next steps

WSGC Opening and COVID-19 Updates

School Opening Plan 2020-2021:

[Please note: Only employees are allowed into the building and on the School grounds (including the gardens, playground, and nature trail) until further notice.]

As of July 23, 2020, The Waldorf School of Garden City plans to commence the 2020-21 school year on September 8th in a two-fold manner. Early Childhood – Grade 5 classes will begin in-person on campus. Grades 6-12 will begin with Teacher-Directed Distance Learning. After the first month of School has passed, this plan will be re-evaluated. To read the entire e-mail outlining the reopening plan, visit the Message Center in your MyBackPack account or click here 


COVID-19 BASICS:

CDC Back-to-School Parent Checklist

For a helpful guide to preparing for back to school and navigating new school policies in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Back-to-School checklist for parents for tips covering a variety of scenarios here.

Facts from the World Health Organization

What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of this coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illnesses. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Protection measures for everyone:
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
    Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places  – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
    Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.

Protection measures for persons who have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading:

  • Follow the guidance outlined above (Protection measures for everyone)
  • Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low-grade fever (37.3 C or above) and a slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
    Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
    Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Source: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Prior Communications Archive:

Q & A Follow Up (EC-2) , 7/28/20

Dear Parents and Guardians of the Early Childhood, Grades One and Two,

Last night we held a Q & A regarding the re-opening of School.   We apologize for the change in messaging between the community letter that went out last week and the message we conveyed last night.   Clearly this came as a surprise and took some time to process.  ​

It is true that with more consideration of the health and safety concerns of our students and faculty, the School has made a change in policy regarding the wearing of face coverings inside the building. Last week’s communication indicated that while the students were inside at their desks, which will be spaced 6’ apart, the students could remove their masks.  Since then, we have determined that masks will remain on while indoors but that generous and multiple masks breaks will be given throughout the day.

Many on the call last night rightly pointed out that the youngest children will have the hardest time maintaining social distancing.  Even with their desks spaced 6’ apart or being seated 6’ apart at a table, it will be very challenging for these young children to maintain this distance.  For the health and safety of all involved, including our faculty, masks will be worn while inside the building.  Breaks from all face coverings will be scheduled into the day for each class.

The Early Childhood classes will be almost entirely outdoors.  This will be a time when they may wear a face shield/hat in lieu of a cloth face covering.  Grades One and Two may wear face shields/hat at recess and during outdoor classes.  During the outdoor face mask breaks, they will be socially distant outside and may remove all face coverings.

As a community, we have been separated from our School traditions and festivities, social gatherings, and relating to one another in-person.   As a School that puts a high value on human relations, this has been perhaps even more challenging.  It is far too easy in isolation to feel alone and unsupported.  Some parents have equated wearing masks indoors with an atmosphere where no touch will be allowed, where students will be reprimanded for standing too close together and where teachers will not physically comfort a child in need.  This is not the reality of the Faculty and Staff of WSGC.  In fact, we want children to wear masks in the School building so that when these situations of closeness occur, and they naturally will occur many times a day, that everyone is safely protected as much as possible from the virus.

The following outline will help give you an idea of the daily experience your child will have.

Early Childhood

Pre-arrival:  Parents complete School Pass Health App.

Arrival at one of the two Cambridge Street gates:   Health check from WSGC employee and escort to the playground. The student and parent will wear a mask for arrival.

School Day:   Outdoor activities, use of Nature Trail, and playgrounds.  Face shields or masks will be worn.   Indoor activities will be minimal and will require a face mask, except during snack time.

Dismissal:  Children escorted to exits to meet parents.  Both students and parents will wear a face mask.

After School Care: Children remaining in After School Care will nap in small groups.  Masks will not be worn at nap time.  Much time will be spent outdoors.

Grade One and Two

Pre-arrival:  Parents complete School Pass Health App.

Arrival in the U:  Health check from WSGC employee and walk to the classroom.  Masks will be worn.

School Day:

  • Main Lesson will begin with circle activity outdoors.  Face shields will be worn instead of masks.
  • Lesson and bookwork in the classroom. Masks will be worn.
  • Snack – inside or out, per teacher.  Masks will not be worn.
  • Recess – outside with class in a dedicated area of the playground.  Face shields will be worn instead of masks.
  • Specialty classes will be held outdoors when possible and face shields will be worn.
  • Indoor specialty classes – masks will be worn.
  • Mask breaks will occur between specialty classes.  Breaks will last 5-10 minutes.
  • Lunch – inside or out per teacher.  Masks will not be worn.
  • Specialty classes continue as stated above.

Dismissal:  Students will wear masks and will be walked to the exits to meet their bus or parents.

Our Faculty is loving and gifted, and we know the experience that WSGC students will have in their care — especially in trying times — will be nothing short of excellent.  We hope you will join us as we renew our community together in the fall.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303
smithh@waldorfgarden.org
Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org
School Opening Plan , 7/23/20
 
 

 

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Dear WSGC Parents and Guardians,

 

Our Reopening Task Force Committees have been researching best practices and coordinating with New York States and CDCs guidelines and regulations. The pandemic presents an ever-changing situation that requires great flexibility and adaptability. We believe we are in a strong position to meet all State requirements as well as maintain our commitment to delivering a robust Waldorf education for all of our families. The Waldorf School of Garden City currently plans to commence the 2020-21 school year on September 8th in a two-fold manner. Early Childhood – Grade 5 classes will begin in-person on campus. Grades 6-12 will begin with Teacher-Directed Distance Learning. After the first month of School has passed, this plan will be re-evaluated.

 

While our School building can accommodate all of our students (EC-12) in a socially distanced manner, we believe our decision to start the year at roughly 50% capacity rightly considers the health and safety of students and employees  This approach reduces the demand placed on areas like bathrooms and hallways and allows for less congestion at arrival and dismissal. 

Guiding principles for reopening WSGC in the fall

  • Provide the safest possible environment for all students and employees.
  • Ensure our students receive the full experience of our excellent program where we emphasize learning academics, arts, social-emotional well-being, joy through human relationships.
  • Provide an alternate virtual experience (Hybrid-Flex Learning)  for Grades 3-5 families who have health and safety concerns about returning to the physical building.
  • Remain flexible to change our operating model as necessary to meet New York State requirements and our safety standards in this evolving situation.

The WSGC has established three learning models for this school year. In-Person Learning refers to students being present in our physical building with social distancing and safety protocols in place. Hybrid-Flex Learning is an option for parents who do not feel comfortable sending their children back to the physical building. This learning model will involve a combination of live-streamed and recorded lessons for most subjects. Teacher-Directed Distance Learning is remote learning with all lessons on Zoom. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, we will use one or more of these models. The following is a detailed description of each. 

 


 

IN-PERSON LEARNING WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS   

Areas of focus:

 

  • Reassigning and reconfiguring classrooms and student-use spaces to meet density requirements
  • Re-envisioning what have traditionally been large group activities and activities that must be altered to reduce transmission of the COVID-19.
  • Implementing rigorous health monitoring
  • Sanitizing campus and maintaining community-hygiene standards
  • Containment or shutdown in the event of positive identification of COVID-19  occurrence at School

Reassigning and reconfiguring classrooms and student-use spaces to meet density requirements.

 Early Childhood

 

  • Classes will largely be held outdoors. Additional outdoor structures will be installed to provide protection from the weather.
  • Outdoor gear may include a sun hat with a clear plastic face shield. 
  • When indoors, students will be seated at tables 6′ apart.
  • Face coverings will be worn as directed by the teacher and when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Grades 1-6

 

  • Desks will be placed 6′ apart.
  • Where a whole class cannot fit into a classroom, that class will either be reassigned to a larger room or split into two classrooms. 
  • All in-School learning will take place with in-person teaching. 
  • Teachers will take advantage of outdoor space as much as possible. When outdoors, a split class will rejoin as one.
  • Outdoor gear, when 6′ distance cannot be maintained, may include a sun hat with a clear plastic shield or a face covering. 
  • Face coverings will be worn in hallways, bathrooms, and any time a 6’ distance cannot be maintained. Teachers will inform students when they can remove face coverings.

Grades 7-12

 

  • Desks will be placed 6′ apart. In classrooms where desks are stationary, and maintaining a 6′ distance is not possible, students will wear face coverings.
  • Face coverings will be worn in hallways, bathrooms, and any time a 6′ distance cannot be maintained. Teachers will inform students when they can remove face coverings.
  • Classes that are split into two rooms will have the in-person lesson from one room projected into the other room so learning of both halves of the class is simultaneous.
  • Specific classes such as Movement, Physical Education, and Singing will take place outdoors. 

District Student Services

  • The Garden City Union Free School District will determine if student services are provided virtually or in-person. 
  • Re-envisioning what have traditionally been large group activities and activities that must be altered to reduce transmission of the COVID-19.

Large gatherings and Assemblies

 

  • To the extent possible, assemblies and festivals will be held outdoors. When that is not possible, they will be held virtually.
  • The cafeteria will deliver pre-ordered food to designated grade-level classrooms. Snack and lunchtime will take place in classrooms or outdoors. 
  • Class Meetings and Parent Conferences will be held virtually.

Visitors and Volunteers

 

  • We will limit non-essential visitors (including parents/guardians) and students from other schools. Essential visits must be requested and scheduled in advance. Everyone who comes to our campus and/or building is required to wear a face-covering and maintain a safe distance from others. 

Sports and Athletics

 

  • The Department of Education has not yet determined if athletics will take place this fall. 

Implementing rigorous health monitoring

Additional Health Stations

 

  • Health and isolation stations will be set up for the HS  and grades 5-8 to supplement our main health office near the lobby. Students suspected of being ill will be taken to the nearest isolation and health station for assessment.

Equipment

  • Additional necessary equipment has been ordered including face coverings, digital forehead thermometers, covers for outdoor health-check stations, partitions, etc.
  • A self-screening health app will be sent out to all employees and families to aid in maintaining a safe and healthy school environment. More detailed information about this app will be communicated well in advance of the start of school.

Health Screening prior to arrival:

 

Anyone entering the building will have their temperature checked and completion of health app confirmed.

 

Health Screening at arrival:

 

For Grades 1-12 Students arriving by car:

All cars will pull into the schools U-shaped driveway (U). An employee will take the students temperature and verify the parent has completed the app information before the student exits the car. Students who have not completed the daily health app will remain in the car, exit the U, complete the app, and return to the U.

 

HS students will enter the far right doors at the top of the U.

Grade 5-8 students will enter the far left doors at the top of the U.

Grade 1-4 students will enter through the Main Lobby doors.

 

For Early Childhood Students arriving by cars:

All cars will park on the street. Parents will walk their children to the Cambridge Avenue double gate by the soccer field and remain with their child until an employee verifies the parent has completed the app information and takes the childs temperature before the parent departs. 

 

Exception: Students of Ms. Giumenta, Ms. Seo, and Ms. Kata will enter the smaller, wooden Cambridge Ave Gate. Parents will walk their children to the gate and remain with their child until an employee verifies the parent has completed the app information and takes the childs temperature before the parent departs. 

 

For all students arriving by bus:

An employee will verify the parent has completed the app information and will take each student’s temperature. Students with incomplete app information or with a fever or other signs of illness will be taken immediately to the quarantine area and parents will be phoned to pick up the student.

 

Health Screening during the school day:

Any student showing signs of a fever, cold, cough, or any other sign of illness will be screened at one of our health stations for assessment. Students determined to be ill will be quarantined until the parent can pick up the student.

 

Sanitizing campus and maintaining community hygiene standards

The School will follow CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and disinfecting facilities. The Schools custodial staff will be responsible for the cleaning of shared spaces throughout the school day, including bathrooms, playground equipment, shared specialty subject rooms, doorknobs, etc. Cleaning supplies will also be available in all rooms to allow teachers to regularly wipe down surfaces, supplies, and equipment. The School building will be cleaned at the end of each school day by a cleaning company hired by the School and tasked with following strict cleaning protocols.

Containment or shutdown in the event of transmission at School

Parents must contact the School immediately in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. If a suspected case is identified during the school day, the individual will be brought to a separate isolation space, and the family will be contacted and asked to pick up the child immediately. Areas used by the patient will be closed off and any exposed students will be sent home. The School will possibly choose to close the campus or parts of the campus for 2-5 days while working with the local health department to determine the next steps.

 

In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school, the physical building will close for an initial 2-5 days for cleaning, disinfecting, and contact tracing. If exposure can be limited to specific areas of the building and specific grades, partial closure of the building may occur. The School will work with local health authorities to determine quarantine steps, campus closures, and safe return to school, and will communicate these plans to our families in a timely way. 

 


 

HYBRID-FLEX LEARNING MODEL – GRADE 3-12

 

While in-person learning takes place in the physical building, families who are not yet comfortable returning to School may opt to participate in the Hybrid-flex Learning  Model. 

  • Classrooms will be equipped with the necessary technology for students to Zoom into the classroom, participate in the class, and view the chalkboard. 
  • When live streaming is not an option, classes will be recorded. 
  • Classes held outdoors are not included in the Hybrid-Flex Learning option.
  • Additional IT staff will be hired to support this program.
  • Faculty and staff will receive extensive training on the use of classroom technology.
     

TEACHER-DIRECTED DISTANCE LEARNING MODEL

When the physical building is closed for all or part of our classes, the Teacher-Directed Distance Learning Model will be initiated. All faculty have been trained and will continue training on the technological needs to successfully teach online, including lesson preparations for online classes. Some of the enhancements include:

 

Early Childhood

  • Consistency among all Early Childhood classes
  • Weekly calls with children 
  • Google classroom resources
  • Weekly in-person storytelling experiences – as Governmental phasing allows
  • Weekly EC wide thematic newsletters – delivered in a shared EC Google classroom
  • Increased faculty training on Google Classroom and Zoom practices.

Grades 1-12

  • A more robust Zoom schedule with more specialty subject classes and main lesson time. A schedule for each grade will be provided in the next few days
  • Book-work time with the class teacher for Lower Grades.
  • Morning and Afternoon check-in for Lower Grades to provide greater support for students. 
  • Social-Emotional Classes for Grades 1-8.
  • Increased faculty training on Google Classroom and Zoom practices. 

Serving our students and families well during this time of world strife is our number one goal. Your partnership with us is key. Thank you for the input you have provided during our Community Q & As, our parent surveys, and your general feedback and inquiries. You have helped to shape our future. Together we are seeking opportunities in this challenging situation, and this will only lead to a stronger and renewed commitment to serving todays students and to Waldorf education in todays world. 

 

In gratitude,

 

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

 

Important information, follow-up items, and deadlines

 

 
 
Distance Learning Update #13, 6/5/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As this most unusual school year comes to a close, we know there are many questions about what the school experience will be in the fall, whether we will be in the building or required to continue distance learning.  There are questions about health and safety and what Waldorf education will look like as we enter into this new way of living through a pandemic.

These same questions have been on our minds and we have been working hard to explore our options and find answers.  We invite you to a Community Q & A to address these issues.  Because Long Island is at the beginning of the first stage of reopening, no one can predict how successful this reopening will be.  This means we won’t be able to provide exact answers about how our School will operate, but we will do our best to give you an insight into the options we are considering. We have and continue to explore various scenarios to ensure we will be ready to meet whatever the future holds.

We will offer a few times for these Community Q & A’s to accommodate a variety of schedules. Please pick only one to attend so the crowd size is manageable for a Q & A.

June 15, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://waldorfgarden-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kceiqrzMvE9N_GTOPD977YM-KMcBQPl5f

June 15, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://waldorfgarden-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvdeqhqz8tGNIN3TuqThUJa4AlCZXpcos0

June 16, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://waldorfgarden-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtd–gpzIsGt2WNbNrCVoFuihTF8GgIzmX

Please register for the meeting above of your choice. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.​

We are also incredibly sad to inform you that we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the Summer at The Waldorf School of Garden City program. The safety of our campers and counselors remains our number one priority and, after an extensive review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that no amount of careful preparation or precautions can help us manage our concerns for a safe and healthy program. We plan to come back with a wonderful summer program in 2021.

Lastly, we would like to remind you of the following upcoming events:

Sports Night
Wednesday, June 3rd – 7:30 pm

Senior Play
Thursday, June 4th – 7:00 pm
Friday, June 5th – 2:00 pm
Saturday, June 6th – 2:00 pm & 7:00pm

Closing Assembly
Thursday, June 11th – 10:00 am

8th Grade Graduation
Thursday, June 11th – 8:00 pm

Virtual Senior Commencement
Friday, June 12 –  9:30 am

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #12 , 5/29/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As this most unusual school year comes to a close, we know there are many questions about what the school experience will be in the fall, whether we will be in the building or required to continue distance learning.  There are questions about health and safety and what Waldorf education will look like as we enter into this new way of living through a pandemic.

These same questions have been on our minds and we have been working hard to explore our options and find answers.  We invite you to a Community Q & A to address these issues.  Because Long Island is at the beginning of the first stage of reopening, no one can predict how successful this reopening will be.  This means we won’t be able to provide exact answers about how our School will operate, but we will do our best to give you an insight into the options we are considering. We have and continue to explore various scenarios to ensure we will be ready to meet whatever the future holds.

We will offer a few times for these Community Q & A’s to accommodate a variety of schedules. Please pick only one to attend so the crowd size is manageable for a Q & A.

June 15, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://waldorfgarden-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kceiqrzMvE9N_GTOPD977YM-KMcBQPl5f

June 15, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://waldorfgarden-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvdeqhqz8tGNIN3TuqThUJa4AlCZXpcos0

June 16, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://waldorfgarden-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtd–gpzIsGt2WNbNrCVoFuihTF8GgIzmX

Please register for the meeting above of your choice. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.​

We are also incredibly sad to inform you that we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the Summer at The Waldorf School of Garden City program. The safety of our campers and counselors remains our number one priority and, after an extensive review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that no amount of careful preparation or precautions can help us manage our concerns for a safe and healthy program. We plan to come back with a wonderful summer program in 2021.

Lastly, we would like to remind you of the following upcoming events:

Sports Night
Wednesday, June 3rd – 7:00 pm

Senior Play
Thursday, June 4th – 7:00 pm
Friday, June 5th – 2:00 pm
Saturday, June 6th – 2:00 pm & 7:00pm

Closing Assembly
Thursday, June 11th – 10:00 am

8th Grade Graduation
Thursday, June 11th – 8:00 pm

Virtual Senior Commencement
Friday, June 12 –  9:30 am

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #11 , 5/22/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Take out your calendars!  There are many upcoming events you will want to note. Please be aware that the School will be close this Monday, May, 25th in observance of Memorial Day.

This weekend’s events include:

Plus make note of the following upcoming events.  (all events are virtual unless otherwise noted):

  • Sports Night – Wednesday, June 3rd at 7:00 pm
  • Closing Assembly – Thursday, June 11th at 10:15 am. Everyone is welcome to attend. More details will follow in a separate e-mail.
  • 8th Grade Graduation – Thursday, June 11th at 8:00 pm
  • 12th Grade Commencement – Friday, June 12th at 9:30 am. This event will be Live-Streamed so all friends and family will be able to attend. To watch, visit https://www.waldorfgarden.org/commencement2020/ on the day of the event.
  • Due to the short week next week, there will be no Virtual Coffee hour with Kelly and Helene. We will let you know when the next date is scheduled.

If you believe you still have personal belongings in the school and were not able to pick up on the last designated day, you may still do so on the following days:

  • Tuesday, May 26th between 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • Wednesday, May 27th between 2:00 and 4:00 pm

Please remain in your car and a School employee will assist you.

Please visit our Resource Page for events from Glen Brook, our amazing Parent Association, and for other activities and helpful links. The Parent Association has been working to offer some fun activities such as the recent “Virtual Dance Party” that was very well attended. They are now offering free yoga through videos and live classes. Visit our Resource Page to participate (Password: 225cambridge) and check back periodically for updates.

Faculty, staff, families, and the greater Waldorf community have continued to demonstrate their remarkable qualities of personal character, including compassion, ingenuity, commitment, and resilience, in support of each other and the broader communities in which we live. In an effort to maintain their connections, this past week the High School Seniors mailed cards with personal notes to their 1st Grade Buddies. One parent shared the following:

My son was so excited to hear from his Senior. She told him a bit about how she is spending her time safe at home, and he seemed comforted by hearing her experience. I was a really touching moment.

​Please let us know if you have a story of connection, compassion, or resiliency to share.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #10 , 5/15/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We can’t wait to have classes return to the School building.  We are getting ready for every possible configuration of classes for the coming year.   We will be ready for social distancing at School and for a more robust distance learning program should that be required.   We need your feedback on our planning!  If you have children in the Early Childhood through Grade Eight, please take a moment to fill out this survey.   We will share our plan with you before the end of this School year.

We are happy to inform you of the following upcoming year-end events:

  • We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Virtual Closing Assembly on Thursday, June 11th at 10:15 am. Everyone is welcome to attend. More details will follow in a separate e-mail.
  • The next Virtual Coffee hour with Kelly and Helene will take place on Tuesday, May 19th at 11:30 am. The link to join the Zoom Meeting is:
  • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85014382058?pwd=aFBTcktQYkoxRU9idDN3S2VnQlJYUT09
    • Meeting ID: 850 1438 2058
    • Password: 011103

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty, staff, families and the greater Waldorf community have demonstrated their remarkable qualities of personal character, including compassion, ingenuity, commitment, and resilience, in support of each other and the broader communities in which we live.

This past week the following anecdote was conveyed to us from Nursery Class Teacher Karen Giumenta (see photos on social media @waldorfgarden):

“[Our class did] a fundraising event for the healthcare workers at the Winthrop Covid-19 Unit. One of the moms in our class is a nurse in the unit. It came out of an impulse during a parent meeting amongst our class. We felt we could do more for our children and each other by sending pictures and notes of thanks for all those that are going, truly, the extra mile. We have several healthcare workers in our class. When we learned that one mom works at Winthrop hospital and a group of her colleagues was transformed into a strictly Covid-19 unit, we wanted to express our gratitude for our families. Pictures and notes were created by the children and the parents before I put them in the basket. We also donated gift cards for places like Starbucks, Target, Amazon etc. because they are not allowed to eat or drink any food donations that come in when they are working in the unit due to obvious health concerns. We collected almost $300 in gift cards to give them. I gave the basket to June Stafford to share with her co-workers…”

​Please let us know if you have a story of compassion or resiliency to share.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #9 , 5/11/20

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State, and Nassau County, in particular, are showing signs of slowing, we want to assure you that we continue to take the health and safety of our community seriously. While we all long to be together, we are doing our part to help stop the spread of this disease by only allowing essential workers in the School building and on the school grounds and abiding by all social distancing guidelines. With this in mind, please remember that our School building and grounds (including the gardens, nature trail, and playground) are off-limits to all families and children. This mandate is in place not only to ensure your safety but also the safety of School employees who must be in the building or on our grounds to care for the School. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation regarding this important issue.

This update also brings a reminder about a few upcoming events.

Please remember to join the Parent Association Meeting this evening at 7:00 pm. Register in advance for this meeting here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtdemhqjIpGdXgplayWAa618dnuLT4KbYb?

After registering, you will receive a confirmation an e-mail containing information about joining the meeting.

The next Virtual Coffee hour with Kelly and Helene will take place on Tuesday, May 12th at 9:30 am. The link to join the Zoom Meeting is:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85825320094?pwd=VHU5U1FwZGlZa1NleTlOaldIOEJ4UT09

See e-mail for the password.

We are also looking forward to a virtual concert on May 22nd and a Senior Art Show on May 23rd. We will keep you posted about additional community events and year-end plans as they are finalized. Be sure to visit our Distance Learning Resource page for new Arts & Crafts, Gardening, and Work Out videos.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith and Kelly O’Halogan

Distance Learning Update #8 , 5/01/20
Dear Parents & Guardians,

As we finish our 8th week apart, we hope you have settled into a comfortable routine and are able to reap some of the benefits of our new way of living. We are also deeply appreciative of all of our families and colleagues who are ensuring that the experiences of the children, from our youngest to our oldest, are being cultivated with care and that their health and well-being remain our top priority. You continue to inspire us with your resourcefulness, resilience, and collaborative nature.

With COVID-19 cases still high in New York and throughout the country, we know that we are called to support all measures that will help to mitigate its spread and ensure the health of everyone in our community and beyond. At the directive of Governor Cuomo today, the physical school building will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, and we will continue distance learning for Grade 1– Grade 11 until our last day of school on Thursday, June 11th. We will update you shortly about specific year-end plans for the Early Childhood program. The last day of daily academic classes for Seniors is Friday, May 15th; from May 18th through the end of the school year, the Seniors will have a special online schedule focusing on a group project, as is customary. We are still waiting to make a decision about the Summer Program until the end of May when Governor Cuomo plans to make another announcement.

Please note that school is in session as usual on Monday, May 4th. The previously scheduled professional development day has been canceled.

Our next Virtual Coffee hour will take place next Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at 09:30 AM. The link to join the Zoom Meeting is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85690735903?pwd=bkhtRlNxL3E3SnZCTU1oSFNHcHJNQT09

(see original email for ID# or password)

In our efforts to design the best possible version of our School during its remaining weeks, we have been considering our traditional end-of-year celebrations and making various plans to ensure that they flourish in one way or another. We are committed to making sure that our students, and especially our seniors, are abundantly celebrated and honored for their many accomplishments and contributions. Their educational journeys through the Waldorf School of Garden City have been significant and even inspirational, and in the time ahead we will acknowledge and celebrate all that they have created within themselves as they are empowered to act with courage and conviction in the next stage of their lives.

Finally, the Administration and Board of Trustees are also engaged in discussions surrounding what re-entering school might look like this fall, and creating contingency plans for a variety of circumstances. We will keep you updated on our plans for the 2020-2021 school year as we continue to monitor the situation over the summer months.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #7 , 4/23/20

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We hope this update finds you well on this beautiful spring day.

Waldorf Schools focus on experiential learning — an active approach to a subject’s lesson which uses different senses and subjects like arts and music, tactics, and manipulatives to best stimulate the mind to retain what is being learned. The Waldorf classroom experience is designed to build strong relationships, enhance social, emotional learning, and create community bonds through seasonal events, festivals, assemblies, plays, and more.

What does that look like now, from afar, with distance learning in place and students off-campus? At our School teachers and administrators are working creatively to bring Waldorf education’s multisensory, multi-faceted, human-centered curriculum to students no longer in classrooms. While this approach will never replace face to face connections, our students continue to thrive.

If you are looking for a fun activity you can do with your family, consider the AWSNA Star making Campaign at this link.

Please check out our Distance Learning Resource page for updates including workout videos from our Athletic Director Shane Flanagan.

Per the e-mail you received from the Parent Association Co-Chairs, you are all invited to a Virtual PA Meeting Monday evening April 27th at 7:30 pm. All are encouraged to participate and at least one class representative from each class should be in attendance. The meeting can be accessed on Zoom at this link.

Our next Parent Coffee Hour will be Tuesday, April 28th at 9:30 am. The link to join the conversation is here.

Finally, in an effort to streamline the management of technical support inquiries that are received on a daily basis, we have created a new email address:  support@waldorfgarden.org

Going forward, please direct all questions regarding technical issues (Zoom and Google Classroom) to this inbox. Ariana Metzler and Kevin Padilla will be working together to monitor and respond to all requests as they come in from faculty, staff, parents, and students.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Zoom!

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith

Administrator

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303

smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Kelly O’Halogan

Faculty Chair

(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314

ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #6 , 4/16/20

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We hope everyone is well and figuring out creative ways to enjoy the spring break with your family. In light of Governor Cuomo’s announcement today, we will be extending our distance-learning program through May 15th. Please note that some grades will receive an updated schedule of courses prior to our return on Monday, April 20th. Please check your email as only grades with schedule changes will be contacted.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #5 , 4/8/20

Dear Parents and Guardians

We hope this update finds you well. Per Governor Cuomo’s directive, we will continue distance-learning through at least Wednesday, April 29th.

Our Spring Break is from April 9 – 17th.  During the week of April 13th, we will offer a range of activities that support social-distancing to support your family. Please see the list below. This list will also be kept on our Distance Learning Resource page for easy access. Remember the page is now password protected: 225cambridge.

Spring Break at Your Place with the staff of Camp Glen Brook is an interactive week-long series of live stream-hosted activities and prompts to have fun at home, using items you already have around the house.

  • When: Join the Glen Brook staff Monday, April 13th through Friday, April 17th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • What: A day of activities that your family can do together, and that your children can do on their own.  A sample of activities include: Home-based nature activities, hosted pen-and-paper games, simple crafts, and singing, of course! The day will follow the schedule below and will also be posted on our Spring Break page. Come for an afternoon, or for the whole week—we’ll be here, and we hope you will be too!
    • 11:00 to 12:00 — Livestream Game or Activity (with a lunch break afterward)
    • 1:30 to 2:30 — Self-Directed Prompt
    • 2:30 to 3:30 — Livestream Craft or Activity
    • 3:30 to 4:30 — Self-Directed Prompt
    • 4:30 to 5:00 — Glen Brook Livestream Sing-Along

Making Art through Paper Upcycling and Collage with fiber arts teacher Sugundha Gupta

  • When: April 13, 14, 16, 17 from 10:00 – 11:00 am (not offered on Wed., 4/15)
  • What: Making art through tactile engagement is one of the most wonderful ways to relax and rejuvenate in times when we feel confined and restricted. Using found materials such as newspapers, magazines, and piles of advertisement catalogs we all possess; let’s make something beautiful. This could be a wellness card or simply a painting for visual pleasure. Making something will ease us all and revive our sense of connection to the earth and to each other. Using simple techniques like cutting, twisting and pasting paper we will create beautiful artwork and share some giggles together in this workshop.
  • Supplies needed: scissors, earbuds, newspapers, magazines, advertisement catalogs or any other paper you wish to shred glue drawing sheet/card stock. Optional: ruler/paper cutter/paints or colored pencils

The Parent Association will also be offering various activities over the break. Click this link for the full list and for how to participate. Please email Felicia Fraim at felicia.busto@gmail.com for more information about the offerings.

We hope you enjoy these offerings and we look forward to continuing distance learning together when classes resume on April 20th.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #4 , 4/2/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and making the best of our new way of working and living. We want to remind you that Wednesday, April 8th will be a full day of classes and our spring break will officially begin on Thursday, April 9th.

While we understand that many of you have increased responsibilities while working and educating from home and the break will be a welcome respite, we also know that finding additional activities to keep your family occupied while social-distancing might present a challenge for some. We are therefore happy to report that during the break we will be offering a range of activities from arts & crafts to virtual group meet-ups. Keep an eye out for an e-mail early next week that will outline the full schedule of offerings. We are particularly thankful for everyone who volunteered their time and expertise to give back to our community in this way.

Additionally, you are all invited to a Virtual PA Meeting tomorrow morning at 8:15 am. Join in to get updates from our PA Chairs. The meeting can be accessed on Zoom at this link. We will also be hosting another Parent Coffee Hour on Tuesday, April 7th at 9:00 am. The link for that coffee hour can be found here.

Lastly, as you must be aware, it is inevitable that the virus will directly impact the families in our community and it is highly probable that some are already grappling with it. That being said, we are also thankful to the number of health care and essential workers throughout our extended community who are doing wonderful work while also isolating themselves to protect their own families. A medical professional in our community has asked us to remind you that the healthcare system is seriously overtaxed at this time, so please refrain from hazardous activities that might require you to need medical attention so all medical efforts can remain focused on the tasks at hand.  Please keep them all in your thoughts as we continue to navigate this challenging time.

Wishing you all strength as we get through this together.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Distance Learning Update #3 & Glen Brook Offerings, 3/26/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

You have all been in our thoughts this week.  We hope you are adjusting to the situation as best as you can. We have received so many lovely photographs showing how, despite the stress and hardship of this situation, our community is embracing this time to be closer to their loved ones and nature (click here to see the gallery).

We will continue distance learning until at least Monday, April 20th.  Our Spring Break will remain as originally scheduled, with the exception that on Wednesday, April 8th the full day of Zoom classes will occur.   From April 9 – 17, there will be no classes.  However, we will have several optional offerings for families, including from our Glen Brook staff.

Glen Brooks offerings will include:

  • Live Glen Brook Sing-alongs. These will be streamed from the Glen Brook Facebook page and website twice a week beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 27th at 4:30 pm EDT.
  • A series of “Good Morning Glen Brook” videos of various activities around the camp.
  • Audio stories to play for your children and families.
  • Games for you and your family to play at home.

All these can be found on Glen Brook’s website at www.glenbrook.org/athome.

Please be sure to check out our Distance Learning Resources page to take advantage of all School offerings.

We so enjoyed our Coffee Hour this past Tuesday that we would like to offer it again.   Please join us next Tuesday at 9:00 am at this link.

Please use this link to submit your feedback on how distance learning is working for your families.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Message from the Board Chair, 3/23/20
Dear Waldorf Community Members,

On Tuesday, March 10th our School Administrator, Helene Smith, and Faculty Chair, Kelly O’Halogan, made a tough but solid leadership decision to close the physical building of The Waldorf School of Garden City (WSGC) based on a myriad of credible news sources and pure instinct.  At the time, there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in our school community, however, there were confirmed reports from surrounding Long Island school districts that we serve. In the days leading up to this decisive and timely action, Helene and Kelly with the support of the Faculty and Staff began the preliminary steps to implement a Continuance of Operations Plan to best serve the children, young people, families, and faculty in our care. This strategy proved not only successful but effective; once government officials stepped in on Monday, March 16th with a definitive course of action to close all schools in New York State through April 1st,  WSGC was a step ahead with an actionable plan.

The physical closure of the School is a most unwelcome reality, but we take this as an opportunity to act with resilience and creative spirit. Within a couple of days, our High School Faculty pivoted to distance learning.  On day four School supply distribution, including computer loans, was organized by the Staff, and the next day the Faculty of Grade 5-8 began distance learning.   Perhaps the greatest challenge has been to meet the needs of our Early Childhood through Grade 4 students from a distance.  Yet, the Faculty found ways through providing audio-recordings of stories and songs in the teachers’ voices, simple main lesson instructions, recipes, crafts, movement.   Our Glen Brook staff is about to begin offerings that include meditation, baking classes, games, and family sing-a-longs.

We recognize the hardship this situation has placed on many of our families.  To support our parents we have offered daily classes in either meditation or Simplicity Parenting and weekly class meetings with their HS Advisors, Class Teachers, and Lead EC Teachers.  To promote self-care a resource page has been initiated to support all community members during this time.

We may each be in our own homes but the sense of WSGC Community is strong.  I could not be more proud of our Staff and Faculty who have met this challenge with resiliency, compassion, ingenuity and the kind of will that makes a true mark in the world.  I am certain that we will get through this together as a community.  Our shared dedication to Waldorf education and the present and future lives of our children steers the way to success. I look forward, with great anticipation, to the time we may embrace one another in the warmth of friendship!

Stay healthy, safe, and engaged.

Sincerely,

Lance Cheney
Board Chair
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 742-3434
cheneyl@waldorfgarden.org

Message to International Families, 3/21/20
Dear International Students, Parents, & Guardians,

Since our last letter to you, we have experienced an acceleration and an escalation of official responses to the COVID-19 outbreak here in New York.  We are now receiving advice from the U.S. and other governments around the world to allow international students to return to their country of origin to be with their families.  Therefore, We are writing to inform you that The Waldorf School of Garden City is allowing international students to return to their home countries, and the Waldorf School will allow international students to complete their studies for the 2019-2020 school year via online courses or by other means approved by the Faculty.

At the same time, it is important to note that there is risk in travel at this time, including quarantine measures that may be enforced in both entering the home country and reentering the U.S.   Additionally, to maintain the F-1 student visa, students must continue to carry a full-time load of online courses while back in their home country. This may necessitate being present for “zoom” classes in the middle of the night for some students.

If and when we resume face-to-face classes this academic year, The Waldorf School Faculty will allow international students who have decided to return to their families due to the coronavirus outbreak to complete this year’s studies in the manner described above, with the proviso that all accounts payable to the school have been satisfied.

If you do decide to return to your home country, please click this link and fill out this quick response sheet.

Thank you for your patience during this very difficult global crisis. Take care and if you decide to travel, travel safely!  If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.

Sincerely,

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
Tel: (516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
Email: ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org
Roland R. Rothenbucher
High School Chair
Tel: (516) 742-3434 Ext. 316
Email: rrr@waldorfgarden.org
Distance Learning Update #2, 3/16/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Based on the announcement made by County Executive Laura Curran on Sunday, March 15th, all Nassau County Schools will be closed for a minimum of two weeks.  This also applies to our School; therefore, The Waldorf School of Garden City will continue utilizing distance learning through Friday, March 27th. As the situation continues to evolve, we will stay in communication with you.

It was lovely to see so many of you today as you picked up supplies.  If you have not yet done so, please remember the next pick-up windows are today from 3:30 – 4:30 pm and tomorrow morning from 7:30 – 9:30 am. If these times do not work for you, please contact us so we can make other arrangements. Thank you for your part in making this transition as smooth as possible.  We are thankful, and frankly proud, that the WSGC employees proactively invoked our Continuance of Operation Plan.  Due to this foresight, our School has had little downtime transitioning from in-school learning to distance learning.

Please do take advantage of the parent support offerings through the classes led by Stephanie Cleary (archives will be available at this link) and by attending your class’ weekly parent meeting.   Also, to keep up the spirits of our community, we thought it would be fun if we could share ideas and see how everyone is doing. If you post a photo or story on social media, please tag us (@waldorfgarden) or send a photo with a description directly to Samantha D’Aleo (daleos@waldorfgarden.org), so the School can share our activities with the community.

We all look forward to being together again soon. In the meantime, try to take advantage of this time to enjoy family time and outdoor play. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with either of us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Distance Learning Update #1, 3/14/20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The spread of COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to our daily lives and will continue to create uncertainties in the near future.  In light of the continuing challenges, the Waldorf School of Garden City will not hold its regularly-scheduled classes during the week of March 16-20.  The School building will remain closed to students.  We act with an abundance of caution based upon the latest information available. We will continue to monitor the situation to determine how to proceed in the weeks that follow.  Next Thursday evening (March 19th) we will communicate with you to let you know where things stand and how we plan to proceed the following week.

The physical closure of the School is a most unwelcome reality, but we will take this as an opportunity to act with resilience and creative spirit.  This past week, the high school has begun to teach classes in an online format.  Our test-run has proven helpful and we expect to continuously hone our skills.  Of course, we cannot use the same tools to teach the younger children, but our faculty and staff have been working quickly and creatively to minimize the challenges.  We will expand our distance learning platforms to provide guidance for home-based educational activities and some virtual class experiences where possible.  Our specific plans for each of the sections of the School are as follows:

  • High School: Our High School is up and running with regular online classes using the Zoom platform. (Zoom is a teleconference format that allows for interactive meetings with visual and audio features.) Teachers are communicating daily directly with students, teaching classes, taking attendance, assigning homework. Content has been altered for distance learning. Consideration is being made as how best to administer tests and deal with other logistics that require a new format. The High School will continue in this manner until further notice.
  • Grades 5-8: Starting Monday, our academic teachers will be set up to follow the High School model of online classes using Zoom. We will not contact middle school students directly via email. Instead, the parent or guardian will receive links to connect to the Zoom classes. An adjusted schedule of classes will be provided as soon as it is available. The classes will include work to be completed at home outside of the scheduled class sessions.
  • Grades 1-4: Class and Specialty Subject Teachers will continue to send their lessons via email to the parents. Specialty Subject Classes will follow the weekly class schedule. For example, if your child has Handwork on Monday and Wednesday, the Handwork teacher will communicate with you prior to the class sessions to allow time to gather any things that may be needed. If it is necessary to remain longer in the distance learning mode, we will expand Zoom classes into Grades 1-4.
  • Early Childhood: We recognize that distance learning is most challenging for our younger students. You will receive daily contact from your Lead Teacher with ideas of songs, recipes, crafts, and activities. The EC has also prepared a care package for all EC families – please see more details below about picking up these packages. In addition, we will extend our Early Childhood school year through Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
  • Supplies, Equipment, and EC care packages: If you have a Middle School or High School student and you do not have a computer at home, please contact Kevin Padilla at padillak@waldorfgarden.org to arrange a computer loan from the School.
    • Faculty and Staff will be collecting student supplies, musical instruments, etc. These will be organized so that you may drive through the U to pick up at the following times:
      • Monday, March 16th from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm and 3:30 – 4:30 pm
      • Tuesday, March 17th from 7:30 – 9:30 am
      • If for some reason these times do not work for you, please contact Suellen Gentile at gentiles@waldorfgarden.org.
  • Parent Support: Weekly (virtual) class meetings will be offered to parents by HS Advisors, Class Teachers and EC leads. This way we can still hold the thread of our community together, “see” one another and support one another. Additionally, EC Lead Teachers, Class and Specialty Subject Teachers, and HS Advisors will hold regular virtual office hours.
    • Take some time for yourself. Being suddenly tossed out of rhythm is surely a challenge for all families right now. As hard as it is for the students, it may be even harder on the adults. We have daily offerings to support you. Starting Monday, March 16th, Stephanie Cleary will be offering the following:
      • Topics of Simplicity Parenting”
        Beginning on March 16th from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, ongoing topics in Simplicity Parenting will be held live on zoom. These interactive  Zoom sessions will occur every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. We will launch these teachings with “Creating Rhythm in the Most Challenging Times”. Ongoing topics will include Environment, Working with Soul Fever, Filtering Out the Adult World and more.
      • “Creating Calm in Times of Chaos”
        Beginning on Tuesday, March 17th from 10:00 am to 11:00 am,  join us for Tuesday and Thursday, sessions tailored for parents looking for ways to find their center and calm within the chaos of our times. These sessions will include a topic to contemplate as well as conversation and guided meditation.
      • Please use this Zoom link to access the virtual class with Stephanie daily at 10:00 am: https://zoom.us/j/771153298

We can’t express enough how much we miss seeing you and your students, and we look forward to the time when we can resume in-person classes.  In the meantime, School is formally in session.  We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please click here to offer ideas to make distance learning better meet your child’s needs. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Lance Cheney
Board Chair
(516) 742-3434

School Closing 3/12 & 3/13, 3/11/2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and expressed alarm at inaction. There are increases in closures of school districts that we serve. Our neighbor, Adelphi University, has canceled all regular on-campus classes and moved all programs to distance learning. The Waldorf School of Garden City has therefore decided to remain closed through the end of this week, and pending further notice, to reopen on Monday, March 16th.

We understand the challenges this may pose, especially for working families. However, we feel this is the appropriate action at this time to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and that these extra days also will provide our local health authorities with more time to get a better handle on this fast-evolving situation.

We encourage you to maintain healthy hygiene practices and refrain from unnecessary travel as recommended by world and state health agencies. Please continue to refer to our COVID-19 Information Hub for resources and updates. We also recommend that you opt-in to our Text Message Alert System by texting “Y” to 67587.

Lastly, please notify the School if you or a family member has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

During this uncertain time, we thank you for your understanding of our efforts to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community.

Please feel free to contact me or Nurse Gorman if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Helene Lafferty Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, NY  11530
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 303
smithh@waldorfgarden.org

School Closing 3/10 & 3/11, 3/10/2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As a valued member of The Waldorf School of Garden City community, we appreciate the trust you place in us to care for your children during each school day. The health and safety of the students is our top priority, today and every day. The School serves students from over 50 school districts across Long Island and Queens and as the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, the Administration made the decision to close the school today, Tuesday, March 10th and tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11th. All regularly scheduled events for Tuesday and Wednesday are also canceled. Please note that this decision was made solely as an effort to be extra vigilant and assess the current situation. To this date, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our community. We will be taking these days to thoroughly clean and sanitize the School and test our Continuance of Operations (COP) plan that includes a distance-learning component.

Tomorrow, our faculty will do a test-run of our Continuance of Operation Plan.  Please expect the following communication from your teacher(s) by 12:00 noon.

  • Early Childhood:
    • Lead Teachers will send an email to parents with suggestions for home activities.
  • Grades 1 – 8:
    • Class Teachers will send an email to parents with an age-appropriate assignment for the day.
  • High School:
    • Teachers will invite students, through the Zoom platform, to participate in a brief check-in.  They will also test-run a communication via student emails.

If you do not receive a communication, please contact your teacher or Kevin Padilla at padillak@waldorfgarden.org.

IMPORTANT NOTE:   If your child has a district meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, this meeting will take place as planned at the District Office. Teachers will be in attendance.  

Please refer to our COVID-19 information page at any time for a complete list of communications, resources, and cancellation notices. In addition, if you have not opted into our text messaging service and you would like to, text “Y” to 67587.

I know this current arrangement will present challenges for many families and we want to support you through this transition. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. We will keep you up-to-date about any developments and appreciate your understanding during this time.

Please plan on a normal school day on Thursday, March 12th unless you receive an update from us to the contrary.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
Waldorf School Of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Galapagos Islands Trip Postponed to 2021, 3/10/2020

Dear Parents,

We are sad to inform you that the planned trip to Galapagos Islands over Spring Break will be postponed until Spring break 2021.

Due to the extraordinary situation we find ourselves in, the travel company EF Tours is going beyond their standard refund policy and is allowing us to change the dates of our trip at no extra charge. For families of students in the senior class, please contact Mr. Flanagan, Mr. Kim or Ms. Gallo to discuss options. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We understand the disappointment this news might bring, but we feel it is the safest and most responsible decision we can make for our students at this point in time.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Upcoming Event Restrictions/Cancellations, 3/9/2020

Dear Waldorf Community,

As you are aware, The Waldorf School of Garden City continues to track news and information about the spread of COVID-19. We have created a specific page on our website dedicated to COVID-19, which includes all of our communications about the virus, any updates, and cancellations, as well as resources.

Out of an abundance of caution and in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading viruses, The Waldorf School of Garden City has decided to cancel or restrict attendance at the following community events. Please note that as the situation evolves things may change. We understand that some of these restrictions may be very disappointing to community members who have been looking forward to attending these events.

  • The Winkler Center Conference – March 14th -ATTENDANCE RESTRICTED
    • The Waldorf School of Garden City requests that attendance be restricted to immediate family members of our students living in the same household only.
  • The High School Musical – March 20th & 21st – ATTENDANCE RESTRICTED
    • The Waldorf School of Garden City requests that attendance be restricted to current students and their immediate family members living in the same household only. If you have already purchased a ticket and are not a current student or living in the same household as a current student and would like a refund please contact padillak@waldorfgarden.org
  • Open House – March 21st – CANCELLED
  • Sprachfest – March 28th – CANCELLED
  • George V. Rose Tribute – April 5th – POSTPONED until further notice.
  • Individual Class Trips
    • All class trips will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, based on a set of specific criteria including destination, crowd density, presence of non-community members, and means of transportation. Each class will be contacted if changes are made to any scheduled class trips.

We recommend that anyone who is at a higher risk for contracting an illness, including the very young, elderly, or those with compromised immune systems refrain from attending large group events. We caution everyone to carefully consider attendance at events and gatherings, especially those who live with individuals who are at increased risk. We count on the compassion and intelligence of our community members to be extra cautious in the coming weeks when choosing any activity and social engagement.

Please feel free to contact me or Nurse Gorman if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19), 3/6/2020

Dear Waldorf Community,

In light of the recent confirmation of a coronavirus (COVID-19) case on Long Island, we are providing you with an update.

The Waldorf School of Garden City continues to track news and information about the spread of COVID-19 through the CDC, WHO, New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and other state and local health and education authorities.

We are being proactive in relation to containing all viral illnesses by regularly cleaning classrooms, doorknobs, and surfaces, and by practicing frequent and thorough hand washing. We thank you for your attention and cooperation in helping to assure that our children and our community remain healthy. The flu is still a greater risk to community health at this time, so we ask for your continued dedication to good hygiene/virus prevention practices.

Public health officials recommend taking the following steps to reduce the risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid shaking hands – use alternative ways for greeting
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough into your arm, sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

Most importantly, if your child is ill, please keep them at home and notify the nurse at healthoffice@waldorfgarden.org or ext. 324. A child should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.

While good hygiene is the most effective way to prevent viral transmissions in our efforts to support the health and safety of our community, in the event it is determined that the best strategy is to close our physical campus, we will provide regular communication and are equipped with a plan for a distance-learning option if a closure were to become extended.

Please feel free to contact me or Nurse Gorman if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Resources for talking to children about the Coronavirus, 3/4/2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As questions may arise about how to react to children who may exhibit distress over the ongoing news about the spread of the coronavirus, we thought that the articles below might be of some interest.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair
Waldorf School Of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 742-3434 Ext. 314
E-Mail ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org

Cancellation of Model UN Conference, 3/2/2020

Dear Families of Model UN Students,

In light of the increased number of cases and geographical spread of the Coronavirus across the United States, we have decided to cancel the Waldorf School participation in the Model UN Conference this week.  We have concluded after much deliberation that it is unreasonable to ask our students and faculty members to participate in such a large gathering of people (the Model UN Conference regularly draws over 1000 participants from across the country and globe).

We are currently working with the National High School Model United Nations organization to determine whether refunds would be available for cancelations. The School will do everything possible to have the full amount reimbursed to our participating students.

We understand that this is disappointing but hope you can respect our decision to err on the side of caution to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and Waldorf community.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

and

Roland R. Rothenbucher
High School Chair
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 742-3434 ext. 316
rrr@waldorfgarden.org

Coronavirus Update, 2/27/2020

Dear Waldorf Community,

As media attention surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) increases, please be assured that the School has been closely monitoring the situation through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, and various state and local health and education authorities.  At this time, it is important to know the facts. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State and the risk to New Yorkers still remains low.

As the global situation evolves, The Waldorf School of Garden City Administration and Emergency Response Team are currently reviewing our existing protocols and preparing for a range of possible contingencies. Our highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of every member of our community. To that end, please know the following:

  • Additional precautions are being taken in terms of hygiene, ensuring sanitary conditions of classrooms and shared spaces and reviewing with students and teachers best practices for curtailing the spread of germs. Please refer to the flu season communication sent on February 3rd for additional information.
  • If you are planning on traveling in the coming weeks or months, please be vigilant in obtaining information about the chances of any geographical extension of the quarantine. You can find this information by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important updates travel from the State Department.
  • Our nurse has been monitoring flu cases reported by families and has been vigilant in observing students who report to the nurse’s office for flu-like symptoms. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me or Nurse Gorman.

As always, the safety of our community is our top priority, and we will continue to update you with any new developments.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Coronavirus Update, 2/6/2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty & Staff,

We want to share a quick update with recent developments in relation to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus.  On February 1, 2020, the New York State Health Department designated the 2019-Novel Coronavirus as a communicable disease under 10 NYCRR Section 2.1.  Click here to read more.

Our students’ health and safety remains the School’s primary focus, and we therefore ask that our community follow the recommendations listed in the attached letter from the New York Department of Health. Further information from the New York Department of Health can be found at this link.

If you are planning on traveling in the coming weeks or months, please be vigilant in obtaining information about the chances of any geographical extension of the quarantine.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Health Reminders for Flu Season, 2/4/2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty & Staff,

As we enter the annual flu season, and in light of recent news coverage regarding the global spread of viruses, it is important to share with all our community members this important health information:

  • We request that parents do not send their child to school if they suspect the child is ill. Likewise, students with strep throat or any other serious, contagious illness are asked to notify the health office and may not return to school without a doctor’s note. After any illness with a fever, students must be “fever free” for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Anytime a child is at school and exhibits symptoms including a fever, vomiting, a severe cough, etc., the child is seen by our school nurse, separated from other students, and picked up by an appropriate adult.  
  • The school is also taking additional precautionary measures to reduce the spread of germs including increasing the frequency of disinfecting door handles, bathrooms, etc. and increasing the frequency of handwashing for students throughout the day.
  • Please know that the School continually monitors information from our local, state and national health authorities, and we encourage you to do the same.
  • Useful links about the current Coronavirus include:

We hope this information is helpful to parents. The health and safety of your children and all our community members is always the School’s first concern. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Mrs. Cathy Gorman, in our health office, should you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Helene Smith
Administrator
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Ave.
Garden City, New York  11530
Phone (516) 742-3434, ext. 303
E-Mail smithh@waldorfgarden.org

Class Trips

All Class trips have been canceled for the remainder of the year.