COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Check here for updates for how COVID-19 is affecting Richmond Waldorf School. 

4/15/20: 

The Sun Fund is a newly created initiative to support the Richmond Waldorf School community during COVID-19 and specifically, to provide emergency tuition assistance for our families for school tuition payments in the current or next school year.  We need each other now more than ever before. Many families in our community are suffering, and RWS is committed to helping families in financial crisis due to COVID-19 to continue their Waldorf education!

That’s where the Sun Fund comes in. Help a family, help our school, help our community. This is our chance to come together in this time of great need to ensure that our children continue to be empowered by this amazing Waldorf education.  Read more and learn how to donate or apply for support here. 

4/13/20:
We hope your Spring Break brought some relief and hope for the future for your family, friends and our community. We know of no COVID-19 related health issues within our community, and we are thankful! During the break, the College and Faculty continued to meet, Administration staff continued their work, and the Board of Trustees met.
 
Review and reduction of expenses continues. 
 
Phase II of the Roof Replacement begins this week! The funds for this important building need are “restricted”, meaning they can be used only for this project by the end of this summer. Phase II includes the roof over the 1st, 2nd grade classrooms, music room, copier/mailroom and the gym.
 
The recent parent survey in the Messenger responses are being reviewed with a summary report to be published next week. The overall comments are very positive, especially appreciation for faculty academic and specialty classes content and delivery. Are there things needing improvement? Yes! Administration and the College will work on these immediately. One question was, “Why does RWS continue curriculum delivery when the Waldorf methodology does not focus on technology?”. RWS must meet the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council for Private Education certain requirements even with Distance Learning. The accreditation process with AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) and SAIS ( Southern Association of Independent Schools) ensures compliance with the state requirements.
 
The Board of Trustees is meeting weekly and has put in place Task Forces to respond to the COVID-19 impacts. These efforts will be led by Kim Washburn and Nancy Cross. 
3/27/20:
Our Administration is working to ensure financial impacts are minimal to our community, staff and programs. Each of the affected programs are addressed below:
  • Grades and Early Childhood: Tuition, 2019-2020, is expected to be billed and paid as we continue to provide the RWS education. Parents or guardians impacted by circumstances that are affecting the ability to pay should contact Nancy Cross, Interim Director Administration. TADS payments can be extended through August 2020. If you wish to extend your payments, please do so through TADS. Their phone number is 800-477-8237.
  • Sprouts: Participants will be refunded for the two (2) classes that were cancelled. Refunds will be mailed by April 20, 2020. 
  • Aftercare: Participants will receive refunds for care not provided after March 13, 2020. We are reviewing each contract payment schedule. The Business Office will handle these and will send refunds by April 20, 2020.
  • 2020-2021 Tuition Adjustment / Financial Aid applications:  The Tuition Adjustment committee continues to review financial aid applications each week as TADS completes their verification process for each family. Financial aid appeals due to COVID-19 impacts will be considered. Further, if you do not have a need now but your circumstances change later, we will review and consider additional tuition adjustment. Families in need of support or who have questions should get in touch with Valerie Hogan. You will use the TADS system to provide changes to your financial state.
  • 2020-2021 Re-Enrollment: Contracts are being received for next school year and we thank you for your confidence in RWS! We also know we are in an unprecedented time, and many may be questioning future plans. We want to do our best to get through this together as a community. Please contact us if you are considering withdrawal due to financial constraints and/or uncertainty due to COVID-19 and its impacts. To support our families, we are extending the re-enrollment period through June 5. Additionally, your enrollment fee will remain $200 with no increase. RWS will also defer payment of enrollment fee into tuition payment plan upon parent request. Please reach out to have a conversation so we can help as we are able.
 
For families receiving refunds, we ask you to consider making the refund amount a donation to RWS at this time.  If that is your desire, please contact Lorraine Graff, Accounting Coordinator, 804-377-8024.
 
We are certain with close attention to our current budget, we will get through this academic year successfully. We also continue to plan and budget for our 2020-2021 academic year. It is wonderful to be part of a caring and dedicated community. We THANK YOU!
 
Interim Director of Administration
3/25/20: 
Early Childhood Package Pickup on Thurs, April 9 & again on Thurs, May 7
When:  Thursday, April 9 from 10-2 and then again on Thursday, May 7 from 10-2
Where:  Behind the school in the grades pick up/drop off area.  Please stay in your car.
There will be labeled bags for each child.  Staff will be outside to hand the bags to you.  If you are not able to come to RWS during this time, contact your child’s teacher.  
 
April 9th package will include: 
  • Extra Clothes, rain gear, and indoor shoes.
  • Craft materials 
  • Materials for the sun’s doll making and jump ropes for the Oak and Magnolia classes
  • Plants from the Acorn and Willow classes
May 7th package will include: 
  • Craft materials for sewing projects 
  • Birthday Gifts for birthdays missed 
  • Paintings and Drawings
3/23/20 – Governor Northam has ordered all K-12 schools to close for the remainder of the academic year. More communication to follow. 
3/18/20: Grades 1 – 8 Distance Learning to begin on Monday, March 23 via Google Classroom. 

School Supplies Pick Up to Prepare for Distance Learning – 

When: Friday, March 20 from 2 – 6pm
Where: Behind school in the grades pick up/drop off area.
 
There will be labeled bags for each student and staff will be outside to provide families with needed supplies and materials for their student’s distance learning. Contact your child’s teacher or Letitia Amey with any questions or if an alternative is needed.
Schedule Update – March 13, 2020, 2:55 p.m.
Governor Ralph Northam has ordered all Virginia K-12 schools to close for at least two weeks as the outbreak of Coronavirus continues to spread.
 
Richmond Waldorf School will be closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.
All school activities including Aftercare, class plays, and soccer are also cancelled during this time.

FAQ:

Is Richmond Waldorf School operating? 

Yes! While RWS is physically closed as of March 16 per Governor Northam’s order, we are very much operating remotely. Our teachers are delivering a distance learning program for all of our enrolled students and are working with their students, parents, and colleagues to adapt to the need for social distancing. Our administrative staff and business office are working remotely, and our Board of Trustees continues to meet to ensure the well being of the community as a whole.  

Please continue to practice social distancing. Play dates are strongly discouraged.  

Updated 4/13/20

How will my student’s curriculum be delivered while school is closed?

Each Class Teacher is preparing for Distance Learning. This will be tailored for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School students. The intention and expectation is that the daily school rhythm remain as close to being at school as possible.

Early Childhood parents have been contacted by their child’s teacher and provided with recommendations and tools to provide a consistent environment.  

Grades Class and Specialty teachers will use Google Classroom for distance learning.  For Grades 1 to 8, to the extent possible, the manner of instruction via distance learning is to be true to a Waldorf curriculum while the student is at home. Parents will hear directly from teachers with instructional information and materials as well as hours each teacher is available for questions or to provide support. 

Distance Learning for Grades 1 – 8 

  1. Distance Learning for students in Grades 1 – 8 will begin Monday, March 23, 2020 morning via Google Classroom. The intention and expectation is that the daily school rhythm will remain as close to being at school as possible, and to ensure all students are engaged and keeping up with their learning. 
  2. Bags with student supplies to support work will be available for pick up Friday, March 20, from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Please park at the Drop Off/Pick Up area to get your students supplies, texts, specific student instructions, if any.  Faculty & Administrative staff will be in the area outside to assist you as we can with the pick up. Your class teacher will be in touch with you before Friday, if you need to pick up supplies.

Will Parent-Teacher Conferences still be held? 

Parent-Teacher conferences initially scheduled for March 20 and 23 are postponed.  Parents are encouraged to call or email the classroom or specialty teacher should they have questions about their student’s progress.  Teachers will contact parents of students who are experiencing problems with their assignments.

What are the guidelines for entering the building?

The safety of our school community is paramount at a time such as this. While school is closed, building entry will be closely monitored and is discouraged unless absolutely necessary. If parents need any items from the building they should reach out to their child’s teacher for support.
 
If you are a faculty, board, or community member coming into the building, you must sign in on the log book, even if just coming in for a moment. The log books are located at the front entrance near the alarm system and the Early Childhood hall entry doors.

What can families, students, and school personnel do to keep from getting sick and spreading COVID-19?

The CDC recommends the following preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, have gone to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Always wash hands with soap and water when your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.  
  • Practice “social distancing” and keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others who are not in your immediate family. Avoid play dates and public gatherings. 
  • Avoid close contact (six feet or less) with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick (and do not return to school until you are fever-free for 72 hours without medication). We ask you to strictly adhere to this policy.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. (List of EPA registered products.)

 

Who can you contact with questions, concerns, or for more information?

Parents and community members are invited to contact a member of RWS’ Leadership Team with any questions. 

Nancy Cross, Interim Director of Administration