COVID-19 Plan Highlights

News about the pandemic continues to change rapidly, and we continue to receive new guidance from state and federal agencies on best practices for re-opening schools. Second Presbyterian Preschool’s 2021 plan is detailed below. The COVID Task Force Subcommittee continues to meet regularly to review and discuss new information and research that allows us to improve and update  our procedures. This plan is constantly evolving as we learn more information. The success of our school remaining open and keeping staff and students safe requires that everyone in the preschool community follows safe practices both inside and outside of school hours. 

Masks

Because we are a private preschool educating almost exclusively unvaccinated children, all students, staff and parents will wear masks while at the preschool.  Preschool children that have had Covid-19 will continue to wear masks.  It would be far too difficult for a teacher to maintain consistent mask usage in her classroom if individual students did not have to wear masks.  In addition, because there are more than 90 days left in the school year, students that stop wearing masks for 90 days would have to go through the arduous process of re-learning to wear a mask while in preschool

All preschool staff will wear face masks when inside the preschool and church premises. Children that are two, three and four years old are ARE CURRENTLY REQUIRED, to wear a mask..  If a child comes to preschool without a mask , we will have disposable children’s masks available. Please help your child to remember to bring their face mask to school. Children under two are not permitted to wear masks.

We recognize that very young children may struggle at first with wearing a mask for the whole time they are with us. Teachers will provide mask breaks as needed.  Students will not be required to wear their mask when outdoors. However, if the student is more comfortable keeping their masks on when they are outside, they are welcome to do so. Children will not wear their masks while taking a nap.

Social Distancing

Fortunately,  we are also blessed with spacious, well ventilated classrooms. While it is almost impossible to keep very young children 6 feet apart, our classrooms are laid out to keep children from congregating in groups of more than 3 students and our preschool instructional practices help keep children separated.

Examples of some of these changes include creating separated learning centers/spaces in the classroom and on the playground, spreading children out for “circle time,” seating kids apart during snack and lunch times, and teaching them to use their “airplane arms” to maintain a safe distance from their classmates.

Air Quality

Second Presbyterian Church’s HVAC system includes Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) which is integrated with its air-handling units (AHUs). It was installed in 2014 and is serviced regularly by our contracted HVAC provider (Varney) and our maintenance staff. The ERVs purpose is (1) to provide outdoor air ventilation and (2) to reduce the energy use and system capacity required to condition that outdoor air to comfort conditions.

The ERV system is housed in a room on the roof of the church and sits directly above the Second Presbyterian Preschool classrooms. It pumps fresh outdoor air continuously through the preschool and church 24 hours a day. What a relief to know that the church is ALREADY ventilating our preschool classrooms with fresh, filtered outdoor air!

Hand Washing

Proper and frequent handwashing is one of the main ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Our staff and preschool children wash their hands upon entering the classroom, after using the bathroom, before and after snack and lunch, after being on the playground, before leaving for the day, and any other times deemed necessary by the classroom teacher. Happily, our teachers have lots of creative ways to make handwashing fun and enjoyable.

Hand sanitizer is not recommended for use in preschool settings and is not permitted.

Disinfecting Classrooms and Playground

We have a variety of measures in place to keep the preschool clean and reduce the spread of germs to keep our staff and students safe. Throughout the day teachers will be disinfecting classroom and bathroom surfaces. Every afternoon teachers disinfect toys by dumping them into a bucket of bleach solution for a minute, carefully rinsing them in water, and leaving them to air dry overnight on clean towels. Toys that cannot be immersed in water will be sprayed with a disinfectant.

Playground and gym equipment and toys will be wiped with a bleach solution between classes. Each evening classroom floors will be sanitized, and classroom carpets and rugs will be vacuumed. Every three months the carpets will be deep cleaned and sanitized.

In addition to this rigorous cleaning routine, we have hired Go Green Cleaning to clean the entire preschool three times each week.

Staff Uniforms

The Director, Lead Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Builder’s Workshop and Music Teachers wear  Uniforms. We wear uniforms solely at school to protect students and so that staff are able to limit germs they may bring home to their families. Teachers in the Infant and Ones classrooms wear long sleeved smocks that they can remove as needed and replace with a clean smock.

Staff wears “school shoes” which are shoes they will only wear when they are at the preschool to limit the spread of germs into their cars or homes. Teachers in the Infant and Ones classrooms will have a pair of ”classroom shoes” they will only wear in their classroom to prevent tracking germs into those rooms where children spend much of their day playing and crawling on the floor.

2021-2022 Process for Student Drop Off and Pick Up

Our preschool sits within a truly lovely and extraordinary church. Our spacious classrooms with attached bathrooms are unparalleled in the church preschool community. I am reminded daily of the thoughtfulness of the church members and architect who designed our preschool.

In addition to our remarkable classrooms and gymnasium, the church has more than 16 EXTERIOR DOORS! The CDC and DSS guidelines recommend that groups of students enter and exit the building separately. This aids us in reducing  the co-mingling of student groups. .. Please see the table below and refer to the church map indicating the designated doors for each classroom. You can find this map in the Family Handbook.

We require  parents and caregivers wear a mask upon entering  the church building We ask that parents help us by making the drop off  transition quick and painless. Children tend to do better if their goodbye includes a hug, a kiss, and a phrase to let them know you will be back soon.

Process for Snack and Lunch

To limit the spread of germs during snack and lunch times, students will bring an individual snack (and lunch if participating in Lunch Bunch) and their own water in a non-leaking sippy cup or preschooler sized water bottle.

Teachers in the Twos, Threes and Fours classes will teach their students how to get their snack/lunch from their cubby, bring it to where they will be eating, open their snack and drink, enjoy them, dispose of their trash, place their snack container and their sippy cup or water bottle back in their bag/lunch box and return it to their cubby.

Onset of COVID Signs or Symptoms During the Preschool Day

If a staff member develops a fever, or signs or symptoms of the virus while at the preschool they will leave the premises as quickly as possible. Parents of a feverish, or otherwise symptomatic child, will be contacted by the Director and must pick up their child immediately. The student will be isolated and remain in the care of the Director until a parent arrives. An ill child is expected to be picked up as quickly as possible – within 20-30 minutes.

COVID Task Force Subcommittee Members:

Randi Earls, PharmD – Clinical Pharmacist and preschool parent

Braden Gregory, MD– Family Practitioner and preschool parent

Laura Beth Gregory, PA-C – Physician Assistant, preschool committee member, and preschool parent

Sally I’Anson, Ed.D.  — Preschool Director

Megan Moore, LCSW — Dental Practice Business Manager, preschool committee member, preschool parent

William Moore, DDS
— Dentist and preschool parent

Andrew Murray, MSEMS, NRP
— Emergency Management Services Instructor, preschool committee member, and former preschool parent

Email Covid Task Force: askthetaskforce@spres.org