COVID-19 Resources for Montessori Schools & Programs
As Montessori guides, we are tasked with adaptation and innovation every day. While none of us expected virtual classrooms, the unprecedented situation with the coronavirus is an opportunity to come together and grow as a learning community. Embarking on this new educational journey, AMS is committed to helping you explore the possibilities by providing a platform for resources that we hope will be of help to you. We are adding items on an ongoing basis, so please bookmark this page and continue to check in.
Updated May 18, 2020
Join your peers on our online messaging platform to read about—and share—thoughts about teacher salaries during school closures, managing tuition, plans and resources for remote learning, and more. We especially direct you to the Heads of Schools Community and the Teachers Community. Member login required. (Use the same username and password you use when logging in to the main AMS website.)
AMS Connect Live! Teachers & Heads of Schools
Since March, AMS has hosted daily AMS Connect Live! sessions to provide our Montessori community with facilitated conversation around the changing COVID-19 environment. As we pack up our digital classrooms, there is a need to pause and reflect on the last few months. Given how quickly educators around the world reacted to an unprecedented situation, we hope you have given yourself a moment to rest and recharge.
Leaning into the summer months, there is an energy shift from the reactive nature of the spring, to the proactive, future-thinking planning for the fall. AMS will continue to be here with you and for you. Throughout the month of June, we will plan and deliberate on how best to offer you and your community support and guidance as we move forward together. That starts with our first ever Member Appreciation Week, June 1 – June 5, a free, virtual mini-conference designed to provide you with tools and resources to support you and your school.
On-Demand Webinar: “Managing Your School Through the Pandemic.” If you missed our live webinar by Firestorm Crisis Management Solutions, or would like to see it again, you can now watch a recording. Member login required.
Returning to School
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Tips CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting soft surfaces, electronics, linens, and outdoor areas. Information on what to do if someone is sick, considerations for employees, and alternative disinfection methods. (Added April 30, 2020)
- Guidance for Open Childcare Programs Preparedness and planning guidelines from the CDC for childcare facilities that remain open. Includes information on social distancing strategies, modified pick-up and drop-off procedures, cleaning protocols, and hygiene best practices. (Added April 30, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for U.S. School Administrators The CDC provides continually updated guidance regarding best practices for administrators navigating the reopening of schools. (Added April 30, 2020)
- Mapping Out Plans for 2020 – 2021 School Year Serving and Accrediting Independent Schools (SAIS) covers key steps and considerations schools must consider to begin planning the 2020 – 2021 school year. (Added April 30, 2020)
- The Return to School Roadmap Developed by Opportunity Labs, this guide helps schools focus their returning-to-school plan across 7 workflows: governance, wellness, instruction, post-secondary, facilities, school operations, and technology. (Added April 30, 2020)
- Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen. NPR breaks down the necessary steps for the safe reopening of schools. Includes insights from education experts in the U.S. and abroad. (April 24, 2020)
- 100 Ideas for Montessori Early Childhood Students at Home (courtesy of St. Joseph Montessori School faculty and AMS).
- 100 Ideas for Montessori Elementary Students at Home (courtesy of teacher Michelle Jacob and AMS).
- Audible Stories. Free audiobooks for small children and teens for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Environmental Education Program. Visit the Environmental Education playlist featuring 5 videos co-produced by AMS and Nature’s Classroom Montessori School in Mukwonago, WI. These lessons are built around the Early Childhood curriculum but will delight all ages. (Added April 8, 2020)
- Find Your ‘Virtual Park’ with the National Park Service. Online platform with digital opportunities to engage with the parks through multimedia galleries, webcams, virtual tours, and more.
- Indoor Activities from Motherly.com. Montessori-inspired ideas to keep children entertained while inside.
- The Learning Network. Free resources for bringing the world into your classroom, from The New York Times. Includes daily writing prompts using Times journalism.
- National Emergency Library. Over 1.4 million books are now available through this digital library. Sign up for a free account (from anywhere in the world) and get reading! (Added March 31, 2020)
- National Geographic Kids. Games, puzzles, books, videos, crafts and more to engage children around science and adventure.
- Virtual Museum and Art Gallery Tours. The Guardian shares breathtaking and interactive tours for cultural experiences from around the world. (Added March 31, 2020)
- Creating Educational Lessons [Video] Learn about making videos to support student learning, from experts in the field. You'll get tips on personalizing your video, crafting engaging content, and setting yourself up for success in recording.
- Fast Facts for Effective Online Videos [PDF] Learn how to film clear and organized lessons for your online learning needs from an expert video producer.
- Google’s Teach from Home platform was created to help teachers create learning communities from home. If using the Google platform is something your school is currently doing or considering, this is a great resource to get ideas about how to best use the Google tools. (Added March 27 2020)
- “Learning from Home Handbook.” Generously shared with us by the Montessori School of Tokyo, this handbook is available for you to customize for your school and distribute to your parents. Adding photos and your school logo will help bring it to life. All editing can be done in Adobe.
- Seesaw Training and Professional Development offers daily webinars on remote learning as well as other free resources for teachers and administrators. (Added March 27 2020)
- Zoom online video platform is supporting K – 12 schools affected by the coronavirus by removing the time limit for free account users. (Added March 31, 2020)
News & Legislation
- Coronavirus Advice for the Public. The World Health Organization provides regularly updated downloadable materials based on new scientific findings regarding COVID-19.
- "What’s New.” The latest news about COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Education Stabilization Fund of the CARES Act. Learn more about the Education Stabilization Fund, a $30.75 billion fund that the Department of Education will distribute to states. Resource courtesy MPPI. (Added April 10, 2020)
- Department of Labor Guidelines for Families First Coronavirus Response Act. An updated document suggests that employees who cannot work because their businesses are subject to a government shutdown order or because they are ordered to shelter at home will not qualify for Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency FMLA. (March 29, 2020)
- The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) announces congressional response to COVID-19, including information about emergency funding and legislation. (March 26, 2020)
- COVID-19 and Paid Sick Leave. Updated information about the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and how it can impact your school and community. (March 20, 2020)
- Q&A on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities during the Coronavirus Outbreak. (March 20, 2020)
- Secretary DeVos Announces Broad Flexibilities for States to Cancel Testing During National Emergency. (March 20, 2020)
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Information related to 2 new emergency leave benefits for eligible employees: emergency paid family and medical leave and emergency paid sick leave. This act is expected to take effect on or by April 2, 2020. (March 19, 2020)
- Social Distancing, Self-Quarantine, and Isolation. This New York Times article breaks down 3 similar terms and explains when and how to do each. (March 19, 2020)
- How an FCC ruling will lean to loaning out WiFi hotspots to aid students who don’t have access to the Internet at home. (March 18, 2020)
Talking to Children
- Answering Young Children’s Questions About COVID-19. Age-appropriate responses, from ZERO to THREE, to common questions a toddler might have about coronavirus.
- A Comic for Kids about COVID-19. Author, illustrator, and NPR editor Malakra Gharib created this comic to teach children about coronavirus. It can also be downloaded and printed.
- Coronavirus and Parenting A 13-minute podcast from NPR about how to deal with school closures, manage screen time, talk to young children, and keep them healthy.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Talk to Your Child. Tips from the Nemours Foundation on managing a conversation with children about coronavirus.
- Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction Podcast. CNN’S chief medical correspondent,Dr. Sanjay Gupta, breaks down talking to ourchildrenabout COVID-19 in a10-minute podcast. This is part of a daily series designed to provide the information you need to keep you and your family safe and healthy. (March 24, 2020)
- The Fred Rogers Center Tackles Talking with Children about Coronavirus. This resource shares guidance for explaining the pandemic to children including tips about mindfulness, validation, and support. (Added April 8, 2020)
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus PBS Kids provides tips for talking to children and resources from some of their favorite shows, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and Curious George.
National Association of School Psychologists.Helpful resources for families and children coping with the constantly changing situation of COVID-19. Includes additional mental health resources for children. (Added April 6, 2020)
- Social Distancing During Ramadan. Teaching Tolerance shares suggestions for supporting Muslim students and families in your community during the holy month of Ramadan which runs from April 23 – May 23 this year. (Added April 24, 2020)
- Talking with Children about Coronavirus Disease. The CDC provides guidance and facts for talking to children about coronavirus.
Care of Self & Others
- All of the Ways You Can Help. The New York Times has compiled a resource center for giving back during the coronavirus pandemic. Includes guidance for supporting medical professionals, donating blood, connecting with your community, and more. (Added April 24, 2020)
- Care of Self Video Playlist. Self-care videos created by AMS that focus on childcare, nature therapy, and more. We encourage you to bookmark this page and subscribe for updates about future videos. (Added April 8, 2020)
- Don’t Let Video Meetings Zap Your Energy. Psychology Today offers tips to help with the unique challenge of video calls. (Added April 24, 2020)
- Free Online Courses for Continuing Education. Well and Good provides a list of 11 exciting online courses for adults eager to learn a new skill while in quarantine. Includes classes from Harvard, Disney, and Fender. (Added April 21, 2020)
- Helping Out During The Coronavirus Crisis: Where, What & How to Donate. Considerations and suggestions from Forbes.com.
- How Can We Help One Another? The New York Times compiles tips and advice for helping our neighbors in the midst of coronavirus.
- How to Sew a Face Mask. A step-by-step tutorial from The New York Times teaches you how to make a fabric facemask from common household materials. (Added April 1, 2020)
- How You Can Help Your Community The Guardian shares practical solutions for helping the most vulnerable in our community.
- Kids for Peace promotes activities to help young children lead with empathy in this uncertain time. Includes self-care tips, peace-focused prompts, and compassion-centered projects for students.
- Karunavirus.org is a new online platform designed to “amplify the voice of our collective compassion.” Includes news articles, images, and videos of people around the globe choosing love over fear and encouraging us to lead with kindness. (Added March 31, 2020)
- Managing COVID-19 Anxiety and Stress The CDC offers guidance for coping with added stress and anxiety related to coronavirus.
From Our Partners
- The Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) has compiled resources for educators and families that are grappling with the impact of COVID-19. Visit their site to find state-by-state policy information, paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave updates, advocacy tools, and more. Updates are ongoing.
- The National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) has curated a set of school closure information kits related to government and policy, Montessori at home, and online experiences for students.