Our Health and Safety Procedures:

– Our staff members wear masks at drop off and pick up when 6 ft. distance cannot be maintained. It is extremely important for us to continue to teach the intricacies of social and emotional development through facial expressions. Children at these ages are developing their language skills and are refining their speech patterns. It is crucial that they can hear the teacher’s pronunciation and enunciation and be able to see how they’re forming the sounds by watching their mouths. Masks massively hinder that process, and will be worn only when absolutely necessary throughout the day (interaction with adults, parents and other teachers, or any child who exhibits illness symptoms as they wait to be picked up.) Independence staff who have exemptions, under Executive Order 147, from wearing masks, will maintain 6 ft distance when interacting with adults for more than a few minutes.

– Staff and student temperature checks happen upon arrival. We have an enhanced requirement that anyone with a temperature of 99.4 or greater must remain home for 24 hours to monitor symptoms. In accordance with NC DHHS requirements, anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or greater must be fever free for 3 days, without medication, before returning to school. Temperatures are checked again at lunch time or as needed if children report they’re not feeling well, or feel warm.

– Only staff and students are permitted in the building. Drop-off and pick-up will be conducted out front or on the playground.

– COVID-19 screening questions must be cleared before entering the building. These questions will be posted on the door:

1. Have you or any of the children you are dropping off had close contact (within 6 ft, for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or has any health department or health care provider been in contact with you and advised you to quarantine?
2. Do you, or do any of the children you are dropping off have any of these symptoms: fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, a new cough or a new loss of taste or smell?
3. Since you were last at the childcare facility, have you or have any of the children you are dropping off been diagnosed with COVID-19?

–  Everyone washes their hands upon arrival, before going outside, after coming back in, before snack and lunch, and before nap at the bare minimum. If a child puts their hands in their mouth or nose, they are then asked to wash their hands. Our hand washing practices have always been of utmost importance and are the best way for us to keep everyone healthy.

– We spend many hours outdoors during the day so we are not in a confined space more than necessary. We know that sunlight and Vitamin D are good for immune system!

– We ask that parents report, via email, to IA when a person in their household is being tested for COVID-19. Until a negative test result is received their child may not attend. An Illness Advisory email will be sent out notifying parents that a child or their family member has been tested, and subsequently another email will be sent with the results. We will remain entirely transparent with as much information as we are legally allowed to provide. If we receive a positive test result, we will notify families immediately. We will call the Harnett County Health and Human Services Department, in accordance with NC DHHS Guidelines, to get further guidance and their assessment. They come in to assess the exposure on a case by case to offer guidance on closure. All of this information will be transparent with all Independence Families.

– Classrooms are sanitized throughout the day to ensure surfaces are properly cleaned. We follow strict guidelines from NC Health and Human Services on disinfecting and sanitizing practices. We disinfect every morning and after school everyday. The school is thoroughly cleaned every weekend.

– Nap sheets/blankets are sent home twice a week: Wednesday and Friday for washing.

– If a child is not feeling well they come to the office immediately, have their temperature taken and parents are called to come pick up the child. Anyone with a temperature of 99.4 or greater remain home for 24 hours to monitor symptoms. In accordance with NC DHHS requirements, anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or greater must be fever free for 3 days, without medication, before returning to school.

– We are considering staggered drop off and pick up times to limit the amount of people in the parking lot.

As this situation evolves, our guidelines and procedures may change. We will update all families if/when procedures change.