COVID-19 Policies & Procedures

Covid 19 Updates

Golda Och Academy is tracking news and information about the spread of COVID-19 and variants in our community and travel destinations. This is an evolving situation — please check this page regularly for the most up-to-date information.

2021-2022 COVID Policies & Procedures

List of 11 items.

  • Mandatory Testing

    Given the rising infection rates in unvaccinated individuals, and also growing reports of breakthrough infections, we will continue to require negative COVID PCR tests at regular junctures during the fall semester starting with an initial test during the week of August 30, 2021. GOA is pleased to provide students and staff with onsite testing that week, though alternative PCR testing arrangements are acceptable. Our intention is to minimize or even eliminate the need for remote learning days due to COVID testing, and as such we are designating days already reserved for faculty professional development as test dates.

    Please read Mandatory Testing - August COVID Testing with PM Pediatrics (below) for full information.
  • Vaccinations

    Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible GOA faculty and staff are required to provide proof of their vaccination prior to the start of school.

    Vaccination is mandated for all GOA students 16+. The first dose must be administered within two weeks, prior to the start of school, with the record uploaded directly to Magnus. 
     
    Full FDA approval for the 12-15 cohort may take several more months. While we have been linking our GOA mandate to the FDA approval process so far, please understand that it remains our strongest possible recommendation that students in the 12-15 cohort be fully vaccinated without further delay. 
     
    Likewise, we strongly encourage all vaccine-eligible members of our community to be fully vaccinated for their own health and the health of our community. Moreover, access by adult visitors to the GOA campus will be restricted to those who are fully vaccinated and share a copy of their record prior to their first visit. If you make an appointment on campus, please be sure to send a photo of your vaccine card to Della Irby at least a day prior to your visit.
  • SchoolPass App: Daily Wellness Screenings & Dismissal Protocols

    We are looking forward to using the SchoolPass app again this year for our entire school, Pre-K through 12th, to manage our wellness screening processes as well as our dismissal procedures in the Lower School
     
    The SchoolPass app enables us to screen vehicles entering our campus, tracks student transportation plans, and consolidates real-time schedule changes for the carpool line, buses and after-school activities. In short, parents and caregivers will now be able to manage and communicate dismissal changes using the SchoolPass app on their smartphones, or through the SchoolPass website.
     
    SchoolPass will also be used every morning, by every member of our community, to manage our wellness screening process. By 7:30 am, everyone will be required to login and do a wellness check for all child(ren). Upon arrival to school, Lower School parents/caregivers will be asked to show their green check mark (on their phone) to the staff on hand. Upper School students with cellphones will be asked to present the green check mark either through the app or via screenshot from a parent's device. Please be sure to complete the screening(s) before arriving at school. 
     
    Those who have already set up an account in the past will continue to use their current login information. Please note that everyone must have the most updated app downloaded on their phone. You can find it in the app store by searching “SchoolPass.” 
     
    New GOA families will receive an email directly from SchoolPass with login information and instructions regarding how to access and use the website and app. Please note, this email will be coming directly from “no-reply-3600@schoolpass.com.”  
     
    If you are having any trouble logging in, please contact SchoolPass directly at (301) 255-1870.
     
    Please review the information below carefully and reach out to Michael Newman (Lower School) at mnewman@goldaochacademy.org or Crystal Hopkins (Upper School) at chopkins@goldaochacademy.org with any questions. 
     
     
    Overview of SchoolPass and How We Will Use it at GOA
     
    • GOA uses SchoolPass to check for all schedule changes throughout the day, in lieu of individual communication by email or phone. As parent/caregiver, you will be responsible for communicating any dismissal changes with the school through either the SchoolPass website, or the app. 
    • SchoolPass is used to manage our carpool line, with RFID stickers affixed to car windshields. These stickers are scanned by our staff as vehicles move through our lot. If there is no sticker, the approved driver will give his/her name to the person scanning and it will then be inputted. 
    • We have assigned two RFID stickers for each family to place on the windshield of up to two vehicles. You will also specific directions for how to display the RFID sticker. For those who still have their stickers on their windshields, those will still be fully operational. 
    • New families will receive an invitation from SchoolPass (it will be sent shortly after this email) that includes information for how to log in and how to download the “SchoolPass” app. If you do not receive an email, please notify Michael Newman (Lower School) at mnewman@goldaochacademy.org or Crystal Hopkins (Upper School) at chopkins@goldaochacademy.org.  
    • Please also be sure to log out and log back into the app to reset any changes that have occurred during the summer. 
     
    Setting Up Your Child(ren)’s Dismissal Schedule
     
    • Parents/guardians must set a default schedule for their child on the SchoolPass website. You cannot do this from the app. This schedule should reflect how your child(ren) will go home on normal days, Monday through Friday. These defaults must be set in order to make changes in the future. Please note: default setting from last year may still be in place and should be edited if need-be. We are asking that this information be logged by the end of the day on Monday, September 6. 
    • After you have set your default schedule, you can make 'moves' and 'changes' to your child's schedule in the app, or on the website. These changes are managed exclusively by you and are sent to the school as you update them.
    • All dismissal changes must be made in SchoolPass no later than 2:30 pm Monday-Thursday, and no later than 1:00 pm on Fridays. Should you need to make a change after the system closes for the day (in an emergency situation), please contact the main office directly at 973-602-3700 (Lower School) or 973-602-3600 (Upper School).  
    • If your student’s information is not up-to-date on SchoolPass, we will not have a record of it and it may impact how your child is dismissed.
     
    Carpool Line
     
    • When your vehicle travels through our carpool line, the RFID sticker you have affixed to your windshield will be scanned by a teacher/staff member who will be stationed outside to identify your vehicle. RFID tag installation instructions will be attached to the RFID sticker that is sent to you.
    • After a vehicle is scanned coming into the lot, the dismissal information associated with that vehicle will be transmitted to the teachers inside the building (through their smartphones/computers). Students will then be called to the pickup area to go to their cars.
    • If a car does not have a RFID sticker, the driver will be asked to provide his/her name or carpool number to the staff member outside.
    • Please be sure that anyone picking up your child is an authorized driver in your carpool, or that if there is a dismissal change on a particular day, it has been made on SchoolPass.
     
    We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in using this system. Our main objective is, and always will be, the safety and well-being of our students.
  • In-Person Instruction

    GOA is committed to in-person instruction, which is by far the most effective educational format. Like other schools, we are not planning to offer a remote option this year as a matter of course. There may be circumstances in which the entire school must go remote, and there may be cases of individual medical emergency that would require a brief exception to this policy, but we are not able to provide the high level of instruction that we expect at GOA with an extended hybrid format.
  • Masking and Social Distancing

    Both GOA campuses will include unvaccinated students at the start of the school year. In accordance with AAP and CDC guidelines, we are continuing to institute a layered approach including social distancing and other measures to reduce risk for our students and staff. All individuals — students and adults, vaccinated and unvaccinated — are required to wear masks in our buildings. At the Upper School, students may be required to wear masks outdoors when social distancing is not possible. At the Lower School, masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors, with the exception of eating and drinking.
  • Sick Policies

  • Quarantine Guidelines for COVID Exposure

    Recognizing that NJ remains in the yellow (moderate risk) category on the NJDOH Matrix, there are no changes to our school’s quarantine policy due to exposure at this time. GOA protocol for unvaccinated students is to quarantine after an exposure to an infected individual or after travel outside New Jersey and its bordering states. The quarantine for known COVID exposure as a household or close contact remains 14 days. Should there be any changes made to this guidance and/or if our region’s status changes, we will provide updates accordingly.

    We further ask all members of our community to exercise caution when entering public spaces, including synagogues. Even fully vaccinated people can spread the infection to others, endangering our younger children and others who are especially vulnerable. Given the highly-transmissible nature of the Delta variant and significant incidence of breakthrough infections, we should all wear masks in such spaces.
  • Updated Guidelines for Quarantine Following Travel for Unvaccinated Individuals

    As per the NJDOH and CDC guidelines, the following is the current, updated (as of June 2021) guidance for quarantine and testing upon returning from travel (beyond the NY, PA, CT and DE corridor). Families are asked to follow these guidelines, tracking their post-quarantine days and providing test results (upon request) accordingly. Please note the day you return to NJ is Day #0. The day after return to NJ is Day #1. As always, please notify Nurse Ilena/Nurse Roberta if you are traveling so that they can provide specific guidance for your family.
     
    New Jersey – and Golda Och Academy – continue to strongly recommend delaying travel until all members of the family are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people
     
    For those unvaccinated students who must travel, travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state beyond the immediate region (NY, PA, CT and DE) should self-quarantine while following recommendations from the CDC:
     
    • COVID (PCR) test should be taken on day #3-5; if travelers test negative, they should be quarantined for a full 7 days after travel.
    • If not tested (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.


  • Upper School Athletics - Fall 2021

     
    We would like to communicate the exciting opportunities, the different changes and the pertinent information for our upcoming Fall 2021 season.
     
    Athletics is an important part of the growth of our students, and we have worked to run a program that meets the developmental needs of our students while maintaining the health and safety of everyone involved. Last school year, we had a full year of intramurals. This year, we have worked to reinstate competitive athletics and offer intramurals (competing only with other GOA athletes) where we could not fulfill our health requirements. 
     
     
    Fall Sport Offerings
     
    Competition Sports in the SEC
    For the Fall 2021 season, we are going to be offering competition sports for the following: 
     
    • Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer 
    • Girls Varsity Tennis
     
    Intramural Sports
    For the Fall 2021 season, we are going to offer intramural sports for the following:
     
    • Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country 
    • Girls Varsity Volleyball
    • Middle School Boys and Girls Soccer
    • Middle School Boys and Girls Cross Country
    • Middle School Girls Tennis  
     
    Requirements for All Athletes
     
    As a community, it is important that we do our best to minimize the risk of exposure to all of our students. At the forefront of this effort, we are reminding all Roadrunners and their families to adhere to the pledge in the graphic at the bottom of this email. If you are going to participate in Golda Och Athletics, we ask you to be mindful of your fellow Roadrunner and families in safeguarding practices both on and off the field.
     
    All student athletes must have a current Annual Sports Physical from the past 365 days. The paperwork must be uploaded to Magnus and reviewed by the school nurse prior to their first day of practice. Athletes who fail to do so will not be allowed to practice until their forms have been uploaded and cleared by the nurse. The deadline for submitting physical forms for high school competition sports is August 22, 2021. The deadline for submitting physical forms for all intramural athletes in both middle and high school is September 5, 2021
     
     
    Requirements for High School Sports
     
    COVID Vaccinations: For all high school sports in Fall 2021, all participating athletes must be fully vaccinated prior to the start of the Fall season. Proof of vaccination status must be provided by uploading the documents in Magnus. No student will be allowed to register for a high school sport without the proper document in Magnus.
     
    Masks: All athletes participating in Girls Varsity Volleyball will be required to wear masks. Periodic and individual mask breaks will be given to maintain the health and safety of the students. All other athletes will be asked to please wear a mask when not in play (including Varsity Soccer, Tennis and intramural Cross Country). When traveling to and from school, all athletes are required to wear masks on the bus.
     
    Please note that the NJSIAA has not mandated vaccines or mask wearing for competitive sports. If you or your child chooses to participate in competition sports, athletes may come into contact with players and officials from other school districts that may not be vaccinated, and athletes will not be masked.
     
     
    Requirements for Middle School Sports
     
    Masks: Masks will be required for safety as some students may not be eligible to be vaccinated. We strongly encourage all Middle School athletes who are eligible to be fully vaccinated. 
     
    Schedules
     
    Competition sports schedules will be posted on the school website shortly. All intramural Fall 2021 sports will begin on the first day of school, September 9, 2021. Intramural schedules will be posted in the latter half of August. 
     
     
    We understand this may be frustrating news for some of our student athletes and their families. This decision was a difficult one, based largely on the evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the New Jersey Department of Health, and growing concern over the spread of the Delta variant. Our priority at Golda Och Academy is, and continues to be, the health and safety of our students and their families. We want to emphasize the need for in-person instruction with as little disruption as possible, and we found this solution to be the most effective in keeping to our core mission and values during this difficult time. We have not yet made decisions about our Winter Sports, including Middle and High School Basketball, and will communicate updates to students and families as they arise. 
     
    Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. We look forward to a great Fall 2021 Athletic season. Go Roadrunners!
     
    Mr. Dennis Kozar
    Athletic Director
     
    Dr. Eytan Apter
    Upper School Principal
     
    Nurse Ilena Kasdan
    Upper School Nurse
  • Aftercare & Funtracks

    Based on current health guidelines, we are unable to offer our Aftercare and Funtracks programs this fall. We hope to offer these later in the year and plan to update the community by Thanksgiving. Please reach out if you would like assistance brainstorming ideas to help with childcare after the school day.
  • Vaccination Exemption Policy (Employees)

    Background
    Golda Och Academy (“GOA”) is mandating that all covered workers be fully vaccinated prior to student contact for the 2021-22 school year. The Administration, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, has decided that this requirement is necessary for the health and safety of our school community and to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak on our campus that could cause us to implement virtual instruction. We will also require that all eligible students and visitors to our school show proof of being fully vaccinated before being admitted to our schools or any school sponsored events or activities.

    Covered Workers
    For purposes of this Policy, “covered workers” shall include all individuals employed by GOA, both full and part-time, including, but not limited to, administrators; teachers; educational support professionals; individuals providing food, custodial, and administrative support services; substitute teachers, whether employed directly by GOA or otherwise contracted; contractors; providers; and any other individuals performing work in the school district whose job duties require them to make regular visits to the school district, including volunteers. Covered workers do not include individuals who visit the school district only to provide one-time or limited duration repairs, services, or construction.

    Proof of Vaccination
    Covered workers shall demonstrate proof of full vaccination status by presenting any of the following documents if they list COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for EUA by the FDA or the WHO, or that are approved for use by the same, along with an administration date for each dose:
    1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Card issued to the vaccine recipient by the vaccination site, or an electronic or physical copy of the same;
    2. Official record from the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) or other State immunization registry;
    3. A record from a health care provider’s portal/medical record system on official letterhead signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, registered nurse, or pharmacist;
    4. A military immunization or health record from the United States Armed Forces; or
    5. Docket mobile phone application record or any State specific application that produces a digital health record.

    This documentation shall be provided to Della Irby, Executive Assistant.

    Exemption Requests
    Should a covered worker seek a medical exemption, he/she should do the following:
    • Obtain a letter from his/her physician documenting the reason for the exemption, including the underlying condition and the specific risk associated with obtaining the vaccine.  The letter should include the physician’s signature and clearly identifiable contact information.
    • Provide the letter in a sealed envelope to George Paulick, Director of Human Resources.
    • The Director of HR will review all requests and may request additional information from the covered worker to make an informed decision.   All decisions will be made based on the facts presented and any applicable legal requirements.
    • The Director of HR will not share any confidential medical information with any third parties without the covered worker’s consent.
     
    Special Requirements for Exemption Approvals
    As a condition for continued employment, any covered worker who is granted a medical exemption will be required to obtain a negative COVID test (PCR) every week at their own expense and submit the results to Della Irby every Monday by 9:00 a.m.  Home tests cannot be accepted.  GOA shall track test results required by Executive Order 253 and must report those results to the local public health department.

    Other Exemption Requests
    A covered worker seeking a request for an exemption from the vaccine for non-medical reasons must submit a detailed letter to the Head of School explaining in detail the reason for the exemption request.  Such requests will be reviewed by the Head of School whose decision shall be final and binding.

Head of School COVID Updates

List of 4 items.

  • Vaccine Mandate for All Students 16+ - August 24, 2021

    Dear Golda Och Students, Parents and Staff,
     
    As you have heard, the FDA yesterday moved ahead with full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for all people aged 16 and up. As such, vaccination is now mandated for all GOA students 16+. The first dose must be administered within two weeks, prior to the start of school, with the record uploaded directly to Magnus. We are already at nearly complete vaccination for this cohort, but it is time to cross that finish line. 
     
    My understanding (based on an interview with Dr. Francis Collins that aired yesterday on NPR) is that full FDA approval for the 12-15 cohort may take several more months. While we have been linking our GOA mandate to the FDA approval process so far, please understand that it remains our strongest possible recommendation that students in this cohort be fully vaccinated without further delay. Again, we are already very close to full compliance, but with the Delta variant surging and school beginning, we are very eager to reach 100% vaccination of all eligible students. Please bear in mind that conditions may require a shift to full mandate for eligible students even prior to FDA approval. 
     
    Thank you for supporting our school’s efforts to create a safe learning environment for all students and staff.
     
    Head of School
  • Health & Wellness Update – August 17, 2021

    August 17, 2021 | 9 Elul 5781

    Dear GOA Students, Staff and Parents,

    We have reached mid-August and are well into the month of Elul, a time of introspection and preparation for the new year. Each morning the shofar reminds us to examine our deeds, to repair our relationships, and to engage in acts of care toward all. One expression of this ethic of care (hesed) is to protect ourselves and those around us from infection and illness. 

    As you know, the current surge in Covid infections is affecting children across the country and some are experiencing extended ill-effects. This is an especially dangerous phase of the pandemic just as schools reopen. New Jersey is experiencing a surge in infections and hospitalizations, with Friday’s numbers up 29% from the prior week and up nearly 400% from a month ago.
    You learned in my August 10 note about our testing protocol for the start of school and should have scheduled your screening appointment and PCR test with PM Pediatrics or a medical provider of your choice (Please click here to read the full information regarding August COVID testing.) You also know from my July 23 letter that we will be using masks universally indoors and outside when distancing cannot be guaranteed. I would now like to return to the topics of vaccines and quarantines.

    Vaccination Policy
    I know that many families are eager for the FDA’s emergency use authorization to be extended to younger children. Once it is, we will highly recommend and potentially require their immediate vaccination, just as we have with children aged 12 and up. And when the FDA shifts from emergency use authorization to full approval for older children and adults (expected by Labor Day for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine), it will become mandatory for all eligible students to begin the vaccination process with their first dose within two weeks of that announcement and full vaccination according to the schedule. 

    Some students and parents have medical concerns with the COVID vaccine. We encourage them to consult with their pediatrician. If the physician feels that there are grounds for a medical waiver, the doctor may submit a written explanation for this request to the school nurses. All such physician requests will be forwarded to our medical committee, which consists of two pediatricians and one infectious disease specialist. If they agree to grant the medical waiver then we will inform the unvaccinated individual and explain the protocol for regular testing (currently weekly) that will allow them to remain safely in our school. Certain programs involving close physical contact, such as athletic competition and overnight trips, will remain limited to the fully vaccinated.

    Quarantine Policy
    In my July 23 note I explained our protocol for unvaccinated students to quarantine after an exposure to an infected individual or after travel outside New Jersey and its bordering states. These protocols, instituted successfully last year, remain important components of our COVID safety policy, according to our medical consultants. While we are not planning to offer remote instruction this year, our faculty will help support students who are in quarantine with home-based assignments and regular check-ins. 

    We further ask all members of our community to exercise caution when entering public spaces, including synagogues. Even fully vaccinated people can spread the infection to others, endangering our younger children and others who are especially vulnerable. Given the highly-transmissible nature of the Delta variant and significant incidence of breakthrough infections, we should all wear masks in such spaces.

    Please realize that our Covid protocols are not punitive, but are designed to allow us to achieve the daunting task of remaining in session, in person, all year and to keep our school community healthy during this extended and dangerous pandemic. Together we can keep our kids safe and give them the greatest general and Jewish education available. It all begins with the example set by their parents and teachers. I have recorded a brief video about the Jewish imperative to keep ourselves and others safe, which I encourage students and parents to view.

    I look forward to seeing our students and many parents soon. Enjoy the rest of summer break.

    Bivirkat shalom,

    Rabbi Danny Nevins
    Head of School
  • Updated COVID Policies - July 23, 2021

    Dear Golda Och Students and Families,
     
    We hope that you are in good health and enjoying the summer. Our team has been working diligently to prepare GOA for a spectacular new year — the buildings are being polished and improved, and the curriculum and programs are being readied for action. We plan to be in person, on campus, from day one of the school year. With your help, we intend to keep school healthy and in person all year. It is an exciting time for us all.
     
    It is also a time of rising concern as the coronavirus pandemic enters a new phase with highly transmissible Delta and other variants spreading across the country. We are following developments closely, including this week’s statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as recent guidance from the CDC, and are engaged in conversations with dozens of other schools in our region to identify best practices for the safety and success of our school this year.
     
    In anticipation of our first day of school, please review the following updated policies, per the recent meeting of the GOA Health and Wellness Committee, including quarantine guidelines following travel. As you will see, the guidance continues to evolve and we will keep our GOA community apprised of future updates and clarifications.
     
    Thank you for partnering with us to make the coming year safe and successful for all members of our community. We recognize that this pandemic has been protracted and we are all eager to get back to normal. If we each do our part, then together we can ensure a secure and joyous learning environment for our children.
     
    Bivrakhah,
     
    Head of School
     
    Updated COVID Policies for 5782 / 2021-22
     
    Vaccinations
    Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible GOA faculty and staff are required to provide proof of their vaccination prior to the start of school. We strongly encourage all eligible students likewise to be vaccinated prior to school, and will collect these records together with other required vaccination records. 
     
    While we are not currently mandating the vaccination of eligible students, this may change during the course of the year based on FDA actions and developments in public health. Even without a vaccine mandate for students, participation in certain programs such as overnight school trips, including our three High School Israel trips, will be limited to vaccinated students.
     
    Likewise, we strongly encourage all vaccine-eligible members of our community to be fully vaccinated for their own health and the health of our community. Moreover, access by adult visitors to the GOA campus will be restricted to those who are fully vaccinated and share a copy of their record prior to their first visit. If you make an appointment on campus, please be sure to send a photo of your vaccine card to Della Irby at least a day prior to your visit.
     
     
    Masking and Social Distancing
    Both GOA campuses will include unvaccinated students at the start of the school year. In accordance with AAP and CDC guidelines, we are continuing to institute a layered approach including social distancing and other measures to reduce risk for our students and staff. All individuals — students and adults, vaccinated and unvaccinated — are required to wear masks in our buildings.
     
     
    Quarantine Guidelines for COVID Exposure
    Recognizing that NJ remains in the yellow (moderate risk) category on the NJDOH Matrix, there are no changes to our school’s quarantine policy due to exposure at this time. The quarantine for known COVID exposure as a household or close contact remains 14 days. Should there be any changes made to this guidance and/or if our region’s status changes, we will provide updates accordingly. 
     
     
    Testing
    Given the rising infection rates in unvaccinated individuals, and also growing reports of breakthrough infections, we will continue to require negative COVID PCR tests at regular junctures during the fall semester starting with an initial test during the week of August 30, 2021. GOA is pleased to provide students and staff with onsite testing that week, though alternative PCR testing arrangements are acceptable. Our intention is to minimize or even eliminate the need for remote learning days due to COVID testing, and as such we are designating days already reserved for faculty professional development as test dates.
     
     
    Daily Screening
    GOA will once again use the SchoolPass system for all students and staff to answer screening questions each day before arrival.
     
     
    In-Person Instruction
    GOA is committed to in-person instruction, which is by far the most effective educational format. Like other schools, we are not planning to offer a remote option this year as a matter of course. There may be circumstances in which the entire school must go remote, and there may be cases of individual medical emergency that would require a brief exception to this policy, but we are not able to provide the high level of instruction that we expect at GOA with an extended hybrid format.
     
     
    Aftercare and Funtracks
    Based on current health guidelines, we are unable to offer our Aftercare and Funtracks programs this fall. We hope to offer these later in the year and plan to update the community by Thanksgiving. Please reach out if you would like assistance brainstorming ideas to help with childcare after the school day. 
     
     
    Updated Guidelines for Quarantine Following Travel
    As per the NJDOH and CDC guidelines, the following is the current, updated (as of June 2021) guidance for quarantine and testing upon returning from travel (beyond the NY, PA, CT and DE corridor). Families are asked to follow these guidelines, tracking their post-quarantine days and providing test results (upon request) accordingly. Please note the day you return to NJ is Day #0. The day after return to NJ is Day #1. As always, please notify Nurse Ilena/Nurse Roberta if you are traveling so that they can provide specific guidance for your family.
     
    New Jersey – and Golda Och Academy – continue to strongly recommend delaying travel until all members of the family are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people
     
    For those unvaccinated students who must travel, travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state beyond the immediate region (NY, PA, CT and DE) should self-quarantine while following recommendations from the CDC:
     
    • COVID (PCR) test should be taken on day #3-5; if travelers test negative, they should be quarantined for a full 7 days after travel.
    • If not tested (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.
     
    Given that school begins in-person just after Labor Day and then Rosh HaShanah, we encourage families with unvaccinated students to return from out-of-region travels no later than September 1 in order to complete their 7 day quarantine (including a COVID test) by September 8.
     
    Post-travel examples for quarantine
  • Health and Safety Protocols - July 9, 2021

    Dear GOA Community,
     
    My first priority as I begin work this summer is to ensure a continued safe learning and working environment for all our students, faculty and staff. On a phone call last week, Senior Public Health Nurse at the West Orange Department of Health, Susan Iovino, said to Nurse Roberta that GOA is a role model for COVID-19 procedures and systems. I commend our nurses and truly the entire GOA community of staff, students and families that worked together to keep school safe and fully operational throughout the pandemic. 
     
    We have reconvened the GOA Health Committee, and in consultation with medical professionals and peer institutions, have come to the following initial decisions for next year:
     
    • Prior to the start of the fall semester, all eligible faculty and staff members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 
    • As we prepare to resume welcoming adult visitors to the school, we will require that they be fully vaccinated and masked when within the building.
    • The CDC and NJ Department of Health are preparing updated masking guidelines to be shared prior to the school year. Our working assumption is that both GOA campuses will have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated students in the fall, and therefore masks are likely to be part of our safety protocol for indoor classes and programs. 
    • The GOA Health Committee next meets in mid-July, by which point we will have additional information and make further decisions about the vaccination of eligible students. According to the CDC: “Everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19.” We endorse this recommendation and will communicate further GOA decisions related to vaccination policy by late July.
     
    I wish you and your family a healthy and enjoyable summer, and I look forward to meeting you in person this fall.
     
    Warmly,
     
    Head of School
     

Preventing Illness

Public health officials recommend the following steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
 

Media Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Glenn Slavin
Director of Marketing and Communications
gslavin@goldaochacademy.org
973-602-3788