As a school, we weighed the benefits for families of remaining open against the risks posed to staff and families by the spread of COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, the CDC has emphasized the importance of schools and early learning centers being open. Schools and early learning centers don’t just provide academic instruction, but also provide safe environments where physical and nutritional needs are met, and the social and emotional development of a child is nurtured. With those thoughts in mind, we determined it was critical for families and their children for Strong Rock to meet the challenges to remain open.
By implementing appropriate mitigation strategies, the Strong Rock Early Learning Center could remain open safely and meet the needs of families. To be open safely, we set out to “mind our P’s and Q’s.”
- Plans were implemented to lower class sizes.
- Protocols were established for more frequent handwashing.
- Purchases were made and procedures were implemented to enhance the cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of rooms and items utilized by children and staff.
- Procedures for arrival and dismissal were revised to monitor temperatures and to ensure safe distancing within the building.
- Prohibitions for limiting unnecessary visitors were implemented.
- Preparations for meals were changed, so that students were served in their classrooms.
- Playground times were staggered to keep groups of children separate.
- Posted signs were placed throughout the facility to remind everyone of important protocols.
- Questions were utilized to screen anyone entering the building for symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.
- Questions and concerns from parents were addressed promptly.
- Quests for updated information were made through communications with personnel at other early learning centers, through participation in Bright From the Start informational webinars, and through monitoring COVID-19 data in our community to keep track of the level of local transmission.
- Quick adjustments were made, as needed, to ensure appropriate practices and protocols from the CDC and Bright From the Start were being followed.
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