Educating Safely and Jewishly Amidst COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic forced many public schools to shift from in-person to remote learning, thanks to emergency financial assistance from the Jewish Hartford Rapid Relief and Recovery Fund, New England Jewish Academy and Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford have been able to offer in-person learning this fall without interruption. The Fund granted $60,000 for need-based day school scholarships and allowed both schools to find new and creative ways to provide safe, continuous, personalized classroom learning. 

Keeping the schools open and students safe has been no easy feat, requiring immense effort and dedication. Allocations from the RRR Fund — established by the Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation — allowed NEJA to purchase outdoor canopies, enabling classes to meet outdoors. NEJA also used the grant to purchase upgraded WiFi and audio equipment, so both students and teachers can "Zoom" into classes when necessary. NEJA was also able to purchase PPE and sanitization materials, ensuring the same comfortable, safe, healthy academic atmosphere its students, faculty, and staff have always known.

“Federation has been with us every step of the way through this extremely challenging time,” said Naty Katz, NEJA’s new Head of School. “With timely emergency relief funds, and the creative drive to help promote Jewish day school education in our community, Federation has been a reliable partner in the Academy’s sustainability, vitality, and growth.”

Meanwhile, at Schechter, staff have diligently provided students with the deeply connected, progressive, multi-age educational environment for which the school is known. A grant from the RRR Fund helped Schechter maintain outdoor classrooms for as long as weather allowed, upgrade cleaning services, and acquire sanitation supplies for the entire school community. 

“Everyone in the Schechter community is incredibly grateful for the generous Federation support,” said Andrea Kasper, Head of School. “Throughout the years, Federation’s support has helped us transform our school, resulting in beautiful double classrooms that today allow us the ample space to physically distance.”

Be sure to check out the recent inspiring educational happenings at NEJA and Schechter!

Photo caption: At top, students in NEJA's Lower School learn in person with safe social distancing. At bottom, Schechter students learn about elections by running their own "elect a class pet" campaign.

Photos courtesy of New England Jewish Academy and Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford