Dear Senesh Families,

I hope you are having a wonderful summer, including plenty of time with family and friends. Once again we are in a strong place to open school in a way that we can keep everyone safe and continue to offer an incredible program that reflects our special mission, vision, and values. 

In this week’s Torah reading, Parashat Shoftim, we learn that a king must have his own Sefer Torah, “and he shall read from it all the days of his life … not considering himself superior to his kinsfolk, or straying from the commandments to the right or to the left” (Deut. 17:19-20). This moves and inspires me; it is an important reminder that leadership is an act of service. Quality leaders are always learning and growing, keeping perspective, and working towards success for those they serve. I am humbled to continue to lead and support our community as we begin a new year, journey through the pandemic, and prioritize the social, emotional, and academic well being of our children. The needs of our community will be at the heart of our decisions and actions. 

As we look forward to the start of school, we are excited to welcome all Senesh students into the building full time! The leadership team is already back and enthusiastically preparing for the return of our students next month, with the main goal of providing them with as much normalcy as possible. 

Although there are many specifics still being worked on, we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of our preliminary back-to-school plans related to COVID-19:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all students 12 years and over and all staff.
  • Proof of vaccination should be sent to Nurse Rivky at [email protected].

  • We will follow the school hours shared with families in June. 
  • Early bird drop off for lower school begins at 8:00am in the side school yard.
  • Drop off for lower school will be in the school yard and drop off for middle school will be through the main entrance. 
  • Parents will not need to complete the daily Magnus App. We do ask that you monitor your child’s health and keep your child home if there is any sign of COVID, e.g. headache, stomach ache, sneezing, sniffling, coughing.
  • School staff will conduct health screenings at the entrances and parents will be asked to drop students off outside of the yard/school entrance, like last year.

  • We expect to have use of the NYC school buses for transportation and will be in touch with families as specific information about bus routes and stops becomes available. All students should wear masks on the bus.
  • If carpooling, everyone should wear masks, ride with windows open, and leave space between passengers. 
  • If using public transportation, all students and parents should wear a mask, wash hands/use hand sanitizer after exiting, and leave space between people to allow for physical distancing. 

  • While we expect there will be restrictions on entry to the building for parents and visitors, we are hopeful that fully vaccinated parents will be allowed in the building for certain events and activities. 
  • Parents, please email proof of your vaccination to Nurse Rivky Nigen at [email protected]. Include your name and your child/ren’s names in the email. If you previously shared proof of vaccination with the school you do not need to resubmit.

  • As of today, the CDC and NY State and City Health Departments have recommended that masks be worn indoors for K-12. At this time, we expect all students will wear masks indoors. Guidelines for masking outdoors will be provided closer to the start of school.

  • All desks in classrooms will be spaced three feet apart.

  • We expect K-4th grade classes to be in two sections (not three pods), and middle school students to be in a variety of subject specific groupings as in past years. 
  • Students will move classrooms for different subjects. 
  • We are looking forward to using our gym, art room, beit midrash, science lab, and music space for their intended purposes. 


  • We will maintain our hygiene protocols that include routine handwashing, hand sanitizing, and respiratory etiquette.
We are continuing to monitor conditions related to COVID, the latest guidelines from the CDC and the AAP (American Association of Pediatricians), and soon to be released guidelines from the New York State Department of Health for schools as we finalize our COVID protocols regarding masking, testing, community guidelines for activities outside of school, travel restrictions, school lunch, distance learning if quarantine is necessary, and more.

We know that conditions can change quickly and we promise to do our best to keep you updated on changing plans and policies. We will share information with you throughout the month as it is available. 

**Please mark your calendars for a virtual Town Hall meeting on August 25th at 8:00pm to learn more about COVID protocols for the year ahead. Join us here for the Town Hall on August 25th on Zoom.

Here are a few important links as we look towards the beginning of the year:

I look forward to seeing you at the Town Hall and for the first day of school on Thursday, September 9th. 

Best wishes,
Nicole Nash
Head of School