Safety Protocol at Yoga Peace School in Response to COVID-19:
Thank you for your support as we navigate this new world that we are living in. We know the thought of your child starting or returning to school may bring up feelings of relief, anxiety and fear. We want you to all know that the safety of the children, our staff, and our greater community is our priority and we will be reopening with protective measures in place. During this time, we are focusing on what we can control even though there is still so much unknown. Specifically, we are putting into place a protocol for YPS that offers the childcare you need and the social setting that the children need, in the safest, most mindful way possible. Below is our new COVID-19 protocol at YPS. It is a lot of important information so please read to the end.
1. Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up Protocol
New hours 8:30am to 5:00pm. We will not be able to provide full-time hours until
6:00pm at this time. Full-time hours will not be available until further notice. The limited
hours will also help ensure that we can properly clean and disinfect all rooms and
materials at the end of the day.
Drop-offs must be between 8:30-9:00, no exceptions. Teachers are available during that time for health screenings before the children enter the building. Parents are not allowed in the buildings. The only people allowed in the buildings are teachers and children until further notice.
As soon as children enter the building, they will wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Teachers will also be practicing excessive hand-washing and will be required to wear masks at drop-off and pick-up and when interacting outside of their group. Parents are required to wear face masks at drop off and pick up as well.
Pick-ups will be from 3:30-4:00, or 4:30-5:00 (based on your chosen time window), no later. If you need to pick up earlier than your pick up window, please call the school to schedule a pick-up time. There will be a semi-circle drive in the parking lot to make it more efficient. Teachers will be walking the children outside to meet you at the end of the patio. Please try to avoid having anyone pick up your child except for individuals in your immediate family.
2. Health Screenings and Healthy Hygiene Behavior
Before entering the building, every child will have their temperature taken. If your child has a temperature of 99.6 or higher, they will not be able to come to school and we will ask you to monitor their symptoms at home. Depending on their symptoms, we may ask you to have your child tested for COVID-19 before returning to YPS.
We will also be screening upon entering school and throughout the day for symptoms, such as cough, congestion, running noses, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, chills, diarrhea, muscle pain, and headache.
If your child shows symptoms while at school, we will contact you immediately for pick up and clean and disinfect all areas used by the child. Windows will be open to increase air circulation in the areas. If your child has allergies, please provide a doctor's note.
If you, your child, or someone in your immediate family tests positive for COVID-19, you will need to contact us immediately so that we can take the necessary precautionary measures which include informing the YPS community, child care licensing and the Austin Health Department. We may decide on a short-term closure based on what is best for the staff, families, and community.
3. Social Distancing Strategies
While 6 feet distancing may not be possible in a school setting for preschoolers, we will do our best to provide a clean, safe environment for socialization. We will be avoiding any intermixing of groups. Unfortunately, we won't have our morning circle together outside until further notice, but they will be done within each group. The groups will be limited to 8 children and 2 teachers to maintain a stable 10 person setting. Each group will have a designated room/building for yoga instruction, inside activities and nap time. The CDC encourages children to spend as much time outside as possible so we will come up with a revised schedule and rotate time on the playground to ensure sufficient time outside for each group.
4. Meal Time and Water Bottles
We will be washing hands before and after every mealtime. Water bottles will be carried individually by each student from inside to outside play and vice versa. Water bottles will be stored on high shelves and out of reach for the littlest yogis. We will not be transporting water bottles together in a bag. Water bottles will be taken home every day to be washed.
5. Cleaning and Disinfecting
Our limited hours will give our teachers ample time to clean and disinfect the building and all materials. We will be cleaning with extra vigilance throughout the day and will be removing excess toys from the rooms, including plush, soft and porous materials (i.e. stuffed animals). Each child will get to choose a beanie baby for the week and it will be stored in a Ziploc bag for each child to use solely. They will all be washed at the end of the week. Nap mats will go home weekly and must be returned the following school day your child attends.
Our new protocol measures were put in place with direction from Texas Health and Human Services and The Center for Disease Control and additional measures we deemed necessary. Below is an additional checklist for families from Texas Health and Human Services:
With all of that in mind, we want to also stress the importance of continuing to practice social distancing, wearing masks when in public or enclosed spaces (i.e. the grocery store), washing hands frequently, and making safe and responsible choices. We are not only responsible for our small family unit at this time, but we are now all responsible for each other's safety. Please be mindful of this moving forward in the months to come. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Here are some links to articles in regards to Coronavirus and how it has impacted children in schools and at childcare centers:
I. The New York Times: The Daily - Four New Insights About the Coronavirus podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RoZS1kYWlseQ/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwLzhlVUZYa1VCTzB4NUNIaGUwUFg1YzJJaW8yYktGaEJDSWdfakZVTDRZTzQ?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwjQi6_l673qAhVPiqwKHaF-ABQQieUEegQIChAE&ep=6
II. The Washington Post - How Fauci and 5 Other Health Specialists Deal with COVID-19 Risks In Their Everyday Lives
III. The New York Times - We Have to Focus on Opening Schools, Not Bars
IV. NPR - What Parents Can Learn From Childcare Centers That Stayed Open During Lockdowns
V. RVIM: The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment