As we consider meeting, we have discussed safety vs. normalcy. The following changes are being made to our program this year as a response to COVID:
- SHORTER DAYS: We will be meeting in classroom settings just in the afternoons this year instead of full days to decrease risk.
- SMALL GROUPS: Typically we meet as a large group several times during a Co-op day: for worship, breaks, and lunchtime. We will NOT be meeting as a large group this year. With the shorter days, we will not need to include breaks and lunchtime. We will also not be doing morning worships. This means interaction should be more limited to just the children's/teacher's specific classes. In addition, most classes will be limited to 10 children this year.
- OUTSIDE WHEN POSSIBLE: Classes will plan to try to meet outside as often as possible.
- STRICT ILLNESS POLICY: While we have always had an illness policy, we will ask families this year to carefully observe the health of your family and adhere to this policy more rigidly. If you suspect that you are sick at all, please remain home. If anyone in your family is sick, your whole family should stay home. We are working on a plan for subs this year for teachers.
- HAND SANITIZER: Families should all use hand sanitizer when they enter the building and several times during the afternoon.
VACCINATION STATUS: The CDC recommends vaccines. Vaccinations are a personal choice made by each family. This program will not be requiring proof of vaccinations.
MASKS: We plan to meet outside at Rooks Park for the month of September and outside at the church after that as much as possiblr and as long as weather allows. We will not be requiring masks outside.
When we are inside, we are obligated to follow the requirements of our meeting space. With the mandates from the governor, the church is *strongly recommending* that all families wear masks. I explained that many of our families are dealing with PTSD, asthma, and other conditions that make wearing masks very difficult. The church has been understanding and is asking that all adults and children wear masks who are able to do so, but adults or children who are unable to wear masks will still be able to participate in Co-op.
Co-op Core Beliefs
We have families in our program with a variety of beliefs, including religious, medical, and political beliefs. It is our policy to accept and be inclusive of all beliefs. There are also strong beliefs about vaccines and masks. We believe that each family has the right to make their own medical decisions. Co-op is an all-volunteer program run by parents. We are not a K-12 school or daycare. Parents are ultimately responsible for choosing how they and their children interact with others.
Some families are choosing to take a break from Co-op this year because they would prefer more or less enforcement of vaccination and mask requirements. We understand and fully support all families as they make their own medical decisions.