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Religious School questions relating to COVID

(As of October 2021)

It is our intention to provide a safe, healthy environment where our students can learn and grow. Here are some answers to questions you might have.

Are teachers vaccinated?

Yes, all Temple Beth El teachers are vaccinated.

Are masks required?

No.   As of March 10th we are Mask Optional for fully vaccinated students and teachers in keeping with the CDC's and our Covid Advisory team's latest recommendations.   Unvaccinated students must still wear a mask indoors. If Covid cases rise again, we will re-evaluate as needed.

How were COVID protocols developed? 

Guidelines were developed in consultation with Richmond and Henrico Public schools, Temple Beth El’s Health committee, Canterbury Pre-school, representatives from VDH and CDC and after reviewing VDH and CDC guidance documents.

Will classes intermingle?

No.  At this time, classes will not be intermingling. 
In some instances, like a special guest, holiday activity or group t’fillah, several classes may participate in a program together. In these cases, classes will remain separated into pods. To the extent possible, these activities will take place outside. No more than 3 classes will be participating in activities at the same time.

What precautions are being taken inside the classroom?

  • Teachers will ensure frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer.
  • Classroom surfaces will be sanitized after each school session
  • Social distancing of 3 feet will be instituted to the extent possible. 
  • Classroom windows and doors will remain open for additional ventilation.
  • Accommodations will be made for inclement weather, with additional classroom fans. 
  • Children should dress in layers for cooler days. Window will be closed if there is driving rain, or if temperatures below 50 degrees. Classroom doors will remain open and fans will be used to provide additional ventilation. Each TBE classroom is equipped with an oscillating fan, that we will use according to CDC guidelines: aimed out the window, toward an empty corner or out the door to promote air circulation
  • Additional fans will be placed in hallways for additional ventilation and will move air toward the lobby or exterior doors. Classroom  surfaces will be sanitized before and after class.
  • Teachers will be encouraged to use outdoor spaces for teaching as much as possible.

How will snacks be handled?

Snacks may be eaten inside the building with proper distancing. Please send a Kosher (hekshered) dairy or parve snack. There will be NO sharing of snacks between students.

How will recess be handled?

Classes will have recess at different times when possible. 
In addition, grades Pre-K - 1 will be contained in their own section of the playground behind the school. 
Teachers will sign up for times to use the Gaga Pit. 
Teachers may choose to use different parts of the property - i.e. the Nature Center, the Gaga Pit, the parking lot for different purposes. 
Teachers will be asked to keep their class a reasonable distance from other grades.

How will T’fillah be handled?

 T’fillah will take place in individual classrooms, one class at a time or outdoors with no more than 3 combined grades socially distanced.

Will visitors and/or parents be allowed in the building?

At this time we are strictly limiting visitors and parents in the building. We may have an occasional visitor who will have to be vaccinated and masked. In specific situations parents may be allowed in the building. Those situations may include, picking up a sick child, or accompanying a child who is absolutely unable to independently come to the classroom.

There will be a monthly Tot Family Playgroup, taking place at the school. All parents who attend with their Tots will have to be vaccinated and masked. The Tot Family Playgroup will use the Butterfly room at the Canterbury end of the building.

How will Arrival and Dismissal occur?

1. Students in Grades Pre-K through 1 will enter through the Canterbury Preschool
    side at the far end of the building near the roundabout. 
2. Students in Grades 2 and up will enter through the Main Front doors. 
3. Parents of children in Grades Pre-K through 1 ONLY, may accompany their
    child to the Canterbury entrance door. Teachers and Madrichim will escort
    students to the classrooms through the month of October.
 4. Parents may NOT enter the building with students in grades 2 and up.
For parents with students in multiple grades, you will drop your older child at the main doors first. You may then pull up to the circle at the end of the driveway, and exit your car to bring your PreK through 1st grade child to the Canterbury entrance doors.


  1. Students will remain in the building and and be called for dismissal as their car approaches the head of the line.
  2. Cars may turn to leave ONLY when they have reached the front of the line. Please stay in the carpool line and proceed to the circle at the far end to turn around. U-TURNS are NOT allowed in the middle of the parking lot.
  3. Members of our staff and Religious School Committee will be on site specifically to assist with dismissal.

What happens if there is a positive COVID case at school?

  • If your child or a family member had contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid, you must inform Ramona and be tested 4-5 days from exposure. Your test must be negative within 72 hours prior returning to school.
  • Students who came in close contact with the student will be notified immediately. All parents in the school will be notified as soon as possible.

What happens if there are multiple COVID cases at  school?

If there are 3 or more cases in a 48-hour period, classes may pivot to virtual learning. TBE School leadership will work with VDH personnel to determine when classes or the school needs to pause in-person learning.

If you have any other questions, please email Ramona Brand.
Sat, February 4 2023 13 Shevat 5783