THE WATSON CENTER
General Program Operations and Services Information
Days of Service Local School System
The Watson Learning Center will follow the Cobb County School District Calendar (Elementary & Middle School) for the 2021/2022 school year.
The Learning Center Program is built upon the need for parents to have a safe and supervised environment for their children to participate in remote learning instruction as a result of Covid-19 related school closures. Each classroom in the learning center will be limited to between 2 and 4 desks in keeping with CDC social distancing guidelines. The doors in each classroom will remain open during the school day.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, programs should restrict families’ access to parts of the program. Specifically, access may be limited to the front door of the facility/school and/or the door of their child’s classroom. Family Conferences/Sharing Assessment Information with Families Family conferences which are normally held in person may be done via a web-based platform (i.e. Skype, Zoom, etc.) or by phone. If programs and/or families are unable to arrange remote meetings, Narrative Summary reports can be distributed to families electronically or through the mail. Parent signatures are not required for Narrative Summary reports distributed to families electronically or through the mail. In lieu of obtaining parent signatures, teachers should document the date and how the Narrative Summary was provided (electronically or through the mail) on the signature line. Each program is responsible for developing a written process for how children’s performance will be shared with families. The process should include the method for providing information to parents (in-person or remote
meeting, email, mail, etc.), when the information will be provided, and how family conferences/sharing of information will be documented. Project directors should share their written process with teachers and provide teachers the contact information for parents. Programs should maintain a copy of their written process for review by their assigned Specialist.
Basic Classroom Equipment, Materials and Supplies
To limit the exposure to COVID-19, staff should review the equipment, materials and supplies in the classroom and develop a plan for sanitizing and cleaning. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for cleaning early childhood classrooms with considerations for classroom equipment, materials and supplies. When selecting materials for use in the Center, consider what type of materials are easily sanitized vs. those that require more cleaning effort and attention. Examples of materials and toys easily sanitized include Legos, wooden and plastic blocks, plastic manipulatives, board puzzles, markers and plastic cars/ figures. Materials more difficult to sanitize include but not limited to play-dough, soft surface blocks/manipulatives and crayons. Program Specialist may choose to limit sharing of those materials. Programs should consider ways to enlarge the center spaces and limit the number of children within these spaces at one time. It would be appropriate to limit the number of centers open each day, have the same cohort of children stay together in an area of the room and for center materials to be brought to children rather than children moving freely within centers or rotating through activities.
Transportation is not provided.
Based on the CDC recommendations for group settings, it is recommended that meals and snacks be served in the classroom instead of a communal cafeteria or common space.
Limit group sizes per room.
The term “single location” shall be interpreted to mean a space where all persons gathered cannot maintain at least six (6) feet of distance between themselves and any other person. For Pre-K purposes, this means a single classroom. It is not appropriate to require children and teachers to remain 6 feet apart. It is important that children and teachers can interact and that children can interact and play with peers. It is appropriate to consider measures to encourage physical distancing such as increasing small group instruction, dividing children into smaller consistent cohort groups, and implementing social distancing when in large group settings (assigning seats in circle time, limiting the number of children per center, etc.).
Health Screenings upon arrival.
It is recommended that providers conduct temperature checks for children and staff upon arrival at the facility. All visitors, staff, and children shall be screened prior to entrance and shall be excluded if they have a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or exhibit respiratory symptoms, including cough or shortness of breath. Staff conducting daily health screenings should use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Programs should restrict families’ access to parts of the program. Specifically, access must be limited to the front door of the facility or the door of their respective child’s classroom only.
Sanitize and disinfect.
In addition to the rigorous hygiene, sanitation, and disinfection licensing rules childcare providers adhere to in their programs, special attention must be paid to the following:
Surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games must be cleaned. This includes cleaning objects/surfaces not ordinarily cleaned daily such as doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, nap mats, toilet training potties, desks, chairs, cubbies, and playground structures.
Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized should not be used.
Machine washable cloth toys should be used by one individual at a time or
should not be used at all. These toys should be laundered before being used by
Set aside toys that need to be cleaned. Place in a dish pan with soapy water or put
in a separate container marked for “soiled toys.”
Use bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags) that can be washed. Keep
each child’s bedding separate, and consider storing in individually labeled bins, cubbies, or bags. Cots and mats should be labeled for each child. Bedding that touches a child’s skin should be cleaned weekly or before use by another child.