Parents » COVID-19 Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 Coronavirus Information

SWS Updates
November 24, 2020
The Health and Safety Committee has seen instances where community members are not remembering to maintain physical distancing during pick-up and drop-off times.  In order to ensure that safe physical distancing is practiced on school grounds, even when outside, the Personal Protective Equipment section has been updated to require the use of masks when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Please click on the link for the updated version of the Restart Plan (V1.4) on the right to review the changes. All updates are for each version are listed at the end of the document.
November 18, 2020
In the past few weeks, active BC Covid-19 cases have spiked significantly. Confirmed cases on the Island have jumped to 114 and climbing -- there had been 15 or less active cases for many months until recently -- and Island Health is reporting that five schools in Nanaimo and Ladysmith have had recent exposure or cluster events.  As a result, public health officials are urging that precautions be strengthened for now. This information has been considered by the school's Health and Safety Committee in updating the safety protocols in our 2020/21 Restart Plan. 
October 8, 2020
The information surrounding symptoms of illness and how to proceed in terms of attending school, staying home, opting for testing, and isolating for 10 days is proving to be confusing. In an effort to support our parents and guardians the SWS Health & Safety Committee has compiled a quick reference document to assist parents in determining appropriate symptoms for staying home, whether or not testing should be considered, and when the child may return to class. Please take the time to read through it thoroughly. Hard copies are also being distributed by teachers and are available at our office. A link to the document can be accessed by opening the PDF file on the right side margin on this page.
Our Health and Safety Committee is comprised of Georgia Newsome, Rachel Cameron, Kevin McDuff, and Linda Young.
On July 29, Education Minister Rob Fleming and Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry announced the basics of how the 2020/21 school year would begin, saying that they now know enough about COVID-19 and the impact it has on children to determine that it is safe and strong public health policy to have students back in schools. Over the following weeks, we made plans for the 2020/21 school year that would conform to the health and safety requirements for keeping our students safe. 
The Ministry defined a five-stage framework for meeting education objectives and signaled an intent to minimize learning gaps and to provide the academic, social, and emotional supports necessary for student well-being. All BC public and independent schools began the year at Stage 2 (full-time in-class instruction for all students). 
The full details of the school's Restart Plan, including our COVID Safety Plan, were published August 26. This was meant as a working document that would be updated to reflect new information and changing circumstances.  On September 23, Version 1.1 of the Plan was published to include updated guidance for K-12 schools from the BC Centre for Disease Control as well as modified school protocols based on lessons learned during the first few weeks of school. On October 7, the school's new Student Illness Policy was incorporated into the Restart Plan.
The current version of the Restart Plan (V1.2) can be accessed by opening the PDF file on the right side margin on this page.

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.



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.



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.



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.

To reach our administrative staff please use the following e-mail addresses. We are also checking our voicemail messages from the school line. You can follow prompts for our respective voicemail boxes at 250.743.7253
Head of School -  Kevin McDuff -
Education Director - Rachel Cameron -
Registrar - Linda Young -
Finance- Joy Trapnell -
Admissions - Chantey Dayal -

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


HealthLinkBC 8-1-1

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.


Well-Being BC

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

Given the complex and rapidly evolving situation, we encourage you to visit the public resources linked below for the most detailed and up-to-date information on COVID-19.  Please bookmark this page as we will continue to update it with information as it relates to SWS.