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Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy provides an enriched learning environment that has helped countless students learn, develop and grow. Our unparalleled curriculum and teaching methods help students take the next step in their education and approach the future with confidence.

We have the privilege of teaching bright and curious students from Orange and the surrounding areas and beyond. If you’re new to our community and would like to learn more about our values, academics, teaching staff or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Girl in Class
Our Mission

Southern CT Hebrew Academy’s mission is to instill a life-long love of learning and an outstanding Judaic and secular education to our diverse community of Jewish children.  We aim to foster the individual growth of each child and empower our students to become active learners, respectful and responsible citizens, and independent thinkers.  In a safe and nurturing environment, SCHA prepares students to fearlessly embrace every opportunity and achieve success in their future scholastic and communal endeavors, by cultivating confidence and building good character, based on Torah values.

Our Mission


SCHA is committed to keeping students and staff healthy to maximize teaching and learning in our school building. In order to contain the outbreak and spread of COVID 19, and to avoid the need for all-school dismissals, the following procedures will be followed. These protocols will be updated as per ongoing state-mandated recommendations.  


The plan is built on a few simple principles:

  • Students learn best and develop socially and emotionally while in school with professional educators and fellow students.

  • The most effective method of preventing the spread of disease while in contact with others is through the use of face coverings, social distancing/cohorting, proper personal hygiene, and frequent cleaning and sanitizing of the facility.


We’d like to thank our medical advisory board who have been extremely helpful in reviewing and approving the plans we have prepared.  Thank you Dr. Kasle, Dr. Mohammad, Dr. Naiditch, Mrs. Bonnie Gruenbaum, RN.


Limiting Exposure

  • Only working staff will be allowed on campus 

  • One way staircases and zones will be established, marked, and followed.

  • Weather permitting, outdoor classroom spaces will be established and maintained.

  • Frequent handwashing protocols will be implemented throughout the day.

  • Sanitizing stations will be established at all building entrances and throughout the building.

  • Touch-free mechanisms will be installed to limit touch points.

  • Adequate ventilation in classrooms will be maintained.

  • Masks* will be required for teachers of preschool through grade 12 and for students in kindergarten through grade 12 as per state regulations. Preschool students are exempt from wearing masks. 

  • Mask breaks for staff and students will be established. For example, when outdoors and social distancing can be maintained, masks will not be mandatory.

  • An isolation room will be established for students who become symptomatic during the school day. Students will need to be picked up immediately following parent notification.

  • Water fountains will not be accessible. Water spouts, connected to classroom sinks, will be installed in classrooms.

  • Random temperature checks may be administered.

       *under certain circumstances, face shields.


Entrance Protocols

  • Multiple points of entry and exit will limit the flow of traffic

  • All staff and students will undergo a health screening before entering the school, as per state guidelines.

    • Parents will complete a daily health screening (see below)  before morning drop off. An app link will be provided prior to school beginning.

    • If a parent has not completed the screening before drop off, the parent will have to perform the screening on site before the child(ren) can access the building. 

  • All those entering the building will immediately visit a sanitation station.

  • During arrival and dismissal, a mask should be worn if getting out of the car is necessary.

  • Screening questions for visitors:

    • Have you had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes)?

    • Have you traveled from a hot spot state or country in the past 14 days?

    • Have you had a fever in the last 24 hours?

    • Are you feeling well?  No shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, diarrhea or vomiting.

    • Temperature to be taken

    • Hands to be sanitized


Travel Policy 

  • We strongly discourage traveling to and from places that are identified as high risk per state travel advisory.

  • School must be notified of any out of town travel. At this time, this does not include travel within the tri-state area. Students may be required to quarantine at home as per current state guidelines.

  • Students/staff coming from a hot spot state will need to quarantine or send in a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school in addition to a letter from their physician.



  • All students will remain within a specific cohort. 

  • Students’ seating and activities will be arranged to maximize distance between students within each classroom.

  • Students will not share any supplies, books, or equipment unless they are first disinfected.

  • Outdoor recess and activities will be staggered to allow single cohorts.

  • Playground will be divided into zones.  One class per zone at one time. 

  • Each cohort will use its own outdoor equipment (e.g. balls, sand toys, frisbees)

  • Preschool cots: Each child will have a labeled individual cot.  Bedding will be kept in a closed bin or cloth bag. 


Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Disinfecting protocols will be implemented throughout the day in addition to regular daily cleaning procedures. 

  • Deep cleaning will occur twice a week. 

  • Sanitizing products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as COVID-19 disinfectants will be used by the school for cleaning and sanitizing.

  • Preschool materials and high touch areas will be wiped down daily, or more if necessary.


Containment and Response Plan

SCHA’s response to a COVID-19 related concern will depend on the specific scenario, and may be addressed by the following protocols. These policies will give our medical team sufficient time to thoughtfully plan the best course of action and allow deep cleaning and disinfecting to take place in the affected areas.


  • If an individual in a cohort tests positive for COVID-19, a short term dismissal for that cohort will be required. All decisions will be made with the guidance of the local health department. 

    • All family members of the infected individual will also follow the short term dismissal procedure. 

    • Online learning for that cohort will immediately begin.


  • Under certain circumstances, in coordination with local health officials, the school may call for an all-school 2-5 day dismissal. All decisions will be made with the guidance of the local health department. 

    1. Davening for all grades and optional grade level Zoom lessons will begin after a one day preparation period. Pre-prepared packets for these classes will be available beforehand.

    2. Preschool staff will offer Zoom opportunities for all preschool students. 


  • An extended all-school dismissal may be necessary if so determined by SCHA’s medical team in conjunction with the local health department.

    • Following a one-day preparation period for the entire school community:

      • A distance learning schedule will be implemented via Zoom and Google Classroom. All students will be required to actively participate.

    • Preschool Policy: Our hope is that the preschool will not have to close for more than 14 days at any given time. Virtual learning will be offered for up to 3 weeks if a closure is required by the OEC and local health department.  

      • Preschool may be able to remain open as an essential program.

      • Other programming options may be available for purchase in the event that preschool will need to close.  If this is the case, tuition will be stopped after the 3rd week.  Parents may choose to sign up and pay for a virtual learning program or to purchase ready made theme learning kits.


Daily Health Screening Questionnaire (completed by parent prior to coming to school):

  • Has your child had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes)?

  • Has your child had a temperature of 100.4℉ (taken via ear/mouth/touchless forehead) or of 99.4℉ (taken via armpit/forehead) within the last 24 hours?

  • Has your child been given any fever reducing medications today?

  • Has your child had any diarrhea or vomiting within the last 24 hours?

  • Is your child experiencing a new, uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, please keep your child home and contact the school.  

A doctor’s note may be required to enable children with seasonal allergies/the common cold etc. to safely attend school.

COVID-19 Preparedness Plans
COVID Screening
Our History


Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy (formerly New Haven Hebrew Day School) and Bais Chana Academy:
A Connecticut Tradition since 1946.


Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy has maintained the integrity of authentic Judaism and Ahavat Yisroel that personified its founder, Rabbi Moshe Y. Hecht.

We have been preparing students for enrollment in the finest universities for more than 70 years. Our alumni have made and continue to make their marks in business, law, medicine, education, the arts, and community affairs all over the world.

By setting reasonable tuition and maintaining a financial aid program, we enable all Jewish children to receive a day school education. Our student body reflects the diversity of our community, with children from all walks of Jewish life discovering their shared heritage together.

In 1944, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, sent Rabbi Moshe Y. Hecht to New Haven charged with a mission: to create a day school for the Jewish community in New Haven. The school began with a class of four students ranging in ages from 6-10. From that nucleus of four eager students grew the New Haven Hebrew Day School. Within two years of its founding, Yeshivat Achei Temimim Lubavitch – New Haven Hebrew Day School had grown to 120 children. Children came from the cities of New Haven and Bridgeport, as well as farms in what was then rural Connecticut, traveling for over an hour to learn Chumash and Talmud in the mornings and secular studies in the afternoon.

In 1964, Rabbi Hecht saw the need for a High School that would allow girls the opportunity to continue to receive a Jewish education and, at the same time, academically prepare the college-bound. The High School became a reality and was the first to bear the name Bais Chana, in tribute to Rebbetzin Chana, mother of Rabbi M. Schneerson, who passed away that year.

As the number of students continued to expand, and the student body outgrew the original location on Dwight Street, it was clear that a new facility was required. In 1967, NHHDS purchased 5 ½ acres of land in rural Orange, and in 1970, the beautiful new campus was officially opened. The following years brought continued growth; the school expanded its physical education department to include basketball games with other schools in the area, and the first Jewish Girl Scouts group was formed for female students. In the 1980’s, computers were introduced, as well as art and music programs. The Pre-School was expanded to included toddlers.


Rabbi Moshe Yitzchok Hecht passed away in Tevet, 1992, at which time his son, Rabbi Sheya Hecht, took over as Headmaster.  With his guidance, a board of trustees to help steer the school was formed. An innovative science program and a revised approach to language arts were integrated into the secular studies curriculum.  Middot and Share-a-Smile programs were begun, which highlight the significance of good character and the importance of giving.  Courses that emphasized Jewish history were established to enable students to develop a strong identity with our Holy Land.  A fine arts curriculum was added and continues to offer the students an opportunity for creative expression, as well as a well-structured physical education program that addresses students' fitness.  In March of 2005, to better reflect its regional nature, the school changed its name to Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy. 


We are an institution that has educated thousands of children over the past six decades and has helped shape the Jewish community around us. Our students continue to rank among the top scorers in nationwide testing in both Hebrew and Secular studies. We are proud of our many winners in local and national math, science, essay, and art contests. An active parent organization works to provide “extras” for our children, which include field trips, science programs, and after-school clubs.

Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy is proud of its heritage and continues to prepare students to face real-world challenges and be successful contributors to their communities while building a passion for life-long learning.

Our History


Rabbi Sheya Hecht1.jpg



Chabad Emissary to Orange, CT and headmaster to SCHA since 1992.

Our Staff




Thank you to the Southern CT Gas Company and other local business who have contributed to our Energy Efficiency Fund through The Neighborhood Assistance Act. This fund has enabled us to upgrade our lighting and heating systems.

Thank you so much!



One of the core values at Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy is the belief that everyone deserves access to a high quality education. Our commitment is to create that opportunity for all current and future students. We are always appreciative of support from our Orange community, which helps us provide an exceptional educational experience. Get in touch to learn more.



261 Derby Ave, Orange, CT 06477, USA

(203) 795-5261

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