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Last Updated: September 23, 2022

It is our practice to rigorously apply DC Health recommendations for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and families. As long-stated in our Parent Handbook’s section on health and vaccination: “As a preschool with Jewish values, we follow pikuach nefesh, which states it is each person’s duty as a member of society to protect all of its members.”  

Our school’s covid-19 safety measures are informed by OSSE, DC Health, and the CDC. DC Health currently asks local preschools to follow a set of “everyday prevention measures”, shared in a June 13 announcement and updated in a September 19 announcement, which constitute the core of our covid protocols. OSSE and DC Health instruct DC preschools to follow current CDC guidance to operationalize those everyday prevention measures. Our school currently uses the following CDC resources, which were both updated on August 11, 2022:

DC Health’s covid-19 everyday prevention measures: 

  • COVID-19 vaccination 

  • Staying home when sick  

  • COVID-19 diagnostic testing 

  • Isolation (for symptomatic or COVID-19 positive people) 

  • Quarantine (for people exposed to COVID-19) 

  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette 

  • Optimizing indoor ventilation and air quality 

  • Cleaning and disinfection 

Details on the Gan’s implementation of DC Health’s everyday prevention measures for covid-19:

  • COVID-19 vaccination: All Gan students and staff are required to be vaccinated when eligible. Adas Israel further requires all visitors who enter the building, inclusive of the Gan, to be vaccinated. Proof of vaccination may be asked for upon entry. Adults on authorized pickup lists for Gan students are required to be vaccinated.
  • Staying home when sick: All Gan students and staff are required to stay home when sick, following the policies outlined in our Parent Handbook:

If you have any doubts about your child’s state of health in the morning of a school day, please keep your child at home. We will send your child home if he or she is unable to participate in our program because of illness. Frequent coughing and a fresh discharge from the nose are reasons for your child to stay at home. If your child requires a fever- or pain-reducing medication (i.e., Motrin or Tylenol), please do not send them to school that day. Please keep your child home if they are exhibiting any of the following symptoms or have exhibited them within the past 24 hours:  

  • fever (100.1° or greater, or at the discretion of school administration)
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • sore throat
  • eye drainage or thick mucus or pus around the eye
  • abnormal discoloration of the skin or body rash
  • redness of or crust around the eye
  • any other symptom indicative of a communicable disease

Children exhibiting any of these symptoms while in school will be sent home and parents will receive a Sick Child form completed by their child’s teacher. Children must be picked up within an hour. Children who are picked up early due to illness must stay out of school for a minimum of 24 hours. Generally, we ask that children picked up mid-day stay out of school for the following school day. The specific return-to-school timeline for your child will be indicated on the Sick Child form. 

If your child is diagnosed with a contagious illness (covid-19, pink eye, coxsackie, strep throat, etc.), inform your child’s teachers and the Gan administrative team ( Teachers will then email all parents in the class to notify them of possible exposure to the illness; this email will not disclose the name of the sick child.

  • COVID-19 diagnostic testing: Gan families are encouraged to keep a supply of publicly provided antigen tests at home. These will be needed should your child display any symptoms, be in close contact with an individual who has tested positive, or for weekly surveillance testing. As guided by CDC, we do not use surveillance testing as a de facto standard, but will use surveillance testing at intentional points throughout the year, based around local spikes in cases and/or after returning from breaks. This is communicated to families as needed. Individuals who have symptoms but test negative must follow the standard "staying home when sick" guidelines (above).
  • Isolation (for symptomatic or COVID-19 positive people): Individuals who test positive are required to follow CDC guidelines on isolation. Individuals must isolate for a five day period following either their positive test or onset of symptoms, whichever occur first, and are then eligible to return to the Gan on day six while wearing a mask through day 10. A member of our Gan team will be in direct communication with your family to establish this timeline and review your specific case.
  • Quarantine (for people exposed to COVID-19): CDC's Operational Guidance currently states that "Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19 except in certain high-risk congregate settings such as correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and nursing homes. In schools and ECE settings, which are generally not considered high-risk congregate settings, people who were exposed to COVID-19 should follow recommendations to wear a well-fitting mask and get tested. K-12 school and ECE administrators can decide how to manage exposures based on the local context and benefits of preserving access to in-person learning." Therefore:
    • If your child has a time-limited exposure to COVID-19 (IE, a household member tests positive after interacting with the child and is then able to quarantine; or a child attends a playdate with a child who later tests positive), they are eligible to stay in school provided: they do not display any symptoms; they test negative during the five days that follow exposure; they wear a mask indoors while in school for the following five days; and they do not have further exposure to COVID-19.
    • If your child has a continual, ongoing exposure to COVID-19 (IE, they are unable to quarantine from one or more family members who have tested positive and are exposed to them for multiple days consecutively, even if masked) we ask that they stay home until either their family members are on Day 6 of being positive or they are able to quarantine from the positive family members, at which point they would be eligible to return to school provided: they do not display any symptoms; they test negative during the five days following the final exposure; they wear a mask indoors while in school for the five days; and they do not have further exposure to COVID-19.
    • Exposure-based-quarantine will be decided on an individual basis through discussion with parents, teachers, and school administration.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: All students and staff at the Gan are required to wash their hands upon entry. This can be done either in the public, bathroom, or classroom sinks. Teachers work with students to ensure that coughs are buried into elbows, tissues are used and disposed of properly, and that hands are frequently washed throughout the day (and especially before eating and after sneezing).
  • Optimizing indoor ventilation and air quality: All our classrooms, bathrooms, and open spaces utilize mobile air filters. Our classroom windows are left open at all possible times, while monitoring our indoor air temperature. Large indoor spaces throughout Adas, including Kay & Wasserman Hall and the Smith Sanctuary, have recently upgraded air filtration systems.
  • Cleaning and disinfection: Our classrooms are thoroughly cleaned each day after dismissal by Adas Israel’s facilities team. Our teachers spot-clean high touch areas throughout the day. Toys that are mouthed are pulled from use for the day until they are thoroughly cleaned.

Please also note: 

  • Masks: Following CDC’s operational guidance, masks are optional at the Gan while indoors and outdoors. Our school is a “mask-friendly” environment. Families, students, and teachers are encouraged to make a choice that feels right for them. If your child is new to masks, we suggest you take a look at our Tips & Tricks to help your child get comfortable with a mask should they need one during the year.

  • Notification: Following DC Health's guidance, the Gan will notify individuals who may have been exposed to covid-19 at our facility. Families will be notified of potential exposure via an email from Gan administration. 

  • Intermingling: DC Health no longer recommends against intermingling and so our classrooms share indoor spaces when appropriate. This will typically be the Gan Space and the Kay Hall during inclement weather days. Our classrooms spend time together outdoors together for school-wide events such as Shabbat Sing and holiday celebrations. 

  • Daily health check: We ask that parents monitor their children for symptoms and exposure and report either to administration. We no longer use a daily app. As always, we expect our parents to diligently follow our illness policies, cited above, in our Parent Handbook. 


Wed, March 22 2023 29 Adar 5783