COVID 19 – Bethany and Busy Bee

Our first priority is to serve the students and families of Bethany well.  In all of our planning, we strive to make decisions based on what is best for those we serve.  Therefore… 

  • We seek a safe, secure and healthy school and ministry. ​ We have listened to the experts and are taking their guidance to heart. 
  • We are committed to excellence, innovation and continuous improvement. ​ We have had to think outside of the box and innovate to educate students through the pandemic. 
  • We will continue to keep up to date,and be flexible and nimble in responding to new informationwith expert guidance, so that school policies can be revised and adapted depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and throughout the community.  We will stay in close communication with our health consultant and state and local public health authorities to maximize the ability for contact tracing. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.  

A recent White Paper published by the Center for Disease Control on 7/23/20, urges America’s Schools to re-open.  “The United States reported that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths. So far in this pandemic, deaths of children are less than in each of the last five flu seasons.” The CDC also states that “children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus.” 

We have dedicated hours of research, planning, and deliberation towards developing the best and safest plan. Over the summer, Bethany’s leadership team has consulted professional organizations including the Association of Christian Schools International, CDPHE and Office of Early Childhood, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, medical professionals, and more. We acknowledge that these COVID-19 policies are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, risk. No single action or set of actions will completely eliminate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but implementation of several coordinated interventions can greatly reduce that risk.  

Bethany stands in agreement with these professional institutions and acknowledges that in-person learning will not only give students the opportunity to thrive academically, but mentally, socially, and spiritually as well.  

The purpose of the following detailed guidance is to support the education of our children and public health with policies for school re-entry that foster the overall health of children, staff, and communities based on the available evidence.  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “In Pre-K, the relative impact of physical distancing among children is likely small based on current evidence and certainly difficult to implement. Therefore, Pre-K should focus on more effective risk mitigation strategies for this population. These include hand hygiene, infection prevention education for staff and families, adult physical distancing from one another, adults wearing face coverings, cohorting, and spending time outdoors.” 

Higher-priority strategies: 

  • Cohort classes to minimize crossover among children and adults within the school. 
  • Utilize outdoor spaces when possible. 
  • Limit unnecessary visitors into the building. 

Lower-priority strategies: 

  • Face coverings(cloth) for children in the Pre-K setting may be difficult to implement.  
  • Reducing classmate interactions/play in Pre-K aged children may not provide substantial COVID-19 risk reduction.” 

Child Drop Off and Pick Up 

  • We will have staggered drop offs at the front doors and outdoor pick ups with social distancing recommendations in place.  Pens for sign in will be used once and dropped in a basket for sanitizing.  10 families will be admitted during each period from 8:45, 8:50, 8:55; 9:00; 9:05; 9:10.   
  • Orientation Days are Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8th and 9th.  Parents and children will attend this shortened day together.  Parents will arrive at staggered times and join us in the sanctuary, while children accompany their teacher for a short morning.  Dismissal will be either at 10:30 or 12:30, depending on your arrival time. Look for more details in the weeks ahead. 
  • The official first days of schoolare Thursday, September 10th and Friday, September 11th.  There is a staggered drop off at the front door by last name as follows:  
  • A & B @ 8:45 
  • C – G @ 8:50 
  • H – M @ 8:55 
  • N – R @ 9:00 
  • S – Z @ 9:05 

 

  • Pick up will be at 12:00 outdoors along the sidewalk east of the building. Mrs. McGowan and Mrs. Fallt will be at the upper doors.  Mrs. Cain, Mrs. Haun and Mrs. Pyne will be at the lower doors.    Lunch bunch pick up will be in those same locations at 1:30. 

 

Screening Children Upon Arrival, CDC guidelines for childcare 

  • Persons who have a fever of 100.40 (38.00C) or above or other signs of illness will not be admitted. We will encourage parents to be on the alert for signs of illness in their children and to keep them home when they are sick. We will screen children upon arrival, as follows:   
  • We will ask parents/guardians to take their child’s temperature upon arrival at the facility. We will have an infrared thermometer available and ask the parent/guardian to confirm that the child does not have a fever, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, or a cough. 
  • We will make a visual inspection of the child for signs of illness which could include flushed cheeks, rapid or difficult breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness. 
  • For now, staff will greet the child in the foyer; and, take the child to the restroom to wash hands before entering the classroom for play.  Parents will return to their vehicle after signing their child in.  Staff will practice social distancing as much as possible in the hallway.  A staff member will clean toilets after use.   
  • Literacy to Go – Plastic bags will be wiped down and books bags will be returned to the rack.  We will set these out front to the side, for pick up by parents and children at drop off.  
  • Hallway activities will be limited to non-contact activities like hop-scotch, arm circles, balance beam, etc. 
  • Foyer activities like Donuts with Dad will be modified, setting up tables in the sanctuary, 3 for each class, with for 5 or 6 men/children from the same class sharing tables.  Teachers will wear gloves and serve the donuts.  

Busy Bee Staff, Parents, Guests and Bethany Volunteer Requirements and Training, Take Everyday Preventive Actions. 

  • Temperature checks and health screening will be required daily.  Employees and volunteers should stay at home if they are not feeling well. 
  • Handwashing is required upon entry, and regularly through the day. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  All children, staff, and volunteers should engage in hand hygiene at the following times: 
  • Arrival to the facility and after breaks 
  • Before and after preparing food or drinks 
  • Before and after eating or handling food, or feeding children 
  • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment 
  • Before and after diapering 
  • After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom 
  • After wiping a nose or coughing or sneezing. 
  • After coming in contact with bodily fluid 
  • After playing outdoors or in sand 
  • After handling garbage 
  • Staff will assist children with handwashing, including infants who cannot wash hands alone; and then wash their own hands. 
  • Masks are required for all employees, volunteers and guests unless there is an overriding health concern.  We require parents wear a mask at drop off and pick up. 
  • We will adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible. 
  • Pre-service training is required to protect our children, staff, and volunteers.  This will familiarize everyone with the regulations from CDPHE, OEC and CDC. 

Classroom Restrictions 

  • Students will remain with their teachers in their classroom with the exception of 1 music class and 1 outside/indoor recess.  2 classes may be outside or in the gym at one time; but, we the space will be divided.  One group will enter and exit on the north side and one will enter/exit on the south.  They will switch sides on their next day at school.  Music in the sanctuary will be set up similarly. 
  • As before, we require handwashing upon arrival and will enable handwashing throughout the day. 
  • We will limit the toys in use to those that are easily cleanable, non-porous, with smooth surfaces and eliminate things that cannot be washed between use each day, such as soft, fabric toys, dress-up clothing, sensory tables and water play. 
  • Teachers will clean the classroom at the end of the day.  Classroom surfaces and cubbies must be disinfected daily.  Some toys may also be cleaned in the dishwasher or washing machine at the end of the day.   
  • Staff will also disinfect surfaces throughout the day  (Additional Guidance) 
  • Students and staff will not intermingle with other classes. 
  • Snacks will be commercially wrapped and served in the classroom. 
  • Social Distancing recommendations will be maintained as much as possible. 

 

Who should wear gloves, and when should they be worn? 

“Employees in food and child care industries shall minimally utilize disposable gloves as normally required by their governing regulations.”  CDPHE 4.22.20   Gloves will be required for diaper changing, toileting and serving food; otherwise, frequent handwashing is preferred. 

 

Who should wear a mask or face cover while in the facility? 

“Although CDC recommends that children under 2 should not wear a facemask, the child care environment poses unique challenges since groups of young children may be supervised by one caregiver for several hours at a time. For that reason, our recommendation is that children under the age of 3 within the child care should not wear masks and no child should wear a mask while napping. Additionally, children between the age of 3 and 5 should be supervised if they are wearing a mask. If the mask is creating discomfort or resulting in the child touching their face frequently, reconsider whether a mask is appropriate for that child. Parents 

dropping off and picking up children should be asked to wear masks while they are at the facility. Masks are recommended for everyone in the facility three and older but are not required.”  CDPHE 4.14.20   

Are licensed programs limited to group sizes of ten or fewer given the recent guidance? 

CDPHE is limiting child care group size to the licensed capacity, keeping groups separate with a consistent caregiver.  

 

What is the student sickness, extended absence policy revision? 

 

Any student or staff member running a fever of 100.4 (medication free) should remain at home.  All staff and students must be fever free for at least 24 hours (that is one full day of no fever without the use of a medicine that reduces fevers.)  If a student or staff member has COVID symptoms, at least 10 days must have passed since the symptoms first appeared, before they can return to class.  These symptoms should have improved.  

 

What do you do when there is a suspected case of COVID 19? 

  • Students exhibiting any symptoms while at school will be immediately quarantined on site until the parents are able to pick them up.   
  • We will also be actively monitoring absences for any symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Parents will be informed of any COVID-19 exposure, complying with ADA’s confidentiality requirements.   
  • Bethany Busy Bee will report confirmed COVID-19 cases to local and state health authorities.   
  • We will attempt to determine the onset of symptoms and any close contacts at Busy Bee during the 48 hours prior to symptoms appearing.  

Close contact refers to a person who:  

  • was within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes total. 
  • shared eating or drinking utensils with someone who is sick with COVID-19. 
  • got respiratory droplets from someone who is sick with COVID-19 – through sneezing, coughing, shouting, etc.
  • was in the same class/cohort as a person with COVID-19.
  • Busy Bee will notify these families/staff of the need to Quarantine for 14 days from the date of contact with the affected child/employee, staying home from work, school, and/or activities.  The siblings of children who are home for quarantine, because they were a close contact/exposed to COVID-19 do not need to stay home or be tested unless the sibling in quarantine develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. However, when a person is a close contact of someone with COVID-19, negative testing does not release that person from the recommended quarantine.  
  • Children or staff members with COVID-19 will be excluded for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.  They must be 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications before they can return to Bethany.   This is called Isolation – staying home from work, school, and/or activities when a person is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19.  
  • Areas impacted will be closed for 24 hours and cleaned thoroughly. 

Please note that Amended Executive Order D 2020 035 has changed the minimum time period a child care facility must close if there is a positive or suspected case of COVID-19 in a student, parent of a student, or staff member at the facility from 72 hours to 24 hours. During this closure a facility should conduct a thorough cleaning as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  

 

Tuition  

There will be no change in tuition if we are required to close for 14 consecutive days or less.  Closures longer than 14 consecutive days will result in 50% reduction of tuition charged for one month.  When a classroom is closed we will immediately convert to remote/on-line learning activities as well as daily zoom calls.  This remote could include:  Zoom lessons, YouTube video instruction, emails and attachments of items to print from home and websites to access learning instructional materials and or activities.  These lessons will be guided by our teachers from each classroom.  

 

Cleaning Requirements at Busy Bee 

  • Gym equipment will be disinfected between uses by different groups/classes.  Two groups may be in the gym at one time, as long as they do not co-mingle. 
  • Outdoor play spaces do not require cleaning between classes, per CDPHE.   
  • The cleaning crew will disinfect all high-touch areas at the end of the day, including the restrooms, toilet stall doors, drinking fountains, all indoor and outdoor door surfaces, handles or knobs, light switches, stair railings, other shared high touch surfaces, etc. 
  • Cleaning crew will daily vacuum carpets in the halls and in each classroom, empty trash and mop to disinfect tile floors.  

 

What cleaning procedures should child care providers follow to help limit the spread of COVID-19? 

Facilities should follow cleaning procedures as outlined below by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This resource remains the best source of information to ensure the safety of children and staff.  These are routinely practiced at Busy Bee. 

 

What is environmental cleaning, according to the CDC? 

  • Perform routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces such as counters, door handles, railings, workstations.   
  • Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas, and follow the directions on the label. 
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, etc.) can be wiped down before/after each use. 

Caring for Our Children (CFOC) also provides national standards for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of educational facilities for children.  

  • Routinely clean, sanitize, and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games. This may also include cleaning objects/surfaces not ordinarily cleaned daily such as doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, railings, chairs, cubbies, and more. Use the cleaners typically used at your facility, including EPA-registered disposable wipes. 
  • Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized should not be used. 
  • Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions should be set aside until they are cleaned by hand by a person wearing gloves. Clean with water and detergent, rinse, sanitize with an EPA-registered disinfectant, rinse again, and air-dry. You may also clean in a mechanical dishwasher.  
  • Machine washable cloth toys should be used by one individual at a time or should not be used at all. These toys should be laundered before being used by another child. 
  • Do not share toys with other groups of infants or toddlers, unless they are washed and sanitized before being moved from one group to the other. 
  • Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures. 
  • Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. For disinfection, most common EPA-registered, fragrance-free household disinfectants should be effective.  
  • All cleaning materials should be kept secure and out of reach of children. 
  • Cleaning products should not be used near children, and staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children from inhaling toxic fumes. 

References  

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, COVID-19 Planning Considerations 
  • Metro Denver Partnership for Health, COVID-19 Strategies for Schools 
  • CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community /schools-childcare/schools 
  • Viner, R. and Ward, J. School Closure and Management Practices During Coronovirus Outbreaks including COVID -19: A Rapid Systemic Review, The Lancet, Vol. 4, Issue 5, April 2020. 
  • The Economist. When Easing Lockdowns, the Governments Should Open Schools First. April 30, 2020. 
  • CDPHE School Guidance  7.30.20  
  • CDC White Paper Re-opening America’s Schools 7/23/20 
  • Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Essay, “Why It’s (Mostly) Safe to Reopen the Schools”  8.8.20 

FINAL NOTES 

The orientation packet includes a tuition letter, the volunteer checklist, information about Bethany Evangelical Free Church, a school calendar and a class list.  Please sign the Parent Handbook Acknowledgement form indicating you have received and will read our Parent Handbook.  This signed statement is required by the State of Colorado.   

The staff of Bethany Bee Preschool welcome you and pray that your time with us will be valuable and enjoyable.  Always feel free to contact the teacher or director with concerns or comments you feel would be helpful.  No matter what happens this year, we know that nothing is too big for our God who knows each of us by name, the number of hairs on our heads,(Matthew 10:30) and exactly what we need (Matthew 6: 25-34).  While we live in a fallen world where there is trouble, we remember Jesus’ words in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart for I have overcome the world!”  We pray there will be a day when things are better.  For now, we have some strict guidelines to follow.  In order to provide the best possible outcomes for one another, together we have to commit to care for each other and follow the health department’s directives.  

In every circumstance, both planned and unforeseen, we are wholeheartedly devoted to seeing your children thrive. Ps. 115:14