OWHC Religious School Reopening Plan

Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation Religious School

Reopening Plan

The Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation Religious School Reopening Plan (the “Plan”) has been created in accordance with the New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance For In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“Interim Guidance”) and guidance issued by the New York State Education Department (“NYSED Guidance”).

The groups involved during the planning process are administrators, faculty, staff, and parents.

I. Reopening of in-person instruction

1. Capacity

a. The Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation Religious School (the “School”) is a supplementary Religious School for Grades K-12 that meets in the late afternoon, after public school, for Grades K-7, and in the evening, for Grades 8-12.

b. The Director of Youth Education and Family Engagement, Mindy R. Kremer, will serve as the “Responsible Party,” as defined in Interim Guidance.

c. Grades K-7 have historically met as follows:

i. Grades K-1: once a week for 1.5 hours

ii. Grades 2 and 7: once a week for 2 hours

iii. Grades 3-6: twice a week for 2 hours each day (a total of 4 hours/week)

d. This year, in order to allow for appropriate social distancing, Grades K-7 will be grouped into “cohorts”, as defined in Interim Guidance. Class times will be staggered, and each class will be divided into two groups of equal/approximately equal size, unless the class is so small that proper social distancing can be accomplished without dividing the class. Each cohort will attend school for no longer than one hour per day.

e. The Plan contemplates a Grade K-7 student body of approximately 100 students.

f. Hebrew High is offered to students in Grades 8-12, and meets one evening a week for 50 minutes. Hebrew High students attend after students in Grades K-7 have left for the day.

g. The Plan contemplates a Hebrew High class averaging 8-12 students per class.

h. All staff members, consisting, at the moment, of the Rabbi, the Cantor, the Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement, 7 teachers, and 2-4 custodians, will be allowed to return to school in-person.

i. At this time, no students will be prioritized to return to in-person instruction, either first or more frequently than others, based on educational or other needs.

j. Teachers will take daily attendance, regardless of the instructional setting.

2. Social Distancing

a. Every individual in the School should attempt to maintain at least six feet of distance from others, wherever possible, and when it is not possible to socially distance.

b. Students and faculty will be informed of the social distancing policy on the school website, and by school-wide and/or individual grade email groups, direct telephone calls, robocalls, and/or on-site signage. Other staff members are currently working in the building, are aware of the social distancing policy and are in compliance therewith.

c. Upon arrival, students will be required to stand 6 feet away from each other, and will be supervised by a responsible adult, while fellow students receive temperature checks.

d. Classroom and teachers’ desks will be placed at least six feet from each other to ensure appropriate social distancing.

e. At dismissal, students must continue wearing face coverings until they are safely inside their cars.

3. PPE/Face Coverings

a. Face coverings are required to be worn at all times by every individual entering the school, unless otherwise inadvisable in accordance with Interim Guidance and NYSED Guidance.

b. Students and faculty will be informed of the face covering policy on the school website, by email, direct telephone calls, robocalls, and/or signage. Other staff members are currently working in the building, are aware of the face covering policy and are in compliance therewith.

c. Students, faculty and staff will be trained on respiratory hygiene, including the proper way in which to wear a face covering.

d. Faculty and staff will be provided with face coverings, and additional face coverings will be kept on hand, to be used in the event that a student forgets to bring a face covering.

e. “Mask breaks” will be given in accordance with Interim Guidance and NYSED Guidance.

4. Operational Activity

a. The School’s educational alternatives for the coming year are:

i. In-person learning:

1. For students in Grades K-2 and 7, classes will meet once a week, with each class lasting no more than an hour; and

2. For students in Grades 3-6, classes will meet twice a week, with each class lasting no more than an hour;

ii. A hybrid model (a combination of in-person and remote learning):

1. For students in Grades K-2 and 7, classes will meet in-person once a week; and

2. For students in Grades 3-6, classes will meet in-person once a week and be held remotely once a week, with each class lasting no more than an hour; and

iii. Remote learning

b. At this time, the School intends to begin the school year using a hybrid model. The School may move to one of our alternative models in the discretion of the Board of Education, as circumstances warrant.

c. Siblings in different grades will be assigned to the same time slot, to the extent possible.

d. School-wide in-person activities will be eliminated during the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Such activities may be adapted and offered virtually.

e. Alternative schedules or hybrid instruction may be offered to students requesting same, at the discretion of the School’s Board of Education and Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement.

5. Restart Operations

a. Plans to safely reopen facilities and grounds, such as cleaning and disinfection, will be implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) and state and local authorities in existence at that time.

6. Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection

a. School-wide cleaning and disinfection of classrooms, restrooms, and all other school facilities will be implemented in accordance with the requirements of the CDC and state and local authorities in existence at that time.

b. All individuals in School facilities and on School grounds will be trained in hand and respiratory hygiene, and such hygiene will be promoted daily.

c. Hands-free antibacterial hand gel stations are located at the School’s main entrance and at the entrance to the Main Sanctuary. Individuals will be encouraged to disinfect their hands upon arriving at either entry.

7. Extracurriculars

a. The School does not offer extracurricular activities.

8. Before and Aftercare

a. The School does not offer before or aftercare programs, as such programs are contemplated within the meaning of Interim Guidance.

9. Vulnerable Populations

a. Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals in vulnerable populations, including students, faculty and staff who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, and individuals who may not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. Such accommodations may include, but are not limited to, remote learning or telework, modified educational or work settings, or providing additional PPE to individuals with underlying health conditions, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

10. Transportation

a. The School does not offer transportation.

11. Food Services

a. The School does not offer food services.

12. Mental Health, Behavioral, and Emotional Support Services and Programs

a. This section is inapplicable to the School, since, as an afternoon supplementary school meeting for two hours per week, at most, the School does not offer mental health, behavioral and emotional support services or programs. Notwithstanding same, the Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement has historically, as a matter of course, contacted the parent/legal guardian of any child who has seemed particularly upset on any given school day, in order to alert the parent, determine whether the parent is aware of what is causing the child’s upset, and offer to help in any way possible, and will continue to do so.

13. Communications

a. The School will communicate with parents/legal guardians of students, faculty, staff, and visitors through the school website, and by school-wide and individual grade email groups, direct telephone calls, robocalls, and/or on-site signage.

b. Such communications will include, but not be limited to, plans for the upcoming school year, cohort schedules, an explanation of new policies created as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, e.g., social distancing, PPE, proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and signage, and any instruction or training required with respect thereto.

c. Parents should contact the Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement, Mindy R. Kremer, and/or their children’s teachers, with questions regarding instruction and technology.

14. Facilities

a. The School will conduct mandatory safety drills in a manner that maintains social distancing, while still preparing students to respond to emergencies.

II. Monitoring

1. Screenings

a. Daily temperature checks of students, faculty, staff, and, where applicable, of anyone entering the school entrance during school hours will be taken by a contactless thermometer.

b. If an individual presents a temperature of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the individual will be denied entry into the building. In cases where a student is dropped off and unable to leave immediately, the parent/legal guardian will be called and asked to pick up the student immediately. If a parent or legal guardian cannot be reached, the emergency contact(s) designated on the School’s Emergency Authorization Form will be called. The student will be isolated in a dedicated area, with supervision, prior to being picked up. Anyone supervising such a student will receive appropriate PPE.

c. Daily screening questionnaires will be given to all faculty and staff. Periodic questionnaires will be sent to students’ parents, enabling those students who may require the assistance of a parent/legal guardian to answer accurately.

d. Remote health screening before any individual reports to school will be performed by electronic survey.

e. Staff will be instructed to observe students and other staff members for signs of illness and report symptomatic individuals to the Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement.

f. Parents/legal guardians will be instructed, by written communication, robocalls, direct telephone calls and/or signage, to observe for signs of illness in their children that require staying home from school.

2. Testing Protocols

a. Individuals who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, are close contacts of COVID-19 suspected or confirmed individuals, and individuals who recently traveled internationally or within a state that has widespread transmission of COVID-19, as designated through the New York State Travel Advisory, will be advised to contact their health care providers in order to be tested for COVID-19, prior to being allowed to return to school.

3. Testing Responsibility

a. Individuals will be referred to their respective health care providers for information regarding the identification of who in the community is responsible for referring, sourcing and administering COVID-19 testing.

4. Early Warning Signs

a. The School will follow the metrics established by state and local governments and health departments in determining what constitutes an early warning sign that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

III. Containment

1. School Health Offices/Isolation

a. As a supplementary school meeting, at most, twice a week, the School has neither a formal “health office” nor nursing or other medical staff.

b. If a student develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, a staff member will call the student’s parent/legal guardian and advise that the student must be picked up from school immediately. The staff member will further advise that the student’s health care provider be contacted for follow up, and inform the parent/legal guardian that the student will not be allowed to return to School until after the student is tested for COVID-19 and either: i. tests negative and provides proof of a negative COVID-19 test; or ii. completes a period of 14 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms, fully recovers, provides proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and is unable to transmit COVID-19. If the staff member cannot reach a parent or legal guardian, he/she will call the emergency contact designated on the School’s Emergency Authorization Form. The student will be isolated in a dedicated area, with supervision, until picked up. Anyone supervising such a student will receive appropriate PPE.

c. If a faculty or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, the individual will be sent home immediately and advised to call his/her health care provider for follow up. The individual will not be allowed to return to School until after the individual is tested for COVID-19 and either: i. tests negative and provides proof of a negative COVID-19 test; or ii. completes a period of 14 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms, fully recovers, provides proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and is unable to transmit COVID-19.

d. If an individual presents a temperature of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or screens positive via responses to a questionnaire, the individual will be denied entry into the building and advised to call his/her health care provider for follow up. The individual will not be allowed to return to School until after the individual is tested for COVID-19 and either: i. tests negative and provides proof of a negative COVID-19 test; or ii. completes a period of 14 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms, fully recovers, provides proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and is unable to transmit COVID-19. In cases where a student is dropped off and unable to leave immediately, the parent/legal guardian will be called and asked to pick up the student immediately. If a parent or legal guardian cannot be reached, the emergency contact(s) designated on the School’s Emergency Authorization Form will be called. The student will be isolated in a dedicated area, with supervision, prior to being picked up. Anyone supervising such a student will receive appropriate PPE.

e. Returns to School after illness or quarantine will comply with CDC guidance and be coordinated with the local health department.

2. Collection

a. When called to pick up a child under this section, a parent/legal guardian/emergency contact will be advised as to how and where to pick up the child. Upon pick up, the supervising staff member will again instruct that the child must be seen by a health care provider.

3. Infected Individuals

a. Any student, faculty or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 must complete a period of 14 days of isolation and have recovered, provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and be unable to transmit COVID-19 prior to returning to in-person learning, teaching, and/or employment. Discharge from isolation and return to School will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

4. Exposed Individuals

a. Any student, faculty or staff member who has been exposed to COVID-19 and is not experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms must complete a 14 day period of self-quarantine and not have developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning, teaching, and/or employment. Discharge from quarantine and return to School will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

b. Any student, faculty or staff member who has been exposed to COVID-19 and is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, must complete a period of 14 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms, have recovered, provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and be unable to transmit COVID-19 prior to returning to in-person learning, teaching, and/or employment. Discharge from quarantine and return to School will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

5. Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

a. The School will adhere to, and promote, the hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection guidelines set forth by the New York State Department of Health and the CDC, including strategies for cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas and appropriate notification to occupants of such areas.

6. Contact Tracing

a. The School will inform state and local health departments of positive COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff and will otherwise support local health departments in contact tracing efforts, as required by the New York State Contact Tracing Program.

b. The School will provide local health departments with contact information for School families, as needed, and as consented to by said families.

7. Communication

a. The School will share COVID-19 related protocols and safety measures taken with all relevant parties, including parents/legal guardians, faculty, staff, students and the local community, through the School website, and by school-wide and/or individual grade email groups, direct telephone calls, robocalls, and/or on-site signage.

IV. Closure

1. Closure Triggers

a. The School will follow New York State directives given to public schools with respect to identifying the conditions that may warrant reducing in-person education or closing the school, in consultation with state and local health departments, and planning for an orderly closure.

2. Operational Activity

a. As the School is a supplementary school offering Hebrew and Jewish education only, in-person education is the only operation to be decreased, ceased, and/or offered remotely. The determination of whether to decrease or cease in-person education and offer same remotely will be determined by adherence to the directives given by New York State to public schools.

b. Any decrease or cessation of in-person education will be communicated to parents, faculty and staff by the Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement.

3. Communications

a. If in-person education is reduced or ceased, parents, faculty and staff will be notified by email, as soon as practicable after the decision to reduce or cease same is made, followed thereafter with a notice on the school website, and direct telephone calls, robocalls, and/or on-site signage.