On March 23, 2020, Governor Northam ordered a state-wide closure of all k-12 schools in Virginia for the remainder of the academic year. Our two-week experiment with distance learning has transitioned to a full program to complete the school year. Please visit our Beyond the Classroom: Waldorf Distance Learning program page for information on the Charlottesville Waldorf School Distance Learning Program.
We also continue to add Waldorf-related activities and resources for making the most of your time together on our Waldorf at Home page – some are from our own faculty and community, others from Waldorf Schools around the world who are also experiencing very similar situations!
UPDATE FROM THE THOMAS JEFFERSON HEALTH DISTRICT, APRIL 17, 2020: As of today, 4/17/20, the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) has 212 of COVID-19 cases, including 6 clinically diagnosed (5 in Albemarle and 1 in Charlottesville). Unfortunately, we now have had 8 fatalities from COVID-19. Below are the latest numbers for each locality:
- Albemarle: 58
- Charlottesville: 40
- Fluvanna: 70
- Note: Fluvanna County numbers increased drastically over the past week due to an outbreak at Envoy at The Village long-term care skilled nursing facility. Read more in the attached press release that Fluvanna County sent out yesterday, April 16th.
- Greene: 7
- Louisa: 32
- Nelson: 5
Governor Northam’s “Stay at Home” order is still in effect. Staying home is the number one way to protect you and your loved ones, and to protect individuals who can’t stay at home. TJHD recommends you continue to follows these guidelines:
- Stay home. There is growing evidence that people can spread COVID-19 even if they never develop signs or symptoms or before their symptoms start. Even though this is possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that people can more easily spread the virus to other people when they have symptoms. Everyone should limit their exposure by staying home.
- If you must leave your home for essential things like grocery shopping or medical care, stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a cloth face covering.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. Also avoid public spaces, public activities, and group gatherings with 10 or more people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Call your healthcare provider if you are sick. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest information. Call TJHD’s Hotline at 434-972-6261 (M-F 8am-4:30pm) or visit the VDH’s COVID-19 Website for FAQs, business guidance, resources, and the latest press releases. You can also find great information and resources to share on TJHD’s Facebook and Twitter (this is where we share the latest COVID-19 data).
- Take care of yourself! The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress for many of us in the community. It is important that we take care of ourselves during this challenging time. Community members can find tips for coping with stress and affordable mental health resources at helphappenshere.org/coronavirus/
- Submit your video about “why you stay home”! The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Emergency Operations Center and TJHD have launched a campaign asking community members to submit videos via email to TJhealthdistrict@gmail.com with why they stay home. See our preview video here (you may see familiar faces)!
Next Week’s Projects:
- On Monday, VDH will launch a new data platform that will feature more locality-level data. We will send a message with this information next week.
- TJHD will host another COVIDconvo Town Hall on Friday, April 24th from 3-4pm. Stay tuned for more info. A big thank you to the City of Charlottesville’s Communications Team for helping us with these town halls!
- The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Emergency Operations Center and TJHD will be sending out new COVID-19 guidance to faith-based organizations and migrant camp owners in the area.
UPDATE FROM THE THOMAS JEFFERSON HEALTH DISTRICT, APRIL 7, 2020: A lot has happened over the past 10 days. Unfortunately, TJHD had our first COVID-19 related fatality and the number of positive COVID-19 cases in our health district continues to rise. To combat the increasing number of cases, Governor Northam issued a statewide mandatory “Stay at Home” order effective through June 10th. TJHD fully supports this executive order. Staying home is the #1 way to protect you and your loved ones right now and the best way to prevent spreading COVID-19.
This past weekend, the CDC released recommendations for community members to wear cloth facial converings when in public. TJHD is recommending this locally as well… People should stay home, but IF they need to leave their homes (for essential reasons), they should wear a cloth face covering/mask. More information:
- TJHD now recommends that people wear cloth face coverings/masks when in public settings (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies). This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from a person even when they don’t have symptoms (this is known as “asymptomatic”). Thus, TJHD recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings to help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
- If you need to leave your home, please take action to slow the spread by wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces, keep at least 6 feet of physical distance, and wash their hands.
- A cloth face covering can be made from items around the home, such as a scarf or cloth napkin. Make sure the covering fits snugly, reaching above your nose and below your chin.
- The general public should wear cloth face coverings/masks. The general public should NOT wear surgical masks or N95 respirators. These are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders, and other frontline staff as recommended by current CDC guidance.
If you have questions and/or need information about COVID-19 or local resources:
- Visit TJHD’s Local COVID-19 Resource Website(will be updated more this week)
- Call TJHD’s COVID-19 hotline @ 434-972-6261 (M-F 8am-4:30pm)
- Visit TJHD’s Facebook and Twitter
For all decision-making regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus responses, CWS administration has worked closely with the Thomas Jefferson Health District to monitor the latest information, and with the Charlottesville Area Independent Schools (CAIS) head of school forum to share resources and information about other schools’ responses to the virus.
If you have questions about what is happening in Virginia, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, visit the Thomas Jefferson Health District website. Given the complex and rapidly evolving situation, we encourage you to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and Thomas Jefferson Health District for the most detailed and up to date information on COVID-19. The Thomas Jefferson Health District is operating a hotline (434-972-6261) to respond to any questions or concerns you may have regarding the latest COVID-19 information. The hotline is accepting calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please bookmark this page. We will update this page with information about COVID-19 as it relates to Charlottesville Waldorf School.
Parents and Guardians: please visit your BigSIS Parent Portal for the full archive of messages sent to the CWS community regarding our plans in response to COVID-19.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
- Thomas Jefferson Health District
- World Health Organization
- AWSNA Newsletter, March 16, 2020
- Coronavirus Basics: A Medical Expert Gives Us a Foundation for Understanding
- Public Health Recommendations to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus
- How to talk to children about difficult news
- Explaining the News to Our Kids
- How to Talk to Kids About the Coronavirus Outbreak
- How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Charlottesville Waldorf School closing?
Charlottesville Waldorf School’s campus is closed for the remainder of the year and all school programs have shifted to Distance Learning.
How was the decision made to close the school?
The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our top priority.
The school worked closely with Thomas Jefferson Health District, the Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and health professionals to determine the best course of action, following all public health protocols. Our original month long closure was based on information from these sources and working with other local independent schools.
Ultimately, Governor Northam closed K-12 schools state-wide on March 23. Read the Governor’s press release here.
What about events and gatherings?
At this time all on-campus events and gatherings are canceled.
How will my child’s education continue in the event of an extended school closure?
Please refer to our Beyond the Classroom: Waldorf Distance Learning page for more information.
What can families, students, and school personnel do to keep from getting sick and spreading COVID-19?
The CDC recommends the following preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water when your hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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.
What additional steps is the school taking at this time?
The school is taking extra care with cleaning and disinfection processes, with particular attention to common surfaces.
- Extreme physical distancing: while we do have staff and faculty working on-campus during the school closure, they are practicing extreme physical distancing. All school meetings are taking place online.
- Additional cleaning of common surfaces used by faculty and staff is happening throughout the day.
- All faculty and staff who are on-campus are required to maintain appropriate hand washing and sanitizing protocols upon entering the buildings.
- Faculty and staff are signing into any building or room they enter on campus during the school closure.
- In the event of packet pick-ups, faculty and staff are taking every precaution possible in assembling and distributing supplies. Pick-ups are scheduled to limit the number of community members on campus at a given time, and packets are distributed curbside.
We continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated as things change.