NSD discusses preschool programs, reopening

Photo courtesy of the Newhall School District.

The Newhall School District has announced their plans to allow their preschool program director to reopen three preschool sites. 

“The direction that the board gave to our preschool director was to be able to bring the children back at her discretion, but taking into consideration being prepared to have them back, timing with the holidays and what is going on with COVID-19,” said Sue Soloman, president of the Newhall School District board. 

When the preschools do reopen, there will be a handful of policy changes for the programs that not only create a safer environment for the children and staff, but is also mandated by the Department of Social Services and local authorities. 

The changes, as a part of the COVID-19 Plan of Operation, include: 

• Reduced class sizes (12 children max). 

• Modified drop off and pick up hours. 

• All children and staff will be screened on a daily basis. 

• Physical distancing strategies. 

• Increased sanitizing and cleaning procedures. 

• Face covering requirements.

The Department of Public Health may require short-term closure, due to an exposure of a potentially contagious child, to permit intensive cleaning and disinfecting, the district’s plan reads. 

“Families will be informed immediately about the need for and the likely duration of a site closure,” reads the district’s plan. “They will also be informed about the nature and extent of risk to their children and whether that risk indicates a need for quarantine and testing.”

NSD Superintendent Jeff Pelzel said the programs would probably not reopen until after the first of the year, due to the holidays and some construction projects being ongoing. 

“It’s all really going to be dependent upon these projects finishing up and when all of that aligns,” said Pelzel. “But, for sure, by the time we get back from winter break, we’ll be able to open them up.” 

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