It is with great sadness that we announce postponing the start of First United Methodist Co-Op Preschool’s (FUMCP) 20-21 school year. We will not be starting school in September like we had originally communicated. We will wait to start preschool at a later date.
The announcement from Poudre School District (PSD) on Tuesday 8/4/20, that all public schools in Larimer County will be starting the school year with remote learning, caused FUMCP leadership to look very closely at our start of the school year. Please see the statement from Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) that was sent out last Tuesday that caused the change by PSD:
We came to the difficult decision to postpone the start of the school year because of multiple factors:
Even though we do not follow the same license and health regulations as public schools, we are required to do health checks and contact tracing on everyone who enters our building. The above statement does affect us. We are concerned that with delayed test results, we would spend too much time temporarily closed while waiting for individual test results. That would be too much inconsistency for our preschoolers. Providing as much consistency as we can for the children is very important especially during this Pandemic.
Our current staff and teachers all have older children attending schools in PSD learning remotely from home for 1st quarter. This obstacle was proving very difficult for any of our staff to be able to continue teaching while they have children at home remote learning and needing adult assistance.
FUMC Preschool is an outreach program of First United Methodist Church. Preschool is considered a part of the church and we fall under their umbrella. Church leadership have advised us to postpone the start of our school year because of the announcement from LCDHE.
We are very hopeful that schools will be able to resume in person or hybrid learning in October. Our goal is to open the preschool and operate as normal when PSD operates in Phase 3 (hybrid learning) or Phase 4 (in person learning). FUMCP won’t be able to operate as normal if PSD operates in Phase 1(full remote) or Phase 2 (mostly remote).
We have chosen to not start this preschool year with remote learning because of the difficulty to build relationships with one another through a computer. Our philosophy is learning through play and focusing on building relationships and social emotional needs. It would be near impossible to simulate all that we provide in the classroom through Zoom meetings and YouTube videos. We also believe it is inappropriate to expect a preschool aged child to spend 1-3 hours in front of a computer for preschool. You know without a doubt that we will not be able to provide the same as we would in the classroom.
We know this announcement will affect many of our families’ plans and schedules for 1st quarter and for this we send our most sincere apology. Our Fall planning committee has worked extremely hard all summer to work through issues caused by COVID-19 and we were feeling confident that we have come up with great solutions for all these new obstacles. We were really looking forward to school starting in September.
Ultimately, our biggest goal and focus is to keep everyone safe and healthy. This recent change to the plans for schools in Larimer County, forced FUMCP leadership to quickly adapt and we feel this is our best solution at this time.
Our hope is to be able to start school in October/November. We will reevaluate that plan in early October once PSD announces their plans for 2nd quarter. We hope that you will still be able to join us for preschool this school year, but do understand that this may force you to change plans for your children this school year. We do ask that you communicate those changes to Kelly Boettger through email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact Kelly Boettger (Director) or Ashley Koehler (Parent Advisory Board President) email@example.com
Please click HERE to review our new COVID-19 Policies.
First United Methodist Co-Op Preschool Director and Parent Advisory Board
“These are not easy decisions and there is no perfect answer,” said Tom Gonzales, Larimer County public health director. “One of the biggest concerns we have in Larimer County and for Colorado is the delay in test results. We are seeing a substantial delay in COVID-19 test results from all clinical labs, including the state lab. For contact tracing to be effective, we must obtain timely test results within 2-3 days. The way we prevent outbreaks in our schools is to test, trace and isolate. With cases continuing to rise, counties across the state will struggle to conduct timely contact tracing with this delay in results. This is a state-wide problem that has caused us to reassess our school reopening plans. We continue to meet regularly with our schools in order to provide guidance and consultation. It is our recommendation at this time for our schools to consider delaying starts until we have faster turnaround times on our test results. Timely test results assist us in effectively conducting contact tracing in our schools to protect our students and educators from the virus. We are looking at a variety of options, including other clinical laboratory capacity in our community, to get our test results back faster. We will continue to work through this process with our schools.”