Campus Information Update
Here we go again. Back in the Purple Tier. Even though this feels like a big step backwards, we continue to plan for a greater reopening on campus as early as January 18th (depending on where we are with the Santa Clara County tier.)
We recognize that this goal line may be moved to a point later in the year.
Our current step, having Kehillah B’Yachad after-school and flex-day activities on campus, has been successful and exactly the learning opportunity we’d hoped for. We’ve had well over 130 of our students come to campus over the past four weeks, many as regulars. We are continuing this program through mid-December as we concurrently plan and prepare for a greater opening after Winter Break.
I want to share the broad strokes for this fuller opening on campus. This plan has expanded from what we’d discussed previously in our town halls, parent discussions, and mailings. We are confident that it is the best possible plan for our staff and students.
Our return to campus (intentionally set at least two weeks after holiday mobility) is all about safety, flexibility, and innovation — to meet at least some of the needs of every stakeholder, share the burden of compromise, and remain COVID-safe in all ways possible. Everything we’ve shared previously about layering mitigation remains in place. We have also added attention to maintaining COVID-safe humidity levels indoors, between 40-60%.
The biggest change in the plan has been in the works for two months. We expect to move all parking and drop-off/pick-up to the Maxar lot across the street so that we will be able to use our entire footprint, indoors and outdoors, to bring back all students who want to return to campus in a combination of outside classrooms and indoor classrooms.
The schedule will remain as planned in the current model with M/T/Th/F on campus and Wednesday as the remote FlexDay for deep cleaning. By creating a safe combination of outdoor and indoor classrooms, we will not need to have the week-on/week-off hybrid model. We believe the stability and consistency for students and teachers is worth the effort. Based on what we’ve learned about ventilation and the importance of movement, we also believe this is a better option than having half of our students inside all day.
We are creating welcoming outdoor spaces to not only serve as classrooms but also for lunch, open-block, and to encourage outdoor study/socializing. We will have thresholds for closure due to inclement weather, COVID cases in our community, or other force majeure events. We will also abide by Santa Clara County regulations.
In a future communication, we will ask every student to share their January-March intention to be on or off campus, and we will remain flexible to accommodate our students, families, and employees as they each navigate this pandemic time. This includes the option to remain fully remote.
As you undoubtedly are aware, there are myriad details behind this brief message and I hope that you know by now that we have an excellent internal team working on this and we regularly seek expert and peer-school input to inform our process. As we have since the beginning, we are addressing the widest possible range of variables and are making data-informed decisions to prioritize the health, safety, academic, and emotional wellbeing of our community.
We will be sharing more details in December and January, including videos to give you a peek at how our campus will operate.
As we move forward in this new season and manage our return to Purple Tier, I ask you to maintain perspective (this won’t last forever) and engage in compassion for yourself and for others (we are all in this but each in our own way.) I have full confidence that our Kehillah can and will continue to thrive.
Daisy Pellant, Ph.D
Head of School