Delaware City Schools officials announced this week the School Aged Child Care (SACC) program will be returning next month.
The program will reopen on July 6 in a limited capacity at Woodward Elementary, and it will serve 54 children.
Director of School Age Child Care & Community Programs Pamela Steurer said in an email Friday that there will be several changes made to the program to keep staff and families as safe as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“While some things may look different, many things will remain the same,” Steurer said. “The Delaware City Schools School Age Child Care (SACC) program has always been committed to providing a fun, enriching environment that focuses on ensuring the health and safety of all of our participants, and that has not changed. We have simply adjusted some of our processes to keep everyone as safe as possible during the pandemic.”
Several of the big changes include curbside pickup and dropoff of students, and deceased group sizes.
“This summer, parents will enjoy curbside pickup of their students, and we will have smaller groups that each get to have their own classroom,” Steurer said. “The smaller group sizes will provide wonderful opportunities for our staff to really get to know each individual child, build some wonderful relationships, and provide activities that align with each child’s unique interests and abilities. We are also looking at innovative ways to utilize technology to connect students with the world, such as taking virtual field trips. Each day children will have the opportunity for learning, exploration, physical activity, social engagement and fun.”
Steurer said the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Child Care Licensing Division just released guidelines for reopening the program during the pandemic. She added the district has crafted the program around those safety protocols.
“The biggest change is much smaller group sizes that will stay together throughout the day,” Steurer said “Children will wash their hands even more than usual. Space will be available to ensure children and staff are able to maintain a safe physical distance. Parents will receive no-contact curbside service during dropoff and pickup.”
Steurer added all staff and children will have daily health checks, and anyone not feeling well is expected to stay home.
“Face coverings will also be used by both staff and children whenever they are in shared spaces, such as hallways or during activities when they might not be able to maintain the recommended safe physical distance from others,” she said.
Steurer said the district selected Woodward as the location of the reopening because of its large outdoor area where children will can play.
The 54 children in the program is much lower than the 240 children the program typically serves, Steurer noted.
“We know that this will not meet the full need in our community but hope that we will at least be able to help some of our families return to work knowing that their children are in a safe place,” she said.
Steurer added the community has come together to help get the program up and running again.
“I am so grateful to Superintendent Kegley, the Delaware City Schools Food Service Department, the Woodward custodial team, the Family Resource Center, and other community partners such as the United Way of Delaware County,” Steurer said.
Steurer also praised the SACC staff, who has continued working this summer despite the program being closed.
“They have been so committed to this process and to the DCS students,” Steurer said. “They have been providing virtual summer activities all summer and have also been working with the food service department to distribute summer lunches and weekend food bags throughout the district. They have been creative and innovative, and they are so enthusiastic about opening an in-person program.”
Families can find more detailed information about the registration process, policies, and procedures by visiting the Delaware City Schools website at www.dcs.k12.oh.us/ and going to the “For Families” tab and selecting “School Age Child Care.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.