Ezra Academy: Successful Start to a Challenging School Year

Ezra Academy successfully completed its first month of school with little illness and no cases of COVID in its community. They attribute this success to their faculty, who adhered strictly to protocols, and to the parents who ensured children were properly masked, screened before coming to school, and willingly sent home at the first sign of any illness. Ezra families use a Wellness Screening App each morning to screen their children; the teachers then scan a QR code and know children are safe to enter the building.

The school held a Virtual Open House for parents to meet their children's teachers and to hear about the coming school year. They intend to continue this method when holding parent/teacher conferences later in the year. Although they miss the whole-school tefillah, the 5-6 and 7-8 classes have read Torah together via Zoom. They enjoyed a whole-school Zoom Sukkot celebration in which each class led a part of the hallel service. A virtual whole-school Kabbalat Shabbat is being added as well.

“If we were to pick one aspect of our new routine that we enjoy most, it would definitely be outdoor classes. This will surely become a holdover that we continue to utilize when COVID is over,” says Dr. Melanie Waynik, Head of School. “What we thought might be a distracting environment has turned out to be a wonderful opportunity and these days, we are all looking for those silver linings!”

Both students and teachers are adjusting to Ezra Academy’s new routines and requirements. The classes are running smoothly. The students are acting as though they have always had desks six feet apart; their own entrances to the building; outdoor classes; and plexiglass shields for short-term, small-group collaboration.

“Our students have definitely shown us their resilience and flexibility, both qualities we seek to instill in Ezra students, even in non-pandemic times!” says Jessica Khazak, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Enrollment.

For more information about Ezra Academy, visit ezraacademyct.org.

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