Campus Re-Opening Health & Safety Plan – 2020-21

Nurturing a culture of health, safety and shared responsibility.

Nevada Sage Waldorf School is committed to implementing health and safety precautions outlined in our Health and Safety Plan in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school community. And we need your help! Because we are a close-knit community, we cannot do it without your support. We have the great fortune of being a responsive, dedicated, and caring community of families, faculty, and administration. By following precautions, together, we can decrease the chance of transmission.

We expect that guidance for how the school can be on campus is likely to change throughout the school year based on public health indicators and as more information becomes available. We will be responsive and flexible to meet changes and will provide you with timely communication regarding any changes.

Summary of COVID-19 Related Mitigation Measures on Campus

  • Individual classes functioning in pods or cohorts
  • Limiting common areas on campus
  • Hand washing and sanitizing, social distancing and mask protocols
  • Isolated health area on campus for students with symptoms
  • Touchless thermometers for temperature screenings
  • More stringent cleaning procedures each night
  • New office protocols; plexiglass barrier in office area
  • Signage to serve as reminders for health and safety measures
  • Training for faculty and staff for new health and safety procedures related to COVID-19

Health and Safety Plan

Good hygiene with frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer, will be utilized.

  • Wash hands before leaving home, sanitize hands, upon arrival at school, upon entering or leaving a classroom, after recess or indoor play, and before final departure
  • Children will sanitize hands upon arrival at school and before their final departure.
  • Children will wash (or sanitize) hands before and after eating (snack and lunch).
  • Hands will be washed after using the bathroom and throughout the day as needed.
  • Hands will also be washed after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing, and blowing one’s nose, and throughout the day as needed.
  • Young children will be supervised washing hands. Thoroughly wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
  • Children will be required to remain socially distanced while waiting in line to wash hands.

Hand-sanitizing stations will be outside in the play yards, as follows:

  • Two sanitizing stations on grades play yard.
  • One in each EC play yard for teacher use.
  • Each grades classroom may choose to have a hand-sanitizing station in addition to the hand washing sink.

Physical distancing at school, through the creation of cohorts consisting of each individual class, will be the primary physical distancing measure.

Small group or “cohort” learning limits the number of teachers in contact with a designated group of students (cohort), and no community members or parents would be able to gather with students.

Early Childhood Program:

  • The children and teachers will not co-mingle with other classes in their daily rhythm.
  • Each EC class will be the sole class on their play yard.
  • Each EC class will nap in their own classroom.
  • EC children will have more work and play time outside.

Grades Program:

  • The students and teachers will limit or eliminate contact with other classes in their daily rhythm, including recess.
  • Class sizes will be matched to classroom size to ensure the most amount of space between students.
  • Desks will be spaced at minimum of 3 feet apart and students in Grades 4-8 will be required to wear masks while on campus.

Nevada Sage Waldorf School will follow the current directives of the local, state and/or federal government agencies regarding masks and face shields.

Students in grades 1-3 are welcome to wear masks in class at the discretion of their parent or guardian.

Students

  • Early Childhood – Grade 3
    • Children in the Early Childhood Program through grade 3 are not required to wear face coverings. Students in grades 1-3 are welcome to wear masks in class at the discretion of their parent or guardian.
    • Children in grades 1-3 may be required to wear masks in Subject classes at the discretion of their Subject Teachers. Children who do not wear masks may be asked to leave the classroom and engage in other activities with their class teacher during those periods.
    • Grades 4-8
    • Students in grades 4-8 are required to wear face coverings on campus, with the following exceptions:
      • Students inside and outside the school building may remove their masks in order to drink or eat. Students are scheduled to eat outside during snack and lunch periods; however, there may be circumstances including days that have inclement weather or poor air quality when snack and/or lunch periods would be held inside.
      • Students outside the school building may remove their masks while at recess and exercising.
    • Students are required to remain a distance of 3 feet from others at all times.

Teachers, Staff & Other Adults

  • Teachers, staff and other adults on campus are required to wear face coverings.
  • Face shields are permitted by teachers under the following circumstances:
  • Early childhood teachers can wear face shields while teaching.
  • Grades teachers can wear face shields while teaching at a distance of 6 feet from students. Cloth or paper face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are required in the classroom when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
  • Teachers wearing face shields in the approved teaching settings listed above must wear masks in common spaces such as hallways, offices, the kitchen, bathrooms and the wellness room.
  • Teachers working with different cohorts are recommended to change their face covering and outer layers (such as an apron) before transitioning into a new class.

Each student should bring several extra masks from home to be kept at school. If a student needs to change his/her mask during the day and does not have an extra supply at school, one will be provided.

An individual who cannot wear a face covering due to a bona fide medical condition is required to produce documentation, such as a doctor’s note, verifying the condition.

A student with a medical exemption for face coverings will be required to wear a face shield.

If any local, state or federal directives change, the NSWS Health & Safety Group and the Interval Planning Oversight Group will review and amend our policies and practices as appropriate.

  • Children must be sent home with a temperature of 100 degrees.
  • A child must stay home for 24 hours after being fever-free with no medication.
  • Procedure for when a child falls ill during the school day:
  • The teacher will use the infrared thermometer that is located in his/her class to take the child or student’s temperature.
  • One teacher will separate the child from the group and proceed to the Wellness Room. Gather all of the child’s belongings (ie. lunch, water bottle). Neither the teacher nor the parent should go back and forth inside the building.
  • The teacher will disinfect their hands (washing/ hand sanitizer) and the thermometer (disinfectant wipes) and then take the child’s temperature. After noting the child’s temperature, they will again disinfect.
  • Ask the office to call the parent, describe symptoms and ask that the child be picked up ASAP.
  • When the parent picks up the child, the new fever guidelines will be reviewed. The parent will be asked to communicate with the school any progression of symptoms and the results of any test that may have done.
  • When the child has been picked up, the teacher will immediately remove their outer garment and place it in the washing machine and wash their hands.
  • During routine professional cleaning at the close of day, special attention will be paid to the classroom that the child was in.
  • Office to call and check in with the parent to get an update on the child.

There are currently NO travel restrictions in Washoe County. NSWS is following the lead of local governance regarding families who travel. However, we do ask families to be aware of possible exposure to covid-19 and exclude themselves from school as necessary.

If either a child or a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, either Martie Fine (if EC case) or Kelli Anastassatos (if grades or staff case) will contact the Washoe County Health Department to share the details associated with the COVID-19 case. The health department will then inform the school how to close (ie. how many classes, which classes and for how long to close).

Curriculum and Instruction During Possible Closure

Our unique approach to education provides rigorous learning experiences that engage the mind, enliven the imagination, and honor the spiritual development of each child. At Nevada Sage Waldorf School, our rich curriculum lays the foundation for each student to become a confident, creative, and critical thinker who is ready to take the next step toward a life of meaning and purpose. While we are committed to these core aspects of our curriculum, we recognize that there may be circumstances beyond our control that prevent in-person classes in the normal on-campus classroom format, and that distance learning and home engagement learning techniques may have to be implemented to accommodate unusual circumstances.

In the event that distance learning, hybrid and/or home engagement has to be implemented at Nevada Sage, we are committed to continue with our mission to meet your child where they are and help them develop socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. While some festivals, performances and travel that are part of the normal Nevada Sage program may be altered, rescheduled or in some cases cancelled, in such circumstances, we are confident we can give your child what they need to succeed both socially and academically.

If distance learning, hybrid learning and home engagement strategies are implemented, we will continue to deliver as much of the rich Nevada Sage program as possible in the given circumstances. We are committed to finding a balance between utilizing technology in order to stay connected and limiting screen time for developing adolescents. To maintain this balance, we will rely on feedback from our students, parents, and teachers.

Home Engagement During School Closure

In the event there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in the Early Childhood Program, and we need to temporarily close part or all of the school building, each class teacher will send one significant content related post per week to their class. These could include suggestions for activities to do, circle or finger games, songs, stories, a puppet play, instructions for a craft etc. Weekly Zoom meetings with your teacher will also be offered. Parents may be asked to drop by the school during this time to pick up distance learning packets.

Home Engagement Daily Rhythm 

While in school, we rely on a work, play, rest rhythm to guide us through our day. The children thrive when they are part of a rhythm that contains in-breaths (rest, reading, and other quiet activities) and out-breaths (play time and other free-range activities). While at home, it is important for your child/ren to continue to have a daily rhythm. Here is an example of a daily rhythm you can go by or you can create your own.

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.                         Play Outside (bike ride, nature walk, or backyard play)

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.                       Snack Prep, Eat, and Cleanup

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.                     Daily Activity (drawing, painting, crafting)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.            Play Inside (imaginative play, build with blocks)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.                       Lunch Prep, Eat, and Cleanup

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.                         Nap or Quiet Rest Time (tell story, beeswax, finger knitting)

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.                         Circle Time (move together, sing songs, do fingerplays)

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.                         Play Outside

Distance Learning During School Closure 

In the event there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at NSWS and we need to temporarily close part or all of the school building, the grade school will move to 100% distance learning and your child’s teacher will be providing on-line instruction. Parents may be asked to drop by the school during this time to pick up distance learning packets.

Learning Platforms for On-Line Instruction

NSWS grade school teachers for main lesson and subject classes, will continue to teach virtually on-line using Google Classrooms and Zoom meetings. Please refer to your teacher to access your Google classrooms. You will need to have access to the internet and a computer to access the classes. If you need assistance with any of these necessary tools please speak with your child’s teacher.

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

This school year drop off and pick up will be different to accommodate morning health checks.

Parent’s Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the parent to take his/her child’s temperature at home every day to ensure it is under 100°. Please note any changes in your child’s behavior and any possible symptoms that may have emerged over night.

Teacher Conducts Health Check

Once on campus, parents will park and walk through the open gates to either the early childhood or grades play yards. Your child’s teacher will conduct a health check. If a parent has not taken his/her child’s temperature, the teacher will take the child’s temperature using a non-contact thermometer. If a child’s temperature is above 100°, he/she will not be allowed to remain at school that day and must leave with the parent. If the temperature is under 100°, the child can remain at school.

Late Arrivals

Due to staggered drop off and pick up times, it is of the utmost importance that parents are timely at pick up and drop off.

If arriving at school after the scheduled drop off window, the parent and child must go to the office for the health check and are not allowed to use the gate entrances. In the case of an EC child, the parent will not be allowed to accompany the child to the classroom. This will be done by someone in the office.

Drop off and pick up procedures will be different this year due to a new Washoe County Human Services Agency regulation in which parents are not allowed inside the school building during drop off and pick up.  The main EC entrance gate will remain open during drop-off and pick-up times this school year. After the health check, the teacher will give the child some hand sanitizer and help the child settle his/her belongings in their cubby.

Parents will return to where they had dropped off their child. The teacher will have the child gather their belongings and disinfect their hands one more time before escorting them to their parent.

Early Childhood Drop Off & Pick Up Times

Drop Off Times
  • Cottonwood and Aspen: 8:00 am – 8:15 am
  • Acorn and Willow: 8:15 am – 8:30 am

Pick Up Times

  • Cottonwood and Aspen: 12:45 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Acorn: 1:00 pm – 1:15 pm
  • Cottonwood and Aspen: 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm
  • Acorn and Willow: 3:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Grades 1-3

Parents of students in grades 1-3 should walk with their child into the grades play yard. Your child’s teacher will conduct the health check, will then give the child some hand sanitizer and he/she can play in an area designated for that individual class until the bell rings.

Grade 4-8

Parents of students in grades 4-8 should walk their child to the grades gate area for a health check. Once completed, the child can enter the building through the main entrance / front office.

When students are scheduled to attend class at Hidden Valley Park, one teacher will be assigned to conduct the health checks before the student can begin class with the Subject Teacher.

Pick Up

The student will leave their classroom with their belongings. They will wait in front of the grades gate. The walkway will be kept clear. The first grade teacher will sanitize the children’s hands before releasing the child to the parent.

Grade School Drop Off & Pick Up Times

Drop Off 

  • Grade 2: 8:00 am – 8:15 am
  • Grade 1-3: 8:15 am – 8:30 am
  • Grade 4-8: 11:00 am – 11:15 am

Pick Up

  • Grade 1: 2:15 pm
  • Grades 2-3: 2:30 pm
  • Grades 4-8: 3:15 pm

Visiting the Office

We enjoy welcoming parents into the office, helping with your needs and having a warm connection. That hasn’t changed. What will be different is how we conduct business. To help keep our faculty and staff healthy and safe, we kindly ask that if you have matters with the Front Office, Administrator and Business Office, please conduct as much as possible via telephone, email and video conferencing.

If you need to come into the office, please follow these steps:

  • Call the office prior to your arrival to let us know your needs. A time will be set for you to come into the office to take care of your business. This step could be as simple as a phone call from your car after drop-off if something came up that you need to take care of with the office.
  • Arrive at the front door wearing a mask. You will have a health screening consisting of a temperature check before entering the building to conduct your business.

Additional Information

  • The main school door and gate codes will not be shared with parents this year to help us manage people on campus.
  • The bathroom located through the office is only open to employees this school year. Parents and children will not be allowed to use this bathroom. Please plan accordingly.

General Office Information

  • Office Hours: 8:00AM – 4:00PM
  • Office Phone Number: 775-348-6622