PICA Head Start Centers Reopen, Host COVID-19 Testing
On Monday, kids were welcomed back to Parents In Community Action (PICA) Head Start Centers, including at Aubrey Della in Brooklyn Center.
Rico Alexander, the director of PICA Head Start, explained how the center has changed its way of doing things.
“We’re going to have smaller group sizes in class, doing a lot more hand washing, disinfecting areas, more often than in the past,” Alexander said.
Masks for staff and temperature screenings are also now mandatory.
Alexander said normally at PICA Head Start, there would be 20 kids in a classroom, but now there are only 10 kids per class.
“Class sizes are going to be smaller so we can make sure kids can space out appropriately and create social distancing,” he said.
There are also less toys and items in classrooms to prevent the spread of germs. Instead kids are doing more outdoor activities.
“We sent training videos home for all parents so they understand what will look different when we open.”
In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, PICA Head Start is offering a total of four community COVID-19 testings for staff and and PICA families. The first testing was held last week Monday. The second testing will be on August 11th.
“To ensure staff can get tested, so if anyone were to present themselves as positive with COVID-19 they can quarantine themselves before they return back to work,” Alexander said.
Prior to COVID-19, there was a total of 108 students at the Brooklyn Center PICA location. Currently, there are only 35 students. Those students are participating in the four week summer session to get them to speed for kindergarten next school year.