Thank you for continuing on this journey with us this year! We are excited to welcome back kiddos inside Makom Community. We stand in solidarity with our public school teachers and their union working hard not to return to unsafe classrooms. This safety plan represents our privilege in teaching from a recently updated building as a space where we can reasonably make COVID-19 safety a priority. This is the most updated version of our safety plan to reflect changes since the fall.
New Additions to our Safety Plan
- There will only be two or fewer kevutzot (groups) at Makom Community each day.
- Temperature checks at home. Our thermometers don’t work well on cold foreheads. Please take your kiddo(s) temperature at home and keep the home if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees fahrenheit.
- Pick up and Drop off at Makom Community will continue to be on Ionic Street for all kevuotzot.
- Students will be seated at a tables of 2 students per table for better indoor distancing.
- Tefilah will continue to be outdoors. Please send your kiddo(s) with appropriate layers for outdoor activities even though they will also be indoors about an hour a day.
Student Arrival & Departure
For the Chester Arthur walking group, a teacher in a surgical mask will pick up a group of students. Pickup and dropoff at Makom Community is on Ionic Street. Whether you drop off at Chester Arthur or at Makom Community, you can expect a teacher to ask screening questions about your household/pod.
As students come inside, they will go through these steps:
- 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 enrichment activities.
Each kevutzah (group) will be assigned a bathroom. Staff members will be assigned to the same bathroom as their students .
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
All children will be required to wear masks during the day. Please send your child with at least one backup mask. Please use a mask that has ear loops or ties behind the head and has a minimum of two layers. Neck gaiters are only one layer and have no ear loops. Please save those for when you are not at Makom Community.
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 and high-touch surfaces. We will also announce handwashing breaks throughout the afternoon as learners transition from one activity to another and 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.
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.
As of February 16, 2021, we will only have two kevutzot at Makom Community on any given afternoon. Weather permitting, classes will only be inside roughly 1 hour a day. We will prioritize holding Tefilah and gross motor activities outdoors.
We have structured the schedule so that kevutzot at Makom Community each day are coming from as few households as possible to limit exposure. Each child will be seated at a table with only one other child. Each table will be at least 6ft from the next table. Our expectation is that each child is only in close contact with their one tablemate. There will be no more than 4 staff members on site each class day.
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 Nizanim). Each group will have a maximum of 12 students in attendance any day of the week, with their two regular teachers. Having only two kevutzot in the building each day will also limit the total number of adults in the space.
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).
In order for kiddos to keep their mask on during the duration of their time at Makom Community, we will not be providing snack during Jewish Enrichment. We look forward to resuming snack when it is safe to do so.
When kids play outdoors, we will wash hands upon return to Makom Community and sanitize any shared sports equipment the day it is used.
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.
By sending your child(ren) to Makom Community programming, parents are agreeing to:
- Perform a daily temperature check before sending their child to Makom Community.
- Notify Makom Community immediately if their child has COVID-19 symptoms.
- Notify Makom Community immediately if 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 or outdoor 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.
Parents who knowingly do not report these issues to Makom Community are subject to their child’s removal from Makom Community programming.
If someone begins not feeling well at Makom Community or symptoms are observed:
If we observe a child or staff member who is symptomatic with a fever 100.4 or higher or any two other COVID-19 symptoms, they will be quarantined in our space with a staff member, outdoors if possible, until they can be picked up. 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 case of exposure
We are working very hard to keep each of our kevutzot totally separated. They will have separate storage space, restrooms to use, and not mix groups throughout the day. If a member of one kevutzah 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 be monitored for symptoms.
Contact Tracing at Makom Community
In kevutzot of 12 learners, children will be seated at tables of 2. Each table of two children will be in close contact with one another. The other 10 children will not be in close contact. These groups of two 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) both indoors and outdoors. If a staff member is symptomatic and was in close contact with their entire kevutzah, then the entire kevutzah would need to go to remote 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.