The Community Day School Health and Safety Plan has been created with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with additional information provided by the Allegheny County Health Department and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
It was developed by a team of CDS staff and medical advisors charged with researching the best available science and information to help protect our students, staff, and families against COVID-19 infection. The goal is to balance providing an enriching environment for children to learn and grow and for teachers to be empowered to succeed while upholding our commitment to Pikuach Nefesh (“safeguarding life”), a bedrock principle of Jewish law.
The following is the most recent draft of the Health and Safety Plan based on the information available by August 2022; the plan is also posted on the CDS website at comday.org/kadimah. In modern Hebrew, Kadimah or קדימה (pronounced Kah-dee-mah) means “forward” or “Let’s go!”
The current plan prioritizes the most effective layered prevention strategies that were implemented successfully in the past two school years at CDS to maintain full in-person instruction with minimal interruption. However, it recognizes that, with current high levels of vaccination and population immunity from infection, the risk of medically significant disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 is greatly reduced for most people. As such, any physical distancing and cohorting requirements have been eliminated, along with routine asymptomatic (pooled) testing and any COVID-related educational program restrictions. Many other COVID-19 policies and procedures have been streamlined, and the plan allows for opportunities for individual choice wherever feasible.
Please keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic still remains disruptive and unpredictable; the circumstances on which this plan is based could change quickly and force us to reevaluate our approach with little notice.
Our best approach to minimizing the impact of COVID-19 is to embrace a shared sense of responsibility for one another’s well-being. While we cannot eliminate the risks altogether, our school community can continue to work collectively to mitigate them while sustaining educational excellence at CDS as safely as possible.