Montessori Lab School persists

The school of education looks to moves forward with new safety measures

Photo courtesy of the Montessori Lab School
The Montessori lab school, located by Elet hall, provides Xavier students with experiential learning opportunities

The Montessori School has faced difficulty due to COVID-19 but has been making the most of every second they have with their in-person schooling.  

The Xavier University Montessori Lab School is a school for students ranging from 3-years old to 8th graders located on the West side of Xavier’s campus.  

“We’ve adopted a more stringent policy on cleaning and have worked with the TriHealth Team. The University has also been able to answer all of our questions that may come up,”  Assistant Head of School of the Montessori Lab SchoolKathy Handorf said.  “We’ve really done a great job at keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe this school year.”

The school serves to provide an interactive learning environment for Xavier undergraduate and graduate students in the Montessori Teacher Education Program.  Now in 2020, the school boasts 129 students. 

During this school year, 23 students remain online, and still “Feel the love at home!”, according to Handorf.  The remaining in-person attendees are divided into two groups that are then assigned a Monday-Wednesday schedule to attend in person, with the second group coming in on the Tuesday-Thursday option, each happening biweekly. 

“Adjusting to this time has been difficult, but we’ve been able to find ways to make it enjoyable,” said Handorf. 

One of those ways that COVID has made the school days more enjoyable is through allowing students to go outside more during school days. 

“At the beginning this year, we’ve established more time for classrooms to be outside,” Handorf said.  Handorf noted that 2020 is the ‘Phase 2’ of the Montessori’s Nature Playscape area, a place where classrooms can go outside to study and take a break from inside learning. 

“It’s a beautiful area we’ve worked on,” Handorf said.  “We stared Phase 1 last year, and this year we’re starting Phase 2, which means we’re going to start installing outdoor climbing structures and slides for the children.”  

Handorf talked about how this is a good change for the younger children because it gets the students time outside of the building, allowing them to take walks, have a recess break, or even take a break from wearing their masks.

  “(getting children to wear masks) has gone extremely well!” said Handorf.  “The children are working in masks as if they’ve worn them their entire life. The student’s masks include interesting and intricate designs, too.” 

Some of her favorite designs she has seen have been horses and inspiring messages, but those are just a few of the designs she sees daily.

Through all the changes and mask wearing, Handorf is very proud to confirm that the Xavier University Montessori Lab School has had 0 COVID cases throughout the students and faculty this school year.  

Besides mask-wearing, the school has taken additional steps to ensure the low COVID numbers between the students and faculty.