By Stefanie Jackson – Eastern Shore Head Start, like other local education programs, will offer options for both in-person and remote learning when schools reopen this fall, with its “Reopen Ready Plan.”
“Our number one priority in reopening ready is focused on the health and safety of the children and staff at our facilities,” stated a recent Eastern Shore Head start press release.
Both the in-person and remote learning options offer four days of instruction every week, with lessons aligned to Head Start’s Frog Street curriculum.
In-person learning will take place Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., at each of Eastern Shore Head Start’s three locations in Exmore, Accomac, and Hallwood.
To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, all students and staff will wear face masks provided to them and social distance six feet apart. Mask breaks will be scheduled.
Children will be provided their own technology equipment and individual containers of classroom supplies, which will be sanitized daily.
Students will have access to soap and running water or hand sanitizer at all times, including outdoor hand-washing sinks in the playground areas.
Classmates will stay together all day, and no two classes will be outside at the same time.
Remote learning will also take place Monday through Thursday, with online lessons presented by degreed teachers at least three times per day.
Technology equipment will be provided to families who need it, upon their request.
Parents will receive training on how to use the online learning platforms and are expected to participate daily in the learning activities provided online and in the packets sent home weekly.
All bus drivers, bus monitors, and students will have their temperatures taken before entering the bus. A student with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will not be permitted on the bus or at school.
All adults and children will wear face masks and practice social distancing on the bus, except children from the same household, who may sit together. Seats will be assigned.
Buses will be cleaned and disinfected between trips and at the end of the day; hydrostatic sprayers will be used for daily sanitization.
School meals will be delivered on carts by kitchen staff and eaten in the classroom. Teachers will place the food on each child’s plate and serve seconds.
Parents of children participating in virtual learning are encouraged to contact their family services worker to arrange meal delivery if needed.
The Eastern Shore Head Start staff “is excited in seeing all the returning children and families and to meet our new children and families as we embark on a new way of educating our parents in their children’s education.”
Head Start is a free, early childhood program for low-income families, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Eastern Shore Head Start is a program of the Eastern Shore Area Agency on Aging/Community Action Agency, or ESAAA/CAA.
The program serves children ages 3 to 5 at three locations: Hare Valley Head Start, 5432 Bayside Road, Exmore; Eastern Shore Early Childhood Development Center, 24429 Front Street, Accomac; and St. Paul On the Shore Lutheran Church, 28281 Main Street, Hallwood.
Eastern Shore Head Start will open for the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, Sept. 14.
The three Eastern Shore Head Start facilities have a combined capacity of 280 children and are federally funded to serve 218 children. There are still openings for the fall and no application deadline.
To apply, visit www.esvaheadstart.org or for more information, contact Director Tange Francis at 757-442-9652, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.