Baldwin County Schools - BOE 2020 Fall Issue - Page 11

The Early Learning Center

The new year for the

Early Learning Center ( ELC ) began August 10 , a week prior to when grades K-12 started the 2020-2021 school year in the Baldwin County School District , but the school was more than ready to welcome back our young ones to both in-person instruction and remote learning .
ELC Director , Lori Smith , said she and her team were more than excited for the students ’ arrival .
“ It was so good to hear the sounds of little feet in the hallways again after so much silence when the school had to close . Although things are a little different than they are used to , it ’ s still great to see them embracing the changes .”
The Early Learning Center was not only the first school in the district to start the new academic year , but they also were the first ones to have students return to campus during the summer . The Early Learning Center ’ s Summer School program , funded by the Department of Early Care and Learning , hosted 50 children in 6
classes . Experienced pre-k teachers provided instructional activities to children while practicing safety protocols such as hand washing , social distancing , and mandatory mask wear to prevent the spread of germs . Children worked on letters , sounds , and math concepts .
The 2020-2021 school year has been a successful one thus far , Smith noted . Most traditional events have been held virtually , and the school even offered a remote learning option to parents for the start of the new school year .
“ We have had a great start to the year . We had a drive thru to pick up school supplies and we even had a virtual grandparent ’ s day celebration . Our digital learners are also working hard from home to learn . They receive a packet that contains a book and lessons for the week . Each student even gets to meet with their teachers on Zoom every day . We are also having phone conferences with each of our families .”
ELC students taking oncampus for in-person instruction are treated with virtual guests .
“ We are having lots of virtual who read to the kids or share something new with them .”
Virus prevention safety protocols are still in place and are practiced daily in order to keep everyone safe .
“ We are continuing to wash our hands a lot , eat in our classrooms , and wear masks to keep everyone safe and healthy .
The ELC has also added a new STEM ( Science , Technology , Engineering , and Math ) lab to the building that provides hands-on activities for students . The new STEM lab contains various work stations focused on a wide selection of problemsolving activities that cover different subjects . Kids are free to rotate through the different stations and take part in entertaining and educational hands-on activities . Each classroom at the ELC is permitted access to the STEM lab at least twice a week . The lab is also kept clean and sanitized . The room is fogged with a cleaning solution between uses .
www . baldwincountyschoolsga . org BALDWIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT • Fall 2020 • 11