COVID-19 Update

A message from our director

Our class size will remain small with a max of 10 kids with me as the only teacher. This makes exposure much less than larger schools with multiple classrooms. Our small size along with having one teacher also means we are within the guidelines set by the state for early childhood learning centers. I have been following Deschutes County Covid numbers and what the CDC has been sharing and thankfully this virus is not hugely affecting preschool aged kids and they are also not the group passing it on. The following items will be put in place and followed this school year but are subject to change as new information/state guidelines arise.

We will not use the building's water fountain. Each family will need to provide a water bottle for their child to keep in the classroom. We started this last year to limit visits to the drinking fountain and found it worked wonderfully and this year it will help limit exposure to germs.

Our building is now being cleaned 4x's a week, in between different groups who use the facility, which includes the use of hospital grade cleaner to clean chairs in the sanctuary (which we occasionally use for indoor recess during the winter).

For each bathroom visit I will bring cleaning wipes and spray to wipe down toilet/door handles, faucets etc before the kids use (and touch) the bathroom stalls and as always we will practice good hand washing skills after.

I will continue having them wash hands after bathroom and playground use and before snack or lunch time (if they are staying for Lunch and Learn) and as needed throughout the day.

I will be doing extra cleaning of toys and all surfaces and chairs each day with non-toxic cleaner.

I will be asking parents to be extra cautious when it comes to potential symptoms in their children. At this age, colds, sniffles, runny noses and coughs can linger for a long time after a child is feeling better. In the past we have been okay with a child returning even if they still had some lingering symptoms. This year we will have to be a bit more strict and will ask parents to keep kids home longer and until there has been no fever for over 48 hours and very minimal symptoms. I know this can be frustrating when it keeps a child out of the classroom so I hope to work with a sick child's parent(s) to figure out when a child is healthy enough to return so everyone at our school can feel comfortable. I am basically asking our families to be extra considerate of our other families when dealing with any potential sickness. And of course if anyone in your family ends up being exposed to covid-19 or tests positive we will need your child to stay out of school for the 14 days post exposure/post symptoms ending that is recommended by the CDC.

We do share the building with Silvies Charter School but there is never any overlap as far as Rainbow Express kids being with the Silvies kids. Silvies does not have kids in the building each day and typically when they do it is a1-3 kids at a time. Silvies has not decided if they will meet in person so there is a chance it will only be Rainbow Express kiddos and myself in the building during the week.

There are also a couple things I want to address as far as social distancing and masks. I will not be implementing social distancing rules in our classroom. Preschooler's do not really understand this concept and truly need the play time with their peers. I feel it could make the kids nervous and worried if I am constantly telling them to not be near their buddies and spending my time trying to separate them and keep them working and playing by themselves. Their creative play and learning time with their friends (and myself) is a huge part of the preschool experience and helps with necessary overall development. Each center during center time will have 2 kids max but the room doesn't allow for much more distancing than that. I will be reminding children to cover their coughs and sneezes as well as have them wash hands if I see them picking their nose, sneezing or coughing in their hands.

I will also not be wearing a mask while in the classroom teaching (and preschool aged children are not required to by the state). I have thought about this issue for a long time considering the many differing opinions regarding masks. In my experience working with children, wearing a mask would truly limit my ability to properly engage and teach my students. The kids need to see my mouth as we learn the letters and sounds and as they continue to develop their language skills. They also will need to see me smiling as I encourage them, letting them know they are safe and in a fun learning environment. If parents choose to have their child wear a mask I will do my best to help that child keep their mask in place but cannot guarantee I will be able to immediately see if they remove it or it shifts out of place.


Lisa Utu
Director, Rainbow Express Preschool