TCS DURING COVID

WHAT TO EXPECT?

We will be strictly following both the CDC's recommendations and guidance for child care programs that remain open and the Arizona Health Department's roadmap for reopening schools. To ensure a safe, in-person learning environment, we will be focused on the following areas: Community Trust, Infection Control, Occupational Health & Safety Standards, Testing, and Vaccination.

COMMUNITY TRUST

The school community must be willing to follow public health guidance and COVID mitigation strategies. The ultimate goal at TCS is to keep the children, families, and staff safe and healthy -- both physically and emotionally. This means we all have to do our part and  implement best practice at home so that we can play safely together at school. We are are also committing to keeping mitigation strategies in place during future off-campus TCS events. We are stronger and better together! 

INFECTION CONTROL
How is TCS working effectively towards the goal of zero transmission?
  • Social Distancing

    • Children will be spending the majority of their time in our newly designed outdoor classrooms. This will maximize the amount of time children and staff spend in "clean air"

    • During nap/rest time, children will be spaced out as much as possible, ideally 6 feet apart. Parents must bring a crib sheet for your child that is napping, and that sheet must be picked up to be laundered on Fridays. 

    • Indoor whole group instruction is LIMITED to 15 minutes. Teachers are instructed to provide clean air flow in their classroom by utilizing ceiling fans and opening the windows and doors.

    • Cap our enrollment per classroom to ensure small groups. This means your child will be with the same group each day. Each cohort has their own teachers and assistants. 

    • Until further notice, cancel or postpone special events such as festivals, holiday events, and special performances. 

    • Limit our normally frequent parent involvement on campus, especially when children are present. 

  • Staying Home When Sick 

    • Screen Children Upon Arrival: Ask the parent/guardian to confirm that the child does not  have fever, shortness of breath or cough. Make a visual inspection of the child for signs  of illness which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness.

    • Persons who have a fever of 100.4 (38C) or above or other signs of illness should not be admitted to the facility. 

    • Modified drop off & pick up

      • Drop Off: Parents will pick up and drop off their children at the MAIN GATE. We ask that families wait in their vehicles or practice adequate spacing while staff check in children and walk them to their classrooms.

      • Pick Up: the gate staff will call your child to meet you in front of the school

      • Electronic Signatures: Parents will fill out the consent form that allows TCS staff to sign  their children in and out of our program via ProCare, rather than the parents all congregating in the school office

    • Parents should help ensure that children stay home when sick

      • Check in with your child each morning for signs of  illness. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees  or higher, they can not come to school. Children must be fever free without the aid of medication for 48 hours.

      • Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of illness, like a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches.  

      • If your child has had close contact to a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school. They must follow the CDC guidance of staying home for 14 days and/or until a negative test result for all household members.

  • Masks​​

    • At TCS, children and staff MUST wear masks unless eating and sleeping. 

    • We can help/encourage children to wear their masks by: 

      • Discussing the importance of wearing them 

      • Modeling and gentle reminders 

      • Giving choices about how they want this to look/feel - get some sassy masks! 

      • Helping children recognize that not everyone in the world will be doing the same thing 

    • Label your child’s masks clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children

  • Cleaning & Disinfecting

    • Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards in partnership with the CDC has developed a cleaning & disinfecting schedule.

      • Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting of common surfaces  will happen daily in the classrooms. The recommended “deep”  cleaning will occur each Wednesday and during the weekend.  

      • We will be using bleach containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite at the recommended dilution of 4 tablespoons per quart of water.

  • Meal Time​​

    • TCS will provide a light snack daily. This will be prepared  by administrative staff following the AZ Health Department  standards.  

    • For the time being, family style meals will be halted, and  children will receive individual servings on trays labeled  with their names. 

    • Children MUST bring their own lunch. Lunches cannot be  stored in the fridge nor warmed up.  

    • Each child must bring their own water bottle. Water bottles  MUST be clearly labeled with the child’s name.

  • Hand & Bathroom Hygiene

    • This is always a point of emphasis at TCS, and will continue to be even as other protocols may change.

What happens if someone gets sick?
  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).  

  • Advise sick individuals that they should not return to school until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.

  • Notify individuals of closures and restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 exposure.

  • Advise those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home,  self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

If there is evidence that COVID transmission occurred at TCS, TCS will close for a minimum of ONE week to monitor symptoms and clean and disinfect. We will reopen for staff and families after either: day 10 without testing or day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later). Although we recognize the CDC has given guidelines to shorter quarantine periods, the 14 day isolation is still the highest standard.

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS

TCS is working with the Pima County Health Department, the Arizona Department of Public Health, and the Department of Economic Security to review, revise, and stay up to date on policies and standards that protect our employees and our community.

TESTING

COVID testing is a key component of effective infection  control as well as trust.

Along with staying home when sick, staff is asked to monitor their symptoms. If “COVID-like” symptoms persist after 48 hours, staff must provide a negative COVID test before returning to work.

Although we cannot require families to frequently test, we strongly recommend and encourage regular testing if you have increased your exposure. Over-the-counter antigen tests can be found at many pharmacies.

VACCINATIONS

ALL of TCS staff are vaccinated. As part of our licensing  requirements we ask staff to provide an affidavit of their vaccination status (including all vaccines, not only COVID-19).

Staff is also required to provide proof that they do not have active TB or any other preventable infectious diseases BEFORE they begin work.

Family volunteers who choose to volunteer during school hours MUST show proof of their vaccination status to be eligible to be on campus.

Please email the director at scastillo@tucsoncommunityschool.org if you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 Protocols.