Dear Mountain Laurel Parents,

As the nation monitors the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, Mountain Laurel Waldorf School is focused on possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff. We would like to update you on how we are responding to this outbreak and share with you our guiding principles for making decisions regarding the education and care of our students. We also want to inform you of updates to our policies and procedures, specifically as they relate to infection control and travel. 

As always, the health and well-being of Mountain Laurel's community of students, families, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority. To ensure our sound and careful decision-making, we are monitoring global, national, and local health organizations, as well as consulting with local healthcare professionals. This includes following guidelines and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), the  US Department of State , NY State Department of Health NY State Department of Health and the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  for school closure, travel plans, and quarantine.  

As part of our internal conversations, as well as discussions with peer institutions, we are examining how a serious outbreak would affect teaching and learning, student travel, and community gatherings at Mountain Laurel. We are also assessing options to ensure educational continuity for our students in the event of an extended school closing. 

In response to the aforementioned resources, we have enhanced our hygiene protocols with additional cleaning services to ensure that surfaces such as doors, door handles, faucets, desks, handrails, etc. are disinfected very frequently. We will continue to evaluate any needs and make adjustments as necessary. In addition, each classroom now has hand sanitiser readily available.

We would like to remind you of the  CDC's general recommendations  to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus (like cold or flu and including COVID-19) and ask that you join us in reinforcing that students wash their hands many times each day at school and when they return home; sneeze or cough into a tissue and throw it away or sneeze into their elbows; do not share cups or water bottles; and do not shake hands or use fist bumps. In light of these guidelines, we are temporarily suspending our hallmark custom of a handshake between the teacher and students before class, and will continue to greet each other with eye contact and a warm smile at the door.   We also request additional diligence in keeping children at home if they have a fever. They should only return to school after being fever-free for 24 hours- without fever reducing medication. If your child is away from school, please be sure to call the office to let us know the reason - this should be common practice and is all the more important at the moment.

If you are traveling during spring recess, please carefully check the  CDC Travel website  and the  State Department website   to ensure a safe experience for your family. We recognize that families may have travel plans for spring recess that include International travel. As of this mailing, the State Department has issued a  travel guidance related to COVID-19  that includes a Warning Level 4 (do not travel) for China and Iran and Warning Level 3 (avoid all nonessential travel) for Italy and South Korea. For the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, or until further notice, we ask for your cooperation with the following protocol: 

If you are traveling to an area where either the State Department or the CDC has issued an Alert Level 2, or Warning Level 3 or 4, or if you have been in contact with a traveler who has recently returned from these areas, please notify the Administration office at

While it may be an unlikely scenario, Mountain Laurel reserves the right to require a family member, student, or employee to remain away from school for up to 14 days from your date of contact. A physician's release may be required before returning to school. The link to the incubation period as determined by the CDC can be found  here .

Lastly, please remember that students take their emotional cues from adults. We encourage you to monitor your child's engagement in the topic and if necessary, help them understand what they are seeing and hearing. You might find this article helpful in talking to your child about the coronavirus outbreak: 

This is an evolving and complex situation, and we will continue to follow the latest CDC updates for guidance on the most effective and sensible prevention measures for schools. We will keep you posted of any new developments or changes to our protocols as this situation unfolds. In the meantime, We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we partner to protect the health and safety of all our students and employees. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. As always, it is our pleasure to hear from you.