After more than 600 residents said they wanted Lynbrook Public Schools to host their annual summer playground program, administrators announced it would return on July 27 under strict guidelines to ensure the safety of students and staff.
School officials initially planned to run two separate sessions, but decided to host the summer program from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at two campuses, Lynbrook North and South middle schools. The camp is scheduled to run until Aug. 14.
“We wanted to accommodate as many families as we could while maintaining social distancing during the program, so we created two sessions each day,” Schools Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak explained. “After the final registrations came in, though, we ended up not needing to run two sessions. The traditional timed 9-to-12 session will run on both campuses.”
At the July 7 Board of Education meeting, which was streamed online, Burak told the community that administrators had sent residents a survey. Many parents said they wanted the summer program to return despite the pandemic. She said students would not be permitted inside the buildings, and camp would be canceled on days that there is bad weather. The program cost is $140 per camper, and no refunds will be offered if the camp closed for any reason.
The survey was sent to parents June 9, and they had a week to respond. The camp is open to all Lynbrook School District residents in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The program will focus on outdoor recreational activities, including physical ones that will provide social interaction for campers while allowing for social distancing. Unlike previous years, there will be no indoor arts and crafts or field trips. There will, however, be outdoor phys.-ed. activities, sprinklers and special events, including pirate, crazy hat and funny sock days.
Campers and staff members will also be screened upon arrival each day. Their temperatures will be taken, and they will have to answer questions about whether they were exposed to someone who was diagnosed with the coronavirus, or if they exhibited any symptoms. A nurse will also be on staff.
Additionally, parents will not be allowed on the site. Parents and children must wear masks upon arrival, and parents must wear masks at pick-up and drop-off. They are also responsible for providing their children with masks. In addition, on the first day of camp, parents must give the head counselor two additional masks.
“Due to the Covid-19 virus, we will be implementing a number of necessary health and safety precautions,” the district’s website reads, “including masking, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing. Each grade level will have a maximum of 20 campers, which will be divided further into two groups, resulting in a ratio of 10 campers to one head counselor or junior counselor.”