Dear Parents,

As we prepare for the upcoming summer at Gan Israel Shaloh House, first and foremost in our minds is the safety and well being of our children and staff. The information contained in these pages reflect discussions and consultations with our medical committee and guidance from local, state and federal agencies. We have done our best to provide you with a clear, concise and practical outline of what we have planned for the summer season.

Please know that we will be in contact with all relevant agencies to keep up to date with changes that may occur during the summer program and will share them with you.

With all necessary precautions in place and our vigilance during the summer, we are confident that we could provide your children with an exciting and memorable summer experience. Nonetheless, we cannot guarantee that COVID-19 or other illnesses will not occur at our program this summer.

The success of our summer depends upon all families openly and honestly communicating whether anyone in their home has tested positive or even has any related symptoms.

Contracting COVID-19 can happen to anyone, even if they are adhering to stay-at-home directives and social distancing protocols. Stigma or silence surrounding this is counterproductive. If we are open and honest with each other, we can keep our program— and the joy that it brings to dozens of families— open all summer. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have over the summer.

With heartfelt prayers for a well-deserved safe, healthy and enjoyable summer for our children!


Sincerely,

Rabbi Dan Rodkin
Executive Director

 

CLICK HERE for information from the CDC about the symptoms, transmission, prevention, and when to seek medical attention for COVID-19.

 

Overview of How This Summer Will Look Different

  • Bunks will be no more than 10 children per bunk
  • Bunks will not be permitted to interact with or do activities with any other bunks 
  • There is 1 Preschool bunk, 3 Girls Division bunks, and 2 Boys Division bunks.
  • Staff for both Boys Division and Girls Division are out-of-town girls who have tested negative prior to their arrival in Boston.
  • There will be no trips (walking trips in/around Brighton are expected)
  • There will be no late-nights, Shabbatons, or Family BBQs.
  • Pickup and Drop-off will be very different than in past years, please see below
  • Each bunk will swim daily in our pool without any other bunks present and all surfaces will be sanitized between uses.
  • children will be encouraged to wear masks when indoors or when social distancing is not possible outdoors
  • Lunch and snacks will be provided to children individually wrapped to be eaten in respective bunk rooms
  • Each bunk will be equipped with a water bottle fill station (only to be dispensed by staff)
  • Frequent sanitizing procedures will take place throughout the day
  • Parents will not be permitted in the building at any time, all communications must be done via email or phone.
  • No synagogue members will be permitted access of facilities allocated to the program during program hours.

 

Pickup and Drop-off Procedures

 

Drop-off

In compliance with state regulations, all children and adults bringing children will be required to pass a health screening each morning before children may enter the building. Please read the procedures of the morning drop-off:

1)     Morning drop-off procedures, as described below, will be in effect each morning from 8:45am-9:15am. (See below about the procedure when dropping off later than 9:15am.)

2)     Upon arrival, adults will walk with children to the parking lot where a waiting line will be set up. The ground will be clearly marked to indicate where to stand in order to allow sufficient distancing of 6ft.

3)     There will be no entry permitted from the front (main) door of the building.

4)     The line will lead to a check-in area outside the side door of the building (parking lot door).

5)     At check-in, staff will ask each child and parent/guardian a series of questions to verify that the child has not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 (see below for a list of symptoms and questions that will be asked).

6)     Once checked-in, the child will be required to sanitize hands and then permitted to enter the building (no parent/guardian is permitted to enter the building) and will be guided to his/her bunk room.

Please note that it is strongly discouraged to arrange carpools between families as this undermines our efforts of ensuring healthy distancing. Also, we ask that drop-off occur only between 8:45am-9:15am. Any child that arrives after 9:15am will be required to proceed to the front (main) door of the building, buzz the front desk, and our office manager, Elana, will come outside to conduct a health screening when she is available to do so.

 

Pickup

Pickup for Preschool will take place directly from the playground located at the end of the parking lot (in the event of rain, Preschool pickup will follow the procedure below). Please read the procedures below for pickup of Boys Division and Girls Division children:

1)     Pickup will take place only between 3:50pm-4:10pm.

2)     Parents/guardians will head to the parking lot to stand and wait where clearly marked.

3)     A staff member with a walkie talkie will walk alongside the waiting line of parents and will announce to all bunk rooms the family names of children to be picked up.

4)     children will be sent downstairs thru the parking lot door and head to the waiting parent/guardian.

Please note that there is no after-care available due to the inability to mix children of different groups. All children must be picked up no later than 4:10pm. If a children is not picked up by 4:!5pm, parents will be charged $1 per child per minute.

 

Health Screening and Symptoms

Below are the following questions that will be asked during the health screening. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the child will not be permitted into the program. If a child shows any of these symptoms in the morning, please do not bring the child to the program that day and please inform the office.

1)     Today or in the past 24 hours, have you or any household members had any of the following symptoms?

a. Fever (temperature of 100.0°F or above), felt feverish, or had chills?
b. Cough?
c. Sore throat?
d. Difficulty breathing?
e. Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)?
f. Fatigue? (Fatigue alone will not exclude a child from participation.)
g. Headache?
h. New loss of smell/taste?
i. New muscle aches?
j. Any other signs of illness?

2)     In the past 14 days, have you had close contact with a person known to be infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

3)     Have you received any medicine (Tylenol, Advil, etc.) that lowers a fever?

Throughout the day, staff will be assessing if children show any of the above symptoms. If symptoms are observed, children will be isolated and parents will be called to pick up the child.

 

If a Child or Staff Contracts COVID-19

Sick children or staff who are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic and presumed to have COVID-19 must not return until they have met the criteria for discontinuing home isolation and have consulted with a health care provider.

If a child or staff member contracts COVID-19, all families of our program will be notified as well as the Boston Board of Health.

 

Exposure to COVID-19

If a child or staff is exposed to an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19, then all children or staff that have been exposed to that individual must self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.

If a child or staff has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of whether the individual has symptoms or not, the child or staff must not be permitted to enter the program space and must be sent home. Exposed individuals must be directed to stay home for at least 14 days after the last day of contact with the person who is sick. Our program’s administration will consult the local board of health for guidance on quarantine for other children and staff and what additional precautions will be needed to ensure the program space is safe for continued child care services.

 

Wearing a Mask

All staff will be wearing masks when indoors (and outdoors when social distancing of 6ft is not possible). Children will be provided color-coded cloth masks to be worn when indoors (and outdoors when social distancing of 6ft is not possible). Masks will be laundered daily and provided when children arrive at the program. In accordance with state guidelines, children may not be required to wear masks but will be strongly encouraged to do so by staff.

 

Physical Distancing and Bunk Sizes

Childcare programs have always been built around developmentally appropriate practice. Social distancing is not a developmentally appropriate expectation for any child under the age of 12, and especially the younger children (under 7). Therefore, we expect that your child will be at a distance of less than 6 feet of another child, neither of whom will be in a mask, at many times this summer. Our staff will remind children frequently to social distance, but we know that it will not always occur. Our program will do its best to design activities in a way that physical distancing guidelines can be observed.

In accordance with released guidance from the state of Massachusetts, we will be following these guidelines with regards to bunk sizes and social distancing:

  • Each bunk will be limited to 10 children and 2 staff
  • Child and staff groupings will be as static as possible. The same group of children will remain with the same staff each session, each day, all day.
  • We will restrict mixing between groups of children.
  • Physical distancing for children and counselors within their bunk will be exercised whenever possible.
  • This year, each children will have his/her own set of art supplies for crafts, i.e. markers, scissors, etc.

In the event bunks are gathered together for a show or performance, the following conditions will be met:

  • All staff will wear masks.
  • There will be 7-9 feet separation between bunks as a well as visible physical barrier
  • Children will be strongly encouraged to wear masks at these events.

During rest time for younger children, cots will be set up 6 feet apart.

 

Sanitizing

Our building is now equipped with self-stand touchless hand sanitizing stations to encourage frequent hand sanitizing. All materials not easily sanitized, such as fabric or playdough, etc., will be removed from the class/bunk rooms. Our full-time, onsite custodian will be sanitizing the building thoroughly throughout the day, including door handles, tables, bathrooms, etc.  As well, each bunk room will be equipped with sanitizing sprays in accordance with Massachusetts regulations.

Hand washing will take place often and under the supervision of the counselors. The following times are mandatory for handwashing:

  • Immediately upon entering the building in the morning.
  • Before and after snack.
  • Before and after going outdoors to play.
  • After using the bathroom.
  • Before leaving the program at the end of the day.

 

Food & Drink

  • Children will eat lunch and snacks with their bunks only.
  • All snacks and lunch will be provided to children individually wrapped.
  • Cooking and baking activities will be done less often and with extra precautions.
  • Please send a large, filled, reusable water bottle for your child to use throughout the day. Each bunk room will be equipped with a water bottle fill-station that will be used by staff only to fill water bottles.

 

Staff

As always, a great deal of time and research is spent on hiring the finest staff for our children. This year, we have hired a wonderful group of girls who have a great deal of experience running programs and camps in previous summers. Staff will be thoroughly trained in all COVID-19 regulations and precautions. As well, staff will be tested for COVID-19 both before travelling to Boston and upon arrival in Boston.