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  • Writer's pictureRabbi David Paskin

Back to School Information

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

Dear Friends,

We are so excited welcome you to the 2022-2023 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

Before getting into the nitty gritty, please help me welcome Ms. Esther (PK3), Ms. Pandora (PK3), Ms. Jessica (TGS), Ms. Mini (PK2), Ms. Miriam (PK2) and Ms. India (Office) to our Gan Sinai Family. Some are returning after some time away and others are new friends. All are WONDERFUL and I'm so excited for you to meet them!

Important Dates and Times

  • Parent Orientation is Thursday, August 18th at 7pm in the Gan-at-Home Zoom room. Just go to and click on the blue Zoom button at the top of the page. The passcode is: ganathome.

  • Back-to-School day is Friday, August 19th

    • TGS: 9am-10am

    • PK2: 10am-11am

    • PK3: 11am-12pm

    • PK4: 12:30pm-1:30pm

  • Our first day of school is Monday, August 22nd.

  • 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)

  • Hot Lunch, Early and After Care and Enrichment classes begin on Monday, August 29th

  • 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 26

Slow Start

To help our TGS and PK2 children transition into our program in the most comfortable way possible we begin the first week of school slowly.

  • On the first day 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).

Playground App

The Playground app is our main tool for school communication. If you are new to our community, please download the app from 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 (

Here's how to get set up in Playground:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Please upload and complete our required forms found in the "Documents" section of the app.

You can learn more about all of this and more at

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.

Check In/Out

Each guardian must sign 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 sign ins and outs for safety and for early and aftercare billing. We appreciate your help with this each day.

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 29.

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 Enrichment classes begin the second week of school, Monday, August 29.

Required Forms

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 documents section of the Playground app.

Before the school year begins all families must upload the following to the documents section of the Playground app:

  • Birth Certificate

  • Updated Immunization records

  • Medical forms (#680 and #3040). Forms are available in your pediatrician’s office.


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 to read our “COVID-19” guidelines.


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.

Class Placement

In placing children in classes, we have done our best to honor any teacher or placement requests you may have made while also ensuring a healthy learning experience for all of our children. You will see your 2022-2023 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.

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 should also get a school shirt.

Hot Lunch

We are proud to offer a hot lunch option throughout the school year. Visit 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 29th. Gan Sinai will provide pizza lunch to all students on the first Friday of the school year, Friday, August 26th.

Birthday Celebrations

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


Have your favorite flavor of challah delivered to your home via backpack express each Friday. Order your challah at


Attention PK4 parents: If you have not yet signed up for VPK, please do so. You can learn all about VPK at 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

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 check the Gan Sinai website at or reach out to me here in Playground.

Here’s to a wonderful year of playing, learning, and growing together!

Rabbi David

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