Halton Waldorf School is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all students and faculty while offering an educational experience consistent with Waldorf education. Each Waldorf school shares a unique approach based on their geographic location. We aim to create a culture of collaborative care, guided by the seven AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools. The Ontario Ministry of Education mandates several requirements to keep students and faculty safe during their time on-campus and inside our school buildings.
Grades 1 - 8:
The Ministry of Education has released the COVID-19: Health, safety and operational guidance for schools. Below are the highlights from the document as they relate to our school.
1. Private Schools: All protective strategies (for example, screening, masking, staff PPE, hand hygiene, distancing, cleaning etc.) outlined in the document must be followed by private schools in Ontario.
2. Daily Screening: All staff and students must self-screen every day before attending school. All staff and students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home and follow the guidance provided in the screening tool, which may include seeking appropriate medical attention and/or getting tested for COVID-19.
3. Student Masks: Students in grades 1-12 are required to wear properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways, classrooms, and school vehicles. Students in Preschool and Kindergarten are not required to wear masks. Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, but distancing should be encouraged between cohorts as much as possible. Masks may be temporarily removed indoors for the following activities with a minimum distance of 2-meters maintained between cohorts and as much distance as possible within cohorts: low-contact physical activity (physical education) and eating/drinking. Reasonable exceptions to the requirement to wear masks are expected to be put in place by schools. Schools are asked to carefully review their mask exemption policies and ensure that students are supported to wear masks to the greatest extent possible.
4. Staff PPE: Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are required to be worn by school staff and visitors indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes. Staff are not required to wear medical masks outdoors. Eye protection should be used as per occupational health and safety requirements.
5. Hand Hygiene: Hand hygiene will be incorporated into the daily rhythm for the children, at regular intervals throughout the day.
6. Distancing & Congregating: Schools are encouraged to remove unnecessary furniture and place desks with as much distancing as possible and allow teachers as much teaching space as possible. Desks should face forward rather than in circles or groupings.
7. Ventilation: Air purifiers will be allocated to each classroom and office space to ensure air particle filtration and improve air exchange.
8. Visitors: Visitors to the school are required to self-screen and to wear a medical mask (for example, surgical/procedural) while on school premises.
9. Distance Learning: Should there be a mandate to close the school as a result of COVID-19, the lower school and high school will pivot to distance learning. Kindergarten classes will be closed, and families will receive a tuition refund. The final amount of the kindergarten tuition refund will be subject to approval by the school’s board of directors giving consideration to the length of the school closure and the school’s financial position, among other considerations. It is expected that the Preschool class would remain open during a shut-down, as it did in the 2020/2021 school year, provided this is permitted by the Ministry of Education.
10. Enrollment Withdrawal Date: We have agreed to extend the deadline to withdraw without penalty to Wednesday, August 18. This applies to all parents, not just those in Kindergarten.