That title. Not a fun thing to type. You may wonder why I’m broadcasting it on my blog. Let me tell you what’s happened and I’ll explain afterwards, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out along the way.
Sunrise Montessori currently has two campuses, each with about 8 classrooms (one has an after school/summer camp building). The first Covid case came to our East location, then a few weeks ago, the West location. I cannot share who contracted the virus. We have been advised by various State departments that we are supposed to report the Covid case in such a way to our families that no identifying details are disclosed. Our numbers are lower right now than normal due to what’s going on around the country and there is no way to let a classroom of families know without them figuring out who it is since that child or teacher would suddenly be out for two weeks. With so many common things that everyone touches, the only way to properly handle this is to tell the entire school. Besides, with how easily Covid can be spread, wouldn’t YOU want to know if anyone at your child’s preschool was diagnosed with Covid? Yeah, me too. So how did it all end up? With no one else testing positive for Covid. Just that one case and no more. How? Preparation, action and testing.
- To say we have a cleaner, more sanitized school right now is an understatement. Our floaters go through our school with bleach water several times a day to sanitize high touch areas, like light switches, door knobs, faucets, toilet flushers, etc. Our teachers are sanitizing the classroom bathrooms and toys several times per day. You can almost smell the disinfectant in the air, we’re so on top of it.
- We have hi tech touchless infrared temperature scanners at each entrance. No one is allowed inside if they are running a fever.
- All adults, teachers and parents were asked to wear masks before the State mandated it and of course continue to do so.
- There are many more things we have in place but to list them all, you’d be scrolling down forever. Hopefully these examples give you the general landscape.
- When each case of Covid was reported, we reacted swiftly and decisively. We reported the case to all the State agencies requiring it in the first hour even though they give us two days to do so. Within hours of each reporting, all of our families and team…the entire school…were emailed that we had had someone who tested positive.
- We then called a company we had on standby to come spray hospital grade disinfectant on every surface of the entire school that same night. We had team members stay after closing to put out all of the toys and mouth materials that our babies and toddlers use on tables and open up all our cabinets so that everything would get disinfected. Then other team members showed up early the next morning to put them all away.
- And on top of that, I opted to pay thousands extra for the 90 day disinfectant so that it lasts past that one night, possibly preventing others from getting sick.
Testing and Follow Up
- With each case, about half of our team wanted to get tested to see if they had Covid. They all tested negative. (Sunrise now pays for rapid Covid testing for our team.)
- We had dozens of families tell us that they, too, went to get tested and everyone was negative. Never has hearing the word “negative” so often been so positively rejoiced.
- We send our families this information as well as other details we find out later that we’re allowed to share to help ease concerns.
We receive constant emails from State agencies reminding child care centers that we legally have to report Covid to them and our families. Why do you think they are sending those out? Because most centers aren’t communicating when it happens. We’ve also been told by parents calling about enrollment that they are looking because they found out their preschool had a case and they were never notified. That’s why I wanted to write this blog. Paying for extra team members just for sanitizing, paying for expensive scanning equipment and hospital grade disinfectant treatments, being so open with communication to our families…these protective measures are in place because if this was 2009 and my son was a Primary student at Sunrise, I’d want it run exactly this way.
But the proof is in the pudding, as they say…did all of these extra measures really work? Each location had one isolated case and even though that person was at Sunrise for days before finding out they had Covid, no one else contracted it. It could have turned into an outbreak, but it didn’t.
Part of what has been so hard these past five months is the incessant reactions we’ve had to accept as our new normal. And while we cannot promise that someone won’t be infected with a new case of Covid down the road, by being as proactive as we can, Sunrise Montessori is safer and healthier than the vast majority of preschools. Which makes all the extra steps we take and will continue to take for your children effortlessly worth it.
Post Script: To be completely upfront, there are other factors at play that have nothing to do with Sunrise. I’m a self-professed nerd, so I’ve been reading science articles, looking for examples of why older men (and more men in general) are contracting Covid, how rare it is for a child to contract it, and keeping up to date with the vaccine trials of various companies. Apparently, a lot of this comes down to genes and chromosomes. I’ll let these two articles (article one and article two) of several I’ve read better explain.
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!