NORTH HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) — A North Hills preschool will not be reopening its doors this year.
The nearly 60 families who send their children to Christ Episcopal Church Preschool are impacted.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Director Jennifer Nurmi. “We were devastated.”
Christ Episcopal Church Preschool, one of the oldest running preschool programs in the North Hills, says its board tried everything to reopen but couldn’t make it work given all the new health and safety guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“How do we even get the children into the building safely? We have to have daily temperature checks,” said Nurmi.
Nurmi says those concerns were just the beginning of many about bringing back children for the upcoming year.
“No parents are allowed in the building, no parties, or field trips or visitors,” said Nurmi.
The nearly 90 children, ages 2 through 5 years old, would have had to wear masks and wouldn’t be able to do many of the things treasured by preschoolers like dress-up, books and snack time.
“So there’s limited interaction or no interaction,” Nurmi said. “We try to promote sharing and playing together and that’s why they’re here.”
The teacher and director says while she is worried about the children missing out on educational and social developments before kindergarten, she’s also concerned about parents.
“They’re either going to have to find another preschool, which isn’t going to be easy right now,” Nurmi said.
But after months of uncertainty and more ahead, the school sent a letter to parents calling the decision to temporarily close “agonizing,” and that they would wait to see if effective vaccines are developed.
“We had no solution, we just couldn’t figure it out. We couldn’t give the preschool experience the children deserve,” Nurmi said.