|A message from our Director of Administration Tracy Edwards
Dear SGWS Community,
As we continue planning for our campus re-opening, health and safety protocols, and the details of the students' daily experience, we will need to be ready for several scenarios which include:
- in person learning;
- distance learning, and;
- a mixture of in person and distance learning due to COVID-19-related absences.
The information we share today reflects our plans for a re-opening of campus 5 days a week (full days for all grades students and contracted days and times for early childhood students). We are also formalizing our plans for improved full-time distance learning if we are unable to open our campus due to high COVID-19 transmission in our area.
Please read through this email and links completely to make sure you are fully informed and up to date on our current plans.
This continues to be an ever-changing situation and we will update you accordingly if/when changes occur.
Click here for the Spring Garden Waldorf School COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for re-opening campus in August. This document is detailed and covers the following areas:
- Daily Health Assessments/Symptom Monitoring
- Illness and Absence
- Physical Distancing
- Separating Classes/Cohorting
- Face Coverings
- Personal Hygiene
- Outdoor Learning
- Shared Materials
- Cleaning Protocols
- Building Use and Access
- Mental Health Considerations
- Distance Learning
Other Important Updates:
We have made slight changes to our school calendar. Please make note of the following dates. The full calendar will be sent in the near future in a separate email.
- Wednesday, August 12th: Virtual Town Hall, 7 PM
- Week of August 17th: Zoom Class Meetings (Dates/Times TBA);
- Friday, August 21: Orientation and Supply Drop Off Day (Schedule/Times/Details TBA);
- Monday, August 24: Orientation and Supply Drop Off Day (Schedule/Times/Details TBA);
- Wednesday, August 26: First Day of School for Grades 1, 2, 7 & 8;
- Thursday, August 27: First Day of School for ALL - EC & Grades 3, 4, 5, 6 join Grades 1, 2, 7 & 8 on this day;
- Spring Break: March 8-12;
- President's Day-February 15 will be a scheduled school day;
- School End Date: June 4;
- Flex Days: We have scheduled 6 flex days into the school year when we are currently not scheduled to attend, but we may with advanced notice choose to implement as school days if necessary.. These dates are May 14th, and June 7th through June 11th. This will allow for some flexibility if an extended school closure is necessary during the school year.
Due to changes implemented for this school year in relation to COVID-19 and to ease the transition into the school year for both new and returning students, we are scheduling time for orientation and drop off of supplies for all students. Orientation for students in early childhood through grade 3 will be for students and parents to attend together, spend a short time visiting with their teacher and hear additional details of what to expect during the school day. Orientation for students in grades 4-8 will be for the students only as a partial or whole class. Students will be able to talk with their teacher, drop off their supplies and learn more about what school will be like when they return. More information about a schedule for orientation will come soon.
Early Childhood -
Each early childhood classroom will work as a cohort with the same children and adults staying together in small groups of 10 or less children. These groups will not intermix with other early childhood classes. The majority of the day will be spent outside, weather permitting. We will also have plans for when class needs to be indoors due to inclement weather. We have designated 5 outdoor spaces and the classes will rotate through these spaces to allow them time in each of the unique areas to play, imagine, build friendships, and develop school readiness skills. More information about the experience for the early childhood students can be found in the health and safety document link above.
Subject Classes -
We will continue to offer subject classes during the upcoming school year. In order to honor class cohorting (details in health and safety document link) and limit subject teacher exposure to students, we are creating a trimester schedule for subject lessons. Main lesson will be offered daily for the same amount of time as in past years. The subject classes and extra main lesson periods will be longer and each grade will have 2-3 subject classes each trimester. All subject classes will be offered this school year. Choral singing and the playing of wind instruments, (recorders, flutes, clarinets), are being re-imagined for this year as they are identified as high risk of transmission activities. We are approaching this from a positive standpoint rather than a place of 'cannot sing' or 'taking away.' This is the challenge that has been given to us and how we meet that challenge is of the utmost importance to our students' experience. Pedagogically, music is an outlet for expressing feeling, spirit, and soul. That will not change. We are looking forward to sharing more details with you about the music program as they become solidified.
Distance Learning -
We are prepared to offer distance learning when we are not able to conduct learning on the school campus. We will also offer project-based, distance learning materials for individual students experiencing a COVID-19 related absence for more than one week.
Parent input was tremendously helpful in structuring our distance learning plan. When we are not able to conduct learning on the school campus, we will implement a blended approach of synchronous (live lessons) and asynchronous (self-guided) distance learning for all students, in all subjects, in early childhood through eighth grade.
We plan to deliver our distance curriculum using Google Classroom and Zoom technology.
Training for parents and students on how to use Google Classroom will be available prior to the start of the school year.
Festivals and Celebrations -
We recognize that our calendar, community gatherings, and lessons revolve around the festivals and celebrations during the school year. For this year, these events will need to be re-imagined, celebrated in a different way, or possibly postponed or canceled for the year. Building access is being limited to faculty, staff, and students as noted in the Health and Safety Plan. This will impact our approach to these events. We appreciate the parent feedback through the survey and will communicate about these events in the near future.
Before and Aftercare -
We have not finalized plans/decisions about before care and aftercare. However, in order to provide the safest experience, if we are able to offer these services it will be limited to a small group of students that will make a long term commitment to the service. We will be sending out a survey next week to finalize planning.
Thank you to all of our SGWS community for your continued patience, feedback, and support. We will continue to update you as details become available.
Tracy Edwards on behalf of the Return to School Task Force