Dear Mount Olivet Community,
As we get closer to reopening in the Fall of 2021, a few questions seem to be on our families’ minds related to reopening and COVID-19. The answers are current as of February 5, 2021. As we get closer to September and learn more from the CDC and VaDSS, our procedures will adjust.
If you have a question that is not below, please ask the director, Michele Liberty.
Michele A. Liberty, M.Ed.
Start of The Day Procedures
Will there be daily temperature checks before entrance?
Yes. We will use the software HiMAMA to do touchless check-in via a phone app with staff at key locations to perform touchless temp checks.
Will parents be allowed in the building for pick up and drop off?
Only one (1) adult (after daily health check with child), wearing a face mask, will be permitted in the building (at this time).
Will the 15th Street Circle be used as a drop-zone?
We will have several drop-off areas in order to do the health checks quickly and efficiently, located near the parking lot and the 15th Street Circle.
Who will be required to wear masks?
- All staff are required to wear face masks.
- At this time, 4s & 5s are required to wear masks because VA code requires 5-year-olds and above to wear facemasks. Since 4s start to turn 5 as early as October, all 4s will wear masks.
- It will be highly encouraged in the 3s program and positively chatted about in the 2s program, but not the Toddlers since some of them will be under 2
Class Sizes and Ratios
Are the class sizes different?
Since MOPS is dedicated to lower class sizes and better teacher-student ratios that is required by Virginia DSS during COVID, we did not have to adjust our class sizes.
What are the class sizes and ratios for the 2021-2022 school year?
At this time, MOPS has the following class sizes and ratios:
- Toddler/Young 2s classes = 10 children max with 2 teachers and a floater available if needed
- 2s classes = 13 children max with 3 teachers
- 3s classes = 15 children max with 2 teachers and a floater available if needed
- 3 Day 4s class = 12 children max with 2 teachers and a floater available if needed
- 5 Day 4s class = 16 children max with 2 teachers and a floater available if needed
- 5s class = 12-14 children max with 2 teachers and a floater available if needed (2 classrooms are available for this group if needed)
Free Play, Playground, Outside Classes
What emphasis will be placed on more outdoor play, air purifiers, and opening windows?
We are increasing outside time as much as possible – having the extra fenced-in areas will help with that. We are going to purchase air units for each classroom as well as the UV-C wands to clean toys. If we have the improved air units in each room, then we will not need to open windows as much – but the teachers will have that choice dependent on the weather.
How many classes will be allowed on the playground at once?
We have three (3) fenced-in areas so the numbers of groups will increase to allow for more outside time for instruction and play.
Will we still use the Fellowship Hall (“running room”)?
Yes. As long as cleaning of toys occurs between groups in accordance with VADSS regulations.
Snack and Lunch
How will lunch and snack be handled?
- Families will continue to bring their healthy, peanut-free/tree-nut free lunch, as well as a snack. Items must be cut so the children can pick up and eat the food with minimal teacher intervention.
- Water must also be in a thermos with the child’s name. We will only provide small water bottles to supplement when needed.
- Classrooms will have more tables and/or mats for floor picnics to increase space between children or lunch will be eaten outside.
- At this time, no outside food may be shared with classmates for birthdays or special parties. Once allowed, only pre-packed, ‘school-safe’, healthy foods will be accepted.
Arlington Department of Health Required Closures
If a positive case of COVID-19 occurs, will the entire preschool shut down for 2 weeks, or just infected class?
There is the potential for the whole school/church to be closed for two (2) weeks or just a single classroom or just a single program – the Arlington Health Department will make that call; the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Mount Olivet Healthy Church Team will also provide guidance to the preschool administration.
If school were to close, will MOPS be supplementing learning with material pick-ups? Or just virtual?
If the Department of Health requires the preschool to close, it will be for two (2) weeks minimum. Teaching staff will provide online/phone/email learning on the days the children should have been in school.
How will COVID-19 cleaning occur?
- Mount Olivet has hired a new cleaning company that is certified/trained for cleaning large, shared spaces for daily use and COVID-19. Each classroom and shared space that is used within the building will be cleaned that night.
- Faculty will clean tables and shared toys/activities periodically throughout the day in compliance with guidance from the Arlington Health Department, the Virginia Department of Social Services, and the Center for Disease Control.
- Additionally, all will wash hands according to CDC guidance, when entering the building, before/after meals, before/after sensory/visual art activities, and periodically throughout the day as needed.
Will there be an opportunity for teachers to get vaccines?
It is Mount Olivet’s plan to make that happen.
Church and preschool administrators, the Preschool Committee and the Church Trustees are working together to make Mount Olivet staff, faculty, students and families as safe as possible during this unusual circumstance.