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Announcements

Date:     September 4, 2020

To:          All Staff

From:    Debbie Peralez, Executive Director

RE:          Reopening Plans

 

Dear Staff,

I am writing to communicate the next steps in our reopening plans. This has been such a disruptive time and unfortunately we will continue to experience disruption even though we are taking the next step towards normal operations.

As you know, we recently decided against reopening all of our classrooms until at least October 1 to allow our management team to design and implement a distance learning model. Having this in place allows us to provide a distance learning plan for any family that continues to need it.

The next step is that we will be returning to some in-person classroom reopening in mid-October. Our plan will depend on the number of staff able to return. This will determine how many classrooms will reopen. We are still working out the details for a lot of this but here are the decisions we have made so far:

We will operate 5 models:

  • State Preschool Full Day – will continue to operate Monday – Friday, 8 hours a day
  • Full Day and Duration classrooms will operate Monday – Thursday for 6 hours a day; families will attend all four days
  • Part Day will operate Monday – Thursday for 6 hours a day but families will be divided to attend 2 days a week, alternating with a Monday/Wednesday schedule or a Tuesday/Thursday schedule
  • Home Base will continue to operate Monday – Thursday offering all services remotely
  • Distance Learning model – a comprehensive distance learning model offered which incorporates several remote learning opportunities each week for children and families

All site staff, with the exception of State preschool staff will work a 4-day workweek, Monday-Thursday, but will rotate to work 5 days a week for 1 week out of every 4. This scheduled will begin October 5 for all staff except State preschool. It is very important to remember that this 4-day schedule is temporary due to the impacts of COVID-19. At some point, we will return to a normal 5-day a week service delivery plan for families and our 4-day work week schedules will change when that happens.

Admin staff schedules will be adjusted to make sure that every department has someone scheduled in the office and available to staff every day of the week and the Admin staff 4-day work week schedules will be designed to accomplish this.

We will work to place families and staff at a site that is in the same city they were assigned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families will be assigned to centers based on their priority. This may mean that families will be placed in different classrooms than where they were assigned last year. Based on the number of staff that are able to return, we may also need to move staff to make sure we have enough people to operate a classroom.

We know that we will not open every classroom because we don’t have enough staff to be able to do so. Once we know how many staff are able to return, we will make decisions about which classrooms will open.

Staff in the HR Dept. will be contacting all staff to get a commitment status for those who are able to return to work, based on the above schedules and those who are not able to return. We will then make decisions about who will be assigned to provide distance services, what accommodations, if any, we are able to make to schedules and determine which staff will need to request a leave of absence (LOA), based on their eligibility for a LOA.

One of the primary factors facing us is that the Office of Head Start has only authorized agencies to pay staff through the end of September for the abbreviated schedules we have been working. After that date, we would have been forced to look at layoff of staff who were not working. We want to avoid this and we want to be able to return all staff to work who can do so.

Additionally, we know that the lack of services has been a hardship for some of our families, particularly those that are working. All the actions we have been taking have been designed to keep our staff and families safe. Our reopening plans will continue to make safety a priority and we will have training on in-classroom safety protocols before staff begin working in a classroom. That training is scheduled to start October 5, with a reopening date of October 19.

There will be more details to follow and I know this announcement will create some questions that we don’t have answers for. We will continue to keep you and the families notified as plans emerge.

Please be on the lookout for communication from HR and be prepared to let us know your ability to return to work.

Communication with Families

We are in the process of preparing a communication for families, so please wait for that announcement and further instruction before discussing this with families.

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we work through these plans.

 

4/21/2020

DO YOU HAVE A LOAN WITH FIDELITY?

If you currently have a 401k loan with Fidelity they will be offering an opportunity to postpone your payments for a few months. You would be relieved of making your payments through possibly December. The number of payments missed would be added on to the current end date of your loan

If you are interested or would like to hear more information, please call Fidelity at 1-800-835-5097

 

Sincerely,

Debbie McGrath
Business Services Director

 

4/17/2020

Two new announcements!

Changed Plans for the Program Options in 2020-2021

During earlier planning discussions, we announced changes to the program options for next year. After discussion with the Board of Directors, we have made some changes to our initial plan. These changes are in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the very real possibility that there will be more families living in poverty as a result of what we are experiencing right now. Below is a table that describes the old plan and the newly revised plan.

 SITE NAME

 Initial Plan 2021- 2022 /
Program Option

 New Plan 2021-2022 /
Program Option

 Menlo 3

 Conversion to Early Head Start

  Will remain double session am/pm class

 Mariposa 1

 Conversion to Early Head Start

 Conversion to Early Head Start

 Setterquist

 Conversion to 6 hour day

 Will remain double session am/pm class

 Sereno Village

 Conversion to 6 hour day with possibility of full day if
State preschool funding is received

 Conversion to 6 hour day with possibility of full day if State
preschool funding is received

 Sunset Creek

 Conversion to 6 hour day

 Will remain double session am/pm class

We were looking forward to the changes originally designed but in light of all that we are experiencing right now, feel that this path is in the best interest of our communities. We will continue to keep you posted on the transfer process as these changes may affect some decisions about your preference for site assignments next year.

In other news, I want to address the latest information begin discussed at the National and State levels regarding reopening our state, which in effect means, when and how will the shelter at home orders be lifted? And how will we begin resuming services to our families at the center? There is a lot of discussion right now but there have been no decisions made about a date for the shelter in place orders to be lifted in our state or in either county. The schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year, and we are following that schedule at this time. However, we do still operate a year round program so it is likely that we will begin offering services in our full day programs sometime over the summer. I am committed to keeping you informed of our decisions regarding any projected reopening of sites. Through both our weekly calls with teaching staff, Family Advocates and Center Directors, and the weekly supervisory calls to each of your staff members, we will continue to keep staff updated on our plans. Additionally, please continue to watch this space for NEWS!

 

Sincerely,

Debbie Peralez
Executive Director

 

3/30/2020

Hello all,

Attached is the most recent edition of the Claremont Newletter, Impact.

I am also attaching a summery of the benefits that you have through the EAP. What is important to note is that EAP offers 5 free counseling visits per incident, per person in your household, per rolling 12 months for almost any personal issue.

Child Start EAP Benefit Summary

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Sincerely,

Alonso Duarte
Human Resources Manager

 

3/26/2020

Hi all,

First let me say thank you to each of you who have responded to the rapidly changing realities we are facing with this crisis. I am so proud to work for an organization where staff are so committed to serving our communities. You all have stepped up to meet the needs and it is humbling to hear how you have all responded. Thank you!

As part of your weekly communication with staff this week, please relay the following information to each of the staff you supervise:

Pay and paychecks: All regular staff are being paid, and will continue to be paid during this crisis, unless there is a change announced from the Office of Head Start (OHS). The message we have received from OHS is that pay will continue as we want to be fully operational when we make the decision to return to regular services and we want to make sure that staff do not suffer any loss in pay so that they can return to work as needed.

For those staff who regularly pick up their paychecks, the office will be open Monday, 10:30 to 1:00 pm to pick up paychecks. Any not picked up by 1:00 pm will be mailed.

Closure Dates: All school districts in our jurisdictions have extended their closure dates to May 1. At this time, we are also extending our closure dates to May 1. However, we reserve the right to recall staff at any time as issues emerge that could require us to return to the sites for work.

Expectations for response: It is imperative that staff stay connected to their supervisor and that all staff be told that they are responsible to return calls to their supervisors by the next business day. Supervisors in turn, are responsible to return calls to their staff by the next business day.

Ongoing work with families: Subcommittees are currently working on two issues: food access for kids and families, and our plan to deliver educational opportunities to our families. We’ll keep you posted as plans emerge.

Again, thank you for all that you are doing to help our families in these crazy times. Please continue to keep safe and remember to follow the public health guidelines so that we can look forward to a return of normalcy. I look forward to the day soon, when we will all be able to see each other.

 

Sincerely,

Debbie Peralez
Executive Director