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Third Trimester Reopening Information

NOTE:  Our hope is to be fully in person in the fall, but we will follow all guidelines by the state, and will not force anyone - staff or student - to be in person, if they are not comfortable.

 

 

Dear Temple Sholom Religious School Families,

COVID 19 has been a challenge to all of us, and it is not over yet. As we promised in January, we have been busy researching the best and most practicable way to offer in-person instruction to our students. We are grateful to the over 90% of parents who responded to our non-binding poll about what they would be looking for, or are comfortable with, in a return to in person schooling. In consultation with our Board of Education and our ReOpening Task Force, we have come up with the following plan for the third trimester, which begins Tuesday, March 9th for Hebrew School, and Sunday, March 14th for Religious School:

No one - student, volunteer, or faculty, will be compelled to attend in person, if they do not feel comfortable doing so.

Tuesday Hebrew School - the data we collected indicated that only 17 students, across various grades, were willing to return to in person classes on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately, that is not a large enough number of our students to create a structure for in person learning. Therefore, we will continue with virtual instruction, in the same manner that we have been doing, for Hebrew School on Tuesdays. As the weather grows nicer, we are thinking about ways to provide in-person, outside, group tutoring, for those who are willing to return, but we may need to find extra staff to support that effort.

Sunday Religious School - for Sundays, however, about half of our respondents indicated that they would be willing to attend suitably constructed in person learning. Therefore, we will go with the hybrid model - classes offered either virtual or in person, with some grade levels combined, because of the number of students and faculty. You will be offered the choice (which you need to make here: http://bit.ly/TSThirdTrimester) to attend either in person, following the rules and procedures outlined, or remain in virtual instruction. Please reply by March 5, so that we can finalize our class lists. Our goal is to be in-person, outdoors, and socially distanced for our final congregational education day this year, on Sunday, May 23rd for both virtual and in person students.

As of March 13 all Sunday classes (virtual and in person) will now be 10:30-12pm.

Any in person student can notify the school day of and switch to virtual for the day. However, due to the need for set up and room requirements, if you wish to change from an original choice of virtual to in person, you will have to contact Sandy at principal@sholomnj.org with 2 weeks notice if you would like to switch permanently from virtual to in person.  We will accommodate based on space availability.

The survey sent two weeks ago was to gain a pulse of the community. We ask you read below and fully understand the differences in selecting in person vs virtual. At the end there will be link to confirm your selection starting March 13.

In order to safeguard the health of our students, faculty, and volunteers, you will need to agree to the following procedures attend in person:

Students will be dropped off at the door designated for their class. Each student can only be dropped off at their class door, which means parents with more than one child will have to stop at different locations around the building.

A parent volunteer will be standing at the door to make sure that each student is: on the list as registered for in-person learning and that a parent has filled out the on-line pre-screening form (by 9:30am that morning). Please do not drive away from the door before your child has been admitted. Parent volunteers will also be asked to complete the prescreening.

Students must be masked from drop off to the time they are back in their car. Masks may not contain “open air filters”. Mask must fit snuggly against their face, covering their mouth and nose at all times. Masks should still be worn, even in the bathroom.

We will ask all students to use hand sanitizer as they enter the building, which will be provided.

To avoid having to pass and share, we are asking all students to bring their Religious School box, with all the materials inside each week.  We will not be lending books, pens, crayons, etc., nor will students be allowed to borrow from their classmates.

Because of the increased danger of singing, and the inability of the Cantor to move between classes, there will be no music session for in-person students. We will still be able to have music for virtual students.

There is no eating or drinking by students at any time in the building.

Each class will have a designated, co-ed, bathroom, reserved for their class alone. Teachers will allow only one student at a time to use the bathroom.  Just like a long car trip, please ask your children to use the bathroom before they leave for Religious School, so as to limit the movement within the building.

Students will be seated 6 feet apart on individual chairs though siblings may be seated together. Students may not move tables/chairs or wander the room/building at any time. Students will have assigned seating to allow us to accurately notify parents of any possible exposures.

If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or has had a fever, or cold, please let us know immediately. They can continue virtually, and return in person after following a 10 day quarantine after symptoms subside. In either case, the school will send an email to all in person families with notification of a case in the building and a notification specific if your child’s class had the exposure. At no time will any child or adult be mentioned by name. In the case of an exposure or confirmed case by anyone who has been In the building, we will revert to virtually learning for one week to allow a thorough cleaning of the building.

If your child has traveled out of state, students will need to stay home for 10 days after returning or provide a negative Covid test taken no sooner than 4 days after return. Please let us know, and your child can continue on our virtual instruction while awaiting clearance.

Third and fourth grade students WILL have art with Ellen Berman, who will be virtual.  For in-person students, Ellen will be on a screen and they will need to bring their supply box as there will be no shared supplies.

In order to accommodate all of our teacher and student requests, some classes will need to combine and some teachers will be changing. If registration follows the previous polling data, then these will be the teacher assignments:

Grades K-2: In Person - Linda

Grades 3/4: In Person - Geri

Grade 3: Virtual - Marcia

Grade 4: Virtual - Randi

Grade 5/6: Virtual - Erika/Rachel

Grade 5/6: In Person - Felicia

Please note: these decisions were made based on the numbers from the initial survey. If there is a drastic change in final sign ups, classes/teachers may change.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding that no parents unless signed up as a volunteer will be allowed in the building.

Our HVAC system allows us to set the outdoor air damper to be 100% open and run the exhaust fan. It is recommended we fully open the damper one hour prior to school to allow for the most fresh vs recirculated air. While this gives us a safety advantage, students should dress appropriately understanding the building temperature will be colder than normal now and warmer than normal as we get into late April/May. 

Finally, in order to make this as safe as possible for everyone, we will require strict adherence to distancing and mask wearing policies.  We will have a "near zero tolerance" policy. If a teacher feels that student is not and will not follow the guidelines, they will call the office. A volunteer adult will stay with the student, outside the building, while the office calls for a parent to pick up the child. Anyone who is not following the safety protocols cannot be in the building, in consideration of everyone's safety. In consideration of that child's safety, an adult will be with them, outside, at all times, until picked up. If this occurs, the child will automatically be switched to virtual for the remainder of the trimester.

As you can see, we will need parent volunteers. One for each door (3) for drop off, and (3) for pick up and 1 to assist with any concerns during school.  We would appreciate if each family sending a child to school would take 1 or 2 shifts. Please sign up here: (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4ea8a823a5facf8-religious). Having parents volunteer is essential to our being able to return to in person learning.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring and meetings with the Rabbi and the Cantor will remain virtual.  Please direct any questions to Andrea Redmount (sholomrs@sholomnj.org), the Bat/Bar Mitzvah administrator, or directly to the Rabbi or Cantor.

JU and JU Prep information will follow shortly.

Please go to this link, http://bit.ly/TSThirdTrimester, to let us know which option you are choosing for which children. At that time, you will also be electronically signing an acknowledgement and agreement of the protocols above to complete in-person registration. ONLY THOSE STUDENTS WHOSE PARENTS HAVE REGISTERED THEM FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING WILL BE ADMITTED TO THE BUILDING. The previous poll was for informational purposes only, and we said that families would not be bound by those decisions. Now that the full plan is available, we hope that you are comfortable making a definitive and informed choice.

If you have any questions on the details of reopening, please send an e-mail to our principal, Sandy Nussbaum (principal@sholomnj.org). If you have larger questions about policy, or suggestions, please reach out to Board of Education President, Marv Brander (mbrander47@gmail.com).

As we receive additional questions we will also be compiling an FAQ on the website under the school section to share answers with everyone.

Thank you again for your patience and support this year.  We look forward to welcoming many of you back soon and hopefully seeing everyone at community activities in the Spring

Sat, July 31 2021 22 Av 5781