At Home Learning Scenarios and Program Overview

Revised 7/17/20


Dear RWS returning and new community members,

I am writing to give you updates as the College, Administration and Board of Trustees are making decisions and plans around our reopening of school. As always, please reach out to me with questions, suggestions, concerns and ideas at ncross@richmondwaldorf.com .

We have established a policy and process for COVID-19 related “At Home Learning”. Administration and the Pedagogical Task Team is providing, based on your questions, a policy for “At Home Learning” for COVID-19 related health instances, where there is a medical, physical or emotional reason for a student to remain at home and not attend on-campus learning.

The coronavirus has affected families in different ways. Some students may be unable to return to the building when school opens in the fall, even with the safety measures that have been put in place. In response to this possibility, the Pedagogical Task Force has created a plan to serve those students. There are elements of the plan that will be reminiscent of Distance Learning - the use of the google classroom, for example. The roles of parents and teachers will be a bit different, though. Teachers will have the additional responsibility of their classes on campus, so parents will be asked to help their children more, much as they would if a child were at home sick and doing work sent by the school.

We want to work with each student to ensure they feel comfortable and ready to learn on their campus. When circumstances arise where this may not be possible, we will provide a distance model in accordance with required documentation submitted.

Please read the policy and process below.  Should a community parent wish to make this request for the start of our 2020-2021 school year, I ask the written request and accompanying documentation be to me by August 17, 2020.   

Establishing Outdoor Learning Spaces is also a concerted effort to enhance student learning. Several of these spaces will be tented to provide sun, heat and inclement weather shelter. 

Currently the school is being deep cleaned and made ready with cleaning supplies and materials for each room. Teachers will receive more intensive health and safety training when they return, including the updated Emergency Response Plan.
Scenarios for At Home Learning
“At Home Learning” is the delivery of education to a student who is unable to participate in on-campus learning due to medical, physical or emotional instances specifically related to COVID-19. This is unlike “Beyond The Classroom” distance learning where school is ordered closed by the Governor, for all students. 

Process:
  • A written request from the student’s parent/guardian must be sent to the Director Administration, preferably 2 weeks in advance of the potential off-campus At Home Learning. 
  • A justification for the request must be stated in the written request. Reasonable, COVID-19 related requests are: extended illness, personal preference for health concerns, required quarantine.
  • An extended illness request must be accompanied by a physician’s note for expectation of the time frame expected for the complete recovery and return to on-campus learning.  
  • A preference request must be accompanied by a physician or therapist’s note with an estimate of time frame requested for At Home Learning.
  • A required quarantine situation request must be accompanied by a notice from the Virginia Department of Health, or the treating physician, or written description as to an exposure, by the parent/guardian of the student.
  • Personal preference request made without a physician or therapist intervention will be accepted. (added 7/17/20)
  • The parent/guardian agrees to meet all teacher’s, Classroom and Specialty, requirements for class assignments, participation, attendance and classroom etiquette.
  • The ability to accommodate will be made at the discretion of RWS based on the length of At Home Learning time required, student and parent/guardian involvement.
  • A Program Adjustment form will be completed, for At Home Learning, by the College Chair, Classroom teacher, Specialty teachers when required, and the Director Administration to be placed in the Student file.
  • An initial Zoom meeting will be held with the parent/guardian and student, if age appropriate, the Classroom teacher, Specialty teachers in Middle school, and the Director Administration to provide an overview of the student’s At Home Learning experience and expectations.
At-Home Learning Program Outline
Platforms and Materials
  • We will use Google Classroom and Zoom as our platforms.
  • Class materials and supplies will be provided for at-home use, as appropriate.
  • The school will provide a process for picking up and dropping off work and materials. 
 
Early Childhood Expectations:

EC teachers will provide: 
  • Recording of circle once every two weeks and provide text
  • Recording of story once every week and provide text 
  • Seasonal craft materials with text of instructions
  • One weekly Zoom call for all children and families
  • Parent Zoom call, when requested

Grades 1-5 Expectations:

Class teachers will provide:
  • Text and/or recording of morning exercises and / or circle posted once every 3-4 weeks
  • New material and teacher presentations via recordings, web links, text documents, or printed material, depending on the subject matter and grade level
  • Images of main lesson book work completed in class 
  • Images of any “extra main” artwork and practice work completed   
  • Brief Zoom check-ins- at least 2 per week for all homebound students from a particular grade - for announcements, questions, summary of work posted on Google Classroom, and a social check-in 
  • Individual zoom call with each student once per week
  • Parent Zoom calls, when requested


Middle School (grades 7 & 8)

Class Teachers will provide:
  • Live streaming of portions of Main Lesson daily
  • Images of main lesson book work completed in class
  • Recordings, videos, and links of relevant information and reference materials
  • Images of any “extra main”, artistic, and practice work completed that day by 5pm
  • Brief Zoom check-in with all at-home students from particular grade at least 2 days per week for announcements, questions, summary of work posted on Google Classroom, and a social check-in  
  • One individual zoom call with student weekly
  • Parent Zoom calls, when requested

Grades Specialty Teachers 1-8

Specialty teachers will provide a variety of the following offerings, to be determined as part of the program adjustment process, and based on the specific grade level and subject:
  • Audio recordings
  • Video recordings
  • Live streaming via zoom
  • Links to specific content
  • Printed materials
  • Images of completed assignments

Student / Parent Expectations:
  • Grades student/ parent will be expected to submit work in the format designated by the teacher. Due dates and times will be established. 
  • Parents may need to help their children more, as there will be fewer zoom calls with the teacher.
  • Student conduct should mirror on-campus classroom behavior, etiquette, responsibility, and accountability.

We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we identify best practices for our coming school year. Please share any questions or requests for additional information with me.

Thank you,

Interim Director of Administration
Richmond Waldorf School | RichmondWaldorf.com | (804) 377-8024
Celebrating 100 Years of Waldorf Education