How We Keep You Safe

Last Updated: January 2nd, 2022.

COVID-19 has been challenging for many reasons, but one thing is still true, ORNS is still a community where children learn through play.

Your child’s social/emotional development is still our main priority. Our environments will still feel welcoming and “normal” while maintaining the proper health and safety procedures.

The following practices* will be implemented:

*Developed according to CDC guidelines, current licensing and accreditation standards, as well as the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Due to the speed at which COVID guidelines change, please contact Miss Liz for the most up-to-date guidelines

Drop off/Pick up

  • Each classroom will be assigned a drop-off and pickup time.
  • It is of the utmost importance that you are on time to drop off and pick up your child.
  • Each classroom will be assigned an area to meet at school.
  • Parents will not be able to enter the building with their child(ren).
  • Liz and the teachers will ensure your child gets to where they are supposed to be.
  • Temperatures will not be required this year, but we ask that you err on the side of caution by keeping your child at home if they have any symptoms.
  • Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, shortness of breath, body aches, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.
  • Upon entering the building, teachers and all children will wash their hands.
  • You will be allowed to come onto the playground to gather your child and their belongings at pick up.
  • You will be able to sign your child out and have a brief conversation with your child’s teacher.

Staffing and Classroom Placement

  • Each classroom will have its own assigned teacher(s) and a resource teacher.
  • The resource teacher will be assigned to specific rooms to assist with the extra cleaning responsibilities.
  • This will be in addition to all their pre-COVID duties.

Social/Emotional Health of Children

  • You will receive a “Welcome” video from your teacher(s) and the people they will regularly see throughout the day before the school year starts.
  • We hope this will help reduce your child’s anxiety by allowing them to recognize a few familiar faces.
  • We acknowledge that it will be hard to keep children 3 feet apart.
  • We want the children to know that this is a safe space for them to give each other hugs and to be able to hug their teachers.
  • As you know, children need to be near each other to learn many essential life skills, such as sharing and compromising.
  • We, of course, will do all this with their health and safety in mind.

Social Distancing

  • Teachers, staff, and children will wear masks at all times while inside the building.
  • Masks will not be required outside on the playground.
  • Classrooms will be encouraged to spend as much time outside as possible.
  • For the foreseeable future, classroom gym times will be held outside on the playground.

Cleaning and Mitigation Procedures

  • Classrooms will be set up to ensure that everything can be easily cleaned.
  • Toys that cannot be easily cleaned will not be available.
  • An adult will disinfect toys before sharing them with another room.
  • Heavy traffic areas will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day.
  • Children and staff will be required to wash their hands more frequently.
  • This will include, but will not be limited to:
    • Arriving at school
    • Before and after eating
    • Before and after diapering
    • After using the bathroom
    • And before and after playing outside

Snacks and Lunches

  • All snacks will be pre-portioned and delivered to each classroom from our clean kitchen.
  • Children staying for any extended care option where lunch is served will be required to bring their lunch in a labeled container (bag or box).
  • The lunch will remain in their backpack until it is time for them to eat.

Bathrooms and Diapering

  • We are fortunate that all classrooms have access to their own bathroom, which will be sanitized after each use.
  • Teachers will always wear gloves and sanitize the changing mat whenever they need to change a child.

Rest Time (4K Extended & Explorers only)

  • Children will rest as far apart as possible from one other.
  • Each child will have a rest time bucket that will include a blanket, pillow, and stuffed item.
  • Parents will be able to provide the stuffed item, or one will be provided for your child.
  • The stuffed item should be small enough to fit into the bucket and will remain at school for the duration of the year.
  • We will wash all the items weekly, so please ensure it is washable if you provide a stuffed item from home.

Music and Yoga

  • We will provide virtual Music classes next year for all our classrooms.
  • We will reassess Yoga classes as the year goes on.

Sick Children and Staff

  • We have a designated area for children to go to should they develop any symptoms or a fever.
  • If a child or teacher develops a fever of 100 or more, the individual will be removed from the classroom.
  • Children or staff will not be allowed to return to school until they are 24 hours fever-free.
  • If a child is symptomatic, parents should contact their pediatrician for guidance.
  • If a child is tested for COVID-19, ORNS will request that you share the test results with Liz as soon as possible to allow ORNS to take any necessary steps.
  • If a member of a classroom tests positive for COVID-19, the classroom will be shut down for up to 10 days.
  • The classroom will then be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Following a positive test result, the individual may return to school when the recommended amount of days have passed.
  • We will base the number of days on the CDC and Dane County Public Health recommendations.

In Case of Positive Tests

  • A positive COVID-19 case will result in the classroom (and possibly the whole school closing for 10 days).
  • If there are two or more cases throughout the school, the entire school will close for 10 days.
  • A tuition refund/credit for missed days will be credited back to your account if your classroom is shut down more than once in an academic year.
  • If someone in your home tests positive for COVID-19, your child should quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and should return when recommended.
  • If a child or staff member develops a fever, or any other COVID-related symptom, all who have been in contact with that child or staff member will be notified by email.
  • The identity of the symptomatic person will remain confidential; however, those in contact with them will be notified.

Quick Links

Admissions Info

Click here to learn more about enrolling at Orchard Ridge Nursery School.

COVID Safety Plan

Click here to see how ORNS keeps your child safe during this time of COVID.


Click here to view the academic, snack, and event calendars.

The Owl-a-Gram

Click here to learn about a variety of things related to ORNS. You’ll find our monthly newsletters, helpful tips to make your preschool experience better, as well as general announcements.


Click here to learn about the annual events at ORNS each year.