Preschools in Lewisboro, Bedford and Pound Ridge are all reporting very successful beginnings to their school years, which began in September.
Pamela Leibman, South Salem Nursery School director, Kristin Townsend, Pound Ridge Community Church Play School director, and Erika Glick, Katonah Village Kids director, all said that continued support from parents and families has allowed for the smooth reopening.
“I am super appreciative of the support we’ve had from our parents,” Ms. Leibman said. “We really couldn’t have opened successfully without their support and following all of the guidelines.”
Ms. Townsend said that parents have been extremely diligent about monitoring their child’s health and keeping them home if needed. She said that a couple of children and their parents caught a cold virus that was going around the school. She added that the parents made sure their children were symptom-free before returning, and some had their children tested for COVID-19 on their own accord, with no positive results.
Ms. Leibman and Ms. Glick also said that their families were all complying with the guidelines and keeping their children home at any signs of sickness. They also reported having no positive COVID-19 cases throughout the school year so far.
In the end of the summer months, many parents had to decide whether or not to enroll their children in preschools in the fall, with many deciding to keep their children home.
Ms. Townsend and Ms. Glick both said they have lower enrollment rates than last year. However, Ms. Leibman said South Salem Nursery School’s enrollment for this year is actually higher than last.
One concern heading into the school year was the feasibility of mask wearing among children, as well as how younger children would react seeing their teachers in masks all day. Ms. Leibman said the children are not required to wear masks, but 4-year-old children keep their masks on throughout the day. She added that prior to opening, she distributed photos of all the teachers wearing masks, so the children could become acquainted with it.
Ms. Townsend also said that mask wearing is optional among the 2- to 4-year-old age group, but more 4-year-old children wear them. Katonah Village Kids, on the other hand, requires 3- and 4-year-old children to wear masks. Ms. Glick said she was pleasantly surprised with the children wearing masks, and that it has been going better than she anticipated.
“It’s practically a non-issue,” Ms. Glick said.
In light of recent COVID-19 cases in Pleasantville Union Free School District, Somers Central School District and now Katonah-Lewisboro School District, all three directors said they are remaining on alert for cases and outbreaks in the area.
Ms. Townsend said she would seriously consider closing PRCC Play School if there was a positive case of COVID-19 at Pound Ridge Elementary. Ms. Leibman said she is closely monitoring the town’s infection rate rather than whether or not the virus shows up in schools.
“We’re just taking it literally day by day,” Ms. Townsend said.
Across the board, the preschool directors said that parents, and especially the children, could not wait to return to school. Ms. Leibman said you can tell how excited the kids were to start school and are really enjoying being able to play with each other.
“The children couldn’t be happier,” Ms. Glick said. “This is where they needed to be since March.”