Red Robin Country Day School & Camp’s 2020-2021 Safety Policies
Since 1957, Red Robin Country Day School & Camp has remained devoted to the safety and well-being of our students and campers, physically and emotionally. As a New York State certified Emergency Medical Technician and Social Worker, with a Master’s Degree in the field, these areas are paramount to me as the owner/director of Red Robin Country Day School and Camp. Curriculum and programming are of course essential, but only after safety has been ensured and made a priority at all times.
It is for these reasons that our Educational/Program director, Miss Sheryl, is First Aid and CPR certified, as well as other staff members who are CPR certified. We are all fully committed to the welfare of our students and campers. Just a few examples of our standard (pre-COVID) safety protocols: we prohibit popcorn and balloons (both major choking hazards), slice camp hotdogs in half during the summer, intentionally altering their shape and size, and watch diligently to make sure that toys in our classrooms and at “Arts & Crafts” are age-appropriate. We retain a tree company and its professionals to assess all of the trees on our property regularly, removing all dead wood and branches that pose a risk, and constantly assess all other potential hazards.
COVID-19 Information and Procedures
Please see our previously published Preschool Health & Safety Protocols for COVID-19 here.
Together, we clearly face the challenges presented by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, which has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization (“WHO”). COVID-19 is reported to be extremely contagious, even life threatening or deadly. It is believed that the virus can spread from person-to-person contact, thought to be through respiratory droplets produced when a person infected with the virus coughs, sneezes or breathes. It was also reported that the virus can spread by contact with contaminated surfaces and/or through objects. People reportedly can be infected, show no symptoms, and yet still spread the disease. The exact methods of spread and contraction are unknown, and currently, there is no known treatment, cure or vaccine for COVID-19.
We expect that all of our families and staff, as part of an extended Red Robin Country Day School and Camp family, will adhere to all Nassau County, New York State and federal guidelines, and legislation, in relation to COVID-19, travel, and quarantining requirements. If any child and/or his or her family has traveled to, or plans to travel to, one of New York’s indicated COVID-19 “hot spot” states or countries, they must notify the Red Robin staff immediately and quarantine per prescribed New York State mandates prior to the child beginning or continuing any program at Red Robin. Families and staff must also agree to maintain a social distancing protocol in their own lives, wear masks when in public, wash hands regularly and refrain from knowingly placing themselves or their children in risky situations outside of Red Robin Country Day School and Camp, where group sizes and potential viral loads may be significant or where clean, safe conditions have not been maintained.
Furthermore, if a member of the extended Red Robin family has come in contact with an individual or individuals known to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is imperative that those individuals seek medical consultation and quarantine as required by New York State, reporting this information to the Red Robin Country Day School and Camp’s directors as well.
Red Robin’s Daily Covid-19 Protocols
Red Robin Country Day School will maintain a closed campus during the 2020-2021 academic year and through summer 20-21 in Camp if current conditions remain unchanged. Therefore, though we normally enjoy inviting families to Red Robin for an in-class teacher presentation and orientation, due to our desire to maintain a closed environment, your child’s teacher will be contacting you by phone to either conduct a phone conference or a “Zoom” meeting. As always, Sheryl and I are available by phone in the office at (516) 334-1144 to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
Red Robin student and camper families agree to meet Red Robin staff, who will wear masks at all times while at Red Robin Country Day School and Camp, at the front gate each morning, maintaining social distancing protocols and wearing masks, for a health screening. Questions will be asked about travel and contact with others, symptom checks will be administered, along with a contactless forehead temperature check. Any child with a temperature greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit will be required to be taken home until he or she is determined to be fever free for a minimum of 72 hours and exhibiting no Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) indicated signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including difficulty breathing (new or worsening), shortness of breath (new or worsening), cough (new or worsening) new loss of a sense of taste, new loss of a sense of smell, chills, muscle aches (new or worsening), headache (new or worsening), sore throat (new or worsening), unusual body rashes, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, runny nose and/or congestion. Families will be required to complete digital COVID-19 attestation questionnaires before dropping children off each morning.
Children being dropped off for early morning care (7AM-9AM) will be required to wear a mask only during those hours. Per New York State mandates, due to their young age, Red Robin Country Day School’s students will not be required to wear masks once they have reached their classroom, from 9:00AM-4:00PM, where they will remain as part of a “pod” with their classmates and teacher/assistant teacher, but will be encouraged to wear masks if they can tolerate them. Parents may of course request that their child be required to wear a mask at all times and may also request an exemption from mask wearing if their child’s medical diagnosis makes mask wearing a threat to their physical safety.
Children arriving at the gate for regular arrivals, for any part of the 9:00AM to 4:00PM schedule, will be required to wear a mask until they have reached their classrooms, where they will remain as part of a “pod.” Once again, per New York State mandates, due to their young age, Red Robin Country Day School students will not be required to wear masks once with their classmates, but will be encouraged to wear masks if they can tolerate them. Parents may of course request that their child be required to wear a mask at all times and may also request an exemption from mask wearing if their child’s medical diagnosis makes mask wearing a threat to their physical safety.
Unless absolutely necessary, different classes of children will have no contact throughout each day of school, from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. Children in late afternoon care (4PM-6PM) will also be required to wear masks during those hours. All children will put masks on during dismissal and be released to families, who will socially distance and wear masks, outside the gate, at the completion of each session or day of school.
It is essential that no adults, beyond Red Robin’s own staff, special educators or inspectors, enter the grounds through the gates. Once again, all children should be greeted/released by a Red Robin staff member at the latched gate that connects our main grounds to our parking lot. This will help to maintain yet another barrier to any unwanted germs or infections that may exist, especially in those who are asymptomatic.
Children traveling by bus to and from Red Robin will also be required to wear masks while on buses and will receive a brief health check before boarding a Red Robin bus, including a contactless forehead temperature check. Once again, any child determined to have a temperature greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to board a Red Robin bus and will be required to be fever free for a minimum of 72 hours, exhibiting no CDC indicated signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as listed above, as well as having a NEGATIVE COVID-19 P.C.R. test results before returning to school. The results of the tests, as well as a doctor’s clearance note, must be presented to Red Robin’s directors as well.
Children will receive temperature checks a minimum of every three hours while in school and will be required to wash hands during every transition, no less than once every forty five minutes, plus after using the bathroom and prior to any snack or lunch consumption.
Students will be limited to small backpacks that fit a light jacket, a pocketed folder for homework, projects and the exchange of Red Robin to family correspondences, as well as a disposable brown bag for a lunch, if a child has lunch at Red Robin. Children’s changes of clothing, diapers/pull-ups, ointments and project supplies will be maintained in each of the classrooms and accessible only to Red Robin staff, who will distribute said items to students as needed.
Red Robin Country Day School and Camp’s classroom windows will remain open when weather permits, allowing for the additional flow of fresh air during school. In addition, because our spacious, well-equipped grounds, playgrounds and indoor-outdoor play pavilion allow classes to have separate areas for outdoor play and instruction, Red Robin will ensure that our students spend as much time outside as possible, while at the same time providing indoor instruction and lessons as appropriate.
Red Robin Staff will disinfect surfaces, toys, and equipment on a regular basis with approved agents. As much as possible, students will use items assigned to them individually in order to complete creative or educational class projects. At the completion of each school or camp day, and as part of our daily evening cleaning procedures, Red Robin will be integrating the use of brand new disinfecting, misting foggers that will assist with the overall cleansing of our facilities.
General Safety Protocols for School & Camp
Beyond COVID-19, the only way to minimize obvious risks, as well as freak acts of nature, is to constantly monitor, tweak, and remain vigilant with regard to those risks that may exist. As an integral part of our team, we ask all of you to aid us in this endeavor by never sending children to Red Robin with finger or similarly shaped carrots, whole grapes and/or whole cherry tomatoes, hotdogs, popcorn, or any other clear edible or inedible choking hazards, such as toys, balloons or “trinkets” that may be easily swallowed.
Please be sure to quarter grapes, cut other fruit and vegetables into small pieces, and be mindful of meat and large pasta that you may be packing for your child’s lunch. In addition, Red Robin Country Day School & Camp is now a completely peanut and tree nut free environment. Please refrain from sending in any lunch, snack or birthday items that may contain these ingredients. Please send an ingredient list with random or atypical snacks that may have questionable contents.
If you would like us to celebrate your child’s birthday in school, please feel free to send in a large watermelon. Most children love watermelon and it serves as a great substitute for baked treats. Another option is the School Safe product line, which is sold at Whole Foods, Stop & Shop and Shop Rite, among others. They offer cupcakes and cookies guaranteed to be free of peanuts and tree nuts.
In addition, if you would like us to celebrate your child’s birthday in school, we respectfully request that you avoid sending him or her in with “goodie bags” as it is usually very difficult for families to completely avoid dangerous items and candy. We have found that some toys, which appear to be harmless, may actually be quite hazardous. Therefore, please work together with us in providing a safe environment for our students by eliminating “goodie bags” from your child’s in-school party. Our teachers will highlight his or her birthday and your child will proudly don his or her own Red Robin Country Day School birthday crown.
Once again, with regard to any contagious illnesses or fever, please carefully assess your child’s health each morning before sending him or her to school. If you suspect an illness of any type, please exercise extra caution and allow him or her to remain at home until he or she is well. Once at school, if your child becomes feverish (100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or greater), is vomiting and/or appears to have a potentially contagious illness, we will immediately contact you and request that you pick your child up from Red Robin. Once again, please be sure that your child is fever free for 72 hours before returning to school, alerting our office of any COVID-19 or other significant diagnoses. In addition, children with contagious illnesses and/or those who have been prescribed medication for an illness may only return to school with a note from your child’s pediatrician.
As always, in addition to COVID-19, the New York State Department of Health is warning all schools to work closely with their students’ families in preventing the spread of the Swine Flu, Roto Virus and the many other illnesses that may be easily transmitted through unnecessary exposure. As discussed herein, our teachers are constantly washing toys and surfaces, even more frequently now, and our students are taught to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water, even more frequently now.
Students’ Medical and School Forms
We appreciate your assistance with regard to the immediate submission of all necessary forms, including your child’s updated physical form, complete with an official record of immunizations and clearance from his or her pediatrician for participation in all school activities (NYS requires that all physical examinations must have been performed within the last year and that they must be signed by a licensed physician. Forms that expire prior to the last day of school will need to be renewed per NYS regulations.), the white student background form, the NYS emergency form, Red Robin’s consent/transportation form and the topical medication/napping forms.
The consent/transportation form is mainly designed to provide our staff with the names of those members of your family, babysitters, and/or others you give permission for us to release your child to. Individuals listed on the form must present a valid NYS driver’s license in order to facilitate the safe release of your child to him or her.
Finally, once our students have entered the buildings at the start of each school day, we lock our doors. Based on our COVID-19, closed campus protocol, it will now be necessary for you to call our main office from the parking lot at (516) 334-1144 if you are signing your child in late or out early. Children entering late or leaving early must be health screened (when entering only) and noted in our log book, which will be provided at the front gate. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Miss Sheryl, our staff and I care deeply about our students, our campers and their families, and we will continue to work tirelessly to protect you all. As always, we very much appreciate the trust and confidence that you place in us, and revel in working together with you as a family and a team. Please understand that none of this detail is meant to scare or upset our families, but instead to reassure you that we are focused on safety at all times.
If you should ever have questions with regard to these or any other matters, I wholeheartedly invite you to call us in the office at (516) 334-1144 or visit with us for a face-to-face conversation. On behalf of Miss Sheryl and the entire Red Robin staff, we look forward to a fantastic school year and very much appreciate your cooperation with regard to our enhanced COVID-19 procedures, and beyond.
Michael Cohn, MSW and NYS Certified E.M.T.
Owner/Director, Red Robin Country Day School & Camp