July 8, 2020

Covid-19 Reopening FAQS (English)

question marks on multicolored post it notes

Question Answer
What is the first day of school for students? The tentative first day of school will be August 24, 2020. We will be in touch to update you as we get closer.
How will attendance be taken for virtual (online) learning? We will monitor families’ participation in Online learning.  Children will not be counted as present or absent when they are doing virtual learning.
What will Parent Orientation look like? We will be in contact with each family about how we will do orientation in August.
If I sign up for virtual learning, can I change my mind and enroll my child in a school. Except in extenuating circumstances, students must remain a virtual learner through the end of the school year.  Students will be assigned to the school the parent chose on the application if space is available and according to the waitlist.
My ex and I share custody and the children are with me one week and with him one week.  We differ on the best option for our children.  Can we attend virtual (online) one week and blended (onsite) the other? No, you must decide on one option for the school year.
For virtual learning, will there be a teacher teaching students virtually? Teachers will facilitate virtual learning through database platforms Ready Rosie, Teaching Strategies Gold and Hatch Tablets. We will utilize a more organized approach to virtual learning moving forward.
Can we choose to get paper packets for virtual learning? No, paper packets will not be provided.
Will virtual students be online all day? No, teachers will provide home activities for you to do with your child throughout the week from Teaching Strategies Gold and Ready Rosie.  Your child will also be able to use Hatch software for independent learning.  The recommendation from the Hatch software is at least 30 minutes per week.
Is the internet required? It will work best for all families to have access to internet or use of a data plan.  We are working on ways to support families who do not have internet access.
Will the school provide a computer (or internet device)? For children in virtual learning, we will provide Hatch Tablets to the extent possible. More information will be sent out about this at a later date.
Will face coverings or masks be mandatory? All adults in our programs are required to wear face masks in the presence of others.  Children are not required to wear face masks, but children ages 3-5 can wear them at the parent’s request or if the child is able to wear face covering safely.
Will children be playing together in the classroom? Social distancing measures will be utilized throughout the day in the classroom, during mealtime, free play time, learning centers, small/ large group activities, indoor gross motor activities, and restroom breaks to the extent possible:


·         All teaching and support staff will wear a fabric facemask and additional PPE when necessary according to CDC guidelines. Children under 10 years are not required to wear masks.

·         The student to teacher ratio will be no more than 8-2 for HS. EHS ratios remain the same 4-1.

·         Head Start/EHS teachers will be assigned a group of children. Teachers will remain with the same group each day. Staff are not to move children from one class to another (consolidating classrooms is prohibited).

·         Each child will be required to have a minimum of 2-3 changes of clothing to be stored in an individualized plastic bin.

·         Children will not be sent out of the room for challenging behaviors (no exceptions).

Due to the current pandemic some behavior guidance strategies listed in our current policy may need to be changed. Parents will be available by phone in the event that an Education Manager needs to contact them during the school day to determine appropriate behavior guidance plans. UAMS Head Start/Early Head Start will continue to comply with all Arkansas Licensing rules. 


Social Distancing Strategies:


·         Social stories and other emotional support will be included in the daily schedule to help ease separation anxiety and make every child feel safe in the unfamiliar “new normal” classroom environment.

·         Shared materials will be removed from classrooms.

·         Individual materials will be supplied to each child. All materials will be stored in separate bins.

·         Electronic devices will not be shared.

·         Visual cues will be used to help with social distancing using pool rings, other visual cues such as painter’s tape to separate areas with appropriate distance.

·         Children will have assign seats for mealtime, small group activities, and table activities.

·         Teachers will follow the bathroom schedules to ensure social distancing. There will not be more than one classroom in the bathroom at a time.

·         UAMS will alter or halt daily group activities that may promote transmission. Postpone special events such as field trips, holiday events, and special performances.

·         We will limit the mixing of children and stagger playground times and keep groups of children separate for special activities such as art, music, and exercising.

·         Spacing at nap time: Children’s naptime mats (or cribs) will be spaced out as much as possible, ideally 6 feet apart. Children will be placed head to toe to further reduce the potential for viral spread.

·         Staff will limit direct contact between parents and staff members and adhere to social distancing recommendations.

·         Staff will protect themselves by wearing an apron, mask, and by wearing long hair up off the collar in a ponytail or other updo.

·         Staff will take every safety precaution and continue to provide a warm, safe, loving, and nurturing environment for infants, toddlers, and preschool children.

All staff and children will follow the recommended hand washing intervals as recommended by the CDC Healthy Hand Hygiene Behavior. (Refer to health procedures).

How will you keep infants and toddlers safe during washing, feeding, or holding them? It is important to comfort crying, sad, and/or anxious infants and toddlers, and they often need to be held. To the extent possible, when washing, feeding, or holding very young children: Teaching staff will wear aprons and a disposable gown to protect themselves.

  • Teaching and support staff will wash their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions.
  • Staff will change the child’s clothes if secretions are on the child’s clothes. The disposable gown will be removed, if there are secretions on it, and wash their hands again.
  • Contaminated clothes will be placed in a plastic bag or washed in a washing machine.
  • Infants, toddlers, and their providers will have multiple changes of clothes on hand in the child care center.
  • Teaching and support staff will wash their hands before and after handling infant bottles prepared at home or prepared in the facility. Bottles, bottle caps, nipples, and other equipment used for bottle-feeding will be thoroughly cleaned after each use by washing in a dishwasher or by washing with a bottlebrush, soap, and water.


How will students receive special services and therapies? We will be working closely with public schools and private providers to figure out the best ways to provide services to children who need them.  Therapists will be allowed into our buildings to provide services.
Will students use playgrounds? Students will have time throughout the day to engage in physical activity. Each site will have a designated indoor gross motor area for gross motor play. We may use the playground area for some of this activity, but children will not be using the playground structures.
What will drop off and pick up look like? We will have staggered drop off and pick up at each site.  You will be given a time slot for you to drop off your child/children.  It is important for parents to follow these time slots. We will not be able to accept children after the drop off period has ended.


Staff will wear PPE during drop off and pick up, including gowns, gloves and masks.


At drop off, program staff will meet families at their cars to complete a Daily Health Check and Covid-19 Screening on each child, take their temperature and sign them in for the day. Parents are responsible for taking their children out of the car.


At pick up, parents will pull up to the pick-up location and a staff member will radio for the child to be brought to you.  Parents are responsible for buckling their children in to car seats.


What if I have children in different classrooms, can I drop them off at the same time? Yes, if you have children in different classrooms, with different time slots, you may drop them off and pick them up at the same time.
What is the school’s back-up plan for education if the school has to be closed, whether for a few days or weeks? We will continue to engage families in online learning if a school needs to be closed for any length of time.
How will Home Visits be conducted? We will complete home visit paperwork over the phone with families.
Can I visit my child’s classroom during the school year? At this time, we are not allowing parents or community members into our buildings unless they are providing a service to children or facilities.
Can I visit my child’s classroom before the school year starts? At this time, we are not allowing parents or community members into our buildings unless they are providing a service to children or facilities.
Will temperatures be taken regularly of both students and staff? Yes, everyone who enters the building will have their temperature checked.  Everyone will also need to complete a Covid-19 Screening before or when entering the building.
How will you handle someone testing positive? How will parents be notified of positive test(s) within schools? If a child becomes ill at the center with a fever of 100.4 or a lower grade temperature with other symptoms including:

·         Fever

·         Cough

·         Pain in the chest

·         Shortness of breath or respiratory difficulty

·         Blueish lips or face

·         Confusion and or difficulty in waking up

·         Loss of smell or taste

The following steps will be taken:


1.        Staff will take child to a separate room or an area away from other children.

2.        Staff will contact the parent for the child to be picked up immediately

3.       Staff will inform parent that child must be symptom- and fever-free for 72 Hours without any fever reducing medication given to the child.   If symptoms and or fever remains past the 72 hours, it is recommended that parents take the sick child to have a Covid-19 test.

4.       Staff will call remaining children’s parents in the classroom to pick up their child/children.  The room or area will be closed for cleaning after 24 hours, and then cleaned and disinfected by staff as required by Arkansas Health Department guidelines.

5.       The remaining children’s parents will receive a recommendation that their child be tested for covid-19 and will be allowed to return once the room has been cleaned allow (1-2 days).

If staff/volunteer has cleared the screening, process but becomes ill during the day with any of the following symptoms.

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of smell or taste


  • Staff/volunteer will be sent home and not allowed to return, until they are symptom and fever free after 72 hours.( without any fever reducing medication taken)


  • If symptoms and or fever remains past the 72 hours after sent home, staff/volunteer will be recommended to be tested for Covid-19 and will not be allowed to return until a negative Covid-19 test is received. Staff must bring in documentation of test results.


  • The area that the employee/volunteer was working in will not be used before cleaning and disinfecting. Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning/disinfecting and ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants as required by Arkansas Health Department guidelines.


In the event an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the community, the building will close for a short time (1-2 days) for cleaning/disinfecting.