(303) 652-0130 enrollment@bvwaldorf.org

Students are learning in person 5 days a week now!

At Boulder Valley Waldorf School, we maximize student academic and social-emotional growth, and engage all students in learning, by providing opportunities for in-person learning in a safe way during this health crisis. The well-being and safety of our students, teachers and community is paramount. We also know that being out of school last year had a significant impact on our students and families.

“This pandemic has been hard on all of us, especially our kids. I have been so inspired by the commitment of the staff at Boulder Valley Waldorf School to return to in person learning and the creativity and heart that they have used to get us here. I broke down in tears seeing all of the children running happily through the beautiful fields. Sounds of laughter and joy. All the while wearing masks and sitting in outdoor classrooms that have been lovingly assembled by the parents and staff. The school is taking the utmost precautions informed by science and local health guidelines. I could not be happier with the care and commitment they are showing to keep our kids safe and healthy.”

Miidle School Parent

Why is BVWS taking a different approach than local districts?

As of today we are continuing to plan for a start to the school year with in-person instruction. Why is BVWS taking a different approach than local districts?
 
Ultimately it comes down to size and facilities. We will be serving under 100 grades students in an expansive campus and with very small cohorts. At our scale we can implement and sustain all of the State and County mandated safety standards in a way that a large district—which has to contend with school buses, food services, big shared buildings for a network of schools, each containing 500-3000 students—cannot.

Reopening Plan – Aug 3rd

The main question that we are working to answer with this planning is “What will the return to school be like for our students?”   As we have stated in our last few communications, we are committed to offering full days, and full weeks of school instruction on campus, whenever it is possible. And we are working to ensure that our students will be the least affected by the changes we need to make. This means that where possible adults will carry the extra work and care so that, while following best safety practices, students will have the opportunity to learn, play, socialize, and enjoy their childhood.

Faculty and Staff Gratitude 2020

Thank you to the BVWS community! On behalf of all the faculty and staff of BVWS, thank you for all you do! We appreciate your support through thick and thin. This year has presented us with many challenges and obstacles, and we are so grateful to be part of this...

Graduation for 8th Grade – Jun

Join us in celebrating our gradating class of eighth graders! Congratulations!

Last Day of School -White Rose Ceremony

White Rose Ceremony and Closing - Jun 7th The entire school gathers for the end of the school year, commemorated by the White Rose Ceremony and Closing. The First Grade students, who received red roses from the Eighth Graders at the beginning of the year, now give...

Not All Screen Time is the Same!

Not all screen time is created equally! Talking to grandma on Facetime for an hour is not the same as watching a movie. Conferencing with classmates on Zoom throughout the day is not the same as playing six hours of video games. At this time we have the opportunity to distinguish what types of screen time is positive or negative. Take note of how you and your family feel after a particular activity…

Teaching (and learning) is relationship based!

Waldorf education around the world, as at BVWS, has converted to distance education from home. While this may be surprising, it’s important to remember our pedagogical philosophies. Waldorf education focuses on developmentally appropriate and meaningful experiences for children. Distance learning remains true to this educational approach.

Red Rose Ceremony – First Day of School

The first day of school is a rite of passage for the new first graders, marking the beginning of their journey through grade school. Each first grader receives a rose presented by the eighth grade students, who welcome the young ones into the "big" school. The Red...

Setting up a space in your home for distance learning

This doesn’t have to be a conventional classroom or office setup; get creative in the kitchen or living room! Maintaining rhythm, as much as possible, is a critical grounding technique as we pioneer this time of social distancing. Try to avoid school in your child’s bedroom: your child can “go to school” in the living room and then “go home” to their bedroom…

Getting started with Google Classroom

At Boulder Valley Waldorf School our teachers are dedicated to delivering quality Waldorf learning activities that are close to what your child would experience at school but with a manageable balance of more independent work. Each class is uniquely tailored to the...
  • small class sizes
  • separated classrooms, with no big shared corridors or large common bathrooms
  • creative pioneering faculty, staff and parent body
  • working closely with the Boulder County Health and the State Education Department
  • outdoor classrooms

The situation with the COVID pandemic is constantly changing. BVWS is continually monitoring and analyzing the latest developments. At this time we feel that we can safely operate in-person instruction with extensive precautions. As the situation evolves, we will continue to re-evaluate this decision, and we cannot categorically rule out a shift to distance learning.

Extensive safety measures for in-person instruction include:

Cloth Face Coverings: All children 1st grade and above need to wear face coverings on BVWS campus at all times when indoors, and outside when a 6-ft distance cannot be consistently maintained. Additionally, faculty and parents must wear face coverings.

Cohorting: Students will continue to receive differentiated instruction in their specific classes – sometimes called a learning pod. Students will remain in their cohort group throughout the school day, including recess and lunch. All cohorts are 20 or fewer students. Each cohort will have a designated classroom and outdoor classroom space where they can maintain distance from other cohorts.

Symptoms, Staying Home and returning to School: We are screening daily for signs of illness, and requiring anyone showing symptoms to stay home. Anyone (teachers, staff, parent or child) must stay home if they have major or minor symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have had close contact (in or beyond your household) with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms . You can determine the length of time away from school using this BCPH Cohort Exclusion Tool.

Washing Hands and Maintaining Distance: We are working with all students and faculty to maintain distance and best hand-washing practices on campus.

Travel Plans?

Please be aware of our 14-day return-to-school policy if you have been out of state.   Families who travel out of state will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. This includes the period leading up to the first day of school. Exceptions may be granted for certain forms of low-risk travel.

 

Health, Well-being and Safety

  • Student Cohorts
  • Health Screening
  • Physical Distancing
  • Increased, cleaning and disinfecting
  • Essential protective gear

Guiding Principles

  • Ensure health, well-being and safety of all students, faculty and community members
  • Maximize student academic and social-emotional growth
  • Provides support to faculty 
  • Assure operational and financial sustainability 

Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health Executive Director on in-person learning:

“At this time Boulder County Public Health continues to support in person learning for Pre-K through 12th grade, to the extent it’s possible for schools to implement. The importance of in-person learning has been well-documented and we understand that there have already been major impacts on students because of the school closures in the spring. We have worked in close partnership with our education partners throughout the entirety of this pandemic and have had the opportunity to review reopening plans and build out systems and strategies to support in person learning while reducing risk. We know that all of our educational institutions, both private and public, have had to make unimaginably difficult decisions as they weigh how to best serve students, staff and families. Both St. Vrain and Boulder Valley School Districts worked really hard to offer in person learning but are not able to in major part because of the disruption that would be caused in schools due to the outbreak requirements from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.   While at this time it is not possible for our larger school districts in Boulder County to offer in person learning, we understand that many of our smaller institutions will be able to offer this to students and should. We make this statement at this time knowing that there is no way to guarantee zero risk, we will continue to monitor data and share new research related to disease spread in children and will adjust our recommendations as necessary.” Aug 5th 2020

We recognize that as a community there will be a diversity of opinions amongst our members about the pandemic and how best to respond to it. We encourage people to respect each other’s right to form individual opinions. When it comes to how Boulder Valley Waldorf School will operate, we will follow public health directives from the State of Colorado, Boulder County Health and Licensing Departments, for the safety of all in our community. Policies developed around safety are a requirement of attendance.