COVID-19 Update

 

August 14, 2020

As of yesterday the Los Angeles Department of Public Health has made changes to their regulations which impact us. Now all children two years of age and older must wear a mask at school. They may take off their masks for eating and drinking and they are exempt from wearing a mask with a doctor's note.

 

Beginning tomorrow we must require that masks be worn by each student on campus. Please make sure that the mask(s) are clearly labeled when you send them. You may wish to send a few extra to be kept in your child's cubby. 

 

We understand that this transition may be a challenge, especially for our youngest students. We will do our best to offer patient guidance and support for all of our students as we learn a new way of being at school. Any child who does not have a mask may not enter school. I have added a link below to an article for encouraging toddlers to wear masks.

 

There has also been another change that I want to share with you. Classes are now allowed to expand to groups of 12. We will allow enrollment up to 12 children for all classes. 

Click this link to read an article about how to encourage toddlers to wear masks.

https://www.adventhealth.com/blog/tips-getting-toddlers-wear-masks?listFilters=query%3Dtips%2Bfor%2Bgetting%2Btoddlers%2Bto%2Bwear%2Bmasks%26cat%3Dglobal

In addition to following extensive guidelines put forth by the Department of Public Health, we have put the below bullet points together that we expect parents and staff to read and adhere to. Please keep in mind, as local and state guidelines change, B’nai Simcha will continue to adapt. The following protocols were updated August 14, 2020:

 

B’nai Simcha Covid-19 Protocols: 

  • All adults and children ages 2+ must wear a mask at all times, unless the child is eating/drinking/napping. Only children with a medical condition/Doctors note will be exempt. Please leave an extra mask in your child’s cubby and label their masks. 

  • We have made plans to allow for outdoor play daily for each class.  We will not be doing any activities with multiple classes together. All four classes are completely separated and do not interact with one another. 

  • All children and staff will be washing/sanitizing their hands multiple times a day.  

  • If an adult needs to accompany their child to class we ask that this be limited to one parent.

  • Drop off/pick up will be in the corridor, in front of school and we will mark off six-foot sections to maintain social distancing. This is where we will take temperatures, sign in, and take children to class. Each class has a separate entrance. Kids will sanitize their hands when entering the class. Each class also has access to completely separate bathrooms.

  • All classrooms will not exceed more than 12 children per LA Country Department of Health guidelines.

  • Each classroom and toys will be cleaned/sanitized thoroughly daily.

  • Fever is defined as a temperature of 100 and above.  All staff, parents and students will be scanned for temperature at arrival and throughout the day.  If a child has a temp of 99.9 and above we will isolate the child and call for their immediate pick up.  If a fever of 100 or higher is present, that person must leave school immediately and may not return until they are either 12 days fever free, have proof of a negative test for COVID-19 or a doctor's note stating it was another virus or infection (i.e. strep throat, ear infection, etc.). Staff who have a 99.9 or above temperature are also required to follow the same guidelines. 

  • Children with a cough will be closely monitored, we do understand that coughs occur for many reasons, as do many other symptoms, at this time we are hyper aware of any Covid symptoms and we will be airing on the side of caution. Children who have any vomiting or diarrhea should not attend until they have recovered and the incident free for 24 hours or more. 

  • We expect that should you travel, you will let us know and possibly self-isolate for 14 days upon return or take a test to confirm you are not infected.  Should you be exposed to the Covid-19 we ask you to self-report and isolate for 14 days. The use of any fever reducing medication prior to attending school is not allowed.  If you have knowingly send a sick child to school, you will be asked to leave our school permanently. We take the well-being of our community very seriously and we ask you to join us in making every effort to reduce exposure not participate in risky behavior and keep our community healthy.

July 23, 2020

 

Dear B’nai Simcha Families,

 

I would like to take a moment to apologize for all the confusion over the last week. Last Friday, I made a decision to close our school, informed by two events. The first, was a public announcement by the Governor, and the second was a general notice that all schools received from the County regarding higher rates of infection and the potential need to close.

 

At that time I needed to further understand what the public safety demands were. Since then, I have made contact with Public Health, State Licensing and other authorities to clearly understand our role and responsibilities. What I understand now is that we are absolutely allowed to be open. As an early childhood education site and a daycare, we have clearance to be open and educate. There are only two reasons why B’nai Simcha would need to officially close in the future. The first is if there was a state or city-wide “Safer-at-Home” order that was mandated (which is unlikely at this point). The second, would be if we had an incident of COVID-19 directly linked to the school. In this case, the Department of Health would contact our families and we would close for up to two weeks as any possible cases were investigated. This is the reason that our classes are limited to no more than ten children and limited staff. It is also why we do not share public spaces and why we limit any crossover of others within a cohort. Therefore, if there was a case of infection, those who were impacted would be as few as possible; should a case of COVID-19 occur at the school the goal is that it would only directly impact one class and not our entire school. It is also why we are so vigilant about keeping clear boundaries. 

 

With the exception of the above two occurrences, B’nai Simcha plans to remain open from next Monday, July 27th, on. It is very helpful for all of us to have a clear understanding of our guidelines and have a predictable and dependable plan for the future, where you can count on your school being open and available to your family. 

 

I would like to acknowledge that there are those who strongly feel that we should not be open; that we should not be a contributor of spreading the virus and that no matter how careful we may try to be, the chance of infecting someone in our community is still a possibility. I understand and respect that perspective. Ultimately, I had to make a decision with all of the available information and I strongly considered the needs of our diverse community.

 

We want you to know that we take this pandemic very seriously and we are doing everything in our power to operate responsibly and above the expectations of health and licensing guidelines for safety and cleanliness. 

 

In keeping with clear communication and understanding of our policy, we are also adding the following protocol into our sick policy for both children and staff: If a fever of 100 or higher is present, that person must leave school immediately and may not return until they are either 12 days fever free, have proof of a negative test for COVID-19 or a doctor's note stating it was another virus or infection (i.e. strep throat, ear infection, etc.). 

 

We have also had the opportunity to review some of the responses from our recent survey. A majority of you stated you want our school open, you want your children at school and you are willing to work together to make our school as safe and productive as possible. We heard you, and as a result of your responses should B’nai Simcha be closed in the Fall by one of the two scenarios we described above, we would give a 20% discount on tuition impacted by a closure. The survey results will be shared in more depth next week.

 

In the time we have taken this week to do our research and due diligence, we have also learned that we are in good company, as nearly all of our local preschools are also returning to in-person teaching. 

 

As we do plan to remain open, we really need to hear from you about your plans. We are offering both in person and virtual programming. I do understand how difficult this decision is, we also must make our plans for the Fall. Enrollment for current families will close within one week. The last day that we can guarantee your spot is Friday, July 31. Please return all enrollment paperwork and fees as soon as possible. If you want to enroll your child in our virtual program, please state that as well. That will be completely separate enrollment and programming from our in-person preschool. Our virtual program will offer time online for “classes”, individual one on one sessions with students, and, also packets of work and projects to keep busy minds active. 

 

In the first two weeks of opening Summer Simcha we became comfortable with the new rhythms of integrating the safety measures and learning how to have a productive program while doing all we could to protect everyone in our community to the best of our ability. When we return to school next Monday, July, 27th we are also going to allow personal, reusable, lunches and water bottles. You may send your child’s lunch and snack in their lunch boxes and it will go home with our students daily. We encourage sanitizing their personal belongings daily. In addition, an email will follow shortly to those enrolled in Summer Simcha with further information. 

 

We are also planning for daycare. Please take a moment to send an email to Jen Director@bnaisimcha.org or Joan office@bnaisimcha.org to let us know what type of daycare you prefer. Please tell us your ideal schedule for your child including daycare hours from 7:30-5:45 daily. This is also very important as staffing must be planned with more care than ever before as we must keep children separated into cohorts for daycare, a new safety measure that makes planning a challenge. 

 

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your patience and support. This new world demands a greater level of care and consideration. Navigating it has certainly been a complicated and challenging journey. I appreciate how wonderful our families have been as we find our way forward. All of the staff at B’nai Simcha is dedicated to our students and their families. It is our goal to provide the best possible education for our students and continue to enjoy our beautiful community. 

 

I am happy to answer any questions or concerns and I look forward to seeing many of you in person. 

Best Wishes, 

Jen Leonard

June 19, 2020

We will be opening slowly and with caution following all state and local requirements and guidelines for keeping our community healthy.  The first two weeks of our opening we are only offering a morning program.  Our temporary hours for this time will be 8:45am-1:00pm. After this time, we will re-evaluate to see about expanding to day care and full time school. Your needs and wants are very helpful in determining expanding our hours, please let us know what your families’ needs and wants are as we move ahead.

 

Below is a list of precautions we are taking:

  • ALL ADULTS MUST WEAR A FACE MASK at all times on campus.  Children are not expected to wear masks.

  • We have made plans to allow for outdoor play daily and also water play for each class.  We will not be doing any activities with multiple classes together. Teachers will wear masks and we have designed and created a special mask that has a clear portion so children can see them smile. 

  • All children and staff will be washing/sanitizing their hands multiple times a day.  

  • If an adult needs to accompany their child to class we ask that this be limited to one parent.

  • Drop off will be in the corridor, in front of school and we will mark off six-foot sections to maintain social distancing. This is where we will take temperatures, sign in, and take children to class. Each class has a separate entrance. At that time we will use hand sanitizer when entering class.  Each class also has access to completely separate bathrooms.

  • We ask that for the first two weeks each child bring a totally disposable lunch and water bottle. We can refill these, or you can send two or more to be kept for your child. Please label these with your child’s name. Please do not send more than 4 bottles. With the exception of the Teddy Bear students, who we ask to bring a water bottle to be left at school.  (Teachers will be deep cleaning these regularly.)

  • We will provide a daily snack of fresh fruit and/or vegetables.  If you would like to send an additional item for your child to eat at snack time, please send it in a disposable bag, labeled as “snack.” 

  • Please make sure you have applied sunscreen to your child prior to entering school.  If needed, we will reapply. 

  • Each classroom and toys will be cleaned thoroughly daily.

  • Fever is defined as a temperature of 100 and above.  All staff, parents and students will be scanned for temperature at arrival and throughout the day.  If a child has a temp of 99.9 and above we will isolate the child and call for their immediate pick up.  We will not allow a return to school until there is a solid two-day  (48 hour) period of no fever or a negative for Covid-19 test.  Staff who have a 99.9 or above temperature are also required to follow the same guidelines. 

  • Children with a cough will be closely monitored, we do understand that coughs occur for many reasons, as do many other symptoms, at this time we are hyper aware of any Covid symptoms and we will be erroring on the side of caution. Children who have any vomiting or diarrhea  should not attend until they have recovered.

  • We expect that should you travel, you will let us know and possibly self-isolate for 14 days upon return or take a test to confirm you are not infected.  Should you be exposed to the Covid-19 we ask you to self-report and isolate for 14 days. The use of any fever reducing medication prior to attending school is not allowed.  If you have knowingly send a sick child to school, you will be asked to leave our school permanently. We take the well-being of our community very seriously and we ask you to join us in making every effort to reduce exposure not participate in risky behavior and keep our community healthy.

626-765-9831

1434 N. Altadena Drive
Pasadena, CA 91107

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