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1) What is being done to prepare for September?

 

In March, immediately after the pandemic hit NYS, the Board of Trustees created a Covid-19 Task Force to coordinate TCS’s response. This Task Force includes the Executive Director, Director of Education, ECC Director, all members of the clergy, the TCS President, the future TCS President and other senior lay leaders. The Task Force meets weekly to monitor the changing CDC and NYS guidelines and the impact it has on all of our programs and services including the ECC.

 

From this Task Force, an Education Sub Committee and a Facilities/Operations Sub Committee were created specifically to plan for safe school and building reopening. These Sub Committees have been focused on various reopening scenarios, new health and safety protocols, sanitizing procedures and appropriate staffing to create safe environments for our children, staff and TCS members. We will continue to carefully monitor evolving guidelines and plan accordingly.

 

The ECC Director has been attending numerous webinars given by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS,) National Association for the Education of Young Children(NAEYC,) Jewish Education Project, Paradigm Project, QS2 Training and Consulting and Child Care Council of Nassau County. These webinars provide information about the most recent guidelines and discuss strategies for reopening school. In addition, the ECC Director has taken part in weekly Zoom sessions with Directors from neighboring Jewish preschools in order to exchange information and share ideas.

 

The Director of Education and ECC Teachers have also been participating in numerous webinars and Zoom sessions to gather information in preparation for September.

 

The ECC Director and Education Task Force will continue to work with the ECC Parent Committee to discuss various opening scenarios and assess parent interest and concerns.

 

2) What scenarios are being planned for (e.g. virtual learning - what will change/stay the same? If we return, what will classes look like?)

 

At this time, it is too early to determine what the ECC opening will look like as the guidelines continue to evolve. However, we remain fully committed to providing a safe environment and child-centered curriculum.

 

We are carefully monitoring the latest research and guidelines from the CDC and OCFS.  Once guidelines are set, policies and procedures will be established regarding a variety of issues including, but not limited to, screening methods for daily wellness checks, drop off/pick up routines, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, serving meals/snacks, and maintaining social distances.

 

Various classroom scenarios are being considered based on the current guidelines which allow for a maximum of 10 students in a class.* In order to follow these guidelines, the scenarios include hiring more staff and setting up additional classrooms (pending OCFS approval) or offering a hybrid model of instruction. In the hybrid model, children would spend part of their time in the classroom and part of their time engaged in virtual learning at home. While at home, children would participate in live interactive sessions with a teacher. Lessons would be carefully planned to ensure that they are developmentally appropriate and meet the needs of our very young children.

 

*On June 26, the maximum class size was increased from 10 to 15 children. If the numbers don't go down again, we expect to offer an in-person program similar to the one we have done in the past, with children coming to school Monday - Friday. 

 

3) How will tuition be affected if the first few months are virtual learning (e.g. will part of tuition be returned say, on a monthly basis, if the kids are not utilizing the 3/4/5 hour school days?)

It is impossible at this time to assess how ECC tuition will be affected given we do not know what school will look like in the fall.  However, as promised, any parent who is not interested in enrolling their child in the reimagined preschool will be entitled to a full refund before the start of the school year. We will communicate our reopening plans as soon as they are finalized over the summer and provide you with ample time to make your decision.

 

Sat, September 19 2020 1 Tishrei 5781