COVID-19 Family FAQ

Responses are based on current information and protocols and are subject to change. For more questions, please email info@ihsdinc.org. (Last updated: 8/26 @ 11:15 am.)

CLASSROOM QUESTIONS

Q: What will our new normal look like? [Updated!]
A: Per new health and safety regulations, our classroom ratios will decrease to 10 students to 1 teacher, but we will still have three teachers in the classroom. Teachers are wearing masks but gloves only during drop off and temperature screening. Here is a preview of what our classroom looks like.

  • 5 Infant/Toddler center-based classrooms are opened with 8 children per classroom
  • 18 Preschool center-based classrooms are opened with 10 children per classroom
  • 4 providers from family child care are opened
  • Homebased programs are serving families via tele-visits
  • Distance learning is also offered and currently serving over 60 students

Q: What will the operating times look like?
A: IHSD will open all of its Full-Day classrooms on Monday, August 17. All operating hours will be 8 am – 4 pm, except for Ravenswood which will be 8 am -5 pm and Baden will be 7:45 am – 3:45 pm. Our Family Services Specialist will be contacting you to discuss the drop-off and pick-up times. We will need to stagger the times of families coming to school and leaving the school to minimize any gatherings.

Q: What will the new classroom look like?
A: Classrooms have been adjusted to ensure that children and staff are able to safely and freely have space around the classroom. Here is a preview of what our classroom looks like.

  • Learning areas are now bigger to allow for more space between children when they are playing.
  • Tables with chairs are spaced as far apart as possible. Children have individual containers for sand, water, playdough and art supplies to limit the sharing of items.
  • Visual guides (colored masking tape) that help children play while encouraging social distancing.
  • Napping cots will be six feet apart from each other.
  • Classrooms will have hand sanitizer stations, tissue and places to wash their hands with soap and water.
  • Toys that are hard to disinfect (e.g. stuffed animals and soft toys) have been removed from the classrooms.
  • Toothbrushing will no longer occur at the center.
  • Large group activities like circle time will be modified so that children are not sitting in close proximity to each other.
  • Windows will be opened as much as possible to introduce fresh air and the air conditioners set to introduce fresh air, when that setting is available.

Q: How will the classrooms be cleaned each day?
A: Each classroom will have been completely cleaned and disinfected, and we will continue to adhere to all necessary safety precautions. During the day, the teachers will be cleaning the high touch areas every 2 hours and will disinfect the classroom and toys at the end of the day. The janitorial company will be cleaning the classroom and workspaces at the end of each day. The playground will be disinfected between different classrooms or at the end of the day. Bathrooms will be disinfected after every use.

Q: What will drop-off look like? [Updated!]
A: Parents will be required to wear masks when dropping off. We ask that the same parent who drops off is the same parent for pick-up. Elderly family members will be encouraged to stay at home to minimize exposure. No parents or visitors will be allowed inside the classroom. Here is a preview of what our sign-in process looks like.

Failure to accurately respond to these questions (e.g., not disclosing a COVID-related symptom that their child or someone in their household may be experiencing) can result in their child being transferred to distance learning for the school year.

Q: Will students need masks?
A: Children ages 3+ will have the option to wear provided masks, but it is not required. We will provide masks. Infants and toddlers less than 3 years of age will not wear masks.

Q: What will mealtimes look like?
A: We will need to temporarily suspend family-style eating. The food will be plated by the teacher.

Q: What will home visits look like?
A: We will need to temporarily suspend home visits and continue with video conferencing via Google Hangouts or Zoom.

TEACHER QUESTIONS

Q: Will the teachers be tested?
A: Yes, all teachers will be tested before heading into the classroom. Once tested, it not recommended to get regularly tested unless exposed or showing symptoms.

Q: Are you going to test teachers regularly to check for COVID? [New!]
A: Teachers will not be tested regularly unless they have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID.

HEALTH QUESTIONS

Q: What are the COVID symptoms I should look out for? [New!]
A: Fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and new loss of taste or smell.

Q: What if my child feels sick or show symptoms of COVID-19? [New!]
A: We will ask the child to stay home for 14 days, assessed by a primary care doctor, and can return so long as they don’t show symptoms

Q: What if my child was in close contact of someone tested positive? [New!]
A: We will ask the child to stay home for 14 days and can return so long as he/she doesn’t show symptoms.

Q: What if we have a household member tested positive or has COVID-like symptoms? [New!]
A: We will ask the child to stay home for 14 days and can return so long as he/she doesn’t show symptoms.

Q: What if my child is not sick and regularly has a runny nose or asthma? [Updated!]
A: If a child is reported to already have pre-existing conditions like allergies and asthma, teachers will evaluate case-by-case and may ask for a doctor’s written clearance depending on the situation.

Q: How do we access testing for families?
A: You can visit www.projectbaseline.com for free testing sites and an appointment for people who are 18 years or older or ask your primary care doctor.

ENROLLMENT QUESTIONS

Q: Are you still taking enrollment? [Updated!]
A: Yes, we are still taking enrollment, but please note that families are likely to be on the waiting list as we consider opportunities to serve more students. Please visit our enrollment page to submit an online application.

Q: Will I have a classroom spot in the new school year?
A: At the moment, we are prioritizing all returning families and families transitioning from our Early Head Start programs. More updates to come.