These Guidelines have been meticulously prepared for our community’s safe return to campus.  This plan represents input from all of our stakeholders, including local medical experts, parents, teachers, staff, and community members.

Our Task Force has taken an abundance of caution and incorporated recommendations from state, county and local health departments. We are exceedingly optimistic that this plan will afford children, teachers, and staff the opportunity to return to school safely. We understand that circumstances will continue to change globally and locally, and we are committed to reviewing these plans as necessary, monitoring and responding to the needs of all of our stakeholders, ensuring that health and safety are paramount.

We are investing significant funds and extraordinary efforts to prepare the campus to meet and exceed health guidelines established by the state of California. We intend to take full advantage of our expansive outdoor space, smaller class sizes, and the ability to update and adapt our facilities to ensure everyone’s well-being. We are committed to meeting and/or exceeding all standards for health and safety while doing everything we can to provide the warm and embracing environment that has characterized The Hebrew Academy for over 50 years. 

Below is information regarding protocols and practices, describing physical distancing on campus and in the classrooms, expanded cleaning and health protocols, and health screenings. 

Face Coverings and Other Essential Protective Gear

  • Faculty and staff will be required to wear masks or transparent face shields.

  • Students will be required to wear masks:

    • While waiting to enter campus 

    • While on school grounds (except when eating, drinking, playing or sitting at a shielded student desk) 

    • While entering and exiting school 

    • While on the bus.

Parents & visitors will access campus remotely or with special permission and will be required to wear a mask and submit to screening on those occasions.

Physical Distancing

Contact and direct interaction will be minimized.

  • Non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups will be curtailed.  

  • Multiple points of entry will be available during arrival and drop-off times. 

  • Classrooms have sufficient desks, distanced, and with protective equipment. 

  • Routes will be designated to reduce face-to-face contact and directionality at entry and exit to lunch, recess, and other transition times. 

  • Movement of students and teachers or staff will be minimized as much as practical. 

  • Virtual events will replace all large gatherings such as assemblies, award ceremonies, performances, and community events.

  • Schedules will be staggered for restroom breaks and hand washing. 

  • Modifications will be made to instructional schedules, as well as to lunch and recess protocols to reduce concentration of students and isolate cohorts.  

  • Meals will be served outdoors. School provided lunches will be individually packaged.  Students will be seated in their cohorts with distancing.

  • Recess and play activities will take place in separate areas designated by class. 

  • A designated isolation room will be assigned to hold staff or students who show symptoms while at school.

  • Classroom space will be arranged to remove nonessential furniture, allowing maximum space for students and staff.

  • Student desks will be spaced six feet from the teacher's desk. 

  • Students will be provided desk shields allowing for visual access of the teacher and creating a physical barrier from peers during instruction.

  • Interaction between and among cohorts will be minimized.

  • Bus transportation will be available with staggered seating and a reduced number of passengers.

  • Outdoor spaces will be repurposed to take full advantage of the large, open spaces throughout the school.

  • Staff will be asked to practice social distancing, including but not limited to the following: 

    • When working indoors or in outdoor areas 

    • Before and after the work shift 

    • Coming and going from vehicles 

    • Entering, working, and exiting physical buildings or other structures 

    • During breaks and lunch periods.

Healthy Hygiene Practices

  • Staff and students will be taught and required to wash/sanitize their hands regularly.

  • Frequent hand washing will be built into the daily schedule. 

  • Additional, touchless hand washing and sanitizing stations will be added to the campus. 

  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available in each classroom and around campus.

  • Signage throughout campus will remind students and staff to wear face coverings, distance and hand washing.

  • Touchless faucets Bathrooms & bottle filling stations.

Small, Stable, Cohorting

  • Students will interact with their grade-level cohorts only and will have minimal interaction with students from other classes.

  • Classrooms will be outfitted with technology to support distance learning for students who need to participate from home, while others are on-site.

  • Student movement throughout the campus will be minimized

Cleaning and Disinfection 

In accordance with CDC guidelines, all of our classrooms have been fitted with Merv 13 air filters, certified to capture airborne viruses and bacteria from coughs and sneezes.  We are following guidelines developed by the CDPH for cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation of school campuses. 

  • Each classroom will be cleaned and disinfected each evening.

  • High-touch surfaces and bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day (e.g. countertops, door handles, restrooms, student desks, student chairs).

  • Students will maintain personal materials rather than having shared classroom sets of supplies. 

  • Playground equipment will be regularly inspected and cleaned for student use.

Health Screenings for Students and Staff

  • Daily Health Screening for all students, faculty, and staff prior to entering school:

    • Temperature ( 100.4 or above will be sent home)

    • 3 questions:

      •  Are you feeling well?

      • Have you had any symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, discomfort, headache, or shortness of breath?

      • Have you been exposed to anyone with COVID-19/ Have you been near anyone who is sick?

Anyone Expressing or experiencing any sign of illness must be quarantined and sent home.

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

Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School

  • There will be several access points to protect all members of our community. Faculty, staff, and students will have different access points to the campus to ensure distancing and minimizing exposure. 

  • Routes and specific locations for entry and exit will be clearly designated to limit direct contact with others. 

  • Outdoor corridors will include arrows to direct the flow of foot-traffic.



Testing of Students and Staff

The administration will ensure that students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will receive information regarding rapid test and will have access to rapid test if they can not afford it.   

In the event that a student or staff exhibits or experiences COVID-19 Symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing): 

  • The individual will be sent home immediately and will be placed in school-site isolation room while awaiting pick-up. 

  • Any person exhibiting symptoms will be required to:

    • Quarantine for 14 days from onset of symptoms; or

    • Show a negative COVID test. 

    • Families will be given information regarding rapid testing.

In the event that a student or staff has close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case:  

  • The individual will be sent home immediately and will be placed in school-site isolation room while awaiting pick-up.

  • Anyone who has been exposed (in contact for more than 15 min) must be quarantined for 2 weeks.

In the event that a staff member or student is confirmed to have COVID-19:  

  • The local public health department will be notified. 

  • The affected individual will be quarantined for 14 days.

  • Close contacts will be identified, notified and quarantined for 14 days after the last date the case was present at school while infectious. 

  • Testing of contacts will be recommended, prioritizing symptomatic contacts.  

  • Classroom and primary spaces where case spent significant time are disinfected and cleaned

  • School or classroom community are notified.

 Staff or student tests negative after experiencing symptoms: 

  • A staff or student may return to school 3 days after symptoms resolve if they can show a negative test. 

Staff will be tested periodically to detect asymptomatic infections, as testing capacity permits and as practicable.  Our goal is to test all staff over 2 months, where 25% of staff are tested every 2 weeks, or 50% every month to rotate testing of all staff over time.

Identification and Tracing of Contacts


Parents are required to notify school if students have been exposed or have tested positive for the COVID-19.

  • To the extent we are able, we will provide contact tracing.

  • Families will be notified if we become aware that their students have been exposed.  Exposure refers to more than 15 min within 6’ of an infected person.

Family Education and Staff Training

  • Families are encouraged to screen and monitor at home:

    • Take temperatures daily and monitor children for symptoms before going to school. Anyone with a fever of 100.4°F, without fever reducer/pain relief medication, or higher should not go to a school site. Personal illness, quarantine, and COVID-19 illness or symptom-related absences will be excused. 

If respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath are present, students should stay home

Staff are requested to self-screen for respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath prior to coming to school each day.  

  • Health and safety training will be provided to staff prior to school beginning and to students at the start of the year.

  • Parents will receive information regarding policies and recommendations for keeping their students safe, including where COVID tests can be obtained.

Communication plans

  • We remain in close communication with parents, staff, and teachers, responding to parent and staff communication within 48 hours.

  • Our small community has open access to administrators 6 days a week. 

  • Updates and notifications have been sent out every other week, since the end of June.

  • A task force, consisting of parents, teacher representatives, medical professionals administrators, and Board representatives has convened throughout the summer.

  • Parent surveys eliciting responses from ⅔ of parents have been issued since Spring.

  • Teachers have been surveyed and personally contacted regarding potential concerns, throughout the summer.

  • Prior to publishing Health and safety plans, we consulted and gained input from our parent organization, teachers, and our medical professionals task force.

Triggers for Switching to Distance Learning

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

  • Adhering to the recommendations from the California Department of Public Health and consider a 14-day school closure in the event that 5 percent (or 15) of the total number of teacher/student/staff cases are within a 14-day period.

  • We will remain abreast of developing information, including the current status. 



WAIVER-OC   (pdf here)

 Covid-19 Waiver