What is the new outdoor classroom like?

We have been working hard to build a covered outdoor space that allows for ventilation .  We have created several new play areas that kids and parents will be able to rotate through, with a limit on the number of children at each area (max.4) at any given time.  These changes will draw children to all parts of the playground to promote social distance as much as possible. We have set up an outdoor hand washing station.  Students will enter the building only to use the bathroom and bathrooms will be disinfected after each use.

What does pick up and drop-off look like?

Parents will be asked to maintain 6 feet from other families during pick up and drop off.  Using the east gate, families will line up every 6 feet while they wait to be checked in to school.  At check in there will be a symptom and temperature check for each student and working parent.  Older children will then be released to the classroom to wash hands.  Younger children who need help with transition or support in handwashing will be assisted by a parent.  At pick up, students will be released individually to parents who are waiting outside the east gate (maintaining a 6 foot distance between families).

What would a typical class session look like?

Co-op will continue to be a play-based and child led preschool.  As always, we will offer various play areas for children to explore including art, gross motor play, and imaginary play.  Children may have to wait between play areas if there are too many students interested in exploring that area (we will limit the number of students in each play area to 4).  Some equipment may be cleaned between use which would also require children to wait a few minutes.  Otherwise it should feel “normal” to them. We expect that children will play with one another in a typical way, even if this means sometimes being closer than 6 feet or touching one another.  We will continue to have a circle time, with children spaced 6 feet apart.  Each class will explore fun, natural, and seasonal themes through books, art and play.  Our class schedules have been adjusted slightly this year (see graphic below) to allow for increased sanitation, distance learning for some students, teacher planning, and to allow our toddler class to use the playground separate from the older classes.

What safety precautions is the school taking?

A daily temperature and symptom check will be part of the sign in process.  Classroom jobs will include regularly sanitizing play equipment and “high touch” areas.  The outdoor classroom will be cleaned between each class and there will be additional weekly cleaning as part of our operations jobs.   Bathrooms will be disinfected after each use. VMCP will follow the Washington Dept. of Health and NSCC Guidelines with regard to staying home when sick (see health policies below under “What should I do if my child is sick?”). Additional information about social distancing and mask wearing policies below.  For additional information see our Parent Handbook COVID19 Addendum.  

How will social distancing work in the classroom?

Adults will maintain 6 feet from one another at all times, and will maintain 6 feet from children when possible.  Children will be encouraged, but not forced, to maintain a safe distance when needed.  All efforts will be made to encourage social connection and play between children in a safe way.  

What is the mask wearing policy?

Masking is optional on our outdoor playground for adults and children. 

What happens if my child gets sick while at school?

If a child shows any symptoms of illness at school they will be separated from the group and monitored in the Heron room until parents can pick them up.  

What happens if a family member gets sick?

If a member of the child’s household has tested positive for COVID or is quarantined due to suspected exposure to the virus than your child must remain home as well.  We request that you to keep your children home if you believe someone in your home is ill and/or has had a recent COVID exposure.  

Can I bring a sibling to class?

Unfortunately, we cannot permit siblings to attend class.

What is the “babes in arms” policy?

Our babes in arms policy remains unchanged.  As always, we encourage you to find alternate care for your infant if possible.  If you’d like to request bringing your infant to class, discuss this with your PC and the head teacher.  Children under 6 months old may come to class in a carrier only.  The infant will need to be registered for the class in question (for insurance purposes) and will be required to be checked in and have a temperature check everyday he/she attends class.  

Do you require Covid testing for families or teachers?

We support our teachers in getting tested regularly.  We encourage families to contact their doctor if they suspect they have been exposed and follow any recommendations for testing.