With the new design of small classes, children will feel the benefits of an intimate setting, yet still sense the energy of our community as a whole – and the hum of life as we knew it. We are eager to create a sense of normalcy for your family, and look forward to welcoming you to ours.
Piper has been redesigned to accommodate a new model of small pods of 10-12 children and 2 teachers. Each group will consist of the same children each day, with the same set of teachers.
Can I create my own pod?
Yep. If you have multiple children or are friends with other families with preschool-age children, grouping you together is a possibility – so please let us know if you’d like to create your own pod. With small groups children, differentiated instruction and the values of a mixed-age setting are easily implemented. Combining siblings, extended family, and/or family friends together is a great way for us to be able to serve your whole family and further limit exposure. This also allows you the additional comfort of being paired with people who you may be likely to see outside of school.
How will my child interact with their teachers and friends?
By forming small pods and keeping these groupings the same each day, we are able to lift the expectation of distancing within each group, allowing interaction to continue as you would expect in a preschool. Extra precautions will be put into place during snack, lunch, and the use of sensory materials, but during the course of the day and class activities, child interaction and teacher engagement will resume as we always have in the past.
What if my child is uneasy about masks?
All adults will be wearing masks and while some children are unphased, others may feel cautious. If you are seeing this in your child, our best advice is to acknowledge their feelings, but not over-inform. It may also help to have a few extra masks around the house, try them on stuffed animals, or just have them available in your child’s dress-up area (you have one of those, right?). We promise… your child will take your lead and masks will naturally be normalized. Additionally, children will not be asked to wear masks.
OUTSIDE OF THE BOX… LITERALLY.
By converting our playground into outdoor classrooms, we are able to maximize outdoor time for each child and safely implement a setting where only 10-12 children and 2 teachers are grouped together. These new spaces will reflect the Piper interior, and are being designed to provide a balanced rotation of both settings.
If you’ve toured Piper before, then you know the intention behind our emphasis on environment. Our classrooms, both indoor and outdoor, will look like the same loving, nurturing, and engaging setting as you remember. If you have never seen Piper in person, take a look at our gallery, or sign up for a private tour. We won’t shake your hand, but look forward to welcoming you with open-aired arms.
When are schools opening? How will schools open? What will schools look like? Will my child ever get out of the house? We’ve all clicked the same links. The CDC has been clear with their guidelines, and we’re on board. Below is an outline of super-sterile protocols that Piper has put into place.
Everyone entering the building will be screened. Temperature checks and sanitizer will be a daily routine – and normalized by our collective tone. Seeing this process in other public settings will also help to demystify the screening for our children, and will soon feel normal. Your child will take your cue… reiterating the purpose in simple and gentle terms is best (i.e. “We are keeping our bodies healthy.”).
How will social distancing work?
The intention of creating small class pods is to allow an ease of this restriction. While teachers and other adults will maintain the imposed 6’ distance from one another, the teachers and children within one group are not expected to do so.
What will drop-off and pick-up look like?
Both drop-off and pick-up will be organized so that children arrive with their pod and welcomed by the teachers of their pod. Just as we line up at the grocery store, imagine your pod waiting for a brief moment, and then entering as one.
Will I be allowed to participate in my child’s separation process?
Yes. Transitioning into school has been extremely important to us since the conception of Piper, and that continues to be the case. Ranging from 1:1 visits to small pod playdates, a nurturing process will bring us back to normalcy. A detailed plan that is easy to follow, yet encapsulates all guidelines as well as the essence of Piper, will be provided to all families.
CLEAN AS A WHISTLE
Piper will follow the national standards for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection of educational facilities for children.
Maintenance staff will be on-site to routinely clean, sanitize, and disinfect the school. This includes classrooms, common spaces, as well as high-touch surfaces. The maintenance staff will not be in contact with children or teachers, and will practice social distancing.
Toys, materials, and equipment will be washed and sanitized between groups; Children will have their own bag of sensory materials to use for specific activities.
Teachers will model and monitor procedures for bathroom, meals, and activities, based on updated guidelines… and just good ol’ fashioned hygiene.
Hand washing will take place as an activity, approximately every hour and as needed; Teachers will monitor all hand washing and model for children by singing a 20-second song. Taking requests.
Classroom bathrooms will be used by one group of children at a time. All surfaces will be disinfected after each use.
Thank you so much for your interest in Piper. Our faculty’s dedication and perseverance through this temporary time has been a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do. Community is at the core and together, we are better.