School closures have happened across the country and adapted distance learning. Other schools have decided to continue operating with open doors. In episode five of Curacubby Podcast, we sit and chat with Pastor Chadwick and Lee Williams from Ridge City to discuss their experiences through COVID-19 as they continue to operate in their community.
Ridge City opened operations five years ago through Canyon Ridge Baptist Church, in a time where COVID-19 was non-existent. Their school has supported its local community by being a leading child care center in their area. As the pandemic continues to grow, Ridge City has made it clear that they’ll continue to operate as long as health officials allow them. To do right by their families, they’ve had to make adjustments to provide a safe environment for both staff and students. They’ve reduced class sizes, redoubled all of their efforts in cleanliness, have added extra employees to clean as well as providing parents an alternative financing option if they wish for their children to stay at home during this time.
Chris Chadwick made it clear that their goal is to continue to provide an excellent service to their community during a challenging time, even more so for essential working parents that need support with child care.
Early on, Ridge City had to plan forward with ways to ensure the protection of those involved, putting cleanliness procedures in place, moving their check-in/out outside of the daycare center, and having parents fill out a form that states the child’s health before drop off for liability reasons.
Lee Williams recalls that the earliest thing they did was recognize what was happening and that there would inevitably be some fear with parents. “Our job was to consistently recognize and communicate that we understand what was going on and what we were doing to put things in place to help.”
It’s clear Ridge City is trying to stay ahead of things by proactively finding the best ways to make parents feel confident in their decision to leave their child at school. A great way to continue operations is by making quick decisions and changes based on guidance from the CDC. For Ridge City, that also resulted in adjusting operating hours, keeping teachers with the same grouping of kids, and using alternative cleaners to alleviate worrisome situations.
It’s been clear, from talking with other school owners and directors, how important it is to communicate and over-communicate with the families of your school to assist better their needs as well as their concerns during an uncertain time. Schools that are being transparent and communicative with staff and families are consistently better equipped at adapting to changes.
Pastor Chadwick encourages other schools to revisit their core values during this time, as it may give administrators a better handle and perspective on what they can offer their community during a turbulent time.
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