Supporting schools and families during Coronavirus

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ATT joins the great number of organizations and agencies who are working diligently to mitigate the impact of this unprecedented event. As humanity struggles with fear, loss and uncertainty, we are buoyed by our faith and our commitment to each other. The Navi Yeshayahu tells us “אִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ יַעְזֹרוּ וּלְאָחִיו יֹאמַר חֲזָק – Each man shall assist and encourage his fellowman.” This has become the response of all people of goodwill and compassion, and we are grateful to the volunteers, dedicated lay people, leaders and community servants who continue their daily service to the community with compassion and dedication under trying circumstances. May Hashem repay them with good health and the fulfillment of everything good that they need.

Community-wide contact tracing

The ATT schools have all prepared contingencies for the event that a staff member or student is positive for COVID or has been exposed to someone who tested positive. The schools are mandated to report any outbreaks to the local health department and to receive guidance regarding quarantine and contact tracing procedures.

As our schools are an integral part  of our community’s infrastructure, we want to encourage the parents and staff of our schools to participate in the communal tracking endeavors which will help our community leaders have more focused and accurate information. Data on COVID which is shared about the general population is not as helpful as information that is generated within the community as it helps us get a true picture of how the community is faring in preventing the spread of COVID. There two platforms that are available to report cases of COVID, Community Counter and COJENT. 

We ask community members who test positive for COVID to share this anonymously to or the COVID-19 Orthodox Jewish Emergency Tracker (COJENT). It will go a long way to prevent further spread in our community.

Thank you to our community supporters

The ATT would like to thank the JUF for advancing allocations to all our day schools during this challenging time. The JUF staff have been spending countless hours on ways to provide much needed assistance for agencies throughout the Jewish community at large. We thank all the professionals that are working diligently to meet these needs and may G-d grant all of you the wisdom and strength to make the best decisions on behalf of our community.

The ATT wishes to give a special acknowledgement to the Kehillah Fund and the Walder Foundation for the special emergency grant it has provided to the community’s schools. This will help the schools defray some of the costs of all of the emergency infrastructure that needed to be created on short notice as well as substantial shortfalls in fundraising and other revenue shortfalls. We wish you and yours the best of health and we all pray for a speedy resolution to the current situation.

Here’s how the ATT is doing to support its schools and the community at large.

1. Guidance and Policy:

  • Helping the school community make decisions and to craft policies in response to the unusual circumstances created by the pandemic
  • Consultation with school leaders to help them meet challenges and needs

2. Technology Resources, Training and Support:

  • Helping schools find financial and training resources to maintain continuity of learning
  • Supporting individual teachers with technology and methodology needs
  • Convening ATT’s Principals Council to collaborate

3. Advocacy to Public and Private Funders:

  • Identifying the scope of school needs and working with governmental bodies and nonpublic funders to meet those needs
  • Assist schools to access Federal Payroll Protection Loans (PPP) to assure that staff will continue to remain employed
  • Assuring that remote learning requests are eligible for Title I funds.
  • Consultation with Chicago Public Schools and four other public school districts to access the Federal CARES Act/Education Stabilization Fund and understanding appropriate uses of the funds. These consultations consist of the exchange of information and monitoring that our schools are getting their fair share.
  • Assuring that remote learning requests are eligible for Title I funds.
  • Successful efforts with Chicago Public Schools to reinstate IDEA Proportionate Share special education services for eligible students so that services could resume remotely. These services include speech, LD learning specialists and other LD interventions.
  • Managing the required paperwork for Federal Title programs and tracking their progress for payment.

4. Family Support:

  • Ongoing parent support sessions to help them be effective and supportive of their families during this crisis
  • Individual referrals and supports
  • Resource lists for families to keep children well occupied

5. Partnering with other agencies and organizations:

  • Helping to coordinate and craft the communal responses to the evolving needs of the times for maximum efficacy

6. Supporting Special Needs:

  • REACH is continuing its special services to students remotely
  • Helping mainstream teachers teach effectively to students with varied abilities

7. Mental Health Needs:

  • Providing networking and resources to school social workers and families
  • Monitoring trends to address mental health needs proactively

Social Work Sessions

Immediately upon the closure of schools, we gathered social workers from several ATT schools together for a public Zoom session with parents, followed by second session on March 26 and another one on May 11.

March 15 Session

March 26 Session

May 11 Session

Peer Tutoring

We are setting up peer tutoring and chavrusas for students interested in finding a learning buddy or mentor in limudi kodesh and limudi chol subjects. Complete the survey here If your children would like to participate.

Collaborative Problem Solving

REACH’s expert in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) Tamar Shames spoke on March 29 on Facebook Live and Zoom, offering tips for this challenging time from this research-based behavior method that the use to train teachers. CPS can help you work with your child to build up their intrinsic motivation to make positive choices and solve problems.

Click here to watch that session on Facebook

Resources to help children structure their day

Homeschool Resources

We are constantly updating a full list of homeschool resources in Judaic and general studies here. We encourage you to check the website links out for yourself and to supervise children while using the web.

For more information about any of the ATT initiatives during school closures for Coronavirus, email