UPDATE October 2021:
South Shore Waldorf School is adhering to all federal and provincial restrictions and public
health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Nova Scotia’s response to the pandemic
changes, we will adapt accordingly. As such, please be aware this is a working document and
will be updated and shared as we learn more about how we can continue to offer a Waldorf
education under these changing circumstances.
We recognize that these issues may be divisive in our community and we ask for continued
kindness, patience, and understanding from all community members as we continue to
navigate these circumstances together.
Our overarching goal is to maintain an open school with a healthy environment for the children
that is both inclusive and welcoming. As a Waldorf School, we look to some words of wisdom
from Rudolf Steiner to guide us.
“The healthy social life is only found when in the mirror of each human soul the whole
community finds its reflection and when in the community the virtue of each one is living.”
General Guidelines for 2021-2022
Arrival and Dismissal
Car traffic is to come up school road turning onto Parish and exiting via Cornwall rd.
Please remember to park along the far side of Parish road allowing adequate visibility for
students to safely cross the road. Students who are able to safely cross the road unassisted are
encouraged to do so. Children who are not able to safely do so independently are to be
accompanied by an adult to the area designated by your class teacher.
Please allow adequate time for arrival and drop-off. Grades students are expected to be ready
for their teachers to call them to main lesson by 8:45 am.
Parents who are accompanying their child to their class gathering space are asked to maintain
physical distance from others and to wear a mask. Your class teacher will inform you of where
the class is to gather at the start of the day.
Monday to Thursday school ends at 3:00 pm. On Fridays, school ends at 1:30 pm.
Car traffic is to come up school road turning onto Parish and exiting via Cornwall rd.
Please arrive promptly to pick your child up. Grades families, please wait by the school fence
for your child to join you. Class teachers will inform you of the best place to wait for students in
their classes to minimize congestion. We ask families to maintain physical distance and to wear
a mask. Kindergarten families will pick their children up from the kindergarten playground.
Health Guidelines for 2021-2022
The following points outline how South Shore Waldorf School is incorporating the core
principles of Public Health guidelines into our daily operations.
We encourage all staff and families to speak with their health care providers regarding
vaccination so that they can make an informed choice based on their health context. We do
not discriminate between vaccinated and unvaccinated members of our community and our
health guidelines apply to all community members regardless of their vaccine status.
Under the Public Health Order regarding Proof-of-vaccination, we are required to ask for proof of full vaccination for discretionary and non-curricular activities. At present, this applies to our Parent and Tot program as well as public events.
Preventing the introduction of illness into the school
As always, if your child is feeling unwell, they are required to stay home. Children who have
had a fever or have vomited must stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms have passed.
Staff and students are required to stay home if they have any symptoms listed on the following
Families are expected to run through the daily checklist before leaving for school
If your child develops symptoms while at school, we are following these guidelines:
Masking and PPE
Masking is required in all school settings.
• This applies for all ages when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
• Masks may be removed when eating, drinking, or when engaged in physical activity.
• It is strongly encouraged to engage in these activities outside, which we will be doing as
much as possible.
• As Public Health revisits this requirement we will update our policies.
We will be maximizing outdoor time and incorporating time for “mask breaks” into our days. Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the outdoors.
We will be using all available space to minimize congestion and maximize physical distancing
where possible. Within the classroom this is not always possible, especially during times when
the students are completing their bookwork.
Parents are asked to maintain distance from other families during drop-off and pick-up times
and to wear masks when they are unable to maintain physical distancing. Please keep in mind
that some members of our community may have compromised immune systems or other
health concerns you may not be aware of.
Hygiene Practices and Cleaning
Students, Staff and Visitors are to wash their hands upon entry to the school. Hand Sanitizer is
provided in the foyer for visitors to the office. Proper cough and sneeze etiquette is
encouraged and learning etiquette is supported in our classrooms.
Students are required to bring a water bottle from home, and sharing of food, drinks and
personal items is discouraged.
Our cleaning crew will be maintaining the enhanced cleaning practices adopted last year, and
high touch surfaces and areas in classrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. In
the kindergarten all toys and mats will be sanitized at the end of the day. We use a hydrogen
peroxide-based cleaner that is scent free.
Outdoor Spaces and Ventilation
Windows will be kept open as much as possible and the use of outdoor space is prioritized.
Field trips can resume, so long as we follow public health restrictions in the community.
We are able to welcome visitors following public health measures to our school again.
Covid Protocols – Updated April 24, 2021
Our primary goal is to maintain in-school learning for our students because we believe the evidence shows this is in their best interests. Our colleagues at Waldorf schools across the country and in the United States have modeled that Waldorf education can provide a wholehearted education of the head, heart, and hands while meeting our responsibilities as members of a much larger, global community.
After reviewing how the newest directive from public health impacts our school, we understand that we need to move into our phase 2 protocols. These protocols are designed to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19 while minimizing the impact on learning outcomes and classroom experience for our students.
These are outlined as follows:
- Implementation of cohorts between the classes and step into a rotational schedule for recess. As previously discussed, siblings can still interact.
- The 4 grades classes will be split into 2 groups for rotation during recess and lunch recess (1,2,3,4 and 5,6,7,8)
- Enhanced Cleaning protocols are stepped up. Faculty and school cleaners will be spraying down all high-touch surfaces with our hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner.
- Handwashing is required upon entry, before eating, after eating, and regularly throughout the day. Students can choose to use hand sanitizer for entry, but soap and water be used before and after eating.
- Students are not required to wear masks while eating or drinking, while outdoors, while seated in their classroom at a distance of 2 meters from each other.
- All students will be required to mask when they are indoors and cannot maintain a physical distance of 2 meters from each other. This will look similar to masking in restaurants.
- Students will wear masks while moving between classrooms.
- Staff will wear masks when moving between rooms, while in common areas, and when we cannot maintain physical distance. For example, teachers will not need to mask while delivering a lesson at the front of the room, but will if they are giving one-on-one help to a student.
- No sharing of classroom supplies.
- No gatherings, such as assemblies.
- No cooking with students.
- Children who have any symptoms of COVID or who have family members who have any symptoms of COVID need to stay home from school and follow public health guidelines regarding return to school. See the Health Checks! below.
In addition to the above, we need to implement changes to pick up and drop off.
Parents are to remain in their cars when picking up and dropping off their children. Staff will walk children to and from their parent’s vehicles. There can be no lingering after school in the schoolyard. Traffic flow to come up school road and turn right onto Parish. Once children are in the vehicle, proceed up Parish to Cornwall road so more vehicles can turn onto Parish from School Rd. This applies to all classes with the exception of our Kindergarten and Early Childhood Centre. Children in our Kindergarten and early childhood center programs will continue the processes they have been using since September 2020.
When, and if, any parent needs to enter the buildings, they need to wear a mask and sanitize their hands. We have hand sanitizer available in each of our buildings for this purpose.
The directive from public health is extremely clear that all students in pre-primary to grade 12 province-wide are to be masked while indoors.
For those parents choosing to not send their children to school at this time, unfortunately, it is not possible for faculty to offer additional home teaching support.
We continue to be grateful that we have the flexibility and experience to teach outdoors, the physical space to give our students the required 2-meter distance from each other while at their desks, and for the privilege and good fortune we have had through 80% of the school year.
Please note that we are receiving more emails than usual and kindly ask that you please be extra patient and kind to our team members. This is a challenging time for everyone. The staff and faculty are also experiencing emotions as they take on the added extra work involved in recreating their teaching plans and physical changes, whilst keeping the students happy in a smoothly running environment.
Before attending school each day, parents are required to give their child a health check. Please see the attached Health Check Chart. If a child is experiencing any of the symptoms related to COVID-19, they must stay home until they are free of symptoms or have received a negative COVID-19 test and are free of symptoms.
If you have concerns or questions regarding your child’s health, please contact 811 and follow their directions. A child with a chronic stable cough, sneeze, runny nose, or nasal congestion that is unchanged and clearly linked to a known medical condition such as asthma or allergies may still be able to attend school. If a child becomes sick at school, parents or an emergency contact need to pick them up within 30 minutes of being called.
If a child develops symptoms consistent with a possible COVID-19 infection, they will be taken to the staff room, to a comfortable healing space. A staff member will watch over the child until the parent/guardian comes to pick up the child. Common areas and toys used by the child will be cleaned. Having a COVID-19 test for a child is at the parents’ discretion. If a teacher or a child has a positive COVID-19 test, they are to inform the school immediately.
The school will inform the rest of the school community and follow the then current public health guidelines at the time of the outbreak. If you have concerns or questions regarding your child’s health, please call 811 for directions. The most important thing that we can do as parents to minimize the spread of the virus, is to keep sick children at home.