Additional Guidelines During COVID-19 Pandemic 21-22 School Year
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 we will be implementing the following social distancing guidelines that are appropriate for the age of the children we serve.
- Our class sizes will maintain a maximum of 12 children for our largest groups. (9 for our Toddlers and Three-Year-Olds)
- Each morning classroom will operate independently as much as possible while indoors to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission between groups.
- Fixed pairs of classrooms will be considered a “cohort”. Those groups will have shared outside playground time and will share a floating support teacher.
- Children who stay for the afternoon will experience indoor comingling of their cohort groups.
- Children over 2 and teachers will wear masks indoors. When they need to remove their masks, such as for eating, they will be spaced further apart from each other. Bandanas or masks with filters are not allowed.
- For children who sleep at school, rest mats will be placed so that children’s heads are 6 feet apart. Masks will not be worn while sleeping.
- Staff will have additional training in maintaining safe environments and reducing the transmission of disease
- Fully vaccinated teachers are allowed to move between groups as coverage needs arise.
- COVID-19 vaccinations are a condition of employment in our program. If needed, exemptions could be permitted for those with medical or religious conditions, and weekly assurance testing is required of anyone requiring this exemption.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING
The following steps reflect our already thorough cleaning procedures along with additional enhancements.
- All children and teachers will wash their hands frequently throughout the day, and especially during these times: upon arrival, before and after eating, after playing outside, before and after using the bathroom, and anytime they have contact with any bodily fluids.
- When handwashing is not immediately available yet warranted, teachers will supervise the use of hand sanitizer with the children.
- We will disinfect surfaces with a solution of 4 tsp. bleach per quart of water, or other EPA approved disinfectant.
- We are utilizing the cleaning/purifying systems installed in our air handlers that actively kill bacteria and germs.
- Every evening our professional cleaning company will do a thorough job of disinfecting all the classrooms and bathrooms.
CONNECTING WITH FAMILIES:
We want you and your child to feel welcomed each morning. Our new procedures may feel different than before, but we know that in time the relationships we develop will make these plans work well.
- We will be offering an Orientation experience prior to the start of the session, as well as resources for preparing your child to come back to school prior to the start of the session. Specific details will be shared by your child’s teacher in mid-June.
- Teachers will communicate with parents through weekly curriculum notes and a monthly individual note. These notes will be filled with pictures and details about the curriculum. Your Program Director will also be available to discuss your child’s development and conferences can be arranged
- Drop off procedures:
- Parents are responsible for making sure that their family is in compliance with our health requirements before bringing their child to school each day. On a daily basis parents will be asked to attest to their compliance in writing.
- Parents, children and teachers will wear masks at drop-off and pick-up.
- Parents will not be routinely entering the building. If your child requires additional support to have a positive transition, your child’s teacher will work with you to develop an effective plan.
- Upon arrival at school, a staff person will greet you and conduct a friendly visual confirmation that your child appears to be healthy. A teacher will then escort your child inside.
- Pick-up times will be staggered according to the schedule you signed up for. We will have a teacher available to bring your child to the closest door to meet you for dismissal.
- We ask that you stay 6 feet apart from other families during these transitions. We will do our best to try to make this process as supportive and efficient as we can, but we know that there will be times where waiting is inevitable. We appreciate your patience.
HOW PARENTS WILL HELP:
We will be very grateful for the cooperation of our families as we work to keep everyone safe and keep our doors open.
- Parents will provide a daily supply of clean masks for every child over 2 years old.
- Families will assess their child’s health before coming to school and notify us immediately if your child or anyone in your household presents with the following symptoms:
- Fever(100.00 F or above), felt feverish, or had chills
- Sore Throat
- Shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)
- Excessive fatigue
- New loss of taste/smell
- New muscle aches
- Close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
At this time, the presence of any of these symptoms requires a negative COVID test to allow entry into the school.
- Travel restrictions are in constant flux due to severity of outbreaks in different regions. We will send out announcements of any changes in our policy, but parents are responsible for informing themselves of the current CDC restrictions if they chose to travel. Travel to regions with high incidents of transmission may require a quarantine and/or proof of vaccination.
Our current travel guidelines are as follows:
- Any international travel must follow the CDC guidelines specific to the countries involved.
- Travel by private car within the states that border MA + Maine will not require any specific quarantine unless there was a direct exposure or presentation of symptoms.
- Travel by mass transit (planes, trains, buses) or overnight stays in states that do not border MA will require a 10 day quarantine or negative test result upon return by all members of the family.
- Anyone who is two weeks past their final vaccination can present evidence of their vaccine card in lieu of their testing. All others in the household who are not vaccinated would need to be tested, including children. An individual is also excused from testing/quarantine for 90 days after a positive COVID diagnosis.
- These policies apply to anyone traveling to stay in your household as well. (“Households” include those who may work in your home.)
OTHER HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS
- Outside visitors – such as therapists or maintenance workers — will be evaluated by the administrative team before being allowed to enter our building. If you employ anyone outside your home to transport your child to/from school, that person must remain outside the building during the transition.
- Children who are at high-risk for respiratory issues or other health vulnerabilities must have a written Individualized Health Care Plan from their healthcare provider to attend.
- Children who develop any symptoms of illness at school will be immediately isolated from their group and parents will be called to pick up as soon as possible. We will then consult with our Health Care Consultant and/or our local Board of Health for specific guidance regarding re-entry to school.
- If a child, teacher or household member is found to have confirmed COVID-19, we will follow the current guidance of the Board of Health regarding exclusions or closures. These are the guidelines we have been given at the time of this writing:
- Anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, must self-quarantine for 10 days.
- If a parent/sibling with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is not able to strictly isolate from the rest of the family, then our student’s exposure quarantine begins 10 days after the parent’s diagnosis.
- If a parent/sibling has a confirmed case and our student tests negative then only that family needs to quarantine as long as the parent has not entered our building.
- Before a person with a confirmed case can leave quarantine they must get clearance from the Board of Health in the town where they live.
- If a child, teacher or household member is found to have been exposed to COVID-19, we will follow the current guidance of the Board of Health regarding exclusions or closures. These are the guidelines we have been given at the time of this writing:
- Anyone who was directly exposed to a confirmed case, must self-quarantine for 14 days. (This timeframe can be reduced by following a specific testing and symptom tracking protocol.)
- Exposure is defined as 10 minutes or more of contact within 6 ft. of distance from the sick person within the two days prior to symptom onset up to the date of confirmed recovery.
- Evidence of full vaccination and/or documented history of positive COVID-19 within the last 90 days may be considered by the BOH, as long as there has been no sign of symptoms.
- If a parent knowingly engages in behavior that falls under the recommended quarantine guidelines determined by the state, they assume full responsibility for tuition during their child’s quarantine.
- Parents will be billed monthly for the following month’s tuition. If we experience a classroom quarantine triggered by a known exposure we will not be refunding any tuition already paid. Future tuition owed for a classroom that is not yet operating will be charged at 25% of the rate.
- By signing a contract to attend our program, parents are agreeing to these policies as well as the policies in our Parent Handbook.
As more is being learned about this virus and its transmission we reserve the right to modify these plans in consultation with the Board of Health or the Department of Early Education and care.