March 24, 2020
Dear Richmond Waldorf School Community,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you regarding Governor Northam’s order that all schools close through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are still processing the news and what it means for RWS, but I want to assure you that while we must comply with this directive, our faculty and school leadership will draw on their creativity and adaptability to ensure that we deliver a Waldorf education despite these unfortunate circumstances.
Following the announcement from the Governor, the Board of Trustees, Faculty College and Director of Administration held a joint meeting to assess and determine next steps. This was just one virtual meeting of many since this crisis began. Please know that the Board, College, full faculty, and administration have been working closely together and will continue to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of the school.
Our students and mission remain what is most important, and our faculty will continue to deliver and further develop our distance learning program. Furthermore, the school will make every effort to honor some of the special end-of-year experiences for our students, especially our 8th graders, who have worked so hard to reach the culmination of their RWS journey.
We also recognize that this an incredible loss for our entire community and we will look for creative opportunities to connect.
In the meantime, today is day two! As you know, the distance learning paradigm is unprecedented in Waldorf education, and Waldorf schools around the world are acclimating to this new reality. I am grateful to our faculty for the tremendous effort they have put into adapting and preparing for this new way of teaching. Please know that RWS will monitor the successes and challenges of the distance learning and reach out to you for your important feedback.
Finally, in the interest of operating most efficiently during this challenging time, the Board of Trustees has temporarily restructured and consolidated many of the responsibilities and the decision-making authority of the three-person Leadership Team and vested them solely in the Director of Administration. The Director of Administration will continue to work in collaboration with the Faculty College to ensure that the delivery of our Waldorf curriculum adheres to the highest standard of learning and meets your expectations.
Thank you for your patience as we adjust to these previously unimagined circumstances. While we are disappointed in the turn of events, please know that we will continue to do our best to support our students and families. I firmly believe in the strength and resilience of the children and our community and know that together we will make it through this. Our campus may be closed, but our learning continues!
The school will provide on-going updates in the days and weeks to come. As always, please share your questions and concerns.
Chair, Board of Trustees