COVID-19 Plan for Small World

This is a fluid document which is changing as new information and requirements become available.  However, as of now, this is our plan for safely re-opening our school in September.

Frequent Handwashing 

Children, Staff and Substitutes will be required to wash hands at these times:

    • when they arrive at Small World
    • before they leave for the day
    • before and after eating preparing food or drinks or feeding children
    • before and after snack time
    • before and after administering medication or medical ointment
    • after using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom.
    • after coming in contact with any bodily fluid
    • after playing outdoors
    • after handling garbage

We will spend time teaching at the beginning of the year and reminding students daily about proper ways to wash hands.

    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available.
    • Teachers will have hand sanitizer available so that if children are not near a sink, hand sanitizer will be used in place of washing hands. 
    • Teachers will supervise children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent ingestion.

We will place posters describing hand-washing steps near sinks.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Routine cleaning and disinfecting is key to maintaining a safe environment for children and staff.

We will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects daily such as:

  • Door knobs and handles
  • Stair rails
  • Classroom tables, benches and chairs
  • Countertops
  • Light switches
  • Handles on equipment (e.g., athletic equipment)
  • Shared toys
  • Shared telephones
  • Shared desktops
  • Shared computer keyboards and mice (Computer keyboards are difficult to clean. Shared computers will have signs posted instructing proper hand hygiene before and after using them to minimize disease transmission.)
  • Gym equipment
  • Playground equipment
  • It is not necessary to routinely apply disinfectants to surfaces that are not high-touch or high-risk (e.g., floors, bookcases, tops of filing cabinets).
  • Soft surfaces such as carpets, rugs, and drapes can be cleaned using soap and water or a cleaner appropriate for the material.  Soft surfaces will be vaccumed daily and/or removed from the classroom if we can not keep them clean.

When a student or staff member develops any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 in a school or child care setting:

We will isolate the person in a separate room while they wait to be picked up or until they are able to leave the facility on their own. We will ensure that they have hygiene supplies available, including a cloth face covering (if age appropriate), facial tissues, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  We will remind staff who are monitoring the student or staff member with symptoms to wear a cloth face mask and practice social distancing.

We will close off the space used for isolation after the ill person leaves. We will wait 24 hours before we clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, we will wait as long as possible. We will open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area.  We will open the space for use after proper cleaning and disinfecting.

We will clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as high-touch surfaces, and items they have touched. We will wear gloves when cleaning, and wash hands after removing gloves.

Plans for Shared Supplies in the Classroom:

  1. We will not be making play doh to have in the classroom at this time, since there is no way to clean it after each use, we can’t safely have it in the classroom.
  2. Each child will have their own bin of arts and craft supplies including markers, pencils, and scissors.  All other arts and craft supplies will have a clean and dirty bin.  Once students use supplies (such as hole punchers), they will put them in the dirty bin where they will be cleaned for the next day of school.
  3. 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.
  4. We are continuing to monitor and decide how to best handle shared supplies in the classroom.  The list of shared supplies are many: dress up clothes, dress up phones and jewelry, dolls and clothes, doll strollers, food and dishes, paint brushes at easel, instruments, large blocks, red car, small blocks, puzzles, toys on shelf.

Arrival and Departure

Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up:

  1. Hand hygiene stations with hand sanitizer will be set up at the entrance of the facility, so that children can clean their hands before they enter.  We will keep hand sanitizer out of children’s reach and supervise use.
  2. We will use contactless check in on ProCare so that multiple people aren’t touching the school iPad.  Instructions for contactless check in will be provided at the Parent Meeting in September.
  3. All adults at drop off and pick up must wear masks.  Teachers will also be wearing masks.
  4. We will stagger arrival and drop off times and plan to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible.
    • Teachers will greet children outside as they arrive.  We will talk about staggering times for arrival at the parent meeting in September.
    • At the end of the day, teachers will walk all children outside to meet parents.
    • Ideally, the same parent or designated person should drop off and pick up the child every day. If possible, older people such as grandparents or those with serious underlying medical conditions should not pick up children, because they are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Screen Children Upon Arrival:

  1. Parents should be on the alert for signs of illness in their children and keep them home when they are sick.
  2. Children who have a fever of 100F or above, or other signs of illness, should not be brought to school.
  3. We will screen children upon arrival through the ProCare App.
    1. We will ask you to check any symptoms your child may have when you sign them in for the morning.
    2. We will also make a visual inspection of the child for signs of illness which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness.
    3. We ask that you take your child’s temperature each morning before they come to school.

Plans for Sick Children and Staff

We will conduct daily health checks. This includes screening for children and staff to ensure those who exhibit any symptoms of illness are not present.  If a child’s cough or other symptom is related to something that is known or reoccurring (e.g., seasonal allergies) then we will treat this as a normal cough or symptom, according to program protocols.

We will follow exclusion guidance and ensure children, staff, and volunteers stay home when sick:

  • People who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, will be sent home.
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include: new onset cough or shortness of breath by themselves OR at least 2 of the following: fever (100.4oF or higher), chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, and gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea.
    • If a person has a new symptom, with no other diagnosis to explain it, they should stay home and talk to their health care provider about testing for COVID-19, even if it is the only symptom they are experiencing.
  • People who received a lab test for COVID-19:
    • For people with positive COVID-19 test result: Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for at least 3 days without medication AND improvement of other symptoms.  Siblings and household members should also stay home for 14 days.
    • For people with negative test result but symptoms with no other diagnosis: Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for at least 3 days without medication AND improvement of other symptoms.  Siblings and household members should also stay home for 14 days.
  • For people with a COVID-19 diagnosis without a lab test OR people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 without a medical evaluation (e.g., monitoring symptoms at home)
    • Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for at least 3 days without medication AND improvement of other symptoms. Siblings and household members should also stay home for 14 days.
  • For people with other diagnoses (e.g., norovirus, strep throat) that explain the symptoms, or when a health care provider says symptoms are connected to a pre-existing condition
    1. Stay home until symptoms have improved. Follow specific return guidance from the health care provider or follow the Infectious Diseases in Childcare Settings and Schools Manual.  If symptoms related to a pre-existing condition change or worsen, talk to a health care provider to determine next steps. Siblings and household members do not need to stay home.        

If a child, staff member, or substitute is diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you have questions about a child, staff member, or volunteer who is exhibiting symptoms, we will reach out to MDH and follow their direction.  If a child, staff member, or substitute has been exposed, is exhibiting symptoms or has tested positive, we will email parents and staff via email, ProCare or phone.

Social Distancing throughout the Day

In many ways, our set-up at Small World is ideal.  We only have one class of 20 children who are using our facilities and only 2 teachers who are with the children during their entire time at school.  We have a consistent group of children and staff who stay together during the day.  Once the children and teachers are in the school facilities, we will not be implementing social distancing.  We believe that exposure is a given between teachers and children if we are within the same walls for multiple hours during the day.  This is why “staying home when sick” becomes vitally important.

Source Control and Cloth Face Coverings

Cloth face coverings are an important piece for mitigating the spread of the virus but are most effective if it can stay in place without being pulled on or touched by the person wearing it or others. Within this context, the teachers are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings during the work day as much as possible, recognizing the developmental needs of the children in our care.

Children should not wear cloth face coverings unless they can reliably wear, remove, and handle the cloth face covering throughout the day.

Teachers at Small World will wear face masks during check in and check out for the day, when interacting with parents at the door. 

Workplace Ventilation

We will have windows open in our classroom whenever the weather outside allows for it.  We will encourage outside time instead of gym time whenever the weather allows.

Playground Use

Children need to move their bodies and stay physically active. Getting outside for fresh air and movement is important to support physical and mental health on a daily basis. This guidance was developed to help schools and child care programs implement infection prevention measures to protect children and staff health during recess, physical activity, and playground use during community transmission of COVID-19.

  • The playground will be closed to all public use during the months that school is in session.
  • We will wash hands before and after touching play structures.
  • We will talk with children about how to stay healthy – avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth and covering their cough.
  • Guidance from the CDC indicates that outdoor areas like playgrounds in schools generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection. We will focus cleaning efforts on plastic or metal high-touch surfaces where hands frequently make direct contact like grab bars and railings. It is not practical to disinfect entire large playground structures, and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID- 19. Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (play structures, benches, tables) or ground covers (mulch, sand) is not recommended.

Meals and Snacks

  • At Small World, we typically serve our snacks family-style and children learn through counting and pouring and spreading their own snacks.  In order to create a safe environment for eating, we will serve pre-packaged snacks or pre-plate snacks so that children are only touching their own food and dishes.
  • We will clean and sanitize the snack table in between groups of students using the table.

Field Trips and Events

Per recommendations, we will not have any field trips or family events during the fall semester.  If it seems possible, we will reconsider these events for the the spring semester.  This means that we will have some changes to our School Calendar:

  • We will not have our field trip to the apple orchard.  Instead, we will plan to take our class to the apple orchard on Mills Church property during one of our mornings at school.
  • Our Parent Meeting will be held live or via Zoom, depending on the best practice recommendations at the time.
  • Our Home Visits for new students will take place outside at the children’s homes, instead of inside.
  • We will not have Grandparents Day.
  • We will wait and see what we are able to do for our Christmas Program, depending on recommendations at the time.
  • For Child Birthdays, parents can send a snack for their child, but at this time, we will not plan on allowing any other adults into the classroom besides the teachers.  If this changes, we will make plans accordingly.

Communications and Training

The plan is available to the Commissioner and offered to families.  The plan will be posted in a prominent place at Small World and will be readily accessible to all of our employees, substitutes, and volunteers who need to review it.  We will provide training to ensure everyone is following our plan. We will keep these individuals updated on any changes to the plan.

Staff with concerns about their employer’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan or questions about their rights should contact MNOSHA Compliance at osha.compliance@state.mn.us, 651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close