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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit is monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully and taking proactive and prudent measures to try to ensure the health and safety of every member of our community in accordance with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Health Department, Oakland County Health Division, and other health officials.

This section will provide timely updates specific to the school’s response and planning efforts. This page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

List of 14 items.

  • March 27, 2020 - Community Update - Please Read

    Dear Hillel Families,

    I hope you and your family are well.
     
    I am writing to report to you that we learned late last night that an additional member of our staff has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus and has been hospitalized. While it has been 15 days since this staff member and your children were last in school, on Thursday March 12th, we wanted to share this information with you. 
     
    If you have any questions, please reach out directly to our school nurse, Gail Chynoweth.
     
    Wishing you all a safe and healthy Shabbat Shalom,
     
    Naty
  • March 26, 2020 - Rosh Chodesh Nisan Greeting

    Dear Hillel Families,

    I am writing to extend greetings to you on this special day, Rosh Chodesh, the first day of Nisan. Our Leadership Team has been gratified by the students’ response to the start of remote learning, and we are grateful for all of the messages of support and appreciation that have been pouring in to our teachers, staff, and Leadership Team.
     
    We know that this has been an extremely challenging period for you, monitoring your children’s learning even as you continue to balance your professional responsibilities with your personal needs. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher, to our social workers, or to any member of the Leadership Team for support.  We are all here, ready to help!
     
    The Talmud in Tractate Rosh Hashanah (11A) teaches:
     
    "בניסן נגאלו בניסן עתידין ליגאל"
     
    “In Nisan, the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt.
     In Nisan in the future, the Jewish people will again be redeemed.”
     
    May this new month of Nisan bring good health and blessing to our entire community!
     
    Warmest regards,
    Naty
  • March 26, 2020 - Recommended Friday Schedule - New!

    Fifth-Eighth Grade Parents
    Dear Fifth-Eighth Grade Parents,

    As we mentioned in our Town Hall, we have been working on revamping the Friday schedule. This new schedule is recommended, but not mandatory, as we believe that your children could benefit from a mental break on Fridays during this situation and emphasize the value of playing outside, creating fun family games, or preparing a Shabbat meal together.
     
    Our new Friday schedule incorporates creative outlets such as computer science and mindfulness. It suggests connections to students' Shabbat Mishapachot, allows for movement, and also allows time to complete unfinished work from the week and iReady. Please use this link to incorporate this schedule into your routine! The link will also be posted on each grade's Google Classroom by Friday at 9:00 a.m.
     
    We will continue to adapt as needed, and we appreciate your feedback.
     
    Thank you,
     
    Barbara Applebaum
  • March 20, 2020 - Community Update

    We are writing to inform you that, thank God, the COVID-19 test results for the teacher who had interaction with many of our students have come back as negative.  
     
    Dear Parents,

    We will continue to keep you updated.
     
    Shabbat Shalom,
     
    Naty Katz
    Interim Head of School
  • March 19, 2020 - Community Update

    Dear Parents,

    We are writing to inform you that a member of our Hillel parent community has informed us that they have tested positive for COVID-19. The parent was most recently in the lobby of our school building on Wednesday, March 11. 
     
    This parent reports having a runny nose and otherwise being asymptomatic, which reinforces the importance that all members of our community, at Hillel and beyond, should be staying home during this pandemic to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of everyone. 
      
    Please refer to Hillel’s COVID-19 website page for more information about home isolation and guidelines for care. 
     
    We look forward to “seeing” you tonight at the Town Hall. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Naty Katz
    Interim Head of School
  • March 18, 2020 - Town Hall Tomorrow Evening

    Dear Parents.

    It has been tremendously uplifting today to observe all the learning taking place; hundreds of students participating in morning tefillot; the dedication of our amazing staff; and our students’ excitement in reconnecting with friends and teachers. In the beginning, we may experience technical glitches with remote learning resources. Thank you for your patience with your children and our school as we all adjust to our new normal. Our teachers and staff continue to work extremely hard to ensure that learning proceeds and that our communities stay connected. We appreciate all that you are doing at home, as well.
     
    First and foremost, we have yet to receive test results back on all of the teachers referenced in our March 15 email. Happily, one test result is negative. As soon as we receive more results, we will communicate them to you.
     
    We will host a virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, March 19 from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. to review the first days of remote learning, listen to your feedback, and answer your questions. In order to manage the town hall and move along in an efficient manner, please submit your questions in advance here by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19. We will attempt to answer all questions during the town hall. Questions can also be submitted via chat during the town hall, however, priority will be given to the questions submitted in advance. Questions that are not answered during the town hall will be addressed in another forum. Log into the town hall here.
     
    We recognize that it may be challenging to have your children home for what may be weeks. We have created a coronavirus page on our website that provides access to our communications and resources for children and parents that can hopefully reduce some stress and anxiety. 
     
    Additionally, to ensure that all parents are receiving school communications during this time, including emails and text messages, please log onto MyHillel with your username and password. Please find yourself in the Parents & Students Directory, click “options,” and click “contact card.” Once the contact card is open, you may edit your information using the pencil icon, if necessary, to make sure that a current email address and cell number are listed. Click “save” when finished. If your spouse/partner is not receiving emails, please share this information with them.
     
    We look forward to “seeing” you tomorrow night.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Melissa
  • March 17, 2020 - Community and Hope. Better Together.

    Dear Parents.

    As we look back over the past few days, we can all agree that it qualifies as one of the most surreal, chaotic, and stressful times in our lives. While our community and nation are in the midst of a public health crisis, it is also important for us to take a deep breath, pause, and recognize what has brought us hope and comfort during these unprecedented times - our community.
     
    Amidst all the tumult, the strength and beauty of the Hillel Day School community have shined. We are thankful for the outpouring of support from staff, students, and parents for our colleague who, we are happy to report, is feeling better and is recovering at home. We shed happy tears as our community came together - albeit virtually - to celebrate the moments that define why Hillel exists: 67 families lit Shabbat candles together last Friday, and 94 families marked Havdalah yesterday. Our hearts swell with an appreciation for our incredible teachers who have spent countless hours preparing for remote learning, most going above and beyond by directly communicating with their students last Friday, and receiving heartwarming responses in return. In the coming days and weeks, we will share a glimpse into these incredible connections that cannot be weakened virtually.
     
    Overall, these are tough times. Quite understandably, there is much disappointment over the multitude of postponed and canceled events. There is frustration that the hard work and dedication of our students may never be able to be displayed. There is sadness in saying l’hitraot (or, hopefully, see you soon) to our wonderful shinshinim, Noa and Yuval, who were ordered back to Israel. There is uncertainty about whether our eighth-graders will be able to celebrate the culmination of their Hillel experience in Israel, and we share in their extreme dismay should the trip be canceled.
     
    Yet there is hope. Hope that the grit and resilience we instill in our students will be evident and grow stronger. Hope that our community will learn from each other, even child to parent as we invite parents to observe their children’s remote learning. Hope that our core Jewish values, especially Derech Eretz (respect for all) and K’lal Yisrael (the unity of the Jewish people), will guide and support one another, and all those in need. 
     
    And who would have predicted that the devices that are the objects of such battles with our children would become such vital tools? Social connections are a critical part of who we are. We are all accustomed to coming together. Our students rely on these moments, as well. The beauty of observing our students already engaging in Google Hangouts with their advisor, or in circle time with their ECC teachers, are simply incredible. We are excited for our parents to now get a glimpse of the magic that happens at Hillel every single day. 
     
    As our community, our city, and our nation continue to learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic, Hillel remains committed to inspiring a passion for learning and innovation, and to being a “place” for deep and meaningful relationships. Despite the physical distance this virus has placed between us, we will continue to create opportunities for our students and families to bring sacred learning into their lives.
     
    This will be new, this will be different, this will take time, and it might be hard. Let’s appreciate the fortune of our health, our community, our teachers, and our children. May we all be blessed with good health during this uncertain time, and be thankful for the community that we have built, and which will see us through this period of time.
     
    Thinking of you all,
     
    Amy Schlussel
    Director of Advancement 
  • March 16, 2020 - Our Remote Learning Plan - Fifth through Eighth Grade

    Dear Fifth through Eighth Grade Parents
    Wednesday marks another first day of school for the Hillel community! We know these are uncertain and trying times, and we are looking forward to providing familiar faces, and safe virtual spaces, for your children throughout their week. We are aware that each day looks different for each family right now and, as we adapt to our "new normal," we will treat one another with grace and good intention. 
     
    In this email, you will find information about many aspects of our 5-8 Remote Learning Plan. Your child’s teachers will also reach out directly as we begin this new adventure.
     
    HIGHLIGHTS
    • Students will have an abbreviated “schedule” where they will attend live Google Meets or engage in posted video lessons with 3-4 teachers a day, including Advisory twice a week.
    • All lessons and communication will be pushed out to students via Google Classroom. Students should also check their email daily.
    • Students can expect to have “homework” only from the classes scheduled that day.
    • They will also be expected to spend one hour reading (this can include reading for their classes and for enjoyment) and to spend at least 20 minutes per day reading/practicing Ivrit reading or vocabulary.
    • Students can expect a short video message from a teacher or their advisor every morning Monday through Thursday.
    • Various creative, physical and social-emotional tips, activities, and lessons will be pushed out throughout the week as well.
    The information they need to launch remote learning on Wednesday, March 18, is here
     
    OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
     
    Fridays: Fridays will be schoolwide fun days, with creative design challenges and activities. Students will not meet with any teacher via Google Meet, but instead, there will be a video message and note about the creative activity and other enriching pursuits. Students and their families are encouraged to participate every Friday! 
     
    Weekly Connection Opportunities: Hopefully you were able to “jump in” on the Shabbat candlelighting this past Friday evening, and the Havdalah service on Monday morning. Rabbi Fain will have weekly ways to engage the entire Hillel community via Zoom. Additionally, we will have live morning announcements at 8:50 a.m. each morning, and students are encouraged to attend morning tefillot Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. after announcements.
     
    Flexibility: Technology glitches occur. Unexpected challenges arise. We understand that every family’s circumstance is different. Please reach out to teachers as needed. We expect some obstacles along the way, and we will be agile as we address and overcome them!
     
    Needs: If you have any needs or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. We have resources for helping children (and adults) through this challenging and confusing time. Barbara Kenny and Kim Love have been preparing ways to help Hillel students continue to grow socially and emotionally. If there are logistical or essential needs that you have, reach out as well, and we will do our best to help provide support. 
     
    We will communicate regularly with our school community during these trying times, and ask that you do the same. We are all in this together, and we will work tirelessly to give our students the best possible experience. Please let me know how I can help.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Barbara Applebaum
  • March 16, 2020 - Our Remote Learning Plans - First through Fourth Grade Parents

    Dear First through Fourth Grade Parents
    We are about to embark on quite a journey as we transition from in-person instruction to remote learning, and amidst a lot of concern for our community and world. Fortunately, we have dedicated teachers who have been thinking about your children and their remote learning time, eager to make it an engaging educational experience. 
     
    Tomorrow, each grade level teacher will send students a video message that prepares them to launch their learning on Wednesday morning. Students in Grades 1-4 will not have a set schedule. Instead, they will have lessons in the Daily Learning Plan be completed daily, at their own pace. All lessons and communication will be pushed out to students via Seesaw. 
     
    Monday-Thursday: There will be a Daily Learning Plan (DLP) pushed out on Seesaw at 9:00 a.m. each morning for each grade. The DLP will note the lessons and activities for the day. There will be two General Studies lessons/activities and one Judaic Studies lesson/activity Monday-Thursday. Students are also required to read for 30 minutes each day. Additionally, specialty teachers will push out lessons each day. Look for video messages from specialty teachers with more information. 
     
    Friday: Fridays will be schoolwide fun days, with creative design challenges and activities. The DLP will not be pushed out on Fridays, but instead, there will be a video message and a note about the creative activity and other enriching pursuits. 
     
    Weekly Connection Opportunities: Hopefully you were able to “jump in” on the Shabbat candlelighting this past Friday evening, and the Havdalah service on Monday. Rabbi Fain will have weekly ways to engage the entire Hillel community via Zoom. Additionally, we will have live morning announcements at 8:50 a.m. each morning. 
     
    Flexibility: Technology glitches do occur. Unexpected challenges arise. We understand that every family's circumstances are different. Please reach out to teachers as needed. We anticipate obstacles, and will be agile as we adjust and work through them.
     
    Needs: If you have any needs or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to me. We have resources for helping children (and adults) through this challenging and confusing time. Harrison Leibow and Kim Love have been preparing ways to help Hillel students continue to grow socially and emotionally. If there are logistical or essential needs that you have, please reach out as well, and we will do our best to help provide support. 
     
    We will communicate regularly with our school community during these trying times, and ask that you do the same. We are all in this together, and we will work tirelessly to give our students the best possible experience. Please let me know how I can help.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Andrea Jenkins
  • March 16, 2020 - Our Remote Learning Plan - Early Childhood Education

    ECC and Kindergarten Parents
    We are all living through a situation that is unprecedented, and stressful for everyone. But let's remember - we are in this together!  
     
    It is very important to us to stay connected to your child, and to your family.  We are working on making our connections meaningful and productive. 
     
    As they have already begun to do, ECC teachers will send messages, videos, and activities through Remini. We will continue to connect for Shabbat and for Havdalah as a community. 
     
    Kindergarten teachers will send lessons, and activities, including in phonics, math, and Judaic Studies, through Seesaw. We will continue to connect for tefillah as a community.
     
    Specialty teachers will also send activities through Remini and Seesaw.
     
    As we navigate through these difficult times, please be kind to yourselves.  Don’t expect more than your child or you can handle. Set a routine, and maintain a schedule for your family.  We all have the opportunity to make an unknown situation into a learning opportunity. 
     
    You will be hearing more from your child’s teachers on Tuesday explaining what remote learning will look like.  We are part of an amazing community! We pull together in times of crisis and support one another. We are better together!
     
    Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  We are here for you! Please send me pictures, and let’s see how much lemonade we can make!
     
    Take care! 
     
    We miss you,
     
    Robin
  • Sunday, March 15, 2020 - Community Update

    Dear Families.

    We understand and share the anxiety that you are all likely feeling. As indicated in our communication from this past Friday, at least one more teacher in the school who interacts with many of our students has reported feeling ill, and has sought testing for COVID-19. We have now learned that additional staff have sought testing as well. We do not yet have test results back on additional teachers. As soon as we receive results, we will promptly provide all relevant information to everyone in the community. Please know that we are communicating all the information we can, and everything we learn, as promptly as possible. We caution against reliance on social media, rumors, and speculation, and instead encourage everyone to read our emails carefully.

    While we await the test results, we strongly suggest that all members of our community, in excess of CDC recommendations, begin self-quarantine until we receive the test results. We will notify you immediately upon receipt of the results. Quarantine is a proactive measure defined by the CDC as separating and restricting the movement of people who are exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. 

    We believe that pikuach nefesh, saving a life, overrides all other concerns. By slowing the spread of COVID-19, we have a chance to protect those family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk for severe illness. 

    It is also important to remember that Michigan is currently in the height of cold, flu, and RSV season. If you are concerned about symptoms you and your child may have, the following infographic may help:

     
    Two local coronavirus hotlines are available, if you feel you, your child, or a loved one may have symptoms of COVID-19. These are not general information hotlines. These are for patients who feel they may have symptoms. They are staffed by trained medical professionals who will triage your symptoms, and direct you to proper testing and possible treatment facilities. The hotlines are:

    Henry Ford Health System
    (313) 874-5700
    The line is open 24 hours per day

    Beaumont Health
    (248) 551-7000
    The line is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

    In the event that any parents, children, or siblings undergo testing for COVID-19, please send a confidential email to Gail Chynoweth, RN as soon as possible. These communications will be kept completely confidential, and will allow us to keep accurate information so we can follow up with those families, and keep our community informed and protected.

    In the coming days and weeks, let’s all support and care for each other in any way possible — even if that has to occur in more virtual ways than in-person. Let’s only share information that we know to be accurate and helpful. Our community will rise to the occasion, together, as we have when faced with other challenges. 

    We will continue to provide updates as we obtain additional information.
     
    Further communication about remote learning will be sent separately as soon as information is finalized. 
     
    Sincerely,
    Naty Katz
  • Friday, March 13, 2020 - Remote Learning

    Dear Families,

    Over the past week, significant time was spent putting into place a plan to address the possible need for remote learning.  Teachers were trained in a variety of tools they will use to communicate with your children. These tools include:

    • ECC: Teachers will post notes and updates as well as suggested activities to explore with children through Remini.  
    • Kindergarten through Fourth Grade: Teachers will communicate learning opportunities and messages through Seesaw.
    • Fifth through Eighth Grade: Teachers will communicate learning opportunities and messages through Google Classroom and Google Hangouts Meet.

    We intend to begin remote learning on Wednesday.  Much of the learning will be delivered via online tools; however, the learning experiences will include a variety of ways to engage, including hands-on activities that can be shared with the teacher. Our goal is for students to continue to develop their skills during this period of time and to stay easily connected with their teachers.

    Complete plans will be shared with you prior to beginning remote learning.  In the meantime, your children may have already received messages and video calls to say Shabbat Shalom from their teachers!  We all want to stay as closely (virtually) united as possible.

    Once remote learning begins, if you need technical support, please contact Marnie Diem.  For clarifications of activity directions, please contact your child’s teacher directly.

    Shabbat Shalom,

    The Leadership Team
  • Friday, March 13, 2020 - Closure Update

    Dear Families. 

    As promised, we are reaching out in order to keep you informed of the quickly changing COVID-19 situation. 

    Update:
     
    Currently, one of the teachers in our 1-2 Learning Community has COVID-19. As a result of the presumptive positive test, we closed school immediately until further notice. 

    It is important to inform you that at least one other staff member who has interaction with many students is being tested. Test results will not be available for at least three daysWe will immediately inform you of the outcome of the test.  We suggest that all parents contact their primary care physician to determine if your child should commence quarantine.

    We have spoken this morning to a prominent infectious disease doctor in our community. His recommendation is that everyone in the country, not just Hillel Day School constituents, practice social distancing, and avoid groups of 30 or more. He also wants to remind us that it is flu season, and that many of us will experience similar symptoms that are not COVID-19. Please contact your primary care physician regarding testing protocols.  

    Many are wondering if you or your student should enter “self-quarantine” and/or be tested. As an educational institution, we cannot make medical recommendations or decisions. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your doctor for guidance. If you or your child are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please contact your healthcare provider immediately for advice and possible screening. An easy way to stay informed about coronavirus is to sign up for CDC updates here.
     
    How You Can Help:
     
    As a community, we will face more cases of COVID-19, and we hope that moving to a remote learning model and social distancing will help flatten this pandemic. We ask our families to do their part by not hosting or attending social gatherings of more than 30 people and to avoid large, public venues. 
     
    Good Hygiene
    * Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds 
    * Use hand sanitizers, especially after using the restroom or touching common area surfaces such as doorknobs, railings, and countertops.
    * Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. And please do get a flu shot if you have not already.
     
    Self-Quarantine
    If you have any symptoms such as fever or upper respiratory issues, or if you have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-quarantine until you have been cleared of the virus. We have a responsibility to our community to take great care to keep each other healthy.
     
    Student Materials/Devices:

    1st - 4th-grade families requesting a technology device: Please check your email later today for a message from Marnie Diem with further details.

    We understand students need to retrieve items from their lockers, and learning materials from their community. At this time, school is closed, and we will be in touch with further information regarding an opportunity to pick up those items.

    Remote Learning:

    Our Leadership Team will communicate with you about preparing and training faculty and students for remote learning. Expect bumps along the road as we adjust and tweak our delivery model. Teachers are working to ensure the smoothest transition possible for every child. As technology issues will invariably arise as we embark on this endeavor, our first recommendation is to see if the issue can be easily remedied at home. If not, please contact your student’s teacher or Marnie Diem directly regarding the issue. Remember, we are all in this together, learning as we go forward.
     
    We appreciate your patience as this public health crisis continues to unfold. There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students, their families, our faculty, and community. Our decisions are guided by the facts, and the advice of experts in public health and medicine. 
     
    One last, but very important, note. Even as we understand the desire to collect information is overwhelming when there are so many unanswered questions, let us remember that we are a community, and need to be respectful of one another; it is one of our core values. This is a time to show chesed and utmost kindness to one another, and to act with derech eretzLashon hara (gossip) can lead to the spread of misinformation, increased anxiety, and detrimental spiritual isolation. To the contrary, this is a moment for us all to pull together. Our community has been challenged before. With God’s help, and your support, we will continue to go from strength to strength.

    We deeply appreciate your partnership as we work through this uncharted territory together.

    Shabbat Shalom.

    Sincerely,
    Naty Katz
    Interim Head of School
  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 - Closure

    Dear Families. 

    We are writing to inform you that, unfortunately, one of the teachers in our 1-2 Learning Community has tested a presumptive positive for COVID-19. Hillel Day School will be closed beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 13, and alongside all Michigan schools, per Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s declaration tonight, until further notice. We continue to be in very close contact with the Oakland County Health Division. Officials there are monitoring the situation very closely, and we are following their guidelines.

    At this time, it is recommended that parents with questions should contact their personal physician or the Oakland County Communicable Disease Division at 248-858-1286. Please feel free to reach out as well to Gail Chynoweth, RN with any questions.


    We recognize that this development may cause anxiety for you and your children. It is important to remain calm as we move forward together. We stand ready to help you in any way possible.

    We extend a refuah shleimah to anyone affected.
    This communication is intended to be a quick update. More detailed information will be forthcoming by noon tomorrow.

    Sincerely,
    Naty Katz
    Interim Head of School

Beaumont Health Updates

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  • March 20, 2020 - Beaumont committed to transparency with the community, will share daily COVID-19 test and admission statistics effective immediately

    Read More
  • March 18, 2020 Beaumont Health launched a free online COVID-19

    Read More

Hillel Staff Contacts

Health and Facilities:
Distance Learning:
Social and Emotional Support:
  • Director of Student Services: Kim Love

COVID-19 Local Hotlines

Two local coronavirus hotlines are available, if you feel you, your child, or a loved one may have symptoms of COVID-19. These are not general information hotlines. These are for patients who feel they may have symptoms. They are staffed by trained medical professionals who will triage your symptoms, and direct you to proper testing and possible treatment facilities. The hotlines are:

Henry Ford Health System
The line is open 24 hours per day

Beaumont Health
The line is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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

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