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Campus Reopening Plan

We were made aware on Sunday, November 15, that a student in the second grade has tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the student was in school was Wednesday, November 11. On Tuesday, November 17, we were made aware that a teacher in the second grade has tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the teachers was in school was on Friday, November 13. The cases has been reported to the Oakland County Health Division.

Second Grade students are expected to quarantine until November 27, 2020. 

All students ECC-Grade 8 will pivot to remote instruction on Monday, November 19-December 5. All students will resume in-person learning on Monday, December 7. 
Dear Hillel Community:

We are pleased to present Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit’s Path for Reopening.

The plan is the result of months of painstaking deliberation, with the safety of our precious students, faculty, and community at the forefront of our decision-making process, in consultation with governmental and medical professionals, along with valuable input from you, our parents.

As you read through the many sections of this plan, I ask you to reflect deeply on the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, our school’s namesake, found in Pirkei Avot:  
 
אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי?
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  If I am only for myself, what am I?  
And if not now, when?” 

These three rhetorical questions are not intended to be read independently, one from one another; rather, they are inseparably linked together. Taken together, they teach us to always be mindful of the fact that not only are we responsible for protecting our individual health and safety, but we are equally responsible for protecting everyone within our community, now and for all time. This lesson was the guiding spirit in the creation of this plan.

The Path for Reopening describes three academic models that we are prepared for: in-person, remote, and flexible. It also enumerates every precaution that will be taken when we are on campus. As a school community, we are also inspired by the ancient teaching of Rabbi Akiva who says, also in Pirkei Avot:
 
.חביב אדם שנברא בצלם
”Beloved is humankind, for it is created in the image [of God].” 

In the midst of the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we have carefully constructed this reopening plan supremely mindful of the safety, health, and spiritual well-being of every student, staff member, and teacher. 

We need your help in preparing for our in-person opening on September 1, and during the school year. Please continue to do what is necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus -- physically distance from those who do not live in your house; consistently wear masks outside of your house; wash your hands regularly; and avoid traveling to hot spots wherever they may be (and however that may change over time).

As Jews, we never lose sight that each member of our school community is imbued with a Divine spark, and that you have entrusted us with the sacred task of nurturing the souls of your children. We are excited about opening school for our 63rd year, proud of how far we have come, and optimistic about where we are headed. 

May we continue to go from strength to strength.

Sincerely,
Dr. Darin S. Katz

Guiding Principles

Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit delivers an outstanding general and Jewish education to Jewish children from early childhood through eighth grade. At Hillel, we inspire a passion for learning, responsibility to self and community, and devotion to Jewish living in a warm, innovative, and engaging environment.

As we plan for the 2020 - 2021 school year, our work is guided by the following principles:

  • The health and safety of all faculty, staff, and students are paramount. Although we recognize that it is not possible to eliminate all risks, we strive to create the safest environment possible for staff and students to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
  • We will adhere to guidelines set forth by state and local public health officials and abide by all requirements, and strongly consider all recommendations in Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Schools: Michigan's 2020 - 2021 Return to School Roadmap.
  • We are committed to academic excellence and providing continuous learning, whether in-person, remote, or flexible.
  • We will preserve the spiritual essenceof Hillel, uphold our core Jewish values, and foster the life skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration that prepare our students for their future.
  • We are committed to the social and emotional health of Hillel students and want them to come to school excited to learn.
  • We will maintain strong partnerships with parents, students, faculty, and staff.

In-Person Instruction

This structure for in-person learning provides for the full-time return of our students to campus with appropriate precautions, while also prioritizing the physical and mental health and safety of our community. 

List of 8 items.

  • DAILY ENTRY SCREENING

    In order to minimize the spread of infection, Hillel will be implementing the following protocols for screening students and staff to prevent symptomatic individuals from entering school: 

    • Students (by their parents) and staff will be required to complete a daily health screening questionnaire via the AITIA app (https://aitia.app/workplace_evaluation). If any questions are answered in the affirmative, the School Nurse will receive an alert about that student or employee. Further evaluation will be initiated by the School Nurse at that time. The daily entry survey will ask the following questions (questions may be adjusted to align with public health guidance as necessary):
    1. What is your temperature today?
    2. Have you had a fever in the last 7 days? (Yes/No)
    3. Are you currently experiencing any of the following symptoms? (Yes/No)
      1. Dry Cough
      2. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      3. New or Unexplained Body Aches
      4. Fatigue/Muscle Weakness
      5. Sore Throat
      6. Diarrhea
      7. Nausea/Vomiting
      8. New Loss of Taste or Smell
    4. Have you been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15+ minutes) with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19? (Yes/No)
    5. Have you traveled domestically or internationally in the last 14 days? (Yes/No)
    • Parents and staff must complete the health screening each day by 7:45 a.m., for each enrolled child. The first text reminder will be sent at 7:00 a.m. Additional text reminders will be sent at 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m only to parents and staff who have not yet completed the health screening.
    • Students and staff who do not have a completed health screening on file will not be allowed to enter the building.
  • ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL PROCEDURES

    The following procedures must be followed in order to limit the risk of exposure to and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

    • Families, including parents, guardians, siblings, and caregivers will not be allowed in the building in order to minimize contact and gathering.  
    • Hillel staff will monitor arrival and dismissal to ensure students go straight from a vehicle to their designated entrance/exit and to prevent congregating.
    K-8 ARRIVAL
    All students will be dropped off at the front of the school and proceed to their respective entrances.

    • All students must wear a mask when exiting their vehicle and proceed directly to their designated entry door.
    • Administrative staff and teacher “greeters” will be waiting outside the designated drop off locations each morning from 7:55 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. to welcome children and confirm their health checks have been completed.
    • Students will enter the following doors.
      • Parents of Kindergarten students will park their cars, don a mask, and escort their child/ren, also wearing a mask/s, to the blacktop, where they will be met by a Kindergarten teacher who will escort the child/ren to the Kindergarten entry door. Families must keep a six-foot distance from one another during drop-off.
      • First and Second Grades will enter Door #5
      • Third Grade will enter the Front Lobby Door
      • Fourth Grade will enter the Side Lobby Door
      • Fifth and Sixth Grades will enter Door #26 (near Maintenance)
      • Seventh and Eighth Grades will enter the Back Stairwell Doors 
      • K-8 students must arrive no later than 8:15 a.m. every day to ensure classes start on time. An 8:15 a.m. bell will indicate that all students should be in the building. A final bell, at 8:20 a.m., will indicate that all students should be seated in their first-period classroom. Announcements will start promptly at 8:20 a.m.
      • Students arriving after 8:15 a.m. will enter through the Main Lobby entrance, wearing a mask, and proceed to Tina’s desk to receive a late pass.
      • Children may not be dropped off at school prior to 7:55 a.m. During inclement weather, which includes lightning, temperatures below ten degrees, or a torrential downpour, students will enter through the Front Entrance, and proceed directly to their lockers and first period classes. 
      • After students use their lockers or cubbies, they will then walk directly to their classroom.
      • Upon entering the classroom, each student will wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer again.
      ECC ARRIVAL
      • ECC parents will pull up their cars in the drop-off lane to arrive at/near Door #4, where administrative staff and teacher “greeters” will be waiting each morning from 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. to welcome students and to confirm that their health checks have been completed.
      • ECC students should arrive no later than 9:00 a.m. every day to ensure learning starts on time. 
      • Parents must observe social distancing guidelines and wear masks when dropping off or picking up children. 
      • Each ECC child will have their temperature taken at Door #4 and, if it falls within normal range, will be escorted into the building by a teacher or administrative staff member. 
      • ECC students with older siblings can be dropped off at 8:15 a.m. at the ECC entryway by a parent where they will be greeted by an adult and walked to their classroom. 
      • After students use their lockers or cubbies, they will then walk directly to their classroom.
      • Upon entering the classroom, each student will wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer again.
      ECC-8 DISMISSAL
      (note alternate times on Wednesdays, when we dismiss early for professional development, and Fridays in the winter, when we dismiss early to prepare for Shabbat, as shown):

      • ECC students who are dismissed at 12:30 p.m. will be walked to their cars by staff. Those who are picking up may pull up in the drive-through lane near Door #4.
      • ECC dismissal will be at 2:45 p.m. through ECC Door #4. (Wed. 2:20 p.m. / early Fri. 2:25 p.m.). 
      • K-8 dismissal will be staggered as follows: 
        • Kindergarten: 3:15 p.m. (Wed. 1:50 p.m. / early Fri. 2:40 p.m.).  
        • 1-4: 3:25 p.m. (Wed. 2:00 p.m. / early Fri. 2:50 p.m.).
        • 5-8: 3:35 p.m. (Wed. 2:10 p.m. / early Fri. 3:00 p.m.).  
      • ECC, Kindergarten and Grade 1-4 parents will pick up children in the drop-off lane near Door #4.  ECC and Kindergarten children will be walked to their parents’ vehicles by staff.
      • Grade 5-8 parents will either park in the lot and wait for their child(ren) to come to their car or they will park, don a mask, and walk near the designated exit areas to pick up their child. Parents may not congregate and must stay 6 feet apart while waiting for their child(ren).
      • All students will depart from their exit locations (same doors as arrival), wearing a mask, and proceed directly to their awaiting vehicle.
      • After picking up your ECC-4 student, if you have an older child, you will then park your car in the parking lot to wait for 5-8 students to be dismissed.
      • Each family will receive a color-coded parking tag that corresponds to their child’s learning community. These tags must be placed on the front dashboard of your vehicle.
      • In the event that students are not picked-up by 3:45 p.m. (Wed. 2:15 p.m., early Fri. 3:00 p.m.), K-8 students must go to delineated areas in the miznon for Aftercare. 
      Early Friday Dismissal
      On Fridays, from November 13, 2020 - March 12, 2021, we will follow an early dismissal to accommodate Shabbat preparation, as shown above.

      Pick Up During School Hours
      If a student must be picked up from school during the day, he/she will wait in the nurse's office (if ill), or in the Main Office, as determined by our school nurse. Parents wll park in the lot, don a mask, and come to the Main Door. A security officer will escort the child to the front door.
       
    • SCHEDULES

      This year’s schedules have been devised to deliver the robust curriculum you have come to expect from a Hillel Day School education -- including classes, Advisory, tefillot, Community Read, and specialty courses -- while also minimizing student and staff movement to mitigate any potential spread of the coronavirus. Here are a few sample schedules:
    • SPECIALTY CLASSES

      Specialty classes (Art, Music, Physical Education, Science, MakerSpace, Library, and STEAM (5-8)) will take place within our learning communities’ spaces. For ECC through 4th grade students, specialties will be on a 2-week rotation, minimizing the movement of the teachers between communities.
    • CLASS ASSIGNMENTS

      • ECC class assignments will be emailed to families on Monday, August 24, 2020.
      • K-4 class assignments will be emailed to families on Monday, August 24, 2020.  
      • 5-8 Advisory assignments will be emailed to families on Monday, August 24, 2020. Complete 5-8 schedules will be distributed on the first day of school.
    • MEET AND GREETS/LOCKER SET-UP

      ECC-Grade 4
      ECC: Tuesday, September 1, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
      Kindergarten: Wednesday, August 26
      1st and 3rd Grades: Tuesday, August 25
      2nd and 4th Grades: Wednesday, August 26

      • K-4 Meet and Greets time slots will be included in class placement letters sent on Monday, August 24.
      • Time slots will be 30-minutes, with a limit of six students at a time
      • One parent/guardian will walk their child to their learning community entrance so they become familiar with drop-off protocols. Parents and students must wear a mask during Meet and Greets.
      • Teachers will greet students at their doors and take them to their classrooms. Parents will remain outside, physically distanced, or in their cars. 
      • Parents will meet their child at the same door at the end of each Meet and Greet. 
      Grades 5-8
      5th and 8th Grades: Tuesday, August 25
      6th and 7th Grades: Wednesday, August 26

      • 5th Graders will complete locker set-up after their 5th Grade Orientation on Tuesday, August 25* (see below)
      • 6th - 8th Grade boo-ot will be assigned time slots via an email sent to parents on Monday, August 24.
      • 5-8 students will enter through the doors that they will use every day (5-6, Door #26 near Maintenance; 7-8 back stairwell door)
      • Once at the door, Advisors will greet the students. Parents will remain outside, physically distanced from one another, or in their cars.
      • Parents and students must wear masks.

      *5th Grade Orientation: Tuesday, August 25

      • 5th Graders will attend an Orientation on Tuesday, August 25, at 2:15 p.m.
      • Students will enter through the door which they will use every day for school.
      • Once at the door, Advisors will greet the students.  
      • Each boo-ah will meet separately with their Advisor in their dedicated space.
      • Students will set up their lockers during Orientation.
      • Parents will meet outside, on the blacktop, for a 5th Grade Parent Orientation.
      • Parents and students must wear masks.

      Flexible Model Students
      Materials Pick-Up: Monday, August 31 between 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
       
    • FIELD TRIPS

      No off-site field trips are planned for September - November. We will reevaluate field trips in November for any that we are able to schedule later in the year.
    • SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

      • Large scale, indoor assemblies are suspended. 
      • Hillel will telecast assemblies and other school-sanctioned events.
      • Extracurricular activities may continue with the use of face masks.

    Full Remote Instruction When the Building is Closed

    Hillel’s remote learning plan has been modified and refined following an analysis of feedback from parents, teachers, and students. As compared with remote learning conducted this past Spring, it offers a longer, more structured day that closely mirrors in-person learning while being mindful of screentime. As such, there will be a smoother transition to remote learning should it become necessary. 
     
    For K-4 students, there is more synchronous (live) learning in both General and Judaic Studies. All specialty classes, and any necessary student supports, will be implemented. For 5-8 grades, classes will run on an even/odd schedule, with classes meeting for an hour block, 2-3 times per week.  Advisory, Tefillah, STEAM, WIN/Office Hours, and PE are all included in the schedule. 
     
    Overall, the updated remote learning plan continues the Hillel tradition of a strong educational experience that also takes into account the need for routine for both students and parents, and builds confidence and independence in our learners.  
     

    Flexible Model for Remote Instruction When the Building is Open

    The flexible model is available to those students who are learning from home when the building is open. The use of Google Classroom, Seesaw, and FaceTime will ensure students and teachers continue to communicate and work closely together. We will monitor the efficacy of the flexible model program, and refine it as necessary to provide an optimal learning experience. 

    Specialty classes in Physical Education, Music, Art, Library, and Science will be part of the online schedule with asynchronous activities posted daily in Seesaw, and live opportunities posted on Google Calendar.

    Children learning in the Flexible Model will also have opportunities to connect in person with their peers, as each boo-ah will meet outside for various activities, while social distancing and wearing masks.  We will communicate dates for these activities when they are arranged. 

    • Families who initially choose the Flexible Model may switch to In-Person Learning on Friday, October 30, 2020, the end of our first quarter, in writing, to Principal Melissa Michaelson.
    • Families may switch from in-person learning to the Flexible Model at two times during the first semester: 
                 - Friday, September 11, 2020
                 -
    Friday, October 30, 2020

    In the event a student is required to stay home due to health policies, they will join the Flexible Model during that time.
     

    List of 3 items.

    • THE FLEXIBLE MODEL FOR K-4

      • Students will be placed in a grade-level, online cohort.  
      • Students will have an 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. school day, with lunch, recess, and breaks throughout the day. 
      • Grade-level teachers will be assigned a subject area and use Google Meet to instruct online, on a rotating basis. 
      • Students will receive a schedule, with links to connect online. Instruction will be both synchronous (live) and asynchronous, and each student at home will be assigned a homeroom teacher with whom they will connect.  
      • Asynchronous activities and classwork will be posted on Seesaw for K-4 students. All links to synchronous (live) classes will be posted on Google Calendar for easy student access.
    • THE FLEXIBLE MODEL FOR 5-8

      • 5-8 students who are learning at home will livestream into each of their classes.  
      • Each student at home will be assigned a “classmate connector” who will act as an intermediary to make sure in-home learners are included as fully as possible into the learning experience. 
      • Teachers will check-in with students throughout each class period and post assignments, homework and other necessary class information on Google Classroom.  
      • Students learning from home should continue to feel comfortable to reach out to their teachers with questions.
      • Students learning from home will also have a synchronous (live) Advisory class.
    • FLEXIBLE MODEL STUDENT'S MATERIALS PICK-UP

      Monday, August 31 between 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Maintaining a Healthy and Safe Building

    Boo-ot / בועות

    Boo-ah is Hebrew for bubble, and its use at Hillel this year defines the cohorts/pods we are creating to minimize contact as we follow recommendations from both the CDC and the Governor’s Road Map. 

    • In the ECC - 4th grade, the בועה/boo-ah will be an individual class that stays intact throughout the school day.
    • In 5th - 8th grades, students are variously grouped for Ivrit and/or Math, so the בועה/boo-ah is considered to be the entire grade, as students from multiple classes will mix for those subjects.

    List of 7 items.

    • MASK POLICY AND PPE (PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT)

      • All staff are required to wear a mask at all times during the school day except for meals.
      • K - 8 students will be required to wear a face mask at all times during the school day, with the exception of lunch and recess. Teachers will also give students (and themselves) individual mask breaks at other times during the day as necessary. 
      • Per the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, ECC3 and ECC4 students will be required to wear a mask at arrival, dismissal, and in all public spaces. Students who can tolerate a mask will also be strongly encouraged to wear one in the classroom.
      • Children age 2 and younger should not wear a mask. 
      • Because mask fit is critically important for safety purposes, all families must procure multi-layered masks for students to assure comfort level and fit. Masks that have an exhalation valve and gaiter masks are not permitted as they do not protect against transmission of the coronavirus.
      • Hillel will maintain an ample supply of disposable masks in the event that additional masks may be required.
    • CLASSROOM LAYOUT/PHYSICAL DISTANCING OF DESKS

      • Student desks and chairs will be spaced approximately 6 feet apart in the classrooms. Desks will face the same direction toward the front of the classroom.
      • Teachers will maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and students as much as possible, following the PPE requirements as noted above. 
      • Portable plexiglass barriers will be available for use by teachers when necessary.
      • Signage marking 6 feet of physical distance will be placed throughout the school.
    • HYGIENE PROTOCOLS FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF

      • We will teach and reinforce proper handwashing techniques using soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or the safe use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
      • Signage will be posted prominently in all classrooms and bathrooms to reinforce proper handwashing techniques.
      • Students and staff will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer at the start of each day, before and after eating, and before departing at the end of the day.
      • We will limit the use of common classroom materials and disinfect between use.
      • Students will be encouraged to bring in a refillable water bottle to use at refill stations. They may not use water fountains.
    • AIR CIRCULATION AND VENTILATION

      • Hillel’s HVAC system is similar to those found in hospitals. The HVAC coils are disinfected at each filter change (three times a year) with Evap-Fresh, a product listed on the EPA’s registered Antimicrobial Products for use against novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). 
      • We have installed MERV-13 filters in our HVAC system that capture 90% of particles circulating in the air. 
      • The units bring in at least 20% outdoor air, depending on room size, with each pass. The outdoor air enters the unit, is cleaned by the filters, and released into the conditioned space. 
      • We also have negative pressure that removes air from each room in order to pull any potential contaminants out of an area and is exhausted to the outside air. This helps reduce cross-contamination from room to room. 
      • We will rely on this system rather than opening windows, which would be inefficient and could actually inhibit providing clean air throughout the building.
    • CLEANING RESOURCES AND PROTOCOLS

      • Frequently-touched surfaces including light switches, doors, benches, and bathrooms, will undergo cleaning at least every four hours with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
      • Jan-Pro, a commercial cleaning service, has been retained as our new cleaning company for this school year. Our contract includes an on-site day porter whose work will be solely dedicated to continuous cleaning of bathrooms and frequently-contacted surfaces throughout the school day.
      • ECC - Grade 4 desks/tables will be cleaned by teachers and students at the beginning of each day, before/after lunch, and at the end of each day.
      • Grades 5 - 8 desks/tables will be cleaned at the beginning of each day, any time boo-ot mix, before/after lunch, and at the end of each day.
      • Student desks will be wiped down with either an EPA-approved disinfectant or diluted bleach solution. 
      • Science and other hands-on classrooms will undergo cleaning after every class period with either an EPA-approved disinfectant.
      • Playground structures will undergo normal routine cleaning.
      • Student desks will be cleaned with an EPA-approved cleanser, designed to neutralize the coronavirus within 45 seconds, at the start of the day, any time בועות/boo-ot/ bubbles mix, before and after lunch, and at the end of the day.
      • Hillel will ensure the safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing products securely away from children, and with adequate ventilation when staff use these products.
    • TRAFFIC FLOW IN COMMON AREAS

      • Signs will be placed in the hallways and stairwells to direct the flow of indoor traffic and to minimize congestion.
    • VISITOR POLICY

      • Family members or other guests will not be allowed in the school building except under extenuating circumstances as determined by Hillel’s Leadership Team. 
      • All adult guests (such as a guest teacher) preparing to enter the building will be screened for symptoms of the coronavirus, wear a mask, and wash/sanitize hands prior to entering. 
      • Strict records, including date and time, will be kept of all visitors entering and exiting the building.

    Maintaining Health and Safety for Our Community

    List of 4 items.

    • NURSING AND HEALTH SERVICES

      • Gail Chynoweth, R.N., Hillel’s nurse, will be in the building Mondays through Fridays.
      • The nurse’s office will be Conference Room A/B (adjacent to the Main Lobby). One side of the Conference Room will be a self-contained isolation room that will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
      • Sick students will be triaged, and when necessary, sent to the appropriate side of the nurse's office.
    • RESPONDING TO POSITIVE TESTS AMONG STUDENTS & STAFF

      • Hillel will work with the Oakland County Public Health Department if a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified within the school population, whether in-person or remote. Hillel will reach out to any individual who is presumed to have come into direct contact with the infected individual from two days before that person first showed symptoms to the time when he or she was last present at school. 
      • Hillel will notify local health officials immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. 
      • The Oakland County Health Department will initiate contact tracing, following regular public health practice. Gail Chynoweth, RN, our School Nurse, is also certified in contact tracing and will follow the contact tracing protocols. Anyone who was identified by the above contact tracing method will be asked to self-quarantine for up to 14 days after exposure. Hillel will help by collecting data and contact information of those exposed. 
      • Employees with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are instructed to return to the workplace only after they are no longer contagious. Local health officials will provide instruction about return to work, using the most current guidelines from the CDC for this determination.
      • If a student tests positive, they need to immediately quarantine and only return to school with clearance from their physician.
      • Individual classrooms with a direct exposure case will be closed for 24 hours before cleaning to minimize the risk of any airborne particles.
      • If a parent tests positive for COVID-19, their children will need to be tested, follow the required quarantine, and then have a negative result on a follow-up test before they are able to return to school at the end of the quarantine period.
    • TEMPORARY MOVE TO REMOTE INSTRUCTION

      In the event that a בועה/boo-ah/bubble needs to shift to remote learning, teachers will utilize Seesaw, the Google Suite of tools, and other online platforms to deliver the learning. A decision-making matrix as to when that shift will occur, either for a single bubble, several bubbles, or the entire school, will depend on contact tracing.
    • TESTING PROTOCOLS FOR STUDENTS & STAFF

      • Hillel will cooperate with and be guided by the Oakland County Public Health Department regarding implementing protocols for screening students and staff for COVID-19.
      • Students who develop a fever or become ill with COVID-19 symptoms at school will be immediately quarantined and wait for their parent or guardian in a designated isolation room specifically for COVID-19 symptomatic students. 
      • Staff who develop a fever or become ill with COVID-19 symptoms at school will be asked to immediately leave the building and seek medical care/advice.
      • Symptomatic students and staff sent home from school will remain home until they have a negative molecular test for COVID-19, or have received clearance to return to school by their doctor with an alternate diagnosis.
      • If a family member receives positive test results for COVID-19, the family must immediately notify Gail Chynoweth or Dr. Darin Katz so the school can begin contract tracing protocols.
      • Families will be notified of any presumed laboratory-positive or clinically diagnosed case of COVID-19 in the affected learning community -- with confidentiality of the diagnosed person protected -- with further instructions provided.
      • In the event of a laboratory-positive or clinically-diagnosed case of COVID-19, our contact tracing team will make best efforts to notify those potentially affected. Instructions for quarantining at home, further testing, or other protocols, will be provided. At this time, empiric testing of all students or staff members in the class is not recommended; we plan to seek testing only of those who develop symptoms. 

    Lunch and Recess

    List of 2 items.

    • LUNCH

      • K-8 students may bring their lunch in reusable containers with an ice pack in a reusable lunch container.   
      • Due to licensing requirements, ECC students may only bring their lunch in disposable items.  
      • Hillel will offer a hot lunch program that will be administered through MealManage (a separate communication about this program is forthcoming by August 17).  
        • Through an easy-to-use portal, parents will be able to review menus, place orders, and make account deposits on their phones, laptops, or other devices. No paper forms will be needed, and the process will be cashless.
        • Menus will be available on the 15th of each month for the following month, and preordering can be done by the month, week, or day, up until 1:00 p.m. on the day before a particular lunch period.  
        • Each day, a hot meal, a specialty salad, or a bento sandwich box can be selected, in addition to la carte items such as extra drinks, desserts, and extra hot meal items.
        • Remaining lunch balances from the prior school year will be transferred to MealManage accounts, as appropriate.
        • School-supplied lunches will be delivered to each classroom in disposable containers with disposable utensils.
        • Meat and dairy kitchens are supervised by the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit, and all school-supplied food will be strictly kosher.
      • Masks will be removed by students and staff while eating lunch outdoors.
      • All students should eat outside in designated areas. Each class should sit in a large circle with each student 6 feet apart.
        • Kindergarten will eat outside the art room.
        • 1st and 2nd grade students will eat in the patio area outside the library.
        • 3rd and 4th grade students will eat near the greenhouse and Sukkah.
        • 5th-8th grade students will eat in designated spaces near the field or in their designated community outdoor area. 
      • In inclement weather, students will eat in their classroom.
        • Hands must be washed before and after lunch and surfaces must be cleaned before and after eating. 
        • Face shields will be required to be worn when eating in the classroom. 
    • RECESS

      • Recess will take place outside, weather permitting.
      • Each grade will have a designated recess area to promote physical distancing among grades when multiple grades are outside at the same time. 
      • We will teach creative games and activities that promote physical distancing.
      • Students will not be required to wear a mask at recess.
      • Because the risk of transmission of the virus is much lower outside, we will allow the בועות/boo-ot/bubbles within a grade to mix during recess, to encourage socialization among friends.
      • If recess is indoors, students will wear masks and remain with their boo-ah.

    Educational Innovation and Technology

    • By August 18, teachers will receive new laptop computers, fully equipped with tools to facilitate seamless remote experiences.
    • All Kindergarten through second grade students will receive an individual iPad to be kept at school during in-person learning, to be taken home if instruction occurs remotely. Those choosing the flexible model will take their devices home from the start.
    • All third and fourth grade students will receive an individual Chromebook to be kept at school during in person learning, to be taken home if remote instruction becomes necessary. Those choosing the flexible model will take their devices home from the start.
    • Fifth through eighth grade students participate in our 1:1 technology program and will have the use of their Chromebooks at school and at home.
    • We have purchased additional technology to ensure equitable access to resources for all learners, and to provide teachers with tools to create engaging and interactive learning experiences, whether delivered in-person or remotely.  
    • Technology has been streamlined for first through eighth grade so that all students and teachers will use the Google Meet platform for any remote interaction.  
    • So that families can focus on no more than two technology platforms, Seesaw is being used to deliver instruction in ECC - fourth grade, and Google Classroom is being used in fifth through eighth grades (plus Google Meet for video conferences).

    Jewish Life and Living

    Inspiring devotion to Jewish living is at the heart of the Hillel experience, and gathering for spirited group tefillot, B'nai Mitzvot celebrations,and preparing for Shabbat and Chagim will continue, in formats that maintain physical distance and adhere to safety protocols:

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    • TEFILLOT

      • K-8 tefillot this year will occur in students’ boo-ot (bubbles), and will be held outside, weather permitting.
    • SHABBATONIM

      • The traditional Shabbatonim formats for 6-8 grades are suspended for the Fall semester. We are exploring alternative options for each grade, and will communicate those as the year progresses. 
      • We will wait to make a decision about the 5th Grade Shabbaton once the year begins. 
    • SHABBAT AND HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS

      • The Jewish calendar comes to life at Hillel through our learning and observance of Shabbat and the chagim, and related activities deepen student pride and attachment to the Jewish rituals that elevate the everyday. As such, we will continue to celebrate Shabbat and chagim in our boo-ot, which will take the place of Shabbat Mishpachot this year. Whenever possible, we will safely hold activities outdoors. 
    • VIRTUAL COMMUNITY EVENTS

      We are committed to strengthening our community and our connections to one another.  If Hillel has full remote instruction, we will continue to host virtual communal events, as we did in the Spring.  Each school day will begin with morning announcements, and we will end the week together with a virtual Friday night gathering to light Shabbat candles together.  ECC students will continue to enjoy Havdalah on Mondays. As well, hallmark Hillel events such as our Welcome Back Shabbat Dinner, Movies and Munchies, Grandparents Day, and grade-wide programming will continue in a virtual format.

    Athletics

    The Athletic Department intends to provide a positive experience for our student-athletes that allows them to participate in their chosen Fall sport safely, in accordance with state guidelines. 

    • Hillel will consider all guidance published by MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association) and local organizations.

    At this time, we have decided that it is safest for our school community to offer our fall interscholastic Athletics as intramurals only. We will be offering Boys’ Tennis (grades 5-8), Boys’ Soccer Skills & Drills (grades 6-8), Coed Cross Country (grades 5-8), and Girls’ Outdoor Volleyball (grades 5-8).

    In the event that Hillel moves to a remote learning model, we will consider how/if we can safely continue to offer athletic programming for our students during that time. 

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    • BUS TRANSPORTATION

      • Buses must be cleaned and disinfected before and after every use.
      • Hand sanitizer must be used before entering the bus and supplied on the bus. 
      • Masks are to be worn by all riders and the driver while on the bus. 
      • Weather permitting, the windows should be kept open while the vehicle is in motion to help reduce spread of the virus by increasing air circulation, if appropriate and safe. 
      • Riders will be spaced as much as possible. 
    • HEALTH APPRAISAL

      • Student-athletes are required to have an updated health appraisal form completed, dated after April 15, 2020.   
      • Student-athletes from the 2019-2020 school year with a completed health appraisal form may elect to complete the MHSAA health questionnaire. Those without a form on file must obtain an updated health appraisal form. 
    • SAFETY PROTOCOLS

      Safety protocols will be in place for athletes, coaches, and competitors, including but not limited to:
      • A health screening will be conducted prior to every practice and competition. 
      • Proper hand hygiene must take place before and after every practice and competition. 
      • Coaches will have hand sanitizer available at every practice and competition. 
      • Equipment will be disinfected before and after use. 
      • Athletes will be required to have their own clearly-marked water bottle. 
      • Physical contact will not occur, e.g. handshakes and fist bumps.
      • Any indoor and close contact activities will require a mask to be worn. 
      • Spitting is prohibited.
    • SPECTATORS

      • Must wear masks and physically distance at least six feet apart from others at outdoor events.
      • Spectators will not be allowed at indoor events.

    Social and Emotional Learning

    While physical health and safety is of utmost concern, as always, Hillel will continue to prioritize the social and emotional well-being of all of our students. Re-engaging our learners using our Responsive Classroom approach, which emphasizes positive social interaction in the creation of a caring community, will re-establish a learning environment for both in-person and remote learning that is developmentally-responsive to every student’s strengths and needs. 

    Along with addressing any feeling of social isolation caused by the extended absence from campus, Hillel staff will continue to teach social-emotional and academic competencies such as cooperation, perseverance, empathy, responsibility, and self-control, in order to equip our students with the skills necessary to actively face obstacles, overcome challenges, manage their emotions, and problem-solve, together. 

    As our students already treasure strong friendships with peers, nurturing those relationships, as well as facilitating new and meaningful connections, is paramount in furthering a strong foundation for academic success. Creative ways to sustain and extend collaborative learning for students, whether in-person or remote, will be a primary goal. The personal touch that uniquely connects us and sets Hillel apart will be experienced during Morning Meetings, Advisory classes, and in all daily learning, activities, and community events, in whichever setting they are delivered. 
     

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    • CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

      Teachers and staff will engage in professional development to learn how to help students better process the impact of COVID-19 on their educational and personal lives. While we will not overly dwell on negative emotions, it is important that teachers learn to recognize the subtle changes in students that may indicate an increased level of worry, fear, and/or sadness. Likewise, the ability to confidently respond in a way that normalizes these emotions, in order to connect students to the appropriate supports, is critical. 
    • HOME-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS

      A productive and collegial school-home partnership is pivotal in helping students to thrive in their learning. Hillel’s staff is available to consult with families throughout the school year. We will proactively make suggestions for targeted interventions as necessary, and offer support for students and families. This same support will also be regularly offered to staff to cultivate active self-care, and to assist in stress reduction. As such, teachers will be equipped to model effective coping mechanisms for students as we persevere through this prolonged pandemic. Our professional staff is always available to answer questions or concerns. We remain steadfast in our dedication to the social-emotional stability and health of our entire Hillel family.
    • ONGOING SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

      Our student support team, including our licensed school social workers, will lead and offer a range of services to our school community. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
       
      • Developmentally-appropriate classroom lessons on topics such as resilience and mindfulness
      • Parent and teacher consultation
      • Regular wellness check-ins
      • Facilitation of strategic peer partnerships, or chavruta pairings, to promote meaningful connections for those learning within the flexible model
      • Targeted small group and individual counseling and social-skill development
      • Conflict resolution and crisis response/intervention
      • Assistance with connecting to community resources and referrals to private mental health clinicians
      • Parent workshops 

    Student Support

    Students will continue to receive appropriate, targeted academic support and/or intervention from a Learning Specialist to address any student’s individual area of need. Learning Specialists will maintain their practice of closely collaborating with classroom teachers. They will support differentiated instruction so that content delivery, learning environment, process, and expected product are adapted to meet students’ varying interests, readiness, and learning profiles. These push-in supports will remain a primary facet of our student support programming.

    Additionally, students will continue to receive small group, pull-out instruction, with the same level of expected frequency. Learning Lab will also resume as a scheduled class in the Gesher (5-6) and Yachad (7-8) communities. Learning Plans (Grades 1-4), Accommodation Plans (Grades 5-8), and 504 Plans (Grades 7-8) will continue to be developed and implemented for students with diagnosed, documented disabilities, and students’ progress will be monitored and reported to their families. 

    Students learning from home, via the flexible model, will be placed in either a remote intervention group or join an in-school intervention group. This will be dependent on the number of students learning from home, as well grouping students to match learning profiles and subjects requiring attention. 

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    • HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATION FOR STUDENT SUPPORT

      • Dedicated, physical classroom spaces for learning support have been moved and/or accommodated to ensure appropriate physical distancing for small group instruction. 
      • In alignment with the health and safety protocols shared above, all students and Learning Specialists will remain masked while together. 
      • Plexiglass barriers will be available when a teacher needs to work closely with a student, or students are working jointly with one another. 
      • In Grades 1-4, efforts will be made to form groups with students from the same boo-ah. In the event students from different boo-ot are in the same intervention group, the groups will be kept to the smallest number possible (i.e. 2-3), and plexiglass barriers will be utilized. 
      • In Grades 5-8, we will be mindful of scheduling pull-out groups with students from the same individual section as much as possible. Students will be situated 6 feet apart and, if collaborative work is required between students and/or Learning Specialist(s), plexiglass barriers will be utilized.
      • Staffing Meetings with parents, teachers, support staff, and leadership will be held via Zoom.

    Community Responsibility

    Every member of the Hillel community must do their part to observe appropriate risk mitigation precautions, including maintaining physical distancing, consistently wearing masks, and ensuring that we all report any symptoms of illness or potential virus exposure.

    We are asking all Hillel families to refrain from traveling to hot spots throughout the country, wherever they are now, or may be in the future. In addition, out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you and your family remain in the State of Michigan beginning August 18 (two weeks before the first day of school).

    If you travel out of the State of Michigan, Hillel reserves the right to ask your children to quarantine and join our Flexible Model for 14 days following your return to Michigan.
     

    COVID-19 Handbook

    Finally, before returning to school for the 2020-2021 school year, each parent, student and staff member will be required to acknowledge the receipt of the Hillel COVID-19 Handbook, which will be sent via email later this month.

    Leadership

    Leadership Team

    Campus Reopening Task Force
    • John Pitcher, COO (Chair)
    • Gail Chynoweth, R.N., School Nurse
    • Marnie Diem, Coordinator of Technological Adventures
    • Angela Harvey, Human Resources Director
    • Nicole Miller, Athletic Director
    • Renae Meir, Director of Facilities
    • Ronen Meir, Directory of Security
    • Robin Pappas, Director of Early Education
    • Amy Schlussel, Director of Advancement
    • Jonathan Stepherson, IT Director

    Educational Task Force
    • Melissa Michaelson, Principal (Chair)
    • Barbara Applebaum, Director of 5-8 Communities
    • Marnie Diem, Coordinator of Technological Adventures
    • Jackie Eaton, ECC Teacher
    • Rabbi David Fain, Rav Beit Hasefer
    • Andrea Jenkins, Director of 1-4 Communities
    • Dr. Darin S. Katz, Head of School
    • Rachel Kellert, 3rd and 4th Grade General Studies Teacher
    • Adina Levin, K/1st Grade Judaic Studies Teacher
    • Kimberly Love, Director of Student Services
    • Robin Pappas, Director of Early Education
    • Amalia Poris, 2nd Grade Judaic Studies Teacher/Ivirt Curriculum Coordinator
    • Emily Sherbin, 5th/6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher
    • Amira Soleimani, Director of Judaic Studies Curriculum and Instruction
    • Dawn Straith, Innovation Hub Coordinator

    Partners/Advisors
    • Medical Advisors - Dr. Miriam Levine, Dr. Graham Krasan, Dr. Brian Gendelman
    • Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia Policy Lab
    • Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)
    • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

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    • isacs

    • ism

    • jewish federation

    • naeyc

    • nais

    • prizmah

    Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit
    32200 Middlebelt Road | Farmington Hills, MI 48334

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