EDCOE Child Development Programs Open for In-person Instruction

EDCOE Child Development Programs Open for In-person Instruction

08:57 AM - September 17, 2020

It was an exciting first week of school for some of El Dorado County’s youngest students. The El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Child Development Programs opened their doors on five sites the week of September 7. Locations included Rescue Elementary, Green Valley, Jackson, Placerville Main and a Placerville Portable. Jenny Pettit, Director of EDCOE’s Child Development Programs, stated, "It is a pleasure to see children back in the classroom! The staff have done a remarkable job ensuring safety protocols are properly implemented."

At the State Preschool located at the Green Valley site, the first few days were especially exciting. Several days were conducted in-person while teachers delivered instruction remotely through distance learning on one day. Health and safety were of utmost concern, so parents did not enter the classroom. Child Development team members performed student health screenings, including temperature checks. Teachers always wore masks, and several students also wore their masks in the classroom. Student masks were removed and placed in individual bags during snack and outdoor recess time. Regular sanitization kept hands and touched objects clean. Annette Paculba-Dunn is a State Preschool teacher at the site and expressed, “It was so nice to see the kids and to re-connect with the families. I really enjoyed seeing and hearing their growth development since March. My re-turning children remembered the expectations of being in the classroom and were respectful with each other!”

Kelly Lizardo is a teacher at Jackson Elementary and explained, “Two days a week we see the children in-person, and we host three days of distance learning. There are staggered drop off and pick up times to limit the potential of exposure. Parents perform self-screenings before coming to campus and we do an additional screening when students arrive. Our parents are excited to see their children return to the classroom and are absolutely fantastic when it comes to following our health and safety guidance. Each student has an individual box for their items and are encouraged to wear masks if they are able. It was so thrilling to see everyone on our first day, and we are currently learning about and tasting apples!”

At the Placerville Portable Program located at Schnell School, students attend on different days within small cohorts, and siblings are assigned to the same cohort. Toys are spaced in tubs for individual children to play with. When they are finished playing, the toys are sprayed with disinfectant before the next child may touch them. Each student has a zippered case with their name that contains items like felt pens, scissors, glue stick, etc., so sharing does not need to occur to conduct projects. Sandee Bangs teaches at the site and noted, “We had a great first day! It was so nice to have them back in the classroom, and it really helps our parents who need to work. Things looked a little different – chairs spaced out, limiting activities like our science table to one student only and more, but the students were so happy to return.”

The programs are supported by EDCOE’s Food Service team, and students receive snacks in the classroom and bags of food to take home with them for distance learning days. Enrollment is now open, and financial assistance is available for qualified families. For more information on EDCOE’s Child Development programs and how to apply, call (530) 295-2270 or visit www.edcoe.org

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