The first week of the School Aged Child Care Program (SACC) at Delaware City Schools has been a success, the director of the program reported Friday.
SACC & Community Programs Director Pamela Steurer said the first week of the revived program included 26 staff members and 45 students at Woodward Elementary School.
“The first week of our program went even more smoothly than we had expected,” Steurer said in an email Friday. “This is due in large part to the preparation and planning by the SACC staff and to Delaware City Schools for ensuring that we had enough space to serve our students safely.”
Steurer said the children were divided into groups of nine so they could safely work and do activities in classroom spaces without getting too close to each. She added staff and students wore masks at all times, and students participated in activities such as squirt bottle tag, nature explorations, scavenger hunts, dinosaur eggs, making tie-dye t-shirts, designing and building a house, and a virtual guest speaker.
The program, Steurer said, has taken precautions to protect parents as well. For instance, parents receive no-contact curbside service when they pick up and drop off their children.
“A SACC staff member meets the parent at their vehicle, marks the student’s attendance, and completes the wellness check,” Steurer said. “This helps to minimize the number of people entering the building and is also a convenient service for busy families.”
Steurer added all students receive a wellness check upon arrival and before entering the building.
“The check includes a temperature reading and a quick assessment of any symptoms,” she said. “Upon entering the building, children wash their hands before joining their group. Staff members follow the same procedures of completing a wellness check with a temperature reading and hand washing before entering the building.”
Students and staff also do regular hand-washing throughout the day and staff clean and disinfect common surfaces, indoors and outdoors, frequently throughout the day.
Steurer said she expected that students would have issues adjusting to wearing a mask, but it’s become normal to them.
“Both staff and students wear face coverings any time they will be within 6 feet of someone else, and many choose to simply keep the face-covering on at all times,” Steurer said. “We were initially concerned that students would have difficulty adjusting to wearing the face masks, however, both students and staff have adjusted really well and masks have just become a normal part of the environment.”
Steurer added the program will be operating for five weeks at Woodward, and there are no plans to open another building for SACC over the summer.
She said the district has learned from the program and will be applying those lessons to school this fall.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the Delaware City Schools administration to design a program that will support students during the school year,” Steurer said. “We have learned so much about how to keep students and staff safe while still learning, engaging and having fun, and we are looking forward to carrying that into the fall!”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @Battishill.