Voice Recognition
Search Button
X
Houston Early Learning Center
Search

HELC Reopening Plan

HELC Reopening Plan

Read below to learn more about the reopening plan for HELC for the upcoming school year. A visual model of the plan is available to view below. A printable copy of the plan is also available to download and view below. 

HELC Reopening Plan 2020

Houston Early Learning Center Updates

July 2020

Welcome HELC Families to the 2020-2021 School Year!

We are excited to start a new year and recognize the many uncertainties of COVID-19.  The hope is the following information will enable you to make an informed decision about your child’s education and what is best for your child.

HELC’s re-entry plan offers families the option of a morning or an afternoon, five (5) day a week, five star rated preschool program for three and four year old students who reside in the Northwest Local School District.   Our plan provides the best opportunity for learning whether you choose learning in one of HELC’s many classrooms with certified, licensed, and experienced teachers and assistants, or you may prefer a semester of remote learning with a certified, licensed and experienced teacher.  The distance learning curriculum is currently being finalized.

Even though COVID-19 has changed daily life in many ways, child development has not paused.  Supporting children, families, and the community is as important as ever for HELC. 

If you have not had the chance to review the district updates, I have provided the links below.  Please take the time to read and review the information.

NWLDS 2020 Fall Reopening Plan Visual

NWLSD 2020 Fall Reopening Plan

Facial Coverings

A facial covering/mask is required for staff and students from Preschool – 12th grade at school. This includes the bus, arrival and dismissal.  If a student forgets his/her mask, a mask will be provided.  Accommodations may be offered if your child has a medical, sensory, or other needs.

During school, students will have opportunities to remove their masks:

=        Within the classroom (including but not limited to the core subjects, and specials), there will be times where students can remove their masks if the teacher feels it is safe to do so based on district recommendations. For example, if all students in a classroom are spread out using social distancing recommendations for schools and not up and moving around the classroom, the teacher may give students the option to remove their mask. The frequency that they are on/off will change daily and be unpredictable.

=        Students will not wear masks during snack time or recess, when social distancing guidelines are followed.

Every student will be provided with a lanyard (to keep at school) which he/she will wear during the school day.  The students will be able to clip their mask/face covering, or receive assistance to clip their mask/face covering to their lanyard, when it is not in use to reduce the possibility of being lost, dropped or mixed with student materials.

Information in this section is based off of district guidelines as of July 20 and is specific for Houston Early Learning Center.  It is subject to change if additional guidelines or mandates are provided after this information has been released to families.

Snack/Recess

Students will have daily snack in their classroom with their classmates.  Students remain in their classroom for snack, maintaining social distancing mandates and protocols.  Students wash their hands prior to snack.  The adult distributing snack wears gloves and a mask.  Every student/family will receive a snack calendar, once school starts.  All classrooms are NUT FREE.

Weather permitting, every classroom will have the opportunity to enjoy outside recess and/or indoor recess.  Schedules for each classroom will be in place to ensure proper social distancing mandates and sanitization of materials used between classroom usages.

Information in this section is based off of state and district guidance as of July 20 and is specific for Houston Early Learning Center.  It is subject to change if additional guidelines or mandates are provided after this information is released to families.

Specials

Houston Early Learning Center will continue to provide Specials to all students.  Due to current state mandates, HELC will offer library, art, music, and technology in each individual classroom/homeroom. Students will not be able to transition to the Computer Lab or to the Library until further notice from the state. 

Information in this section is based off of state guidance as of July 20 and is specific to Houston Early Learning Center.  It is subject to change if additional guidelines or mandates are provided after this information is released to families.

 

Can We Switch from Distance to In-School Instruction?

Families who select the distance learning option must commit for the entire first semester.  They will not have the option to transition back to the building mid semester.

Families who select the return to school option will have a one-time opportunity to switch from in-school learning to the distance learning option.  Once they switch, they must complete the semester as a distance learner and will not have the option to transition back to the building mid-semester.

If a child is absent due to COVID symptoms or other illness for multiple days, he/she would have the option to participate in distance learning via Google Classrooms or other online resources determined by the classroom teacher.

The first semester runs from August 27th through January 14th.  The second semester will begin on January 19th.


Other Updates

Curriculum

=        Staff are actively planning how to use their instructional resources without sharing materials between students.  In addition to students’ academic education, there will be a strong focus on social emotional learning and individual student needs.

=        Every student will have access to a Chromebook for distance learning, if you do not already have one.

=        Chromebooks should not be brought to school until further notice.

Intervention

For the safety of our staff and students, recommendations include limiting student transitions during their time at school.  HELC is reviewing the Inclusion Model with Intervention Specialists and classroom teachers.  Speech, OT, and PT are still being discussed so we can best provide these services to our students.

Special Education

Students who have an identified disability will continue to receive supports and services in preschool. For families who decide to remain remote for the first semester, a remote learning plan will be developed to determine how students will receive services IEP and related services remotely. Intervention specialists and related services staff will review student needs at the beginning of the school year and communicate with families regarding student needs and/or services.

Building Operations

Our custodial staff is working diligently and effectively to get the building clean, sanitized, and ready for our staff to return.  Staff will be rearranging furniture, moving areas to ensure proper social distancing is maintained (6 feet between each student).  Every teacher is required to have a seating chart where students will sit and work/explore with materials and curriculum.  Teachers may use kidney shaped tables for small group instruction as part of their literacy and math center rotations.  Due to current mandates and recommendations, physically moving students to an area for small group instruction in the classroom may be limited.  This does not imply students will not receive accommodations or work that is at the appropriate level for them academically. 

Outdoor Learning Lab

HELC will be using the Outdoor Learning Lab for fresh air and STEM learning, weather permitting.  Schedules for each classroom will be in place to ensure proper social distancing mandates and sanitization of materials used between classroom usages.

Information in this section is based off of state and district guidance as of July 20 and is specific for Houston Early Learning Center.  It is subject to change if additional guidelines or mandates are provided after this information is released to families.

Four Year Old Classrooms

=        Staff and child ratios and maximum group size are limited to no more than 18 students per four year old classroom with at least a 6’ barrier and also maintaining 6’ of social distancing for every student.

=        HELC is in the process of moving several four year old classrooms to accommodate for the transitional pandemic requirements.  This change of classrooms will allow for maximum movement for our students and staff.  Pending state approval.

Water Bottles

At this time, water bottles are not recommended.  Every student has access to fresh water in the classroom with a disposable cup.  Water fountains are only available for filling water pitchers for the classrooms. 

Restrooms

Restrooms at HELC are high traffic areas for preschoolers.  While specific details have not yet been finalized, HELC is able to share the following:

=        The state has mandated a student ratio of a maximum of 9 students to each of the three and four year old classrooms and up to 18 students in the four year old classrooms.  With smaller class sizes and a reduced number of students in the building, this limits the number of students able to access the restrooms at one time.

=        Schedules for each classroom to use the restrooms will be staggered and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

=        The opposite side of the preschool building has been opened allowing access to a second preschool bathroom.  This will alleviate congestion and allow for social distancing with fidelity.  Additionally, this side of the building will also be the new home for the school’s Nurse and Related Services staff.

=        There will be frequent, scheduled and documented times when custodial staff clean the restrooms throughout the day (including individual restrooms in the four year old classrooms). 

=        HELC is in the process of purchasing hand washing stations for every classroom that does not have a sink in the classroom as per state mandates.

Arrival and Dismissal

=        All adults and students are required to wear a mask/face covering.

=        HELC will be utilizing four separate entrances and exits for arrival and dismissal.  This will help to alleviate congestion and maintain social distancing protocols.

=        Every family will be notified of their arrival and drop off location when their child is assigned to a designated classroom.

=        Children riding the bus will enter and exit the Enrollment Doors.  Every bus rider will have a designated staff member to assist each student from the bus to his/her classroom, once the student has passed the temperature check of 100 degrees or higher and is not presenting signs of possible COVID-19.

=        Parents/Guardians park in designated parking spots. ONE adult, wearing a face covering, must walk the child to the outside classroom teacher location. Social distancing must be maintained at all times.

=        Adult must stay with h/h child during arrival. 

=        Every student will have h/h temperature taken prior to entering the building.  If the student has a fever at or over 100 degrees and/or the student is presenting symptoms of COVID-19, the student will go home with the adult.

=        Once screened, students will be walked into the building by a staff member.  Please remember until this new arrival system is implemented, it will take extra time to ensure the health and safety for everyone.

=        Dismissal will occur at the same location as Arrival.  HELC is working to finalize the dismissal plans.

=        Buses take precedence in the parking lot.  No cars are allowed to park along the curb of the building or in a non-designated parking spot.

Visitors

Visitors will be limited to HELC.  Mask/Face Covering MUST be worn at all times.  Appointments are required to be scheduled with the school’s administrative assistant to allow access to the school’s office.  All meetings will have an option to be held virtually.  If you are late with arrival, you will need to call the school’s office, prior to entry to the school.  The student’s temperature will be taken prior to admittance to the classroom. If the temperature is 100 degrees or above and/or student presents symptoms of COVID, the child will not be allowed to enter the building. 

If you are picking up your child early, you MUST notify the school prior to the early pickup.  A staff member will check your ID and verify you are authorized to pick up.  A staff member will walk the student to the office.  All visitors to the school must wear a mask/face covering at all times.

Information in this section is based off of state and district guidance as of July 20 and is specific to Houston Early Learning Center.  It is subject to change if additional guidelines or notifications are provided after this information has been released to families. 

HELC Reopening Plan 2020

HELC Reopening Plan Download