PARENT RESOURCES

COVID-19 UPDATE

Your health and safety is important to us. Due to COVID-19, some in-person programs and services may be offered online, have a new in-person schedule and requirements, or may be suspended. Please check our website or contact us for more information. Click here for our COVID-19 safety precautions and updates.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

School Schedule

August 24, 2020-May 28, 2021

 

Infants

Toddler – Pre-K

8:30 AM – 5:30 PM  Core Day 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM Core Day
2:30 PM – 5:30 PM After Care

 

Quick Reference

 

What to Bring
Reminder: Please label everything.
  • A box/bag of diapers and/or pull-ups if appropriate. If using cloth diapers, send extra diapers, clips, and a closed container to hold dirty diapers
  • A change of clothes appropriate to the weather/season (infants should bring 2-3 changes of clothes)
  • Extra underwear if appropriate
  • A pacifier or “lovey” for nap time if appropriate
  • A nap mat (infants should bring 2 crib sheets instead)
  • A blanket (if one is not attached to your nap mat)
  • A washable bag or pillow case for the nap mat
  • Sunscreen (must be listed on medication form)
  • Lunch (no meat) in a lunch box
  • A reusable plastic sippy cup (0-18 months) or water bottle (18 months+)
  • Recommended: re-usable eating utensils for your children
  • Infants: bottles with an unopened container of formula or enough breast milk for an entire day; and unopened baby cereal and/or baby food
Don’t forget. Please label everything.
Lunch Ideas
REMINDER

THE ECP IS A MEAT-FREE SCHOOL. No beef, chicken, or turkey is allowed on campus. Fish is ok, but not shellfish.

 

Sandwiches & More

Peanut Butter…

  • and jelly
  • and honey
  • and banana
  • and celery

Cream Cheese…

  • on bagel
  • and jelly
  • in celery
  • and diced olives

Sandwich Ideas

  • Tuna or salmon
  • Cheese varieties
  • Grilled cheese

Pizza

  • Cheese
  • Veggie
  • Bagel bites

Tex-Mex

  • Bean and/or cheese
  • Burritos
  • Rice and beans
  • Quesadillas
  • Avacado/guacamole

Eggs

  • Hard boiled/deviled
  • Egg salad
  • Scrambled

Fruit with Yogurt Dip

Expand Your Bread Box
  • Tortillas
  • Pita
  • Challah
  • Rice cakes
  • Bagels
  • Biscuits
  • Waffles
  • English muffins
Fun and different
  • Rice
  • Rice noodles
  • Tortellini
  • Ravioli
  • Veggie lasagna
  • Mac & cheese
  • Veggie spring rolls
  • Matzah ball soup
  • Lettuce and cheese wraps
  • Salad with dressing
  • Pita triangles
  • Chips and hummus
  • Fish sticks
  • Veggie burger
  • Tofu hot dogs (cut length wise)
  • Pre-K: Cheese sticks
Morning Star Farms in your grocer’s freezer section include veggie versions of the following: corn dogs, chicken nuggets, veggie burgers and more.

REMINDER: Please make sure to cut cherry tomatoes and grapes in half as these are considered choking hazards by licensing. Thanks!

Tot Shabbat
Join us!

Every Friday morning at 9, the community gathers together to sing, dance, and celebrate Shabbat and you’re invited! We stream it live on our Facebook page every week.

One of the highlights of Shabbat is when the children each bake their own challah to take home and enjoy with their families. This wonderful aroma fills the school with an extra element of excitement each week. If you’d like to bake your own at home, check out the recipe here.

Inclement Weather

In case of inclement weather, the ECP generally follows the closing, delayed start, and early release decisions of the Austin Independent School District (AISD) and will notify parents of its decisions via an announcement from its electronic communication system.

You may also get the ECP’s latest closing information by calling (512) 735-8100 (the ECP Front Desk) where messages are updated as conditions change.

When the weather reaches or goes above 100 degrees or below 40 degrees, ECP staff will alert educators to limit outdoor play to 20-minute segments. When there are heat or cold alerts, the administration will decide if children should go outdoors at all.

COVID-19 POLICIES

This is an unprecedented school year and as a result we have created safety standards and procedures that will lead us to a safe and fun school year at the ECP.

The safety and health of our children, families and staff are our number one priorities.

Our facility has been and will continuously be cleaned, disinfected and sanitized and our staff has undergone extensive training on best practices in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Our policies have been compiled with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Texas Health and Human Services, American School Association, Association of School Nurses and the Shalom Austin Emergency Response Team.

Daily To-Do: Before and After School
  • Take the temperatures of both children and parents immediately before drop-off each day. Anyone with a fever of 100.00 degrees Fahrenheit or above will be excluded from the program. (See Symptoms and Exclusions section.)
  • Complete health questionnaire on Kid Kiosk App.
  • Wear masks at drop-off and pick-up.
  • Schedule your child’s bath time for immediately after school.
  • Dress your child in clean clothes each day they attend school.
  • Disinfect lunch boxes daily. Pack extra food for snacks and pack any dishes or silverware needed.
  • If your child brings a plush/stuffed animal or blanket for nap time, disinfect it each day after school.
  • Please practice social distancing and mask wearing at home and elsewhere as recommended by local health officials.
Drop-Off and Pick-up
Hours of Operation

Core Day: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM | Extended Day: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
(If we are able to add early care later in the year, we will update you.)

Protocols
  • Drop-off and pick-up will happen outside the building with limited contact between family members and staff.
  • Staff, parents, and all children 3 years of age and older must wear a mask during these times.
  • No late drop-offs, outside the drop-off window of time unless there is an emergency.
  • We will have staggered drop-off and pick-up times. Each family will have an assigned time. You MUST arrive in the time allotted. No early or late accommodations will be made in order to maintain the safety benefits of our drop off/pick up schedule. You will be given your assigned time and place prior to the start of school. It is our intention to keep these consistent throughout the fall and adjusted to meet new hour guidelines.
  • Be sure to place your ECP windshield placard on your dashboard. Placards will be handed out on your supply delivery date or child’s first day of school. Each family will be given one or more as needed, with siblings having the same drop-off and pick-up time.

Hanging out before and after school pick-up and drop-off is not permitted. The playground, fields and other common areas will be CLOSED during this time.

Health Screenings

All individuals will be required to undergo a health screening prior to entering the building, conducted by an ECP staff member. We encourage all families to use our new digital questionnaire on the Kid Kiosk App. A step-by-step guide will be shared with all parents.

Health screenings will include the following:

  • A visual inspection of the individual for signs of illness (flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing without recent physical activity, fatigue, or extreme fussiness), and confirm that the child is not experiencing coughing or shortness of breath.
  • Temperature will be taken and must be less than 100 degrees without the use of fever reducing medication.
  • Parents will be asked to respond to the following General Health Questionnaire which asks:
    • Have you recently been diagnosed with a lab-confirmed pandemic illness?
    • Have you recently been in close contact with someone with a suspected or lab- confirmed pandemic illness?
    • Do you, or someone you have close contact with exhibit any of the following symptoms:
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Chills
      • Repeated shaking with chills
      • Muscle pain
      • Headache
      • Sore throat
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • Diarrhea
      • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
      • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19
Access to our Center

We will be adhering to a strict NO visitor policy at this time. ECP will allow only the following individuals to enter the facilities:

  • Operations staff
  • Persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, licensing staff, and Department of Family and Protective Services staff
  • Children enrolled in the program
  • Parents of children present at the operation may be granted limited access into the facility when deemed appropriate and necessary by ECP administration.

All persons entering will need to undergo a health screening before being admitted into the building. All persons 3 years of age and older must enter wearing a mask and wash or sanitize their hands upon entering. Adults must maintain a physical distance of 6 feet at all times.

Absences

Please notify the ECP Office by 8:00 AM if your child is going to be absent.
ECP: (512) 735-8100 or ECPAdmin@shalomaustin.org

Early Pick-Up

If you need to pick up your child prior to the end of school, we are asking that you coordinate around your child’s lunchtime, prior to naptime (noon) and that you will keep your child home for the rest of the day. This will help us preserve our safety protocols. Please notify the office no later than that morning and we will arrange to bring your child to the front of the ECP to meet you.

Health Screenings

All individuals will be required to undergo a health screening prior to entering the building, conducted by an ECP staff member. We encourage all families to use our new digital questionnaire on the Kid Kiosk App. A step-by-step guide will be shared with all parents.

Health screenings will include the following:

  • A visual inspection of the individual for signs of illness (flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing without recent physical activity, fatigue, or extreme fussiness), and confirm that the child is not experiencing coughing or shortness of breath.
  • Temperature will be taken and must be less than 100 degrees without the use of fever reducing medication.
  • Parents will be asked to respond to the following General Health Questionnaire which asks:
    • Have you recently been diagnosed with a lab-confirmed pandemic illness?
    • Have you recently been in close contact with someone with a suspected or lab- confirmed pandemic illness?
    • Do you, or someone you have close contact with exhibit any of the following symptoms:
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Chills
      • Repeated shaking with chills
      • Muscle pain
      • Headache
      • Sore throat
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • Diarrhea
      • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
      • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19
Enhanced Cleaning procedures
Facilities
  • All cleaning materials and disinfectants will be EPA registered and fragrance-free.
  • Staff will clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched throughout the day (doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, nap pads, toilet training potties, desks, chairs, cubbies) and all toys and materials used will be disinfected throughout and at the end of the day.
  • Shalom Austin is equipped with an electro-static sprayer which is used throughout the ECP classrooms every evening to further disinfect all surfaces.
  • Toys that have been in a child’s mouth or otherwise been contaminated by bodily secretions or excretions will be set aside in a designated container until they are cleaned and disinfected by hand by a person wearing gloves.
  • Toys will be cleaned with water and detergent, rinsed, disinfected, and then air dried throughout the day and at the end of each day.
  • Any toys and materials that cannot be cleaned will not be used; this will include the removal of all cloth/fabric toys and materials from the classroom.
  • Toys and materials will not be shared between groups of children unless they have been washed and disinfected before exchanged.
  • Common areas will be sanitized throughout the day and after high usage times.
  • Bathrooms will be continuously cleaned and sanitized throughout the day.
  • We will temporarily halt the use of water tables and sensory tables.
  • Preschool aged children will nap each day. Their bedding will be kept separate in individually labeled plastic bags (provided by parents). Nap mats will be used by the same student each day, will be labeled with the student’s name. All bedding will be sent home with the parents on Fridays to be washed and sanitized before being brought back to school on Monday.
  • Preschool playgrounds will be used by ECP only and only one class will be allowed to use each playground. High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings, will be cleaned after each classroom leaves the playground.
Healthy Hand Hygiene

All children and staff will engage in regular hand hygiene throughout the day, as needed, using Centers for Disease Control recommended hand washing methods. Children will be taught proper handwashing and be supervised while washing their hands. It is important that children learn to do this themselves and see teachers and parents model frequent and proper handwashing techniques. Please watch this video HERE on proper handwashing.

Staff and children will be required to wash hands at the following times:

  • Arrival to the facility and after breaks
  • Before and after preparing food or drinks
  • Before or after eating or handling food, or feeding children
  • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
  • Before and after diapering
  • After using the toilet or helping a child use the restroom
  • After coming in contact with bodily fluid
  • After playing outdoors
  • Anytime a child places their hands in their mouth or picks their nose

Sanitizing Stations will be available in the classrooms, shared spaces and high-traffic areas.

Masks & Social Distancing
Masks and Clothing
  • Staff, parents and children 3 years and older must wear masks during drop-off and pick-up.
  • All masks must be labeled. Please pack an extra mask in your child’s backpack.
  • Staff will wear masks inside or when in close contact with children. Safety glasses and face shields are optional.
  • Preschool children in our 3-year-old and Pre-K groups will be encouraged to wear a mask while indoors. We have had great success with this process during the summer. Teachers will make every effort to encourage children wear their mask as much as possible throughout the day, but cannot guarantee child cooperation and will not be able to physically enforce this preference.
  • Reusable masks must be cleaned daily.
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines, children under 2 years of age and younger are not permitted to wear masks. We will introduce our 2-year-old classes to masks.
  • ALL children and staff will need to have at least 2 full changes of clean clothes on hand at all times.
Mask Tips

The children have been successfully wearing masks during camp and we have learned a few tips.

Most children prefer and seem most comfortable wearing masks that loop behind the ears, rather than masks with ties. Make sure that the loops fit snuggly but are not too tight or thin. Many children like wearing masks with animal faces or pictures of their favorite cartoon characters.

Practice and encourage mask wearing when you go out with your child. Establish family mask wearing rules and adhere to them. Wearing their mask in public spaces will become routine, much as sitting in their car seat and wearing seat belts are. Have your child help you pick out masks to purchase and you might make choosing 2 masks for the day part of your daily dressing routine. Your child can also help clean their masks after school each day. Encouragement, praise and taking care of their own mask will make this something your children will feel good about as they become more independent.

Class Sizes, Group Regulations & Social Distancing

Classroom groups will be consistent, stable groups each day. The ECP will maintain small groups and abide by the strict group sizes at all times that meet the recent Open Texas and NAEYC order standards. Classroom groups will not be combined during the core day and will remain in separate spaces from other groups. In addition, we endeavor to promote small group work and maintain distance during snack and meal times by separating children as much as possible. Support staff will be assigned to each age group and will provide extra support for breaks and transition periods. They will follow proper hand washing and disinfection procedures when moving between groups. There will be limited contact between parents and staff.

Social Distancing Strategies

ECP staff will implement the following social distancing strategies:

  • Staff will maintain at least 6 ft. of separation from other adults as much as possible
  • When 6 ft. of separation is not feasible, other measures, such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation will be rigorously practiced.
  • Children will be with their classroom teachers and will be kept away from other adults by staggering playground times and keeping groups separate. Support staff will be assigned to each group to assist as needed or substitute when a teacher is out.
  • At nap time, teachers will leave 6 ft. of distance between children. Where this distance is not feasible, staff will leave as much space as possible between nap mats or cribs and will alternate children head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
  • Staff will work to minimize time standing in lines, keeping children at safe distances apart from each other whenever possible.
  • Staff will rearrange classrooms and seating arrangements to increase the distance between children during table work and meals/snacks.
COVID-19 ILLNESS PROTOCOL

Our commitment is to adhere strictly to CDC and Texas licensing guidelines on communicable diseases and illness in our school. We have had strong protocols in place before COVID-19 and many of them will remain the same. It is important for our families to understand that at a time of heightened anxiety around illness our stance will be to err on the side of caution and require a doctor’s note, or that children stay home until symptoms resolve. We ask that families always be forthcoming and report illnesses to our the ECP office or school nurse. In most cases the guidance is clear cut, if not we will consult our medical professionals or health department before making decisions.

The responsibility for the health and wellness of our community relies on all of us together.

One of the biggest adjustments this year will be the fact that we will be quicker to send a child home with symptoms than we have in the past. We ask for your patience and understanding that you may need doctor’s clearance more often than you have been used to in the past.

  • Please keep your child home and immediately contact the ECP if your child is sick or has had close contact with anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19. The CDC recommends anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolate until they are fever free for 72 hours (without using medication), respiratory symptoms have improved, and 10 days have passed since the appearance of symptoms.
  • In the event a child or educator is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will immediately close all affected areas, initiate cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and conduct contract tracing. A number of circumstances will be evaluated to determine the appropriate level of response and the scope of any closings.
  • All ECP families will be notified if a child or educator is confirmed to have COVID-19.
Illness Exclusion Policy for Staff and Children
  • Any staff or child who exhibits signs or symptoms of possible illness with COVID-19 or other communicable disease during Health Screenings will not be permitted to enter the building.
  • Any staff or child who develops new or worsening symptoms while at school will be sent home immediately. If a child is exhibiting symptoms of illness, they will be removed from their group and made comfortable in the school isolation room to wait for a parent to pick up. Parents are asked to pick-up within 30 minutes. If a staff member exhibits symptoms of illness, they will be required to leave immediately.
  • Symptoms include:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills
    • Runny nose
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, and other communicable diseases, it is vital that staff and children remain at home when showing signs and symptoms of any illness.

Return Policy After Illness for Staff and Children

ECP will only allow staff or children with any of the signs or symptoms listed above to return to school if the following procedures have been followed:

  • If diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
    • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without feverreducing medications)
    • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
  • If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a doctors’ note indicating a negative COVID-19 test in addition to an alternative diagnosis (strep, ear infection, etc.). The note must state that “The child was seen and evaluated for _______________. The child does NOT have COVID-19 and is able to return to childcare without placing another child or adult at risk.”
  • In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19, but chooses not to be evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and may not return to school until the child has completed the same three-step criteria listed above.

If there is a person in the household who is ill, the child may not attend school until all are well in the household. If any child, or anyone in the home has been in direct contact with any person having a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, it is required that the ECP be notified immediately.

The ECP will not allow any child or staff with known close contact to a person who has been lab confirmed to have COVID-19 to return to school until the end of the 14-day self-quarantine period from the last day of exposure.

Thank you for your help keeping our school community safe and healthy.

Open and honest communication is key during this time.

We ask that families and staff maintain responsible social distancing practices and mask wearing outside of school, as well as limit travel during the time school is in session.

We are committed to remaining open and providing a high-quality program where families feel comfortable dropping off their children and staff feel comfortable coming to work. We appreciate your efforts limiting the risk of exposure to all members of our community.

COVID-19 Resources for Parents

The ECP has been hosting special panels for parents online about COVID-19 including how to make sense of the virus with your kids and living with the virus. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have or if you would like to lend your expertise in a future panel.

Making Sense of COVID-19 With Your Children
Learning To Live with COVID-19

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

In addition to the ECP, Shalom Austin offers a variety of other programs for young children and their parents. Here’s a sample of some other ways to get involved in our community:

After School Activities

Looking for something for your kids to do after school? We have fun and educational activities for kids ages 1-12. 

A toddler child wears a football helmet and holds a basketball outside on a grass field.

Sports & Fitness

We don’t just have sports, swim, and fitness classes for kids, we have classes, leagues, and teams for adults too! Join us.

Parent Programs

Connect with other parents, get support, and have fun.

Every month, Shalom Families organizes events at the J and neighborhoods in the Austin area. Get to know other families who live near you.

We have a special group for our interfaith families to connect too!

And, be sure to check out the PJ Library. Jewish families can sign up to receive a free children’s book every month.

Get Involved

There are lots of ways to connect with the Austin Jewish community beyond school.

Shereen Ben-Moshe

Shereen Ben-Moshe

ECP Director

CONTACT US