Welcome to Methodist Preschool’s resource page for Covid-19.
Due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and all the information Comal ISD is making available to the community, I feel it is necessary to address some of the larger concerns you may have about sending your child back to preschool. Many of you are having to make some very difficult decisions, and I wanted to you to have all the information you need to make the best one for your family.
As you know, Methodist Preschool largely follows Comal’s lead for opening and closing of the schools and tends to align with their academic calendar. Similarly, we will proceed with re-opening the preschool alongside the local school district, but with many more precautions set in place. We are governed by an entity that has a higher standard for operation and for the health and safety of their children. I am not discounting the preventative measures Comal is implementing! I only want to emphasize that the precautions will be easier to enforce due to the tightly regulated and monitored operational requirements on child care centers and preschools in the state of Texas. Additionally, it is much easier to accommodate and implement stricter health and safety measures in a small, private preschool such as ours than a larger district school with several hundred students.
The staff and I take the health and safety of our students very seriously at Methodist Preschool. Many detailed procedures have been mandated by several entities that govern our daily operation. I will include attachments of these documents for you so you will know what is required of us and the basis for our new procedures and protocols. To help you make the best decision for your family during this time, and reassure you of the health and safety of our precious children, here is an overview of a few of the procedures we will be implementing for summer care and the school year:
- All staff and students will be screened upon arrival and entry into the building.
- Health screenings will be performed regularly throughout the day on staff and students.
- Parents will not be allowed into the building to drop off or pick up. Only staff, students, specialist, and emergency responders will be allowed inside the building during school hours.
- The Preschool’s illness policy has been modified to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC, THHS, and Child Care Licensing.
- Masks will not be required for children. The preschool believes the masks may present more of a health risk due to the constant need to remove them for eating, sleeping, outdoor play, and the potential for contamination if lost or misplaced. These mandates are subject to change as mandates from CDC, Texas Health and Human Services, and Child Care Licensing dictate.
- Teachers are also not required to wear masks per THHS and Child Care Licensing, but we will be maintaining strict adherence to health and safety protocols set forth by THHS and CCL. Please see the documents attached.
We understand there may be concern about our children and staff not wearing masks at school. But we feel that these may pose more of a risk of spreading infection if the children are not able to keep them on or place them near other student’s masks. They will still be exposed to others when eating, sleeping, and though vigorous play as masks are a suffocation/strangulation hazard during these times. To that end, we have implemented a few additional measures to ensure our staff and student are safe:
- As is standard procedure for Methodist Preschool, students will remain with their single teacher and fellow classmates for the entirety of the school day. Our normal routine aligns with the new recommendations of keeping children in smaller, consistent groups to minimize transfer of illnesses. We are adding an additional measure of safety by restricting contact with other classes during the school day.
- Teachers will limit contact with other adults, except for another teacher relieving for lunch and bathroom breaks. This will be the same teacher each time to reduce the potential for cross-contamination of classes.
- Lunch and recess time will be on a rotated schedule to limit the contact between classes.
- Additional teachers will be on staff to tend to extra cleaning and sanitation of shared/common areas such as the fellowship hall, bathrooms, and playground.
I hope this gives you bit more information to help you make the best decision for your child. I would like to encourage you to stay connected with us on Facebook and this webpage for new information and resources regarding the pandemic and our operating procedures and requirements.
Methodist Preschool has always conformed to the highest standards for cleaning and sanitation of our facility. This year we will implement additional disinfecting procedures that will further decrease the chances of illness and infection among our students. There will be staff on hand to clean and disinfect rooms, toys, and frequently touched surfaces multiple times throughout the day.
As is our standard procedure, all students will remain with their classroom peers and teacher for the entirety of their day. Due to the current pandemic and requirements of operation from state entities, we will no longer combine classrooms during the school day. Snack, lunch, and recess will be conducted in separate areas or at rotating intervals so the classes will not be in contact with each other. Shared spaces, such as the fellowship hall, hallways, and the playground equipment will be cleaned before and after each classroom use.
Response to cases
Methodist Preschool is strictly regulated by Texas Child Care Licensing and its requirements for remaining open or closing during an emergency. However, the CDC and Texas Health and Human Services requires a quarantine period or closing of a facility should any child/adult come in contact with or test positive for Covid-19. At this time, we will follow the guidance of the CDC and THHS as long as it is in accordance with Child Care Licensing. We will be closely monitoring the changes in these guidelines, and our response to a positive case/exposure will be evaluated on an individual basis with guidance from our local and state authorities.
Our greatest concern is the health and safety of our students and their families. We must work together as a community to ensure that our students are safe at all times. It is for this reason that Methodist Preschool is enforcing our updated Illness Policy. In addition to this policy, we must ask that you take responsibility for our preschool community this year, and limit your public exposure by staying home and practicing social distance measures when you absolutely must go out. Please wash your and your child’s hands as soon as you get home, and clean and disinfect your home and your child’s school belongings on a daily basis.
Communication and Information
To stay updated on all the current requirements for the preschool, we ask that you frequently check the following media outlets:
- ProCare messages and activity
- Methodist Preschool website
- Canyon Lake United Methodist Preschool FaceBook page
- YOUR email