“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks".

John Muir

Outdoor Learning and Covid-19 Safety

Healthy Outdoor Learning Initiative for Fall 2021

With the monumental changes our world has faced since March 2020,  Charlestown Playhouse has moved forward, into the new normal, while stepping back to the basics on which we were formed. We are excited to announce that for the Fall of 2021, our entire morning program will move to outdoor classroom experiences for all of our students! Our Outdoor program was very positive for both students and teachers last year, and we look forward to the school year ahead. We can’t wait to explore and learn with our children.

After our morning children dismiss for the day, we may move inside with our smaller groups of students who are staying for the full day. Each group will remain with the same peers and staff, creating safer cohorts for being inside.

The following documents/guidance has been used to determine our reopening plan: click here.

Limited Indoor Access

Students must dress for weather! We will be entirely outside, only entering the building for supervised bathroom visits. In case of inclement weather, students will have access to their outdoor classroom shelters, which will also be used as a “home base” for the classroom. If there is a downpour, classes will use their designated outdoor shelter. If there is an emergency, including thunderstorms, we will all go inside and participate in small group activities until they can return outside.

If there is a heavy storm day, AM only students will not attend. We will close as if it were a snow day. Full day students will be permitted to attend their scheduled full day inside.


How will CPH keep staff and children safe?

In addition to limiting cross contact between classrooms and staff, we are enforcing:

  • Health Screening, including temperature check and symptom questionnaire, for all children and staff upon arrival.
  • Masks are required of all students, staff, volunteers and visitors in our building at all times, with the exception of when eating (preferably outdoors) and napping.
  • Weekly rapid testing of teachers, staff and classroom parent helpers.
  • Outdoor Classrooms
  • Respiratory Etiquette (teaching, modeling and enforcement)
  • Heightened Cleaning (including High Contact Surface Cleaning multiple times per day)
  • Hand Hygiene (repeated washing and sanitizer)

At a Glance: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will CPH provide social distancing for the children?

A: Children, by nature, are unable to distance. However, we will keep children within their groups/cohort and not allow sharing of common space.

Q: Will my child be required to wear a mask?

A: While students are playing outside in the play yard, a mask will not be required. While outdoors, when children come together in groups, they will wear masks (Story time, music, etc). Inside the building, all are required to wear masks, including students and adults with the exception of eating and rest time.

Q: Will teachers wear masks?

A:  Teachers outdoors will not wear masks. All teachers and students must wear masks indoors.

Q: What are the cleaning procedures for the school?

A: Inside, our school is professionally cleaned nightly. Metal and plastic surfaces on our play yard will be sanitized nightly as well. In addition, our “high contact surfaces” will be wiped mid day and our afternoon classrooms will receive a deep clean bi-weekly.

Q: Will CPH follow CDC guidelines?

A: Yes. For CDC guidelines, please look here 

Q: How will a potentially sick child be handled?

A: We will contact you immediately and sit with your child, comforting him/her. We plan to use the breezeway which has traditionally been used for Purple Room dismissal. We will have quiet activities and books to keep your child engaged. Adults will wear a gown while sitting with your child. Please pull up the front driveway for picking up your sick child. In the event that a student or staff member becomes sick with coronavirus, we will implement quarantining, closures and cleaning as advised by the Chester County Health Department and CDC.