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As NBCC sets to reopen we feel confident in our new and updated procedures & protocols. For the past 3 months we have been working and collaborating with the County Office of Education, County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency, the CDC, and our local community of Early Childhood Educators to align best practices, procedures & protocols to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
It is all of our intentions to protect our students, families, & teachers, so that we may remain open and on campus.
With direction from these agency's and with our close connections with our local preschools and care takers, we have established routines and systems for seamless drop offs and pick ups, and for everything else in between.
With this in mind, we must stay cognizant of the age group that we are working with. Children ages 3-5 are tactile by nature and learn through social interactions and environmental engagement. They do not understand the concepts of 'not touching their faces', social distancing, or covering their coughs and sneezes.
In knowing these characteristics of this age group, and in knowing the regulations that are being put forth, NBCC will manage their cohorts with vigilant attention & intention. This is going to be quite the undertaking, because even with the best of precautions and protocols, children are going to get sick with coughs, colds, flues, and fevers.
When this happens (and it will), NBCC will use extra criteria, in addition to our current sick assessment protocols, to address and manage each child's illness. With these protocols in place and with the guidelines from the Santa Cruz County Health Department & CDC, we will have baselines on knowing when to take further action.
These times are unprecedented and as our community goes back to work, and as we send children back to school, there is no doubt, going to be underlying anxieties & worries.
We would like to address this topic.
We are anticipating that when word is communicated about illness in your child's classroom, that it may trigger intensified feelings of parental concerns & protection. Valid concerns about whether or not, these illnesses and/or symptoms are COVID related and whether your child was exposed. Amygdala's will be on high alert and adrenaline will be flowing. These physical body reactions may produce automatic panic.
NBCC is going to ask that families refrain from 'panic mode' as a first response. We are creating a communication system for this very situation and will share it with the community when completed. As we finalize this document we would like to propose that our home/school community prepare for these inevitable moments and think about how we are going to mindfully respond.
This is because, in the unfortunate instance that we do have a COVID case or exposure, we will need to work together quickly, seamlessly, and compassionately. NBCC will follow all mandated protocols and will communicate immediately pertinent information and next steps for families and the school. We will also abide by all privacy laws.
If we do have a confirmed case, we will request that families refrain from judgement or shaming, as traumatizing stigmas can be related to this virus. The last thing that we want to do at NBCC is alienate one of our valued community members. These sorts of behaviors are a form of social oppression and lead to peoples silence and internal suffering; things that NBCC stands firmly against. It is a part of our mission to cultivate community and build bridges.
Remaining open is our common goal and we must work together to make it through this year.
This is going to take our community's participation, communication, cooperation, and compassion. It will require extra vigilance on all of our parts and extra patience and flexibility.
Everyone at NBCC is working diligently preparing for every child's safe return and exceptional early educational experience!
With Much Love, Compassion & Hope,
Jonnie, Allie, Karyn, & the Whole NBCC Team