RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The classrooms are empty at Mountain View Montessori. That would have been the case with or without the threat of COVID-19. This week is the school's spring break. But the 240 students grades K-8 have already gotten a taste of what life will be like once they do return to learning.
"The kids got their first packets last Thursday. That was a pretty big effort to even get something in the mail. They're very excited about it," said Head of School Mary Levy.
With schools closed through mid-April administration at Mountain View quickly put together four weeks of material for elementary school students. The middle schoolers will learn from an online forum. The new system is already a couple days old and it's been going well.
"In their learning packets it has some review, or some new concepts where we ask them to create a diorama, or a chart, or a poster, or maybe make a model of something," said Jackie Silveira-Sater, who teaches students in the fourth grade through the sixth grade.
Montessori is different from a traditional learning environment. The students aren't given textbooks, or computers. Everything is hands on. That posed an initial challenge to educators and parents.
"A lot of our packets are customized for that student. In the upper grades, in the seventh and eighth grade, we are going to do some online learning. Some custom zoom room classrooms so the teacher can be right there helping the student. We know where everybody is," Levy said of the change.
Silveira-Sater added "(parents) are relieved to have a structure and work for their kids to be engaged in because many (of them) are having to work from home. So they're looking for something for their children to do."
So a different way to learn might not be so bad after all.
"I think adversity builds character, it builds capability," said Levy. "I think we're going to find out that we're a lot more capable of and I want that for the future of our students."
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