19 Adar 5780
March 15, 2020
Dear ICJA Family
It is surreal that this week, when we begin to read the portion of Vayakhel [lit. “and he gathered”] that I must write to you to explain how we will be distancing ourselves and preparing for a new reality of closure and limits. Yet, with the growing COVID-19 pandemic, we have no choice but to follow the guidelines of both health and halachic experts and move our learning to a remote platform of videoconferencing and computer-based communications.
Tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2020 the school building will be open so that all students can come to gather their textbooks and other belongings they will need for the next two weeks of study. At the same time, our faculty will be participating in a series of professional development programs to review the technology we will be using and strategies for successful distance learning.
Any students who have not yet installed the zoom app should try to do so today (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/zoom-cloud-meetings/id546505307). If you are having any issues with it, please bring your device with you to school and between 12noon – 2p we will have tech support available to help you.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 we will begin our distance learning program. We expect all students to have davened (this is an especially important time for tefillah!) and to be ready to go online by 9:30 a.m.
- Tomorrow we will release a list of all of the teachers’ “Zoom Meeting ID.” These ID’s will be the links to attend class with your teachers. Prior to the beginning of each session, students should click on the link, make sure their sound and video is turned on and be prepared for class.
- The schedule for classes will be as follows:
Mondays and Wednesdays and Friday 3/20
Period 1: 9:30 – 10:10a.
Period 2: 10:15 – 10:55a.
Period 3: 11:00 – 11:40a.
Period 10: 1:00 -1:40p.
Period 11: 1:45 – 2:25p.
Period 12: 2:30 – 3:10p.
Tuesdays and Thursdays and Friday 3/27
Period 4: 9:30 – 10:10a.
Period 5: 10:15 – 10:55a.
Period 6: 11:00 – 11:40a.
Period 7: 1:00 -1:40p.
Period 8: 1:45 – 2:25p.
Period 9: 2:30 – 3:10p.
- Unlike typical Tuesdays and Wednesdays when we skip one period to allow for early dismissal, no periods will be skipped for the duration of this school closure, and attendance will be taken for all classes.
- AP classes will have the option to meet every day and those added sessions will take place, either during the lunch break or after 3:10p. English Seminar will occur “before school” and Mrs. Goldstein will be in touch with you to schedule the time.
- Students who are assigned academic support will have their regular support periods, according to the schedule above.
- In addition to this schedule, on days when specific periods do not meet, teachers may assign a brief (10-15 minutes) reading or practice assignment to their students. Those assignments will either be delivered via email, haiku or assigned at the end of your scheduled video class.
- All teachers will make themselves available for “office hours” via zoom. If you want to meet, just email them and coordinate a time to meet.
We understand that this is a very difficult time for all of us. If you want, both Phil Zbaraz and Shuli Tzadok are prepared to speak by phone or videoconference with any student about any concern. If necessary an in-person meeting can be arranged by reaching out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Beyond Tuesday we expect that there will be some “bumps in the road” as we transition to the new reality that has been thrust upon us and we welcome your help and feedback. We do not know yet when we will be returning to school but hope that after the two weeks, things will be safe to resume in-person classes. In the meantime, please exercise caution, follow the guidelines of the Board of Health, cRc, and government agencies. Wash your hands often and maintain social distance from others. And please be patient with us. We know that together we will overcome every obstacle we may face – and please have faith that through our actions and with the continued protection of the Ribbono shel Olam our nation will succeed in addressing this previously unimagined threat.
Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.
Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy