School Day Support FAQs

The School-day Support Program was created for the 2020-21 school year in response to requests by families for school-time assistance while their children are enrolled in school districts that are opening with remote-only learning. PIC offers a safe and supportive learning environment, and  teachers who will offer “live” attention to each child as they navigate the on-line experience. Each day, children will have as much time as possible to engage in developmentally appropriate, hands-on play and learning, both inside and out of doors.

THE BASICS:

What are the dates of the program?

The Program will begin on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020. The Program will end when the children return to in-person classes at their schools.  If the schools move to a hybrid model, PIC will consider extending the program.

What are the hours of the program?

Our hours are 8 am - 6 pm, Monday through Friday. We are currently told that the schools will expect the children to be online by 8:30 am, so we expect children to arrive in time to get settled in their rooms and be ready to learn by 8:30 am.  

What ages will the program take?

At this time we are enrolling Kindergarten, first and second grade children. We are very aware that all elementary-age children would benefit from such a program, but we believe we need to focus at this time on the youngest school-age children.

How many children will be enrolled. Where will they be?

We will have a maximum of 30 kindergarten children per day working in two groups in the Stucco Building on PIC's campus, and 20 first and second graders per day in the Aviary building located on the corner of 43rd and Spruce Streets.

What is the cost of the School Day Support program?

These are the rates for the School-day Support Program

  • 5 day: $1350 per month
  • 3-day-:  $850 per month 
  • 2-day:   $540 per month 

 
Are there additional fees charged?

While there is an additional Health and Safety fee and an additional Facilities fee charged for the Early Learning Program, these fees have been included in the monthly tuition for the School-day Support Program. 

What if we cannot afford the full tuition cost?  

In keeping with PIC’s mission to expand social-economic diversity, we will make sure that families of all income levels have the opportunity to enroll. We are doing the following to assure this:

Will there be space for everyone who wants to enroll?

Unfortunately, we already know that we will not have the capacity for everyone who wants to enroll. We are bound by our space capacity and staffing. Priority will be given to families already enrolled at PIC and to families who are required to work outside the home.

I want to enroll for three days, but my schedule may change each week. Am I able to switch my child’s days on a weekly basis?

Unfortunately no. While we have always had significant flexibility in our enrollment scheduling, part of our safety plan is to keep the same children in the spaces each day. Thus, 2-day children will only be scheduled for Tuesday & Thursday and 3-day children will only be scheduled for Monday, Wednesday & Friday. 

Is space currently available?

We currently have a few spaces still available at the kindergarten level. We are full at the first and second grade levels but are happy to put your child’s name on our wait list. Please contact our Enrollment Manager Grace Piana at gpiana@parentinfantcenter.org or 
215-222-5480 for additional information. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS:

Our foremost goal is to keep everyone healthy and safe. In order to limit any possibility that PIC must close partially or completely because of an outbreak, we must work together and strictly adhere to all protocols. Families must truthfully answer the screening questions each day and keep kids home, even with what might seem to be minor symptoms. The community will stay healthy and open ONLY if everyone works together.

What will the health & safety screening consist of?

The most important part of the morning screening is everyone’s commitment to take it seriously. In September, introduced an electronic health screening tool for families to use before arriving at PIC. Each morning, families will be sent a text with questions about the same symptoms and situation that we have been asking all summer. You will immediately know if you have passed the screening by seeing a “green screen” and if you failed the screening you will see a “red screen” and not allowed entry to PIC.

What will prevent my child from being allowed to come to PIC?

Children are not allowed to come to school if:

  • They have had a fever of 100.0 or greater in the last 24 hours or at check-in.
  • They have a new cough or shortness of breath in the last 24 hours.
  • They have been given fever reduction medication in the last 24 hours to treat a fever.
  • You or your child has had close contact with someone who has been tested for COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for the virus in the last 14 days.
  • Your family is awaiting any COVID-19 test results for symptoms.
  • Your child has any of TWO following: headache, sore throat, chills, body aches, or loss of taste of smell.

Can my child come to PIC with cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, congestion or sneezing?

Yes. All children will likely "catch a cold" or exhibit cold-like symptoms. Runny nose or sneezing are not among the COVID-19 symptoms that we screen for in the morning.

Explain the staggered drop-off and pick-up schedule. 

In order to reduce the number of children and parents who arrive at the same time for drop-off and pick-up, each family will be given a staggered time slot. We expect that all children will need to be ready for the school day to begin at 8:30 am and thus, our morning drop-off time slots are in 10 minute increments between 8 and 8:30 am.  

We ask that you let us know when you plan to pick-up your child at the end of each day and we will try to arrange our pick-up schedule accordingly. Some families may be asked to move their time slot to an earlier or later time to avoid too many parents arriving at the same time for pick-up.  It is very important to stick to your time slot as much as possible as we arrange our staffing accordingly. 

Where will I drop-off my child in September?

Kindergarten children will come to the ramp on the south side of the Stucco building (next to the chapel).  Each parent and child will come up the ramp to show the “green screen” on their phone that indicates the health and safety screening has been passed. The child’s temperature will be taken at the top of the ramp before entering the building. As a way to reduce the risk of exposure, parents are not allowed in any PIC building. 

1st and 2nd grade children will enter via the east facing porch entrance of the Aviary building at 43rd and Spruce Streets. Parents will be asked to show their “green screen” at that entrance and each child will have their temperature taken before entering the building. Again parents are NOT allowed in any PIC building.

What about masks?

Adults will wear masks at all times and children will wear masks inside the buildings and will be encouraged to wear masks outside. Children must wear a mask when they arrive each day and bring another mask in their bag/backpack as an extra. Masks are not worn when children are eating. Masks should be taken home each day to be washed. We will have disposable masks available if anyone forgets them. 

What kind of mask should my child wear?

Children may wear disposable masks or reusable cloth masks. The most important thing is that the mask fits comfortably over the child's nose and mouth. Based on current safety recommendations, we not not allow reusable masks with the vent sewn into the front. Children will be given a disposable mask if they come to school with a vented mask.

Have any changes in facilities been made?

We are completing  a significant internet upgrade project to increase internet capacity to allow many laptops to  function at the same time. 

  • We have added wall fans in the spaces to increase air circulation.
  • We have added air purifiers in the rooms.
  • Rooms have been rearranged to allow distancing between tables. 

How will safety be assured during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Families will complete an electronic screening survey each morning
  • All children will have their temperatures taken before entering.
  • Teachers will wear masks at all times
  • Classrooms, frequently-touched surfaces, and other materials will be disinfected, throughout the day. 
  • Children are closely supervised during hand washin
  • There are significantly smaller group sizes than our typical school-age program. 
  • Only four children are at a shared table for school work, activities, lunch, and snacks.
  • Children are distanced from one another to the extent possible.

All health and safety protocols are outlined in our COVID-19 Family Handbook. We strictly follow the Handbook. As recommendations and guidelines change, the COVID-19 Family Handbook will be updated.

THE SCHOOL DAY:

How many teachers will there be?

There will be four teachers in the kindergarten program and three teachers in the 1st and 2nd grade program.  We are delighted that most of our wonderful teachers in our school-age program will be with the children for the school day program. All have significant experience working with  school-age  children.

What will my child need to bring to PIC?

Children are expected to bring their laptop from home each day, either one that they own or one that is distributed by the School District. The laptop should be labeled with the child’s name (some parents suggested labeling the laptop with a piece of masking tape.)  Any passwords should be sent to your child’s teacher.  Each  should also bring anything that their School District teacher says that they will need.  

Each child should bring a container to hold pencils, markers, erasers, etc. to keep in their backpack and take out as needed. We will always have paper, scissors, glue, etc  available as needed. 

Children should also come with a water bottle each day (and take it home each night to be washed). A change of clothing is also helpful as playing outside on rainy days is part of what we do! Some kids are more comfortable coming inside to a dry change of clothing. 

What about the laptops? What if it breaks or gets lost? 

PIC cannot assume responsibility for laptops or other devices that are not ours. Thus, we are not responsible for property that is damaged or lost during the hours that children are at PIC.  We do not have secure overnight storage to the laptops at PIC.  Children are expected to take their laptops home each day and return with them the next day. 

Please explain the curriculum?

PIC’s school-age teachers will not create the curriculum, but will do all they can to
support the curriculum that the children need to follow.

During the school-day, we will be supporting the schedules and the virtual curriculum of the children enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) schools. As we currently understand it, attendance will be taken each morning by the SDP classroom teachers.  

Every PIC school-age teacher is committed to providing developmentally-appropriate off-line activities and energizing outdoor time for children in each age group throughout the day. PIC teachers will be available to support children with technology as needed, and provide the care and nurturing we know they will need. At the heart of everything we do, regardless if technology is driving our work more than we might hope, is the social-emotional support that we know children will need more than ever before. 

Once the school day ends, the program will look very much like our typical after school program. There will be LOTS of opportunities for fun clubs and outdoor time. 

Can my child ride a bike or scooter to PIC in the morning? Is there a place to keep the bike or scooter during the day?

Your child may certainly bike or scooter to PIC, but we do not have a storage place at this time to leave the vehicles during the day. 

Can my child bring toys from home to PIC?

We do not encourage children to bring toys from home. If a child needs to bring a transition item from home to PIC, we encourage a family photo or a labeled book placed in the child’s backpack. Books may be shared in the classroom. A child may carry a soft transition object during drop off, but it must go in their backpack as they enter PIC.

What about snacks and lunch?

Families will provide lunch for their child Monday-Thursday. Please send lunch in a disposable bag with all disposable containers so that there is nothing that needs to be sent home.

Friday at PIC is Pizza Day and we provide pizza for all children.  For the children coming from the Early Learning Program, this will be a nice continuation of a beloved tradition. If your child does not eat pizza, please send your child with lunch on Friday. 

Can I bring in cupcakes for my child’s birthday?

Families should only bring in birthday “treats” that are prepackaged and unopened. Home baked items should not be brought in during this time.

Will the children be able to use the new playground at Penn Alexander School?

Not at this time. We still limit our children to only use the play equipment that we have at PIC. We are assured that each morning and after each class use throughout the day the entire climber is thoroughly disinfected. We do not have that kind of oversight of any equipment beyond our property.

What's the best way to communicate with my child's teachers?

Email is the best way for you to keep in touch with your teachers daily. We understand that face-to-face time with teachers has become limited due to safety protocols we have put in place to keep everyone healthy. Thank you for understanding.

Should I notify PIC of travel plans?

Families and Staff who travel to a state with increasing cases of COVID-19 should self-quarantine for a 14-day period. The quarantine period begins the date of return to Philadelphia or surrounding areas. For the health and safety of our full community, we ask that you notify Deb Green at  dgreen@parentinfantcenter.org or Jessica Carter at jcarter@parentinfantcenter.org of your travel plans so that we can plan staffing based on enrollment numbers.

If a parent travels to a state that requires quarantine when returning home (but the child did not travel) does the child need to stay home for the quarantined time?

Yes, if the child and the family members who traveled are in the same household.  

Is there anything else that we should know?

After the School District decision to go fully virtual this fall was announced, we have worked hard to quickly respond to the needs of families and children. While we are currently not able to serve 3rd and 4th graders, we hope that we may be able to offer some level of social opportunities at a later point.

PIC has always been about community and we hope this program goes a step further in serving our community. We know we will all be learning together!