As Thanksgiving, long weekends, Chanukah, and Winter Break approach, and rates of positive COVID tests continue to increase, we would like to share the following information with you in our continual effort to keep our Hebrew Academy community healthy and our campus open.
This week, the CDC released new guidelines related social gatherings and travel during the upcoming winter holiday season, and recommends the following:
Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and other festive holiday meals, events, and activities with your immediate household only.
If you must have guests:
Limit the number of guests to only a few
Dine outdoors, or if you must be indoors, open the windows
Only one person should serve food
Guests should avoid food preparation areas
Buffet style eating should be avoided
Use disposable plates and utensils
Wear a mask when not eating
Practice social distancing
Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
Assess your risk of exposure as follows:
Low risk - virtual events and gatherings
Moderate risk - small outdoor in person gatherings with social distancing, wearing masks, with people who reside in the same community.
High risk - medium size in person gatherings, with social distancing, wearing masks, with guests from outside of your local community.
We encourage all families to use good judgement when selecting activities keeping in mind that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, and our community.
I understand that participating in certain activities may pose a risk to myself, my family, and our Hebrew Academy Community. My family and I do our part to protect ourselves and Hebrew Academy students and staff by wearing a mask when we are around others and avoiding risky situations that may result in exposure to COVID-19. By signing this pledge I verify that I am honest about my family’s activities and if my family has traveled, joined in social gatherings, or has participated other activities that may have resulted in exposure to COVID-19, we are obligated to stay home from school for the requisite days and/or test for COVID-19 as described in the Hebrew Academy COVID-19 Decision Tree. I further verify that if I am found to be dishonest about my family’s activities, and/or do not quarantine as required by school policy, that I am not only exposing others to COVID-19 but I am putting the enrollment of my child(ren) in jeopardy.
Students will be placed into cohorts, and cohorts will be assigned to specific zones to reduce exposure. When possible, only one cohort will be allowed to transition to activities at a time. Lockers have been removed from corridors to provide greater space for transitions. Desks will be socially distanced. Student schedules will be in blocks to reduce the numbers of times groups need to transition and teachers will rotate locations more often than students. We will have summer orientations about COVID-19 safety measures and hygiene for staff, students, and parents.
A virtual education experience will be offered for those in Grades 2-12 who are unable to attend school for health or other reasons. Hebrew Academy will equip classrooms with the highest technology possible and with the level of education they are accustomed to.
Before entering campus every student and staff member will be screened for any signs and symptoms of any communicable disease and their temperature will be taken. We recommend that families quarantine after vacation and airplane transportation.
Parents and guests will not be permitted on campus for the time being. Therapists and tutors will also not be permitted on campus. Please schedule those appointments after-school hours and off-campus. We appreciate your consideration.
If a student tests positive, the entire class/cohort should quarantine for 14 calendar days. Additionally, students and staff showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to have a COVID test. Families impacted by required quarantine will be alerted and every possible measure will be taken to respect the privacy of those who are, or may be ill.
Our Maintenance Team will clean and sanitize door handles, railings, light switches, community tables, and other high-touch areas continually during and after the school day. Drinking fountains will be eliminated. There will be staggered bathroom use and signage will be posted on the proper use of hand washing. Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and soap and water will be available to staff and students. There will be staff and student training on hand washing, sanitation, and the proper use of wearing and removing masks.
Hebrew Academy is a part of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSA). At this time, the FHSA plans to begin the 2020-2021 athletic season as usual. We will monitor our community and our student cohorts and zones to determine if following suit is the right decision for our school.
No decision has been made at this time as to the start of the After School Activities Program. We will monitor our student cohorts and zones to determine the safest time and manner to begin our after school programming.
Students may purchase a kosher hot lunch from our cafeteria, or bring a dairy or pareve brown bag lunch from home. Hot Lunch will be in the form of a packaged box lunch prepared on-site by J-Cafe, our school caterers, and will be delivered to classrooms or other designated student cohort lunch areas. There will be no late brown bag drop-off, and students will not be permitted to order food from outside restaurants. Lunch service may be in classrooms, in alternative areas on campus, and we will utilize outdoor spaces when possible.
Food Insecurity - we recognize that some families may have difficulty providing meals for their children. We want to help. Please contact our Operations Director for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hebrew Academy has long embraced the importance of instruction of the arts, humanities, STEAM, and sports. Students will have daily recess and regular PE classes outdoors. Enrichment lessons will take place in the classrooms.
The social and emotional development of our students is definitely on our minds. Students may indeed experience separation anxiety, be fearful of germs, and may experience fatigue when returning to a full day of school. We are blessed with a wonderful team of school psychologists who will work with students and staff to address these valid concerns.
In general, and usually related to inclement weather, we close when Miami Dade Public Schools close and re-open on our own timeline. That said, this is a unique circumstance. We will make decisions to close campus based on the advice of our Medical Advisory Committee, The CDC, WHO, State of Florida, and determine what is best for our school community.