MMI Preparatory School will begin the 2020-2021 school year on September 8 at 8 a.m. with in-person instruction while simultaneously offering live-stream and recorded courses in a plan that was approved by the MMI Board of Directors. Faculty will return for the new school year on August 18.
MMI Head of School Justin Kleinheider said, “After careful consideration by the MMI Administration for the return to campus of our students, faculty, and staff, the Board of Directors approved a Pandemic Health and Safety Plan that brings students and teachers back together in the classroom where we believe meaningful connections enhance the academic process and provide social and emotional support to our students. Our plan for reopening maximizes social distance, requires face coverings throughout the day, and incorporates enhanced sanitization procedures, including frequent deep cleaning and increased air filtration. Our plan was developed utilizing guidelines set forth by the CDC, PA Department of Health, and the PA Department of Education.”
The MMI maintenance staff has developed an enhanced cleaning and sanitization process to assist with keeping the school clean and sanitized. In addition to the standard cleaning, common areas such as the rest rooms, The Joseph A. Turri '45 Library and Learning Center, Coxe Commons, cafetorium, and all Old Main classrooms have been assigned an Austin Air Healthmate air purification system that will run daily when school is in session. All HVAC systems have been outfitted with MERV-13 air filters. MMI has purchased a Clorox Total 360 machine, which will be used to sanitize the building. Additionally, MMI's maintenance staff has outfitted larger spaces in the building for use as classrooms and to accommodate for social distancing.
Kleinheider said that MMI's academic schedule of in-person and online classes includes plans to allow the staff and students to quickly and efficiently pivot depending on current conditions.
“Our plan provides flexibility in the delivery of instruction. Students have the choice to continue their MMI education in person or at home consistent with the needs of their families. Also, if the need arises due to the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors, this flexibility will allow us to pivot seamlessly between MMI online and back to campus depending upon conditions.”
In continued preparation for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, MMI will welcome three new teachers in World Language, English, and Music. MMI will also offer two new courses– Strategic Communication, and Personal Finance and Wealth Management. Additionally, each classroom has been outfitted with webcams and all teachers were required to complete an Online Learning Master Course over the summer break.
During the break, the Maker Space was updated to open it up to the adjacent classroom in the Science Wing, and the school underwent general deep cleaning and painting in the building. Repairs were completed at the baseball field and signage was updated at all of the outdoor athletic fields.
“As we have learned over the last few months, adaptability and nimbleness are paramount to getting through this pandemic together. We will continue to closely monitor and adapt to our changing world and periodically update this plan as circumstances dictate,” Kleinheider said.
Click here to read the Pandemic Health & Safety Plan.