• COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

    Last Updated 8/1/2021

    Pebblecreek Montessori has been following guidelines since March 12, 2020 and adapting as new recommendations emerge.
    This document is based on the guidelines and information provided by the following sources:

    Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):

    State of Texas:

    Mitigation strategies within the Pebblecreek community emphasize preparation of the learning environments and preparation of the adult caregivers. These core principles of Montessori can be applied to both to minimize risk to children and preserve normalcy for them whenever possible.

    At Drop Off

    • Staff, children and required visitors will be screened prior to entering the facility. This includes taking the temperature of each person upon arrival at the operation each day, and denying entry to any person who meets any of the following criteria
    • A temperature of 100.4°F or above;
    • Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and low-grade fever;
    • In the previous 14 days has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19;
    • Is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness.
    • Staff and Parents are asked to wear masks at drop off and pick up.
    • Everyone entering the building is required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
    • Pick up and drop off of children will remain outside of the school (in AZ, in the lobby) unless there is a legitimate and imminent need for the parent to enter. Please see your campus for more information.
    • If possible, the same adult should pick up and drop off the child.
    • Please be mindful of social distancing if you exit your vehicle for any reason during drop off or pickup.
    • Staff are not permitted to buckle or unbuckle students from a car seat.

    Within the Classroom Environment

    • Each group of children is working in a designated room, with the same children and caregivers on a day-to-day basis.
    • Students are limited to their program group and classroom.
    • Outdoor times are staggered and/or individual outdoor environments are provided.
    • When napping, children are spaced, as much as possible, ideally 6 feet apart.
    • Children wash their hands before eating; before water play; after toileting or a diaper change; after outdoor activities; and after any interaction with animals. Additionally, children wash their hands-on arrival and anytime they use a tissue or have mucus cleaned from their face. (Guideline in Minimum Standards of Child Care Licensing, not COVID19 specific).
    • EPA Approved disinfectants are utilized both throughout the day and at the end of the day.
    • Each school has a designated space for children who begin exhibiting symptoms while they are waiting to be picked up.
    • Group food preparation activities by children are suspended in all programs.
    • Meals are individually served, rather than family style.
    • Disposable flatware and plates are used for meals in programs that do not include dishwashers in the classroom environment.
    • Materials or toys are removed for sanitization after they are mouthed by a child. Soft items are machine washed. Sleeping equipment and toilets are sanitized between uses. Tabletops, furniture, door handles, and other equipment are sanitized regularly throughout the day. (Guideline in Texas Minimum Standards for Childcare Licensing, not COVID19 specific)
    • The HVAC system has been set to maximize the flow of fresh air in the program space.
    • No field trips.

    The Prepared Adult in the School

    • Every staff member has taken required health and safety training related to COVID-19 through the Texas A&M Agrilife extension or on-campus.
    • Staff have access to on-demand rapid testing.
    • Staff has received additional training on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
    • Employees use a mask when working with children indoors except when eating/drinking (exceptions approved at the campus level).
    • Employees wash their hands when entering a new classroom environment, before and after eating or handling food or medication, before feeding a child, after diapering a child or assisting with toileting, after handling or cleaning bodily fluids, after outdoor activities, after handling food, after using chemicals or cleaners, and after removing gloves. (Guideline in Texas Minimum Standards for Childcare Licensing, not COVID19 specific).

    The Prepared Adult at Home

    • Parents/Guardians are asked to be proactive in monitoring symptoms in children, and keep them home if they are symptomatic or feel unwell. (green runny nose, lethargy etc)
    • If possible, have the same person pick up and drop off your student(s) each day.
    • Please follow CDC guidelines and recommendations on self-quarantine as it relates to travel and exposure. Details can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.Mitigation and response
    • If you or your child(ren) experience symptoms of COVID-19 or similar, please notify us as soon as possible. Staff or students exhibiting signs of illness should stay home, or will be sent home immediately if symptoms present at the school. In order to return to school, children must be fever-free for 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medication, and be symptom-free. We reserve the right to request physician documentation before allowing your child to return following any illness.
    • If COVID-19 is confirmed in a child or staff member the local health department will be contacted, and they will dictate the specific steps that we take. Typically, this would involve notification to anyone who was on the premises and a partial or full closure of the building for 2-5 days for deep cleaning.
    • Due to confidentiality, we cannot release the names of children/adults who may become positive for COVID-19, but we will release the classroom that the person was in before they developed symptoms.

    Additional Resources

    Texas Governor
    • Executive Order by the Governor of the State of Texas – No. GA-14 relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-14_Statewide_Essential_Service_and_Activity_COVID-19_IMAGE_03-31-2020.pdf

    Frontline Child Care
    • COVID-19 Resources for Child Care https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-child-care
    • Guidance for COVID-19 (PDF) https://www.twc.texas.gov/files/policy_letters/attachments/07-20-att-1-twc.pdf

    Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC)
    • Coronavirus (COVID-19) https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19
    • COVID-19 Guidance to Child Care Providers (March 16, 2020) https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news/2020/03/covid-19-guidancechild-care-providers
    • COVID-19 Guidance to Child Care Providers (March 4, 2020) https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news/2020/03/covid-19-guidancechild-care-providers

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Guidance for Childcare Programs that Remain Open https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-forchildcare.html
    • Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-forschools.html
    • Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaningdisinfection.html
    • Use of Cloth Face Covering to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
    • Diaper Changing Posters https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/diapering/childcare.html
    • Self-Checker https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html
    • What to Do If You Are Sick https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
    • Social Distancing, Quarantine, Isolation https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html
    • Handwashing – Clean Hands Save Lives https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • EPA Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
    • Green Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting | US Environmental Protection Agency https://www.epa.gov/schools/green-cleaning-sanitizing-and-disinfecting-toolkit-early-care-andeducation

    National Resource Center for Health and Safety
    • Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting | Caring for Our Children https://nrckids.org/CFOC/Database/3.3
    • Routine Schedule for Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting [Example] https://nrckids.org/files/appendix/AppendixK.pdf
    • Selecting an Appropriate Sanitizer or Disinfectant https://nrckids.org/files/appendix/AppendixJ.pdf

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    • OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.1200 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension | Family & Community Health Unit
    • Scrub Up, Tune Up Handwashing Program http://www.howdyhealth.tamu.edu/scrubup
    • ‘Mingle Fingle Jingle’ Video https://howdyhealth.org/scrubup/scrub-up-videos
    • Handwashing Steps (PDF) https://howdyhealth.org/images/scrubup/tamu-agrilife-scrub-up-tune-up-how-to-handwash.pdf

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