by Abby Epstein
Through the struggles of COVID-19, schools were able to find some positives. They found the opportunity to implement new things that have now turned into permanent changes.
Yeshivas Beis Dovid Shlomo, Ezra Academy, Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy (SCHA) and Beverly Levy Early Learning Center pre-school all said how next school year will look is mostly determined by the CDC and their guidelines.
“Obviously everything is going to depend on what the guidance is going to be come September, obviously hoping that things do change, and it look likes things are on an upward trend,” said Hershy Hecht, an administrator at SCHA.
All four schools do tend to keep things that were implemented because of COVID-19. Yeshivas Beis Dovid Shlomo hired a mental health professional for the students and found this to have a positive impact on the students.
“We felt the need for that incase boys were perhaps negativiely impacted by that long stay at home without friends and so on,” said Rabbi Lustig of Yeshivas Beis Dovid Shlomo, “and it’s proven to be very very useful and we do plan to continue with that.”
Ezra Academy will keep their students in pods to limit the interactions between the different classes. Each age group had their own entrance and exit. Instead of having the students change classrooms for each class, the students stayed in one classroom and the teachers came to them.
“We will continue with our pods until everyone is vaccinated,” said Dr. Melanie Waynik, head of school.
Another positive change Ezra Academy had was new families came to the school this past year.
“We actually had an influx of families [this year] who were leaving public schools because they were unhappy with the COVID protocols, and the online learning,” said Dr. Waynik, “and I will tell you every single family who came because of COVID is staying,”
SCHA started doing outdoor classrooms and will be making this a permanent change, “students were able to learn in a different environment and different setting,” said Hecht. Also, when a student is sick, they were able to come to class remotely and the school is looking at keeping this as an option for students in the future.
Beverly Levy Early Learning Center pre-school like the other schools are waiting to hear what the new guidelines will be before making any major changes.
“It’s dependent on what the office of early childhood does for that as far as rules and regulations go,” said Sarah Schryver, director of Beverly Levy Early Learning Center preschool.
Masks will still be mandated in classrooms and Schryver said they hope to implement having the parents drop their kids off at the classroom doors again. One big change that is happening is the enrollment is doubling from the past school year.
All four schools will be in person this upcoming school year, as they were in person this past school year. Between the four schools not many new changes are being made for this school year.
“We’re going to start the school year the way we ran it this year,” said Dr. Waynik. “Hopefully at some point during the year the majority of our kids will be vaccinated and then we can think about loosening our protocols.”