.אין כל דבר עומד בפני פיקוח נפש
Nothing takes priority over safeguarding life. (Talmud, Yoma 82a)
.תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם
Study of Torah is the most fundamental obligation. (Talmud, Kiddushin 39b)
These teachings illustrate the profound importance that the Jewish tradition places on learning and on health. Levey Day School has always prioritized both of these principles, and we remain fully committed to providing an outstanding education in a safe learning environment. We look forward to offering in-person teaching this fall, and we are also prepared for the likelihood that some or all students and teachers will need to engage remotely at times. Here are the general principles that guide our plans for doing so, with links to the specific policies that put these principles into action. [editor’s note: links omitted below]
1. Our Surroundings
.דרשו את שלום העיר… כי בשלומה יהיה לכם שלום
Act for the well-being of the city… for your own well-being depends on it. (Jeremiah 29.7)
The most important risk factor for contracting Covid-19 is the rate of coronavirus transmission within the local region. We are fortunate that Maine has a much lower case rate than other states and we hope that all Mainers, including members of the Levey community, do their part to keep it that way. Levey will carefully monitor updates from the Maine CDC as well as directives from the Maine Department of Education. If the number of coronavirus cases in Cumberland County exceeds specified thresholds established by the state, Levey will pivot immediately to partial or fully remote learning as warranted. Levey will also implement all guidelines recommended by the Maine Department of Education.
2. Our Campus
.לכל זמן ועת לכל חפץ תחת השמים. … עת לחבוק ועת לרחוק מחבק
A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven. … A time for physical closeness, and a time to shun such closeness. (Ecclesiastes 3.1, 5)
Current events reinforce the importance of Levey’s commitment to instilling strong leadership skills and a spirit of global citizenship, and student engagement with the broader community is usually a prominent aspect of Levey’s academic program. We also deeply value the involvement of family members and other guests in Levey classrooms. For the duration of the pandemic, however, we must limit the number of people who might introduce coronavirus into the school community. Only Levey students and staff will be allowed inside the school building during school hours, and students will not engage in field trips. If a student or staff member tests positive for Covid-19, Levey will pivot immediately to remote learning as warranted.
3. Our Parents
.כולן ערבים זה בזה
All are responsible for one another. (Talmud, Sanhedrin 27b)
Parents are our most important partners in keeping all of our children and staff safe. We are counting on each of you to limit your own potential for exposure to coronavirus and that of your family members by adhering to guidelines for physical distancing and masking. Parents must keep their children home from school when children have a fever or display Covid-related symptoms and also when children or members of their household have reason to believe they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. Levey will provide opportunities for students to continue to learn from home; the school will also enable teachers who must stay home due to these guidelines to teach from home. Parents must sign an online document indicating that they understand and accept Levey’s policies for parents.
4. Our Students
.איזהו מכובד? המכבד את הבריות
Who deserves respect? One who respects all people. (Mishnah, Avot 4.1)
Levey students pride themselves on their adherence to the school’s “Code of Kavod.” This year, kavod (the Hebrew term for honor and respect) includes respecting one another’s physical space and reducing the risk of virus transmission by maintaining physical distance, not sharing materials, wearing masks, washing hands, and carefully following all related instructions. Students will learn how to care for themselves and one another and will take responsibility for their own role in preserving the health of our community.