Mask Optional Policy

With the proper metrics and a thoughtful plan in place, we know we can keep our community safe and create a mask-optional environment at Shlenker.

The Shlenker School’s Medical Advisory Team is currently tracking the following metrics:

1) Community transmission,
2) An R(t) rate below 1,
3) Hospitalization rates, AND
4) Shlenker’s positivity rate

We want these four metrics to be low and stable for 14 consecutive days. If at any point, we see these metrics trending in the wrong direction for 14 consecutive days, we reserve the right to toggle back to a mask-mandatory campus, until we are able to meet the metrics once again.

In the first phase of our mask-optional rollout, a mask-optional environment means that:

  • Masks will be optional (regardless of vaccination status) for all students and faculty
  • Masks will be optional in grade level cohorts only (indoors and outdoors)
  • Masks will be mandatory in common areas on campus, since there are Shlenker students who are not yet eligible for the vaccine and who are unable to mask because of their age
  • Parents/visitors will be welcome back on campus (with the exception of having lunch with their children), but will be required to wear masks at all times. We are thrilled that we will once again have opportunities to gather in-person as a Shlenker community for things like Kabbalat Shabbat and Good Morning Shlenker (in our Elementary School).
  • Masks will be mandatory during large gatherings or cohort mixing (i.e. Kabbalat Shabbat, Good Morning Shlenker, field trips, after school activities, etc.)
  • Outside vendors will still be required to mask on campus at this time
  • All students should therefore continue to bring masks to school
  • We will support those families that want their child(ren) to continue to wear a mask in a mask-optional environment.
    • An N95/KN95 level mask will protect your child in an environment where not everyone is wearing a mask.

We will also continue to utilize the following mitigating strategies to keep our community safe:

  • Cohorting
  • Contact tracing
  • Optimized ventilation with added UV air filtration systems
  • Regular hand hygiene practices
  • Plexiglass will remain through the end of the 2021–2022 school year and will be revisited before the start of school in August

We’ve come a long way over the past two years and we still have a ways to go. Our goal is, and has always been, to keep our school open and safe because we believe students need to be learning in-person. With your ongoing partnership, we can continue to make this goal happen. Please continue to work with us and keep your child(ren) home if they are feeling unwell, exhibit any COVID-like symptoms, or have had any potential exposures. If any of these apply, please contact James Simmons at We are grateful to you for trusting us over the past two years as we have navigated the pandemic and we appreciate your patience as we thoughtfully consider the needs of our entire community.

Updated 3-23-22