Rabbi David Paskin
Updated COVID-19 Protocols
Dear Gan Sinai Families,
We hope that you have had a wonderful and safe winter vacation. We are looking forward to welcoming your children back into the classroom on Monday. During the break, the Temple Sinai Covid Task Force met to review our policies and procedures as we enter the second half of the school year. This is part of our ongoing vigilance about the health and safety of our children and families, our faculty and staff, and our community.
Since we first discussed and implemented our policies last summer, so much has changed:
Experts have learned more about the disease transmission, progression, and treatment
We have watched Covid-19 cases rise in south Florida
National forecasts are predicting between 1-2 million new cases during January
A new and more transmissible strain of the Covid virus has been discovered
There are concerns that the population will grow complacent as the vaccine is rolled out
Most significantly, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control have modified their own recommendations.
As a result, the Temple Sinai Covid-19 Task Force has updated our own policy. Please review the policy below carefully:
All individuals age 2 and older are expected to wear cloth face coverings at Gan Sinai, indoors or outdoors, when it is not possible to keep a safe distance from others (e.g., in school, the playground, etc.). Face coverings are essential for children to safely remain in school.
Facial coverings are required except during mealtimes or nap times. Please make sure your child wears a clean facial covering each day. Children under 2 years of age are not permitted to wear facial coverings as it is a suffocation hazard.
We recognize that for young children it may take longer to teach them to wear and not touch their face covering. It's a good idea for parents to practice and model this behavior at home.
While it may be a challenge for very young children not to fidget with their face covering, as mask-wearing becomes routine and reinforced by adults and peers, they will learn to follow directions. Just like children understand that they must wear bicycle helmets and buckle into their car seats, they will learn to wear masks when needed.
For more information, see the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Masks or Cloth Face Coverings for Children During COVID-19,” December 4, 2020 revision, available at healthychildren.org.
While many of our students see masks as an accepted part of their daily Gan Sinai experience, some of our students, particularly our younger ones, will need time to learn this. As with all new things, this learning is a process. Our faculty will be working with all of our students over the next 2-3 weeks to model, remind, and reinforce the importance of wearing masks. For our efforts to be successful, we are asking for your positive reinforcement of this message at home. If we all work to do our best, we know that we will mitigate the risk.
In the meantime, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2021.
Darren Friedman, President
Rabbi Alan Litwak