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

SMNS Covid-19 FAQs

Effective  January 18, 2022

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 procedures, aligned with State laws, regulations and best practices.

  • Parents must complete a Health Questionnaire every day for admittance to school.  Children cannot stay without a completed Health Questionnaire.  Click HERE to preview.
  • Children’s arrival and departure primarily takes place outside; parents are now allowed to enter the building.  This reduces the number of adults in the building and reduces crowding in the hallways.
  • Class sizes are limited.
  • Combining of classes is limited (e.g. Shabbat is in the Sanctuary with classes far from each other).
  • Handwashing and the cleaning/sanitizing of materials and surfaces continue to be frequent.
  • Everyone ages 2 and older are required to  wear facemasks in the building.
  • Parents and staff only attend when fully healthy.


Our school continues to err on the side of caution, with the hopes that the net results are more time in school and people staying healthier.  Here are the current guidelines:

  • A person exhibiting new symptoms must stay out of school until the symptoms are resolved and they complete a negative Covid test (taken at the onset of symptoms).  Home tests are accepted.
  • Absolutely do not send a child with a runny nose, coughing, etc.  We will isolate any child who has symptoms and will ask parents to pick up the child.
  • An unvaccinated person who is a close contact of a person who tested positive must stay out of school for 10 days from last contact.
  • Any unvaccinated person who tests positive for Covid must quarantine for 10 days from the date of the test or the onset of symptoms.
  • A fully vaccinated individual who is a close contact may continue to attend, provided they have no symptoms.  The exception to this rule is that if this close contact has extended, close exposure (e.g. household member, nanny) the vaccinated person must stay out of school until isolating from the positive person and completing a negative Covid test.  Home tests are accepted. 
  • A fully vaccinated individual who tests positive for Covid may return to school on the 6th day after the positive Covid test assuming they are asymptomatic.  Until the child or adult is asymptomatic, they may not return to the building.
  • David Cohen must be consulted when ANY of the above occur.
  • The daily health questionnaire must be completed BEFORE you leave home.

What happens if a child becomes ill at school?

If a child becomes ill at school, they are brought to our Nursery School office, 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 teacher, 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 unvaccinated 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.  SMNS has been open, with only one interruption of 5 days, since July 1, 2020.

What is your confidence level in remaining open?

Our confidence level is very high that SMNS will remain open.  While isolated class closures have occurred, long-term or general closures have not, and are very unlikely. 

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.
  • Read the daily Health Questionnaire carefully, each day.
  • 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 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 unvaccinated 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.

Wed, January 19 2022 17 Shevat 5782