UPDATE: As of 4pm on March 13, Illinois Governor Pritzker closed all public and private schools through March 30th. We are tremendously proud to have been ahead of this decision, seeing clearly through our careful Playwork practice that this was the right call to make on March 12. We are glad our communities and families will remain safe and encourage social distancing practiced as solidarity spacing. More from us soon.
ORIGINAL: 3/12/20 6:00pm:
At KOOP, safety and best practice provision are some of our highest priorities. Our regular playwork practice leads us to conduct a dynamic risk benefit assessment for scenarios that could happen on our site. With so many uncertainties and with information changing so rapidly, KOOP has decided to close and not hold spring break camp.
While we always aim to be a dependable partner for families and advocate for play in the lives of children, we also realize that this situation with the pandemic status of COVID-19 is unprecedented, unpredictable and the scope is simply not known at this time.
I am aware of current CU Public Health statements and am aware that Champaign & Urbana public schools have chosen, as of today, to open again after spring break (which we all know could change!) This would not be the first time that my vision, passion and adherence to playwork principles has led me to different conclusions than that of larger entities that also work with children. In fact, I think those same characteristics are likely what drew you to KOOP in the first place. But while Champaign and Urbana school districts luckily have the built-in benefit of a week of empty schools to follow and assess how the local and global situation develops, our camp does not have that benefit and would have pooled together kids from 12 different schools around CU. We feel in order to safeguard your kids/families, the kids/families who regularly attend this school and our staff, the right thing to do is to take action now out of an abundance of caution and care for our community.
KOOP's board and myself, the executive director, agree that caution and "social distancing" is the responsible way forward. You've received an email stating our next steps if you were signed up. And we truly hope you'll join us in the summer for Adventure Play camp when, hopefully, the risk has decreased and more knowledge is available. We will continually update our social media and will keep in touch.
Thank you so much for understanding that my heart is for your children, your families and our community and I deeply regret this inconvenience. I'm also a mom who understands the need for quality care for your children and we did not come to this decision lightly.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Kelsey Langley Founder & Executive Director KOOP Adventure Play