UPDATE March 2022:
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 regularly review how the directives from public health impact our school, and adapt our protocols accordingly. 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. 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. 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.
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 regarding mask wearing, staying home when sick, covid-testing, and physical distancing apply to all community members regardless of their vaccine status.
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 chart: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Daily-COVID-checklist-en.pdf Staff are allowed to return to work upon confirmation of a negative covid test.
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: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Feeling-Unwell-Families-Fact-sheet.pdf
We will be using all available space to minimize congestion and maximize physical distancing where possible. Within the classroom this is not always possible or desirable, especially during times when the students are completing their bookwork. At these times, students are required to wear face masks.
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 distance, or if they need to enter the buildings. 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.
Masking and PPE
Masking is required in all school settings.
- This applies for all ages when physical distance cannot be maintained, as well as in all common-areas of the school.
- Masks may be removed when eating, drinking, when engaged in physical activity, or when sufficient physical distance can be maintained.
- 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.
Hygiene Practices and Cleaning
Students, Staff and Visitors are to wash their hands upon entry to the school, before eating, after eating, and regularly throughout the day. Students can choose to use hand sanitizer for entry, but soap and water are to be used before and after eating. 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.
Before attending school each day, parents are required to give their children 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.