The health of your family and our greater Temple Israel family is our top priority.
As the state of COVID-19 is ever-changing, Temple Israel remains 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.
We have implemented the following measures, campus-wide, to ensure our congregational family’s health and safety:
- All eligible individuals must be fully vaccinated to attend indoor worship and programming. Proof of vaccination should be available upon arrival or by request.
- Children ineligible to be vaccinated are welcome to join with their vaccinated guardian(s).
- We ask that everyone aged two and up wear an appropriate mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times.
- Visitors and vendors are welcome by appointment and must sign in at the Welcome Center.
- The Temple Israel Judaica Shop is open on Tuesday and Thursday 1-4 PM, Wednesday 11 AM – 2 PM, and Sunday 9:30 AM -1 PM.
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Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center
Effective Monday, October 4, all eligible individuals will need a valid vaccination card on file 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.
- 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 pick-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 below for testing, quarantine/isolation, and when to return to school. Further guidance will be offered from the administration on a case-by-case basis.
- See the symptom protocol outlined below. Please note that the presence of high-risk symptoms or fever will require a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test or a 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 air 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. We will always recommend keeping the child home for 48 hours following air travel to monitor for any changes or symptom onset. 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 on-site Assurance Testing will be offered on Tuesday mornings during school hours to any interested families free of charge. Fill out this one-time registration here.
- **The ELC must be notified of any positive cases within the household of an ELC child. This includes vaccinated individuals.
- 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.
- Starboard, 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. 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 early-care or after-care. 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 the 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 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.
- **An appropriate face covering is tight fitting and layered. Your child’s mask should not be gaping on the sides or need many accommodations (tied ear loops, extra clips) to fit their face. Please reference this chart for recommended masks, take note of the age recommendation and size of each option. If your child is wearing a mask that does not fit them appropriately, we will swap it out for a disposable mask for the safety of all children.
Temple Israel is proud to offer weekly on-site 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 KN-95 mask or double mask 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 are 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 to school unless necessary.
- To limit contact 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 5 days. The ELC will recommend that children and teachers in this classroom remain in self-quarantine during this time.
- 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:
- SCHD will advise on next steps for your child and family following confirmed exposure. SCHD has the final say on the extent and length of all COVID-related closures.
- During this closure, your child will be provided with virtual learning opportunities if they are in Pre-k, Jr-K, or Kindergarten (beginning in a reasonable amount of time from the start of the closure).
- If your child is named as a close contact either within the school, or due to an outside exposure they will be excluded from school for a minimum of 5 days. The child can take a PCR test on day 5, and return to school as soon as they have negative test results.
- The Shelby County Health Department has the final say on the extent and length of all COVID related closures.
Confirmed COVID-19 Case – Isolation Guidance
Based on the CDC recommendations updated in December 2020 we have updated our isolation guidelines. If an ELC child has a confirmed positive test, the isolation guidelines will be as follows:
- If your child is in a fully masked classroom (Starboard, Pre-K, Jr. K, or Kindergarten) their isolation time will be 7 days. On the 7th day, if symptoms have improved, and your child has been fever-free for 24 hours, they may return to school. Your child must be in a tight fitting mask, as recommended by the CDC.
- If your child is in an unmasked (Ketanim, Alef, or Bet) or partially masked classroom (Gimmel) their isolation time will be 10 days. Your child will be eligible to return to school on day 11 if symptoms have improved and your child has been fever-free for 24 hours.
According to the CDC, close contacts should:
- Quarantine for 5 days, test on day 5 if possible.
- Continue to wear a mask for an additional 5 days, even at home.
- Return to school on day 6 with a negative PCR test or on day 10 without a test.
- 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 to provide guidance as needed.
- We have increased the frequency of cleaning surfaces within the classrooms and across campus.
- Staff will have additional cleaning schedules to help mitigate the spread of any germs and bacteria.
- Buggies, strollers, high chairs, and chairs will be cleaned after each use.
- Handwashing procedures will 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 being cleaned.
COVID-19 Symptoms Protocol
Shortness of breath
Loss of taste/smell
If your child is exhibiting one low-risk symptom at school, 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 circumstance. In the case of a student exhibiting one low-risk symptom, their 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 close contacts to quarantine. Children should not attend school if any household contact is awaiting pending test results while in quarantine.
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 (Grades K-7)
*Update as of January 5, 2022
Following the release of the new quarantine and isolation policy by the CDC, we have decided to adhere to our previous policy, outlined below.
Following a positive PCR or rapid test, that individual should remain absent from WAF/RS during their 10 day isolation period.
If you are a close contact,
- You may return to WAF/RS 10 days from exposure.
- You may return to WAF/RS with a negative PCR test taken on or after day 5, and return on day 8.
Follow-up negative test results and plans for absence should be sent to Sophie Weiss.
Update as of October 21, 2021
In the circumstance of a positive rapid test,
- Please let us know.
We will wait for a follow-up PCR test to confirm positivity and send communications accordingly.
- We will require 2 negative PCR tests, the second taken at least 5 days from the first before the child can return to Religious School. Follow-up negative tests should be sent to Sophie Weiss.
- We will communicate to the affected grade and all of WAF/RS within 24 hours when there is a positive PCR result of a student that has attended Religious School within the contagious window. Following the Shelby County Health Department, students will not be required to quarantine or be considered a close contact even with a WAF/RS student testing positive because students remain masked and are at least three feet away from other students.
If your child has been placed in quarantine outside of WAF/RS or someone within the household is in quarantine with pending test results, we ask that you update Sophie Weiss with that information and keep your child home from Religious School for 10 days from exposure. You can find quarantine protocols below.
Quarantine options regardless of vaccination status:
- Quarantine for 10 days if you have no symptoms (return on or after day 11)
- Quarantine for 7 days with a negative PCR test on or after day 5 (return after day 8)
As a reminder:
- 100% of our WAF/RS teachers and madrichim (teaching assistants) are fully vaccinated.
- All WAF/RS and Hebrew School teachers and madrichim are given rapid tests in the morning before students arrive.
- All full-time Temple Israel employees are fully vaccinated and receive weekly PCR tests.
- All students and teachers wear masks during Religious and Hebrew School.
- Students are seated on mats spaced 3 feet apart. Mats are disinfected at the end of each session.
- No more than 2 students at a time are allowed in the restroom and are taken by a madrich or teacher to ensure minimal indoor contact.
TI CHAI (Grades 8-12)
Update as of October 8, 2021
Following Shelby County Health Department guidelines, in the circumstance of a positive rapid test,
- Please let us know. We will wait for a follow-up PCR test to confirm positivity and send communications accordingly.
- We will require 2 negative PCR tests, the second taken at least 5 days from the first before the child can return to Religious School. Follow-up negative tests should be sent to Jackie Evans.
- We will communicate to the affected grade and all of TI CHAI within 24 hours when there is a positive PCR result of a student that has attended Religious School within the contagious window. Following the Shelby County Health Department, students will not be required to quarantine or be considered a close contact even with a TI CHAI student testing positive because we are outdoors, masked, and distanced.
Following the Shelby County Health Department, students will not be required to quarantine or be considered a close contact even with a TI CHAI student testing positive because students remain masked and at least three feet away from other students.
If your child has been placed in quarantine outside of TI CHAI or someone within the household in quarantine with pending test results, we ask that you update Rabbi Jeremy with that information and keep your child home from Religious School until the quarantine is over. You can find quarantine protocols here.
According to the SCHD, families can choose one of three quarantine options:
- 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 proof of a negative PCR test on or after day 5
SCHD recommends that a close contact, fully-vaccinated child with symptoms should do the following:
- Quarantine for 7 days and get tested immediately;
- If that test is negative, the child should get tested again on the 5th day of quarantine; and
- If the second test is negative, the child may return to school on the 8th day of quarantine.
Temple Israel Clergy & Staff
- All Temple Israel clergy and staff are fully vaccinated.
- 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 weekly on-site assurance testing. Only protocols like assurance testing can proactively flag breakthrough cases.
- Temple Israel staff members must wear appropriate masks for preventative purposes, as vaccinated individuals are also prone to transmit variants of COVID-19.