Dear Senesh Parents:
In the past 11 months we all - individually and collectively - adhered to new restrictions and protocols to keep our community safe and our children learning in-person. We have all missed birthday parties, family celebrations, indoor playtime with friends, and even gathering together for difficult moments such as funerals and shiva.
Unfortunately, we are experiencing a rapidly evolving COVID situation. While we are heartened by the positive news about vaccinations, we have also seen a significant increase in COVID cases and the presence of new, more contagious COVID strains in New York City in the past few weeks.
At this time, we are not able to relax in our adherence to community guidelines. Based on the increase in cases and new strains, we need to recommit ourselves to our safety protocols to keep each other healthy and to keep our doors open to in-person learning.
Due to the increases in cases and variants, families are required to follow these updated community guidelines both inside and outside of school. We will revise these guidelines as needed on March 1 based on the evolving COVID data at Senesh and in NYC. The revised guidelines are as follows:
- Wear masks and social distance when with people outside your household at all times.
- Wash/sanitize your hands often.
- Playdates for lower school and middle school children may only be outdoors and must be masked at all times.
- Middle School students should not gather as a group in settings with tenting, (i.e. the Pizza shop) which creates an enclosed space.
- Sleepovers are not allowed at this time.
- Birthday parties are only allowed if outside, masked, distancing supervised by parents, and snacks individually wrapped and taken home to avoid removing masks while with the group.
- Indoor after school classes/sports outside of school are not allowed at this time.
- All indoor group gatherings including multi-family get-togethers are not allowed at this time.
- Students who travel to NY State from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, are mandated to quarantine for 10-days prior to returning to school. The school is not able to accommodate families who decide to travel to join school remotely during the quarantine. Asynchronous work will be provided by the faculty for these families.
We are mindful that parents have begun to travel out of state for work and may have family from abroad come to visit. In these cases, families required to follow the NY State requirements. If traveling to New York State from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, a mandatory 10-day quarantine are required unless:
- Travelers obtains a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York;
- The traveler, upon arrival in New York, quarantines for three days; and
- On day four of their quarantine, the traveler obtains another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
As a school we remain committed to:
- Continuing weekly surveillance testing.
- Conducting daily temperature checks.
- Maintaining physical distancing and mandatory mask-wearing in school.
- Following enhanced hygiene and sanitation protocols.
- Managing all COVID positive and direct exposure cases of students and staff.
Please remember that every action you take impacts every child and staff member in our school.
We understand the challenges these guidelines pose, and we will revise them as needed on March 1 based on the evolving COVID data at Senesh and in NYC.
As we look ahead toward February break
- Families are expected to abide by all of the above guidelines during that break.
- We do not currently have plans to switch to distance learning following the break.
- We will continue to monitor our school and NYC COVID data and only do a temporary switch to Senesh@Home Distance learning if it is deemed necessary for the safety of our community.
- Students who travel to a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, will be mandated to quarantine for 10-days prior to returning to school. The school is not able to accommodate families who decide to travel to join school remotely during the quarantine. Asynchronous work will be provided by the faculty for these families.
As we look ahead to Passover break
- We know families are starting to think about Passover travel. We are monitoring the evolving data and will be in touch March 1 with details about Passover break.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and support,