Williamsburg Northside Preschool – 2s, 3s, and PK Fall 2021 Reopening
After a safe and successful in-person 2020-2021 school year, Northside preschool is looking forward to another fruitful school year of learning and laughter. Taking into consideration the feedback we have collected from our families and staff regarding our COVID-related health and safety policies from the past school year, as well as the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC and NYC Department of Health, we will be making a few strategic changes to our plan for the fall.
We believe that these changes will serve to further our efforts in keeping our community safe, while also falling in line with our commitment to providing our students a warm and nurturing learning environment rooted in collaborative community-based experiences. As always, we will be relying on our seasoned staff, faculty, and administrators to keep the growth and learning alive, while also prioritizing the health and safety of our children and greater community..
The first of these health and safety changes is a shift from the use of classroom ‘pods’ to cohorts based on age. Each age group (2s, 3s, and PK respectively) will be considered their own ‘cohort’, and therefore children will be allowed to interact with members of these other classes when safely facilitated by their classroom teachers. These cohorts will also be used during After School.
Rooftop Playground and Outdoor Classrooms
During this past school year, the preschool teachers made the most of our newly renovated rooftop by enjoying both free play and structured activities on our roof. Classroom teachers moved their assemblies and read-alouds to our open-air classrooms, and our enrichment teachers, Maggie and Julie, had our preschoolers dancing, singing and painting in the sun.
Moving forward, our rooftop will continue to be used as an open air alternative to our traditional indoor classrooms.
Staggered Arrival and Dismissal
In our effort to limit traceable contacts between our preschool cohorts during our busiest times of the day, at the preschool we will continue to stagger arrival and dismissal times, but shift the timing by just a few minutes. Each class will now have a specific 10-minute drop-off window beginning at 8:20am. Dismissals will correspond respectively.
Classroom Structure and Scheduling
By mixing both half and full-day children within our hybrid class system, we will continue to reduce class sizes at high contact points of the day, such as lunch and nap times. Class sizes will remain well within the Department of Health limit of 15 children, but will ultimately be determined by the class age, physical space, and mixing of half and full-day students.
When weather does not permit music classes to be held outside in one of our rooftop classrooms, our music teacher, Julie, will push into the classroom. Art classes with Maggie will be held both in small groups in the art studio, and when possible, in one of our outdoor classrooms. Materials used by both enrichment teachers will be thoroughly cleaned between classes using our UV sterilizing toy boxes.
At the preschool we will continue to provide a healthy morning and afternoon snack, as well as a snack for those staying for After School. Families always have the option to send their own snacks from home if preferred.
Lunch will continue to be eaten in the classroom, using plexi-glass sneeze guards to safely separate students. We ask that parents supply utensils that can be sent back home in order to reduce the need to sterilize our metal utensils at the end of each day. Although plastic utensils will be available on-site, we hope to reduce the use of plastic as much as possible. We also ask that families send a water bottle for their child each day. Teachers will clean and refill them as needed throughout the day.
In order to decrease the number of children eating lunch at school, decisions as to whether or not half-day children will be eating lunch at school will be made by individual classroom teachers.
Please note, we continue to be a nut-free school.
Northside has identified 24 make up days within our school calendar. The vast majority of these days backfill the second half of the academic school year in response to any state or NYC mandated delayed start or school closure.
- During any state regulated closure period, Northside teachers will not be working remotely, and there will be no offering of online instruction. Makeup days will count when campus is physically open.