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2020-21 Re-Enrollment and Enrollment FAQ
Possible changes to Connecticut state law regarding immunization exemptions have created many questions for families with religious exemptions who are enrolled, or are considering enrolling, in school in Connecticut. We hope to address some of these questions here.
How would a change in state law affect HVWS?
A change in the law would affect HVWS in the same way it would affect all schools in Connecticut. If a law passes to remove religious exemptions for immunizations, HVWS will no longer accept religious exemptions.
Will families have any “wiggle” room with vaccine schedules?
If the religious exemption is removed, the state will provide schools with implementation requirements and schedules. In New York, the change was implemented very quickly, and the state was strict about catch up schedules. We do not yet know what schedule Connecticut might implement should the law change, but we would be required to follow that schedule.
How does the timing of a possible change in the law affect re-enrolling my child?
Enrollment contracts are legally binding agreements; you should only re-enroll if you know you will be able to fulfill your contractual and financial obligations. If your child’s enrollment is contingent on the outcome of this law, we encourage you to wait to re-enroll your child until the law has come to a vote.
We are offering a delayed re-enrollment timeline for those students who have not completed the current immunization schedule AND have a religious exemption on file (both conditions must be true). These students may delay re-enrollment up to 1 week after the date of a vote—or the end of the legislative session, whichever occurs first—without penalty. After that time, standard administrative fees for late re-enrollment will resume. If the law does not pass on initial vote, and it is known an additional vote may occur, we will adjust the timeline accordingly.
How does the timing of a possible change in the law affect a new enrollment?
We offer rolling admissions for new students. As stated above, enrollment contracts are legally binding agreements; you should only enroll if you know you will be able to fulfill your contractual and financial obligations. If your child’s enrollment is contingent on the outcome of this law, we encourage you to wait to enroll your child until the law has come to a vote.
Will my child be guaranteed a space if I wait to enroll?
For both new and returning students, it is likely your grade school student will have a space at HVWS in 2020-21. However, our early childhood classes were fully enrolled in 2019-20 and we cannot hold a space for your child in a 2020-21 class indefinitely if you delay enrollment or re-enrollment. The school is working to support families, school operations, and our employees, all of which are dependent on robust enrollment and accurate enrollment numbers. Please know that our current families are integral members of our school community and the Enrollment Director will notify you if it looks like your child’s class is beginning to fill up. Our hope is that you will be able to make an informed decision before that time.
Should I purchase tuition insurance?
While we strongly encourage all families to purchase tuition insurance every year to help in the case of unforeseen circumstances, parents should be aware that coverage will be limited in this situation. The insurance carrier, Protect My Tuition through Hanover, makes all claim determinations. Withdrawing a student because of a change in law regarding religious exemptions would be considered a voluntary withdrawal.
- Insurance coverage for voluntary withdrawal requires a student to attend school for 14 calendar days before submitting a claim. Depending on the implementation schedule of a change in this law, 14 calendar days of attendance may not be legally possible for an under-vaccinated student.
- A voluntary withdrawal claim is typically awarded 50% of the remaining balance of tuition.
Would tuition insurance cover a mid-year withdrawal if the law changes during the next school year rather than this legislative session?
Families enrolled for 2020-2021 who have purchased tuition insurance for that year would be covered for a mid-year voluntary withdrawal, assuming their child has attended school for at least 14 calendar days. Tuition insurance must be purchased in advance of a qualifying event, including a decision to leave the school.
- Order Pizza (Fridays) Open to Grade School students and staff.
- Order Soup (Mondays) Open to Grade School students, staff, and EC children in Late Care.
Back to School
- 2019-20 New Families Tip Sheet (and EC Packing List)
- Please scroll down to read about Health Assessment Records requirements. Updated Health Assessment Records are required for all Early Childhood, 1st grade, and 7th grade students, as well as any new students. If your child is in grades 2-6 or 8 and anything has changed with their health records, please provide an updated Health Assessment Records.
Reporting Absences and Changes to Pickups
Please e-mail email@example.com or call the office and leave a message in our attendance mailbox, 203-364-1113 x600.
Bus Company (for Newtown families): All-Star Transportation, 203-304-9778
The following is a one-page PDF of school closings and major events:
At the moment it is not possible to sync the school website calendar with your devices. You may import calendar events but please be aware that an imported calendar event is not dynamic and may not reflect changes to event details. Please visit the calendar page for the most up-to-date information. You can add a shortcut to the calendar page directly to your device home screen for easy viewing.
Honeywell Instant Alert System
Please make sure you have registered with the Honeywell Instant Alert System. This is the emergency notification system we use to let families know about weather closures or delays or any other emergency situation.
Health Assessment Forms
The Housatonic Valley Waldorf school does not make medical decisions for parents and considers those decisions to be of a very personal nature for each parent and family. HVWS does abide by state and local laws and Health Department requirements. State of Connecticut Department of Education Health Assessment Records must be on file and up to date for all children attending HVWS. State law requires complete primary immunizations and a health assessment by a legally qualified practitioner of medicine prior to school entrance in Connecticut. According to state statutes (Connecticut General Statutes Sections 19a-7f and 10-204a), no child may be admitted to school without proof of immunization or a statement of exemption. The following students must submit health forms to the office before the start of the school year:
- all early childhood students,
- rising first graders,
- rising seventh graders,
- students newly enrolled at HVWS.
Any student whose immunizations do not follow state requirements must submit a medical or religious* exemption to the school in addition to the required health form. In the event of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak at the school, students whose immunizations are not up-to-date for that disease according to state regulations will be excluded from school if a public health official determines that the school is a significant site for disease exposure, transmission and spread into the community. In such case, such children shall be excluded from school until: (1) the public health official determines that the outbreak danger has ended; (2) the child becomes ill with the disease and completely recovers from it; (3) the child is vaccinated according to public health protocol; or (4) the child has proof of immunity to the disease.
In the case of the influenza vaccine, which is now required in students who are 24-59 months of age, the CT immunization regulation requires at a minimum 1 dose of influenza vaccine for school entry, each year between August 1st and December 31. Children who have not received the flu vaccine by December 31st must be excluded from school for the duration of influenza season (through March 31st) or until they receive at least one dose of the influenza vaccine. Children do not have to be excluded from school if the following conditions are met: (1) the school has received a statement signed by the child’s HCP indicating that the child has an appointment to receive the required immunization (this is considered “immunization in progress”)**; (2) the school has received a statement signed and dated by the child’s HCP indicating that the child has a medical contraindication to immunization; (3) the school has received a written statement that immunization is contrary to the religious beliefs and practices.
In the event of a national or state vaccine supply shortage, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Public Health Commissioner, respectively, the Commissioner or their designee may temporarily suspend the immunization requirement for the particular immunization affected by the supply shortage.
*Exemptions do not need to be submitted annually but must be renewed in 7th grade. Exemptions may be diseases-specific.
**Continued enrollment in school for more than thirty days after the named immunization appointment shall be contingent on the school receiving written documentation from the HCP stating either: that the named appointment was kept and the child received the scheduled immunizations, or that the child was unable to receive the scheduled immunizations for medical reasons and a new appointment date is named.