Today, I am sharing the difficult decision that we will be closing the schools permanently at the end of the month. After careful review of the new guidelines from the CDC and Connecticut State of Health, we have realized that the safety of children and teachers are not guaranteed without proper vaccines and until medications become available to the general public. The current reopening conditions include a total school size of less than 30, class sizes limited to ten or less per two teachers (half of our current student capacity), only two children per table, no circle time, daily temperature checking, data tracing of families, wearing masks and gloves, and regulated, daily cleanings of the facilities. Even with these preventative measures, once a child is infected, the school has to be closed for a minimum of two weeks. Financially, this makes continued operations near impossible, as we would need to significantly reduce our admission rates while maintaining the same teacher count while also covering our same fixed costs such as rent, maintenance, and insurance.
Further, we have to prepare for the potential of second and third waves of the pandemic in the U.S., the first of which many expect to occur this fall. Many colleges have already announced plans to remain closed with continued virtual learning through February 2021. As you all have seen, offering virtual preschool is just not as meaningful or impactful as in person as children this young should be more focused on off screen activities and learning.
We are deeply saddened to have to close our schools after 24 years but we prioritize our health first and pray that the day will come where we can come together again once a new vaccine or mass, frequent testing is made available. We deeply appreciate your generous support after all these years. Please keep in touch and we look forward to seeing the students grow and thrive over the coming years.
Kaoru Kay Yamamoto