In order to ensure the health and wellness of the children and adults in our community, including those who are most vulnerable because of age or underlying conditions, we all need to commit to:
The strategies described in this section are all being employed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. These core strategies include:
As you read through these strategies, you may ask yourself whether each can be implemented in a pure way, and whether some of the scenarios we plan around seem to undermine certain strategies. For instance, you may wonder why we would place desks six feet apart while still allowing students to work in groups. These are reasonable questions. The answer is that we are employing multiple layers of risk mitigation strategies. Taken as a whole, we are working to create the safest possible environment for children to learn in by ensuring proper ventilation, dividing into “pods,” wearing masks, and following social distance guidelines. Some risk, however, is inevitable when we bring students and teachers together, in person, to learn.
We believe that, given the low transmission of COVID-19 in our area at the moment, on balance it is better for children to learn in person with these protocols in place. We are prepared to pivot and alter our approach should the risk profile change.
In addition to implementing and enforcing these policies, teachers will also educate students about health and hygiene in more intensive ways than in years past. This education will happen grade by grade in developmentally appropriate ways, with an emphasis on empowerment rather than fear.
Increased Outdoor Time:
Mask Supply & Management
Each class will constitute a specific “pod” of children and 2-3 teachers; each pod will have very limited interaction with other pods or individuals. The pod system is intended to limit the number of people with whom each child/adult interacts on any given day.
Social distancing rules will be strictly observed in communal areas such as hallways. Modified forms of social distancing will also be employed in each classroom.
Classrooms: Each classroom has at least 36 square feet allocated per child in order to ensure that, whenever possible, we can meet best practices of spacing children six (6) feet apart.
Arrival and Dismissal: Arrival and dismissal will occur in three distinct groups so as to limit the number of students entering and exiting the buildings at one time and reduce the possibility of cross-exposure.
Social Distancing & Masks: Make sure your family members follow state and local guidelines and best practices for social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding large gatherings.
Staying Home (Quarantine, Self-Isolation etc.): All Beit Rabban family members must:
Birthday Parties and Class Gatherings: In addition to complying with all applicable federal, state, and local social distancing protocols, families may not host indoor birthday parties or other class gatherings this year.
Play Dates: We encourage families to arrange outdoor play dates. Even though children may be in the same pod during school hours, they are not directly exposed to each others’ family members and caregivers as they would be during an in-home play date.
Communication with School: Parents must inform Beit Rabban administration immediately in the event that a student, a student’s immediate family member, or a student’s caregiver:
Inevitably, students and staff get sick every year. We expect that most of the time, students and staff who get sick will not have COVID-19. Nonetheless, both law and logic dictate that we must be extra vigilant this year in order to ensure that anyone who manifests COVID-19 symptoms follows a clear plan to prevent transmission to others. We have designated a Health Clerk in each building to be responsible for all communication between families and the school with respect to people who become symptomatic and/or test positive. The Health Clerk will also be responsible for overseeing an Isolation Room in each campus, where the Health Clerk will wait with a symptomatic child for their parent or caregiver to take them home.
NYC DOH Regulations are referenced throughout this :
Guidelines for Isolation, Quarantine & Return to School:
Direct Exposure: This is defined by the NYS DOH to include:
○ You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.
○ You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
○ You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
○ You shared eating or drinking utensils.
○ They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.
Family Members: All immediate family members, caregivers, and others with whom you may share a residence.
Symptomatic: Displaying any of the following COVID 19 symptoms:
○ Fever or chills
○ Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
○ Muscle or body aches
○ New loss of taste or smell
○ Sore throat
○ Congestion or runny nose
○ Nausea or vomiting
SCENARIO A: Student or Staff Member is SYMPTOMATIC
Step #1: Detection:
Step #2: Doctor Evaluation:
If a student/staff member is symptomatic but a doctor is not sure whether they have COVID-19 and does not provide an alternative diagnosis, the school will consult with the doctor and medical advisory committee to determine next steps with respect to the student/staff member’s return to school.
Step #3: Return to School
a. ALTERNATIVE Diagnosis: Return to school upon meeting both criteria: (a) 48 hours fever free without fever reducing medication and (B) doctor’s clearance.
b. YES COVID-19 Diagnosis: Return to school upon meeting both criteria: (1) 10 days after onset of symptoms and (2) doctor’s clearance.
c. Diagnosis UNCLEAR: If a student/staff members is symptomatic but a doctor is not sure whether they have COVID-19 and does not provide an alternative diagnosis, the school will consult with the doctor and medical advisory committee to determine next steps with respect to the student/staff member’s return to school.
When a student or staff member has direct exposure to COVID-19 Positive Person OR Direct Exposure to Person with High Likelihood Symptoms (irrespective whether student/staff member is symptomatic or asymptomatic them self)
Step #1: QUARANTINE
Step #2: COVID-19 Test
INFORM: Inform Health Clerk immediately.
ISOLATE: Isolate as per NYS and NYC DOH regulations for 10 days from positive test results.
QUARANTINE: Pod and Family quarantine for 14 days after last exposure to COVID-19 positive student/staff member.
Inform Health Clerk immediately.
Continue to quarantine for 14 days from exposure as per NYS and NYC DOH regulations.
Neither Pod nor Family need quarantine.
Step #3: Return to School
a. Remain Asymptomatic: Return to school after quarantine or isolation period as outlined above.
b. Become Symptomatic: If a student/staff member becomes symptomatic during their quarantine, even if they test negative, SCENARIO A takes effect,and they can only return to school upon meeting both criteria: (1) 10 days after onset of symptoms and (2) doctor’s clearance.
We anticipate that individual students, teachers, and classes will be observing quarantine for different reasons throughout the school year. As long as a student is not sick, they should participate in school while home in quarantine.
Some students cannot attend school in person this year due to the pandemic. We are committed to serving each of these students as they deserve and to continuing to steward their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth. To this end, our education team is working to develop a “Zoomers” program that will combine elements of learning within their full class via remote technology, learning in pairs with other students who are either learning in person or Zooming, learning offline, and learning directly with teachers and other Zoomers in their grade.
C) Sick Days
Teachers and students who are home sick will not join class virtually. They should rest and take care of themselves as they would have before the pandemic.
All communal programs will take place on Zoom this year in order to allow for family participation while also limiting exposure. In some cases, students may participate in person from their respective classes while family members are invited to Zoom in. These Zoom programs will likely include rites of passage such as the Torah Reading Ceremony, culminations, some holiday celebrations, parent town halls, and parent-teacher conferences.
Returning to school from summer vacation is always a big transition for children. This year it is obviously an even more significant transition. In the weeks to come, you will receive an overview of our comprehensive plans to support children’s return to school. In the meantime, outlined below are 11 a few things we would like families to do in preparation for the start of the new school year. We also outline a schedule for scaffolded return to school.
A) At Home before School Starts
Please take some time over the month leading up to school to do the following with your children:
B) Start of School Ba’Binyan
Class Meet-Ups: Gan & Garinim will have one class meet-ups in Central Park (location TBD) on Thursday, September 3. If it is raining on Thursday, classes will be meeting on Friday, September 4 with the same times:
Gan Kachol: 9:00-9:30AM
Gan Sagol: 9:30-10:00AM
A) Transitioning to and from Beit Rabban Ba’Anan (distance learning)
First and foremost, we will follow all applicable laws with respect to whether school may be open. Governor Cuomo has announced that schools, once open, will be required to close should infection rates in their city hit 9% or above. No announcement has been made with respect to reopening schools once they have closed. It is our goal to remain in-person for as long as is allowed by law. However, we may decide, based on the guidance of our COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, to 13 transition to Beit Rabban Ba’Anan should circumstances within our community or region so require, even if New York City schools are legally permitted to meet in person.
B) Options for Gan Families
We will offer to all Gan students a distance learning program that is flexible and spans almost the full in-person school day. In such an event, tuition will not be adjusted for the first four weeks of Gan Ba’Anan. Thereafter, each family may choose between two adjusted tuition/program options:
In the event of a transition from in-person school to Beit Rabban Ba’Anan, all Zoomer students will join their classes' regular Ba'Anan schedules. This transition plan will be outlined in individual Zoomer plans shared with parents of Zoomer students in advance of the start of school.
D) Preparing for Beit Rabban Ba’Anan