Shabbat candle lighting: 4:27pm

PreSchool FAQs 2020-21

After careful consideration, review of the Maryland State Recovery Plan, and consultation with local and national medical experts, our Stoler Owings Mills Early Learning Center will reopen on Monday, August 31.  At this time, the program hours will be limited to full-day only, with options available for ages 3 months to 5 years. Interested families should contact Dani Ashendorf at

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the new hours of operation for the ELC upon reopening?
The ELC will be open 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday – Friday. 

Are part-time options available?
Due to the importance of consistency within groups (both children and teachers) we are unable to offer part-time options at this time. Parents do not need to send their child(ren) everyday if they do not want to, but the pricing is based on full-time.

Are you offering Early-drop Off or Late Stay?
Unfortunately, no. We wish we could continue to accommodate families who need extended care, but our number one priority will be making sure to limit risk and keep our school as safe as possible. Therefore, consistent groupings will be maintained while in our care. Parents must arrive on time at the end of the day. Our late fee is $2/minute. If you arrive late 3 times, you will be asked to come up with an alternate plan to arrive on time to pick up your child.

Will there be space for children under 24 months?
Yes! We are thrilled to re-open our infant/toddler program this fall! Space is limited.

How does reopening impact class sizes and child/teacher ratios?
We will keep our classes in small “pods” to limit exposure to one group of children as opposed to the entire school. At all times class pods will remain together throughout the day without mixing with other class pods.

  • Children under 24 months will be in a group of 6 children with 2 teachers.
  • Children 2 years old will be in a group of 8 children with 2 teachers.
  • Children 3, 4, and 5 years old will be in a group of 13 children with 2 teachers.

Is there a screening policy for teachers and children upon entry?
Yes, temperatures for both staff and children will be taken daily. There will also be a daily brief health questionnaire for all members of our team and for parents during drop off. Children with a temperature of 100.4 or above will not be permitted to attend school. Children exhibiting signs of a cough, having trouble breathing, a sore throat, blisters, rashes or appearing visibly ill will also not be permitted to attend.

What are the protocols at drop off and pick up?


  • Drop off will begin at 8:30am.
  • Teachers and parents are required to wear masks during carpool.
  • Medical screening: Parents/guardians should bring a thermometer in the car with them each day. Each parent/guardian will take their child’s temperature and confirm it with a member of the ELC team. If you do not have a thermometer, a member of our staff will give the child a temporal scan to check their temperature. This information is kept in a daily log. The staff member will be wearing a mask at all times and keep a 6-foot distance. You will also be asked a few standard health questions.
  • Children with a temperature of 100.4 or above will not be permitted to attend school. Children exhibiting signs of a cough, having trouble breathing, a sore throat, blisters, rashes or appearing visibly ill will also not be permitted to attend.
  • Once cleared, the parent/guardian may leave and a staff member will escort your child(ren) to their classroom.
  • Parents will not be permitted to enter the building.
  • Parents are responsible for getting their child(ren) out of their car seat.
  • Children will immediately wash their hands upon entering the building.


  • Pick-up will begin at 4:15pm.
  • Teachers and parents are required to wear masks during carpool.
  • Once your child is brought out, parents/guardians should exit their car (while wearing a mask and respecting social distancing) and collect their child from a member of our staff.
  • Parents are responsible for getting their child(ren) out of their car seat.
  • Please remember that parents are not allowed to enter the preschool.
  • In the case of carpools and/or ride-shares, consistency (with children and adults) is recommended. Ride-shares with children in your child’s classroom are preferred. It is also recommended that the same person drop-off and pick-up daily.

Will children or staff be required to receive a COVID test before the start of the school year?
We are not requiring this, but we do ask for 100% transparency to help keep our community safe. If your child is showing any symptoms, please notify us immediately and keep them home until the symptoms clear. Similarly, if any member of your family has come into contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID you must notify us immediately. We are asking for your partnership on this, we cannot keep our school healthy without your help!

How do I pick-up my child(ren) early or drop-off late?
We ask that you only drop-off late or pick-up early if it is an emergency or for a doctor’s appointment. Parents/Guardians will not be permitted into the ELC. If you need to pick-up or drop-off, there will be specific procedures to call the main office and go to the ELC entrance to check in where we will meet you with your child(ren).

Please review the times of the program and make sure it works for you and your family. If a family is consistently dropping-off late or picking-up early, the family may be asked to leave the program. It is imperative that we keep children in their assigned groups throughout the day and pulling staff to bring individual children for late arrival or early pick up makes that extremely difficult.

Are visitors permitted?
Unfortunately, at this time, we are not able to accept visitors.

Are swim lessons/free swim still offered as part of the ELC program?
At this time there will be no swim lessons or free swim offered. As soon as we are able, we will offer swim lessons to our children.

Will there be water play?
There will be no water play per MSDE regulations. We will offer other safe sensory based experiences for each child.

Will there be specials or field trips?
Health and safety of our community is our number one priority; therefore, we will not offer field trips this year. We are in the process of figuring out how to safely bring programming to your child(ren). We will have innovative ways to offer them music, art, movement, science and so much more! We will keep you updated as these plans progress.

How will lunch be handled?
Lunches will be brought from home. Lunches must be entirely disposable (brown bag or large Ziplock bag) and clearly labelled. Tupperware containers and silverware will not be permitted. We will provide disposable cups, forks, and spoons. Teachers will wear gloves during all aspects of food service. Lunches will not be refrigerated. We recommend freezing a yogurt tube or plastic water bottle to act as an ice pack (it will defrost in time for lunch!).

Can we send a reusable water bottle to school with our child?
No, you cannot send in re-usable water bottles. Water will be served to the children throughout the day. Please note, our water fountains will be turned off.

Will children spend time outside?
Yes! Physical distancing will be strictly enforced between classes. There will be a schedule to ensure children have time on our playground and in the other spaces we use around our building, with enough time in between for cleaning and disinfecting equipment. We will offer other outdoor programs (ie: sidewalk chalk, science, etc) to ensure our children spend enough time outside.

What about hand washing and improved hygiene/sanitation?
We will implement the following prevention and mitigation strategies to slow and limit COVID-19 exposure and spread:

  • Practice recommended regular and routine handwashing practices
  • Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned and disinfected.
  • Post signs with COVID-19 prevention and control practices.
  • Provide policies and education on COVID-19 symptoms and response.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of tissues, hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, household cleaning products suited for the facility.
  • In addition to encouraging hand washing before and after activities, sanitizer and wipes will be available.
  • We have developed a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection by teachers and additional housekeeping staff. Staff will be disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., sports equipment, door handles, art supplies, games, etc.) between use as much as possible. Classes will have their own supplies for items that cannot be sanitized between uses.

Can siblings be placed into the same classroom?
Due to ratios by age it will be challenging to place siblings in the same classroom. We also feel that children learn best when placed in a group with peers of the same age.

Who will be wearing masks?
All adults will be required to wear cloth or disposable face coverings throughout the day (even when in the classroom).

Is my child required to wear a mask?
The guidance from national and local health authorities advises against all children under the age of two years from wearing a face mask. While the recommendation is for older children to wear a face mask, we know that children are likely to have great difficulty in doing so. Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommend washing your hands after each time an individual touches their face mask, which we do not believe to be plausible in our early childhood environment. We are asking for children to wear a mask while walking from their car into the building.

  • Please ensure your child's mask does not have any adornments (ie: buttons, stickers, or other choking hazards).
  • Please mark your child’s mask with their name and room number. We will need more than 1 mask sent to school each day to ensure we can change the mask if it gets soiled.
  • Your child’s mask will be stored in their cubby during the day and returned to you at the end of each day to be washed.

Are vaccinations required?
Yes! All children who attend our program must be up to date with their vaccinations. There are no exceptions to this rule.

What happens if a child or teacher develops symptoms during the day?
If a child or staff member develops symptoms, they will be isolated and required to go home until they are cleared by a doctor to return. If the child or staffer tests positive for COVID-19, we will immediately notify parents in their classroom of possible exposure and contact the Maryland Department of Health to report. We will maintain confidentiality of any individuals exposed or diagnosed.

What if someone is diagnosed with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19?
Any staff or child exposed to a person diagnosed with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 may not work or attend school until they have completed self-quarantine following the CDC guidelines. Persons who have recovered from COVID-19, must be cleared for release from isolation according to CDC guidelines.

If a group has a staff member or a child that is found to have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19:

  • The local health department, as well as the parents of children in the group, will be notified immediately, and the group shall quarantine following the CDC guidelines.
  • Individuals may not work at or attend until completing self-quarantine and obtaining clearance from the individual’s primary care physician.
  • Based on consultation with the local health department, a classroom or the entire school may be closed based on level of contact and potential exposure.

If the school must close at any point due to COVID-19, will a refund be issued?
If the school has to close due to COVID-19, families will receive a prorated refund for any missed days.

What is the refund policy if our child is unable to attend school once it begins?
We require 60 days’ notice for any program changes, including un-enrollment.

What is the refund policy on deposits should we choose to not enroll for the Fall?
You will receive your full deposit back if you choose not to send your child(ren) back to school this Fall.

What is the policy if we would like to delay sending our child(ren) - would there still be a space available if we choose to defer?
Due to our new capacity limitations, we anticipate filling up sooner than usual. Our currently enrolled families will receive priority. Because of this, we are unable to hold any spots for children that wish to enroll after August 31. If you would like to hold a spot, you will be asked to pay, in full, for that spot until your child attends.