November 6, 2020

Posted by Audrey Sofianos on 11/6/2020 4:00:00 PM

I am very proud to unveil our "Reopening Plans" section of our website!  I look forward to the day when we can reopen and welcome students to MES@Inman.  When we do reopen, I am confident that Morningside will be ready and will have strong risk mitigation strategies in place to welcome students and staff to our temporary property MES@Inman.  Even though we are not open at this time, I am so glad that we have spent the time researching and gathering all of this information, so that when it is needed we are prepared!

The sections of the website have been developed using the resources of various departments in Atlanta Public Schools as well as federal, state, and local guidelines and CDC recommendations for schools K-12.  These practices, procedures and guidelines will continue to evolve as we learn more about COVID-19.  The “Reopening Plans” section of our website will be updated as needed until we reopen.  It will most likely always remain a work in progress, as science catches up and our medical professionals learn more about Coronavirus and risk reduction strategies.  We also will add and adjust information as our plans unfold when we receive an exact opening date and numbers of students who will return.

On October 7, 2020 we held the first meeting of our Covid Readiness Team (CRT), composed of 33 volunteer parents, teachers, as well as our three administrators.  This team has proven invaluable in the reopening planning process.  Our school community not only has amazing moms, dads and teachers willing to research and dedicate extra time to our school, but we also have infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, public health experts, medical personnel and those who have been on the front lines of COVID-19 since this past January.  I cannot thank parent Emily Cooper enough for taking this on as our "Project Manager" for the CRT.  When I sent out the call for volunteers, she responded with her availability, skillsets and willingness to focus on this effort.  When Mrs. Cooper mentioned project management, cross-functional teams, tight timelines, and meeting management, I reached out for help!  With a possible reopening just weeks away, we had much to do.  I absolutely love how her strategic and engineering mind thinks and truly have enjoyed working with her - this was a challenging endeavor!  I also want to thank our six "workflow" team leads - 3 teachers and 3 parents for their extra efforts.  Brittany Hamilton, 2nd Grade Teacher was the lead of "Flow", Ali Giannavola, parent, was the lead of "Facilities", Crystal Stroud, 5th grade teacher, was the lead of "Learning Strategies", Julie Tracy, parent, was the lead of "Cohorts", Jeanne Connolly, Spanish teacher, was the lead of "Communication" and Gina Coffas, parent, was the lead of "Health".  With sometimes daily meetings, weekend and evening work, these leads and this team have taken the ever-evolving and massive amount of information on COVID-19 and brought forth recommendations to help us in our reopening school plan.  Job well-done and THANK YOU!  The Covid Readiness Team will continue to function on an advisory level until we get our firm reopening date.  

Our administrators are now shifting into Phase II of reopening work.  This includes purchasing of additional recommended equipment and supplies, plus further assessment of classrooms as we prepare each space for a socially distanced learning environment.  We also are working with teachers on our next Dolphin Toolkit Pick-Up, which will be on December 4, 2020.