The Diener School COVID-19 Response

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in late 2019 forced The Diener School, like other schools around the world, to re-evaluate nearly every aspect of its educational practices.  Throughout the last 2 years, The Diener School community, staff, parents, and students have demonstrated extraordinary resilience in adapting to new and often challenging conditions. Please be reassured that our decision-making will always be driven by the safety and health of all Diener community members including students, staff, and families.

As with seemingly everything during this pandemic, circumstances are changing rapidly, and we expect that guidance from the federal, state, and local authorities will continue to evolve and may lead to further changes at Diener.

COVID-19 Task Force:

In May 2020, we established a COVID Task Force to address the unique challenges that COVID-19 presented to Diener.  Our Task Force is comprised of Board members, Diener administration, and our delegated registered nurse. We have been diligently working together to assess, evaluate and plan for a successful school year.

  • Kathy Chumas, Head of School
  • Laurie Aaronson, Director of Operations and Development
  • Matt Murphy, Operations and Finance Manager (COVID-19 Designated Contact)
  • Lois McCabe, Director of Admissions
  • Beth Freedman, Board Chair
  • James Shevlin, Board Member and Alumni Parent
  • Rodney Schmidt, Board Member and Alumni Parent
  • Neleen Rubin, Board Member and Alumni Parent
  • JP Ahluwalia, MD, Board Member and Alumni Parent
  • Mark Ubbens, CRNP, Delegating Nurse


Our Task Force reviewed and considered dozens of resources, including but not limited to Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland Department of Health, and the Montgomery County Department of Health. Our independent school associations (AIMS, NAIS, AISGW) have provided us with a wealth of resources, as well as opportunities to discuss our planning with a large group of local independent schools and government and health officials. We have also closely collaborated with our school delegating nurse, as well as the Green Acers School, which inhabits the same campus as The Diener School.

In late July, Maryland released the most updated COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools, developed by the state Department of Health and Department of Education. A careful review of our plan alongside this guidance confirms that our plan is thorough and meets or exceeds recommended guidelines by the state of Maryland.


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