Six months after Temple Isaiah’s preschool went online in September of 2020, the program has begun reopening some in-person classes, and Preschool Director Meredith Zuckerman is glad to hear the sounds of children in the halls of her school once again.
“For me, it is the best feeling when I hear children giggling and laughing with their friends,” Zuckerman said. “That is the best possible option for us.”
Temple Isaiah in Fulton opened two of its in-person preschool classes on March 8, after gauging the feelings of parents and teachers on the issue, Zuckerman said.
“We really just wanted to find a way, for families that were ready, to give them that opportunity,” she said. “Since with, hopefully, things starting to get a little better with more vaccines available, with public schools considering returning to school, we really went into a lot of factors to look at before deciding to reopen.”
Temple Isaiah now has one in-person class for 3 year olds and one for 4 year olds, Zuckerman said. Each class includes six children and runs from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Depending on the age of the children, they either come three or five days a week.
Temple Isaiah is hoping to reopen all of their preschool classes in the fall, Zuckerman said. This would include two classes for 2 year olds, two classes for 3 year olds and two classes for 4 year olds.
In the meantime, the online preschool program continues to function with multiple classes, Zuckerman said, with class sizes normally around five or six children.
To provide for the children’s health and safety, pickup and dropoff times for the preschoolers in the in-person classes are kept staggered. In addition, the classrooms are repeatedly cleaned, and children are given their own class supplies so that there is no need to share. All of the children are required to wear masks, which they have done an excellent job at, Zuckerman said.
“It’s really become just a new normal for them,” Zuckerman said regarding the preschoolers and mask wearing. “It’s been over a year now, so I think our families have really done a wonderful job at home of explaining it.”
It’s important for the students to be in an in-person environment, where they have the opportunity to socialize, Zuckerman said.
“These children, they crave being able to have the opportunity to be with other children and socialize and have [an] experience where they can express themselves away from their families,” Zuckerman said. “It’s such a beneficial opportunity for these children to be able to explore with their environment and be back with children and socialize.”