March 5, 2020
9 Adar 5780

Dear Parents,

In consultation with UJA Federation's Centre for Jewish Education and Jewish day schools throughout the city, we are closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation in the Greater Toronto Area.  We are working closely with community partners including the MNjcc and Toronto Public Health to stay abreast of developments that may impact our community. 

We would like to inform you of a recent development of which we were notified early this morning regarding students and faculty from TanenbaumCHAT who attended a recent Model UN conference in Montreal.  Please click here to view the letter sent to the TanenbaumCHAT community, summarized below.
  • Prior to traveling to Montreal to participate in the Model UN, two students from New York had come into contact with a NYC community member who has since been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).  
  • Public Health Montreal is NOT concerned, and their recommendation would be that no intervention is needed at this time.  
  • At this stage, NO students from New York who attended the Model UN have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, CHAT has asked that children and faculty who participated in this program stay home from school in self-isolation until they receive further guidance from Toronto Public Health.  However, Public Health in Montreal has said it is not necessary for siblings or family members to stay home.  
We became aware before the start of the school day that one of our faculty member's is in contact with a member of the CHAT delegation to the Model UN in Montreal. We took immediate precautions while we sought necessary input and advice from Toronto Public Health as well as other medical professionals who have assured us that there is no heightened public health risk arising from this level and degree of contact. 

While at the present time we have been advised by Toronto Public Health that the risk of COVID-19 to members of the Toronto community remains low, we recognize that the situation is fluid and as a result we are undertaking measures to safeguard the health and safety of our school community, including the following:  
  • We are in the process of finalizing our Pandemic Preparedness Plan, which will set forth appropriate steps to manage all aspects of school life and learning, including the allocation of appropriate resources. 
  • As part of the Pandemic Preparedness Plan, administration, faculty and staff are developing a 14-day Remote School Continuity Plan for the unlikely event that we are required to close the school for any period of time.  This will provide a plan for delivering a modified curriculum in the event of such a closure. 
  • We reviewed proper hand-washing procedures with our faculty at the staff meeting last evening. Today, each teacher will review proper hand-washing hygiene with their students using a visual guide. We have placed visual guides in classrooms and the student and faculty washrooms.
  • Ongoing communication on COVID-19 will continue by email, including any updates we receive from Toronto Public Health or any new and pertinent information, using the subject line COVID-19- community update #x.  The most recent communication from Toronto Public Health can be found by clicking here.
  • We have added a page to the "Current Parents" section of our website to archive our communications to date on the subject of COVID-19 and we will post updates and important information we received from Toronto Public Health. Click here to connect to this page on the school website.
Parents, you are crucial partners in keeping our school healthy. We urge you to consider the following: 
  • Read and adopt basic measures to protect your family's health, as provided by  Public Health Canada and the  World Health Organization.
  • Reinforce to your children the importance of washing hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water, especially prior to eating.
  • If your child is experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu, please keep them home and - if necessary - seek medical attention.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Amy Platt, PhD

Principal and Head of School

Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School

750 Spadina Avenue  2nd Floor

Toronto, Ontario M5S 2J2

P: 416.928.3537

F: 416.533.7471




Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School

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