Educator Resources

The ABCs of Reopening Safely

Like so many of you, we have been monitoring and reviewing reopening guidelines for children’s activity businesses including camps, schools, and enrichment activities across the country. At Sawyer, it is our mission to give every child the opportunity to discover their own love of learning, and that starts with a thoughtful safety plan for reopening your doors.

In an effort to help you begin to envision your plans to safely reopen, we’ve put together the Sawyer ABCs, a downloadable checklist for your business. This checklist lists is by no means exhaustive but will hopefully help to organize your team and establish a clear path forward to keep families and children feeling safe, healthy, and happy.

Download the Checklist

Adjust your space

Reopening will require some changes to your space and how you run your business going forward. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start to reimagine your physical space and programming.

Capacity & Flow

  • Establish new capacity guidelines to limit the number of people within your facility and within designated areas.
  • Configure the layout of your space and gather supplies to support any changes:
  • Use tape (washi or painters) to create flows that help maintain safe distance for customers
  • Reevaluate seating and workstation options
  • Create a contactless check-in and check-out flow
  • Install dividers where appropriate
  • Update business hours to establish breaks in between classes, cleaning time, and mitigate high volume traffic in your physical space.

Space Utilization

  • Increase availability of cubbies for personal belongings.
  • Free up storage for bulk cleaning materials and supplies.
  • Create a friendly temperature scanning station at your entrance. 
  • Establish a designated area in the event of an illness to keep others safe.
  • If possible, purchase touchless hand sanitizer dispensers — if you cannot, make sure to spread out dispensers for individual use and clean them frequently.

Be prepared

As you wait for clear guidance from local authorities on when you can safely reopen your business, take the time to get organized and prepared with supplies, materials, and training processes for your team. 

Supplies

  • Create an inventory of essential supplies and equipment — take note of what you have and need. Keep in mind that delivery/ship times may take longer than normal.
  • Cleaning supplies: Disinfectant sprays, cleaners, wash bins, heavy duty cleaning gloves
  • Personal Hygiene: Hand soap, hand sanitizer, wipes, gloves, masks, and gloves, and paper products
  • First aid: Replenish frequently used first aid supplies like band-aids, gauze, and more
  • Purchase Infrared Contactless Thermometers.
  • Limit contact by offering pre-packaged individual supply packs such as:
  • Snacks and lunches
  • Water bottles and juice pouches
  • Cleaning materials
  • Equipment/supplies

Daily Operations

  • Create reusable organization checklists for your team by laminating and posting in common areas.
  • Before, During, After Class Checklists
  • Create printable emergency guidelines and in-person protocols for handling illness.
  • Consider asking students to bring their personal materials or consider offering individual kits for purchase through add-ons.
  • Avoid high-touch shared materials that cannot be easily cleaned or disinfected (consider banning games on tablets or with cards which may be touched by multiple students).

Staffing

  • Host staff training sessions to discuss new safety plans and emergency procedures. These can be both virtual and in-person before opening. 
  • Create a contingency plan for any staff illness and offer flexible policies for working from home as needed to prevent further risk.
  • Designate a safety point person for monitoring daily health of students.
  • Rotate roles and responsibilities - every team member should be knowledgeable about your cleaning, operations, and closing procedures.

Create a communication plan

Communication and commitment are key! As you work with families and young children, making them feel comfortable, safe, and secure with the new reopening plan is critical for your success. 

Customers

  • Tell families you’re open and reassure them by sharing the adjustments you’re making for this summer.
  • Update and simplify your cancellation and transfer policies to be more customer-friendly and communicate changes. 
  • Post clear community standards for customers upon arrival.
  • Outline and share customer and employee codes of conduct, cleaning schedules, and emergency protocol.

Community

  • Establish a health and safety page on your website — make sure this is easily accessible from your emails and social media accounts. 
  • Connect with insurance carriers and legal advisors to update waivers with any necessary changes for your reopening plan.
  • Highlight flexibility with flexible makeup policies and virtual offerings.
  • Create an action plan for communication if any member of the team or community becomes ill.
  • Consider sharing a video with your students before they arrive to help get them excited and to start establishing norms. This will make changes less scary to students and easier to implement!

Stay informed with these additional resources

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