April 10, 2020









Upcoming Important Dates

Monday, Apr 13 - Distance Learning Resumes
4:00 - 6:00 pm - Grades Supply Pick Up

Tuesday, Apr 14
PA Meeting via Zoom
All updates and email communications related to COVID-19 will be posted at RichmondWaldorf.com/covid-19-information
Messenger At A Glance
Weekly Bulletin:
  • Distance Learning Updates for Grades
  • Grades Supply Pickup this Mon, 4/13
Administrative Announcements:
  • Roof Project Starting Early
  • COVID-19 Support and the Sun Fund
Community Bulletin:
  • Virtual PA Meeting on Tues, 4/14
  • CARES Unemployment Act Resources
Weekly Bulletin
Grade School Distance Learning Updates: Beyond the Classroom
Dear Parents,

I hope you are all doing well and have begun to find comfort in new daily rhythms during these challenging weeks. We have been thinking of all of you, knowing that each family is in a unique situation. Some are trying to juggle work and caring for children at home. Some of you may be experiencing financial difficulties. And all of you are trying to navigate helping your children with this new form of learning. Please let us know how we can help. 

We have seen a lot of changes since our last communication to you regarding “distance learning.” Most importantly, of course, we now know that we will not be returning to our beloved building this year. This is hard, but we will work together and move forward together in the best way possible.

Thank you for responding to the survey in the Messenger. Your feedback is invaluable as we assess what is working and what is not. Many class teachers also sent out surveys. Please continue to let us know how things are going for you and your family.
  
We hear that students are wanting more “face time” with their teachers and with each other. And understandably so! Waldorf is an education that builds social connection in a unique way. We are all missing each other! In response to this request,the teachers have expanded the video conference schedule and will continue to make changes in the weeks to come.

What you can continue to expect
  • Teachers will continue to meet and discuss new and innovative ways to approach learning during this time. 
  • Teachers will continue to post new and meaningful content to their google classrooms to engage their students in age-appropriate ways. 
  • Teachers will continue to assess student work and progress, answer questions, and provide feedback and encouragement. Class teachers will publish narrative year-end reports, which will touch on students’ progress with distance learning curriculum.
  • There will be a pick-up this Monday, April 13 from 4:00-6:00 for any necessary supplies. Your child’s teacher will let you know if there are things that need to go home. There will be an all-school pick up scheduled later in the spring or early summer for non-essential student belongings and materials. Stay tuned for more details.

What is new :
  • All classes will be trying out additional opportunities for personal interaction via video conferencing platforms for both academic content and social connection. Class teachers will post new schedules in their classrooms. Look for new offerings in specialty classes this week.
  • Parent / Teacher phone or video conferences will be scheduled in the next few weeks. Be on the lookout for a sign up coming soon.
  • We are adopting a different strategy regarding grading in Middle School. We understand that some students are ill equipped to succeed in these current conditions. For that reason, we will not assign grades for the 4th quarter. This is a change to our original plan. The 3rd quarter interim grade will serve as the 2nd semester grade on the student’s transcript. Students may work to raise their grades, but they will not be penalized if they are not able to progress as they had earlier.   

What we continue to ask of you, as students and parents :
  • Students should understand that distance learning is an important part of this year's school experience. We continue to expect students to make a good faith effort to engage in lessons and assignments, but we understand that this will look different for every individual and every family. We ask you to do what you can, given your particular circumstances. 
  • We invite students and parents to reach out to teachers with questions and feedback. See the office hours and response times posted on your child’s Google Classroom.
  •  Parents should try to provide a dedicated place and time for students to work at home. Following the suggested daily rhythm will be helpful, when possible. 
  • If your child is unwell and unable to participate in the daily lessons, please advise your Class Teacher.

We will continue to keep you informed of updates as they arise and hope you’ll stay in touch. 

Best wishes for a happy and healthy time at home,
for the Faculty College
Grade School Supply Pick Up This Monday, April 13 from 4 - 6pm
Teachers in Grades 1 through 8 will contact parents about picking up school supplies and any classroom items that belong to your student . Please reach out to your child's teacher with any questions.

The Supply Pick Up will be in the back of the school where the grades drop off lane is. Bags will be labeled with your name. Please remain in your car.

Thank you,
Music Teacher & Specialty Chair
Administrative Announcements
Roof Project Starting Early - Construction to begin next week
Our roofing contractors, Roofing Systems of VA, have offered to accelerate their schedule for us to begin Phase II, and we've accepted.  Materials will be placed at school this Tuesday, April 14 for the roofing work to begin on Wednesday the 15th. The work will begin on the main wing above the admin offices, music room, and first and second grade classrooms.

We believe this time frame will be much shorter than last summer's Phase I. This project uses 'restricted' funds, meaning the money is there to pay for replacement, thanks mainly to the Advancement Committee for a successful fundraising campaign!

Interim Director of Administration
COVID-19 Support and the Sun Fund
Last week we announced a process for RWS Families to apply for hardship relief and/or additional support due to the impacts of COVID-19. If you are experiencing a hardship that is impacting your ability to enroll your child at RWS next year, we want to help you. We are exploring our options to help enable our families to return to RWS next year.

More details about this will be announced next week, including more about the Sun Fund, which will help our RWS Families get through this pandemic together.

Please follow the link below to apply for COVID-19 Support. Reach out to Valerie Hogan or Nancy Cross with any questions or for more information. And stay healthy!
Community Bulletin
Virtual PA Meeting
The PA will host its first virtual PA meeting on Tues, April 14 via Zoom from 5:30-7:00 pm. We will be discussing ideas for continued connection within the parent community and how to move forward with Teacher Appreciation from a distance. If you are interested in joining the discussion please reach out to
Derek Starr Redwine for the meeting ID and password. We hope you are all safe and healthy.

Warmly
CARES Act Unemployment