2021-2022 School Year
HVWS faculty and staff prioritize providing a rich and warm environment based on love and mutual respect. Our current COVID-19 protocols are based on guidance and insights from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, and colleagues at other independent schools including members of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Precautions continue to evolve to meet the changing public health circumstances.
Visitors on Campus
Anyone—including caregivers—visiting for any time more extensive than drop-off or pick-up, must have an appointment and submit a visitor form.
DAILY ATTESTATION OF HEALTH
Before school, while still at home, all caregivers must assess their child’s health daily and keep them home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness as detailed below. Likewise, all faculty and staff must assess their own health daily following the same protocols.
Daily Attestation of Health
If you cannot answer NO to all of the following, please remain home and consult with your physician as appropriate:
- Have you had a fever greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 48 hours without fever-reducing medication?
- Are you exhibiting any signs or symptoms of an undiagnosed respiratory illness (cough, runny nose, respiratory secretions)?
- Are you experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
- Do you have chills or generalized body aches?
- Have you lost your sense of smell or taste?
- Do you have a new headache (e.g. one not associated with known conditions such as allergies)?
- Do you have a sore throat?
- Have you experienced active vomiting or diarrhea within the last 48 hours?
- Have you experienced an unexplained loss of appetite?
- Do you have a bacterial infection such as pink eye or strep throat that has not yet been treated with antibiotics for a full 24 hours?
- Are you experiencing an undiagnosed rash or new and/or untreated rash or skin condition (e.g. hives or a wound with purulent drainage)?
- Have you been asked to self-isolate or instructed to quarantine by a medical professional or local health department official?
- If you are not fully vaccinated, have you been identified as a close contact of anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19? (For these purposes, the CDC defines close contact as having been any within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes).
If an individual develops any key COVID-19 symptoms—fever of 100.4 or more, chills, uncontrolled new cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell—or a combination of secondary symptoms, the individual should consult with their doctor and seek a COVID-19 test.
Personal Protective Equipment
Currently, everyone is required to wear a face covering (covering nose and mouth) when indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
All students should bring an extra mask to school along with any extra clothing. HVWS will provide a disposable mask if necessary. Face coverings should be washed or replaced after each day’s use and must not be shared.
Surgical masks are not required. Homemade or cloth masks must be multi-layered. Masks must cover both the mouth and nose. Face shields worn without other face coverings are not considered adequate protection against COVID-19 and should not be used except in combination with an acceptable mask.
The CDC website provides guidance related to mask types:
During any indoor lunch periods, grade school students will be provided with a folding desk shield.
COVID-19 vaccinations are now approved for individuals 12 years of age and older. While we are not requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students, we strongly encourage all who are eligible to seek a vaccine appointment. Vaccination among those who are eligible is one way we can work to stop transmission of COVID-19 among our population of students who are not yet age-eligible. Learn about CT COVID-19 Vaccination Eligibility.
The majority of our faculty and staff have been vaccinated since last spring when COVID-19 vaccinations were first made available to educators in Connecticut. Per an executive order issued by Governor Lamont on August 19, 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations will now be required for all faculty and staff. Those with a valid exemption will be required to test weekly.
If a student (or staff member) is diagnosed with COVID-19, the student’s caregiver (or staff member) must inform the office as soon as possible.
- HVWS will contact the Newtown Department of Public Health.
- The individual will be directed to isolate at home during illness and recovery.
- An individual who has tested positive may return to school once it has been at least 24 hours since recovery—defined as no fever without the use of medications and improvement in respiratory signs like cough and shortness of breath—AND at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms.
If a student, faculty or staff member who is not considered fully vaccinated is deemed a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19, they will be directed to quarantine for 14 days. Fully vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine.
Those directed to quarantine will watch for symptoms and may be directed to seek a COVID-19 test. If symptoms develop during quarantine, an individual must seek a COVID-19 test.
If an individual cannot be effectively isolated from a positive family member their quarantine period may be longer.
Classes will not be provided over Zoom during the 2021-22 school year. Students needing to quarantine or remain home for a prolonged period while sick will be provided with work by their class teacher as appropriate for their age and the duration of their absence.
If you have any travel plans, please make sure you are aware of any quarantine guidance and/or requirements.
Festivals, Performances, and Special Events
We will assess the current conditions and make decisions regarding in-person celebrations and performances as we proceed through the calendar. To begin the school year, any on-campus event to which parents may be invited will take place outdoors. Some festivals and special events may be celebrated during the school day among students only. We hope to resume field trips during the 2021-22 school year.