Read about our Re-Opening Plans for Oct 5, 2020

9-24-2020

 

Dear Parents and Families at Spark! Discovery Preschool,  

 

We appreciate your support of your child’s learning and of our school staff, and look forward to the re-start of school for face-to-face learning starting Monday, Oct 5!  

 

Our district leadership continues to work closely with our county and state health agency partners as well as the Governor’s Office to navigate this continually evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact on our educational system. 

 

The Superintendent, Dr. Don Haddad, shared on 9/22/2020 all students in grades K-12 will start school in a “hybrid model”.  Starting October 5, for preschool, due to our normally smaller class sizes (maximum of 14 or 16 students), all preschool students can attend school in-person, according to the schedule in which they are enrolled.  

 

We understand that this new information may require families to analyze their previous decisions regarding enrollment. Any family who previously disenrolled their child and now wishes to re-enroll them, we will do our best to return the student to their former placement, however we cannot make guarantees as the previous placement may be filled. To re-enroll, please call our office at 720-652-7906.  If families have a student with special needs and want to re-enroll, please call the Spark! Child Find office secretary, Jennifer Jones, at 720-652-7912, so the team can make a class placement. 

First Day of Face-to-Face School:  School officially starts on Monday, October 5 for the following schedules: 

  • Mon - Thurs AM session 

  • Mon - Thurs PM session 

  • Mon / Wed AM session 

The first day of school for our Tues / Thurs AM session is on Tuesday, October 6.  

 

In returning to school, children will experience a robust preschool schedule including: outdoor play, choice time / centers for a substantial portion of the day, snack time, social/emotional lessons, and learning units focused on mathematics, literacy, language, and integrated STEM programming. 

 

Enrollment Paperwork: Each child must have a complete enrollment before starting school including: 

  • A copy of the original birth certificate of the child 

  • Proof of residency (utility bill, lease, home purchase agreement)

  • Up-to-date immunization record online

Please contact Victoria Arriaga, arriaga_victoria@svvsd.org if you have questions about paperwork. If families don’t have access to technology, paperwork can be dropped off at the school, Mon - Fri from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm at the front door.  

 

Health & Medical Information: 

  1.  MEDICATION: If a child takes medication, and it must be administered to the child while at school, our health clerk must have a signed “Permission for Medication” form and the medication in the original labeled bottle in order to receive the medication at school (prescriptions or over-the-counter).. Medication must be brought to the school by the parent – not sent with a child -- before the first day of school.

  2. HEALTH APPRAISAL FORM: The health appraisal form is due at the beginning of the year for each child who is returning for face-to-face learning on Oct 5, with a 30 day grace period. Health Appraisal forms must be turned in by November 4, 2020 for all students, and they require a doctor’s signature.  

  3. INDIVIDUAL HEALTH PLANS: If your child has an individual health condition requiring treatment while at school,  an Individualized Health Plan (IHP) needs to be put in place before October 5. For example, if a child has known seizures, diabetes, known allergies, etc., we should put a plan in place. Please contact our health clerk as soon as possible. 

  4. IMMUNIZATIONS: A full immunization record must be turned in before starting preschool in person.  

Forms are available at school with our Health Clerk, Elisa Goellner, to get these processes started before school starts. If you have questions about any medical information, please call Elisa Goellner at goellner_elisa@svvsd.org or at 720-652-7906. 

 

Parent/Family Transition activities: Your child’s teacher will host a brief transition on or before Oct 2 to allow for families and students to visit the preschool classroom prior to starting on Oct 5.  These transition opportunities will be held in small groups (no more than 10 people) with classroom visitations with the staff.  We ask that only 1 parent attend with only their preschooler (no siblings).  Face coverings are required.

 

SVVSD Safety Protocols: We will focus on the “Safe with 7” protocols which promote health and safety standards and families can review those protocols by visiting the Health and Safety Measures page in the reopening plan district-wide: Safe with 7 (bottom of web page). It is important that we work together to practice all of the “Safe with 7” preventive measures. We will give parents a copy of At Home Health Screening Guide for COVID-19 for them to post at home. It is not one single precaution, but all of the precautions combined, that create the safest possible environment for us to return to school. 

 

Additional Preschool Safety Protocols:  At the preschool level there are additional requirements, which differ from grades K-12, due to involvement in preschool from the health department and licensing rules and regulations.  In addition to the measures listed above: 

  • We’ll hold student sign-in and sign-out outside with identified 6 foot physical spacing for parents and children.
  • Parents, family members, and students are required to wear face coverings during the sign-in/sign-out process.
  • Students and staff will bring and wear cloth face coverings to school daily. There will be frequent mask breaks, including times such as during snack and outdoor play. Please ensure that your student has at least two face coverings--one for wearing and one for their backpack in case the one they are wearing becomes soiled.  We recommend that families work with their preschooler to start practicing mask use before school opens in October. 
  • We will take each child’s temperature and conduct a 7-question health survey of each child’s caretaker at drop off each day; if children are attending for full day or childcare, additional temperature checks will occur.
  • We will engage in frequent handwashing by students and staff upon entering the classroom as well as throughout the day at various times following health code regulations.
  • At this time parents, volunteers, or other staff members are restricted from entering preschool classrooms.
  • Staff will create a set of classroom materials for each class so that cross-contamination between classes does not occur.  These materials will be disinfected after each preschool session and rotated on a weekly basis, based on learning topics.
  • Staff will create an individual student tub for each student for frequently used materials (glue sticks, pencils, scissors, markers, play-dough, etc.). 
  • We will provide a snack from district Nutrition Services with intentional spacing between students, in a rotating manner. 
  • We’ll maintain physical distancing whenever possible within the typical preschool day, while also keeping the integrity of preschool programming (see guidance here on Physical Distancing).

In the event that we become aware of a case of COVID-19 in a classroom or a school environment, Boulder County Public Health has assigned an epidemiologist and contact tracers to St. Vrain Schools who will work closely with our district nurses and administrators in determining and guiding the appropriate next steps. Toward this end, our system is prepared to support a robust online, synchronous learning environment in the event students need to quarantine or remain home for a period of time. If we need to temporarily return to an online learning environment, our school district will work closely with county and state health agency partners on recommended actions and closely adhere to their guidance and directions. For this reason, we ask families to keep the iPad that has already been checked out to them.  New families will get an iPad checked out to them when they enroll or re-enroll.

Sign In and Sign Out for Preschool: Student sign-in and out will need to occur outside with identified 6 foot spacing for parents & children.  Parents, family members, and students are all required to wear face coverings during the sign-in/sign-out process.   Parents will bring their students to a determined outside of school location (the door leading directly to the preschool classroom). Health checks will be completed for each child during this process, and teachers and students will wash their hands upon entering the classroom.  Families must sign in their child and sign out their child each day. Any person dropping off or picking up a child must be at least 18 years old and on record in our front office as a person allowed to pick up a child.  It is important that parents provide the school with the most up-to-date contact information and emergency contact information throughout the school year. 

 

Sign in and Sign out Locations:  For each classroom, caretakers will sign in and sign out their students at the following locations to ensure physical distancing for the classroom cohort.  Look for a large cone with the teacher’s name on it. 

Teacher 

Door #

Mr. Ben Douglass 

Door #2.  Near the flagpole at the front of the building.  Park in the front parking lot.

Mrs. Jess Harbison 

Door #3. Along 8th St. at the south side of the building by the marquee.  Park in the front parking lot, along 8th Street, or on the parking lot south of the large playground

Childcare 

Door #3 and #4.  South and south-west side of building.  Park along 8th Street. Ring the door bell. 

Mrs. Tori Menard 

Door #5, west side of building facing the large playground.  Parking is closest at Walnut and 6th Street.

Mrs. Marie Bloch 

Door #6. North side of building.  Park in the Thunder Valley K-8 parking lot. 

Mrs. Sydney Albers

Door #8. North side of building.  Park in the Thunder Valley K-8 parking lot. 

Mrs. Amy Kuesel 

Door #7. North side of building.  Park in the Thunder Valley K-8 parking lot. 

Mrs. Kiersten Pierpoint

Door #12. Near a small playground at front of school. Park in front parking lot

Mrs. Amy Newsom

Door #9. North side of building.  Park in the Thunder Valley K-8 parking lot. 

Mrs. Nicky Willis

Door #11.  Inside small playground at front of school. Park in front parking lot

Tardy Students at Arrival: Please arrive at school a few minutes before the start time (8:30 am or 12:25 pm) each day to avoid disrupting the preschool classroom.  If caretakers are late, office staff will need to take students to their classes.  If arriving late to preschool, come to the main entrance, as class has already started, and a classroom staff member cannot leave their class to go to the exterior door.  A health check will be completed at the front door, and an office staff member will escort the child to the classroom, as at this time, no visitors or volunteers are allowed in the building. 

Tardy Parents at Dismissal:  Please arrive to pick up students a few minutes before their departure time (11:10 am or 3:05 pm).  At check out, meet the class at their designated exterior classroom door. After check out, any children who have not been picked up will be brought to the outside of the front entrance of the school.  As weather permits, staff will wait outside to conduct pick up of students.

 

Planning for the Transition back to school:  Begin to talk to your preschooler about the upcoming start of school using positive, up-beat language. As you begin to talk to your preschoolers, they may express worry about separating from caretakers, especially after being at home all these months. They may express mixed feelings about coming to school. It will be helpful to name and validate these feelings.  Remind them that their teachers are there to help and support them.  Express to them that while you will leave, you will return at the end of preschool to pick them up.  Remind them about the positives -- they will get to see their friends and teachers and will continue to learn new things. Another strategy is to remind them of previous times they have been brave, in the face of anxiety, and were able to work through it. Because caretakers are not allowed in the building, if a child is having or will have difficulty transitioning, it’s important to do some advanced transition planning with your child’s teacher.  Work together with the teacher to predict and plan for the nervous feelings some preschoolers may have about returning to school. 

 

Transportation for Children With Special Needs: Some children with special needs may be eligible for transportation.  If families have a child with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), please discuss this with your child’s teacher right away so the teacher has time to assist in scheduling and completing the required paperwork. There is usually at least 48 hour processing time to complete this paperwork with the transportation and special education departments.

 

School Supplies: Here’s the list of school supplies: 

  • 1 Box (10 ct.) Washable Colored Markers

  • 4 Glue Sticks

  • 1 Tray of Washable Watercolors

  • 1 Package of Colored Pencils

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Backpack

If families are in need of assistance for school supplies, the Education Foundation of St. Vrain Valley Schools, supports our school with donations of backpacks, which include the crayons, markers, glue sticks, and watercolors in their Crayons to Calculators program.  To take advantage of this opportunity, please call the office at 720-652-7906 prior to coming to the school, and office staff will place a backpack on the bench at the front of the school for the family to pick up.  

 

Optional Donations: There are a few items that classes use on a daily basis for preschool, as optional donations, for the whole class to use, which would assist the class in their work:  

  • Lysol Spray / Wipes -- disinfectant

  • Disinfectant spray

  • Facial tissues

  • Paper towels

  • 5 oz or 8 oz cups for drinking (instead of using water bottles)

  • Bottles of liquid glue

  • Paper plates and/or bowls

  • Craft supplies of any kind

 

Volunteers and Visitors:  While we are so appreciative and grateful to our volunteers, at this time, in accordance with health official recommendations, we will not be allowed to have special guests, assemblies, field trips, or parent volunteers in our schools until restrictions are lifted. In preschool, once we are allowed to host volunteers, each volunteer must attend a required 90-minute training session with the principal or other designated staff member. At this time there are no visitors.

 

Orientation:  If families haven’t had a beginning of the school year orientation because they are newly enrolled, the classroom teacher will reach out to parents to conduct an orientation session.

 

Child Care: If families are looking for childcare, we have two childcare rooms for children ages 3 – 5, we have some space available on some days. Alicia Sheahan-Hall is the manager and can be reached at sheahanhall_alicia@svvsd.org or at 720-652-7908. We host a licensed childcare, which follows the school calendar, generally open at Spark! from 7:00 am – 5:30 pm, Monday – Friday, which is designed to compliment your child’s preschool experience. The childcare rate for children attending preschool is $35/day, with a 2-day/week minimum, and the child must have a set schedule. For children not attending preschool, it is $45/day. The registration fee is $50, and there is separate paperwork from preschool. During the summer a childcare program is offered. Please register online at stvrain.revtrak.net.  

 

Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO):  Our Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meets monthly (remotely currently) to discuss how to best support the organization’s goals; they will be looking for parents to help lead and support the Spark! Discovery PTO. Please take a moment to like the PTO on Facebook. The purposes of PTO are to: support students, teachers, staff, and parents, create a welcoming climate and culture, facilitate family involvement, provide opportunities for families to better understand how to help their children, provide additional funding support for the school, and create opportunities for our community to have fun together.  The PTO is looking for parents and guardians who are interested in helping in big and small ways.  To indicate your interest in participating, please email them at sparkdiscoverypto@gmail.com, and they will get back to anyone who is interested in supporting our families and community.

 

Please watch for more communication; we’ll send out a video to show you more about the school environment and protocols soon.  We look forward to continuing our learning journey with you during the 2020-2021 school year! 

 

With appreciation,

 

 

Paige Gordon

 

Principal, Spark! Discovery Preschool

Paige Gordon,  gordon_paige@svvsd.org

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