The safety and well-being of your child is our highest priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following the current requirements and guidance from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing . The following protocols have been implemented to protect your child, your family, and our staff. These procedures are subject to change based on the current requirements for childcare centers. If revisions are made, families will be notified immediately.
Arrival to School
Drop off and pick up of children will occur on the street outside of the school building. Parents are asked to form a car line on the Co-op side of Cleveland Avenue, remain in their car and pull up to the designated staff member by the front walkway to complete our health screening. Parents are asked to unbuckle their child’s car seat while remaining seated (if possible). If parents need to exit the car to perform this action, they are asked to practice social distancing during this time. During colder weather, parents will escort their child to the classroom door and health screenings will be performed at this point.
Temperature and Wellness Questionnaire
All children and staff will be screened for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the school building each day. Questions will include: (1) Has your child received any fever reducing medication? (2) Does your child have at least two of the following symptoms: chills, shivers, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion/runny nose? (3) Does your child have at least one of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell? (4) Has he/she been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 14 days? (5) Does any member of your household have symptoms of COVID-19 or has any member been diagnosed with COVID-19? (6) Has your child traveled to an area of high community transmission?
You may use your own thermometer to take your child’s temperature and show it to our staff member. If you prefer, the temperature can be taken with our contactless thermometer. Anyone exhibiting a temperature of 100.4 or higher or other symptoms of illness will not be admitted. As required, a screening and attendance form will be completed daily and sent to the New Jersey Office of Licensing.
All staff will be required to wear cloth face masks while working, unless doing so inhibits the individual’s health. Each parent is asked to provide a supply of face masks for their child and children will be encouraged, but not forced to wear them.
Classroom Procedures and Layout
Class size will be limited as per state guidelines and the same teacher and aide will remain with the class each day. There will not be any mixing of classes. Additionally, all classrooms have been configured to maximize spacing between children. Any items brought from home (jackets, hats, sweaters, etc.) will be stored separately in cubbies to avoid contact with another child’s belongings. Each child will have his/her own art supplies which will be kept in an individual bin. Children should bring their own water bottle (labeled with their name) and nut-free snack to school each day. Water bottles will be kept out of reach of children to avoid sharing.
Each class will have a scheduled playground time. Outside time will be staggered so that the playground can be cleaned and sanitized between classes. Close person to person contact (for example, games involving touching, tagging, or hugging) will be limited and discouraged.
In addition, we will utilize our outdoor spaces for snack, music, and other activities as often as possible.
Hygiene and Enhanced Cleaning Procedures
Teachers and aides will continue to teach and reinforce healthy hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They will give frequent reminders about covering coughs and sneezes and the importance of handwashing. Children and staff will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon arrival at school, after outside play, after using the bathroom and prior to leaving for home.
Windows will be open and ceiling fans will be on to allow for fresh air flow. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, toys, tables, chairs, light switches, bathrooms, and playground equipment will be cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected on a regular schedule throughout the day.
A needlepoint bipolar ionization system has been installed on our HVAC system to purify the air by eliminating airborne particulates and pathogens.
The Co-op will be unable to utilize parents in the classroom until further notice. Visitors will not be permitted to enter the building during operating hours except for law enforcement personnel in their official capacity and staff from the Department of Children and Families for child protection or childcare licensing purposes.
Response to Symptoms or Positive COVID-19 Case
If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, they will be immediately separated from the group until they leave the building. If a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will immediately contact our local health department for guidance. Any confirmed or suspected exposure to COVID-19 will be reported to both the local health department and the New Jersey Department of Families, Office of Licensing.
Please park on the school side of Cleveland Avenue, display the school issued sign in the passenger window of your vehicle, and your child will be escorted to your car. If you need to exit the vehicle to help your child into his/her car seat, please maintain social distancing.