PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES RELATIVE TO COVID-19 and OUR PROCESSES
LLA’s NEW NORMAL AND WHAT TO EXPECT
You cannot even imagine how excited we are to see your children and to start off a happy, fun, SAFE school year at LLA! While we are of course in the midst of many unknowns, we are doing our very best to plan and to ensure that the safety and the love of your children remain completely recognizable for you AND them! We have worked diligently to establish and enhance practices to support learning, development, and to attempt to mitigate the spread of germs. Below please see details about what you can expect. I must express again, while we adults are focused on so many details and health concerns, our children are still focused on being children! We love that! Our training and experience in early childhood development, research, education, and, for many of us, just being parents, is guiding how we continue and what we will do. Things are changing daily, but the one standard that will NEVER change is our dedication to the happiness and safety of our students and LLA family.
We’ve been working hard and have spent hours upon hours developing new protocols. We are excited to dive in…there is a new normal ahead for all of us. Please be patient as we all adjust. When we need to adapt, we will, and we’ll always openly and honestly communicate with you before and during doing so.
OUR DAILY PROCESS
In order to reduce direct contact and limit the risk for coronavirus transmission, little Learning Academy is allowing access for our essential staff and enrolled children ONLY. Families WILL NOT be permitted beyond the lobby. Visitors are also not permitted.
You will notice drop off and pick up times on your Registration Form/Tuition Contract. Please select the drop-off and pick up times you expect (to the best of your current knowledge of course!). It is imperative that we know who and how many students are expected in each time window due to staffing requirements and to adhere to this procedure as mandated by CDC and state guidelines.
Many policies and procedures have been updated to reflect important well-being, health, hygiene, and cleaning practices. Please refer to the updated Parent Handbook for policies for enrolled students and parents.
WHAT TO BRING/NOT TO BRING:
LUNCH: The brown-bag lunch has made a come-back! 😉 No heat-ups or lunch boxes will be accepted. A labeled, lidded cup can be brought and will be left in your child’s cubby and must be taken home daily. All other items, for the time being at the least, should be packed in disposable plastic or paper bags and kept in your child’s canvas bag (more on the bag below). This is a strong CDC and State recommendation, and we recognize this may differ from your current daily practices. This is for the health and safety of everyone involved. LLA will continue to offer snacks in the morning and afternoon.
NAP ITEMS: Nap items should be placed in a 2 ½ gallon Ziploc bag (or similar) and must be taken home daily for laundering. A small stuffed friend may be included and used for nap only.
MASKS: Families are strongly encouraged to wear masks when interacting with Staff during drop off and pick up. Children and parents will be provided with masks, and children will be encouraged throughout the day to wear one. Children will never be forced to wear the mask. While you will be provided with a mask, you may use any mask your child feels most comfortable wearing! We will frequently talk about handwashing, germ spread, and health and safety.
No book bags, toys, etc. from home are allowed. This will be strictly enforced. A small canvas bag will be provided. More details follow.
UPON DROP OFF:
A staff member wearing PPE will greet families at the entry door.
If someone is ahead of you PLEASE be mindful of social distancing and wait at the top step or outside our door.
You will be asked a Daily Health Check Questionnaire and the Staff Member will take child’s/children’s temperature. It is strongly encouraged that you also take your child’s temperature at home. If you refuse the temperature check, you will be refused entry.
If a family member answers ‘yes’ to any of the questions in the Questionnaire and/or if either child/children or family member fails or refuses the temperature check, entry will be refused. Please refer to the attached “STOP” document and “Questionnaire” document for reasons that entry could be refused, and note, a temperature of 100.4 is considered the COVID cut off. The results of the Health Check Questionnaire are required to be submitted to the State licensing office daily by 11 am. If there are no issues with the Family Health Check, the Staff Member will:
Login using ProCare to admit your child.
Support your child in washing their hands.
Bring them to their classroom group to get settled and ready to have FUN!
Store lunch and belongings in child’s cubby (canvas bag).
UPON PICK UP:
A Staff Member will:
Collect your child’s belongings and bring your child to the door. A small canvas bag will be provided by LLA so that papers, art treasures, and cups will be returned to you easily. Again, more information follows.
Log your child out of ProCare to note your child’s exit from the building.
We encourage you to wash your child’s hands before leaving LLA.
If you need to pick up at a varying time (different from your scheduled time), you must call LLA to advise and call again upon arrival.
Groups within each classroom will be limited to ten students. For example, larger classrooms will include two separate groups. Groups will remain together and will not intermingle with other groups, classrooms, or teachers. Classroom dividers have been installed in larger rooms to ensure groups remain separate from each other.
Children will eat with their group at tables. Surfaces, as usual, will be cleaned and disinfected before and after mealtimes.
We are increasing the amount of outside time while maintaining smaller group sizes. Activities and outdoor play will be planned based on each individual group. Shared equipment will be disinfected before the next group has access, so outside time will be staggered to allow for cleaning between each group’s use.
Each student will receive their own kit of basic supplies, like crayons, markers, glue sticks, etc. Donations are appreciated! 😊
Sensory play, such as water play, sand, and shared play-doh, is not permitted. Each student will receive their own container of play-doh. Again, donations are appreciated!
There will be marks on the floors and signage to encourage social distancing and healthy practices.
Frequent handwashing has always taken place and will continue to be a focus especially when arriving, before and after meals, after toileting/diapering, and after being outside.
Soft toys, blankets, dress-up clothing, etc. will be removed from classrooms to make cleaning easier and reduce the spread of germs.
Classroom DoJo has always been encouraged but now is our lifeline of daily/in-school communication and is required. Not everyone has access to email throughout the day but a DoJo alert will pop up on your smart device. (Please be sure your notifications are turned on.) Classroom DoJo is available for free on the app store if you do not already have it. You will receive a classroom invitation from your child’s teacher via email prior to the new school year.
We will use Dojo to post any and all communications while your child is in school with us or any reminders or time-sensitive updates. You will still receive emails, calendars/newsletters, and updates on a regular basis. Please feel free to call LLA at any time.
WHAT LLA IS DOING IN SUPPORT OF THE WELL BEING OF OUR STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FAMILIES?
We have researched and will continue to learn about CDC and State guidelines as well as best practices. The well being and health of your children and our entire LLA family is our TOP priority! We will dedicate staff to support these guidelines and procedures.
Each individual student group will have a dedicated teacher(s), and groups will not be combined. Staff members will need to be dedicated during pick up and drop off times as well.
We are providing masks to families and students and are also providing necessary PPE (a face shield and/or mask and gloves) to staff. While LLA will provide masks, you can send your child in with any mask that you are comfortable with. A freshly cleaned mask is required daily.
We have replaced all flooring and removed fixed carpeting for ease of cleaning and will have area rugs only for floor time. These will be disinfected on a regular basis.
Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
The Red and Purple rooms will have new cubbies that allow everyone’s personal belongings to remain separate without touching.
We have purchased a Portable UV Sanitation Cart that kills 99.9% of viruses. This will be used in each classroom during off-hours and children will not have access to it.
We have purchased a portable sink for our Pre-K classroom to make handwashing even easier in addition to the Red Room bathroom sink.
Classroom dividers have been installed in larger rooms to ensure groups remain separate from each other.
Playground disinfecting procedures have been established and will be employed after each group’s use.
High-frequency toys are being sanitized throughout the day.
Visitors are restricted.
We will amplify the cleaning and disinfecting procedures of all frequently touched surfaces. We will be especially attentive to the regular changing of air filters and deep cleaning on a regular basis.
To assist in keeping supplies separate and dedicated, when possible, to an individual student, each student will receive:
A kit of school supplies including crayons, markers, glue sticks, etc.
A small canvas (washable) bag will be provided for items that your child may need for the day, such as lunch, diapers, wipes, etc. The bag will be used to send home art treasures, communication papers, cups, nap items, etc. This bag must be brought to and from school daily.
We have updated our policy relative to sick students and staff and will aggressively implement them. Please be sure to refer to the updated Parent Handbook for details. If a child appears or becomes sick at LLA, they will be isolated with a staff member until they can be picked up.
Staff uniforms have been enhanced to now include a zip-front sweatshirt or cardigan so that during daily wear, nothing needs to go over the face for putting on or taking off.
Our staff has been fully trained on COVID restrictions and protocols.
We have established a daily checklist for cleaning while open and after closing. If you are interested in seeing this, please let us know.
We have adjusted our curriculum and daily practices to include a focus on social/emotional support to ease the transition back to school and to increase teaching efforts about staying healthy and the spread of germs. This will be age-appropriate, fun, and interactive, and not at all a scary experience!
A FEW FAQ'S
A runny nose is noted as a reason for exclusion. How will this be addressed given the fact that children OFTEN have runny noses?
We understand that a runny nose can be normal for young children and NOT a sign of Covid-19. We will communicate concerns and recommend doctor's notes for common ailments.
What will happen if there is a resurgence? Will LLA close again?
Our goal and focus are to re-open and REMAIN open. Prior to Covid-19, we did not have a plan; we now have a well thought out and researched plan with clear guidelines and protocol. We are confident that we can continue to educate and care for children safely considering what is best for everyone.
Will I be able to see my child’s classroom?
We will send videos and photos on our classroom and school stories on a regular basis. As soon as it is safe, we will lift parent entry restrictions!