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Open Letter to Headstart Parents Regarding October 5th Return

Submitted by Rosalie Miller Education Coordinator

Dear Families,

The last several months have been challenging, as a result of COVID 19. The Head Start and Early Head Start Programs have tried to provide home-learning and nutrition packets throughout this time to help support all our children and families. We have missed you all and are still preparing to slowly open center-based services for returning children, beginning October 5, 2020.

We have contacted our returning Head Start families to schedule health fair appointments and have begun to contact the Early Head Start families regarding enrollment updates and paperwork completion for files. Please expect to receive a call from our family service workers: Dave, Sam, Dolores or Laurie. It is important that you update file paperwork for the current year.

As we move forward, the following will be our plan to open our Center with caution:

· Returning Head Start and Early Head Start Students begin classes on Monday, October 5th, with the daily hours of operation being 7:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. M-TH.

· Bus runs will not operate at this time, due to limits on the number of children we can transport on each bus. The number we can transport per small bus is, approximately (5) students. We do not have the ability to transport all the children, so we are asking families to provide transportation to and from the Center each day.

· New Enrolling Children and Families will need to complete registration paperwork and will begin home-learning activities on October 5, 2020. The classroom teachers will connect with the children virtually, through home-learning packets, and will supply weekly nutrition/food packets. New students will gradually transition from home-learning to center-based services over the next few months. This will be dependent on the classroom ratios recommended from DCF, HHS, and the Center for Disease Control, during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

· The plan we currently have will allow for smaller class sizes in Head Start and Early Head Start Classrooms. This will allow for social-distancing in the classrooms.

Daily Changes at our Center:

· Daily temperature checks for staff and children upon arrival at HS/EHS.

· Additional Cleaning/sanitizing will begin after 2:00 p.m. dismissal each day.

· Program hours will run from 7:45 A.M to 2:00 p.m. - M-TH for both HS/EHS.

· Teachers and staff will greet families and guardians within the entry ways each morning and afternoon, to limit access to the number of people within the Center.

· Parent will provide drop-off and pick-up daily. No bus runs at this time.

· Breakfast, lunch, and snack will be pre-plated for safety and sanitation, with no family-style meals.

· Tooth-brushing is not recommended in class, at this time. Tooth-brushes and tooth-paste will be sent home. Please encourage your children to brush at least twice, daily.

**If you have further questions, please contact Head Start or Early Head Start and leave a message at the following numbers: 715-634-8560 Head Start ext. 2221; EHS ext. 2227

In the photos below, Headstart staff preparing for the opening on Oct. 5th


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