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Watchung Cooperative Preschool

​A community learning through play:

connecting parents, teachers & children

Watchung Coop is planning to re-open this Fall for five days a week for both the Creative Class (2.5-3 Years Old) as well as Discovery Pre-K (3-5 Years Old).


As Governor Murphy and the NJ Department of Education released its plan for return to school late last week, Watchung Coop’s staff and board continue to review the policies outlined therein.  If you are interested in the plan, it can be found here: The Road Back.  Additional guidelines on reopening from the state of New Jersey can be found here.


Here are some more details of plans and procedures for our reopening:


Classroom:

Each Class will be limited to no more than ten children per day

Discovery/Pre-K

To accommodate the ten child limit, the DPK room will be divided by a five foot tall partition which will span the classroom.  There will be a maximum of ten children in each section

One lead teacher and one aide will be assigned to each section

Creative

Classroom size will remain consistent with past years and will not exceed ten children

Masks

All staff will be required to wear a mask while at school

All children will be required to keep a mask in their cubby 

Children will be encouraged, but not required to wear a mask while at school

Co-op Parents

Until further notice, there will not be co-op parents in DPK or Creative

Parents will not be allowed in the classrooms

Snack Time

DPK and Creative classrooms will continue to have snack time, but it will not be family style, and children will not be able to pass food to one another

Teachers and aides will distribute snack individually to children

Outside Play

This has always been a staple of the Coop and this year will be emphasized even further to allow for more outdoor time.  We are currently finalizing plans to effectively separate our playground space to accommodate this, and reduce any potential opportunity for cross-contamination.

Screening Procedures:

Temperature Check

Staff and children will have their temperature taken each day before entering the classroom

Children’s temperature may be taken by the parent and/or caregiver, if preferred, but it must be done with a staff member present to record into our school health binder

If a child or staff member has a fever of 100.4 of above they will not be able to attend school

Watchung Coop will follow state and local guidelines in terms of timing for return to school after a fever

We will follow state and local recommendations on quarantine for children and staff who test positive, as well as for those who travel out of state to high-risk regions

Entering the Classroom

We are taking steps to manage the traffic flow at pickup and drop off including marking the entryway to maintain proper social distancing

Staggered start times are being evaluated

Cleaning and Hygiene:

Hand washing will be required throughout the day, including, but not limited to arrival at school, before and after snack and meal time, after bathroom use, and after playground use

Hand sanitizer will also be available and encouraged to be used throughout the day

At the end of work and meal times, all tables and surfaces will be cleaned with bleach wipes

Toys will be cleaned and sanitized every day after class

Dress up clothing will be unavailable for use

Extra large Ziploc bags will be used to store any belongings brought from home, including backpacks, spare clothes, and coats.  Lunch boxes will be kept in classroom cubbies.

As guidance from the CDC and the state of New Jersey evolves, these requirements may change.  We will continue to work to ensure our compliance with all guidelines for the safety of the children in our care.  We will continue to inform you of any significant updates.

In addition to maintaining the safety of our school, we will also strive to maintain our school’s spirit, amidst all of this uncertainty.  We will continue to play outdoors, take neighborhood walks, and focus on the importance of social and emotional development.

Teachers continue to brainstorm methods for providing children with the opportunity to serve as the “co-op kid.”

Virtual education will be offered on a daily basis for any children who are sick, or who are simply uncomfortable attending school in person for a period of time.  Daily virtual activities will be provided on the SeeSaw digital platform, in addition to enrichment activities including, but not limited to, Music Together and Maestro Tales.