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Covid Policy

The health of your family and our greater Temple Israel family is our top priority.
As the state of COVID-19 is ever-changing, we remain both flexible and proactive in determining a safe and effective roadmap that reflects the high standard we practice every single day at Temple. Please refer to this page for the most up-to-date policy.


Effective Monday, October 4, all eligible individuals will need a valid vaccination card on file in order to enter the ELC building for school pick-up.

Please submit the vaccine card of any parent or caregiver who will pick up an ELC student to BKLFrontDesk@timemphis.org no later than Friday, October 1. If you are unable to submit proof of vaccination, please make other arrangements for pick-up directly with Sarah Keith.


August 17, 2021: Response to Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 84

On Monday, August 16, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 84, which purports to give parents the ability to opt their child out of a local mask mandate enacted by a school board or health department. You may be wondering how or if this impacts Temple Israel and the BKL ELC.

After consulting with our legal counsel and medical experts, Temple stands by our policy to require masks for all appropriately-aged children, WAF/RS students, Temple staff, as well as visitors to the Temple Israel campus. Masks are a critical tool to keep everyone at our school safely engaged and learning for the rest of the year.
We will continue to follow the situation closely.


Effective August 9, 2021, we have implemented the following measures, campus-wide, to ensure our congregational family’s health and safety:

  • Appropriate masks* are required at all times while on the Temple Israel Campus, both inside and outside.
  • Visitors must sign in at the Welcome Center.
  • All existing Temple Israel staff must receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, absent a legal exemption, no later than October 1, 2021.

Click below to jump to a specific section:


Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center

Effective September 2, 2021

Home Partnership
  • Every morning before coming to school, parents should take their child’s temperature, check for COVID-19 symptoms, and record outcomes.
  • A student may not have Tylenol, Advil, or other fever-reducing medication before school.
  • Establish (before the start of school) child care decisions for ill children or in case of intermittent school closures due to COVID-19.
  • Update parent contact information throughout the school year as changes occur.
  • Pick up within 30 minutes of receiving a call from the ELC if their child becomes ill at school. The child will be placed in supervised isolation until picked up. Please have a plan in place if it is not feasible for either parent to get to the ELC within 30 minutes.
  • Follow the guidelines from the SCHD for testing, quarantine/isolation, and when to return to school. Further guidance will be offered from administration on a case by case basis.
  • See symptom protocol outlined below. Please note that the presence of high risk symptoms or a fever will require a negative COVID-19 test or note from a doctor. The requirement of 24 hours fever-free, diarrhea-free, vomit-free, still remains the same.
  • If any household contact has pending test results due to possible exposure or new onset of symptoms, the child should stay home until a confirmed negative result is received.
  • Travel: Families must notify the ELC of international travel (only of children attending the ELC). We strongly encourage PCR testing when you return from a trip and may require a short isolation period depending on transmission rates and mode of travel. Depending on the situation, these children may be required to quarantine for up to 10 days. Each situation will be handled on a case by case basis.
  • Weekly Assurance Testing will be offered on campus on Tuesday mornings during school hours to any interested families free of charge. One-time registration here.

Face Coverings
  • Temple is providing a daily supply of KN-95 masks for ELC staff. Per medical counsel and based upon appropriate fitting, our teachers will either wear a KN-95 mask or double mask with both a surgical mask and cloth mask.
  • Pre-K, Jr. K, and Kindergarten children will be required to wear a face-covering when in common areas of the building (transitioning from one area to another) as well as within their individual classrooms. Scheduled face-covering breaks will allow for time without a mask during every 90 minutes of the school day. Starboard children (over the age of 2) may wear a mask but are not required until August 23. Children under the age of 2 may not wear a mask at any time.
  • These same groups of children will be required to wear a face-covering when in the presence of a specialist teacher or when combined with another cohort for before or aftercare. Cohorts (one age group) visiting the playground (or other outdoor spaces) will not be required to keep face-coverings on once they have arrived at their destination.
  • According to the latest guidance, “In general, outdoor activities do not require masking. However, this could be considered during periods of high virus transmission in the community.” Due to current rates, parents will have the option for their child to wear their masks at all times while outdoors. If you would like your child to do so, please sign and return appropriate form. If your child does not have a signed form, they will remove their mask while outdoors.
  • Within the confines of their classroom, students will wear a face-covering during instructional and play times. Children will remove their face-coverings for meals and rest time.
  • Any child in distress or uncomfortable while wearing their face-covering will be taken to a safe area for an individual face-covering break. When feasible, this break will be outside of the classroom (if the student/teacher ratio allows or teacher coverage is available). If a child is not able to be completely removed from the room, they will be safely physically distanced from all other students for their break.
Assurance Testing

Temple Israel is proud to offer weekly onsite assurance testing at no cost to our BKL ELC families. As a reminder, assurance testing is a minimally invasive shallow, nasal swab and is our best tool to identify cases of asymptomatic transmission within our school.

  • Registration: If you would like to have your child tested on campus, please register here. You do not need to re-register if you have had your child tested on campus at any time.

If you would like to take your child to Poplar Healthcare for symptomatic or exposure testing please click here. We strongly encourage all families to have their children tested before sending them back to school after breaks. This is especially important if you have traveled or had exposure risks in the last two weeks.

Class Sizes and Policies

The ELC will be following current recommendations for limiting group sizes as much as possible. We will also be doing our best to limit Contact Tracing by minimizing large group events.

  • Teachers will wear appropriate* face coverings at all times while in the building.
  • In keeping with previous ELC protocols- all student meals will be brought from home. At this time, no milk will be provided by the ELC and no late evening snack for aftercare students will be provided (reminder- all classrooms are nut-free, as well as no shellfish or pork products allowed).
  • Classrooms will be well ventilated and classes will utilize outside time as much as possible to help mitigate the spread of germs.
  • Happy Nappi or sheets and blankets can be brought to school. All nap items will be sent home on Friday for washing.
  • Please do not send personal items into school unless necessary.
  • To limit contract tracing, classes will only mix with one other class during the 9 AM – 4 PM school day (in most cases, the class of the same age group). Early care and after care students (7:15-9 AM and 4:15-6 PM) may blend with two other age groups, but class sizes will not increase during these times.
  • All specialists/outside vendors will follow the same protocols as classroom teachers.
Classroom Closure – Presumptive Covid-19 Case
  • You will be notified via email of a presumptive case and provided recommendations for testing/watching for symptoms. We will not, under any circumstances, release the name of the ill student or staff member.
  • If administration or SCHD deems necessary, the classrooms with possible contact will be closed while we wait for further information or instruction.
  • If the presumptive case is confirmed as negative, the classroom will reopen and care will resume.
  • If the presumptive case is confirmed as positive, the class will be closed for the CDC recommended 7 days. It will be the recommendation of the ELC that children and teachers in this classroom remain in self quarantine.
  • The Shelby County Health Department has the final say on the extent and length of all COVID related closures.
Classroom Closure – Confirmed Covid-19 Case
  • You will be notified via email of a confirmed case and provided recommendations for testing/watching for symptoms. We will not, under any circumstances, release the name of the ill student or staff member.
  • If a child or staff member within a classroom tests positive:
  • The children in that classroom are considered close contacts and would have the three options for isolation (outlined below).
  • Siblings of those classmates may also be excluded as a precaution.
  • SCHD will advise on next steps for your child and family following confirmed exposure.
  • The Shelby County Health Department has the final say on the extent and length of all COVID related closures.

Option 1 – CDC recommended – Quarantine for 14 days

Option 2 – Quarantine for 10 days if you have no symptoms

Option 3 – Quarantine for 7 days with a negative PCR test on or after day 5

Contact Tracing
  • Once a confirmed or doctor/Shelby County Health Department presumptive case is reported, the ELC will alert the division/department office that a Contact Trace has started on that person.
  • The administration will need to supply the list of cohort students or faculty that the person has been in contact with.
  • In the contact group, any new confirmed/presumptive cases will be contacted by the ELC for support and provide guidance as needed.
Cleaning
  • There will be an increase in the frequency of cleaning surfaces within the classrooms and across campus.
  • Staff will have additional cleaning schedules in order to help mitigate the spread of any germs and bacteria.
  • Buggies, strollers, high chairs, and chairs will be cleaned after each use.
  • Playground sanitization will occur daily. Handwashing procedures will also take place before and after playground use.
  • Teachers will be required to clean toys during nap time.
  • In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school, the COVID classroom has to sit for 24 hours before cleaning crews come in.
  • If there is a presumptive case of COVID-19 within your child’s classroom, that classroom may switch to virtual learning (for Pre-K, Jr. K, and Kindergarten) for a minimum of 2 days while the classroom is deep cleaned and disinfected, and class members/teachers are evaluated for symptoms.
Covid-19 Symptoms Protocol
Low-risk Symptoms

Congestion
Muscle Aches
Headache
Fatigue
Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea

High-risk Symptoms

Fever
Cough
Shortness of breath
Loss of taste/smell

If your child is exhibiting one low-risk symptom, you may be contacted by your child’s teachers. While we currently do not require pick-up for one low-risk symptom, we ask that you use your best judgment regarding pick-up in this instance.
In the case of one low-risk symptom, siblings are allowed to stay at or attend school.

If your child is exhibiting one high-risk or two low-risk symptoms, they will be required to be picked up from school as soon as possible. Students exhibiting these symptoms may only return to school with a doctor’s note or a negative COVID test. In this instance, any siblings at the ELC will also need to be picked up. A positive COVID-19 test or confirmed exposure of any household contact requires a 14-day quarantine. Children should not attend school if any household contact is awaiting pending test results.


As a reminder, the BKL ELC should be notified of any changes to symptoms or exposure during morning triage or via phone/email if your child is not attending school. Any confidential health information should be shared directly with Jamie Katz or Sarah Keith.

WAF/RS and TI CHAI

The Wendy & Avron Fogelman Religious School (TI CHAI & Hebrew School) adhere to the protocols in place at the Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center.
Appropriate masks* are required at all times while on the Temple Israel Campus, both inside and outside.

Clergy & Staff

  • All existing Temple Israel staff must receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, absent a legal exemption, no later than October 1, 2021.
  • Everyone hired by Temple Israel on or after July 15, 2021, will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID (absent a legal exemption). 
  • We continue to invest in top-tier onsite assurance testing at Temple. Only protocols like assurance testing can proactively flag the growing number of breakthrough cases.
  • Temple Israel staff members, regardless of vaccination status, must wear appropriate masks* for preventative purposes, as vaccinated individuals are also prone to transmit variants of COVID-19.

Worship Services

  • We ask that you wear an appropriate mask* at all times.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before the event and use outdoor spaces to socialize after(with a mask and using appropriate physical distance).
  • Please choose a seat that maintains a 6′ distance between pods/persons during services. 
  • If you prefer to join virtually, all services are livestreamed at timemphis.org or on Facebook.

2021 High Holy Days

  • Attendees for in-person services are required to be fully-vaccinated.
  • We ask that you wear an appropriate mask* at all times.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before the event to secure parking, check-in, and find a seat.
  • Please choose a seat that maintains a 6′ distance between pods/persons.
  • If you prefer to join virtually, all services are livestreamed at timemphis.org or on Facebook.
  • Please see our High Holy Days schedule for the most up-to-date schedule and livestream links.

* Appropriate masks should:
Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth;
Fasten securely with ties or ear loops and allow the individual to remain hands-free;
Fit snugly, but comfortably, against the side of the face – no gaps;
Should be made of breathable material.
For purposes of this Policy:
reference to “Temple Israel” includes its locations on East Massey Road, Crosstown, and the Cemetery;
reference to “COVID” means COVID-19 and any variant thereof;
reference to COVID “vaccines” or “vaccinations” includes all available boosters that may be approved and/or recommended by the appropriate authorities; and
reference to “masks” means surgical-style masks and does not include “sports gators.”
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