Please understand that the path we are taking going forward will involve some risk of COVID-19 infection. Our goal is to balance minimizing this risk with re-opening the ECC to allow children and parents to benefit.
We will continue to evaluate, alter and refine our procedures as the science and rules evolve. The lines of communication are open, so please reach out to us if any of the information is confusing or uncomfortable – this is new territory for all of us!
As per CDC guidelines and MSDE regulations, the maximum number of people in each room will be capped at 15. We are permitted to have 14 three- and four-year-olds with one adult, but our school policy requires us to have at least two unrelated adults in each room, so we will cap most of our classes at eight students. We will continue to staff in a manner that best suits our students, which means we EXCEED state requirements.
If any person in the community displays COVID-19 symptoms, then we will call the CDC for guidance as to whether or not we need to close either one classroom or the whole school. The ECC will not make these determinations, but will follow guidance of the professionals.
Please allow yourself several extra minutes for drop-off. To keep everyone as healthy as possible, all students and staff need to undergo the following daily routine.
- Please ensure that you have downloaded the Remini app. The drop-off questionnaire will need to be filled out daily using the app.
- Adult and child go to exterior door of the classroom. If there is someone else waiting to enter the classroom, please stay at least six feet back from the family in front of you. Adults must wear masks at drop-off. Children over age three are encouraged to do so as well (please see our Mask section for additional details).
- Please fill out the questionnaire on your student’s Remini page.
- The staff member at the door will take your child’s temperature using a touchless thermometer and you will also record that and check your child in. If the temperature is 100.4°F or over, the child will not enter the building.
- If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 (as listed in the app), then you will not drop your child off and will take your child home until your child is either symptom-free or has seen a medical professional who says the child does not have COVID-19 and is able to attend school. Teachers will also look carefully at your child for signs of illness (like glassy eyes) and talk to you if they have questions. To keep EVERYONE safe, please do not bring your child to school if you think, “they’re coming down with something, but they’re fine.”
- Children will be taken by the teacher to wash hands and join the classroom.
Note: Car seats, strollers, and children’s toys may NOT be brought into the building.
Our teachers are also monitoring their temperatures and refraining from coming to work unless they are symptom-free or have verified with their doctor that they do not have COVID-19.
If you want your child to wear a mask at school, please send two or three freshly laundered (or new) masks daily. You may wish to read your child a social story about masks if they’re not used to seeing them. Here’s one good one.
With rare exceptions (such as eating and drinking), all synagogue and ECC staff will use best efforts to wear masks whenever we are inside and in the presence of others. Masks will be provided for staff. Staff members who choose to wear their own masks will launder them daily.
Parents who wish their children to wear masks will send at least two to school. Children ages two and younger will NOT wear masks. The staff has received training from a registered nurse before we opened and this included proper mask handling.
You will need to send lunch daily. We will spray lunchboxes with disinfectant before putting them in the refrigerator. We CANNOT reheat items. If there are items in thermoses to keep them warm, let us know so we can remove them before putting lunchboxes in the refrigerator.
Tables will be spread apart for eating. Teachers will serve individual snack items (no family-style permitted) and children will bring their own lunches. Lunch boxes will be wiped and put in the refrigerator upon arrival and food will NOT be reheated.
We must have a current medical form and emergency contact form for your child.
Please be sure there is someone on your emergency contact form who can come to the school quickly if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19. We will isolate children immediately, but your prompt pick up will help protect everyone else.
Note: The ECC is required to call the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) for any symptoms of illness with a child or staff member and will follow their guidelines. It can include an exclusion period for up to 72 hours since recovery is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, a note from a doctor, and/or testing for COVID-19 before returning to school.
If your child naps, please send items for napping. These will be stored in a separate ZipLoc bag and will be returned weekly for laundering.
Individual bedding will be kept in large Ziploc bags in the child’s cubby. Changes of clothing will be kept in either a closed plastic box or large Ziploc. The school will provide these bags.
Children who nap will lie head-to-toe to provide a six foot distance during nap time.
Classrooms will operate as pods, with the same staff members staying with the same children for the entire day. Floaters will give breaks in increments of 15 minutes or less.
Students will be kept in “play hubs” outdoors to encourage physical distancing. Classroom groups will be kept apart as well.
We will continue to clean and use gloves according to CDC guidelines. Items that are not easily cleaned (such as stuffed animals) will be removed from the classroom for now. The frequency of toys and other surface cleaning will increase. As much as possible, children will have their own supplies. CDC guidelines are followed.
Classroom materials will be disinfected between each child’s use as much as possible.
High touch areas (door knobs, light switches, etc.) will be cleaned at least three times per day.
Please bring a COMPLETE change of clothes for your child. Labeled items have a better chance of returning home. We will put these in a ZipLoc bag in your child’s cubby in the classroom.
Many of these requirements, especially keeping groups apart and teachers with only one set of children, are radical departures for our “family-like” school. But as a family, our top priority is to keep everyone safe. We aim to maintain the warmth of our community as we navigate these new waters and institute these high standards of safety and educational practice.
Everyone’s comfort level and risk assessment/tolerance is different; we respect that for both families and our staff members. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, everyone who decides to return must adhere to the same standards. We thank you in advance for your flexibility, knowing that these policies and regulations will change.