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300 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830
203-869-7191 • Fax: 203-661-4811 •

SMNS Covid-19 FAQs

Updated March 2021

Attending Nursery School during the pandemic requires thoughtful protocols and every person’s participation in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment.  We have prepared a list of frequently asked questions.  Of course, you can always contact David Cohen, Director of Schools ( or 203-622-8121) to discuss further. 

If you have been exposed to someone with Covid or have reason to suspect that you are positive, you must contact David Cohen.

What Covid-related procedures are in place?

There are several new procedures, aligned with State laws, regulations and best practices.

  • Children’s arrival and departure take place outside; parents do not enter the building.  This reduces the number of adults in the building and reduces crowding in the hallways.
  • Class sizes are limited to 10 children.  Regulations allow for 18 children, but we have chosen to limit size in order to reduce children’s potential exposure.
  • Children stay only with their own class.  Each class is considered its own pod.  They do not combine for events (e.g. no schoolwide Shabbat).
  • Specialists are not meeting with classes at this time, further reducing contact from anyone outside of the pod.
  • Handwashing and the cleaning/sanitizing of materials and surfaces are more frequent and scheduled.
  • Adults and children (3’s, 4’s and Preschool) wear facemasks (2’s, infants and toddlers do not).
  • Parents and staff complete a daily health questionnaire, designed to have only healthy individuals at school. Click HERE to preview the health questionnaire.  Children may only attend if they can attest to every statement.

Do the children still have Specials (e.g. Gym, STEAM Lab, Gymnastics, etc.) as part of their regular week?

Yes.  Each classroom is scheduled for their regular visits to our Specials rooms.  These include Gym, Gymnastics, STEAM Lab, and Music/Drumming.  We will not have our specialists (e.g. gym teacher or music teacher), as we want to limit the number of classrooms that interact with any one adult.  The teachers plan the curricula for these specials.  They celebrate Shabbat and Jewish holidays in the classrooms.

Are there After School Enrichments?

No.  We are currently not offering After School Enrichments, as this combines different groups of children.

What happens if a child becomes ill at school?

If a child becomes ill at school, they are brought to our dedicated waiting room, where they wait with an administrator until the parents arrive.  David Cohen will notify all parents of any potentially contagious illness.

If a child or adult, at school or at home, develops potential symptoms of COVID-19, or has a positive test, the following steps will be taken:

  • The ill person would be immediately excluded from school.
  • As required by the State, David Cohen would contact the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Greenwich Health Department – The epidemiologist at DPH would determine the most appropriate plan.  Most likely, this would include a temporary closure of an impacted classroom and quarantining of the people in that classroom; not school closure.
  • David Cohen would inform the entire school.
  • The date of a child’s return is at the discretion of David Cohen and Temple Sholom.

What happens if my child’s classroom/school closes?

SMNS has a detailed Distance Education Plan.  Click HERE for details.  Upon a decision to close a classroom/school, the teachers will immediately begin distance education, including materials to be sent home. 

For a defined closure, based on the DPH determination, there would be no financial implications (e.g. no refunds or credits). 

For an extended closure we would begin offering credits and refunds.  As always, Temple Sholom will handle this ethically and compassionately.  All plans will be communicated and will address the finances of the families, the teachers and the Temple.

What if the public or private schools close?  How does this impact SMNS?

SMNS is not impacted, and would likely stay open.  Nursery schools are regulated by the CT State Office of Early Childhood.  So far, throughout this pandemic, early childhood programs have not been mandated to close.  The decisions for SMNS are made independently, in consultation with local experts and State officials.

What is your confidence level in remaining open?

Our confidence level is very high that SMNS will remain open.  While isolated closure is possible, long-term or general closure is very unlikely.  With protocols in place, we are not seeing incidents of people contracting Covid at SMNS.

What can I do to contribute to the health and wellness of our school?

Keeping everyone healthy takes everyone’s cooperation.

  • Keep children home when they are not feeling well.  If you have questions about your child’s wellness, please consult your pediatrician.
  • Communicate with the SMNS administration about any illness in your household, especially if it is possibly COVID related.
  • Help your child to develop good handwashing/hygiene habits.
  • Avoid unnecessary exposure in your outside-of-school lives.

What happens if a member of my household or a visitor comes from a state on the CT travel ban?

Updated 3/19/21


  • Travel by car will not require testing or quarantine.
  • Travel by plane, train or other mode that involves extended close contact with non-household members will require proof of a negative Covid test after returning home or 10-day quarantine.
  • Anyone who has been exposed to a Covid positive individual, who has NOT been fully vaccinated (completed vaccination schedule, plus two weeks) must continue to quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure.  Please note that children are not currently eligible for vaccination so must quarantine.
  • Any exposure or non-car travel must be communicated to David Cohen so that we can plan appropriately.

What if a person in the household tests positive for Covid?

This must be reported to David Cohen right away.  Please be aware that, in most cases, this will result in a prolonged quarantine for the SMNS child.  Each situation has nuances that will be considered, but the date of a child’s return is at the discretion of David Cohen and Temple Sholom.  If required to disclose names, by the State or Greenwich health departments, we will comply and will notify the impacted families.

Please consult the following documents, which illustrate decision-making processes on the part of families and schools:

Student Symptom Decision Tree

Guidance for Schools during Covid-19

Sick Parents and Caregivers

When to Quarantine

Tue, May 11 2021 29 Iyyar 5781