FAQ for the 20-21 School Year
In-person School Days and the 20-21 Calendar
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. https://bvwaldorf.org/for-parents/school-calendar/
COVID-19 current local status
Colorado Health Department Dial Framework: https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial/covid-19-dial-dashboard
Attendance and Tracking Symptoms
During this pandemic we are so grateful to be prioritizing the children meeting in person for school. In all of our school health and safety measures this year we are following the State and County Health Department guidelines for schools. We are tracking absences, and in particular, absences for medical reasons, very closely in order to monitor the health and well-being of each class and our entire school community. If you any any reason to believe that you may have been exposed, or someone close to you may be exhibit symptoms, please err on the side of caution and stay home. This week we have had students preemptively self excluding out of an abundance of caution, and we applaud their concern for the wellbeing of the whole community. We are so grateful for all the communications and questions regarding all the aspects of our daily health screenings.
Whatever your reason for staying home from school, please let us–your teacher and the office–know right away… and typically by 8:30am, with a phone call to 303.652.0130, email to email@example.com or by directly entering your reasons for your absence online here: https://forms.gle/Lifqyd4ENRRe4Uvk7
Daily Health Checks
In order to keep everyone safe we have completely redesigned our drop-off for grades and EC for the coming school year. We are confident that our new processes will reduce exposure both during the drop-off process, and for children during school. Here is what it looks like.
When parents drive up to the school, the process will vary depending on whether they are dropping off a grades-aged or an early childhood student. Grades students and grown ups will be wearing their masks as you drive up to the school. If you have both ages, then please drop off your grader first, then your younger child. Parents of graders will stop their car at the designated drop-off point. When the parent pulls up, the teacher will take the students temperature with an infrared thermometer, and asked the parent the following three screening questions:
- Have you had any major or minor symptoms since we last asked you this question?
- Has anyone in your household had any of these symptoms?
- Have you been around anyone else who has had these symptoms?
If the student passes the screening, the student may exit the car and go over and join his or her class cohort with mask and distancing in place. If you are dropping off more than one student, you will drive on to the next student drop-off point.
If you are dropping off early childhood child the process is slightly different. You will park in the designated portion of the parking lot, and then walk the access road around the edge of campus and to the early childhood yard gates at your specific class drop off time. As you approach the gates you will see distancing dots, to keep you from getting too close to other families. At the gate the classroom teacher will be ready to perform the same health screening. Once the student passes the health screening, they will be allowed to enter the gate and join their class. While on campus dropping off or picking up students, parents are required to wear masks. The screening questions are fairly broad, and asked not just about the child, but anyone in the household as well as any possible other contacts. The questions themselves are derived from CDC guidance. We are going to be extremely careful about illnesses and potential illnesses this coming year. Quite obviously, sick children should not come to school. But if anyone in the household is sick with symptoms consistent with a potential case of COVID-19, no one in the family should come to school for 14 days. This is the guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for all schools that are running in-person instruction in the state. This is going to be a very unusual school year, and we will need all of your patience and support for our community to make sure it is successful.
When should my child stay home from school?
At Home COVID-19 Symptom Screening Tool For Parents and Staff
Parents and guardians can use these symptom checklists to determine when to keep their child at home. School staff can also use this tool to determine if they need to stay at home. Any student or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is a close contact of a COVID-19 case should not go to school and should isolate or quarantine according to public health recommendations regardless of current symptoms. This symptom screen refers only to new symptoms or a change in usual symptoms. A student/staff should not be kept home for usual symptoms they experience due to a chronic condition unless they are worse than usual. These guidelines are in addition to your regular school guidance (for example, a child with vomiting should also not attend school based on usual school guidance). Please refer to the Return to Learn guidance to determine when it is
appropriate to return to school. If your child is/you are experiencing any potentially life-threatening symptoms please call 911.
Symptom Screen: If any of the following symptoms are present, keep the child at home/stay at home, inform the school of symptoms, and reach out to a health care provider about COVID-19 testing and next
steps for treatment.
❏ Feeling feverish, having chills, or temperature 100.4°F or higher.
❏ New or unexplained persistent cough.
❏ Shortness of breath.
❏ Difficulty breathing.
❏ Loss of taste or smell.
❏ Muscle aches.
❏ Sore throat.
❏ Nausea or vomiting.
❏ Runny nose or congestion.
When can I return to school? Quarantine, Self-Isolating and Class Cohorts
Outdoor Classrooms and the Weather
- Footwear: Boots – preferably waterproof boots. One pair of wool socks on the feet and another pair of wool socks in their backpack. No cotton sneakers and no cotton socks! Insulated, waterproof, Sorel-type boots might be perfect.
- Long Underwear: Long johns or “woollies” provide a base-layer that isn’t bulky. Silk or woolen they allow great breathability and help with regulating temperature even when active.
- Snow Pants or Rain Pants: Snow pants, and fleece-lined rain pants might be a most practical investment for keeping your child both warm and dry.
- Upper Body and Jackets: Be sure they have a warm jacket, but also please teach them how to “layer up” from their core all the way to their jacket. In other words, warm underwear tops, shirt, warm sweater, light jacket or vest, and then their winter jacket. That way they can adjust as needed, rather than having one large jacket only.
- Hands: Please be sure they have both tight-fitting liner gloves that they can (hopefully) write with, as well as large warm gloves and/or mittens. Mittens with the liner gloves are a great combo. For very young children fleece lined mittens are great.
- Hats: Please be sure they have a warm hat – preferably a wool hat. Additionally, a scarf or a neck gaiter might be nice.
- Warm Thermos: Cold days might also be good days for hot soup in a thermos.
Smoke, Air Quality and Outdoor Classrooms
We will be working outdoors as per usual this year. We do have N95 masks available if you would like to pick one up for your child. Or if you would prefer to keep your child home, please let the office and your teacher know.
We also wanted to direct you to the BCPH website for helpful info:
Cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are required of all visitors to campus during drop-off and pickup. This includes the parking lot and the walkways. This is to be consistent with the County mandate that grownups “must wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained of at least 6 feet from any non-household members.” While the county exempts children under a certain age, Boulder Valley Waldorf School requires all enrolled 1st-8th grade students to wear a face covering at all times during drop-off and pickup.
Visitors to campus must uphold the County mandate at all times of day, including weekends and volunteering. Outdoors where 6 feet of distance can consistently be observed, face coverings may be temporarily removed.
COVID-19: Considerations for Wearing Masks https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html Use Masks to Help Slow Spread
- BVWS will teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings. Face coverings will be worn by teachers and all students 1st grade and above at all times indoors, and outdoors where a 6-foot distance cannot be consistently maintained. Face coverings for students in Early Childhood are determined by State EC Licensing, and are currently (as of 7/31) not required.
- Individuals will be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently.
- Each child will bring 2-3 cloth masks to school each day in a Ziplock bag in their backpack.
- Face shields do not replace masks.
- Cloth masks worn will be washed every day. Masks need to comply with school dress code.
- Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.
- Students are free to wear protective equipment with greater efficacy will they or their parents so choose. Surgical masks, respirators, and/or face shields are allowed.
What are the Reopening Safety Protocols
In -Person Gatherings
We should be just as careful about covid-19 in relatives’ homes as we are in grocery stores, and out-of-state travel or at school. According to a new piece in the Washington Post, a disturbing new trend is making the coronavirus even harder to control: A rising proportion of infections are occurring at informal gatherings of family and friends. Our society’s efforts to restrain covid-19 in formal settings are working — as is public awareness of the need to wear masks and limit interactions outside the home. Retail stores, gyms and hair salons that follow strict protocols are safely remaining open. Companies have improved workplace safety, and people are exercising caution around strangers. But we have a blind spot. We must now turn our attention to informal settings with those we know.
This requires a substantial shift in our mentality. Half of all covid-19 spread is by people who have no symptoms, and someone you know could just as easily be an asymptomatic carrier as a stranger. If you wouldn’t sit in a room, mask-less, with random people, you shouldn’t have an indoor dinner party with close friends, either. We should be just as careful in relatives’ homes as we are in grocery stores and doctors’ offices. This is not to say that we should never see our loved ones. Rather, we need to recalibrate our perception of risk. I talked to a patient who couldn’t fathom taking a 15-minute bus ride, but regularly hosts groups of friends in her house, without masks, for hours at a time. I told her that seeing them outdoors — or if absolutely needed, indoors, with masks on, at a distance, and with windows open — would help protect not only herself and all her guests, but their friends and families, too.
Questions? Who to Contact with What
Drop-off and Pick-up
- Have you had a cough, fever, or any other illness since we last asked you this question?
- Has anyone in your household had any of these symptoms?
- Have you been around anyone else who has had these symptoms?
If the student passes the screening, the student may exit the car and go over and join his or her class cohort with mask and distancing in place. If you are dropping off more than one student, you will drive on to the next student drop-off point. If you need to go around the loop a second time, that would be how you would drop-off a lower grade student and then a middle school student. If you are dropping off early childhood child the process is slightly different. You will park in the designated portion of the parking lot, and then walk the access road around the edge of campus and to the early childhood yard gates at your specific class drop off time. As you approach the gates you will see distancing dots, to keep you from getting too close to other families. At the gate the classroom teacher will be ready to perform the same health screening. Once the student passes the health screening, they will be allowed to enter the gate and join their class. While on campus dropping off or picking up students, parents are required to wear masks. The screening questions are fairly broad, and asked not just about the child, but anyone in the household as well as any possible other contacts. The questions themselves are derived from CDC guidance. We are going to be extremely careful about illnesses and potential illnesses this coming year. Quite obviously, sick children should not come to school. But if anyone in the household is sick with symptoms consistent with a potential case of COVID-19, no one in the family should come to school for 14 days. This is the guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for all schools that are running in-person instruction in the state. This is going to be a very unusual school year, and we will need all of your patience and support for our community to make sure it is successful.
Parent Involvement - Volunteering and Service Hours
The key to improving student achievement is the involvement of parents or other family members in education. Parents are the first teachers and most significant adults in children’s lives. We encourage parents to strive to understand the principles of Waldorf education, create a home environment that supports what is taking place at school, and keep regular communication with your child’s Class Teacher.
Parent participation is the lifeblood of the school and at the same time during these unusual times we understand that families may be experiencing unusual extra burdens. Parent involvement may look different for everyone and depends on backgrounds, experience, skills, and available time. Some examples of parent participation include: volunteering as a class parent or to assist with special activities and projects, as well as attending meetings including parent evenings, all-school meetings, parent/teacher conferences, and parent association meetings. This year parent meetings will be virtual. See more details of parent involvement in a typical school year.
Many hands make light work…and more affordable tuition! Each year, the service hours completed by parents contribute greatly to keeping our affordable tuition model alive. Yearly, these service hours equate to more than $250,000! Speak with your class teacher, class parent, the office, or browse the online listings to find out what volunteer opportunities are available in a typical year.
Festivals and Events
This year when consider the cycles of the year and school festivals, we are prioritizing the children’s school experience in their class pods. All school events this year will be happening within each class and not across grade levels. Here are more details of school events in a typical school year.