Inspiring life-long learning in all students.
The COVID Task Force, after considering the information received from the faculty, parent community and after reviewing the survey responses, as well as reviewing local health trends and consulting with other medical experts and Waldorf educators, recommended, and the Da Vinci Waldorf Board approved, that Da Vinci Waldorf School move to a Mask Optional protocol for both indoor and outdoor programming after Mid-Winter Break, beginning Wednesday, February 23rd.
This Mask Optional protocol includes a situational masking option for those teachers who, when teaching indoors, will require the students to wear their masks. The majority of classes where this is needed will be moving outside (with masks optional) as soon as possible, based on weather conditions. Students will be required to mask indoors for these classes, which we currently estimate to be two to three classes per week and subject to change.
Students will be required to have masks in their cubbies for the remainder of the year in order to wear them when requested.
Quarantine and Exclusion Guidance
Due to the characteristics of the Omicron COVID variant, vaccinated and unvaccinated students and adults will be treated equitably when determining quarantine or isolation periods.
Students who exhibit symptoms are to remain at home and not come to school. They may return to school once they are symptom-free for 24 hours. We request a negative test (PCR or Antigen) or alternative diagnosis be shared with the office prior to returning, or the student can simply quarantine for the full 10 days.
Students who test positive for COVID are to isolate for 10 days. A report will be filed with the Lake County Health Department, consistent with current practice. If an individual is symptom free, they may at their option return after 5 days if they agree to mask indoors for an additional 5 day period.
Close contacts, whether teachers or students, will be asked to either quarantine for 5 days based on possible exposure 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms (or Covid Positive test result) OR the close contact may elect to participate in DVWS’s voluntary test-to-stay program if they are not exhibiting symptoms. Close contacts who are in quarantine are not required to test if they complete their quarantine.
A voluntary test-to-stay program will be available for both students and faculty/staff of Da Vinci Waldorf School who are considered to be close contacts of a confirmed COVID positive incident, in an effort to support our first priority of in-person learning. The test-to-stay protocol will be a choice for individuals to reduce the number of days they may be required to quarantine.
Individuals or their families are responsible for obtaining, administering and submitting tests as below. A rapid, at home antigen test is adequate for this purpose. Students and faculty/staff without symptoms would be able to return to school after their first negative test result, and remain in school as long as testing is negative and they are symptom free.
The test-to-stay timing includes at least two tests:
On the first day after known exposure (Day 0).
The second test is to be taken between day 5 and 7.
Vaccination Mandate / Weekly Testing
Da Vinci Waldorf School no longer requires proof of vaccination for employees or volunteers.
Weekly testing is no longer required for employees or volunteers planning to work with students. As stated below, employees and volunteers are asked to self-monitor, and not come to school if they are ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID or any other disease.
There are several rapid tests in the office that may be used to test in an emergent situation. Faculty and Staff may test voluntarily if and when desired.
Purpose and Common-Sense Guidelines; Flexibility and Respect
The COVID Task Force made these recommendations and the Board approved them based on the current, on the ground status of the Da Vinci Waldorf School, our community and local health conditions. We expect that all families, faculty, staff and volunteers will continue to comply with our existing common sense guidelines of monitoring your health and that of your family, and not coming to school if you are sick or are exhibiting symptoms. Other COVID protocols such as additional outside time, ventilation, sanitation, and hand washing will continue consistent with past practice. The goal of these protocols, as well as the recommended changes, is to allow the best in-person Waldorf education to be delivered by our teachers for the benefit of our students, in an environment where all feel safe and supported.
Some students and faculty/staff may choose to go maskless after these changes, others may choose to remain masked in some or all situations.
We will not tolerate any bullying, teasing or other inappropriate behavior related to masking decisions, and expect parents will stress to their children the importance and responsibility of choice, and the need to respect the choices of others within our Waldorf community.
Should the on the ground situation change in our community regarding current trends of COVID transmission or other related factors, we reserve the right to revisit our current masking and other protocols, and make changes as they deem necessary to preserve the right of all students to receive an in-person Waldorf education. Should the mask mandate be reinstituted, the COVID Task Force and the Board reserves the right to revisit the masking mandate for DVWS.