Parent Handbook AddendumSubmitted on: September 12, 2022
Parent Handbook Addendum
Welcome! This Parent Handbook Addendum was prepared to help you understand the program and the ways we can work together to better serve you and your child’s needs, as well as other children, families, and the community.
NAME OF PROGRAM
SHARE Head Start “A Program of Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, Inc.”
254 South Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, South Carolina 29607
2021 Shirlane Drive, Anderson, South Carolina 29621
Shannon Vaughn, Director of Children & Family Development
In light of rising health concerns related to COVID-19 coronavirus, SHARE Head Start will follow CDC guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19. We may implement one or more of the following safety measures as dictated by fluctuating community spread rates:
COVID -19 HEALTH AND SAFETY PERCAUTIONARY MEASURES
- HEALTH/NUTRITION PLANS FOR CHILDREN AND STAFF
- Upon entry to center or bus, children and staff must pass daily body temperature scan, health and safety questions, and morning health check.
- If a child becomes sick during the day, parents will be required to immediately pick child up. Child will immediately be isolated until parents arrive and the area will be sanitized after the child’s departure.
- All diagnosed cases of COVID-19 may be reported to the health department so that contract tracing, testing and quarantine can be completed as appropriate.
- All staff may be required to wear face masks while in Head Start/EHS facilities. Soap & running water, hand sanitizer, face masks and/or face shields, and gloves will be provided and policies and procedures for sanitizing during the day will be implemented.
- Face masks may be provided to children two years of age or above unless child has a breathing condition.
- Tooth brushing may be suspended until the pandemic is over.
- Teachers may plate each child’s food on individual disposable plates and seat children 6 feet apart during meal time. Head Start children may also use disposable utensils during meal service.
- Children may be kept in cohorts if possible during the day.
- FACILITIES SAFETY PLAN
- Minimize the number of people allowed to enter centers during school operational hours preferably Staff and Children only
- Facilities Coordinators will assist Center Managers with establishing a designated drop-off pick-up point at each center
- Establish one point of entries and exits to all Head Start Center’s (other than emergencies everyone uses the same door)
- Install hand sanitizers unit’s stations at point of entry and throughout the center’s in all classrooms
- Assist center managers with establishing social distancing parameters throughout all Head Start Center’s i.e., taping off floors and rearranging furniture, etc.
- Tape off areas within centers to be used for isolation inside and outside of classrooms when signs of sickness starts to appear
- Implement daily disinfectant cleaning process to combat COVID-19 and other viruses. We will train and pay our own staff to use disinfectant equipment to clean entire H/S Centers daily. Handheld Electrostatic devices have been ordered and ETA August 17th see attached photo. Center managers to provide names of interested persons.
- Establish cleaning frequencies for virus prevention for restrooms, classrooms, offices and playgrounds etc. use CDC guidelines in conjunction with cleaning mentioned above
- Designate a point of delivery for all incoming supplies, purchases additional hand trucks or carts to transport goods by staff personnel into centers. No delivery personnel will be allowed in centers
- Reiterate with all venders, technicians, contractors etc. they will only be allowed in facilities after school hours, no exceptions. All personnel arriving at centers must be documented to insure occurs after their departures.
- Install Plexi-glass shields on Center Manager, Family Advocates desk. Also have Plexi-glass for therapy sessions.
- EDUCATION SAFETY PLAN
Classroom arrangement and Curriculum
- Classrooms will be arranged to promote ample space and social distancing.
- The High Scope Curriculum and daily routine will be implemented to include considerations of ongoing sanitation and social distancing.
- Each child will have the opportunity to engage with learning materials throughout the day. The materials will be provided to each child individually and sanitized daily.
- Children will be in two small groups in their classrooms to help promote social distancing from the larger group.
- Parent and teacher contacts will be made with phone conferences and virtual meetings.
- Children will need to bring at least one change of clothing to leave in their cubby in case of an accident.
- Book bags and other items from home cannot be brought into the classroom due to germ transmission.
- SOCIAL SERVICES SAFETY PLAN
- Hours of operation will be 7:30 am – 2:30 pm
- If your child will be arriving after 8:30 a.m. please notify center staff if there is an appointment or the reason for late arrival.
- All children will be expected to have regular attendance Monday through Friday unless there is a medical situation or special circumstances as a result of COVID-19.
- Emergency Pick-up
- If parent is not able to proactively authorize another adult to pick up their child by signing the required documentation, they may also submit virtual permission either by point of visual contact or emailed with date and time stamp noted.
- VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Parent Volunteers are a key aspect of the Head Start Program. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and the children and families we serve, we will limit the number of visitors to our program. Our program will ensure that any opportunities for parents to volunteer are in accordance with local health guidelines. Parents can volunteer virtually; for example, parent volunteers could conduct a virtual story hour, conduct video lessons, or assist teachers in planning activities. We ask that you communicate with your child’s teacher to determine ways to be engaged in your child’s classroom.
- FAMILY ENGAGEMENT SAFETY PLAN
SHARE Head Start will host virtual parent orientations for enrolled Head Start & Early Head Start parents and families. We will elect parent officers and members to serve on Policy Council during each orientation. Monthly Parent Café meeting will take on a hybrid format. Parent committee officers will have the opportunity to participate in centers face to face for monthly parent café meetings. Others will participate via zoom. Face to face participants will comply with CDC guidelines and program policies and procedures on COVID 19.
Orientations will begin the month of September.
- There will be two additional virtual parent orientations (morning and evening) provided for any parent and/or family that could not attend the zoom orientation provided by each center where their child(ren) is enrolled.
- Alternate Parent Orientations are scheduled via zoom on Thursday, September 22nd at 12 noon and at 5 p.m.
- Parents are not required to have their child attend the orientation.
Parent orientation will provide parents with information from all aspects of the program, including the following:
- Parent Handbook
- Parent Community Resource Directory
- Parents Rights & Responsibilities (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion).
- COVID policies & procedures and best practices, to include questions regarding how will they keep my child safe? How is the childcare setting prepared to promote physical distancing and lessen the spread of the virus? What safety procedures are in place to detect and prevent illness? What cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be followed?
- Education, Health & Dental, Disabilities
- Program Schedules & the Importance of Regular Attendance
- Communication with families & Dual Language Learners
- PFCE & family services
- Male Engagement. Opportunities
- Parent Committee Meetings & the Election of Officers
- Policy Council Representatives
- Volunteer & Engagement opportunities
PARENT & FAMILY OPEN HOUSE/ORIENTATION
- SHARE Head Start will offer parents and families an opportunity to participate in an Open House.
- Open house will take place on Monday, August 15th at each center location.
- Open house will be coordinated by the center staff. Classrooms will have a time slot to prevent traffic build-up and to maintain safety
- Staff will have on PPE.
- Staff will greet parents
- Parents will receive resources on the following:
- Parent Newsletter with re-opening schedules and COVID 19 policies
- Parent Orientation schedules
- Communication options with parents & families
- Instructions on how to download the zoom app & agency website
- Options for Parent Volunteers
Parent Committee Meetings
SHARE Head Start will continue following CDC guidelines. We will provide parents & families of enrolled children the opportunity to participate in monthly virtual trainings. We will consider smaller group face to face trainings/meetings based on the health and safety concerns and elevated COVID 19 cases in our Head Start centers. We will encourage outside activities if weather permits.
Parent Committee meetings. Parents will be notified of parent committee activities through several means: newsletters, flyers, telephone, text messages and meeting notices. Attendance of every parent is very important and strongly encouraged. Parents and families participating in parent committee meetings will assist our program in the following:
- Working closely with the center staff in developing and carrying out daily activities and policies of the program.
- Making suggestions about how the program could be improved.
- Electing representatives to the Policy Council and at least one alternate to serve on the Policy Council (See Policy Council By-laws).
- Helping to plan and conduct special activities.
- Discussing parenting issues and other topics of interest at Parent Meetings.
Parent Committee Structure:
- Parents and families of enrolled children will have an opportunity to participate in virtual monthly Parent Committee meetings.
- Parent Committee Officers will be elected for each center.
- Meetings will take place monthly via zoom for individual centers.
- Parents & families will determine at orientation the best times and dates for meetings.
- Parent Committee Officers at each individual center will work with center staff on special trainings, events and/or activities for their individual centers. Parents at individual centers will decide on how to use parent activity funds. Funds can be used for educational activities and/or events planned for the center (See PC By-laws).
Parent Committee meetings, trainings and workshops
- Center staff will work with families to determine training topics
- Trainings and/or webinars will be held monthly and/or as needed for our Head Start parents & families to participate. Training topics are inclusive of but not limited to the following: Mental Health Awareness, Child Growth & Development, Stress Management, Financial Security & Budgeting, Domestic Violence, Cultural Awareness, Substance Abuse, Child Abuse & Neglect, Health & Safety, Safe Sleep & SIDS, to name a few.
Election of Officers
At the first meeting, which will take place in September, an introduction to all aspects of the Head Start program is presented by staff and/or former parents. Officers are elected who will help in leading and organizing the meetings. Officers will be elected by each center Parent Committee. Parent Committee officers for each center’s Parent Committee consist of the following: President, Vice President and Secretary. Parents of enrolled children will elect parents and alternates to serve on the Policy Council (See Policy Council Structure and By-laws).
Family partnership process. A program must implement a family partnership process that includes a family partnership agreement and the activities described in this section to support family well-being, including family safety, food assistance & public benefits, health, and economic stability, to support child learning and development, to provide, if applicable, services and supports for children with disabilities, and to foster parental confidence and skills that promote the early learning and development of their children. The process can be initiated as early as possible, at registration, and continue for as long as the family participates in the program, based on parent interest and need.
Family Services staff will encourage parents to participate in the family partnership process. The Family Partnership Process will help program staff:
- Learn about families and their evolving strengths, challenges, and priorities
- Build trust to establish and maintain positive, goal-oriented relationships
- Engage families in effective goal-setting
- Gain sufficient and meaningful information to complete a Family Partnership Plan
- Provide necessary referrals and follow-up and review of family progress
- Family partnership building with our Head Start families begins as early in the program year as possible. Families that participate in the process agree to partner with our Family Advocate staff on setting goals for themselves and/or goals for their family. Goals are related to one of seven PFCE goals identified by the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement.
- Families will be offered an opportunity to participate in the family partnership building process as early in the program year as possible. Families will work with the family advocate staff on completing the family questionnaire and the family partnership plan. Family strengths will be identified and goals will be established, action steps will be identified and a deadline for completion of goals will be established. Family Advocate staff will make necessary referrals based on needs identified by the family.
- Family Advocate staff will take into consideration any pre-existing plans that the family may have with other service providers.
- Signatures are encouraged but not required due to COVID and safety concerns. We will ask parents to provide verbal consent for participating in the family partnership building process. When feasible, consent may be provided utilizing panda doc and/or by face to face, taking into consideration CDC guidelines. Family Advocate staff will encourage families to set goals that will assist our program with on-going two-way communication with families during the COVID pandemic.
- Communication with families can take place via e-mail, phone, newsletters, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, virtual apps, zoom, loom and google meeting. Staff should consider a face-to-face visit with safety protocols after attempts to conduct via telephone have been made.
When meeting in person, we encourage staff to utilize outdoor areas to conduct visits, remain at a safe distance and use PPE.
- Family Advocate staff will assist families with establishing an e-mail address. If smart devices are available by the family, tablets, computers, cell phone and laptops, the family advocate will assist the family on how to download and use social and virtual apps used by our agency. This will assist staff with on-going communication with the family.
- Family Advocate and teaching staff are in constant contact with families to support them through this COVID 19 emergency. Resources are provided on mental health, parenting, stress management, budgeting, safety and other information. Parents are provided an opportunity to participate in on-going trainings and webinars via virtual apps where they can interact with their peers and ask questions as it relates to the well-being of their families.
SHARE Head Start will conduct family engagement services in the family’s preferred language, or through an interpreter, to the extent possible, and ensure families have the opportunity to share personal information in an environment in which they feel safe.
- SHARE Head Start will provide continuity by providing translation services to non- English families to the greatest extent possible under the current circumstances. We will consider all possible methods in order to ensure meaningful communication with parents, families and children. SHARE will translate information to parents to ensure parents have access to the information in a language they understand.
- Family Advocates will receive training on recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of each family.
- The primary language of each family will be honored. The assistance of bilingual translators for non-English families will be provided.
- Staff will assist in locating services, translators, and translations in the families’ preferred languages.
- Families will have the opportunity to share personal information in an environment in which they feel safe.
- Parent trainings will be provided for parents via virtual and/or face to face platforms keeping in my CDC guidelines and program policies. A translator will be provided to translate in the families’ preferred language if requested by the family and/or if identified by staff.
A variety of opportunities will be created for staff for interaction with parents throughout the year.
When at all possible, home visits and counseling sessions will be conducted virtually. If a virtual visit is not possible, staff should ONLY consider a face-to-face visit with safety protocols after attempts to conduct via telephone have been made.
When meeting in person, we encourage staff to utilize outdoor areas to conduct visits, remain at a safe distance and use PPE. Parent Opportunities include but not limited to the following:
- Positive Parent Program (Triple P).
- Our Head Start program is currently implementing the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program. Triple P is an evidenced-based program that gives simple and practical strategies to help build strong and healthy relationships. Triple P assist families on how to manage their children’s behavior and prevent problems from developing. Parents and families will have an opportunity to participate in virtual Triple P sessions. Trainings will be presented and monitored by a certified Triple P Practitioner.
- Wise Readers Book Challenge
- Parents are challenged to read 50 or more age appropriate books to their children while at home. Parents will complete a reading log with the name of the book and author. Parents are encouraged to visit the local library to complete an application for a library card. The library card will be used so that parents and children can check out books, videos and magazines. The reading log will be submitted to the child’s classroom teacher at the end of the school year. Parents will receive a certificate of completion.
- Family Engagement Opportunities
- Other opportunities for interaction include: Male Engagement Opportunities such as trainings and workshops, Grandparent Focus Days and staff participation in Parent Committee meetings.
Other parent engagement opportunities:
- GED Classes for parents & families
- Financial Literacy
- Cooking with a Chef
- Support groups for ladies, men
- Supportive services
Chromebooks are made available for families if needed. Families wanting to check out a Chromebook must complete a Chromebook contract. Staff providing the Chromebook will discuss with the family member their responsibilities for keeping the Chromebook clean and damage-free. They will discuss how and when the Chromebook should be returned after usage.
- TRANSPORTATION SAFETY PLAN
- Prior to entering the bus for the AM route, each child’s temperature must be checked and documented on the temperature/attendance sheet/chart.
A child with a temperature reading of 100.4 or greater will not be permitted on the bus. Parent must seek immediate medical treatment. Parent will be provided a Medical Note, which must document all necessary information and accompany the child upon their return to Head Start/Early Head Start.
Prior to starting the AM/PM route, the bus driver and bus monitor will conduct a
temperature check on each other and record on the driver’s and monitor’s temperature chart. Staff with a temperature reading of 100.4 or greater must not participate in the AM or PM bus route.
- Children boarding bus should keep all personal items at home (book bags, folder, extra clothes, etc.)
- The first child that board bus will be seat at the rear seat of the bus, the seating will start from rear to front with one child on each seat. Each child must have adequate spacing apart. The children will be placed on the window seat. The child directly behind the child placed on the window will be seated on the seat closes to the isle, creating a zig-zag seating throughout the seating process. All children will be secured with child safety restraints. (children from the same home may seat together) EXAMPLE: ON A 30 PASSENGER BUS ONLY 9 CHILDERN ARE ALLOWED TO BOARD)
- Monitor should express to children not touch surfaces and hands should remain in laps. The school bus will leave the centers at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon bus route. Parents should be at the designated drop off location for drop off by 1:15 p.m.
- Parents must contact the Center Manager before 1:00 p.m. or as soon as possible if
they encounter a problem meeting the bus at the drop off location.
- Parental Rights
(a) Inspect record.
(1) A parent has the right to inspect child records.
(2) If the parent requests to inspect child records, SHARE Head Start program must make the child records available within a reasonable time, but no more than 45 days after receipt of request.
(3) If SHARE Head Start program maintains child records that contain information on more than one child, the program must ensure the parent only inspects information that pertains to the parent’s child.
(4) SHARE Head Start program shall not destroy a child record with an outstanding request to inspect and review the record under this section.
(b) Amend record.
(1) A parent has the right to ask SHARE Head Start to amend information in the child record that the parent believes is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the child’s privacy.
(2) SHARE Head Start program must consider the parent’s request and, if the request is denied, render a written decision to the parent within a reasonable time that informs the parent of the right to a hearing.
(1) If the parent requests a hearing to challenge information in the child record, SHARE Head Start program must schedule a hearing within a reasonable time, notify the parent, in advance, about the hearing, and ensure the person who conducts the hearing does not have a direct interest in its outcome.
(2) SHARE Head Start must ensure the hearing affords the parent a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues.
(3) If the program determines from evidence presented at the hearing that the information in the child records is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the child’s privacy, the program must either amend or remove the information and notify the parent in writing.
(4) If the program determines from evidence presented at the hearing that information in the child records is accurate, does not mislead, or otherwise does not violate the child’s privacy, the program must inform the parent of the right to place a statement in the child records that either comments on the contested information or that states why the parent disagrees with the program’s decision, or both.
(d) Right to copy of record.
SHARE Head Start must provide a parent, free of charge, an initial copy of child records disclosed to third parties with parental consent and, upon parent request, an initial copy of child records disclosed to third parties, unless the disclosure was for a court that ordered neither the subpoena, its contents, nor the information furnished in response be disclosed.
(e) Right to inspect written agreements. A parent has the right to review any written agreements with third parties.
*** Visit the Parent Portal on our agency’s website, www.sharesc.org ,to read full Privacy Notice.
- DISABILITIES PLAN FOR CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND STAFF
- Each center will have a plexiglass partition and table set up for service providers to work with children as needed for social distancing.
- Staff and service providers will practice safety by following CDC guidelines and the SCDHEC recommendations regarding sanitizing, social distancing and wearing face coverings/mask. (see Health policies on COVID-19 procedures)
- Service providers may come on-site, virtual, telephone communication, teletherapy to provide therapy and early intervention services to children with disabilities or challenging behaviors.
- Services to the children will be provided in a child’s regular Early Head Start or Head Start classroom to the greatest extent possible. For social distance purposes, service providers may utilize available room/ space to provide services to children.
- SHARE will collaborate with parents via telephone conferences or virtually/zoom conferences regarding their child with disabilities or child suspected of a disability, including but not limited to children eligible for services under IDEA to ensure the needs of the children are being met.
- In-house staffing will be coordinated with staff and parents virtually/zoom meeting, or by phone conferences. Parents will not enter the center for in person staffing/ conferences in efforts to keep down the spread of COVID-19 until further notice.
- Support classroom staff in differentiation of instruction, activities and adaptation of materials as needed in efforts to assist children with disabilities or challenging behaviors.
- Alert families and staff of websites or resources that may lend support as it pertains to Disabilities and mental Health
- MENTAL HEALTH PLAN FOR CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND STAFF
SHARE Head Start/Early Head Start will continue to adhere to the health and safety guidelines according to SCDHEC regarding COVID-19.
SHARE Head Start/Early Head Start recognizes the importance of providing quality Mental Health services to children and their families to promote social and emotional development. Licensed Mental Health Consultants are available throughout the program year to assist classroom staff and families in working with children with challenging behaviors.
The Mental Health Consultants will provide scheduled classroom observations for each classroom. Consultations and training are also provided for staff and families to make them aware of the need for early attention to the special concerns of children and their families.
SHARE Head Start/Early Head Start implements policies and procedures to limit suspension and prohibit expulsion as described in Head Start Program Performance Standards Procedural steps for Suspensions and Expulsion 1302.17. The following procedural steps have been developed to conform to both Federal and State regulations:
- Classroom staff will inform parents of behavioral concerns and request a 5-day observation if needed.
- Mental Health Specialist and/or Mental Health Consultant will do a classroom observation.
- Engage the Mental Health Specialist, Mental Health Consultants, Families and Classroom Staff, and Family Advocates to:
- Discuss behavior concerns, classroom observation and the 5-day observation.
- Develop a Positive Behavior Guidance Plan of action to address child behavior using positive behavior interventions and supports.
- Schedule a follow-up meeting to revise Positive Behavior Guidance Plan and discuss referrals for local school district’s Child Find, and Therapeutic Child Care if unwarranted behaviors increase.
- Utilize temporary suspension or expulsion as a last resort if unwarranted behaviors continue.
Family Support Services for Mental Wellness
SHARE Head Start/Early Head Start has partnered with Universal Therapeutic Services (UTS). UTS is a therapeutic strength-based solutions program that provides psycho-social rehabilitation services for children ages 2yrs -17yrs and adults, age 18yrs and older. SHARE classroom teaching staff may refer children to UTS to aid in the educational, emotional and behavioral success. Children will be referred based upon parental or guardian permission. SHARE Family Advocates may refer families to UTS seeking Individual or Family Therapy, Crisis Management and Community support groups.
The Family Engagement Facilitator and Family Advocates will coordinate with Mental Health Specialist to provide parent trainings on various topics to include Mindfulness, Stress Management, Building Positive Relationships, and others. Other community resources can also be provided for families. Scheduled trainings will be shared with families through newsletters & flyers.