Elam Hearts and Hands
at Elam United Methodist Church
1073 Smithbridge Rd
Glen Mills, PA 19342
Kelly Forwood, Director
Elam Hearts and Hands
2020-2021 school year
Call or email for further information
Elam Hearts and Hands
COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan
Our priority is for the health and safety of our children, families and staff members. We have developed this plan to address additional procedures that will be taken during this pandemic. We have based these procedures on the guidelines issued by the CDC, PA Department of Health, OCDEL (Office of Child Development and Early Learning) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Since this still remains a fluid situation, we will continue to monitor and make additional modifications as necessary.
Drop-off/Pick-up Times: We will unlock all school entrances to the building at 9am. In an effort to avoid standing in groups too long within the building, both the entrance doors and the classroom doors will be opened at the same time. For pick-up, the entrance doors will be unlocked at the same time the classroom doors will open: 12pm (school dismissal), 1:30pm (Lunchbunch dismissal) and 3pm (Lunchbunch dismissal).
Security: All school entrance doors will be locked 15 minutes after each drop-off/pick-up time. If you should arrive at school later and the doors are locked you will need to enter the building through the main church doors. Sanitize your hands and your child’s as you enter the building. Show your Hearts and Hands Entrance Card (will be given in your orientation packet) to the church office administrator. Otherwise you will need to sign in at the church office and receive a visitor pass.
Propped Doors: All school entrance doors will be propped open during drop-off and pick-up times to avoid contact. Please make sure you are holding your child’s hand as you enter and exit the building to maintain safety.
School Entrances: There will be three entrances utilized during the drop-off and pick-up times. The CDO classes will enter through their regular classroom door. The 3’s classes will enter through the main preschool doors. The 4’s/Pre-K classes will enter through the gym doors by the playground. Each class has a specific direction to walk within the building, so please look for the hallway guides. Once inside the building please proceed to your child’s classroom, drop off at the door and then exit the building the way you entered. Staff members will be available to help guide you.
Sanitizing Stations: There are stations at each entrance to the building with hand sanitizing pumps available. They are on high tables as they need to be out of the reach of children. Please sanitize your hands and your child’s as you enter the building.
Multiple Children: If you have more than one child attending school, you may choose which entrance door works best for your drop-off/pick-up procedure. Follow the hallway guides for the direction of the drop-off/pick-up procedure for your second child.
Strollers: If a stroller is needed, you may choose which entrance door works best to utilize a ramp. Follow the hallway guides for the direction of the drop-off/pick-up procedure.
Social Distancing: Maintain social distancing between other families and adults as best possible as you enter, walk through, and exit the school building. There will be color-coded (based on classroom designated hallways) distance markers on the walls to help support 6 foot distancing within the hallways.
Elevator Use: Due to the small enclosed space in an elevator, use only when necessary and limit use to one family at a time.
CDO Drop-off/Pick-up Procedures: It’s important that parents do not come into the main classroom for health and safety reasons. Therefore we will set up a drop-off and pick-up routine that involves the separation process to happen just inside the main CDO entrance door. Please socially distance yourselves if there is a wait to enter the building, by each family standing in one of the cement squares on the walkway. We are asking that you wait in your cars if the walkway is full to avoid anyone standing in the parking lot. Parents must use hand sanitizer as they enter the building and help sanitize their child’s hands as well.
Once inside the building you will be standing in a small welcoming area with ½ doors straight in front of you. One of the teachers will greet you and your child by the ½ doors and then the child will enter the classroom with the help of a teacher who will take that child to hang up his/her bag and coat, and find a toy to play with. Each teacher will take turns helping the next child in line to enter the classroom and transition them into the beginning of their day. Parents will not be allowed to enter the main classroom. The drop-off and pick-up must be right at the ½ doors. It has been our experience that a short goodbye is always better for the child to adjust. Keeping our safety practices in mind, we are asking that you separate from your child as quickly as possible, so that the teachers can help the child move into the classroom and we can continue the flow of people in and out of the welcoming area. We realize that separation can sometimes be difficult with this age group, but keeping with this safety protocol is very important. The teachers will do their best to help your child feel comfortable and welcomed during this transitioning process.
Pick-up procedures will also involve parents distancing themselves outside the building, using hand sanitizer as they enter the building one at a time and waiting at the ½ doors to pick up their child. The teachers will be assisting with getting coats and bags ready for each child so that pick up can go as smoothly and quickly as possible. A staff member will be by the door to help assist the flow of families in and out of the building.
Washing Hands: Hand washing will be done inside the classroom. Please DO NOT take the time to wash your child’s hands in the school bathrooms. Children will wash their hands before and after eating, and after toileting, sneezing, or coughing.
Hooks: There will be designated hooks for each child with a space in between each hook being used.
Daily Home Screening: Parents will be asked to sign a commitment, agreeing to take their child’s temperature and evaluate their child’s health and exposure to COVID-19, before bringing him/her to school each day. Please keep your child home if he/she is sick. In light of COVID-19, watch particularly for symptoms related to this virus: fever (100.4F or higher), chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Refer to the Parent Handbook under Health Policy for typical health related policies. See the attached paper at the end of this document to reference the Daily Health Screening. A copy of this will need to be printed, filled out, signed, and returned to be put in your child’s school file.
Non-Contact Thermometers: Thermometers will be available on each level of the building and in the CDO classroom. We will not be doing daily temperature checks upon entering the building, as this will be done by the parents, prior to bringing a child to school. With the number of children entering the building at one time, and our desire to maintain social distancing for the adults as best possible, we feel it is important to keep the flow of people moving in and out of the building.
Daily Health Checks/Temperature Checks: The teachers will confirm with the parents each day, that their child’s temperature has been taken and ask if their child is experiencing specific symptoms. They will do a visual health assessment of each child upon entering the classroom. If there are health concerns, parents will be notified immediately. We will utilize the non-contact thermometer if there is a question regarding a child’s temperature at any point throughout the school day. If a child has a temperature of 100.4F or higher the child will be taken to a designated isolation room and will stay with a staff member until a parent comes to pick up the child.
COVID-19 Cases: Any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases within our building will be handled as per the PA Department of Health guidelines, in reference to reporting, remediation, quarantine, directive for temporary closure, and cleaning and sanitation requirements.
Socializing: We are asking that no one remains in the building once children have been dropped off at the classroom doors.
Teacher Health Check: Upon arrival at the facility, the teachers will have their temperatures checked and will be asked to answer a few health accountability questions. Any staff member with a temperature of 100.4F or higher and/or experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms will be asked to leave the building.
Face Coverings: Face coverings for children in the early learning setting has its challenges as well. Our guidance has us weighing the benefits of a child being able to wear a face covering successfully, while acknowledging the risk of possible infection to adults needing to touch a child’s face covering or a child touching their own face covering repeatedly. Then there are also exemptions for those who have breathing or other health-related conditions.
At Hearts and Hands, we do recognize the health benefits of wearing a face covering, especially with the challenge of social distancing. We are requiring that adults and children 2 years and older wear a face covering as they enter and exit the building due to being around other parents and children from other cohort classes. We are adopting the theme of being a Hearts and Hands Superhero. We will have posters throughout the building and in the classrooms with a picture of children in capes and masks with the words: Hearts and Hands Superheros. Wear Your Mask To Fight The Germs. We will talk about how wearing our masks gives us superpowers to keep our hands away from our nose and mouth and how we can fight the germs and stay healthy by wearing our masks. A child can have a mask break (one child sitting inside a hula hoop), when needed, which we are calling “Superhero Mask Recharging Stations”. There will also be whole class mask breaks during snack time and outdoor play time, when they will all have some distance between them. We ask that you work with your child on wearing a face covering, small amounts of time to start, and talk with them about being a superhero and working together as a team to fight the germs.
With all of these great plans and ideas in place, and our best intentions set forth, we recognize that in the early learning setting there may be some children, particularly our youngest ones, who may have difficulties keeping their mask on. There may also be children, for medical reasons, who will not be wearing a mask during the day. We will not be forcing a child to wear a mask once they are in their cohort classroom. We do however feel that most of our older children will be able to wear their face coverings for the majority of the day, given the opportunity for mask breaks. Within our Children’s Day Out Program, with the age range of 18 months to 3 years, this may prove to be more challenging. We’ll need to evaluate the risk of touching the masks with the value of them wearing them. All of the teachers will be positively encouraging, supporting, and working with the children throughout this process.
Staff Face Coverings: Both the Hearts and Hands staff members as well as the Elam Church staff members will be wearing face coverings throughout the day.
Gym Time: Each class will have their own bucket of gym items to use during their playtime. Those items will be cleaned and disinfected each day. CDO bikes will be disinfected daily.
Playground use: High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
Cohort Classes: Each class will remain with its same classmates and teachers throughout the day. Only one class at a time will go outside to the playground or into the gym area. Floaters (additional teachers to assist in the bathroom and clean/disinfect toys) will be available for additional support during the school day.
Group Activities: Special planned monthly activities, such as Moving and Grooving and Chapel Time will be conducted in each individual classroom. Romping in the Gym will be done in the gym, but with one class at a time. Any items used will be disinfected between each class use.
Snack Time: Hands will be washed before and after eating. Snacks will be eaten at tables where children are appropriately distanced from one another. Snacks provided by the school will be distributed by the teachers along with a cup and napkin. If a snack is brought from home to share with the class, it must be an individually wrapped store-bought snack, or an unopened bag of snacks to be distributed by the classroom teachers. No homemade snacks at this time.
Items From Home: Please do not allow your child to bring any items from home to school, such as toys or stuffed animals.
Lunchbunch: POSTPONED - We have decided to postpone this option for the beginning of the school year. Since our social distancing recommendations suggest cohort classes, and we are not able to maintain that situation with Lunchbunch, we feel it is best to hold off on this right now and focus on starting our regular classes. As we move forward and we evaluate how things are going, we can certainly add back this option if we feel it is safe to do so.
Cleaning and Disinfecting: Daily cleaning and disinfecting with an EPA approved product will be done on the tables, chairs, floors, bathrooms, sinks, railings, toys, and specific touch points within the classrooms and throughout the building in areas where the children participate. Toys will be rotated within the classroom so that those toys played with can be collected to be cleaned, and new items can be added to the play area.
Wash Me Bins: Any toy put in a child’s mouth, sneezed or coughed upon, will be put in a bin to be cleaned and disinfected at the end of the day.
Porous Toys: Any toys that cannot be appropriately disinfected will be removed from the classroom until further notice. These items would include dress ups, stuffed animals, puppets, foam blocks, and any toys made out of fabric.
Guests: No visitors or volunteers will be permitted into the building to participate within the classrooms during school hours.
Individual Child Bins: Within each classroom, we will provide a plastic shoe box sized bin labeled with each child’s name. The bin will hold individual craft supplies, pencils, etc, each labeled with your child’s name. These bins will be stacked on shelves within each classroom and accessible to the children to grab when they are needed for Table Time activities. Our CDO children will have bins as well, but their bins will be obtained by the teacher working on craft activities that day.
Parent’s Signature Date
If your child has any of the following symptoms, that indicates a possible illness that may decrease the student’s ability to learn and also put them at risk for spreading illness to others. Please check your child for these symptoms:
___Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth
___New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
___Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
___New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
___Had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case.
___Traveled to or lived in an area where the local, Tribal, territorial, or state health department is reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases.
___Live in areas of high community transmission while the school remains open.
If you answer YES to any question in Section 1 and NO to any question in Section 2, your child will be excused from school in accordance with our Health Policy (see Parent Handbook) . Your child must be symptom-free and fever-free (without fever-reducing medication) for 24 hours, in order to return to school.
If you answer YES to any question in Section 1 and YES to any question in Section 2, your child will be excused from school and must be referred for evaluation by his/her health care provider to determine if COVID-19 testing is necessary. Please notify us if your child is in this consultation process with the healthcare provider.
If the healthcare provider determines that a COVID-19 test is necessary, your child must await the results of the test before returning to school. Whether your child has a negative test result or a positive test result, once your child has followed the directed health protocols, we must receive written documentation from your child’s healthcare provider, stating that your child can safely return to school.