Long Grove School Tackles the Covid-19 Conundrum

Primrose School Institutes Strict Health & Safety Protocols to Protect Early Learners, Families and Staff

Article by Michael Beightol

Photography by Michael Beightol

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Publisher’s Note: This summer local public-school districts caterwauled from one re-opening plan to another, eventually determining to start the fall semester with distance learning. There is no such thing as a one-size fits all model for schools and businesses locally. We filed this story at deadline about how Primrose School of Long Grove was dealing with the pandemic. 

Their story shows how one team of administrators and staff, along with a willing group of parents, have leaned into the challenge of protecting the health and safety of children, families and staff.

According to the co-owners of Primrose School, Jenny and Rich Wierzchon, enrollment has started to tick back up with a new classroom set to open in September. To prepare this story the Wierzchons provided answers via emails. Photos were taken at a distance so that no contact was necessary with children, parents or the staff of Primrose School. Like all families and staff, the photographer submitted to a temperature check and provided answers to a series of health questions. 

SW Lake: Tell us about the difficulties you’ve faced during Covid-19?

Jenny Wierzchon: Frankly, this has been the largest challenge to our school since we have opened in 2015. With each health and safety decision we make, we are looking at the impact that it will have on our students, their families and our staff members. There is conflicting information available, and we know that our choices have an incredible impact. 

SWL: You’ve instituted a lot of new practices that include daily temperature scans, wearing masks, changing the shoes of children, more handwashing and use of sanitizers, facility cleaning and disinfecting playground equipment after every recess. What has been the reaction to your new protocols by the families you serve?

Rich Wierzchon: Our families have been wonderful! They understand that all our policies and protocols are to keep their children and their families safe. They are very comfortable with the choices we have made to protect the health and safety of their children. 

SWL: How have the students reacted?

Jenny: Our students are so happy to be back to school with us. They have a sense of normalcy and routine. They are with their friends and their teachers. They have quickly adapted to the changes and they see this as normal.

SWL: How has the staff leaned into the challenges?

Jenny: Our faculty is the most important part of keeping our students safe! They understand why we have new protocols in place and have embraced the changes. We are doing all these things to keep our staff members healthy and safe, and they appreciate it.

SWL: The parent company for Primrose operates in 32 states and hundreds of communities. That could mean hundreds of different local requirements. How has the home office helped support you?

Rich: Primrose Schools Franchising Company has been as helpful as they can, given the numerous localities they work with. They are providing up-to-date guidelines and best practices. They have helped to source items that we may not have found otherwise, such as child-sized disposable face masks.

SWL: Can you tell us about the “new normal” at Primrose School?

Jenny: All our staff members have returned to work with us and were excited to be back with the students. Our students are happily returning as soon as their families are comfortable. These are very personal choices that families are making based upon their family’s individual circumstances.

Primrose School of Long Grove periodically hosts weekend open houses. They have instituted an extensive list of health & safety protocols available to review upon request. To learn more visit PrimroseLongGrove.com or call 847.438.3175.

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