Hello Steele Cooperative Preschool families,
I hope this note finds everyone happy and healthy. I wanted to take a moment to update everyone about starting school in the fall. As of June 4th the Governor with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) gave the okay for preschools and daycare centers to operate at their full capacity as set by the state. This means that as of now, our class sizes can remain the same for the 2020/2021 school year.
We have a lot of agencies working to make sure preschools will be safe in the fall. We follow the rules and regulations set for preschools and daycares by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) as well as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the CDC. We also follow recommendations from both Jefferson County Public Schools and Denver Public Schools. Many of the new requirements set by these agencies are things we already have in place at Steele. This made me feel great to know that we offer such a healthy environment for Steele children.
Many large centers have “floater” teachers who move between classrooms throughout the day to maintain the adult to student ratio. New rules eliminate floater teachers so that they are not carrying germs from one group to another. Steele does not use floaters since we have set classes with the same teacher and children every class which eliminates germ spreading to other classes. There is also a new rule that the same group of kids must stay together, again something Steele already does since we are not a center that allows families to pick and choose weekly different days/times that they come to school. The fact that our classes come every other day helps eliminate the incubation time between many contagious diseases. Because we are part time, we don’t have a nap/rest time and the new rules for this and meals will not apply to us.
Cleaning procedures at preschools and daycares has not greatly changed with the new rules because we were already required to do so much sanitizing and disinfecting during the day and between classes. Nevertheless, we will be adding a few more things to have an even more rigorous cleaning in-between classes. We have also made plans to take safety precautions even further for the fall. We are working on a system to have bins of high touch items specific to each class (items such as cars, animals and kitchen toys are a few examples). This will eliminate even more risk for cross contamination between classes. We will also separate some items, like outside toys, for Tadpoles and AM Polliwogs and another for Frogs and PM Polliwogs. This way these items that are being separated can be thoroughly disinfected and allow for ample sanitation time between another class using them.
Other guidelines that we will be implementing is to allow for more education time to happen outside and require that staff/adults wear masks. It is only recommended for children. Schools are asked to now have a symptom check at drop off. This consists of a temperature check for children and adults/staff who will be entering the school. We also may need to implement a staggered pick up and drop off time.
As you know things are changing every few weeks so some of what is required right now may change by the time we are ready for our first day of classes in September, but we are trying to be proactive and prepared if these are the regulations we are required to follow in the fall. I’m sure we will have more updates throughout the summer and we will continue to gather all of this information and find ways to keep improving the safety and health of our little school. I hope this helps you to have some idea of what school will look like in September. Please let me know if you have more questions.
Director, Steele Cooperative Preschool