The preschool office is closed and the administrator is working mostly from home. Email is the best way to reach us at this time: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read our Covid Response Statement below:
St. John's Preschool is a small church ministry serving 95 students and their families. Our mission is to allow children to grow in Christ through active learning and play, promoting socialization and developmentally appropriate activities for students aged two to five. Often times, St. John's Preschool is a child's first and only preschool experience before moving on to Kindergarten. With that in mind, our goal is to help students prepare for Kindergarten in a way that encourages both them and their parents to be active participants in a positive and happy preschool experience. Our preschool is staffed with five qualified teachers and eight equally qualified assistants.
The onset of Covid19 brought unique challenges to our ministry that we had never experienced before. These are circumstances that had no place in our handbooks or manuals, no parameters to offer us guidance on how to proceed. Following the lead of the State of Delaware, we closed our doors for what we hoped would be just a period of time. Our staff pulled together and formulated a plan for our return. The teachers and assistants happily agreed to shift our school year to accommodate the students and families and to allow us to close out our school year together. Sadly, it would not be. After the announcement of schools closing in Delaware for the remainder of the year, we too were forced to close. Again, our staff came together to make decisions on how to proceed. Teachers and assistants will be available for a scheduled "pick up" day designed to maintain safety and social distancing but allowing families to come to pick up their students' items left behind in March. Such items include student portfolios, extra clothes, medications and epi pens, diapers, memory books, artwork and other personal items. The staff will prepare their classrooms for a visit from the Office of Childcare Licensing that will take place for the first time without students begin present. One of the biggest events of the St. John's Preschool experience is the Pre-Kindergarten Graduation. We have two pre-k classes moving on to Kindergarten this year. The pre-k teachers have planned to host a graduation event in mid to late July IF the state restrictions have been lifted, allowing a large ground gathering. We pray our families will be able to have this closure but it's fate is unsure at this time.
Covid19 brought other challenges to the preschool ministry. The preschool budget operates on tuition. Many private schools continued to charge tuition in order to fulfill their budget and pay their teachers. The preschool, however, took a different approach. Knowing that many of our families are young, struggling parents that would be facing their own challenges brought by this unexpected interruption in our lives, we made the decision to not charge our families for our services that they were not receiving. Even though we continued to send out lesson plans for at-home-learning options, we chose to discontinue tuition collections as well as refund families that had already paid in full for the number of days of school that were missed. We felt strongly that this was the right thing to do as we have always made it part of our mission to help care for the families in our ministry. This decision did not come lightly as it would directly effect the payment of our staff. Through discussions with church finance members, our lead pastor and other supporting members of the church, we chose to continue with paying the staff, fulfilling our contracts with each of them. These decisions would prove to exceed the preschool's resources. Until all refunds are issued and contracts are fulfilled, we won't know the true extent of the financial damage that Covid19 has caused, but we stand firm on the foundation of our Christian beliefs in knowing that God will provide and guide us through these times. We deeply appreciate the support we have had through these difficult times from our families and from St. John's UMC for without both, we truly could not have done it. Looking ahead, we pray that the start of a new school year in September will bring renewed hope and happiness to our hallways, while the building is not the preschool or the church, the building sure is lonely without both.