Laura Cox • Director, Derry Discovery Days Preschool

As Derry Discovery Days’ 2020-21 school year has come to an end, one word summarizes the experience for myself and all of our teachers: GRATITUDE!       

We are incredibly grateful to Derry Church, Session and the COVID Task Force for giving us the opportunity to open.  We are grateful to our DDD families for trusting us during very uncertain times to keep their children safe and give them as normal a preschool experience as possible. And we are especially grateful for the children of DDD for being so resilient, wearing their face masks each day and never complaining.  

I am forever grateful to the staff of Derry Discovery Days who worked tirelessly this year to maintain a safe environment for our students. Many thanks go out to Jill Felter, Rachel Bullard, Amy Yengo, Priscilla Berk, Amber Allen and Erika Manotti for coming to work every day during a pandemic, all the while juggling their own children’s very different school schedules. Their dedication and love of their jobs was truly evident this year!

This year we had 32 children enrolled at DDD with only two age groups meeting, our 3 Year Old Busy Bees and our 4 Year Old Butterflies in both the morning and afternoon. We did not open our two upstairs classrooms, our Ladybug 1s and Turtles 2s, given all of the unknowns with the pandemic at the beginning of the school year.  

We made several adjustments to the way we operated with an increased focus on hygiene and sanitizing, a more stringent sick policy, a staggered start time, parents dropping off and picking up outside of the building, implementing a new app that includes a daily health screener and a check in/out process for contact tracing purposes. These changes were very successful and we plan to continue doing most of these in the 2021-22 school year.

We are excited to welcome two new Derry Church members to our DDD School Board: Sarah Bartz and Becca Farbaniec. Sarah and Becca both will have two children in our program this fall and both bring a great deal of professional experience to our board with their work at LVC and Penn State MSH Medical Center.   

We plan to have all of our classrooms open for the 2021-22 school year, and we have openings in our Ladybugs 1s, Busy Bee 3s and Afternoon Butterfly 4s classes. Please contact me if you are interested in enrolling your child. Classes begin Tuesday, September 7 and we would love to have your children be a part of our DDD family!