assistant Head of School
Jessica Brockardt, Elementary Coordinator
MARCH 20: Preparations for Montessori Home Learning
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to evolve, MIR is working hard to set up the infrastructure necessary to support our students and families working from home. You may have heard that Redlands Unified School District recently announced that their closure will be extended through Friday, May 1. For the health and safety of our staff and students, the campus closure at Montessori in Redlands will follow the same schedule.
Our physical campus is closed, but Montessori education will continue. Montessori in Redlands is transitioning to a Montessori Home Learning Program for the duration of time that our physical campus must remain closed.
Our students are uniquely capable of taking on the challenge of learning from home, even at the youngest ages. Montessori is a self-directed learning model. In their time in the classroom, students have learned how to concentrate, how to choose and persist through challenging work, and how to reach out for help when needed. These skills can continue to flourish in a home learning environment.
Our teachers will be there to guide the students and to support you. We will provide more detailed information about the Montessori Home Learning Program at the beginning of next week. The program is intended to support both students and parents in ensuring deep and developmentally appropriate learning continues while students are off campus. All students and parents, Toddlers through Elementary, will have access to their teachers via various forms of communications.
We know these are challenging times, and you have questions. Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve received. We will continue to send updates as this situation evolves. You can also find updates and an archive of emails at mir.org/covid-19.
When will we receive refunds for Spring Break Childcare and Spring extracurricular activities?
Childcare refunds will be processed by the end of next week.
Will we get a reimbursement of tuition fees?
We plan to continue our education program during the closure. The staff will be working during the closure to support your children remotely. Therefore, we will proceed with billing for tuition as scheduled.
All schools are in the same situation: our ability to retain and compensate teachers and support staff is vital to our ability to effectively carry out our mission and be ready to successfully resume normal operations once the pandemic containment period is over. We need to meet our responsibilities to our employees, which allows us to meet our responsibilities to you and to all of our students.
Is financial aid available to us?
We understand that many families may be facing increased financial hardship at this time, and we want to ensure families do not have to add the potential for a change in schools to an already stressful time. We will strive to make financial aid available for families who need it. Feel free to email me so that we can reach out to you with more information.
What about before- and after-school childcare fees?
MIR plans to issue a credit for before-school or after-school childcare fees that are incurred while the campus is closed.
Will the school year extend into the summer?
That is not the current plan; however, we will re-evaluate as the situation evolves. For now, we are continuing full instruction through the Montessori Home Learning Program and expect to end the school as originally scheduled. While the learning at home will be in a different format than in the classroom, we are providing critical structure and learning to ensure all students stay on track for the school year.
At this time, the MIR Summer Program will also continue as planned. For Toddler and Primary students, this program is the same as the school year program, with additional summer-only activities added. We encourage you to sign-up when enrollment opens to help return your students to their routines. The Elementary program provides focused learning activities that support academic and social-emotional skills. It will also give them the social engagement they will need and want after extended time at home.
What support will be available to families whose parents provide “essential services”?
We recognize that we have many parents who provide defined “essential services” and that this sudden school closure presents a real challenge. We are evaluating whether we can safely offer a limited program for parents in this situation. If you find yourself in an emergency situation or truly exceptional circumstances, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com. We may be able to help or connect you with other families who would be willing to do so.
We’ve been inspired to hear how families are engaging with this crisis in ways that joyfully support their children. One family of another Montessori school wrote:
"We asked ourselves what could we do, and since in Italy schools are also closed and they have English in the academic curricula, my children will do Skype calls with Italian children to work on their 'English Conversations, Pronunciation, Homework.' We proposed half-time English, half-time Italian, so to have a win-win approach. Just 10 or 15 minutes a day."
How is your family responding creatively and generously to empower your children and others during this time? We would love to hear from you to share with other families. We will send more information soon about how you can share your pictures and stories to help our community stay connected.
This situation is challenging in so many ways, I know. We are committed to supporting our staff and families through this difficult time. I deeply appreciate your patience and support.
MARCH 16: School Closure to be Extended
Dear MIR Families,
After careful consideration, Montessori in Redlands has decided to adjust our home learning schedule to align with the closure of Redlands Unified School District (RUSD). We now anticipate that our school will be implementing Montessori Home Learning from March 24 through April 3. We hope to re-open our physical campus on Monday, April 6. We feel that this is a critical time to prioritize our community’s health by staying home to observe social distancing.
I know that many of your Spring Break travel plans have been disrupted and children are hearing about school closures on the news. Our most recent blog post shares some helpful tips and resources that can help you navigate these topics with your children in an age appropriate way. Read it here.
The great news is that Montessori education already has a long and rich history of adapting to the unique needs of a particular time, place, and culture. We can continue to support your child's learning and development, even through a temporary campus closure. Our team is currently working on resources, tools, and schedules that will help you navigate these upcoming weeks at home and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.
If your family needs any assistance in navigating this challenging time, I hope you will let me know. We are fortunate to have a strong community who is willing to help when things get tough. I’ll do everything I can to help connect families who are struggling with community members who are able to help. Please just reach out.
I will also take this opportunity to tell you how much we genuinely love working with you and your children. I know I speak for all of our school when I say that we will miss the regular shared time that we have with your children, but we look forward to staying connected in other ways.
Thank you and be well!
MARCH 13: Notice of Schedule Changes and Closures
Dear MIR parents,
With the rapid changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, MIR has determined that proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our school community members are necessary. MIR will be closing our campus to students and families from March 19-27, while we continue to assess the situation.
We are passionate about our mission and we are committed to continue supporting your child’s learning and development from home. Staff will meet for our in-service on March 23. After that date, your family will receive information and resources about how this will be structured moving forward.
In order to prepare for this shift, MIR is also closing for two Spring Break childcare days, Thursday and Friday, March 19 and 20. Families who have registered for those two days will be refunded their childcare fees.
Our schedule for the next two weeks will be as follows:
- March 16, 17, and 18: MIR is open for families who have registered for Spring Break childcare. If you need to make changes to your childcare schedules for these days, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
- March 19 and 20: Childcare is closed.
- March 23: In-service Day for staff members. MIR is closed to students.
- March 24-27: Teachers and staff will begin supporting Montessori learning from home. The school will assess the situation and communicate with families about the next steps.
We are canceling all school events through April 30. These include:
- Spring Gala
- Spring Carnival
- Parent-Child Night
April field trips will either be canceled or postponed. We will be canceling the Spring season of extracurriculars and processing refunds. We might make changes to the format of Parent-Teacher Conferences (April 23 and 24).
The health and safety of our school community is paramount to Montessori in Redlands. Please expect to hear from me with regular updates and additional opportunities for communication. Look for emails from us and sign up for the MIR text alert system. We will be notifying you of updates through that system. Text MIRRED to 41-411 to sign up.
Many thanks for your understanding. These are challenging times, but I am more than certain that our caring, capable, and creative MIR community is up to the challenges. We wish you health and well-being and look forward to our ongoing work together.
MARCH 12: Notice of Event Cancellations
The County of San Bernardino is requiring organizations to cancel events with an attendance of more than 250 people due to the spread of the coronavirus. With this in mind, Montessori in Redlands will be canceling the Spring Gala and the Spring Carnival, both of which are scheduled in April. While we are sorry to lose these important community events, social responsibility is an important part of our mission. If this decision can help slow the transmission of the virus, we know it is the right thing to do.
Our team has already been brainstorming fun alternatives to our annual auction, so stay tuned for other opportunities to bid on the incredible class items you have seen in the MIR lobby. If you purchased a Gala ticket and would like a refund, please email email@example.com with a request. If you bought a ticket and do not request a refund, the payment will be recorded as a donation and dedicated to offset cancellation fees for the event. You will receive a donation receipt for your records.
I know there are many questions about the possibility of school closures. Our administrative and advisory team will continue to monitor recommendations about this rapidly changing situation. At this time, we will continue the precautionary actions we have already established. We will share regular updates as we get more information. If you are not yet signed up to receive our text alerts, please do so by texting MIRRED to 41-411. Texting is used only for urgent communications.
Thank you for all of you help and support in this effort.
- The Redlands Unified School District provides information about COVID-19 and preventive measures. You can read them here.
- City of Redlands COVID-19 Updates