SHEMESH PROGRAM POLICIES
As of February 2022 Proof of COVID vaccination (ages 5+) will be required for all participants and staff.
As we continue to be vigilant so that we can gather in person, an important part of our planning
depends on our families adhering to the 5 key actions to prevent COVID-19 transmission listed
below which prevent transmission:
1. Get vaccinated if you are able
2. Practice healthy hand hygiene
3. Stay home if sick
4. Keep physical distance
5. Wear a well-fitting kn95 style face mask. Cloth face masks are not permitted.
All teachers, parents, staff, and students will wear a face mask, regardless of vaccination status
while participating in indoor activities and programming.
Covid-19 Vaccination Policy
While we generally require Covid vaccinations of all participants and staff, we understand that some individuals have unique circumstances. If you are going to be claiming a medical vaccine exemption, please be in touch with Director of Communal Life and Learning, Keren Rhodes, directly, as we will handle exemptions and any additional testing requirements on a case by case basis.
Monday through Friday, students have free swim at the Mill River Recreation Area. There will be 2-3 lifeguards on duty plus several counselors. On the first day of each session, students perform a swim test to assess their safety and ability for which pool they may swim in (wading pool or regular pool). We do our best to make the swim test relaxed and fun. Returning students do not retest every session unless they want to go into the deep end. If a student wants only to swim in the shallow pool they do not need to take the swim test. NO FLOTATION DEVICES or toys will be allowed in the pool area. The swim test is administered by the Mill River staff. Shemesh has no control over the contents of the test, or the decisions on passing it.
We realize that Shemesh families adhere to a variety of diets at home and that this form of kashrut may be different from what your child is used to. We approach this as an opportunity for students to learn about different styles of kashrut and Jewish identity.
Lunches: All students are required to bring with them a non-refrigerated bag lunch, labeled with their name. When packing your student’s lunch, please pack a vegetarian, peanut-free, and nut-free lunch. Read below for more information about our food policy.
Shemesh provides two healthy snacks a day.
Shemesh has a nut-free policy. We can provide snack alternatives for students with some mild to moderate allergies and sensitivities. If your child has severe or multiple allergies or is a particularly picky eater, it may be more suitable for your student to bring their own snack, labeled with their name. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss what will be safest and tastiest for your student.
In keeping with JCA policy, all food must be dairy-pareve. Not all of our products or those brought by students have hechshers (hechshers are symbols indicating that a product is kosher according to rabbinic standards through specific certifying bodies), though we do our best to purchase products with hechshers.
Student safety is of utmost importance to us and we appreciate your patience with our Drop-off/Pick-up protocol. Please check your student in and out on the communication app.
When dropping off and picking up your student, please accompany/meet them at the check-in/check-out area. Students should not cross the driveway by themselves. While older students may be perfectly capable of this, we ask that you walk them across the driveway to help role model for the younger children how to be safe in a busy traffic area.
Drop off is at 8:45 am, Monday through Friday. If your child will not be at Shemesh due to illness or vacation, please notify the Director (Kerenrhodes@jcamherst.org) or the Assistant Education Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please do not arrive before 8:45 a.m. as the staff uses pre-session time to prepare for the day’s activities. All students must be accompanied by an adult to check-in with the designated staff member each day.
Pick up is at 3:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday pick up will be at Mill River Recreation Area, unless you have been alerted via our parent communication app that we stayed at the JCA due to inclement weather. On Fridays, pickup is at the JCA.
Staff have duties after Shemesh each day – so, please help by respecting the pick-up time. While we understand that occasional situations may occur that result in being late for pick-up, parents/guardians who routinely pick up students late will be contacted regarding protocols. It is Shemesh’s discretion to ask participants who do not respect the protocols not to return to the program. Do not leave with your student without officially checking them out in the app.
One of our oldest traditions is Kabbalat Shabbat. On Friday afternoons from 2:30-3:00, family and friends are encouraged to join us for a special time when students share their projects from the week and we come together to say blessings over grape juice and challah baked by students. Please arrive promptly at 2:30 pm on Fridays so you will not miss any of the excitement.
Children will only be allowed to leave with adults who are designated as authorized pickups in the parent communication app. Please make sure that you add any parents, grandparents, babysitters, or carpool parents to your child’s profile as an authorized pickup. Please warn any adults picking your child up that we may ask for proof of covid vaccination if they want to enter the JCA building.