Springs Campus Planning Update

Susie Demarest, Director of Early Childhood Program
Dear Springs Campus Families, 

Thank you again for your support, patience, and great questions this summer as we have planned and adjusted our fall opening details.
 
As a state-licensed childcare facility, the Springs Campus is permitted to begin our phase-in schedule on August 25 as planned. Our current Springs model is reflected in the Headwaters School 2020-2021 Planning document. Though the state guidelines for early childhood programs have eased, we are maintaining the space requirement and cohort model to best mitigate the spread of the virus. We believe that given our planning, small group sizes, and precautions, we will deliver an excellent program, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back! 
 
In addition, we have organized a panel of medical and scientific professionals connected with the school to help us make the most informed decisions related to external health and safety recommendations and data. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff continues to be prioritized in all of our decisions. 
 
Phase-In
The Springs Campus does a phase-in approach to welcome students to campus each fall. This year, we know it is especially important to phase in students as most have not been in a school environment in many months. This helps children gain confidence and excitement around going to school and involves staggered visits working up to full attendance within a week to ten days. We have different schedules for various groups (returners, new Primary, YCC, etc). Our goal with phase in is to help children (and parents) with separation and possible anxiety. 

We will have class rosters ready by mid-August and will be sending this information as well as each child's individual phase-in schedule.

Early Arrival and Creativity Club
We are planning on maintaining small, stable cohorts with our Early Arrival and Creativity Club programs. Each Phase In Schedule will define when a child can start these programs. Early arrival will start at 7:45 a.m. in each classroom. Creativity Club will run from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. within separate classroom cohorts. Creativity Club will not run on Wednesday when the school day ends at 12:00 p.m.

Space is limited, so please click here to sign up for Early Arrival and/or Creativity Club. All deposits will be returned if those programs are full. If at any time we are not able to run Creativity Club, families will not be charged. If you have further questions about Early Arrival or Creativity Club, please reach out to Alex Penry at a.penry@headwaters.org

Drop Off 
Drop-offs will be in the two carpool drop off areas--Menchaca Road front door and Berkeley Avenue Circle Drive gate. Each class will have a designated entry way to reduce congested areas. We plan to have two people at each drop off area: one to do health screening and a second staff person to assist the child in entry to their classroom and sign the child in. We will assess for changes as needed. If your child is showing symptoms, please do not send them to school. We will continue to require morning well-checks. 

Pick Up
Each class will have a designated area for pick up at the two carpool areas to contain the cohorts.

Classroom Time
In order to mitigate spread, we plan to keep the cohorts together during the day with minimal to no crossover. These small, stable groups are being planned for social distancing and capacity limitations. This includes playground use where we will divide the space so outside time is still available with designated spaces for each class. The outdoor extensions of each classroom will have increased use. Regular hand washing will also be further integrated into the day, with support for our youngest students. 

Parents of Primary children will be asked to provide a face covering for their child and possibly a shield, as there may be some works in the classroom that require a mask. We will not mandate masks for early childhood. All adults will wear a face covering.

Important Dates
Please stay tuned for dates and times of Parent Orientations for your child's program, as well as the following dates:
  • Tuesday, August 25: 
    • Springs Phase-in Begins
    • YCC Parent Orientation will be held virtually from 6-6:50 p.m.(invitation with link to come) 
    • Primary Parent Orientation will be held virtually from 7-7:50 p.m. (invitation with link to come)
  • Monday, September 7: Labor Day- Student/Staff Holiday
We will continue to keep in communication as we get closer to the school year. Please expect another email on Thursday, August 13. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our webpage for '20-'21 School Year Planning. Feel free to send along questions, suggestions, or resources to us at  planning@headwaters.org.

Sincerely,

Susie Demarest
Director of Early Childhood
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Springs Campus

18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

Creek Campus

Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-804-2708
Fax: 512-628-4810

River Campus

Middle & High School
807 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-480-8142
Fax: 512-480-0278