The mission of AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool has always been to create a safe environment that earns the trust of the children and families we serve. We are as dedicated to that mission now as we have ever been. AppleTree & Gilden Woods will continue to lead the industry in best practices during this time, a responsibility we do not take lightly. Accordingly, we created a Covid-19 Operating Manual that details the necessary policy and procedures and aggressive actions we have taken to mitigate the potential spread of Covid-19. This new operating model supplements our existing and overarching operations manual. As we move forward in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to communicate those aggressive actions we have taken to assure you of our steadfast commitment to the health and safety of our AppleTree & Gilden Woods families.
- Created and implemented a Child Drop Off and Pick Up Policy to include the following:
- Parents/Guardians will drop off and pick up their child(ren) through their direct classroom exterior/emergency exit doors to eliminate anyone but essential employees going in/out of the school. Parents will remain outside the classroom door and converse with the classroom teacher through the door way.
- This procedure aids in allowing each classroom to become its own “school” with regards to eliminating contact with others in the building
- Implemented strategies for social distancing in the classroom including the following:
- Limit to two children in each learning center whenever possible.
- Do not have children wait in line for handwashing. Only have one child at a time at the sink.
- Implement handwashing songs that are at least 20 seconds long to support children’s learning of the amount of time for washing hands.
- Utilizing both mealtime tables to eliminate close physical contact for eating meals
- Only allowing 2-3 children on an outdoor play structure at a time.
- Eliminated any curriculum component (i.e. circle time, large group, small groups) that involves children touching for any reason.
- Only allowing 2-3 children at a time for small group instruction.
- Encouraging children to eliminate physical contact.
- Created standing spaces to eliminate bunching together when lining up to go from one location to another (i.e. outside).
- Ensuring that children’s rest mats are placed at a minimum of 6 feet apart.
- Created and implemented a COVID-19 Policy to include the following content:
- Reinforcing hygiene practices.
- Intensifying cleaning and disinfecting efforts.
- Assessing the health of children, parents/guardians, vendors, and team members who enter the school
- Suspended classrooms from implementing family-style meals instructed one masked team member to serve all food to children.
Health & Hygiene
- Requiring team members to assure all children’s hands are washed upon arrival at the school.
- Performing temperature screenings of every child, parent/guardian, vendor, and team member who enters the building. Children’s temperature will be taken again at lunch each day. Those with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will not be allowed access to the school.
- Confirmed vender procedures for sanitizing and preventing the spread of illness prior to allowing the goods into the schools.
- Implemented a health screening for all parents, children, and team members, those who display any of the following symptoms will not be allowed in the school:
- New-onset cough or worsening cough
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Fever now or in the last 48 hours
- Provided face masks to all employees along with mask washing instructions and child/classroom introduction strategies. Team members are required to wear one during their shift (some restrictions may apply; i.e., medical reasons).
Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Utilizing disinfectant foggers twice a week in the school
- Sanitizing the school entry door handles with increased frequency between the hours of 6am-10am and 3pm-6pm.
- Intensified cleaning in classrooms throughout the day
Preparedness & Planning
- Increased janitorial supply purchases (i.e. soap, gloves, sanitizing solutions, etc.) and instructed the schools to store them in a dedicated space to monitor proper usage to ensure an adequate amount of materials will be available for future use.
- Canceled all upcoming parent involvement events to eliminate non-essential persons entering the school.
- Prohibited all non-vendor visitors (i.e. trainings, orientation, CDA, staff meetings, etc.) to eliminate non-essential persons entering the schools and Central Services.
- Created and shared several Frequently Asked Questions emails with all families.
- Provided COVID – 19 response plan to families on company website and to all school personnel
- Notified team members of face-covering expectations and provided them with the following information:
- The correct way to wear and remove a mask.
- How to introduce children to the concept of teachers wearing a mask.
- How to respond to children’s questions about masks.
Curriculum and Learning
- Created a Healthy Habits and Social Distancing curriculum for children ages 2.5 and older to educate, model and reinforce the necessary habits at this time
- Repletely completing the activities within the curriculum for consistent reeducation and to create habit of these new norms
- Created classroom visuals to reinforce the new necessary habits (i.e., how to stand in a line but remain out of each other’s personal space bubble, etc.)