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COVID-19/Coronavirus FAQs

What is Hebrew Public doing to ensure the safety of my child and family?

  • Preparedness
    • We are in daily contact with and take our direction from city and state agencies including New York City and Philadelphia Departments of Education, New York and Pennsylvania State Department of Education, United States Department of Education, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Cleaning/Disinfection
    • All Hebrew Public schools’ custodial teams are focusing extra attention on daily disinfection, particularly on high-touch surfaces including door handles, railings, light switches and sinks.
    • Our schools are receiving additional intensive disinfection weekly on the weekends.
    • All schools have done an inventory of cleaning and containment supplies and have sufficient supplies to last a minimum of 10 days.
    • Our NYC schools have submitted inventory surveys to the Department of Education, which will determine eligibility for receiving additional supplies.
    • We have visited NYC Department of Education supply pick up sites and took as much as was offered, though their inventory was minimal.
  • Minimizing Contamination
    • We have posted informational posters about hand washing and covering coughs throughout all schools
    • In addition to frequent reminders from staff to students about washing hands and using hand sanitizer, we’ve posted hand washing tips and guidelines around the building and outside bathrooms. We are also initiating specific handwashing curriculum for all students in all grades.
    • Teachers follow protocols for referring students to the nurse who are displaying flu-like symptoms, including those symptoms that are typical of coronavirus.
    • NYC schools are following NYC Department of Health mandated protocols for addressing students who are displaying relevant symptoms, including immediate notification of families and staff-monitored, safe quarantine within the school building until families are able to arrive for pick up.
    • Hebrew Public schools have canceled field trips to venues with large crowds and with a lot of hands-on activities.  

What should I do if my child or I have symptoms or were exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus?

  • As per New York State Departments of Health and Education, any student or staff member with an illness of any kind should stay home. If you suspect that you or your child(ren) have any exposure to coronavirus or are displaying any of the following symptoms, we recommend contacting your primary care provider immediately. They can tell you if you should be referred for COVID-19 testing. Symptoms include:
      • Fever
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath

If you or your child have been referred for testing, please contact your school’s main office to notify us. If your child is to be tested or has been tested, s/he will have to stay at home in self-quarantine until results have been received.  If results are negative, we will ask for documentation from a medical professional before having him/her return to school.

What actions will be taken by the school if someone from the school community tests positive for coronavirus?

  • As per New York State guidelines, we will be notified by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene if a member of our community has tested positive. If this occurs, we will be directed to close the affected school for a period of 24 hours.  During that time, NYC DHMH will investigate the situation to determine if any continued closure is necessary. In addition, during the initial 24 hours schools will be fully cleaned and disinfected. 

What will happen if my child’s school closes?

  • If your child’s school faces closure related to coronavirus, you will be notified immediately by the Head of School or the school’s Operations Team. That communication will provide some information about the reason for closure as well as any information available on projected closure duration.
  • We are working rapidly to ensure remote learning options are fully prepared and in place should we experience extended closure in order to allow children to continue their academic program at home. We will be offering both online options and paper-based options to accommodate all families. Families can expect clear communication with step by step guidelines as well as remote access to school staff for support during this time.
  • We don’t yet have information on what will happen if schools are forced to serve students for fewer than the mandated 180 days. We will follow guidance from State and City governments should this be the case. We will update families accordingly.
  • We understand that a school closure would create challenges for many families in regards to childcare and we will only close our schools if we directed to do so to keep our community healthy. We urge you to begin to plan ahead for this potential situation. 

How can I talk to my child about coronavirus?

  • With so much news going around, coronavirus can be a scary and confusing topic for kids.  Here are a few resources you can use to help talk to your children:
  • Most important, make sure to discuss proper hygiene with your child, including:
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes – Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue away.  If you don’t have a tissue, used the inside of your elbow. Wash hands the right way after you cough or sneeze. (Cover Your Cough poster)

Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands – Do your best to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you wash your hands

Who can we go to with additional questions?