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COVID-19

With the onset of COVID-19 restrictions ALL our programs are in the process of being re-defined as required by the CDC Guidelines and the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). Some decisions have already been made. The following is information sent to all current families (with some more current additions) on June 12, 2020:

Dear ECC Families,

We have come to the end of what has been a truly unusual school year.  We are proud of our staff for the tremendous professionalism and dedication they have shown to help our children continue to grow, learn, connect with each other, and maintain a sense of a community during this horrible pandemic. Thank you for your tremendous understanding and support.  These last three months have been a trying and unprecedented experience.  Despite our forced physical distance, our ECC and TBH-BE community has remained strong and close thanks to our commitment to each other.

We wanted to let you know we have already begun to plan for the return to school in the fall and, with guidance from our medical advisory teams and administrative task forces, we are developing protocols to guide our safe return.  To be sure, next year will bring many changes to our beloved ECC.  What will not change, however, are the gifts of a loving and professional staff, creative and fun environments for your children to play and learn, a curriculum to guide them, and a community of friends and family to help you and your children cope with the social and emotional changes we are all sure to see.

Below is an outline of some of what we know will be required for the ECC to re-open in September. The outline is based on guidelines published by the PA State Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and CDC (which we expect may change).  Based on what we know now, this outline will not vary for a “yellow” or a “green” opening considering those demarcations provide guidance for bars, restaurants, and other businesses, rather than pre-schools. We are in the process of re-certifying our entire ECC as "childcare" in the event that Montgomery County goes "yellow" again. Under "yellow' K-12 schools must close, but childcare centers can remain open.

Our Schedule
As of now the first full day of school is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1st, with the traditional ‘Meet and Greets’ held with your child’s teacher the week before. These will be scheduled carefully and will look very different than they have in the past. Plans for staff and families to meet before school starts will be sent under separate cover.

•  We are looking carefully at the calendar and determining all that needs to be done before opening. As of today, the following dates have been confirmed:

Sept 1 First Day of School
Sept 7 School Closed Labor Day
Sept 18 School Closed Erev Rosh Hashanah
Sept 28 Yom Kippur
Oct 2 No Late Care Erev Sukkot
Oct 9 No Late Care Erev Simhat Torah
Nov 3 School Closed Teacher In-service (Election Day)
Nov 25, 26, 27 School Closed Thanksgiving
Dec 24-Jan 1 School Closed Winter Break
Jan 4 School Reopens
Jan 18 School Closed MLK Day
Feb 11 Teacher In Service
Feb 12, 15 Presidents Day Wknd
Mar 25-Apr 2 School Closed for Passover
May 17 & 18 School Closed Shavuot - Holiday Coverage (TBD)
May 31 School Closed Memorial Day
Jun 10 Last day of School Noon Dismissal - Kindergarten Graduation
Jun 21 Camp Begins Summer 2021

Hours of Operation

• Right now, we expect to start the year with 7 hours of in-person daily programming for our children, from 8:15 am to 3:15 pm.  Half days will be 4 hours from 8:15-12:15 PM

• Families should expect there will not be care earlier than 8:15 am until we are able to open safely with appropriate staffing. At this time CDC guidelines require staff to keep ALL the children in the same classroom/with the same class all day.  Late Care will be offered as a 5 day package only from 3:15 to 6:00 PM while working within the CDC guidelines.  Our traditional model combines children from different classrooms for Early and Late Care.  That model will have to change under the new guidelines.

• Unfortunately, our scheduling options for families will be limited.  Children must attend either 5 full days or 5 half days (half days will be offered only for children aged 18-24 months, 2 and 3 years old only). We will not be able to offer lunch bunch (12-1 PM) or a combination of full and half days, for the foreseeable future. Due to CDC guidelines regulating class makeup, until such time as we can return to our “normal” scheduling, we unfortunately cannot be as flexible for you as we would like.

• Please review your on-line registration (link below) The form still includes Early Care and other options as were previously offered. Please review and edit any selections that will not be offered from your registration form. If and when we are able to offer these programs at a later date, we will ask you to add them at that time.

Our Facility
• We are developing a plan for the flow of people in and out of the building with screening protocols prior to entry into the school building from different entrances.  The plan will involve several protocols, possibly including staggered pick-up times to avoid back-ups. Plan for some lines in the morning - we will have three to four places for pre-screening to take place before the children are allowed in the building. There will be no car pool line. Parents will be asked to park in the LARGER of the two parking lots.

• Visitors, including parents, will not be allowed inside the school wing for the foreseeable future. Shabbat Kings and Queens, and birthday parties can be attended by families via Zoom or equivalent only.

• Reconfiguration of classrooms to limit all class sizes to a maximum of 12 children.  Infant rooms will continue with 8 children, one-year-olds with 10 children and 18-24 month classrooms with 6-8 children.  Of course, classrooms will be staffed in accordance with DHS requirements.

• Removal of excess furniture and materials in classrooms that hamper sanitization of rooms.

• Up and down staircases, directional hallways.

• The playground will be further divided and used on a strict schedule so that classes are not intermingled.

Health and Safety
• Cleaning and sanitizing of all classrooms every evening.

•  We are working to acquire adequate health and safety supplies, including masks for teachers and staff, cleaning supplies for sanitizing, thermometers for daily temperature taking, smocks for teachers and other supplies necessary to keep everyone safe and healthy.

• All children will be required to prove up-to-date vaccination in order to return to school. This will be checked daily. Once you have confirmed your enrollment for 2020-2021, you will receive an e-mail with a copy of your child's last health form and a new health form to be completed and signed by your child's physician. We MUST have this sent to the school office (att: Arlene) before the first day of school.

• Extended staff roles in the cleaning and maintenance of the classroom during the school day.

• Additional maintenance staff on hand during school hours.

• Rotation of toys throughout the week for sanitization.

• Revised health and safety policies and protocols for all signs of illness.

• The use of face masks by staff only. Children will not be required to use a face mask.

• ECC staff will be taking on additional roles to help ensure the health and safety of everyone at the ECC. All staff including substitutes will receive detailed training in advance of our reopening.

• Lunches and snacks must all come from home in disposable containers or bags. Food will no longer be prepared in the classroom.

• Toys, backpacks, purses, insulated lunch bags, water bottles, coffee carafes, and sippy cups will no longer be allowed in school for the foreseeable future. Infants and one-year-olds will, of course, be allowed to bring bottles and sippy cups as appropriate and needed.

• Crib and cot sheets will need to be washed daily - we are looking into the cost of washers and dryers to keep from requiring a “back-and-forth” of bedding between home and school.

• Staff will be trained in social-emotional support using the conscious discipline approach (see consciousdiscipline.com for more information) in order to help with the anticipated transitional and possible trauma issues we will have when children return to school under new health and safety guidelines.

• ECC staff will be retrained in AAP guidelines for diapering and cleaning up child toileting accidents.

Programing
• All classrooms will be equipped with enhanced WiFi video technology
• WiFi improvements will be made throughout the synagogue
• Specialists for art, music and movement via Zoom or equivalent
• Havdalah will be done in each classroom - Judith will continue to lead via Zoom or equivalent
• Shabbat celebrations and Friday morning Shacharit will be held in the classrooms. Mindy and Judith will continue to lead via Zoom or equivalent

Tuition and Payment Plans
• You will be pleased to hear we are freezing tuition at 2019-2020 rates.  The originally anticipated 3% tuition increase has been rescinded. Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year will be adjusted for a new 7 hour school day until the start of Summer Camp 2021.
•  New payment plans will be offered.  Details will be forthcoming.
• As noted above, we are expecting to start the year with 7 hours of in-person programming daily.  We are planning, of course, for the possibility of having to close the facility again for an extended period of time.  To provide our families with maximum flexibility, we are looking into tuition adjustments in such an eventuality. Specifically, if we have to close our school for a significant period of time (e.g., more than two weeks) due to a future government mandate with respect to Covid-19, we are hoping to provide refunds and/or credits toward future tuition to the extent any such closure occurs in 2020-2021.  Such an approach may mean we would not be able to offer distance learning.  As such, we are certainly committed to this approach for our youngest students (infant rooms, 1-year-old rooms, and 18-24 month rooms, for whom even the best distance learning can be very challenging). Distance learning WILL definitely be offered for Bright Horizons, 3-year-olds, Pre-K and Kindergarten. Programming for younger children will be planned a little differently - it may or may not look like what was provided over the past three months.
• As we look forward into the next school year, we are looking to be able to make these same commitments.  We are waiting on government programs and grants and until we have a better idea of the number of families who will be returning to ensure we will be in a position to make this guarantee to our families.
• As our budget committee finalizes its plans we will provide further details as they become available.

We recognize this is a lot of information to digest.  For that, we apologize.  However, in these uncertain times, we are hopeful you find these insights into our thought process and planning refreshing and helpful.

As always, but especially now, if you have any questions or concerns, I am happy to email with you, or speak with you via telephone (e-mail me a number and time that you can be reached).  Thank you for your continued support for our staff, for me, and for our ECC and TBHBE community.

May we all be blessed with brighter days ahead and a refuah sh’laymah, a complete healing, for the entire world.

Warmly,


Judith Mont-Scarani
Director, TBH-BE ECC

ECC registration, And Forms

On-Line Registration Form

Availability in our classrooms for the 2020-2021 school year is OPEN - enrollment will be confirmed by the Director if space is available.
CHILDREN must be up-to-date with all vaccinations to enroll.

If a flu shot is not given, a note from your child's pediatrician must be included noting that the shot was declined. This is a NEW REQUIREMENT for ALL children in the Commonwealth.
 
Camp 2020- Has Been Canceled
 
Please call the School Office
at 610-649-2277 if you have any questions.
  
ng new students for the 2019-2020 school year.
 
 
Thu, July 9 2020 17 Tammuz 5780