Re-Opening, Health, and Safety in 2020-2021

What is your Re-opening plan? Please see our Return to Campus Guidelines here

Q: When will school re-open?

A: We have applied for a waiver for grades K-6 and are optimistic that the waiver will be approved and allow us to start school on time. (No waiver is available for upper grades.)  In the event of a delay, and for our Upper School students, onsite day care and supervision, along with Judaic learning will be available from 8:00-3:30 on the following days:

  • ECE only Tuesday, August 25
  • K-1 will join Tuesday, September 1
  • Grades 2 & 3 will join Wednesday, September 2  
  • Grades 4 & 5 will join Thursday, September 3
  • Middle School will join Friday, September 4

Q:  What changes have been made on campus to address the needs of students this year?

A:  We have gone to tremendous lengths and expense to retrofit the campus to support physical distancing, touchless facilities, individually wrapped lunches, staff training.  Outdoor tents will be available throughout the school to allow for outdoor learning when appropriate. New cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been implemented.  Bathrooms and other commonly touched surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day.

( see Guidelines webpage). 

Q: What is a “cohort” or “pod” and how does it help?

A: Cohorting refers to grouping students according to their classes, to minimize exposure for students, teachers, and staff across the school environment.  Cohorts will be in class, at lunch, and at recess together and will not mix with other cohorts.

Q: Why aren’t we staggering classes or going to a “hybrid” model like public schools?

A:  Public schools have far more students per class and far less space indoors and outdoors.  Our large classrooms and wide open corridors enable us to safely serve our students in small classes.  Our spacious outdoor areas ensure that students will also have plenty of outdoor play opportunities, including recess, lunch, and PE.

Q: How are you protecting teachers and staff?

A:  The health and safety of our teachers are paramount.  We have teachers who are compromised and committed to serving students in-person, when it is safe.  We have gone to considerable lengths and expense to ensure that we can keep them safe.  In addition to providing necessary PPE for every teacher, every classroom has been equipped with an 8-foot shield from behind which they will teach. Classrooms will be cleaned every evening.  Students will be required to observe all distancing and mask requirements.  

Q: What will daily screenings consist of? 

A: Daily health Screenings will be required for all Students and Staff before entering school.

  • Anyone with a temperature above 100.3 will be sent home.
  • Anyone expressing or experiencing any sign of illness or COVID-consistent symptoms will not be allowed in school without a negative COVID test.

We are urging students, faculty, and staff who are safely able to get a flu vaccine to do so this fall.

Q: How will parents know if a child in their class has tested positive?

A: Any positive cases will be reported to the parents of students in the class affected.  Anyone who has come in close contact with the student will need to be quarantined for 14 days. It is essential that parents inform the school if their students have been exposed.

Q: What training will teachers and staff receive to prepare them for this year?

A:  Teachers will be on campus fully 2 weeks prior to students to receive extensive training in Health and Safety ( see Guidelines webpage), new protocols ( see Guidelines webpage), Social Emotional curriculum, Distance Learning instructional strategies for engagement in virtual learning environments, and technical training.

Q:  How will the social emotional needs of our children be met during this time?

A:  Our outstanding teachers are cognizant and sensitive to the needs of students. School counselors will provide support and learning workshops to help students learn resiliency and communication skills.  The close community connections that we have ensure that the needs of our students and their families are identified and that they get the support they need.  That’s what makes our community so special!

Q: Will there still be “specials”?

A: Yes, we are planning to offer specials such as music, computer, art, and library.  Supplies will be individualized and the programs will be adjusted to accommodate the circumstances.

Q: What if my child ‘can’t’ wear a mask?

A: Masks, as well as physical distancing and handwashing are recommended by the CDC as well as the Department of Health.  Students who are not able to wear masks or physically distance will have full access to our program from home.

Q: What if parents prefer that their students remain at home studying?

A: We believe, and many medical and mental health professionals agree, that in-person instruction will be most effective for students.  For those students who are not able to be at school we will have full access to our program as a Distance Learning program.

Q: How will the school handle an outbreak?

A: In the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and has come in contact with other class members, the class and teacher will quarantine for 14 days.

All students in 2nd grade and above are required to have and bring to school each day a dedicated laptop so that learning can be continuous for them in school and out.  

Q: Will there be hot lunches? How will that look?

A: Meals will be served outdoors at assigned seats, within cohorts.  Lunch will be staggered according to grades.  School provided lunches will be individually packaged.  Students will be seated in their cohorts with distancing.

Q: What changes in bus transportation are being made to ensure health and safety?

A:  Bus capacity has been reduced.  Families will be grouped and seats will be assigned to ensure physical distancing.  Students will be required to adhere to all policies and directions.  

Q:  Will my student be penalized for COVID-related absences? 

A:  No.  Students will be required to complete all assignments and will get the necessary support from a teacher to do so.