COVID-19 Updates & Inforamtion

ABOUT

 

According to the CDC, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. It is caused by a novel (new) strain of coronavirus that arose in China in December 2019. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

 

SYMPTOMS

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may range from mild to severe and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those susceptible to severe illness include the elderly, people who are immunocompromised or who have underlying lung disease, as well as those who smoke cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health are the best sources for accurate information about COVID-19 or coronavirus:

 

PREVENTION

 

At this point, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices like hand washing and sanitizing common shared surfaces is the best way to keep people healthy.

 

PLAN

 

Natural Steps works closely with the local health department and state licensing office. We will immediately report any known cases of COVID-19 and follow their instructions. 

 

This plan will be updated and revised as new information, recommendations and circumstances arise.

 

The Code of Virginia provides the authority to close schools due to illness to the governor, the state health commissioner and the local school board and superintendent per the recommendation of the local health department. Natural Steps will be notified by the health department or state licensing if closure is deemed necessary.

 

 UPDATES TO OUR ILLNESS POLICY

In addition to our usual Illness Policy, we have made some updates to best protect our families. Below you will find our updates and changes. 

Changes and Updates

·      Fever of 99.4 or higher

·      MUST be symptom free for 48 hours, without medication

·      Antibiotics for 24 hours for bacterial infections 

·      A doctor's note is required to return after being out sick

·      Any staff members who develop a new cough and fever will be excluded from school

 

RESPONSE ACTIONS

 

  1. We will provide communication to employees, parents and students about the COVID-19 virus including what is known about its spread in Virginia and the infection prevention and control measures schools are taking. Information will be shared via a variety of methods (website, Kinderlime, social media).

  2. We will continue to monitor and report illnesses and related absences to the local health department as requested.

  3. Daily Health Observations will be made to screen students and staff with illness symptoms. We will isolate ill individuals and refer them to their health care provider for further evaluation if needed. 

  4. Any student, parent or staff member with a fever will be restricted from attending any school activity, including drop off and pick up. If you need assistance getting your child to and from the car, please contact Lauren.

  5. All bottles must come in made and ready to “heat and eat.” This means no mixing of formula at school and no pouring from one bottle into another for the correct ounces. Milk cups must also come prepared. There will no longer be pouring of milk into a cup from the original container. PLEASE LABEL ALL CUPS AND BOTTLES WITH THE CHILD’S NAME AND DATE. 

  6. We will do our best to issue advance warnings to parents to prepare alternate plans in the event that school is closed. As you all know, we have to maintain state mandated teacher to child ratios at all times. If multiple teachers become ill and cannot attend work, we will have to look at partial or full closure to ensure wellness of all employees and students. 

  7. Ensure that parent contact information is up-to-date should their children become ill at school.

  8. We will be in ongoing contact with the local health department and state licensing. We will continue to share absence and illness data with them as requested. We will follow their instructions and guidance.

  9. We will ensure that the school has an adequate amount of cleaning supplies.

  10. Students who present with a fever and cough will be isolated until picked up by a parent or designee. 

  11. Individuals excluded from school or work must remain at home until they have been fever-free for 48hours without the use of fever reducing medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

  12. Non-essential visitors will not be allowed to enter schools. Entrance will be limited to essential staff members and students only. 

  13. Tours will be given virtually through FaceTime or Skype and interviews will be completed off-site.

  14. Should students be quarantined by local health authorities for being identified as a close contact without symptoms, alternate tuition and enrollment options will be made available. 

  15. Medication forms will no longer be provided to administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen to students, which may mask the development of a fever, except for cases per an established standing order.

  16. Teachers and staff will continue to perform routine environmental cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, including door knobs, light switches, counters, water fountains, tables, bathrooms, etc. Currently we are only using toys that can be easily sanitized. They are cleaned during morning recess, nap and afternoon recess. We will add an additional round of sanitation as the closing staff closes each room.  

  17. The iPad will not be used for sign-in procedures. Your teacher will sign your child in and out. 

  18. We will institute liberal leave policies and suspend attendance awards or rewards for staff members. 

  19. We will continue to monitor illness-related absences and will report increased or unusual illnesses and absences to the local health department.

  20. Ensure that handwashing strategies include washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not present.

  21. Parent drop-off and pick-up will take place on the porch.

    1. A staff member will greet you at drop-off, bring your child in to wash their hands, take them to their classroom, and sign them in.

    2. A staff member will greet you at pick-up and bring your child, along with their lunchbox, to you.

  22. The only items that should enter and leave our building on a daily basis are lunchboxes, jackets and carseats for infants when required. Please, no backpacks or toys from home at this time. 

  23. All sheets and blankets will be laundered at school.

  24. All settings will remain with no more than 9 children and 1 adult, even if ratio and square footage allows for more. 

  25. Every child in attendance must have a completed COVID-19 health policy form.

 

ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES

We are grateful for the opportunity to care for everyone's children. At this time, we must give first priority to essential employees, described below. As long as they all receive care, we can open spots to anyone in need of care. At this time, that is not an issue as we have many open spots available. 

 

For purposes of this guidance, essential personnel are the first-responders, health care workers, and others who help maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the Commonwealth's residents. Here are examples of essential personnel:

  • Providers of healthcare including, but not limited to, workers at clinics, hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), nursing homes, long-term care and post-acute care facilities, respite houses, designated agencies and emergency medical services;

  • Essential government employees including public health employees and employees who oversee or support all the other functions included in this list;

  • Criminal justice personnel including those in law enforcement, courts, and correctional services; 

  • Police, firefighters, and military;

  • Employees who operate shelters or other essential services for adults, children and families;

  • Employees who ensure continuity of basic services such as electricity/gas, water, internet, plumbing, sanitation and garbage removal;

  • Employees who ensure essential transportation including public transportation, trucking and health care-related transportation;

  • Employees who ensure essential food, pharmaceutical and supplies access (e.g., grocery, food bank, feeding programs, drug store, hardware store); 

  • Staff and providers of child care and education services (including custodial and kitchen staff and other support staff) for children of other essential personnel;

  • Employees in the banking industry and;

  • Those working in insurance related fields.

 

FAQ

Will my child lose their spot if I do not make a payment? 

 

No. No child will lose their spot unless their family officially withdraws from our program.

 

Why does my invoice still show my regular rate?

 

You will continue to get your regular invoice unless you tell me another amount you wish to pay at this time. You are not expected to pay the regular rate, they are just automated at the rate. Once this is all over I will balance out all accounts. You will not be responsible for the difference. If you have a specific amount you would rather be invoiced please send it to me via email and I will adjust your invoice. 

 

Why does it seem like my child's teacher changes? 

 

In order to give hours to as many teachers that want them, some teachers are working in different classrooms. For example. We do not have any toddlers currently attending, so our toddler teachers are often helping out in different areas of the building. 

 

My child has a birthday during this time. Will their class or rate change?

 

You child's rate will change with their birthday, but their class likely will not. All transitions will be addressed in August when we start our new school year. You might see some adjusting if space allows for classroom changes.

 

Can I adjust my child's schedule and pay a part-time rate?

 

Yes, you can change your child's schedule at any time to best meet your needs. If you have taken your child out, but would like for them to attend part-time, or if your child is currently full-time and you would like reduce the number of days they attend, please contact me to discuss.

 

I would like to officially withdraw my child. What do I need to do?

 

Please send it in writing with your official end date. You can email it to director@naturalstepscdc.com

 

Do you think you will ever close due to COVID-19?

 

At this time we plan to be open as long as everyone is safe. Closure we depend on several factors that would be thoroughly reviewed with the health department.

Adapted from documents from ReadyKids, Charlottesville, March 2020

Family Resources*

*Shared from Next Steps Behavioral Center

64 Toby Way

Palmyra, Virginia

22963

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2018 Lauren Joyner, Proudly created with Wix.com