COVID-19 Coronavirus Information
September 1st, 2021
We are very excited to be welcoming students back to the new school year on September 7th. Teachers, staff, and administrators have already been busily preparing for the school year and we are looking forward with joy to greeting both returning and new families.
This year, like the last two, will see us having to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and like years past, we will be working hard to ensure the health and safety of everyone at Sunrise.
Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools and communities, and public health strongly encourages all eligible students and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and those around them including those who are not eligible to be vaccinated.
The provincial government has issued new school health and safety guidelines that mandate the wearing of masks for all grade 4 through grade 12 students and all staff while indoors. When we combine vaccinations and masking along with personal measures (hand washing and staying home when sick) and administrative and environmental measures (minimizing crowding, and cleaning and disinfecting), we can create a safe school environment.
As always, we look to our families and the larger community for support in ensuring our schools stay safe. A very important way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our school is to ensure that the Daily Health Check is done, and that students, staff, or visitors do not come to school if they are showing any signs of illness.
While this year may look similar in some ways to the past two, we are excited at the prospect of slowly reintroducing in-person activities and community events. We know that these activities are vital to the well-being of our community and are a source of joy and nourishment for many community members.
With the right balance of health and safety measure alongside increased opportunities for in person connections, we are optimistic that this school year will be one full of learning, growth, joy, and connection.
Visit COVID-19 safe schools - Province of British Columbia (gov.bc.ca) for more information.
July 8, 2021
The Ministry of Education has advised that "the current K-12 Health & Safety guidance will remain in place over the summer. Further updates on K-12 Health and Safety guidance will be provided in August after an expected update to the BCCDC public health guidance for K-12." We will provide updates on our safe return to school as more information becomes available and our revised health and safety protocols will be available on our website and in the newsletter.
The Provincial Health Officer announced additional public health measures on March 29 and the school received updated protocols from the Ministry of Education as an upshot of the PHO’s announcement. The changes to the guidelines focus on masks, with all students in Grades 4 to 8 now required to wear masks at all times while inside the school. The guidelines also strongly encourage mask wearing for K-3 students as well, although mask wearing for K-3 students remains a personal or family/caregiver choice. Review the full Restart Plan by clicking on the _2020_21 Restart Plan.pdf link on the right side of this page.
On February 4, 2021, the BC Ministry of Health and BCCDC released updated guidance for K-12 Schools. The 2020-21 Restart Plan has been revised to incorporate the changes described in the updated guidelines, which were delineated in these documents: “Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings” and the BCCDC’s “COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools” (both updated on February 4, 2021). Substantive modifications regarding mask and meeting protocols at the school have been made to our 2020/21 Restart Plan in accordance with these changes as well as other less significant revisions. Please click the link to the 2020-21 Restart Plan on the right to view. A list of all revisions made is included at the beginning of the document.
Restart Plan - V1.2
Informational Links From The Ministry Regarding BC's Re-Start Plan And Coming Back To School
Continuity of Learning Framework During Any Suspension of In-Class Instruction
Any time that in-class learning is suspended, teachers and administrators will collaborate to create a unified approach for the continuity of learning at Sunrise. This approach outlines our guiding principles along with teacher and student/parent expectations. The hope is that these agreements and expectations will provide families and teachers with clarity while allowing enough flexibility for the diversity found within our community. We would like to acknowledge the dedication and flexibility of our teachers, staff, administrators, students, and families during this time. Your care and devotion towards Sunrise Waldorf School and Waldorf education in general is an inspiration.
SWS GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1) To engage regularly with students and families in order to offer continued connection to the Sunrise learning community.
2) To offer learning opportunities that meet the development needs of students and are in line with the core principles of Waldorf education.
3) To foster the resiliency, curiosity, and creativity of students by focusing on the development of core competencies.
4) To create learning opportunities that focus on developing strategies and skills that support students’ well-being. This includes but is not limited to mental and physical well-being, social-emotional learning, and artistic opportunities.
5) To prioritize skill development over delivering content and to provide opportunities to develop and practice skills in literacy and numeracy.
6) To create learning opportunities that are accessible to all students and families regardless of access and approaches to technology among different households.
7) To create learning opportunities that are flexible and able to meet the diverse needs of students and families.
ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING
Teachers will determine a final grade for students based on work completed before classes were suspended along with the assessment of participation in learning opportunities that occur after in-class suspension. Teachers will prepare final report cards for their students.
OUR APPROACH TO REMOTE LEARNING
In this new situation, parents and teachers are partners in providing education for Sunrise students. Communication between home and school is essential during this time and clarity around expectations will support everyone as students are learning at home.
Families can expect that teachers will:
• Provide weekly learning packages via email that include learning opportunities for each week. Parents who need printed packages can pick them up at the school on Monday mornings.
• Plan for differentiation, equity, and access for all
• Ensure delivery of learning opportunities continue to reach all learners
• Main lesson teachers will provide 5-10 hours of learning opportunities per week for students. Subject teachers will provide additional learning opportunities.
ECE teachers will provide weekly calendars and activities for families and students.
• Be accessible to parents and students throughout the week and provide families with guidelines about how best to contact them • make direct personal connections with students and/or families on a regular basis
Sunrise Waldorf School expects that families/and or students will:
• Students will complete essential learning activities to the best of their ability during the suspension of classes
• Parents will access learning packages or ask the school to support them in getting access to the learning packages
• Students and/or parents will inform the school if extra learning support is needed
• Parents and/or students will contact their teacher regularly to support the teacher in assessing the learning of the student.
Use of Zoom
Zoom, a video conferencing application, will be used as one of the tools for educators and administrators to connect with parents, guardians, and students, depending on their age. Class meetings, parent meetings, and parent enrichment opportunities are some of the ways Zoom will be used to connect teachers and families and to maintain a sense of community during the suspension of classes. Student use of zoom to enhance learning and connection will differ depending on the age of the students and is outlined in more detail below.
Early Years Zoom will be used with parents and guardians. Students will not use zoom
Grades 1-3 Zoom will be used primarily with parents and guardians. Educators will not establish “live” virtual contact with groups of students, however, at their discretion, there may be times when they will invite a student, accompanied by their parent or guardian, to connect with them on Zoom.
Grades 4-8 Zoom may be used to connect with both students and parents. Educators may use Zoom to establish “live” virtual contact with individuals or groups of learners to facilitate their learning activities and to sustain a sense of community and connection. The faculty, staff, and administration would like to thank the families for being partners in the students' education during this time. We are looking forward to the time when we can once again be together, and until that time, we are dedicated to serve the needs of our families and students.
Mental Health Resources
The following resources may be helpful in uncertain times related to the Covid19 and increased stress for parents and children:
Kids Help Phone
Support kids during Covid19 pandemic
Call a counsellor at any time: 1-800-668-6868
For mental health support Phone #310-6789 (no area code needed)
Website with useful articles, hand-outs, and sites for
Student/family anxiety related to Covid19
EASE at Home (for Parents and Caregivers)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the EASE classroom activities were adapted for use at home by parents and caregivers to support children's mental health.
The experience of feeling happy, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually in situations of home learning
Island Health Mental Health Resources for Children
The Canadian Red Cross
Recent Updates From FISA (The Federation of Independent Schools in BC)