Keeping Students Safe

We understand you may be nervous for your child to attend school this year. Our goal is to provide a safe, welcoming, enriching experience while also giving you the peace of mind that our everyday practices have been adapted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Should you have any questions about our COVID-19 procedures, please contact:

Rachel Zoller, Assistant Executive Director

Adrienne Shulman, Early Childhood Director

Our Partnership with Children's Hospital

Through our partnership with Children’s Hospital New Orleans, we are receiving consultative guidance from a team of  COVID-19 Medical Experts, involving pediatric infectious disease specialists and physicians dedicated to school wellness initiatives just for kids. JCC and Children’s Hospital New Orleans will be working together to keep your children as safe as possible by staying informed on the latest COVID-19 precautionary guidelines, medical protocols, and best practices for implementation. Through this partnership, our staff will also have access to consistent guidance training opportunities, a nursing hotline, and supportive resources to offer parents. We are optimistic in our ability to successfully navigate this unprecedented time with a partner that solely focuses on keeping kids and those who care for them as safe as possible. 

We encourage parents to visit Parent Resources | New Orleans Children's Hospital to explore informational resources on COVID-19 that have been developed just to support parents. 

Required Paperwork


All parents must sign a prescribed waiver from our insurance company that has been adopted by the JCC leadership to ensure that every participant in our programs understands the protocols, procedures and risks of participation. Each student will need one waiver signed prior to their first day of nursery school. The waivers are available here. 

COVID-19 Waiver Form

Safety Measures

Based on current information, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. To protect those at higher risk, it is  important that everyone practices healthy hygiene behaviors. Parents of children with underlying health conditions are also encouraged to talk to their children’s healthcare providers to assess their risk and to determine if they should stay home.  Information about COVID-19 in children is somewhat limited, but the information that is available suggests that many children have mild symptoms. However, a small percentage of children have been reported to have more severe illness.

Wellness Check for students

Students are to stay home if they are sick. Upon entry each morning, every student will have their temperature taken. Students who have a fever of 100.4 °F or above or other signs of illness may not be admitted to camp.

Parents must confirm that their child has not been on fever reducing medication in the last 24 hours and does not have any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Parents will also be asked if their child has had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

JCC staff will visually inspect the child for signs of illness which include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, fatigue, rash (other than diaper rash,) or extreme/unusual fussiness.  

A temperature check will be performed on students again before lunch each day.


As the CDC recommends, we request all people two years of age and older wear a mask covering the nose and mouth. Masks may be taken off during outside playtime and when physical distancing is possible.  Face shields may be worn in addition to and not as a substitute for face masks. 

Children will be encouraged to wear masks with gentle reminders and guidance from their teachers. We understand this may be especially challenging for two year olds, and we will continue to assess the feasibility of mask use for this age group.  Though it may be awkward at first, we believe our young students are resilient and will quickly adjust to this new normal. 

Hand Hygiene

The best prevention for contracting COVID-19 from a hard surface is hand washing. Students wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds many, many times each day. Hand sanitizer will only be used in instances where your child touches something and is unable to wash their hands in a short period of time. 

Social Distancing Strategies

JCC programs have always been built around developmentally appropriate practice. Social distancing is not a developmentally appropriate expectation for any child under the age of 12, and especially the younger children. 

  • Our programs will not encourage activities that place students from other classrooms in less than 6 feet of one another for prolonged periods, or that occur in confined indoor spaces for prolonged periods to minimize known sources of transmission. 
  • Class size will be restricted. These static groups will remain with the same kids and teachers each day.
  • Schedules will be modified to create traffic flow that minimizes contact between classes.
  • Naptime mats will be spaced out and organized head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
  • Playground times for groups of children will be staggered. Each class will be given a bag of playground toys to use. These bags will be labeled with each class’s name. 
  • Items will be disinfected daily after use.

Staff Safety Measures

Ensuring our faculty and staff remain healthy is an important part of our commitment to keeping your children safe.

Staff Training

All JCC staff will attend training sessions with general health and safety guidelines as well as protocols specific to COVID-19. It will include the CDC guidelines as well Start Strong 2020 from the Louisiana Departments of Health and Education. 

Wellness Check for Staff

Staff are to stay home if they are sick. Upon entry each morning, every staff member will have their temperature taken and complete the health screening form. JCC staff have received an extensive explanation on the screening process and expectations for workplace hygiene etiquette and face mask use.


All JCC staff will be required to wear masks covering the nose and mouth in common areas and when they are unable to ensure that they can keep six feet of social distance from any student or other member of the staff. Face shields may be worn in addition to and not as a substitute for face masks.  There will be moments, including when outdoors and appropriately distanced, when removal of a mask is necessary, or safe to do so.

Altered Activities


Specialists will provide activities and materials for each class.  They will ensure social distancing measures remain in place when meeting with the different groups. Movement activities will look a little different this year. We will focus on activities that enable social distancing. Equipment used by one class will be cleaned and disinfected before being used by another class. 

Snacks and Lunch

Snacks will be distributed in the classroom by staff wearing gloves and masks. All children will bring a lunch from home and eat in their classrooms.

Playground Use

Only one camp group will be scheduled at a playground section at one time.  Cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas will occur in between groups.


To protect the integrity of static class groups, extra-curricular enrichment classes will not be held in person. Virtual options may be made available.


Visitation is limited to individuals who must enter the school in order to conduct visits in accordance with Louisiana law or policy. Additionally, individuals providing early intervention services, special education services, or mental health consultation are considered essential and will be permitted to meet with students.

Updated Sick Policy

We are unable to guarantee that your child will not be exposed to COVID-19 or other illnesses. We are following the recommendations of the CDC, Louisiana Departments of Health and Education and local leaders to create protocols and procedures to minimize risk. 

Policies and protocols are subject to change as new information becomes available.

Students and staff will be monitored throughout their time at the JCC. Symptoms of any illness will be taken seriously and actions to prevent the spread will be immediate. During this pandemic, it is more important than ever to keep your children home when they are exhibiting signs of illness. When in doubt, please keep your children home.

Unsure what to do? Contact LCMC Health's Free Nurse Hotline at (504) 962-6202 | M-F 7:00 AM- 11:00 PM, Sat-Sun 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.

monitoring symptoms


If your child is absent, please notify us by calling the JCC at (504) 897-0143.


If symptoms of any illness are observed while a child is at school, the Nursery School Director will be notified by the child’s teacher.  The Director will assess whether the child may stay at school or needs to be sent home. Parents are required to pick their child up as soon as possible after being notified. While awaiting the parent’s arrival, the student will be cared for in either in the classroom or isolation room, depending on the symptoms.   Review procedures for returning to school below.



If a student or staff member is diagnosed with a positive COVID-19 test, JCC leadership will contact the Louisiana Department of Health and follow the guidance from them and the CDC that includes protocols for closing, investigating, cleaning and reopening. We will notify the school community of COVID-19 exposure while honoring confidentiality. 


Anyone who has close contact with or lives in a household with someone with COVID-19 should stay home and contact Rachel Zoller for further instruction.

In the event of a positive case, please expect short term closures for cleaning and contact tracing in the event of a single positive case.  Substantial spread in our camp may lead to longer closures.


Updated on 1/12/2020 based on revised CDC guidelines.

We are asking that families check with their pediatrician and receive an order for the COVID-19 test when recommended. In other words, we require either a doctor's note stating a COVID-19 test is not necessary and the child is well enough to return to school OR a negative COVID-19 test. If a COVID-19 test has been administered, the date of return depends on the outcome of the test:

If person has negative COVID-19 test result, requirements for return are:

  • Symptoms improve AND
  • No fever without use of fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours AND
  • Documentation of negative COVID-19 test result provided to JCC AND
  • No close contact with positive COVID-19 case

If person has positive COVID-19 test result, requirements for return are:

  • Isolated for 10 days since symptoms first appeared or 10 days since positive COVID-19 test result AND 
  • COVID-19 symptoms have improved AND
  • No fever without use of fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours AND
  • Documentation of the original COVID-19 test result provided to the JCC

If person comes in close contact with positive COVID-19 case, requirements for return are:

  • Stay home until the full 14 day quarantine period** after your last contact with a person who has COVIDAND
  • Confirm no symptoms of COVID-19 AND
  • Documentation of negative COVID-19 test result is recommended. Test to be administered a minimum of 5-6 days after contact with positive case.

*A close contact is any individual who has been within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes during their infectious period, which includes the two days before the day the person became sick (or the two days before specimen collection if asymptomatic) until the person was isolated.  Close contact is also if you had direct contact with the COVID-19 case (touched, hugged, or kissed them), you shared eating or drinking utensils, or they sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

**In order to safely shorten quarantine, ALL non-pharmaceutical interventions including mask-wearing and social distancing need to be maintained until the full 14 day quarantine period has been completed.  Unfortunately, this is operationally impossible in an early childhood environment. Therefore, the JCC Nursery School will utilize the 14 day quarantine period. 

For additional school scenarios, visit

Expectations for Communication


Together, we must cultivate a community of trust. While at the JCC, we will follow safety measures to minimize the risk of transmission.  Despite our best practices and protocols, it is likely that a positive case will be reported during the school year.  Our safety measures are designed to minimize the risk of transmission.

We ask that each individual and every family unit make responsible choices outside of the facility and practice preventive behaviors to protect our community to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The JCC will follow the CDC’s recommendation that families will be notified upon confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case.


Who will be notified of a confirmed positive case in the school and how?

All close contacts will receive a phone call from the JCC COVID-19 Designee with instructions for self-quarantine. An email with instructions will be sent following the phone call.

Who is a close contact?

A close contact is any individual who has been within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes during their infectious period, which includes the two days before the day the person became sick (or the two days before specimen collection if asymptomatic) until the person was isolated. Close contact is also if you had direct contact with the COVID-19 case (touched, hugged, or kissed them), you shared eating or drinking utensils, or they sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you. While face coverings should be worn as they prevent the transmission of COVID-19, the use of face coverings is not a factor in determining close contacts.

If the parent of a classmate (Student X) in my child’s class tests positive for COVID-19, will I be notified?

While second degree contacts (contacts of contacts) do not need to be quarantined, the JCC will notify the class of indirect exposure. Student X will self-quarantine and the class will remain open until Student X receives a positive COVID-19 test result.

Rachel and Jacob are siblings who attend JCC Nursery School. Rachel tests positive for COVID-19. Will Jacob’s class continue to meet?

While second degree contacts (contacts of contacts) do not need to be quarantined, the JCC will notify Jacob’s class of indirect exposure. Jacob will self-quarantine and the class will remain open until Jacob receives a positive COVID-19 test result.


Safety Starts at Home! Here are some family-friendly resources to prepare your children with tools to help our campers and counselors stay healthy.

Related pages:

Our Commitment to Safety Reopening the J


Staff Spotlight: Peggy Myers

Lifelong member, Peggy Myers, recently joined the JCC fitness staff as an instructor. We are excited for Peggy to bring her enthusiasm for the JCC to our members. Get to know a little more about Peggy and sign up to take a class!


2021 Commemoration and Celebration Events

The global Jewish community will come together in the coming days to commemorate lives lost during the Holocaust, remember fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terrorism, and celebrate Israel’s independence. 


What's Changing at the JCC in Phase 3?

Following the city’s transition to a modified Phase 3, the New Orleans JCC will ease restrictions for fitness center users. We see this forward movement as a small step in getting back to normal; however, it is still our top priority to remain safe.


Staff Spotlight: Michelle Benson Huck

If you’re a member of the JCC, odds are that you’ve encountered the energetic and encouraging presence that is Michele Huck. As an instructor at the JCC for six years, Michele has done a little bit of everything from cycling, senior chair exercise, Barre, HIIT, and what she’s known most for these days –– LOTS of Aqua Fit. 


More News

Today's Upcoming Classes