After extensive planning and work, we are ready for our preschool 2020-2021 year with the utmost care for our children, families, teachers, and our general community’s health and safety. We will continue to uphold our mission of having a play-filled learning environment while promoting COVID-safe practices. Developing trusting, authentic relationships with each child is of utmost importance and no child will be reprimanded for age appropriate behavior. Although we have set up our environments and activities to provide for social distancing, we will not enforce strict social distancing rules with young children. If a child needs to be comforted, he/she will be comforted and if children are building social skills with new and old friends, we will not prohibit these important experiences.
We will be teaching children about COVID-safe behaviors in developmentally appropriate ways. However, we feel that children need to be children and we will protect them from fear regarding this pandemic as best as we can.
We are grateful for the input of experts who have advised us throughout this process. With the ever-changing situation we are currently living in, and the many unknowns of COVID-19, all policies, procedures, and schedules are subject to change.
Positive, strong family-teacher partnerships are essential for the education of children and an integral part of our quality program. We will do our best to communicate with you regularly and keep these connections strong in different ways through this time.
We are dedicated to creating a healthy culture of caring at Shepherd of the Valley Preschool and your support is needed. We all have a responsibility to one another to adhere to the health and safety recommendations of experts in the fields of public health, medicine, and education. One member of the community will depend so much on another, and this includes extended family. We must make sacrifices for one another, so we all stay healthy. This school year will require us to be quick and flexible in responding to new information. We may need to adapt and revise strategies depending on the level of viral transmission. We will constantly be in close communication with state and local public health authorities and the New Mexico Early Childcare Education and Care Department and will keep your appraised of changes.
We have developed a daily protocol of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting classrooms, bathrooms, and materials according to the current CDC/ECECD guidelines which also includes the use of an Illu Mist Sprayer to disinfect surfaces, Our environment will be professionally deep cleaned on a regular schedule. The building will be ventilated by opening windows to let fresh air in daily. Air purifiers will also be used in the classroom.
If we need to close Shepherd of the Valley Preschool to students, for any reason, we are prepared to move to distance learning. Our lead teachers participated in a 30-hour international summit this summer that included effective developmentally appropriate trainings in virtual teaching and in-person teaching during these challenging times. We have also purchased curriculum and we are better prepared to teach in different circumstances.
We are working hard to create a healthy culture of compliance here at Shepherd of the Valley Preschool and your support will be greatly appreciated.
- Cloth face coverings of appropriate size are required for everyone three years of age and older. This includes all children, staff and families dropping off and picking up children. Masks should fully cover the nose and mouth without gaps and stay in place without needing adjustments.
- Each staff and child over 3 years of age should come to school with a clean, well fitted mask each day. SOVP will not provide face masks
- CYFD and NMDOH exempt all children under the age of 3 from wearing masks.
- Staff will use our best judgement on when to remove a mask if it is causing discomfort or resulting in the child touching their face frequently.
- If a child cannot remove the mask on their own without assistance, they should not wear a mask.
- Children will not wear masks when eating, drinking, and napping.