Dear Senesh Parents:

We are grateful to all of you for being our partners as we navigate COVID mitigation measures while continuing to prioritize the health of our community, the wellbeing of our children, and the educational program for our students. 

As we transition to a point where we coexist alongside COVID in our school, we are grateful to the 131 parents who shared their feedback and thoughts in our recent COVID survey. We also gathered feedback from our staff to ensure all voices are a part of our decision making process. 

As you can see from the graph below that details the number of Senesh COVID cases in the past few months, we are happy to share that our school’s COVID data aligns with the significant decline in COVID cases in NYC. This data is also critical to our decision making process.
Learnings from the Parent Survey:

  • Continue morning health screenings: 56% of parents strongly agree or agree, 16% are unsure, and 28% disagree or strongly disagree

  • Continue weekly testing of students and staff: 44% of parents strongly agree or agree, 20% are unsure, and 36% disagree or strongly disagree

  • Follow CDC vaccine recommendations: 80% of parents strongly agree or agree, 10% are unsure, and 10% disagree or strongly disagree

  • Arrange our classroom desks together in clusters to allow for more group work: 91% of parents strongly agree or agree, 5% are unsure, and 4% disagree or strongly disagree

  • Implement optional mask wearing outdoors: 87% of parents strongly agree or agree, 8% are unsure, and 5% disagree or strongly disagree

  • Implement optional mask wearing indoors: 55% of parents strongly agree or agree, 18% are unsure, and 26% disagree or strongly disagree

  • Invite parents to attend in person school events if vaccinated and masked: 92% of parents strongly agree or agree, 3% are unsure, and 5% disagree or strongly disagree

NEW: *Adapted COVID protocols starting February 28th*

Based on NYS and NYC school mandates, our own school data of COVID cases, and the 100% vaccination status of our students and staff, we will adapt our COVID protocols upon return from February Break on Monday, February 28:

  • We will implement optional mask wearing outdoors. Those that have tested positive for COVID and return to school after a five day isolation will wear a mask outdoors on days 6-10.

  • All classroom desks will be arranged in clusters to facilitate increased group work and collaboration among our students.

  • We will invite parents to attend in person school events if vaccinated and masked.

  • We will resume outdoor field trips and are planning for all three spring middle school overnight trips (6th-Teva Learning Center, 7th-Washington DC, and 8th-Israel).

  • As we adapt our mitigation strategies at school we will continue to conduct morning health screenings at arrival and weekly testing to ensure we carefully monitor student health during this period of transition.

  • Household close contacts only: Students can attend school. We will implement Test to Stay (TTS), daily rapid tests on days 1-5 after last exposure.

Looking ahead to being mask-optional indoors:

  • We look forward to implementing an indoor mask-optional policy when it is permissible under NY State and City regulations. Indoor mask-wearing in schools is still required by the NY State Department of Health and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 

  • New York Governor Hochul stated that in early March she will make an assessment regarding masks in schools based on the latest metrics. We will continue to keep you updated as more guidelines are determined and released. 

  • Our hope is the vaccine will be available soon to children under the age of 5 as we know this is a concern for some families in our community with younger children.

  • We expect there will be staff and students who will continue to wear masks. Our faculty will partner with parents and students so everyone is supported in their personal choice.

We are grateful to you, our community, for embracing the safety measures designed to keep our community healthy and our students in school. While we work towards a further return to normalcy, we will continue to monitor the health of our community and local data so that we remain prepared to make the best decisions.

Thank you for your support, patience, and trust.

In partnership,

Nicole Nash
Head of School