WHAT PROGRAMS DO YOU OFFER? Gift of Grace provides high quality early childhood education for children ages 4 to 6 years (preschool through Kindergarten). Children attend Monday - Friday from 8:30AM - 3:00PM. Due to the small nature of our school, we do not offer part-time or half-day programming. Class size is limited to 12 children, allowing for a more safe and personalized learning environment.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PREPARE FOR AND RESPOND TO COVID-19? Since opening, the health and safety of children and staff has always been the priority. Gift of Grace Montessori holds high standards of safety and cleanliness while maintaining a caring and nurturing environment where children can thrive. Proactively, we have taken steps to prepare for, take precautions against, and implement an action plan designed to minimize risk and maximize wellness at our school. Our policies were designed in response to guidance from the Michigan Departments of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and Health and Human Services, in accordance with best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with everyone's well-being in mind. While some things will seem different with new procedures in place for safety of all, Gift of Grace will still be an environment that fosters fun and learning. It is our goal to draw out and inspire the best in our students as we provide them with opportunities to create, explore, and learn.
Enhanced Sanitization Strategies
Install Activtek Non-Toxic Air & Surface Decontamination System (non-chemical, 24/7 running system that is used in preschools, hospitals, laboratories and by NASA to provide for natural yet highly effective pathogen suppression including viruses, bacteria, VOCs, mold and other contaminants).
Upgrade to medical/hospital grade pre-mixed cleaning and disinfecting solutions.
Daily full classroom, restroom and vestibule sanitization of all materials, surfaces and structures.
Hand sanitizer provided for use at door entry.
Daily health screenings, including temperature checks using touch-free thermometers.
Proper hand-washing practices followed according to CDC guidelines.
Limiting the number of adults entering the building, parents pick-up and drop-off their children outside the main door (practicing social distancing).
Families wear masks when interacting with teachers during drop off and pick up.
Teachers wear clear masks or shields. Children are not required to wear a face masks/covering.
Individually packaged healthy snacks used as much as possible.
Removal from school will be mandatory for any child exhibiting signs of infection, including respiratory distress, fever above 100.4 or confirmed viral or bacterial contagion. Children will be permitted to return to school with appropriate medical documentation from a licensed physician who has attended to and treated the child.
Due to the higher prevalence of infection among the elderly, we are contacting Vineyard Assisted Living and have requested that we adopt an alternative means to maintain our interactive programming.
DAILY ROUTINE Each day consists of a morning and afternoon work cycle, a group meeting time and outdoor time. Students work independently or within small groups in the classroom areas. Group time varies daily and may consist of stories, bible lessons, music and movement, sharing, or special activities within our community. Children bring a lunch from home. Healthy snacks are provided by the school and include immune system boosting foods (recipes from superhealthykids.com). Teachers sit family style with the children during lunch, sharing about their day. After lunch the children have a rest period, a quiet part of the day for rest and reflection. In the afternoon children participate in enrichment activities and have a second outdoor time.
WHY FIVE DAYS? A child who attends school for five days each week will have the greatest opportunity for consistent spontaneous learning. Consecutive attendance is extremely important. It enables the child to feel safe and relaxed in the classroom and aids the child in forming strong bonds with their teachers and friends. A child taken in and out of school frequently does not have the same opportunity and consistency to pursue his/her unfolding interests. Early childhood specialists agree that young children thrive in a secure, consistent environment with a steady routine. The steady rhythm of coming to their school helps create a very positive attitude toward school and their activities there. It also gives the children a strong feeling of belonging to a community that they help create, and of which they are valued and respected members. They can count on seeing their friends and significant adults on a regular basis.
HOW DOES THE MONTESSORI CURRICULUM COMPARE TO THAT OF A TRADITIONAL PRESCHOOL? Montessori not only covers the nationally recognized early childhood standards, but also provides children with the tools and opportunities to learn much more. Gift of Grace Montessori is unique in that it includes a Christian component. The Montessori experience focuses on the development of the whole child. In addition to a solid academic foundation and learning Biblical principles, the children develop important attributes such as a love of learning, independence and responsibility, collaborative skills, grace and courtesy, confidence, and spiritual growth/development. Our main priority is to follow the needs of each individual child and customize the curriculum for him or her. This way the child is able to progress at his or her own pace while continuing to experience the joy of learning. At this age, learning encompasses a whole host of things in addition to reading and math - children are developing their motor skills, their social skills, their initiative, creativity, leadership, etc. They are laying down the foundations for future advancement. At Gift of Grace, our goal is for the children to experience and enhance their concentration, their independence, and their joy.
DOES THE FREEDOM IN THE MONTESSORI ENVIRONMENT LEAD TO CHAOS IN THE CLASSROOM? No - freedom of choice, movement, and speech are not a recipe for chaos when children are in a supportive, child-centered environment that engages them in interesting learning. The children learn self-discipline as well as a respect for others, their environment, and the learning materials as a part of being in a peaceful classroom community.
Gift of Grace Montessori 8097 Vineyard Parkway Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009