COVID MITIGATION PLAN

3 to 5 Preschool, Inc. COVID-19 Mitigation Plan 

 

Dear Parents and Families,

Given the COVID-19 crisis that has spread through our country, we want to assure you that we have been monitoring the situation closely. We will be taking these extra steps to support the health and safety of your children, your family and our staff.

Please take note the following changes - where there is overlap - supersedes policies and procedures outlined in our parent handbook:

 

Adjusted  Hours  of  Operation

Beginning in the fall of the 2020-21 school year, 3 to 5 Preschool will temporarily change its hours of operation to: 7:45 - 11:30 AM and 12:30 - 4:15 PM. This will give staff time to sanitize between classes and at the end of the day. Late pickups will result in a fee of $5.00 per minute (beginning Nov. 1) and multiple late pickups could result in your child's removal from the program.

Drop-off Procedures

Parents should be prepared to answer screening questions. Parents and other family members will not be allowed inside the classroom. Please limit the number of people at drop off and pick up to prevent crowds and congestion.

 

Daily Health Screenings

The following check in procedures will take place:

You will be asked to affirm the following health screening statements within the Brightwheel App:

  • Child has not had a temperature of 100.4 or higher in the past 24 hrs. (without the use of fever reducing medication). 

  • Child has not had any of the following symptoms in the past 24 hrs. *unless they have a chronic condition

  • Flushed cheeks

  • Excessive dry coughing and/or sneezing

  • Runny nose

  • Seems lethargic or excessively tired

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Complaining of a headache or sore throat

  • Child has had no contact with COVID-19 in the past 10 days unless they have proof of negative Covid test

  • All household members who have had contact with COVID-19 are following 3 to 5 Preschool’s mitigation policy. (Positive COVID Test- Page 5)

  • Child and household members who have traveled in the past 10 days are following 3 to 5 Preschool’s testing/quarantining policy. (Travel-Page 7) 

 

If the adult cannot affirm the screening questions, the child will immediately be sent home.


 

If the parent/guardian can affirm all of the above questions, they will acknowledge they have answered the screening questions honestly and finish signing in via the Brightwheel app. ** All parents/guardians who will be picking up/dropping off will need to download this app.

 

  • Morning Class: Children will be given hand sanitizer and escorted by staff into the classroom where they will be helped to stow belongings for the day in their cubby.  Children will be given the option to wash hands if they did not choose to use hand sanitizer.  

 

  • Afternoon Class: Children will be given hand sanitizer and escorted to the playground. Children will be given the option to wash hands if they do not choose to use hand sanitizer.  The afternoon class will begin their class time on the playground everyday.  It is essential that they arrive in appropriate clothes for the weather EVERYDAY. 


 

Throughout the day staff will take and record temperature readings if they become concerned with a child’s health based on:

Changes in mood

Looking different from normal

Complaining of not feeling well

Pulling at ear(s)

Runny nose or eyes

Unusually warm skin

Eating or drinking more or less than usual

Vomiting

Having abnormal stools/diarrhea

Cough

 

Absences

 

We should be informed if a child will not be in preschool on a scheduled day. If a child is absent and we have not received a Brightwheel message (preferred) or call from parents, a teacher will call the family for an update on status.

 

  • We will ask how they are doing and if they are coming to school today or when their next day of attendance may be.

  • This will be recorded on the health log.

  • If the family informs us that their child is ill, we will ask what symptoms they are experiencing and document those in the health log and ask that you keep us informed on any updates.

  • You will be reminded that the child cannot return until all the screening questions can be affirmed.

 

If a child has a fever they must be fever free without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to school.

Pickup Procedures

 

Pickups will take place outside the classroom.  Parents and siblings may not enter the classroom, or the Rasmussen Building. The following procedures will occur:

Please limit the number of people at drop off and pick up to prevent crowds and congestion.

 

  • Morning Class: All children need to be off the playground by 11:35

The morning class will end their class on the playground - pickups will occur from the playground. 

Parents and staff will use the Brightwheel app to check each child out.

Parents and children will be given the option to use hand sanitizer before leaving. 

If outside recess is not an option due to weather, pickup will occur from the back porch and staff will try to alert families through Brightwheel.

 

  • Afternoon Class: 

Teachers are responsible for bringing children out of the classroom when parents arrive.

Before bringing out the child/ren the teacher will have him/her use hand sanitizer or wash hands.

Families with extended care may message staff through the Brightwheel app or use the wireless doorbell at the back door to signal your arrival for pickup.  

All children must be picked up by 4:15 pm


 

Late Pickup Policy

 

Late pickups place a strain on the program, teachers and children. Given the unique circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the strain placed on staff members and children will be even more significant. It is imperative guardians are on time for pickup.  While we are operating under this mitigation plan, the late pickup fee has been increased to $5.00 per minute.  Any extra time incurred beyond the family’s designated pickup time will be charged beginning in November. 

Multiple late pickups could result in your child's removal from the program.

 

Illness and Disease Prevention

 

Anyone who enters the preschool will be immediately screened for signs of illness. This includes staff members and children. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be immediately sent home and must be fever free without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to care/work. If someone in the home is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the guidance in the “Positive COVID test Protocol” paragraphs below. It is expected that families will respect this policy and be open and honest with the program if child is ill. Failure to do so could result in immediate removal from the program.

 

Children or staff who show signs/symptoms of COVID-19 while at the program will compassionately and immediately be moved to a quiet area.  We will contact a family member and /or the emergency contact to pick the child up within 30 minutes.

 

If you’re sick, STAY HOME – Staff and students who have COVID-19 symptoms or cold/flu-like symptoms  (runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, fever, body aches, vomiting/diarrhea) should NOT attend school. Staff or students exhibiting these symptoms should stay home and obtain a COVID test. Testing is available in Sitka at SEARHC (COVID hotline 907-966-8799). 

 

Personal Belongings

 

The staff will be working diligently to minimize cross contamination between daily classes. Some adjustments to the usual flow of items in and out of the classroom need to be made to help with this:

 

  • Items can no longer remain overnight in the coat cubbies as both classes need to use these.  This means weather appropriate outside clothes - including rain/snow pants and coats, boots, hat, and mittens - will need to travel back and forth each day.  We suggest using a canvas bag for this instead of a backpack as it is easier for the children to pack themselves!!

 

  • The following items will remain at school in individual cubbies (formerly called art bins)

1 or 2 complete changes of clothes (including extra mask) 

1 pair of inside shoes - this can be a shoe or hard sole slipper. 

 

Positive COVID Test Protocol

 

If a staff member or child tests positive for COVID-19, the program must be informed immediately. If the individual has been at the center in the last 4 calendar days, the anonymity of the individual will be protected, however, the parents/guardians of other children in the classroom will be informed there was a potential exposure.  The child or staff member will not be allowed back to the center until they have quarantined for a minimum of days that the CDC recommends, are able to follow the CDC’s masking recommendations (CDC Guidelines), and are fever free for a minimum of 24 hours without the use of medication with other symptoms improving.

If a member of a child’s or staff’s household tests positive for COVID-19, the center must be immediately informed. The child or staff member can choose one of 4 options from our “Test to Stay Policy”.

  • The child or staff member may attend school if they are willing to provide proof of a negative COVID test each day before the start of school for the total 5 day quarantine of the household member who tested positive and they continue to be symptom free.
  • The child or staff member may quarantine for the total 5 day quarantine of the household member who tested positive and provide proof of a negative covid test on day 6 and be symptom free.
  •  The child or staff member  may choose not to test and quarantine for 10 days starting with day 0 being the day of the initial exposure. 
  • If the child or staff member has had COVID in the past 90 days, they do not need to test. They may attend school unless symptoms develop. 

  If the child or staff member shows any symptoms of COVID-19, they are required to inform the Director.

If a member of child’s or staff’s household is a known COVID -19 contact, the student or staff member is allowed to attend 3 to 5 Preschool so long as the following mitigations occur:

-Preschool is notified immediately 

-The COVID contact person is monitoring for symptoms of COVID and does not develop any symptoms. 

- The Covid contact person is following testing protocols recommended by the CDC or the school district or they can choose from one of the 4 options from our “Test to Stay Policy”. If household member tests positive at any point, please refer to the above paragraph


 

COVID-LIKE SYMPTOMS

 

Symptoms at home – Staff or students who start experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms should  remain home from school, isolate as much as possible, and should obtain a COVID test. These tests are available in Sitka through SEARHC. Parents should contact the teachers through brightwheel if a student is out sick. Students and staff can return to in-person instruction with a  negative COVID test result and after being fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms improving. Parents and staff should send a copy of the negative test result to their director.

 

COVID-like symptoms but NO testing – Staff or students who have COVID-like symptoms and  choose NOT to test will need to quarantine for 5 days, and be fever-free with other symptoms improving prior to returning to preschool, where they will need to be able to follow the CDC’s masking recommendations. 

 

Positive Covid situations

 

Example 1: Suzie-Q tests positive on Saturday but had symptoms on friday. Friday is day 0. Day 5 is the next Wednesday. Suzie-Q can return to school at the earliest on Thursday if she is fever free for a minimum of 24 hours with other symptoms improving and is able to follow the CDC’s masking recommendations. 

 

Example 2: Bob tests positive on Tuesday and also starts to exhibit symptoms that same day. Tuesday is day 0. Day 5 is that next Sunday. Bob may return to school at the earliest on Monday if he has been fever free for a minimum of 24 hours with other symptoms improving and can follow the CDC’s masking recommendations.. 

 

Example 3: Suzie-Q tests positive for COVID after travel or after an exposure on Friday. She has no symptoms. Day 0 for Suzie-Q is Friday. She can return to school on Day 6, Thursday, if she can follow the CDC’s masking recommendations and continues to be symptom free. 


 

Close contact Situations:

 

Example 4: Suzie-Q’s brother tests positive for COVID on Monday. Suzie-Q had contact with him that day. If her brother is unable to isolate away from the family, then Suzie-Q  can choose from one option from our 4 “Test to Stay Policy” and continue to be symptom free. If Suzie-Q experiences symptoms at any time during these isolation periods, she cannot return to school until she can provide proof of a negative COVID test and is fever free for 24 hours with other symptoms improving. If she tests positive for COVID, please refer to examples 1, 2, and 3. 

 

*We understand the difficulty of these isolation times. We want to do what is best for our students, staff, and families at our school. We hope to prevent closures as much as we can and to keep our students and staff healthy. Thank you for all you do to aid in our efforts. 

 

Unexpected Closures

 

The COVID-19 situation in Sitka is looking better. But please be prepared for additional closures in the future. Discuss this possibility with your employer if it applies.

 

If the city of Sitka issues a shelter in place mandate we will close for the duration of the mandate.. 

Also there is potential that 3 to 5 Preschool would be unable to open due to staff members being out sick. If the preschool cannot safely open due to being short-staffed, parents will be notified as soon as possible.

 

Staff Wellness and Training

 

  • Staff will receive additional training on infection control and workplace disinfection before the start of the school year.

 

  • They will self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and notify the director if any develops.

 

  • Staff will have access to hand sanitizers, disposable gloves and masks or face shields to use as needed.

 

  • Staff will receive 8 additional days of paid sick leave.  Leave can be used to care for a family member or to self-quarantine as required by this plan. 

 

Snacks  

 

In order to comply with state mandates the following procedures will happen:

 

  • Teachers will plate food items and pour water for the children.

  • The teacher will wash hands before and after serving additional food to the children.

 

  • If a teacher is eating, they must wash hands before and after eating.

 

  • All children will wash hands before and after every snack.

 

  • All snacks provided must be store bought and remain sealed. If bringing fruits and vegetables for snack, only those that require a minimum of prep will be accepted at this time. 

 

  • Snacks must be compliant with the current list of allergies.  The current allergy list will be compiled from medical information provided by families and kept up to date by staff.

 

  • At this time children will not have direct access to the drinking fountain in the bathroom hallway.  We will continue to provide a fresh cup for water.

 

Travel

 

Child/staff Travel –   If the child or staff member travels commercially (whether out-of-state or within Alaska) they can choose from one of 4 options from our “Test to Stay Policy”

  • The child or staff member may attend school if they are willing to provide proof of a negative COVID test each day before the start of school for the total 5  days after return from travel and they continue to be symptom free.
  • The child or staff member may quarantine for a total of 5 days after return from travel  and provide proof of a negative covid test on day 6 and be symptom free.
  •  The child or staff member may choose not to test and quarantine for 10 days starting with day 0 being the day they return from travel. 
  • If the child or staff member has had COVID in the past 90 days, they do not need to test. They may attend school unless symptoms develop. 


 

*the day you return from travel is day 0. A picture or scan of the negative test results must be emailed or sent through the Brightwheel app to the preschool. Covid symptoms should be monitored for the full 10 days after travel and reported immediately if symptoms should appear.

 

3 to 5 Preschool respectfully requests that the child, staff and household members practice good judgment and responsible behavior while traveling to prevent the spread of Covid to the preschool and within our community in general.

 

Visitors

 

We have always maintained an open door policy that allows parents to come by and visit. Unfortunately, the preschool cannot safely accommodate this policy under the current circumstances. Visitors may come for educational purposes at the discretion of the Staff and Board of Directors. 

 

Sanitizing Procedures

 

The preschool staff will continue to follow our daily and weekly cleaning schedules., the following procedures will be implemented:

 

  • Toys once soiled or in contact with a known contagion, will be set aside for cleaning and sanitizing prior to reuse.

  • Manipulatives and toys will be kept in self-contained tubs and separated by sessions.

  • All classroom materials that cannot be changed out daily (such as wooden blocks) and were used, but not soiled or in contact with a known contagion will be checked and spot cleaned if necessary. 

  • Whenever possible classroom materials will be on a 72 hour rotation to provide chemical free sanitation.

  • Staff will have access to hand sanitizers, masks, face shields, and disposable gloves and use as needed.


 

Definitions

 

Cleaning- physically removing all dirt and contamination, oftentimes using soap and water. The friction of cleaning removes most germs and exposes any remaining germs to the effects of a sanitizer or disinfectant used later.

Sanitizing - Reducing germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations. 

Disinfecting - destroying or inactivating most germs on any inanimate object. 

3 to 5 Preschool is continually investigating safer cleaning/sanitizing/disinfecting routines and products.

Healthy Hand Hygiene Behavior

All children, staff and visitors will engage in hand hygiene at the following times:

 

  • Arrival to the center and before and after break.

  • Before and after preparing foods or drinks.

  • Before and after eating.

  • After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom.

  • After coming in contact with bodily fluid.

  • After playing outdoors.

  • After handling garbage.

  • After assisting children with hand washing, staff will also wash their hands.

  • After blowing noses in tissues or after covering sneezes/coughs in  hands.

  • We will wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol­ based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available.

  • Parents should apply lotion to their children's hands every night to help combat dry skin caused by frequent handwashing.

Staff will assist children with handwashing as needed.

Face Masks and Personal Protection Equipment for staff members and children:

 

In accordance with the American Academy of  Pediatrics Association most recent recommendations, 3 to 5 Preschool will be increasing the use of facemasks in the school setting for the 2021-2022 school year. We recognize the increased vulnerability of our unvaccinated student body and ask the 3 to 5 Preschool community to work together to ensure their safety.  


 

  • Each staff and child is required to arrive with a mask when the city alert level is RED.

  • Expectations for mask wearing during the school day are as follows

Red: Masks required indoors  

       Yellow: Masks encouraged indoors 

      Green: Masks encouraged indoors

  • Parents are requested to provide a clean mask for their child each day, they must agree to the following:

  1. Masks must be clearly labeled with the child's first and last name.

  2. Children will remove the mask during snack times and during mask breaks as provided by staff or as needed.

  3. By providing a mask, parents are agreeing to launder the mask daily.

  4. If any child is unable to wear the mask effectively, the teachers will continue to support the student through their mask wearing frustrations and continued efforts.

 

  • It is recommended that staff or children, who have long hair, wear their hair up or pulled back.

  • Staff will help change the child’s clothes and or mask if secretions are present.

  • Children and providers will have multiple changes of clothes including one clean mask on hand at the preschool.

  • Staff will have access to hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and face masks to use as needed.


 

Physical (social) Distancing at 3 to 5 Preschool

We understand social distancing is vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19, but it is important for parents and guardians to recognize social distancing to the extent recommended by the CDC is not possible in a child care/preschool center as safe physical touch and facial observation and interpretation are vital for a child's development. Teachers may need to provide children with safe physical touch in order to support emotional stability and healthy development as well as to provide comfort. Peer to peer social distancing is also difficult to discourage or enforce as the majority of young children do not have the ability to accurately social distance when engaging with other children. However we will attempt to social distance in the following ways:

 

  • Classroom size will follow the State of Alaska mandates.

  • Daily small group sessions will include the same group each week. 

  • Visitors and activities to enrich the curriculum will take place at the Director's discretion. 

  • Gatherings of the whole center and special events will be postponed or modified until further notice.

  • The fate of fundraisers will be decided on a case by case basis as the event nears.

  • We will increase the number of small group activities and limit the number of children in open indoor play areas at the same time.

 

Tuition policy during COVID-19:

 

  • If 3 to 5 Preschool is forced to close for a full week or more due to a COVID-19 case tuition is still required in full.  If this causes financial hardship please reach out to the director for scholarship consideration.

  • Due to the limited number of spots, tuition must be kept current or your spot may be given to another child.

  • If an extended closure occurs the board will reevaluate tuition policies.

 

Communication:

 

  • Because of the fluidity of the situation, communication is vital between staff and families.  While, in person communication is always best, it is not feasible or timely in all circumstances.  To streamline communication the Brightwheel app will be utilized first. It is imperative that all families download the app - when asked to do so by staff in August.

  • If the current situation changes and it becomes necessary to update our procedures or close the program temporarily, we will notify families through the Brightwheel app (1st) or phone (2nd).

  • We are here to address your questions and concerns. In person communication is always best for time sensitive concerns. If in person communication is not possible we will respond through the Brightwheel app, phone, or email.




 

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, policies and procedures could change without the typical 30 day notice.

Revised April 2022