WWS’ COVID-19 Updates

*Most recent update: Jan. 7, 2021

ATTN: All WWS students and staff have the responsibility to alert the school for illness that requires absence. For Early Years programs, children are required to stay home for min. 24-48hrs. WWS may ask for a medical note to return.

Daily Health Checks for 2022

As per WWS’ Ongoing Sickness Policy, students and staff are required to stay away from school only when NEW symptoms of illness develop. If the symptoms are consistent with a previously diagnosed health condition and not unusual for you, you may return to school.

If symptoms include fever or if after 24 hours symptoms remain unchanged or worsen, do a daily health check as per the following updated symptom chart from the Government of BC.  Also, view more parent & school guidelines here.

Reporting Your Child’s Absence

There are many reasons a student may be away.  Please report your students’ absence to Reception prior to 9am and read WWS Absence Programs 2021-2022 to understand which category your child’s absences fall into and fill out the right form.

(1) Precautionary/Short term – Email School  (absence up to 3 days)

(2) Extended Absences – After 3 days Fillable FormTransitional Absence Fillable Application (long-term absence request).

Online Support Programs

All members of WWS appreciate your understanding that we are a 100% onsite learning facility with full programs to deliver. Thus, support for students who are absent from school is only provided to those who have submitted a form in a timely manner.

Once your absence form is approved, students will access and submit curriculum requirements online through Planbook plans and contact teachers during office hours. More details @ WWS  E-Learning Support

As of Jan. 2022, mask wearing continues to be required, however it is not a requirement to have a N95 mask. Any student or employee that wants a 3-ply disposable mask will have access to them on request.

This month, the PHO is expecting a supply of rapid antigen tests mid-to-late January. 500,000 of these tests will be set aside for K-12 education and will be deployed as needed by Medical Health Officers.

Since Oct. 4, 2021, all students in B.C. schools are required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks. This builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in grades 4-12. Learn more about this change to the face coverings mandate in the Ministry of Education news release. WWS will also support:

  • when possible K-3 classes we will spend more time outdoors. Please ensure that your child has a daily change of clothes, quality rain gear, layers and warm clothes.
  • transparent school desk barriers for students from K-3 will be in place for 2022. Due to high demand and irregularity of shipping transport at this time, patience is required for this order to arrive.

As of January 2022, the Ministry of Education has asked that we limit crowding throughout day which includes pick-up and drop off. In order to do this, we ask that only Little Cedars-Grade 4 parents directly pick up and drop off their children from their classrooms while being mindful of crowding. Parents of students grades 5-12 are asked to remain in their cars and not congregate on the school grounds before or after school.

We will continue to use floor markings to address traffic flow throughout the school to minimize crowding and allow for ease of people passing through. Indoor visits require an appointment.

Unfortunately, visitors are again discouraged at this time.

As of January 2022, please only visit WWS if your presence is directly supporting student learning and you adhere to the following. 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

As of January 2022, we do not foresee any significant differences since the start of school in Sept. Afterschool basketball and our February overnight trips continue to be scheduled in alignment with current directives.

For this continuation of 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.

Among the enhanced safety measures, our school will:

  • Stagger transition times
  • Hold gatherings, meetings and events virtually
  • Limit visitors to those who are supporting activities that directly benefit student learning

These measures build on existing protocols including:

  • Using all available space to maximize space between people
  • Mask wearing & hand hygiene
  • Daily health checks
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting

The school will continue with Covid-19 Facilities Hygiene Procedures including cleaning and disinfection processes 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.

WWS will continue with current guidelines to properly dispose of classroom garbage, recycling and organics in order to limit waste collection and protect the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff. Students are  encouraged to “pack-out” what they “pack-in”.

Sharing of clothing, food or supplies will be limited and strictly monitored for Covid-safety protocols. Please clean up after yourself in the classroom.

Please 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 and/or 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 and/or a significant sore throat and/or an earache.

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

See Staff Covid-19 On-Site Policy & Covid-19 On-Site Sick Policy for more specific details.

WWS School Plans during Covid-19

Teachers, staff, students and the community members at Whistler Waldorf School appreciate everyone’s understanding and support that we endeavor to operate throughout the school year with a 100% onsite learning environment. We are all responsible in  helping our school stay safe during Covid-19. Please see the following school closure contingency and communicable disease guidelines below:

Contingency Plans if School Closure

WWS is prepared for the possibility of a functional school closure, in the event that in 2022 we experience a temporary shortage in staff due to  illness, to the point we cannot operate. Some important points are below:

  • In the event of faculty absences, all efforts will be made to have a teacher assistant who is familiar with the class provide lead instruction.
  • Also, teachers/support staff on our on-call list will be contacted as a second resort and the decision to disrupt in-person learning will be made as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted.
  • In the event of a short-term or week long closure – teachers will continue instruction online through Zoom and Planbook until the closure is lifted.

Here is a comprehensive view of both the school & the Early Years plans & guidelines:

EY Contingency Plan and Policy for Possible School Closures

WWS Contingency Plan and Policy for Possible School Closures

WWS Communicable Disease Plan

During the Covid-19 pandemic with its ongoing waves and ever-changing health guidelines, WWS has prepared a communicable disease prevention plan to follow in order to reduce the spread with specific guidelines for daily life at school. This plan is also required by WCB and BC Education. Some important details covered include:

  • Handwashing & School Facility Cleaning Protocols
  • Guidelines for limiting social contact, including Indoor use of Mask Wearing.
  • Sickness and Absence Policies during school instruction & gatherings during Covid-19.
  • Anything to do with measures the school is taking to limited spread of Covid-19.

Here is a comprehensive view of our Covid-19 policies:

WWS’ Communicable Disease Prevention Plan and Policies

Early Years Covid-19 On-Site Policy for staff_children

Early Years Covid-19 Facilities Hygiene Procedures

General BC School Guidelines

(*Updated Jan 7, 2022)

Whistler Waldorf is currently in Stage 1.5 of BC’s Ministry of Education – COVID 19 Stages of Learning model with full-time classroom learning recommended with restrictions to increase social distancing and limit extra interaction.

  • COVID-19 school exposure communication

    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 notification is determined to be necessary, then public health will direct the school to notify any 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.

  • Schools as "Controlled" Environments

    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.)
  • Isolation for Travelling Outside of Canada

    If WWS families or students are planning on travelling outside of Canada during the school year, you are asked to please adhere to the travel guidelines as set out by the Government of Canada Covid Travel Requiements. This helpful link is for vaccinated families who are travelling outside of Canada with children 12 and under.

    Please note that unvaccinated children and youth are expected to self-isolate upon their return which may require an Extended Leave of Absence form for the school. 

    Please contact Reception directly to update the school of any travel plans and coordinate submitting details.

  • Vaccinations Work

    Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools. Everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated (i.e., receive 2 doses) against COVID-19 to protect themselves and those around them – including those who are not eligible to be vaccinated. Both doses are needed to get the most effective protection against serious cases of COVID-19 and provide longer-lasting protection. Learn more about vaccinations in Whistler

  • How can I help?

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

    • Vaccination for those 12 and over – Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools.  protect themselves and those around them. conversations.
    • Wear a mask indoors. In B.C., it is now required to wear a non-medical face mask in public indoor spaces.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • 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.

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