COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Check here for Richmond Waldorf School’s Response plan to COVID-19

Richmond Waldorf School takes the well-being and safety of our students, parents, staff, and visitors seriously and we are actively preparing for the return of students to school this fall. Our Health and Safety procedures and protocols are based on recommendations from the CDC – Centers for Disease Control and VDH – Virginia Department of Health .

Our policies and procedures are constantly adapting! This list was last updated on August 13, 2021. 

Richmond Waldorf School will reopen our doors for in-person learning during the 2021-2022 school year using a multi-layered prevention approach to COVID-19 cases in our community. The following information is published knowing that all monitored guidelines may change and may affect our planning for the health and safety of students, families, staff, and visitors. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Questions should be directed to the Director of Administration, Rebecca Gibbs

Vaccination 

Richmond Waldorf School acknowledges our diverse population that includes many students who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and a portion of our community (students, staff, and family members) who are immunocompromised leading to a higher risk of severity if diagnosed with COVID-19. Considering the high transmission rate in the Richmond Metro area and the most recent Delta variant, Richmond Waldorf School strongly encourages all community members aged 12 years and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are able. Please refer to the Immunization Policy contained in the RWS Family Handbook for more information. 

Procedures for Students, Families, Staff, & Visitors 1. Daily Symptom Checking 

Students, families and staff are required to check temperatures and symptoms at home before coming to school and reporting any of the following to the Director of Administration. If your child has a fever above 100.4 degrees, they should attend school until cleared to return. COVID symptoms Link: CDC – Symptoms of Coronavirus Link: VDH – Symptoms Comparison Chart Exposure to a COVID positive person Positive COVID test within the immediate family Travel into areas deemed by the CDC as ‘hot spots’ within 14 days of start of school 

All visitors (families, tutors, substitutes, vendors and guest speakers) are encouraged to check temperatures at home and will be required to complete a health check form either on site or online before arriving at school. 

Temperature checks are required for students at morning drop off and upon returning to school after appointments. Temperature checks are also required for all staff and visitors to the RWS campus. Anyone with temperature recordings of 100.4 degrees (CDC defined “fever”) or over should stay at home. If a student develops a fever at school, the student will be sent to the Front Office for a confirmation, and the family will be called for pick up. 

Universal Mask Use 

a) Everyone, aged 2 years and older, is required to wear a mask inside the RWS building except when eating, drinking, or sleeping, regardless of vaccination status. 

b) Masks will be required outside for recess and outdoor exercise because social distancing (at least 3 feet spacing) is not always feasible during outdoor activities and students are in close contact with each other for longer periods of time. Activities with an elevated risk of increased exhalation include singing, shouting, sports, choir, band, recess, and exercise. Masks are also recommended for those who are immunocompromised or have family members that are immunocompromised. 

c) With masking required, all people present at the school are encouraged to take designated breaks safely during the school day. As part of the RWS curriculum, students spend considerable time outside and in outdoor classroom settings that are set up to allow for social distancing and create desirable conditions for masks to be removed outside. 

d) The Director of Administration will work with anyone coming on campus that may have extenuating circumstances requiring alternate arrangements to the stated mask policy on a case-by-case basis. 

e) Students are encouraged to bring extra masks. Disposable masks will also be placed in classrooms and in the Front Office should a student, staff member or visitor need a replacement. 

f) All staff are required to wear a face mask in any situation when another person is in close contact with them. Staff may also choose to use a face shield to facilitate the teaching process when practicing at least 6 feet of social distancing. Adults escorting a student must wear a face mask while on campus. Masks will also be required during transportation to and from school field trips when multiple students are riding together and according to the field trip locations COVID-19 protocols. 

3. Social Distancing and Cohorting 

a) Classroom desks and seating in language, music, and EC classrooms are set up to accommodate at least 3 feet distance between students. 

b) Each EC and Grades class will be defined as a cohort or small group that stays together throughout the school day. Cohorts will avoid intermingling of students as much as possible. 

c) Specialty teachers will come to the individual classrooms as required. 

d) During Aftercare, EC Students will stay in their classroom for nap and rest. Students will be placed at least 6 feet apart and will not be required to wear a mask. 

e) Weather permitting, cohorts will plan to eat snacks/lunch outside observing social distancing. In the event of unfavorable weather conditions, cohorts will utilize the gym and classrooms with at least 6 feet of spacing during snacks/lunch. Personal items and food should not be shared. 

f) “Gatherings” will be limited to the gym. Attendees must wear masks and practice social distancing. Cohorts may be staggered to accommodate adequate social distancing requirements. 

4. Cleaning, Handwashing & Sanitizing 

a) Hand sanitizer must be used as a person enters the school. 

b) More frequent hand washing/sanitizing protocols have been added to daily classroom routines – before/after eating or preparing food; after handling dirty dishes, participating in recess/exercise/sports, using the toilet, and handling garbage. Handwashing posters are also displayed in bathrooms and at classroom sinks. 

c) Each classroom is supplied with hand sanitizer, disinfectant, rags, tissues, a no-contact thermometer, replacement disposable masks (Adult and Child) 

d) Toys and other ‘touch’ items – RWS will follow CDC sharing & cleaning guidelines for schools and childcare. Classroom teachers/assistants and administrative staff wipe down common high-touch surfaces throughout the school daily. 

5. Sports – RWS basketball and soccer players will practice skills and techniques only. Incidental touching is expected, but NOT intentional touching. When deemed ‘intentional’ the student may be required to leave the group. No equipment will be shared. Students should expect to provide their own equipment. 

Visitors – Families/Caregivers, Vendors, Tutors, Substitutes, Service Providers, and Volunteers 

1. Currently, families will not be allowed in the building during everyday drop off and pick up times. For late arrivals and early pick ups, please come to the front entrance on Robin Hood Rd and ring the call button. Families will need to sign their student in and out for attendance and contact tracing. Community events allowing families and caregivers to visit the school will be communicated as it is safe to do so. 

2. All visitors must sign in and out at the Front Office to enable ‘Contact Tracing.’ 

3. Masking, social distancing and cleaning protocols must be followed by all visitors. 

4. Visitors will be escorted to their designated location or space. 

RWS Building Interior .

1. HVAC Air Filtration System – To improve efficiency and removal of higher percentages of airborne contaminants and improve indoor air quality, all filters have been upgraded. 

2. UV Lighting units – To disinfect rooms not served by the HVAC Air System, single units of UV lighting are placed in the rooms. 

3. Water Fountains – Although our water has been tested and is safe to drink, the fountains will be turned off to prevent use and touch of the handles. 

4. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed at all entrances. 

5. Lobby – Filtered Water and the Coffee machine/condiments have been removed. 

6. Front Office has a see-through desk partition. 

7. Bathrooms: Bathroom faucets have been replaced to provide motion-sensing turn on/off. Sink barriers have been installed in multiple stall bathrooms. 

8. Cleaning – UV Disinfecting Wands for surface cleaning have been supplied to the cleaning vendor to use each evening. Cleaning products meet recommendations of the CDC. 

9. No-contact thermometer, hand sanitizer, tissues, cleaning products, and gloves have been placed in every room. 

10. Use of Building: Space in the building is no longer allowed for external use, including rental, by anyone outside our RWS community. 

RWS Building Exterior 

1. Outdoor learning spaces have been identified to provide more time outside for all students and provide opportunities for mask breaks during the school day. 

2. Entrances: Upon arrival, masks are required, and temperatures will be checked before entering. Grades – Blacktop/Breezeway door (parallel to Robin Hood Rd) Early Childhood – EC entrance door (perpendicular to Robin Hood Rd) 

3. Please arrive on time to allow your student extra time for temperature checks and settling into their classroom before the start of school at 8:15 a.m. 

Contact Tracing, Quarantine, & Closure 

If a student is not feeling well, they will be sent to the Front Office where: 

1. The temperature will be taken and ‘presenting-symptoms’ recorded 

2. Caregiver will be called to inform of symptoms when temperature is present and/or the student presents aches, stomach upset or anxiety. Pick up by the parent will be coordinated, when needed. 

3. Caregiver will send an email or call the school by 8:00 a.m. the morning that the student cannot attend. 

4. A physician’s note may be required prior to returning to school depending on the illness. 

5. Symptoms for COVID, flu, cold and allergies may be the same. When RWS is informed of a positive COVID test result, the student or employee must be quarantined for 14 days and will not be allowed to return without a negative COVID test result. 

COVID POSITIVE RESULT 

1. Continuing RWS protocols, a staff member, student or community immediate family member who has confirmed COVID diagnosis, must report the diagnosis to the Director of Administration immediately. The person must quarantine for 14 days and be completely symptom free and have a negative COVID test result, before returning to campus. If during the quarantine time the symptoms reappear, the quarantine time of 14 days begins again. 

2. On-site vendors, tutors, substitutes or others will be required to contact RWS should a confirmed COVID diagnosis be determined and the person has been on campus 14 days prior to the positive diagnosis. The same quarantine time must be followed. 

3. Persons having been exposed to a person who is COVID positive, must isolate for 14 days and have no symptoms, have a negative COVID test before being allowed back on campus. These cases, too, should be reported to the Director of Administration. 

4. CDC and VA Department of Health guidelines will be followed, including temporary closure of school for cleaning, and communicating to the community. 

5. Confidentiality regulations prevent RWS from communicating an individual’s name when determined to be ill. 

6. Closings, not required by the Governor, will be counted toward required Make up Days for compliance with required Instructional Days. 

Contingency Plans for the Learning Environment: 

In the event of multiple positive COVID cases in a class or in the school, it may be determined that one or more classrooms need to be closed while staff/students are in quarantine. RWS has prepared the following contingency plans for academic instruction in the event of a classroom closure more than 14 days. 

The Director of Administration will determine when it is necessary to enact a Contingency Plan and communicate with the community as soon as possible if a change occurs. 

Incident-Specific Closures – Should Richmond Waldorf School determine that we need to close school for a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, we will consider this incident specific. In this instance, time off will be non-instructional time and lost instruction time will be made up via designated make-up days on the calendar. 

Temporary Distance Learning – In the event of multiple positive cases within a designated area of the school, the Director of Administration may determine that a class must temporarily transition to Distance Learning while in Quarantine. Richmond Waldorf School is prepared to deliver a distance learning program for Grades 1 through 8. Google Classroom, synchronous, and asynchronous content to maintain continuity in instruction until the class could return to campus.