Getting Ready for a New Way of School

September 2020   Keeping Connected

Some things change and some things stay the same. As in every September, we find ourselves preparing for the start of a new school year. This is the same each year. Unfortunately, for this year, there are so many changes involved with the idea of school for our students. Families are struggling with decisions about what is best for their situation. Schools are working through ways to best continue the education of our youth while also being guided by the health and safety of our communities. These are no small tasks and not to be taken lightly.

The planning for the reopening of Congregation Shalom Religious and Hebrew School began the moment we finished up classes last spring. Many people have been involved in this process, ending up with a program that we are excited to implement in the coming months.

As you should know already (a lengthy letter, along with the specifics of the reopening plan, was emailed out to all families in late August,) we are planning on a hybrid program for our temple school this year. The plan will allow for small groups of students to engage in learning and experiences in-person during the course of the week, while rounding out some of the educational experiences virtually. These plans are rooted in the health and safety of our community, along with meeting the social and emotional needs of our students, creating a plan that will allow our students and school to thrive. Our goal is to continue to offer an invigorating, experiential, interesting and meaningful educational program, that establishes community and connection along with our commitment to Jewish education.

All families have been asked to respond to a short questionnaire by September 4 with acknowledgement of the plans for your children for Religious and Hebrew School.

It is very important that I have the exact numbers of students that will be attending our in-person program to allow me to move forward in working out the specific details of scheduling. You can link to the response form here –

September 13 will be the first day of Religious School and we are inviting all families to join us in the temple parking lot on that morning at scheduled times.  There will be first day of school activities, High Holiday experiences and a Meet and Greet of your teacher.  Detailed information will be shared soon.

As we enter into a new way of school, I am encouraged by the support, care and connections of our temple community.

Schedule for September

Sunday, September 13 – First day of Religious School, parking lot experiences for all students from 9am-11am.  You will be assigned a specific time to join us for welcoming experiences as we kick off the new school year and finish our High Holiday preparations.

Wednesday, September 16 – First day of Hebrew School.  This will be a whole school Zoom event for Grades 3-7 (even if your Hebrew class will regularly meet in person). We will gather together to start the new year as a community and then break out into smaller groups to gather with individual classes.

September 18 – September 28 – High Holiday services and programs.  Please check the High Holiday schedule to see which options best suit your family.  I hope to see you during the holiday weeks!

Wednesday, September 30 – Hebrew School (both in-person and virtually according to the prepared schedule.)  Specific information about classes will be shared soon.

Wishing you all a safe and healthy start to the new school year and a Happy New Year.

L’shana tova,

Deborah Morrissey