Covid-19 Policies & Updates

Westminster Weekday Schools is actively assessing and implementing protocols needed to maintain the safety and health of our children, families and staff as we return to school and program activities. The following policies and procedures will be put in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies are based on recommendations and guidelines from Texas Health and Human Services, local health officials, state licensing agencies and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The Westminster Weekday Schools Advisory Board and administration may adjust these policies as needed based on changes in pandemic conditions or updates from local officials.

Disclaimer:
Despite the following precautions, children, families or staff may still come in contact or be exposed to any illness or disease at our facility. Westminster Weekday Schools and Westminster United Methodist Church are not responsible for possible exposure or contracting any illness or disease, including COVID-19.

Definition:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 

Section 1: Health Protocols

Illness Policy:

We are concerned with the health and well-being of all the children, because of this we must follow certain hygiene procedures. Precautions are taken at all times to safeguard the children’s health. This includes refusing to admit sick children into school at the start of the day and isolating children who become ill during school hours.

Children with fever, cough, a persistent runny nose, an undiagnosed rash, vomiting, diarrhea, and a child who generally “doesn’t feel good” should not be brought to school. A child needs to be well enough to participate actively in all aspects of the school day to attend school.

A child must be free of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea for at least 24 hours, without medications, before returning to school. In the case of a positive COVID test, a student will be required to quarantine for 10 days (see COVID-19 Policy below).

Any condition or problem (medical, physical, or emotional) which affects your child should be discussed with their teachers.

Illness at School:

Health checks will be done by the teachers daily to insure the health and safety of all children. If a child appears to have any symptoms that makes school attendance questionable, the child will be taken to a separate quarantine room for evaluation. If a temperature or symptoms are deemed severe enough, the child will be supervised in the quarantine room, and a parent will be notified immediately and instructed to pick up their child. The child will be cared for in the quarantine room until they are picked up. All areas where the ill child had contact will be disinfected.

Contagious Diseases:

Parents should notify the school when children are ill with a communicable disease so that other parents and, in some cases, the Health Department may be notified. Children must have a doctor’s note to return to school. (Regarding COVID, see COVID Policy below.)

When contagious illnesses are identified among children who attend Westminster, a notice will be emailed to parents indicating the type of illness, symptoms to look for, and other information that may be of interest such as the incubation period for various diseases. This is done to give parents as much advance warning as possible to plan alternative care arrangements for ill children. Names of ill children are not made public. Only the type of disease and related information is shared with other parents. 

Section 2: COVID-19 Policy

If a student tests positive for COVID, parents should notify the Director immediately at tfitzgerald@wumc.com. The child will be required to quarantine for 10 days and may return on day 11 if he/she has been symptom free for 24 hours.
 
If a student lives in a household with someone who has tested positive for COVID, parents should notify the Director immediately at tfitzgerald@wumc.com. The student may take a PCR test on Day 5 of their quarantine and return on Day 6 with a negative result if they are symptom free. If a parent prefers not to test their child in this situation, the student will quarantine for 10 days and may return on Day 11 if symptom free.
 
If a student in your child’s classroom tests positive for COVID, the class will be notified and parents will monitor their child(ren) for symptoms. Children who remain asymptomatic will be allowed to continue coming to school as the classroom will remain open. If a student develops symptoms at home after a classroom exposure, parents should contact the Director at tfitzgerald@wumc.com to develop a plan to return to school. A student who develops symptoms at school after a classroom exposure, will be sent home and a plan will be developed to return to school. WWDS may consider closing a classroom and requiring a negative test from all students to return should the number of COVID cases in an individual classroom exceed an acceptable number.
 
 
This policy will be reviewed by the WWDS Advisory Board regularly and parents will be notified of any updates.
 

Section 3: School Procedures

Caring for Young Children:

Westminster believes strongly that young children need to be loved, nurtured and comforted while at school. We will continue to care for your children in a gentle and loving way and will attend to their emotional and physical needs throughout the day. Our classrooms will continue to be vibrant places of exploration, creativity, play, learning and discovery.

School Responsibilities and Precautions:

Teachers will assist children with washing their hands upon arrival to the classroom and throughout the day.

WWDS will help children learn proper mouth covering when coughing or sneezing, and proper handwashing procedures. We ask families to reinforce these practices with children at home.

A quarantine room will be provided for any child exhibiting symptoms where they will be closely monitored by a staff member until a parent arrives.

Cleaning and Disinfecting:

Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will include an FDA approved cleaning solution that follows the health department’s guidelines for use, Clorox wipes and Lysol spray.

WWDS will be adding additional cleaning in high touch areas.

Staff will disinfect all toys with a proper disinfecting solution during the day as needed and at the end of each day.

Staff will remove any item that a child places in their mouth until it can be cleaned and disinfected.

Personal items will be sent home daily to be washed or disinfected.

Drop-Off Procedures:

All children will be dropped off at a designated zone. Parents will stop in the designated zone, remove the child from the car with his or her belongings, and wait for a staff member to greet their child and accompany them to their classroom. 

Designated zones are as follows:

  • Zone A – Nursery Wing (under covered carport on the church wing)
    • Teddy Bear, Turtle & Angel Classes
  • Zone B- Main Entrance (Long Hallway)
    • Honeybee, Bunny, Pony, Orange Fish, Red Ladybug, Green Gator & Star Classes
 

Please allot extra time for arrival and proceed with patience and grace for our school staff.

Classroom Placement and Distribution:

Student classroom placements are conducted at the discretion of the school administration based on enrollment, classroom size, recommended student/teacher ratios, among other factors.

Routines and Materials:

Students bring water bottles, snacks, and lunch in a lunch box each day. The school will provide water in disposable cups throughout the day and on the playground.

We will celebrate birthdays in each classroom. Parents may choose to send an individually packaged treat to share with the class (ex: rice krispy treats).

Parents will provide each child a change of clothing to be kept at school.

Each child will be assigned a new nap mat which they will use throughout the year. Parents are to send a fitted crib sheet to cover the mat each day and they will be sent home daily to be laundered. Nap mats will be sanitized at the end of each
day.

Children may bring one comfort item (lovey); please do not send any other toys, stuffed animals, etc.

You will receive daily reports (infants-2) and weekly reports (3-5) from your teachers via the parent app Brightwheel.

You are welcome to send messages to teachers with updates, concerns, changes in pick-up routine. You may also reach teachers through the school phone or email.

School Closures:

WWDS may be closed at any time due to the following reasons:

  • Confirmed case or possible exposure within the school as determined by the local health department.
  • Adequate staffing is not available to maintain minimum required ratios.
  • A stay-at-home order is issued by local officials.
  • Other closures related to pandemic conditions.

 

Parents will be notified via email of school closures.

Tuition Policy:

Tuition must be paid as scheduled for your child to remain enrolled.

Registration fee, supply fee and May tuition are non-refundable if a child withdrawals from the program as per our enrollment policy which reads:

“Students are enrolled for the full school year. Should withdrawal become necessary, written notification must be sent to the Director at least thirty (30) days before the date of the withdrawal. If 30 days notice is not given, you will be billed for one month after the drop is reported. The application, registration, and supply fees, as well as the May 2023 tuition will be forfeited. The May 2023 tuition cannot be applied to any other month’s tuition and is non-transferable.”

Enrollment Requirements:

By reading and signing the acknowledgement page, parent/guardians confirm to having been informed and agree to follow all instructions included in this document, and the Westminster Weekday Schools Parent Handbook, for continued enrollment at WWDS. We will work together as staff and families to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing early childhood environment for our children