Dear Wise School Community,
Like all of you, Wise School continues to monitor and respond to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As part of our response, we have created a taskforce of senior staff to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis. In consultation with medical experts and public health authorities, we are taking steps to protect the health and safety of the school community. As such, we have made a number of decisions about travel, school events, and our campus environment.
Please be aware that our community has no cases of COVID-19, at this time. Should you suspect that you may have contracted COVID-19, we respectfully request that you notify us immediately and remain off campus until you have been cleared by a physician. We ask all our families to demonstrate respect and love for our community by refraining from speculation regarding the health of fellow students or parents. If you have cause for concern, please notify a Wise School administrator.
6th Grade Israel Trip
Because Israel made the decision that all visitors must be quarantined for 14 days, we have canceled our upcoming 6th grade Israel trip. For future field trips, including the 4th grade Sacramento trip and the 5th grade Shabbaton, we will provide information as the decisions are made.
One of the strategies for limiting the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing. To that end, the following changes are being made.
• Founder’s Day Shabbat program for the ES (3/13)– Classrooms will celebrate Shabbat in their room with specific learning on Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Rabbi Zeldin and the history of Stephen Wise Temple and Wise School.
• Monday morning music assembly for the ES (3/16) – Instead of gathering in the Sanctuary, our school announcements will be made over the PA system and in classrooms.
• EC and ES Parent conferences (3/18-3/19) – At this time, since these are meetings of only a few people, these will go on as scheduled. Parents will have an option to participate in an online conference if they chose – additional information will be provided.
• Staff appreciation lunch (3/20) has been postponed.
• 6th grade Shabbat dinner (3/20) has been canceled – refunds will be provided.
• Our league has decided that the city-wide Debate Tournament (3/21) has been canceled.
• EC Seders will be modified to be held as classroom learning activities for the students only (no parents or food brought in). Elementary Passover celebrations are still being discussed, further information to follow.
Wise School continues to take steps to keep our campus as clean and safe as possible:
• Our custodial crews remain vigilant in cleaning all classroom and outdoor common surfaces.
• Soap dispensers are filled nightly.
• At least weekly, a deep-cleaning machine is used to spray a disinfecting “fog” onto all outdoor surfaces and in every room that is occupied by students.
• All food served on campus will be individually wrapped, including EC snacks. In addition, Vicki’s Lunchbox has implemented plans to keep our kids safe. Employees wash their hands every 20 minutes with soap and hot water for at least 30 seconds. All employees are wearing hats and gloves, and they have sanitizer in the kitchen. Finally, in the event that school is closed for students, Vicki’s is prepared to issue refunds for all lunches ordered.
Reminder Regarding Family Travel
The Centers for Disease Control publishes a list of foreign travel advisories for coronavirus. You can find it here. If you plan to travel internationally over spring break, we strongly encourage you to avoid travel to countries on the CDC’s travel advisory list. If you do intend to travel to a country on the list, please let us know by emailing our school nurse, Gail Rosenblum at [email protected]. Note that you may be asked by public health authorities or Wise School to self-quarantine in the event that you travel to a country on the CDC’s advisory list. Also, given the rate at which COVID-19 is spreading domestically, it is possible that quarantines and screening procedures will be required before students are allowed to return to campus after spring break, even if they have not left the country.
How You Can Help
The best way for you to help prevent the spread of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene. Doctors have indicated that nearly 50% of coronavirus spread can be mitigated by good hand hygiene practices:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water (scrub for twenty seconds), especially before and after eating, using the restroom, or touching common area surfaces such as doorknobs, railings, and countertops.
• If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Limit close contact, such as sharing cups or utensils.
• If you need to cough or sneeze, cover it with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve, not your hand.
• If you are sick or think you are sick, DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL. No homework assignment, quiz, game, or performance is worth risking your health or the health of others. Your teachers and coaches will understand if you are absent.
It is our hope that the situation in California and Los Angeles will not require us to close school. That said, if circumstances demand it, we are working actively on a plan to offer educational opportunities and instruction online for the EC and ES. We will keep you posted as these plans develop. For continued updates and information, please visit
At every service at Wise we offer a Mi Sheberach – a prayer of healing. During these challenging times the words of this prayer are an important reminder – “May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing. Bless those in need of healing with r’fuah sh’leimah. The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit, and let us say, Amen.”
I truly appreciate all of your support as we keep our Wise School community healthy.