Catholic Schools Onward
Best Practices and New Opportunities as We Move Forward
EARLY CHILDHOOD / PRE-K
(Please note that as current information becomes available this page will be updated – 08.25.2021.)
Introduction | Philosophy | Process | Checklist
The need for careful strategic planning has become a reality in the “new-normal” circumstances including the pandemic-related quarantines. Physical presence in the classroom allows time for students to develop spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. Care needs to be taken so that they are safe and learning in a healthy environment. This guidance is for situations in which students below the first grade are enrolled.
Students and their families should be provided with safe, quality, Catholic childcare in our schools and Early Learning Centers. Educators need to nurture a sense of community, curiosity and a love of learning at these beginning levels. Freedom from anxiety and a sense of happiness should permeate the students’ learning experience.
- Set as a goal social, physical and emotional well-being.
- Create a well-defined plan and communicate it to parents/guardians so they know what to expect.
- Following the recommendations of the local county health departments on the wearing of masks is preferred. If mask wearing is recommended, parents who choose not to have their children wear a mask must sign a waiver releasing the school of liability should their child contract COVID.
- Entrance and exit processes.
- Process for when a child becomes ill during school.
- Establish a regular routine for cleaning and sanitizing beyond the usual procedures.
- Regular communication with parents/guardians. Emphasize to the parents that much of what will be done, we already do on a regular basis (cleaning, sanitizing children’s toys, etc.) However, we will be taking extra precautions.
- Parents should notify the school immediately if their child has been exposed to COVID or is diagnosed with COVID.
- Safe-distancing with young children becomes very difficult; therefore, the students will be kept in cohorts as much as possible.
- Health checks should be done at home and the staff will follow protocols established at school regarding daily health monitoring.
- Virtual learning is not recommended at this level. However, if any virtual learning takes place, be sure it is being used consistently throughout the school.
- Follow the directives established by the CSO task force in all other areas—building management, Catholic Identity, Trauma, CARES, etc.
- Keep in focus the Standards for Ministerial Behavior.
- Obtain the necessary supplies—hand sanitizers, paper towels, tissues.
- Spray carpets with a sanitizer at the end of the day (e.g. Woolite carpet sanitizer kills 99% of germs) During the day, spraying with vinegar will sanitize. Vacuum in the morning.
- Foam 3 x 3 puzzle blocks can also be used and cleaned with a bleach solution.
- Frequently used toys should be cleaned daily. Communicate exactly what your plan is so that parent know what to expect. Be sure to include in school handbook the obligation of the parent to take daily health checks. If the toys were in a child’s mouth, they need to cleaned after each use.
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