Makom Community Fall 2020 COVID-19 Safety Plan

Welcome back, we can’t wait to have you at Makom Community again! 

Student Arrival & Departure

As learners arrive at Makom Community, they will be greeted outside Makom Community by a masked staff member who will do a temperature check. As long as each child’s temperature is below 100.4 degrees fahrenheit, they will come into Makom Community. If their temperature is 100.4 degrees fahrenheit or above, we will call parents to pick them up immediately and keep them isolated (outdoors if weather permits) until parents arrive for pickup. If a child needs to wait indoors for pickup, we will use an empty classroom if one is available or have them well distanced in their classroom. 

As students come inside, they will go through these steps:

  • Temperature check outside Makom Community
  • Hand sanitizer at the door
  • Put down belongings in their classroom
  • Bathroom, if needed. Wash hands with soap and water. A staff member will monitor handwashing with a timer running for 20 seconds to support appropriate hand washing technique.
  • Return to classroom for snack & enrichment activities.

Each kevutzah will be assigned a bathroom and sink. Staff members will be assigned to them as well. 

Parent Pickup and Drop-off

Parent pickup and drop-off will be outdoors. Parents and visitors are not invited into Makom Community under this plan. On camp days when parents drop off their children at Makom Community, they will drop off outdoors at an assigned time. At drop-off, a teacher will perform a temperature check and parents will answer symptom screening questions. Pickup will be outdoors at assigned times. Camp pickup will be at the end of the day. Jewish Enrichment pickup will be at 5:15, or 5:30pm at Makom Community, and 5:45pm at Chester Arthur Elementary. We will ask parents to choose a regular time for picking up their child(ren) and call or text if they need a different time on a particular day. 

PPE for Staff

Staff will wear a surgical mask and EITHER their own glasses or safety goggles provided by Makom Community throughout the time they are working with kids– indoors or outdoors. Staff will be screened for fever, other symptoms, and COVID-19 exposure every day upon arrival. 

PPE for Students

As of July 7, 2020, Dr. Klock, medical official with the PA schools, said all children will be required to wear masks during the day. There will be breaks for masks (like during snack time). During School’s Out Camps or Distance Learning Days, we will plan mask breaks hourly into the schedule, outdoors as much as possible. Bags will be provided for masks during mask breaks. 

Cleaning Plan

We have moved from weekly professional cleaning to daily professional cleaning. We will also have staff members do additional cleaning in preparation for students to arrive each day, particularly of tables where children eat and high-touch surfaces.  We will also announce handwashing breaks throughout the afternoon as learners transition from one activity to another– before AND after eating, after 15 minutes of using a shared toy (legos or similar). 

We will limit which toys (and how many) are available to students if they are ones that are best shared. If we have shared toys out, they will be sanitized daily. 

All classrooms have their own ductless AC unit and HEPA filtration.

Social Distancing Plan

The data we currently have indicates that young children are not significant spreaders of COVID-19 and that the most significant way to keep COVID-19 from spreading at Makom Community will be to make sure our adults are staying with the same group of children and keeping our groups of children small and stable. In order to keep our groups small and stable, everyone is on a 5 day schedule. We want to acknowledge that keeping more kids on fuller schedules will mean less exposure for everyone. 


In order to keep our staffing stable, we will assign a lead and an assistant teacher to each of our K-4th grade groups (Garinim, Shorashim, and Nitzanim). Each group will have a maximum of 12 students in attendance any day of the week, with their two regular teachers. 

Student supplies 

Each student will have a container of frequently used supplies that are not to be shared. These items will be kept in each classroom and help minimize the spread of germs and keep cleaning manageable. These will be restocked weekly (and as needed).

Meal/Snack Plan

Makom Community will only provide individually wrapped snacks or snacks served by a gloved adult until we have a widespread vaccine. There will be no communal or self-serve snacks. Cutting fruit or vegetables is more of a risk than we think is appropriate to take on at this time. With our kitchen closed for the foreseeable future, we don’t see a safe way to do food prep of fresh fruit or veggies or cooking projects with children. 

Eating will be outdoors as much as possible and indoors and distanced when necessary. 

Sporting Activities

When kids play outdoors, we will wash hands upon return to Makom Community and sanitize any shared sports equipment the day it is used.

Communication Plan

As always, we want to keep parents in the loop about what is going on with their kids! We will let you know if there is a known positive case or symptoms of COVID-19 at Makom Community. We will share the age group the child is in so you have a good understanding of how likely it is that your child was (or was not) exposed. 

Parent form agreeing to inform

We will ask parents/guardians to sign a form agreeing to notify Makom Community immediately if:

  • Their child has COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Their child has come into contact with someone COVID-19-positive or presumed positive. Close contact means 15 minutes or more within a 6ft indoor distance of someone symptomatic, presumed COVID-19 positive, or confirmed COVID-19 positive.
  • Their child is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
  • Their family has traveled out of state. You can find the current (but changing) travel advisory from PA here.

Parents who knowingly do not report these issues to Makom Community are subject to their child’s removal from Makom Community programming. 

Responding to observed symptoms

If we observe a COVID-19 symptomatic child or staff member at Makom Community, they will be quarantined in our space until they can be picked up, outdoors with a staff member if possible. Parents will be called immediately. We ask that you pick up as soon as possible in this scenario. A symptomatic staff member will be sent home immediately.

In order for a student or staff member with observed symptoms to return to Makom Community, they need to stay home until it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, they have had no fever and been off anti-fever medication for 3 days, and symptoms have improved. During that time, students will have opportunities for distance learning. Staff will be asked to work from home and participate in distance learning as much as possible. 

In case of exposure

We are working very hard to keep each of our kevutzot (groups) totally separated. They will have separate storage space, restrooms to use, and not mix groups throughout the day. If a member of one kevutzah (group) reports becoming symptomatic, any child or adult who was in close contact with them within 48 hours of becoming symptomatic will be asked to self-quarantine. Everyone else will monitored for symptoms.

Contact Tracing at Makom Community

In kevutzot of 12 learners, children will be seated at tables of 4. Each table of four children will be in close proximity to one another. The other 8 children will not be in close proximity. These groups of four children will carry through the day as much as possible. 

Anytime someone (teacher or student) is sent home for symptoms, we will update all enrolled families. That update will include what group the symptomatic individual was in and whether or not they were in close contact with particular children. Our staff will be mindful of which children they are in close contact with (6 feet or less for 15 minutes or more). If a staff member is symptomatic and was in close contact with their entire kevutzah, then the entire kevutzah would need to go to distance learning for 14 days or 7 days AND a negative COVID-19 test for each individual. 

When can staff & students return  

Self-quarantine for exposure ends if after 14 days the person (staff or student) is continuously symptom-free and has not been in close contact with someone symptomatic. If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, they can return to Makom Community after it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, child has had no fever and been off anti-fever medication for 3 days, and symptoms have improved. While learners are self-quarantined, they will have distance learning from Makom Community available to them. While staff are self-quarantined, they will work and teach from home as much as possible. 

Thank you for helping to keep our Makom Community students, teachers, and families safe during this strange and stressful time. We’ll hold each other through this and undoubtedly have many stories to tell about this school year when we look back on it. 

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