COVID-19 Safety Measures

Acorn Hill will be open during the 2020-21 school year by operating under one of two scenarios: in-person or remote learning. The decision to implement a scenario will be determined by an ongoing evaluation of the pandemic in the greater community, guidance from the MD Department of Health, and by our school’s specific needs as they may arise. We plan to open in September in-person, and this is how we hope to operate for most of the school year.

Safety is our top priority for the entire community – children, teachers/staff, and families. We will follow all local, state and CDC guidelines, and will implement the following safety measures:

  • Masks: All teachers and staff will wear N95 masks, gloves and plastic face shields or eye protection at all times when indoors. Outdoors, masks may be removed briefly when physical distancing takes place, and during snack and lunch (Full Day only). Children will wear home-provided masks throughout the school day, as physical distancing is not always possible.
  • Daily screenings: Temperature screenings and verbal health screenings will take place upon arrival for all children. Temperatures will be recorded, and an ongoing log kept. All staff will be screened as well.
  • Hand washing: We will have regular hand washing throughout the school day – upon arrival, after using the bathroom, before snack, and other times as required. We will (primarily) be using outdoor hand washing stations.
  • Small class size: All classes will have a maximum of 13 children and 2 teachers.
  • Outdoor programming: All classes are primarily outdoors where disease transmission is greatly reduced. New tarps and fencing will be installed for cover and the separation of classes.
  • Designated “pod” spaces: Each class or pod has its own designated outdoor playground, entrance/dismissal procedures, and indoor space including toilets and sinks (when needed). There will be no mixing of classes or transfer of children between classrooms. We will not be offering Early Birds or Lunch Bunch in an effort to minimize the mixing of pods.
  • Minimized exposure: Parents will not be allowed in the building or on the playground. Meetings with teachers or administration will take place over phone or zoom calls. Classes have staggered start times and separate entrances to minimize large groups.
  • Daily disinfecting: All toys (inside and outside) will be disinfected on a daily basis. Bathrooms, inside surfaces (when used) and outside surfaces (tables, swings, climbing structures, cots, etc.) will also be disinfected on a daily basis. Disinfected items will be left to air dry, and teacher-worn smocks will be washed daily. Hand sanitizers will be used by teachers, as needed.
  • Snack/Lunch time: Children will be spaced apart, and simple snacks will be served. Full Day children will bring a packed lunch from home.