COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols
Our priority is keeping our community safe
For almost 50 years, the health and safety of our community has been a top priority. The most important aspect of our whole-child approach is making sure your child is safe, secure, and supported. As always, we are working diligently to follow and exceed the stringent hygiene guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and our federal, state, and local officials.
Enhanced Entrance Protocols:
- Hand sanitizing stations are available for everyone entering the building to sanitize their hands.
- Drop off times will be staggered by classroom, so only one class is dropping off children at a time.
- Parents will be required to wear a mask and wait at the pickup station to drop off and pick up their child.
- Screenings will take place of staff and child/parent at the Health Check Station. Anyone showing signs of illness will not be permitted to enter. This includes a temperature of 100.4 or higher.
- Digital Daily Screening form to speed up the check-in process and the drop off lines.
- When to Stay Home – NJ is currently classified as “Orange”, meaning High Risk for COVID-19. The guidelines require anyone to stay home if they have symptoms and do not have an alternate diagnosis. They will be required to stay home for 10-days AND be fever-free for 72 hours without fever-reducing medication and a doctor’s note clearing them to return to school. Click here for the link to review the symptoms COVID-19.
- Impact of other Positive COVID-19 results in a household – Any sibling of a student (or any other member of the household) that tested positive for COVID-19 will also need to quarantine. The quarantine period will last until the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result for a period of 14 days AFTER the 10-day isolation period is over, which is a total of 24 days. For more information on the quarantine process click on the link.
- If your child becomes sick during the day, they will be brought to a space away from all other children, and parents will be expected to pick up their child as soon as possible.
- Travel Advisory: If you choose to travel domestically or internationally to a Level 2 or higher location, you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
School Closing Guidelines:
- Any parent, student, or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must notify the school immediately, consult their physician, and begin a 14-day quarantine period. The parent, student, or staff member cannot return to the school until they complete the 14-day quarantine and/or they present a negative test result and a doctor’s note clearing them to return to school.
- Any classroom that is mandated to close will transfer to our distance learning program with their regular teachers to help minimize disruption.
Protocols for Inside the Building:
- Face coverings will be required for staff and children ages 2 and above. In accordance with these guidelines, children over age 2 should wear their face coverings at all times with the following exceptions:
- While having a snack or eating a meal
- While outside (playground) if they are social distancing
- During nap time
- When needed for a break or rest from wearing a face covering
- Cellphones will be wiped down upon entry to the building.
- Handwashing will be required of all staff members before entering a classroom.
- Children and Staff will have their shoes sprayed and sanitized.
Social Distancing Strategies:
- Classes will include the same group each day, and the same teachers will remain with the same group each day. Staff and children will only use their assigned room for the day.
- Class sizes will be adjusted to guidelines given to us by the CDC, state and local authorities.
- No visitors will be allowed in the building.
- Playground times will be staggered and allow for disinfection before another class may enter the playground.
- Gloves will be worn while handling food, changing diapers or during any contact with a bodily fluid.
- Handwashing will be required after working with a child and before working with the next child.
- Field trips and special events will be canceled or postponed until further guidance from the state is provided.
Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures:
- Routinely clean, disinfect, and sanitize. Each school has a schedule for cleaning and disinfecting all common areas and classrooms throughout the day.
- Sanitizing machine schedules are followed for all classrooms.
- Children’s bedding and nap mats are stored in individual bags and laid out 6 ft. apart.
- Specialized Disinfectant Solution & Electrostatic Technology: Each school has been equipped with a high-powered Electrostatic Sprayer in combination with a specialized EPA disinfectant solution. These will be used daily to clean the playgrounds, classrooms, and hallways when the children are not present. The solution contains no harmful chemicals and has proven effectiveness against viruses and bacteria. The sprayer technology creates an electrostatic force field so powerful that it coats hidden and hard to reach surfaces 360 degrees, killing 99.9% of viruses in 4 minutes or less. This powerful and effective duo provides a more efficient and thorough way to disinfect and sanitize our schools. Click here to view the duo in action.
Food Preparation and Meal Services:
- Staff ensure children wash hands prior to and immediately after eating.
- Handwashing is required of staff prior to applying gloves to prepare food and after helping children to eat.
- Families are required to provide their own food for lunchtime and daycare snacks and the children will sit 6 feet apart during group meals/snacks.
What will a typical day look like in a Montessori Classroom?
Read below to find out!
Welcome to the Classroom:
- Children will be escorted to the classroom by an employee who is part of the check-in process.
- Your child will go to the sink and wash their hands before beginning their day.
- Each child will be assigned a spot on the line that will be their spot each day.
- Every child will be assigned their own work rug.
- Each child will be assigned a table in the classroom. This table is where the child will do any table work they choose and this is where they will eat lunch and snack.
- Every child will have their own work basket. This basket will have their own colored pencils, pencil, eraser and any other supplies they need.
- Each child will also have a larger basket with books from the library.
Additional Safety Measures:
- Classrooms will have a bucket/box for used items to be cleaned.
- Drop off times will be staggered so that your child’s class is arriving in a 15-minute window.
- Once in classrooms, the children will stay in the room for the day except to go outside to the playground or to use the bathrooms if a classroom does not have facilities within the room.
- The classroom will be sanitized while the children are on the playground and the playground will be sanitized in between each use.
Pool Guidelines for Apple Montessori:
We are very excited to announce that we will be opening our pools at most of our locations this summer! Apple Montessori has always held the highest standards for the safety and health of our swimmers by following all guidelines set by health officials and we will continue to do so with the enhanced standards due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Pool Facility Standards:
- All pools will be inspected and approved by the local health authority before they are open for use.
- We have developed and are implementing a COVID-19 Pool Operation Prevention Plan.
- We have hired a full staff of Red Cross Certified Lifeguards who will also be trained on COVID-19 awareness and cleaning and sanitizing to promote the safety of our swimmers.
- Our lifeguards will monitor and encourage the social distancing of swimmers while they are swimming or on the pool deck.
- Measures will be implemented to encourage 6 feet of social distancing while in the water, unless the individual needs assistance in order to swim.
- Towels will be spaced apart to encourage social distancing.
- All staff, including our lifeguards, will have personal protection equipment available to them and will be screened before entering the facility at our health checkpoints.
- We will be limiting the amount of swimmers at the pool to only one classroom group at a time per pool.
- At entry points, we will have signage to alert for signs of illness and other important COVID-19 information.
- We will implement enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures using approved disinfectants and following CDC guidance that includes frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas and major touchpoints.
- There will be hand sanitizer available to use when needed.
- We will prohibit sharing of items such as googles and towels. We will be asking parents to provide these items for their children to use.
- We will prohibit the use of any play items in the pool such as kickboards, pool noodles, or other toys.
- Face masks will not be required in the water due to the increased risk.
- Lifeguards will not wear face masks while on duty, but are encouraged to wear them when they are not on active lifeguarding duty and cannot maintain social distancing of 6 feet.
- Campers will be encouraged to wear a mask while they are not in the pool.
Guidelines for Our Infant & Toddler Rooms:
It is important to note that many of these guidelines apply to our entire school, but there are some specific guidelines that will be implemented in our infant and toddler classrooms.
Guidelines for Infants & Toddlers Rooms:
- Handwashing will increase for both staff and toddler students.
- We will socially distance our children during all circle times and group activities as well as when they are working with the Montessori materials.
- We will not allow any toys or stuffed animals from home to be brought into the classroom. We ask that students leave them at home or in the car before coming into the building.
- We are asking families to clearly label all children’s personal items such as extra clothing, sippy cups, lunch boxes, pacifiers for infants, coats, sunscreen, hats, etc. to ensure that items are not shared.
- The microwave and bottle warmer for infants may be used to heat a child’s breakfast and lunch. They will be wiped down after each use.
- We will rotate materials in the classrooms to ensure proper cleaning and sanitizing in compliance with our health and safety guidelines. Rotating materials also offers children choices and keeps them engaged in various activities.
Guidelines for Toddler Rooms:
- Toddlers will be assigned seats at the table for all snacks and lunch.
- For the time being, we will not offer our food tasting presentations; however, we will offer our healthy toddler snacks. Our cheese sticks, yogurt, applesauce, fruit bars, and fruit cups all come in single-serve packaging.
- During this time, toddlers will not be asked to set the table for lunch. We will still encourage independent eating, grace, and courtesy as much as possible during mealtimes.
- Each toddler will have an assigned art supply bag with several crayons, paintbrushes, chalk, and other supplies they frequently use.
- When utilizing walking ropes to go outside, toddlers will socially distance while holding the rope as much as possible and when it is developmentally appropriate.
Guidelines for Infant Classrooms:
- Even though we will follow social distancing guidelines, it is important to know that infants will be held and given affection. It is an important part of their development and cannot be completely avoided in the infant classroom. Our infants need and will always feel nurtured and loved!
- If your infant uses a pacifier, we ask that you provide a pacifier clip to ensure it stays with your child. We will remove the clip during nap time to follow safe sleep standards.
- Please provide multiple changes of clothing, so we can change your child if they become soiled in any way throughout the day.
- As always, each child will have a separate basket in the refrigerator, freezer (if they have frozen breastmilk), and cabinet for non-perishable food items. Food must be provided by parents daily, and it will only be stored in each child’s baskets.
- Every morning, our staff will place all clean daily utensils, bibs, and dishes into each child’s baskets.
- All utensils, dishes, and plastic bibs will be cleaned in the dishwasher. We will not handwash these items.
- We will practice social distancing at the tables while children eat. Tables are limited to two children at a time. The teacher will wipe down the table and chair after each child is finished eating.
- Parents may supply utensils or bibs for their infant. Please be sure to send enough utensils and bibs for each snack and meal. Staff will rinse these items and send them home for parents to wash at home and return the next day.
- If an infant uses a boppy pillow or bouncy seat, we will assign them a pillow or seat to use for the day (we will not share them among the students). When they are not in use, they will be put away. All cloth coverings will be washed every day.
- Infants explore their surroundings through their senses, especially touching and tasting. All infant items—especially those put in their mouths—will be cleaned using the proper cleaning solution or cleaning method before being available for other children to use.
- Whenever possible we will place an empty crib between two sleeping children. We may need to move cribs around the room to maintain this spacing throughout the day. Apple strollers will be used to take infants
We will follow and exceed the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control, and our federal, state, and local officials.
Learn More About our Health and Safety Procedures for Summer Camp and the Upcoming School Year.
Connect With a Member of our Team by Scheduling a Live Virtual Tour.
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