Yeshiva Services hosted a webinar outlining what a school needs to know in order to submit to the Department of Health and the State Education Department its required plan outlining the measures it will take in reopening school. The information presented was based on the Department of Health’s guidance which was issued last week.
The two webinar panelists — Rabbi Leib Kelman of Prospect Park Bnos Leah School for Girls and Mr. Richard Altabe of the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach — shared critical aspects of their schools’ respective plans. Please recognize that some of their points were intended as possible suggestions for consideration which may or may not work well for other individual schools.
Social Distancing vs. Masks:
As far as social distancing and/or wearing masks is concerned, SED addressed this issue yesterday through a Q and A, which we have copied below: If the Governor changes this guidance, we will let you know.
Q. Do students and staff have to maintain a 6 foot distance from others at all times (NYSED Guidance p. 28)?
A. Schools must ensure that students and staff are protected by requiring at least one of the following:
Social distancing of Six Feet OR Barriers OR Face Masks/Coverings.
Schools choosing to require face masks/coverings must allow them to be removed for meals and should allow students to take mask breaks as long as they maintain social distancing. Schools choosing to utilize social distancing or barriers are strongly recommended to also encourage the use of face coverings.
The DOH guidance, however, requires that masks be worn when students are in common areas like hallways, etc.
Submission of Plans:
While SED has not yet issued its guidance for nonpublic schools and we do not expect to receive it until the end of this week at the earliest, we have been told that it will mirror the DOH guidance vis a vis health and safety issues surrounding reopening. The deadline by which a school’s plan has to be submitted to the Department of Heath is July 31. The NYS Commissioner advised that NYSED will likely extend their deadline.
Here are the 2 steps you must take to file your plan with the DOH:
Below, please find a recording of the webinar and various helpful links:
Links for some of the equipment mentioned in the webinar: