WWS’ COVID-19 Updates*

*Most recent update: April 6, 2021

Stay at Home When Sick

  • Personal Daily Health Assessment

    In September, BC CDC provided the following COVID-19 clarification for how to evaluate for new sickness symptoms:

    Students and staff should stay at home when new symptoms of illness develop. The key symptoms to watch for are fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of small or taste, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    • If the parent indicates that the symptoms are consistent with a previously diagnosed health condition and not unusual for that individual, they may return to school.
    • For mild symptoms without fever, monitor at home for 24 hours. If symptoms improve, they can return to school without further assessment. If symptoms include fever or if after 24 hours symptoms remain unchanged or worsen, seek a health assessment (call 8-1-1, see a primary care provider or go to a Covid-19 testing centre.)

    Parents will be required to fill out an agreement form (before the start of the school year), acknowledging and agreeing to perform daily health checks at your home. This is to lessen the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak during the school year.

    Parents must agree to review the guidelines of Daily Home Screening for their child(ren)’s health each day that their child(ren) attends school as per the details below.

  • Ongoing WWS Sickness Policy

    Do not send your child to school if you suspect he or she may be ill, and has exhibited any of the following signs or symptoms:

    • An elevated temperature of 100 degrees or more during the last 24 hours.
    • Vomiting within the last 24 hours.
    • Repeated episodes of diarrhea within the last 24 hours.
    • Chills, loss of appetite, unusual fatigue, and/or lingering headache.
    • A significant amount of nasal discharge, particularly if the discharge is yellow or greenish in color.
    • A persistent cough.
    • A significant sore throat.
    • An earache.

    Parents also have the responsibility to alert the school as to the reason why they are keeping the student home. In Early Years, students are required to stay home for a minimum of 24-48hrs (depending on the illness) and to also have a medical note (depending on the illness for their return).

    Here is our WWS Ongoing Sickness Policy (revised February 2021) for your information.

  • Close Contact with a COVID-19 case

    Anyone who is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will be notified directly by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and asked to isolate for 14 days from their last date of possible exposure. If you do not receive a call, your risk of exposure is considered to be low; VCH does not recommended that you self-isolate and you can continue with normal daily activities.

    Continued daily self-monitoring for common cold, influenza, or Covid-19 related symptoms is requested of all WWS families and staff.

Expectations for School Community

  • Visitors at School

    Visitors will be welcome with an appointment only. Visitors will not be allowed in our classrooms.

    If you need to drop something off for your child, please check in with Reception in advance and leave the items outside of reception where they will be collected. Please follow these guidelines when visiting the school.

    1. Seek approval for the visit from the person to be visited.
    2. Complete a self-health check
    3. Arrive wearing a face covering
    4. Sanitize hands upon entry
    5. Sign in
    6. Comply with social distancing norms.

  • Student Absence Reporting

    WWS has implemented changes to its existing prolonged absence process in response to covid-19.

    1. Precautionary/Short term Absence (absence up to 3 days)
    2. Extended Absence Program Application Form (3 days + requires form)
    3. Transitional Absence Application Form 2020-2021 (14 days + form)

    There are a variety of reasons a student may be away from school.  Please read WWS Absence Programs to understand which category your child’s absences fall into. Please note that all absences of three days or more require an absence form to be completed and sent to Reception. All absences should be reported to Reception daily ideally prior to 9am.

    TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF B.C. or CANADA? 

    In addition to B.C. Health, Health Canada is advising against all non-essential travel outside of Canada (including the United States). If you do travel outside of Canada, you are asked to self-isolate (stay away from school or work) for 14 days upon your return to B.C. If you plan on being outside of Canada during the school year, please contact Reception to update the school of any travel plans.

  • Pick-up & Drop Off Procedures

    STAGGERED PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF TIMES & ZONES:

    1. Remain at your vehicle while dropping off/picking-up your child(ren) for Grade school and up.
    2. Maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others when walking/biking; and stick to designated traffic flow paths.

    Pick-up and Drop-off Zones Map

    KindergartenGrade 5 – Drop-off between 8:20-8:30am / Pick-up between 3:00-3:10pm
    Grade 6 + – Drop-off between 8:30-8:40am / Pick-up between 3:10-3:20pm

    Little Cedars – Children can be walked to their classroom and dropped off between 8:20-8:30am. Please walk in the designated area. Children are to be picked up BY 3pm at the latest, please. Pick-ups after 3pm will be considered late, and our late fee policy will apply.

    LATE ARRIVALS: Parents of Kindergarten-Grade 3 students who arrive late should accompany their child to Reception and wait outside. Your child will be checked in and accompanied to his/her classroom. Grade 4+ students who arrive late should check in at Reception independently prior to going to class.

    PLAYGROUND UNAVAILABLE AFTER SCHOOL: After dismissal, children should not play on the playground or school grounds. These changes are intended to minimize exposure to both staff and your children during COVID-19.

  • Meetings, Field Trips & School Events

    For this year, field trips and outdoor education High School group semester trips will be planned with the expectation that if circumstances change for Provincial Health guidelines (beyond our control), they may be cancelled or rescheduled at any time.

    Most families will hear from their teacher through email in advance of any school events that may affect their student. Parent meetings will be scheduled for Zoom conference online only, as well as Parent/Teacher conferences for this year.

Expectations in Class

  • Learning Cohorts

    At WWS we will have three learning pods. Classes will not be combined.

    Learning pods are simply to reduce student contact during transitions, traffic flow and with teachers. For more specific info., please see  WWS Stage 2 Learning Pod Information

  • Masks at School & Classrooms

    Important Update  Tuesday April 6, 2021:

    On the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C’s Provincial Health Officer and regarding her most recent health order as of March 29, 2021:

    1. All staff will wear masks INDOORS except for when they are eating.

    2. All students from Grade 4-12 will wear masks INDOORS except when they are eating.

    3. Grades K-3 are encouraged to wear masks INDOORS but the decision to do so is left to the caregiver.

    4. Students and Staff do not have to wear masks if they are unable to tolerate them for behavioral or health reason

    Please note: The decision regarding individual requirements when choosing to wear a mask INDOORS OR OUTDOORS is a private and personal one that will be respected.

    More details on updated policies for mask wearing from April 6.

  • School Supplies & Food

    New guidelines are in place for disposing of classroom garbage, recycling and organics in order to limit waste collection and protect the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff. ALL students will be asked to “pack-out” what they “pack-in”.

    No sharing of clothing, food or supplies will be allowed at this time. Please clean up after yourself in the classroom.

  • Extra Cleaning Protocols

    The school will take extra care with Covid-19 Facilities Hygiene procedures including cleaning and disinfection processes, with particular attention to common surfaces during this heightened situation. Additional cleaning of common surfaces by faculty/staff  is happening at regular intervals throughout the school day and the evening cleaning crew is using a more significant disinfectant protocol as recommended by the health authorities.

    As well, all faculty, staff and students are required to maintain appropriate hand washing and sanitizing protocols upon entering the building and throughout the day.

  • Child Unwell at School

    If a student becomes unwell at school, parents will be immediately called to pick up their child as soon as possible.

BC Education & VCH (Sea to Sky) Updates

General Health & Communication Guidelines

  • Good Health Practices

    How can I keep from getting sick and spreading COVID-19?

    Vancouver Coastal Health recommends the following preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

    • Maintain a distance of 2 meters for person-to-person conversations.
    • Wear a mask indoors. In B.C., it is now required to wear a non-medical face mask in public indoor spaces, but please view details above regarding masks for students.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water when your hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick and complete self-monitoring/health assessments daily.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Schools as "Controlled" Environments

    How ‘safe’ is a school environment?

    Infection prevention and exposure control measures help create safe environments by reducing the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19. These are more effective in “controlled” environments where multiple measures of various effectiveness can be routinely and consistently implemented. Schools are considered a “controlled” environment by public health because:

    1. Schools include a consistent grouping of people.
    2. Schools have robust illness policies for students and staff.
    3.  Schools can implement effective personal practices that can be consistently reinforced and are followed by most people in the setting (e.g. diligent hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, etc.).
    4. Schools can implement a variety of health and safety measures (e.g., enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices, using outdoor space for learning activities, grouping students and staff in learning groups to limit in-person interactions, implementing staggered schedules, etc.)

    The Hierarchy for Infection Prevention and Exposure Control Measures for Communicable Disease describes measures that are taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in schools. Control measures at the top are more effective and protective than those at the bottom. By implementing a combination of measures at each level, the risk of COVID-19 is substantially reduced.

  • COVID-19 school exposure communication

    What will happen if there is a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at school?

    WWS will heed the advice of provincial public health officials if a student or faculty member is confirmed to have been at school during an infectious period of COVID-19. If an exposure risk is determined to be valid, then public health will direct the school to communicate any recommended suggestions to students and staff.  Public Health will attempt to preserve private information of individuals or families involved, unless required for contact tracing.

    Individual parents, guardians, faculty or staff are not authorized to provide any public statements about potential or confirmed COvid-19 cases unless directed to do so from VCH.

    For more details on school exposures or any questions related to Covid-19, please visit Vancouver Coastal Health’s website.

2 important practices to stop the spread in schools

  • Students and staff who are ill with respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches) must stay home from school. If your child is not feeling well, we ask that you keep them home so that they can rest and recover. As always, remember to inform the school of the absence.
  • Prevent and control respiratory viruses with a consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Good respiratory etiquette includes covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container, followed by hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is the washing of hands with plain soap and water, which is effective at removing visible soil as well as viruses.

BC Education’s Learning Stages during COVID-19

(*Updated Aug. 25, 2020)

Whistler Waldorf is currently in Stage 2 of BC’s Ministry of Education – COVID 19 Stages of Learning model.

Past news & resources from BC Schools & Health Authorities

Last Updated Sept. 17/2020

*Given the complex and rapidly evolving situation, we encourage you to visit Vancouver Coastal Health for the most detailed and up to date information on COVID-19 in B.C.

For online distance learning resources with helpful education learning links, view WWS’s Fun Links & Resources for Parents

For specific details on WWS E-learning or distance learning plans and links, view WWS’ E-learning Updates