ECC Re-Opening Plan
We are tentatively expecting to have children return to the ECC at the end of February.
Teachers will contact families once an official start date is determined. The following protocols will be in place once we reopen.
We held a listening Q&A session on February 16! Click HERE to view the recording.
We are expecting all children to have a transition period upon reopening. Click HERE for details.
We are excited to be sharing our plan to return children to the ECC. This has been a long time coming and we are anxious to get everyone back to school. We have created a comprehensive plan that addresses arrival, distancing, meals, transportation and cleaning. We are excited to have our children return and get back into their educational routines and to assist families in our community. We have set forth a plan that will help us be aware of the health and safety needs of all, including the children, their families, staff and community. We want everyone to know that we are aware that changes are happening constantly, and we are continuously monitoring the situation. In the event that changes need to be made you will be notified as early as possible.
» Each EHS and HS classroom will be split into two groups. Each group will have at least two teachers. Half of the students will attend Monday and Tuesday and the other half will attend Thursday and Friday. You will receive your child’s scheduled days as soon as they are determined. The ECC will schedule siblings for the same days. Wednesdays will be used as deep cleaning days. At the end of each day, each room will also be cleaned thoroughly. Every room will have a daily cleaning check list and it will be retained for documentation purposes.
» Each classroom will have a transition period regardless as to the age of the students. The length of the transition period will be at least four weeks but may be extended based on classroom needs. These times may also be extended based on an individual child’s needs.
» Early Head Start classrooms will have the same start and end times. Head Start classrooms start and end times will be staggered. Two rooms will start and end ½ hour earlier than the third. This is due to how we will be transporting the children on the buses. Once the times for each classroom have been determined, your child’s teacher will reach out with the times and you will also receive a letter in the mail.
» We will provide bus transportation for HS/4K. However, children will be transported in groups based on their classroom. The bus monitor will be that group’s classroom teacher. Each driver will be wearing a fitted N95 mask and each monitor will be masked during the entire ride. Having split groups will require us to stagger start and end times for rooms, but all children will be at the center for equal amounts of time. Children will sit in assigned seats specific to them and the bus will be sanitized after each run. Children will be screened for COVID symptoms prior to entering the bus. The screening process will include taking the child’s temperature with an infrared non-contact thermometer and asking basic COVID screening questions (please see attached). These responses will be documented and given to the health office daily. A child with a temp over 100 degrees or with any other communicable disease or COVID symptoms will not be allowed on the bus or at school that day. The ECC will be providing each family with an infrared thermometer so that children can be monitored at home. We are asking that families do this prior to putting your child on the bus to avoid any unnecessary distress. To be clear, children who get their temp taken at home will still need to get it taken before entering the bus.
» Parents dropping their children off will be screened, along with all occupants in the vehicle, in the parking lot before they exit the vehicle. Any occupant of the vehicle over the age of 6 is required to wear a mask while on the premises. If anyone is without a mask one will be provided. This is for the health and safety of all. Staff will meet each vehicle to do the screening. It may take a few minutes for staff to get to the vehicle so please be patient. Do not leave your vehicle until you have been cleared. You will not be allowed to enter the building unless you have been screened and been given a sticker. In the event all parking stalls are full, vehicles will be held by a staff person in the driveway until one opens up. Those arriving by public transport will be screened in the front entry and then asked to use the exterior classroom doors to deliver their child to their classroom. The front entry will be sanitized after each screen.
» If any member of the vehicle (or family) is experiencing COVID symptoms that child will not be admitted to school and the family will be asked to contact the Red Cliff Community Health Center (RCCHC) or their own provider. If the family chooses to use the RCCHC, tests can be administered that morning with results in less than an hour. With a signed release, we will be able to get results back and if they are negative the child can return to the center that morning. If the screen was passed, parents will bring their child to their exterior classroom door where the teacher will greet the child. Should a parent need to enter the room they will be given further instructions by their child’s teacher on how to proceed. Time in the room will be very limited. This would only be in the event that the child needs comfort by their parent prior to them leaving.
» All children and their families are able to use the RCCHC for COVID testing. This testing is at no cost to the family. The ECC will ask all families to sign a release of information so that we can collaborate with the RCCHC to help ensure the safety of our staff and children. This will also allow us to notify the RCCHC that a family is coming for a test so they can get is set up and the process will go faster. If a family does not use the RCCHC as their primary provider, they will be asked to fill out a registration form to help the process move faster should they need to get tested. This is not mandatory but it is recommended to help the process for testing go smoother and faster.
» Staff will be required to wear protective face coverings and children over 2 will be encouraged but not required. Families will be informed of this before starting school so they can make the best decision possible for their child and family. No child will lose their spot in HS/EHS if they choose to keep their child home due to COVID-19.
» Service options will be:
- Face to face 2 days a week and virtual 2 days a week OR
- 4 days a week virtual.
- Home Base services will be completely virtual through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
- Switching Service options: If a family wants to switch from virtual to face to face, a 2-week written notice is required and must be given to the Center Director. If a family wants to switch from face to face to virtual, a written notice is required, but services can be effective immediately.
» Meals (lunch, breakfast, and a snack) will be provided to all center base children. On days there is no face to face learning for a child or if a child is strictly virtual, meals will be able to be picked up or delivered. Families must specify how they want to receive their meals. If a family does not want meals, they can decline at any time. Meals in the classroom will be served by teachers (no family style).
» Backpacks and other items from home will not be allowed at the center.
» We are dividing the playgrounds/outdoor spaces into smaller sections to allow more than one room outside at a time. It will be encouraged to spend as much time as possible outside.
» Limited support staff will be allowed in classrooms as needed. If support staff need to enter room, they will follow COVID protocol. This will include mask wearing and frequent handwashing.
» Handheld misters are in each room, common areas and buses and will be used frequently. Each room will be sanitized at the end of each day. Toys will be washed daily. Each classroom will be deep cleaned each Wednesday and Friday afternoon.
» Should a child or staff person test positive for COVID -19 the following will take place:
- The center will be shut down as soon as possible so that affected areas can be fogged. Parents will be notified to pick their children up or they will be driven home on the bus (HS) in their appropriate groups.
- Facilities and Maintenance will be contacted to bring foggers to the ECC and affected areas and buses will be fogged.
- Areas and classrooms that do not need to be fogged will be able to be open as soon as the fogging process is complete (within 1-2 days). Areas or classrooms that need to be fogged will be reopened after they have been cleared by the Red Cliff Community Health Center.
- Notification will go out to all families that someone tested positive for COVID but no other information will be given. This will also be posted on the ECC and tribal webpage and throughout the building.
- Children and staff in the classroom or area where the positive case was identified will be required to be tested and quarantine if appropriate prior to returning to the center. The test can be administered by the Red Cliff Health Center or by a family’s primary care provider. Tests given at the Red Cliff Health Center will be a rapid test with results in an hour. Release will need to be signed in order for the ECC Health Office to receive test results.
- If a teacher tests positive, the whole class must get tested and be quarantined for 14 days. Class will be held virtually for those days and the whole class will need to be tested again to ensure a negative test upon return.
- If a student tests positive, the group of students they are assigned to and the teachers will need to be tested and quarantined for 14 days. Class will be held virtually for those days and that group will need to be tested again to ensure a negative test upon return.
- If a bus driver tests positive, transportation services from that bus will be on hold for 14 days. Students and monitors who ride that bus will need to be tested, quarantined and have a negative test upon return.
- In the event that a child cannot be tested due to provider recommendation (Presumptive Positive), that child will not be allowed at the center for 14 days.
- If a family chooses not to have their child tested, that child will not be able to attend face to face services for 14 days.
We are aware that family decisions to return their child to the center after a positive case may be different so we will plan for an increase in virtual learners.
» Staff PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) - All staff will be required to wear a mask while working unless in a non-shared space. The ECC will provide masks, gloves, and other required PPE to all staff. Staff are required to follow the Tribe’s COVID plan/policy.
» Child PPE - Facemasks are not recommended for children under two or for children with a compromised respiratory system. While at the ECC, facemask use on children will be left to the parent’s discretion. If a parent decides to have a child wear a facemask, they must understand:
- ECC will provide facemasks for children. Families are also able to provide their own facemasks. Please be sure your child’s name is clearly marked. All ECC masks will be labeled with the child's name or classroom number.
- If a child takes off their facemask, ECC staff will ask the child if they would like to put the mask back on. If the child refuses, staff will put the facemask in a paper bag in the child’s cubby.
- Facemasks will be available on the bus if needed.
- Facemasks will be removed at rest time, as these can be a strangulation and breathing hazard.
- Facemasks will be washed at the ECC daily. Soiled facemasks will be replaced as needed.
- There will be other children in our program not using facemasks.
» School days/hours - The school day will be staggered during the week to allow for smaller group sizes. Drop off will be at 7:45 for two Head Start classrooms and all Early Head Start classrooms and pick-up will be at 1:00. The third Head Start classroom’s drop off will be at 8:15 and pick-up will be at 1:30. (These times are subject to change). Hours have been decreased from original hours to allow ample time for daily cleaning and sanitizing. There will be no children on Wednesdays, this will allow for deep cleaning and disinfecting the center between each group. Deep cleaning will also take place on Friday afternoons. Each classroom will have at least two teachers.
» Children and staff will be monitored for COVID symptoms throughout the day. Temperatures will be taken throughout the day without disrupting learning/play time. If a child’s temperature reads 100 or higher the child will be asked to sit and relax for 10-15 minutes and the temperature will be retaken. If the second reading is below 100 the child may stay at school, if it is still higher than 100 the child will be sent home. Teachers will also self-monitor throughout the day.
» Toothbrushing - Office of Head Start has suspended toothbrushing in classrooms due to the COVID pandemic. The ECC will discontinue toothbrushing with all child until it is reinstated by Office of Head Start. Toothbrushes, toothpaste and educational materials will be provided to all children so we can continue to support parents in promoting good oral health habits at home.
» Rest Time - Classroom staff will need to ensure their classroom setup can accommodate rest areas that are 6 feet apart. Teachers will ensure that children are resting head to toe (i.e. children's heads are not near each other, but a child's head is next to another's feet). Cribs are to be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day. Sheets and blankets for the infant room will be laundered at the end of each group’s cycle. Mats and blankets in all other rooms will be stored in a bag that will be placed in the child's cubby. Rest time items will be laundered at a minimum weekly.
» Ventilation - Classroom windows will be open as often as possible and when appropriate to increase ventilation in the room.
» Child Storage/Cubbies - Parents will be asked to provide an extra outfit to keep at the center. Extra clothes for each child will be contained in a separate container or bag. Children will not be allowed to bring a backpack or other items from home.
» Meals in the classroom - Prior to all meals, children and staff must wash hands. The kitchen staff will provide meals to each classroom, leaving the cart at the classroom door. Teachers will plate and serve food to all children. Children and staff will observe social distancing guidelines while eating. Teachers will remove their masks to eat but will replace them as soon as they are finished.
» Instructional time - Teachers will make every effort to keep children socially distanced and in small groups. This will be done by intentional lesson and activity planning. Each child will have their own pencil box full of school supplies. This will be provided by the ECC. Classroom will have limited toys and equipment to help decrease the spread of germs.
» Outside learning - Outdoor spaces will be divided to allow each classroom to have their own space. Each class will rotate appropriate play spaces to allow all children the chance to utilize each space.
» Arrival & Departure:
- Please see guidelines above for arrival/drop off plan.
- Child Departure: When a child is getting picked up, the adult picking up the child will be screened in their vehicle before they can go through the playground gate to gather their child at the classroom’s exterior door.
- Late drop off / early pickup / unexpected pickup: Parent will be required to call the front office and let staff know of any scheduling changes to ensure that staff are available to screen families upon arrival. Families may have to wait until a staff person is available to conduct the screen before they can exit their vehicle to gather their child.
» In the event that COVID cases are on the rise in the center or in the community, the ECC will collaborate with the Red Cliff Community Health Center to determine when and if the ECC should close to ensure the health and safety of children and staff. If this happens, children will go back to virtual learning.
We also understand that things are changing constantly with COVID and we will do our very best to be responsive to the needs of the community, families and the recommendations of the Tribe and State of Wisconsin. We will shut the center down in the event that cases rise, and the risk outweighs the benefit of children being at school.
*The Red Cliff Early Childhood Center follows the Red Cliff Tribal COVID-19 testing policy. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Center Director or Administrator.
Child Screening Before School
To help your family prepare for each school day, we are asking that you screen your child for the following symptoms. These, along with any symptoms on the ECC Exclusion list, will prevent your child from entering the building. We are also asking that you evaluate if any of the members of your household have any of these symptoms as this will also prevent your child from entering the building. You will be asked these questions upon arrival at the ECC and prior to putting your child on the bus. By screening at home beforehand, you will be able to prepare your child if they cannot attend class that day. Please use the provided thermometer to monitor temperatures each morning as well. Please understand that the temperatures that register on your thermometer at home and the ones the ECC will be using may be different. We must go with the temperature that the ECC receives during its screen.
» Symptoms to screen for:
Chills - Cough - Difficulty Breathing - Fatigue / Tired
Fever in the past 24 hours (100 degrees F or above)
Muscle Pain - Nausea or Vomiting - New loss of taste or smell
Repeated shaking with chills - shortness of breath
Sore throat - Used a fever reducer (in the past 24 hours) - Headache
Has your child or anyone in your house been in contact with or around a person who had COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above your child may not attend face to face services that day. The ECC asks that you call the Red Cliff Community Health Center or your physician to get further guidance. The ECC will need something from that provider saying that your child is safe to attend class (negative COVID-19 test or other documentation that they are cleared to be at school). They can return as soon as that documentation (or phone call) is received.
If you have any questions, please contact the ECC at 715-779-5030.