The health and safety of the children in our school and community is our number one priority. We have all been experiencing a new way of life with the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. We have been quarantined in our homes, had to wear masks outside, physically distance ourselves from loved ones and friends, and some of us have not been able to work or go to school. Upon reopening SCC, we want you to be prepared for some of the changes that you and your child will experience when you return. It is important that we take precautions, as symptoms may not be the same for every person. To make sure this illness does not continue to spread, we intend to take all reasonable precautions, such as:
- Parent Drop-Off: Parents and children will be asked to wait outside, and a staff member will escort the child to their classroom. Pickup will be a similar process, and children will be brought out to their parents. We ask that you have the same person drop off and pick up your child each day if possible.
- Daily Health Check: Upon drop-off, we will ask you if you or anyone in your household has been ill. We will also take your child’s temperature before entering their class. If the child’s temperature is 100.4 degrees, they will not be allowed to attend school. Children should be fever free without medication for 24 hours prior to returning to the childcare program.
- If a case of COVID-19 arises. The staff or child with COVID-19 will be isolated for a minimum of 7 days after symptom onset and 72 hours after their fever resolves without fever-reducing medicines. For example, if the fever and symptoms resolve on day 7, the staff or child can return after day 10. Staff or children with household contacts with COVID-19 will be quarantined for 14 days after their last household exposure. For most, this will be 14 days after the household contact with COVID-19 is released from isolation.
- Physical Distancing: The children will be broken down into smaller groups during class time activities. This may mean that class activities will be completed in separate groups, or class sizes will be reduced. Classroom furniture will be arranged to provide more space for children to play. Doors may be open to provide more air circulation. In addition, the use of masks by staff is still required. We are asking that masks be worn by children, ages 3, 4 & Kindergarten when social distancing is not possible. For example, the 3, 4, and Kindergarten students will wear mask when entering the school building, walking in the hallways, during bathroom time in the hallways and any other times that social distancing cannot be met. This will be at the teacher’s discretion. Please provide two masks for your child in case it needs to be changed out during the school day. The 2 year olds will wear them for 10 minutes during circle time and several other times throughout the day when social distancing is not possible. The times will be noted on your daily report, for the day care. We will help teach your children to wear masks and become more comfortable with doing so. It would be helpful for you as parents to practice these measures with your child when they are not at school. The more practice they have wearing a mask the more they will get used to it and the more effective the masks will be. All children, when needed, can ask for a “mask break”, and go to a separate area in the room to take off their mask. No child will be forced to wear a mask but we are recommending that they do try. Nap equipment, cots, will continue to be separated 6 feet apart with children facing head to toe at nap time. Children may be spaced apart during snack and mealtimes as well, in order to limit the number of children in close proximity.
- Sanitizing and Disinfecting: To keep everyone as safe as possible, we will continue our efforts to disinfect our facility several times a day. Staff will increase their frequency of cleaning surfaces and classroom materials. Surfaces such as doorknobs, sink handles, changing tables and all other surfaces will continue to be disinfected regularly.
- Hand Washing: Children and staff will wash hands more frequently throughout the day to reduce the transmission of germs. Hand washing is still the #1 way of combating illness. Proper hand washing will be reinforced in the childcare facility and will be monitored closely by staff. We ask that you assist us in our efforts to prevent the spread of illness by continuing to practice proper hand washing at home and the practicing of wearing masks when you are out in public settings and when around people that don’t live in your household. It is also very important to follow our program’s sick policy. If you have questions about our sick policy, please let us know or refer to page 12 of the Parent Handbook located on our website at https://www.stthomasumc.org/sunbeam-childrens-center/staff.html.
- We ask that you notify us immediately should your child, or someone in the household, become ill.
We are committed to protecting the health of our children, staff and families in our community by taking the everyday preventative measures listed above, however, it is also important for families to monitor their own health for any symptoms. If you are sick, please stay home to protect others. We will continue to follow these guidelines diligently to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The CDC website will continue to be monitored closely for any additional guidelines and precautions. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Director or Assistant Director, available in the front office. We thank you for your partnership during this time and we will continue to update you as we receive new information.
Veronica McGuin, Director