The COVID-19 pandemic has presented all of us with unprecedented challenges. Even as the public health crisis has kept us physically distant, this is also a time when our commitment to nurturing a caring community is of the utmost importance. We look to the 2020-2021 school year understanding that each member of the Schechter Manhattan community is in need of care and support. We know that these months have been scary and confusing, and that our school has a really important role to play in helping all of you and your children. We are committed to doing all we can to keep us all safe, physically and emotionally, and to addressing the needs of our special school community.
We also know that each of us can help one another. In a very tangible way, planning to come back to the school this fall calls for menschlichkeit– caring and respect for others. All of our commitment to follow public health guidelines, and school health policies and procedures, will impact the entire community. We ask for all members of the Schechter Manhattan community to join us in a stance of care as we work together to continue to help our students and children grow and learn in the healthiest ways possible. We need your help. We will succeed if everyone shares responsibility for implementing this plan – school administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents all doing our part.
Schechter Manhattan’s plan for returning to school this fall is guided by core values.
- The health and safety of our community is the highest priority.
- Schechter Manhattan’s long-standing core educational principles will guide our decisions during these uncertain times. We will support students’ social and emotional well being, provide shared learning experiences, and utilize careful assessment to meet student needs
- We will use both in person and distance learning to implement our educational program and sustain our community.
The plan for reopening is based on the guidelines from the New York State Department of Health and Education Department. With guidance from the Schechter Manhattan Public Health Response Team, we have developed procedures and protocols to support the Schechter Manhattan community as we return to school, and, with input from our Education Committee, we have planned new structures to educate students within Covid-19 realities. While no school or organization, during this period, can eliminate the risks of the Coronavirus, as you will see in the details below we are taking many steps to mitigate the risks, including limiting the introduction of the virus into the school, managing our interaction during the day to limit exposure, and responding appropriately and quickly in the event that a positive case is identified. In addition, parents have an option to elect to have their child(ren) participate in distance learning, instead of returning now to in-person classroom learning.
We anticipate that these plans will continue to evolve over the course of the summer. We plan to post additional and updated plans for the opening of school in the coming weeks; and no doubt some of those plans we make will need to evolve again after we return to the school, as we experience them live and in person and as the situation in the city continues to change from time to time. We will continue to ask for your feedback, as we did this past spring, and communicate as our plans evolve and as our changing situation requires.
Thank you for your partnership.
Benjamin Mann Julie R. Sissman
Head of School President, Board of Trustees