Local preschool preparing to reopen this Fall

NOW: Local preschool preparing to reopen this Fall

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- When the coronavirus pandemic hit, staffers at Parent’s Day Off Preschool (PDO) in South Bend were uncertain whether they’d be able to open their doors back up this school year.

“The process has looked different every day,” PDO Preschool Director Brooke Holdeman said. “At the beginning we weren’t sure if we were going to open or not, it depended fully on how many students we were going to have. We are about half what we normally have enrolled in the preschool, but we just made the changes that we needed to make and we’re good to open now!”

After months of conversation, planning, and preparation, PDO director Brooke Holdeman said that they’re excited to bring the kiddos back to a safe and fun environment in September.

“Our overall mission is to educate our students while keeping them safe while having an enjoyable learning environment for them, again very family oriented we like to communicate with our families we are very involved with our families here,” Holdeman said.

While their mission of providing kids a fun learning environment hasn’t changed, a lot of adjustments have been made to make sure that everyone remains healthy and safe.

“Honestly sanitizing, disinfecting toys, that are all stuff we do every year, we are just upping our game I would say, and our teachers are all just taking extra steps to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe,” Holdeman said.

Holdeman said that contact with minimum exposure will take place, with student recess time being cut shorter, programs, activities and playtime that intermingle kids are being cut out entirely, and parents not being able to come inside but instead will have to go through car drop off and pick up lines for their children.

Staff will be sanitizing surfaces, cleaning toys and getting their temperatures checked daily, all while wearing masks at all times.

While there have been some concerns brought to the table, Holdeman said that in-person learning is important for child growth and that she’s confident in PDO’s plan for safe learning.

“I feel it’s very important for kids to interact with other kids and just be here and experience the preschool environment it’s so important to us and we can’t do any type of a virtual learning that’s going to benefit them as much as being here,” Holdeman said.

It isn’t exactly what they imagined the school year would look like, but it is a school year that they’re excited for.

“This is my life. This is where my heart is. The thought of not coming back was devastating to me, so i did everything in my power for us to open. Having orientation this week just ensures me that we’re doing what we should be doing, i love seeing the kids in the classroom, they need to be here, we need to be here, and it’s been amazing,” Holdeman said.

PDO currently has open registration that will carry on until Thursday, August 26th. They accept any kids ages 12 months to 6-years-old.

First day of classes is set to start on September 8th.

For more information of PDO and their reopening plans, you can visit their website.

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