From the moment the COVID-19 pandemic came into sight last spring, Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School’s leadership and faculty singularly focused their efforts directly at caring for students and their families. Thanks to our talented and agile faculty and administration, BT was able to create a virtual academy replete with learning, connection, and growth for the youngest ones through graduating seniors.

Last week, we were excited to welcome our students back to our school campus in stages (subject to change, of course). “We’ve spent an enormous amount of time coming up with a reopening plan that takes into consideration, first and foremost, the health and wellness and wellbeing of our school community,” said Beth Tfiloh Director of Education Dr. Zipora Schorr.

Ready to Reopen
Dr. Schorr and other school administrators consulted closely with infectious disease experts and pediatricians, reviewed CDC and local health agency guidelines, and solicited parent and student feedback to guide the development of our comprehensive reopening plan.

Social distancing, masks, frequent hand-washing, increased outdoor learning, self-contained learning pods, staggered arrival and dismissal times, are all part of this plan. Other measures include state-of-the-art air purification and filtration systems, plexi-glass shields for students and teachers’ desks, and touchless faucets and sanitizer dispensers. These efforts earned our reopening plan the approval of the Baltimore County Department of Health, with no recommendations made for any modifications.

The phased in approach allows students to adapt to new safety precautions while giving staff the opportunity to observe, analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of our protocols. “Safety also implies that they need an education. It includes their emotional well-being, which is to be with others, so that is also priority,” said Dr. Schorr. “The animating principle is we would like children to be in school. School is without question the backbone of the economy. Parents need their kids to be in school to go to work, and kids need education to be successful, and to be with other children for emotional well-being.”

In Person and Virtual OptionsBeth Tfiloh’s preschool opened with in-person classes as well as a new Kesher program, which invites students to participate in classroom activities via zoom, keeping them connected to their friends and teachers. Lower School students are attending in person or through our Virtual Academy, a fully online academic program. Those attending in person are members of self-contained pods of up to 16 children, ensuring much-needed socialization opportunities and a sense of community.

Fifth and ninth grade students were the first among the Middle and High School classes to return in person if they so choose. Their peers in other grades will follow in the subsequent weeks, with staggered schedules to avoid congestion. Ultimately, every single student at BT has the option to learn in person or online.

And if we need to shift back to distance learning, we are ready to do so, as ably demonstrated last spring. “Whatever happens, we will adjust our learning environment to best meet the needs of all our school community members and make our rigorous dual curriculum program accessible, even for those who cannot be here in person,” said Dr. Schorr.

Learning together. For life.
Meet our principals, explore our student-centered educational experience, and discover why a Beth Tfiloh education is an education for life at a virtual Open House. Sign up here.

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