Summer program begins June 15. Visit our COVID-19 webpage for reopening policies and protocols. 

Home / Parent Portal / COVID-19


Preparedness and Response Plan

We sincerely look forward to having our community together again on The Children’s House campus. As our region begins to reopen, we believe it is important that we provide a safe and healthy place for our children this summer. We are planning for our campus to open for the summer program on June 15, with the first priority being the health and safety of your children, you, and our staff. 

Our administrative team has created a plan for reopening based on the expert opinions of government agencies, medical advisors, and independent school organizations across the country. Kim Gallagher, Summer Program Director and Director of Operations, is leading a COVID-19 task force to apply these recommendations and best practices to our school setting. 

Please review the following reopening policies and protocols keeping in mind that this is a fluid document that will be updated based on the ever-changing information available to us. 

Michele Shane
Head of School

Reopening Policies and Protocols

(Updated July 1, 2020)

The following is information related to the reopening of our summer program on June 15, 2020. These policies and protocols will be updated as needed per the CDC, LARA, and the Grand Traverse Health Department. This document will be updated later this summer for the start of the school year based on requirements and recommendations outlined in the MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-2021 Return to School Roadmap.

Health Screenings: Children and staff

    • The week before your scheduled summer start date, you will receive a questionnaire to confirm satisfactory health status to start as scheduled.

    • Screening questions before bringing your child to camp each week, parents must answer questions provided in this emailed Google Document. All parents must arrive through the North Long Lake Road entrance and stop at the checkpoint before proceeding as administration will be checking to ensure the questionnaire has been answered for the week. Signs will be posted with questions to consider every morning before dropping off children. Anyone who answers yes to any question on the questionnaire, is asked to return home and follow up with the school.

    • Every child’s temperature will be checked upon arrival. It will be checked again before lunch, and at the end of the day. A temperature of 100.4 will require the child to be picked up. 

    • Staff receiving children in the morning will visually check for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If any are detected, parents will be called immediately to pick up their child.

    • If you are keeping your child home due to illness of any kind, please notify the school by calling the front desk at 231-929-9325 or email Kim Gallagher at

Additional Sanitation Protocols

    • Masks will be provided to all staff and will be required to be worn during any transition time and time away from their designated “homebase”. Examples include carline, restroom use, lunch transition, outdoor transition, indoor friends' club and any other time they leave their homebase, or are with children that are not in their normal group.

    • Elementary-age children will be required to wear masks during transition times. Children are encouraged to bring their own clean mask to school each day and take them home for cleaning each night. If children do not have masks of their own, they will be provided with one.

    • Primary-age children are only recommended to wear a mask if they can do so without needing additional help. 

    • Children in our Nido and YCC programs are not required to wear masks. 

    • Hand sanitizer from Northern Latitudes Distillery will be provided and available throughout the school for all age groups. Our medical advisor, Dr. Adrienne Edgren, has approved the use of this product for children 0-12. 

    • Sanitizing stations will be at each entry of the school, in each utilized classroom space, and in various other locations around the school.

    • Children will be required to wash their hands with soap and water before and after every transition, as well as before and after bathroom use. They will also be required to sanitize their hands between each new work. 

    • Janitorial staff and classroom support will be sanitizing classrooms and frequently used objects such as doorknobs, sink handles, and light switches throughout the day. 

    • Playground equipment will be cleaned and disinfected every night. Children will be required to wash hands with soap and water before and after use. 

    • Janitorial staff will perform a complete cleaning and sanitizing of all used areas each evening after children are gone. 

    • We are purchasing an electrostatic disinfecting machine to ensure all soft and hard surfaces in classrooms are disinfected daily. The product used in this machine aligns with our green school standard and carries a hazard rating of 1, for the environment and for toxicity. This means it is a low hazard rating, but is efficient in killing 99.9% of pathogens. 

Program Modification

    • All children will be divided into groups of 12 or fewer and this group will be their core group for the summer. They will have a home-base with these children, they will eat lunch with these children, they will go outside with these children, etc. 

    • Each core group will have the appropriate number of adults to assist the group. 

    • Lunch and outdoor/gym times will be staggered. 

    • Many summer activities will be outdoors and windows will regularly be open in indoor work-spaces. 

    • Colored tape will be used on the floors of work spaces and halls to help guide children in social distancing. 

    • Morning car-line will run a little longer than normal, from 8:10-8:40. 

    • Afternoon car-line will be similar to normal, but children will stay at their home-base until their name is called. Please be patient as this may take longer than normal. 

Food Service

    • Lunch and snack will be served by staff only. Children will not participate in snack or lunch preparation or retrieval. 

    • Dishes will be handled by staff only. Children will not wash their own dishes. 

    • Primary and Elementary students will bring their own lunches. Lunches will be eaten out of their original containers. We ask that you consider reusable containers when packing your child’s lunch. To limit exposure, we will not offer pizza for lunch.

    • Nido/YCC lunch will be prepared by The Children’s House and school plates and cutlery will be used. 

    • Nido/YCC staff will be responsible for retrieving snacks and lunch from the kitchen, as well as washing dishes. 

    • Snack items will be in single servings rather than large open bowls for community retrieval. Snacks will be served by staff to the students

    • Gloves will be used during lunch and snack serving, as well as during dish washing. 

    • Kitchen staff will wear gloves at all times, and will be required to wear a mask during all food plating and serving, as well as when dirty dishes are returned to the kitchen. 

    • Children will not be admitted to the kitchen. 

Administrative Considerations

    • All staff will be thoroughly trained on all new procedures.

    • Staff will be screened every time they enter the building.

    • Parents and staff will be asked to disclose travel by air, and travel to certain destinations as recommended by the Grand Traverse County Health Department. We are asking everyone to quarantine for 14 days following air travel or travel to these specific states. Currently, the states are: *Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, Nevada, Tennessee and Idaho. (*Destinations are subject to change as data dictates.)
    • Visitors will not be permitted during the summer.

    • To pick up children from Friends Club anytime after 3:30 p.m., parents will be given a key code to enter the building. Parents must wear a mask and sanitize hands before entry.  

    • Delivery personnel from UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc., will be asked to leave items at the front door for staff wearing PPE to retrieve. 

    • Many facility inspections and maintenance are performed during the summer and are essential. When someone comes to the school to provide one of these services, they will be screened, required to wear masks before entry, and will not come in contact with children.

Additional Illness Policies in the time of COVID-19

    • If a child becomes ill, they will be escorted to the wellness room where their designated staff member will stay with them until their parent arrives. 

    • Children exhibiting any signs of illness must be picked up immediately. 

    • For children and staff to be able to return to care and work, we will follow the guidelines from LARA and the Grand Traverse County Health Department: 

If a staff member or child has a fever or a cough, they must be fever free for 72 hours before returning to campus (even if other symptoms are not present).

If a staff member or child exhibits multiple symptoms of COVID-19, you suspect possible exposure, or an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the individual must: 

Stay home until they have been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers AND 

Other symptoms have improved AND 

At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared OR

They've received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. 

    • If someone in our school community is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will immediately contact the Grand Traverse Health Department and proceed as they instruct, which could include an up to five-day closure. 

    • If your child, or anyone your child has been in contact with receives a positive COVID-19 test, you are required to inform the school and the local health department. Please contact Kim Gallagher, Director of Operations, or Martin Miklos, Office Manager, at 231-929-9325.

    • If a member of our school community tests positive, we are required to inform all parents of the case and members of their classroom of possible exposure. This will be conducted by phone or email from the Administration. The infected will remain anonymous.

    • If a staff member is unable to come to work due to illness or other circumstance, we will first attempt to utilize internal support staff that may be able to step in and cover. Occasionally, we may need to call in a substitute, who will be screened as all other staff before entry.