Back to School
We are so excited welcome you to the 2023-2024 school year at Gan Sinai. This message contains lots of important information so please read it carefully. You can always find links to the most searched topics at www.gansinai.org/families.
Important Dates and Times
You can always find important dates and times in the calendar section of the Playground app and at www.gansinai.org/calendar
Parent Orientation is Thursday, August 17th at 7pm in the Gan-at-Home Zoom room. Just go to www.gansinai.org/zoom. The passcode is: ganathome.
Back-to-School day is Friday, August 18th
Our first day of school is Monday, August 21st.
Drop off is between 8:45am and 9am (it is important to be on time so your child can have the best drop off experience)
Pick up is between 2:45pm and 3pm (Fridays from 2:15pm-2:30pm)
Early care is from 8am-8:45am each morning and after care is from 3:00-5:30pm (5pm on Fridays) each day. You do not need to sign up for early or after care. You will automatically be billed ($12/hour prorated) based on when you check your child out in the Playground app
Gan Sinai will provide everyone with lunch for our first Pizza Friday on Friday, August 25
Slow Start for NEW Students
To help our TGS and PK2 children transition into our program in the most comfortable way possible we invite NEW students to start school slowly.
On the first day NEW TGS and PK2 children come for 1 hour from 9am-10am. You are welcome to hang around outside as your children discover their room, teacher and new friends.
On the second day the children come for 2 hours from 9am-11am.
On the third day your children stay all the way through lunch! We encourage you to treat yourself to a morning off (or perhaps take the time to run some errands).
The Playground app is our main tool for school communication. If you are new to our community, please download the app from www.gansinai.org/playground to your phone and login with the credentials you should have received by email. Please note, this email often goes to spam. If you are having trouble just let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here's how to get set up in Playground:
After logging into the app, please click into your child’s profile and then click on the avatar above your child’s name. Upload your favorite picture of your little one.
Please complete any missing information for your child. If any of your personal information such as cell phone or email changes, you can log in and update your information anytime you need to right from the app.
Please also add any other guardians who are authorized to pick up and drop off your child. They will need the app as well. Children will NOT be released to adults who are not listed as guardians in the app and who cannot sign your child out with the app.
Please upload and complete our required forms found in the "Paperwork" section of the app.
You can learn more about all of this and more at www.gansinai.org/playground.
You will receive instant information about your child’s growth and development. By using Playground, you will receive instant information about your child’s growth and development and you will also receive all messages from teachers and the center in one centralized place and be able to reach out to any of us or any other parents. Please do NOT contact your teachers via WhatsApp or text.
Each guardian must check their child in and out when dropping off and picking up. You do this right in the Playground app. Just click on the QR code symbol in the top right next to the chat button. Then, scan the school QR code on any teachers tag or phone. There is also a code posted on the front door. We use check ins and outs for safety and for early and aftercare billing. We appreciate your help with this each day.
Children will NOT be released to anyone who is not listed as a guardian on your child's profile AND does not have the Playground app to check your child out.
Early and After Care
Gan Sinai begins tending our preschool garden every morning at early care from 8:00am-8:45am. We continue tilling the soil every afternoon from 3:15pm-5:30pm (5:00pm on Fridays). Early and After care is billed at $12/hour but we only charge you for the time your children are here. We base this on when you sign your child in and out on the Playground app. Early and After care begin the second week of school, Monday, August 28.
After School Enrichment
In addition to Early and After Care and all of our vacation camps, Gan Sinai welcomes all children in PK2, PK3 and PK4 to take part in our wonderful after-school enrichment program. Led by both teachers and local professionals we are proud to offer a variety of options for children to continue growing and learning with us. Enrichment programs run after school each day Monday-Thursday from 2:45-3:45pm and are $25/class. Learn more and sign up at www.gansinai.org/enrichment. Enrichment classes begin the second week of school, Monday, August 28.
Kindergarteners are invited to take part in Club Sinai for after school activities, Jewish learning and fun.
According to the Department of Children and Families, before the beginning of the school year, each family should have access to: "Know Your Child Care Facility" and the "Rilya Wilson Act". We will need you to e-sign all of the other required forms in the "Paperwork" section of the Playground app.
Before the school year begins all families must upload the following to the "Paperwork" section of the Playground app:
Updated Immunization records
Medical forms (#680 and #3040). Forms are available in your pediatrician’s office.
Children CANNOT begin school until all DCF forms are completed and uploaded.
On average, preschoolers experience eight to ten illnesses a year. We know that managing the demands of work can be challenging when your child is ill. We strive to limit the spread of communicable diseases in our center and are committed to implementing policies that balance and respect the needs of children, families, and staff in these circumstances.
Our Child Illness Policy is based on the Model Health Care Policies developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Exclusion from the center is sometimes necessary either to reduce the transmission of illness or because the center is not able to adequately meet the needs of the child. Mild illnesses are common among children, and infections are often spread before the onset of any symptoms. In these cases, we try to keep the children comfortable throughout the day.
Please keep your child at home if s(he):
Has an illness that prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities, such as going outdoors.
Has an illness that results in a greater need for care than our staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children.
Is ill during the night or has a poor night’s sleep - this may be the first sign of an impending illness
Has a fever (100 degrees or above) or has had one during the previous 24 hour period
Has a cold that is less than four days old
Has a heavy nasal discharge
Has a constant cough
Has diarrhea or watery stools
Has vomited more than 2 times in the previous 24 hours
Is fussy, cranky, and generally out of sorts
Is just tired - rest at such times may prevent the development of serious illness
Has symptoms of a possible communicable disease (rash, hives, bodily discharge, etc.)
Children suffering from a common cold will be assessed on an individual basis. Factors of consideration include the developmental level of your child in congruence with our ability to limit the spread of germs. The younger your child, the more difficult it is to keep the spread of germs down. For example, hand to face contact, mouthing of toys, uncontrolled nasal discharge, uncovered sneezing and coughing, etc.
As our world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have instituted a set of protocols and procedures for everyone's health and wellness. Please visit www.gansinai.org/covid to read our “COVID-19” guidelines.
PICKING UP AND RETURNING CHILDREN TO SCHOOL
For your child's comfort, and to reduce the risk of contagion, we ask that children who exhibit any of the signs listed above be picked up within 1.5 hours of notification. Until then, your child will be kept comfortable and will continue to be observed for symptoms.
Children need to remain home for 24 hours without symptoms before returning to the program unless the we receive a note from the child’s medical provider stating that the child is not contagious and may return to the center. In the case of a (suspected) contagious disease, rash, or continuing symptoms, a note from the child’s medical provider may be required before the child can return.
The final decision on whether to exclude a child from the program due to illness will be made by the center.
Please notify us at once if your child has a communicable disease so we are able to inform other parents. We exercise discretion and confidentiality at all times. If your child contracts lice, pinworm, conjunctivitis, strep throat, etc. PLEASE BE SURE TO INFORM US. If your child is found to have nits or lice during our periodic checks (s)he is to be picked up immediately and kept home for a full 24 hours after using a delousing product.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE SCHOOL BE MADE AWARE OF ALL HEALTH ISSUES (i.e. seizures, allergies, asthma, tubes in ears, a tendency towards high fever, etc.) We have no way of properly dealing with your children if we don't have adequate information. You can share medical information in the Playground app or directly with your child’s teacher.
As always, we remain committed to protecting your children and our staff and look forward to a great school year.
In placing children in classes, we consider what we know about your children, what you have shared with us, age, gender-balance, learning styles, friendships and much more. Our main goal is to ensure a healthy learning experience for all of our children. You will see your teacher in the Playground app on your child's profile page.
You can find an Amazon shopping list for the supplies you’ll need to bring into school below. (COMING SOON)
On your child's first day, you will receive two carpool cards so you can easily access campus for drop off and pick up. You will also get a school shirt.
We are proud to offer a hot lunch option throughout the school year. Visit www.gansinai.org/hotlunch for the menu and to order. Orders for each week must be received by noon on the Sunday proceeding that week. Hot lunch begins the second week of school, Monday, August 28th. Gan Sinai will provide pizza lunch to all students on the first Friday of the school year, Friday, August 25th.
Let the PTO help you celebrate your child's birthday in school hassle free for parents. Everything will be brought the day of your choosing to the classroom. Order your celebration at www.gansinai.org/birthday.
Have your favorite flavor of challah delivered to your home via backpack express each Friday. Order your challah at www.gansinai.org/challah.
Attention PK4 parents: If you have not yet signed up for VPK, please do so. You can learn all about VPK at www.gansinai.org/vpk. In order for you to receive the financial benefit I must receive your approved VPK certificate before school begins so I can enroll your child. Please email it to me at email@example.com.
Billing and Payments
Visit www.tsnd.org/member at anytime and log in to view your billing history, current balance due, payments and more.
Every Child Excels
The Every Child Excels initiative at Gan Sinai helps ensure that children have access to the finest physical, occupational, and speech therapists in a dedicated and familiar space within our facility at a subsidized cost. We are thrilled to be able to offer free Occupational and Speech screenings to all of our students. If you would like to schedule a screening for your child, please complete the Screening Authorization form in the "Documents" section of the Playground app.
If you have any questions at all, please reach out to Rabbi David in Playground.