Dear Temple Beth Am Day School Families,
I hope that you are all safe and well, and that you have had an opportunity to enjoy the special moments of summer. Thank you for your patience and support while we have carefully evaluated our school reopening plan in consultation with medical experts and our TBAM COVID-19 task force. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, families, faculty, staff, and our greater community.
As you know, we are fully prepared to offer an upgraded virtual school model, as well as a return to physical school, with clearly delineated safety guidelines in place. The positivity rate (rate of transmission) of COVID-19 in Miami-Dade, continues to be one of the main data points that we consider when evaluating our return to campus. In addition to a sustained COVID-19 positivity rate of 10%, declining toward 5% for 14 continuous days, our medical advisors recommend readily available COVID-19 testing with a rapid turnaround time, as an important parameter. Currently, the positivity rate reported in Miami-Dade County is not adequate for a return to our physical campus. We will be reassessing this data on a continuous basis. It is our goal to provide an excellent remote education, while we continue to plan for a return to our physical campus as soon as it is advisable.
Our Elementary School (Kindergarten-Fifth Grade) and Pre-Kindergarten will begin the school year on Monday, August 24th, in a fully remote (virtual) learning model until it is advisable to return to physical school. Social interaction with peers and teachers will be a priority during this time. Virtual social experiences/recess will be included by class/grade level. In addition, as soon as we are able, physically distant social experiences by class (with masks) will be offered.
For the Jr. Pre-Nursery, Pre-Nursery, and Nursery levels of Early Childhood, we will delay the start of physical school until it is advisable to return to campus. Families with students in these grade levels will be contacted by the Temple Beth Am finance office shortly, regarding prorated tuition procedures.
An email communication will be sent weekly with an update regarding our return to campus. In order to give families and faculty ample time for planning, we will send a notification to families via email, two weeks prior to opening the campus. Early Childhood students, inclusive of Pre-Kindergarten, will return to campus first, followed by Elementary School students.
Our school’s full virtual model, as well as the subsequent model for a return to physical school, have undergone extensive review and planning. Parent feedback from surveys, professional development and ample preparation time have contributed to what will be a superior remote learning experience. Virtual upgrades include teacher “office hours,” daily P.E., and additional small group instruction. A dedicated technology Help Desk will be available to parents and faculty. Upon returning to the physical campus, all classrooms Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade will now have the capability for all students to attend class remotely, at any time during the school year.
On behalf of the TBAM COVID-19 Task Force and Temple Beth Am's professional team, I would like to thank you for your partnership, patience and commitment to Temple Beth Am Day School. I am also grateful for the incredibly flexible, talented faculty at Temple Beth Am Day School. While this year may begin apart, it will bring us closer together as a community. “Gam zu l'tovah” — This too is for the good.
I look forward to meeting each of you in person very soon, and to greeting your children on our virtual TBAM campus.
Nora Anderson, M.Ed., M.S.
Head of School
Temple Beth Am Day School
August 4, 2020