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Students Spend Safe Days at the JCC with PRHI-Supported Program

A young student smiles behind her mask at the JCC. Image credit: JCC

On September 1, the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh launched their new program, All Day at the J, to support students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full-day program is an extension of their childcare programs and will provide students in grades K-6 an opportunity to complete their online learning requirements with additional support. The program ensures that children are able to engage in a full slate of activities to ensure that their mental, emotional and physical health are all being attended to in accordance with CDC and state guidelines, while parents return to work. The program is currently set to run through October 30 at JCC Squirrel Hill and South Hills.

The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) is supporting the JCC by providing guidance in process design for safe, reliable and efficient drop-off and pick-up practices, as the JCC welcomes about 120 students in addition to their about 187 Early Childhood Development enrollees to ensure the safety of all families and staff.

PRHI Lean Healthcare Strategy and Implementation Manager Jennifer Condel, SCT(ASCP)MT observed the child drop-off process in the early days of the program. During the observation, Jennifer and the JCC staff were able to identify and discuss in real-time improvement opportunities; including enhanced directional signage and staff processes to support efficient and effective protocols to receive children. Jennifer said, "The programs teams have developed and operationalized quality procedures, demonstrating a true member-focused approach, to ensure the safety and well-being of the children and families. They held open houses to educate and visually prepare families for the new experience and structured the physical locations to not only comply with regulatory coronavirus mitigations guidelines but provide a welcoming environment for the students. There was also ongoing collaboration between the leaders of the childcare programs, Rachael Speck, Division Director, Children, Youth & Family and JCC Day Camps Director, J&R Day Camp, and Liza Baron, Director of Early Childhood Development, along with senior staff and security personnel, to work through the needs and workflow processes. The culture of quality improvement and collaboration is clearly evident across the JCC staff and programming."

A few weeks into the program, Rachael said, "So far it's going really well, we're very pleased," noting that with PRHI's assistance they have successfully jumped hurdles of changes to school district plans and scheduling. "It was really helpful to have [Jen] help figure out this process and have someone who wasn't on the inside look at it from a different perspective….We are thrilled that we are able to do this and provide this program to kids and to parents who need to go to work."

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