10/29/2018 memo from Mike Marzano

[delivered as email attachment from Heather Mitchell at 10:56 am on 10/29/2018]

Dear Park Side Families.

This information is to keep everyone up to date and maintain transparency with the actions we are taking at Park Side Preschool to ensure the safety of the children at the facility. I am the chairman of the trustees for the First Presbyterian Church of Newark. The preschool is a ministry of the church. The Preschool Board is a volunteer board to assist with the operation and management of the preschool.

We are all deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred in the Preschool play yard. At this time we need to act and work together to ensure safety for all elements of the Preschool. Every accident provides opportunities to learn and improve. I am collecting all the reports and information, so we can identify any needed improvements with the facility as well as our processes and recordkeeping. Many of the reports are not yet available or require legal action to access them since they involve the death of a minor. We are working through the process to attain copies as soon as possible.

The actions that have already been taken include removing the A-frame swing. There has also been an inspection of the facility. We have again reviewed the requirements of California Code of Regulations, Title 22 for Child Care Facilities, Consumer Product Safety Commission Public Playground Safety Handbook and the National Health and Safety Performance Standards to guide us as we perform inspections and review our operation and maintenance for the Preschool. We have received additional questions and we want to share these questions and responses with all families.

Who is the licensing Board? County Care Licensing Department (CCLD)

Who has inspected the Playground?

  • CCLD inspects the entire facility annually. This was completed in July. They also inspected the play area, the tire swing and frame after the accident.
  • The insurance investigator. They are still completing interviews and the report is not complete.
  • ┬áThe Newark Police documented the scene of the accident and participated in the CCLD inspection. We are working to gain access to this report.

The A-Frame brackets were purchased through Amazon from Eastern Jungle Gym. You can see on their website this was identified as a free-standing unit and can accommodate 3 children. All bolts and fasteners were provided by the manufacturer for use with the brackets. The A-frame was installed 3 weeks ago by a local school district employee knowledgeable about playground equipment.

As we receive more questions, answers and reports, we will continue to share with Park Side families. A meeting is being scheduled for parents to meet me and ask their questions. I will provide all the answers I have. Please look for communication from the Preschool with the date and time of the meeting.

God Bless
Mike Marzano
[contact info redacted]