We hope you and your family are continuing to find ways to enjoy this summer and stay healthy. Please make a note of these updates and don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Required School Supplies
MASKS: Every person who enters our buses or school buildings will need to wear a face covering. We strongly recommend you use the month of August to find ones that your child will wear and practice wearing them.
Preschool through 2nd Grade: All students will need a clean face covering that they will wear whenever they are on the bus or in school. Face coverings for this age group may be gaiters or masks.
3rd/4th Grade: All students will need to wear a clean 2-ply or 3-ply cloth or disposable face mask on the bus and in school every day. Use the month of August to find ones that your child will wear and practice wearing them.
Middle School: All students will need to wear a clean 3-ply cloth or disposable face mask on the bus and in school every day. Use the month of August to find ones that your child will wear and practice wearing them.
We have found masks that fit these specs on Amazon, at Target, Walgreens, CVS, Home Depot, Old Navy, Athleta, and elsewhere. Please note that some are backordered, so don't put this off!
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES: Our water fountains will be replaced with touchless water bottle filling stations. All students are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle with them to school.
HEADPHONES: Students in grades 1-8 will need headphones with a microphone. Check out the staff recommendations.
A more detailed list of (traditional) school supplies for classes is forthcoming
Optional School Supplies
LUNCH CONTAINERS: To reduce waste and to support (young) children's independence, we strongly recommend reusable lunch containers that have easy-to-open, yet secure lids. These types of lunch containers will help keep our children and staff safe by requiring less adult handling of food items. Here's one that we highly recommend (and it's on sale now). And another.
LABELS: Akiba is now a member of Mabel's Labels fundraising program and will receive 20% of all sales. To support Akiba, go to http://campaigns.mabelslabels.com/ and enter Akiba Schechter Jewish Day School. Please consider supporting Akiba as you label masks, water bottles, lunch containers and more.
Thank you to all who have joined our first three Town Hall sessions to learn about our plans for Reentry. In case you missed them, you can review a written summary and answers to some of your questions here. Click to watch the recording of the July 8 session, the July 16 session, and the latter half (I'm sorry!) of the July 22 session.
At this time, it is still our intention to open for in-person school. We believe we will provide a safe plan built on the trust and faith we have in you: our students, parents, and staff. If we are open, we plan to run buses. Of course, this plan is subject to change as the virus data and the State and City guidelines change.
Travel. We expect all Akiba staff and families will keep themselves informed about and follow the State and City orders and guidelines. Please make careful note of the updated City of Chicago guidelines regarding travel. As of July 28, anyone traveling to one of now 22 states must self quarantine for two weeks after returning home to Chicago. Please, please keep this in mind when planning any travel.
In the coming weeks we will share the contents of our Social Contract, the most important piece of our Reentry Plan. During the week of August 17, we will host several Town Halls to discuss the Social Contract. Information on those dates is forthcoming.
Save the evening of August 13 for a Town Hall addressing social and emotional well-being during this pandemic: 7-8pm will have an Early Childhood focus; 8-9pm will focus on older children. More information is forthcoming.
Welcome New Staff
Nancy Friesen. Ms. Friesen has a Masters in Teaching from UChicago and many years of classroom teaching experience at independent and public schools in Chicago. Most recently she was the Teaching Practicum Director at Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture where she supervised, taught, and advised new teachers. At Akiba, Ms. Friesen will help lead our Math program, mentor and coach teachers, and teach Middle School Math. She has already begun collaborating with her new colleagues, and we are confident she is a terrific fit for our team. Please join us in welcoming Ms. Friesen to Akiba!
Rabbi Dr. David Bauman. Rabbi Bauman has enjoyed his first two Listening Tour Zoom sessions. If you haven't joined one yet, please consider coming on August 2 at 7:30pm to his Zoom Room.
New Classroom Locations
While we embrace the need to be socially connected, we know that physical distance is another key to reopening safely. We are making changes to classroom and office locations.
1st/2nd grade will use the Glick Library/Makerspace and the former Teachers' Cafe.
The 3rd/4th Grade classes will be in rooms 201 and 202 at the west end of the second floor hallway.
Middle School students will be in small groups in one of the 6 classrooms on the east side of the second floor hallway.
The Preschool Office suite is now the Mirpa'ah (Health Center) and will be staffed by Miriam Friedman-Parks and Jill Kohl.
Carla will use the Downstairs Green Room as her office space.
The preschool and kindergarten classes have yet to be determined.
Reminders and Next Communication
First day of school for Kindergarten through 8th Grade is Monday, August 31. Preschool will begin a week of orientation programs on August 31. First day of preschool will be Tuesday, September 8.
Remember to schedule your child's well visits to the pediatrician, dentist and eye doctor. And be sure to collect the necessary paperwork to submit to school if your child is entering Kindergarten, 2nd or 6th grades. All new preschool students need a signed health form from their pediatrician with proof of their immunizations. As is the case every school year, ALL recommended immunizations must be up to date to be in school.
Our next communication will be sent on or before August 12. Between now and then, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of us with suggestions and questions.
Thank you for your continued trust and partnership as we navigate this new world together. Continue to be well, enjoy this summer, and be good to one another.
Early Childhood Director