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Retrofits and Protocols at Education Centers Contribute to Another Successful Academic Year

The 2020-2021 Pre-K SA Cohort completed their last day of school on Thursday, May 27 with an End of Year Parade. Families celebrated by decorating their cars in order to pick up their children at Pre-K 4 SA Education Centers and celebrate the work accomplished over the course of the school year.

As children waited for their parents to pass through the parade, they cheered and danced. One by one they collected their summer goody bags which included books, class photos, and their Pre-K 4 SA Certificate of Completion. Additionally, the San Antonio Food Bank along with H-E-B gave all of Pre-K 4 SA families a summer produce bag to start the summer with healthy food choices.

However, the 2020-2021 academic year didn’t start in such a positive manner. There was so much uncertainty about even starting a new school year with the rise of local and national COVID-19 cases. And, many parents were unsure about allowing their children to attend in-person classes.

In an effort to create options for families, Pre-K 4 SA, for the very first time, offered a remote learning track along with the traditional in-person option. This allowed parents to feel more at ease as they decided on the best option for their child’s education.

Additionally, Pre-K 4 SA worked with city leaders, health experts and their own guiding physicians to implement protocols that went above and beyond minimum standards in order to allow them to both have in-person classes and keep children, families and staff safe.

Before the 2020-2021 academic year began, the Pre-K 4 SA leadership and staff worked earnestly to make the appropriate retrofits to all of their Education Centers. Additionally, the creation of new procedures and protocols were set into place to keep all staff and children safe. More than 100 new comprehensive safety procedures and protocols were implemented as a reactive approach to keep others safe from confirmed COVID-19 cases.

At the same time, the Operations team installed over 1,870 touchless devices which helped tremendously decrease the spread of germs in high-contact surfaces. These devices included touchless sinks, doors, and paper towel dispensers. Each Center also received touchless thermometer stations which quickly allowed temperature checks for staff. The cost of all of these retrofits and improvements came out to approximately $900,000.  These measures were necessary to fulfill Pre-K 4 SA’s commitment to ensure the health and safety of its children, families, and staff.

Additionally, at that given time, the guidance on COVID-19 suggested the virus could spread through airborne transmission. To prevent this from happening, the HVAC systems at all four Education Centers were adjusted to bring more fresh air into the classrooms by adding higher grade air filters to capture germs.

Fortunately, all these retrofits and new safety protocols were effective to keep the 2020-2021 Cohort safe throughout the entire year. Pre-K 4 SA’s Leadership team is thankful to see how everyone worked together and as a team throughout the entire academic year to conclude successfully.

Now, as Pre-K 4 SA personnel looks to return to in-person classes for the 2021-2022 academic year, some safety and wellness protocols will still be in place. Curbside drop-off and pick-up will remain as an option for families. The use of touchless sinks and water fountains, and daily temperature scans will help prevent the spread of infections such as colds, flu, and strep, which is vital to keep children in school actively engaged in learning. These protocols will contribute to the year-round health of Pre-K 4 SA’s students, families, and staff.

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