Little did we know when we said “see you in a few weeks” back on March 11, 2020, that it would be a full year until classes would return to campus. It has been truly wonderful to hear the sounds of students and teachers filling our hallways again. We are deeply grateful for the tireless work and collaboration of so many individuals to prepare our campus for this transition.
I write to share a few major reminders from our experience during grade-level orientations and the first days of classes. We ask for everyone’s help and collaboration as we continue to navigate the joys and challenges of returning to campus.
- Attendance: If students are scheduled to be on campus, they cannot choose to Zoom from home for certain classes or days. We will mark these students as absent if they are not present for classes on campus. Additionally, we will move their status to “remote” if the pattern continues. Thank you for understanding the massive amount of work involved in planning classroom spaces, staffing, and resources to serve the students registered to be on campus.
- JCC: As you know, we have a close partnership with the Oshman Family JCC. Right now, students cannot go to the JCC unless they have scheduled an appointment. The JCC is not available for lunch at this point. Please remind your students that if they are at the JCC, they must adhere to its rules and protocols and follow the directions of any JCC personnel.
- Parking Lot: Parents need to drop students off in the parking lot across the street. The Palo Alto Police Department has requested that parents do not drop students off on the side of the road for safety reasons. Moreover, students and adults need to use the official crosswalk when walking from the parking lot to campus. We have already witnessed some individuals jaywalking this week.
Please refer to the Campus Updates section of our website for the most current information. As always, you can contact any of us if you have questions. An ongoing thanks for your incredible support and positivity as we continue throughout this unique school year.
In the below video, you can find out more information about what returning to campus looks like and get a glimpse of updates made.
Campus Re-Entry 2021
Scroll down to view a more detailed and complete calendar that we shared in February.
Updated Campus Map
Talia’s March Update:
Daisy’s March Update:
We are so excited to announce Kehillah’s next steps towards welcoming students back to our campus for in-person learning! We want to thank you for your patience as we integrate the most recent Santa Clara County information about reopening with our ongoing planning and preparation to return to campus.
Santa Clara County now requires that we be past day 5 in the red tier before we open.
Assuming we are at that point by March 1, we are planning reopening accordingly. (If we are not at that point by March 1, we will let you know of the adjusted dates.)
We will allow you to choose to come on campus or remain remote. We are asking that you commit to one choice or the other for the duration of the school year. It is important to continue to provide as much consistency as possible for our students and our faculty.
2/11 from 6:30pm-8:00pm we will have an Open Community Conversation session for anyone who wants to discuss our plans.
JOIN ZOOM MEETING
Meeting ID: 930 677 3501 • Passcode: Daisy
Kehillah B’Yachad will continue through February 25. We look forward to seeing you there!
Challah Hand Off!
Reserve your FREE challah , for pick up at our drive-thru (see March info) fill out THIS FORM by February 26.
3/1-3/5 – Deep Dives Week — Students are welcome on campus to work on their Deep Dive project March 2-5. Campus will be available between 10AM-4PM.
3/5 – Challah Hand Off! On Friday, March 5, we’d like to invite you to visit our new parking lot, across from the front entrance to school. To entice you, we will hand off your pre-ordered (see above link) challah from Irving’s Premium Challah through your car window.
3/8 – DAY OFF
3/9, 3/11, and 3/12 – 11th and 12th Graders ON CAMPUS*
3/15 & 3/16 – 10th Graders ON CAMPUS*
3/18 & 3/19 – 9th Graders ON CAMPUS* (NOTE: March 19 is a ½ day)
3/22 & 3/23 – 9th Graders ON CAMPUS*
3/25 & 3/26 10th Graders ON CAMPUS*
*All grades NOT on campus are in their regular REMOTE ACADEMICS
3/29-4/5 – Pesach (Passover) Break
4/6-6/4 ALL STUDENTS on CAMPUS, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (Senior projects begin May 3)
NOTE: Wednesdays will remain remote Flex-Days to allow us extra deep cleaning on campus and to allow larger remote gatherings.
While in the purple tier, we are not permitted to open the campus for academics although we are exploring ways to increase our on-campus presence as soon as possible. We will keep you updated on changes to the on-campus academic opportunities.
Kehillah B’Yachad includes academic support in the Study Haven 3 days per week. Study Haven is an opportunity for students to come to campus, complete homework, and work with one another collaboratively and/or with a staff person.
We take the happiness and well-being of our students very seriously. Kehillah B’Yachad is our response to teens’ need for spending time with their peers, the well-being generated by leaving the house and being active outside, and a chance for students to deepen their engagement with the school and their classmates. Kehillah B’Yachad offers a low-stress, low-tech, and COVID-safe environment for students to meet their social-emotional needs.
We have begun athletic conditioning on Tuesday and Thursday during Kehillah B’Yachad, and we are in conversation with the OFJCC about programming that might be possible this spring. Our league (PSAL), continues to meet to discuss our options for this year, with the possibility that some sports will be moved into a later season. Our next league meeting is scheduled for the middle of February. Kehillah’s ability to play sports is closely tied to the tiers and Santa Clara County guidelines, with many of our more popular sports requiring being in the orange and yellow tiers.
We are still running our bi-weekly on-site COVID testing on Wednesdays. Sign-up here.
COVID testing is 100% covered by your health-insurance. You, your family, and friends that feel like family are welcome to come for COVID testing.
Teachers are prioritized on the vaccination schedule. Currently, it looks like vaccines will be available for teachers starting in February. As we learn more about the supply chain and distribution in California, we will communicate vaccination options.
Currently, the two vaccines on the market are approved for those aged 16 and up. Teens are currently in the last group to get vaccinated. Hopefully, students who are immunocompromised or essential workers will be moved up in priority. A full pediatric vaccine has not been approved yet but the thought is it will be available by the end of the calendar year 2021.
We will continue to follow COVID-safe practices included in the 5-pillars of risk mitigation.
- MASKING – With new more virulent strains and the prediction that the virus will continue to mutate at rates previously unexpected, it has been recommended that masks be 2-3 layers of tightly woven fabric, have a filter insert, and/or be coupled with a surgical mask.
- PHYSICAL DISTANCE – It is still recommended that we maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals whenever possible.
- HYGIENE – Regular hand washing for 20+ seconds, additional use of hand sanitizer, avoiding touching your face, and correctly handling mask-wearing are hygienic practices to reduce the risk of transmission.
- VENTILATION – Scheduling activities both inside and outside and maintaining the recommended HVAC filtration systems comprise this mitigation strategy.
- SCREENING – Using the Fever Free app, we continue to screen every student and employee who comes on campus. It is important, also, to choose safety and stay off campus if you are not feeling well, regardless of the results of your daily screening.
County tiers align with levels of COVID cases in our surrounding community. While schools have not been sites of significant transmission, COVID rates on campus are correlated with case rates in the outside community. Simply stated, the risk on campus is correlated to the risk in the greater community. As you can imagine, the level of comfort coming back to campus is also correlated to the level of risk.
In case you missed it, click below:
Daisy’s Campus Update Letter
- As of 11/16/20 Santa Clara County is in the Purple Tier.
- This is not the same as the restrictive Watchlist of the summer/fall but it is restrictive.
- Kehillah’s planning is aligned with the current County tier system:
- Due to the time needed to prepare for opening, we will continue our planning with the best-case scenario in mind — further on-campus reopening as early as January 18th, 2 weeks after winter break (to allow for a travel buffer).
Check this page for further campus updates.