Background on Our School's Response
Our school campus was closed for classes and events as of March 12th, 2020. Within the week faculty and staff worked with whirlwind speed to coordinate bags for each student with their belongings, materials, lessons etc. to facilitate remote learning. Remote learning (some online, some facilitated through other means) began on Wednesday, March 18th.
For more detailed information, please see these letters from our school leadership to current families.
Letters from Jennifer Page, Faculty Chair and Head of School
Letter from Eric Holdsworth, Trustees Council Chair
Our Campus and Community Support
While we all desperately miss being together, our normal routines, and being in our beautiful school building... 4800 Sangamore Road is still being put to good use.
We are happy to be able to support the Glen Echo Heights Citizen's Association who are working with Saval Foodservice to provide food access to at risk persons who are in the most need at this time. Our school is used as the distribution point. View a video with more information and a message of thanks to our community.
Limited to patients of their practice, and only those who are experiencing symptoms of cough or fever or persons who have had direct in-person exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, our campus is hosting Kelly Goodman NP & Associates COVID-19 testing events. A drive-thru setting is the safest way to limit exposure for patients and practitioners, and we are glad to help facilitate the testing.
What Does Remote Learning Look Like at WWS?
Our teachers use a combination of Zoom, Google classroom, and work packets to deliver an effective, creative, developmentally appropriate program while we are teaching and learning remotely. We have worked with all of our families to ensure that all students have equivalent access and hardware to facilitate online learning (when applicable).
Preschool-3rd grade packets contain daily schedules, activities (with materials included), instructions for parents, and stories all stemming from our curriculum. Digital technology is used sparingly, primarily for social purposes, with these younger children. Teachers connect with their students in a variety of ways, including hand drawn postcards, letters, and phone calls, to let their students know they are thinking about them and miss them. They also provide instructional videos for parents and audio recordings for students in the early grades, as well as office hours and regular virtual parent meetings.
Grades 4-12 have a mix of online classes and offline assignments. Their packets contain any materials needed to complete assignments. We are constantly reviewing our use of digital technology as an educational tool to ensure we are minimizing the amount of screen time for our students, as well as meeting their academic and social-emotional needs. Waldorf teachers are trained to carefully observe each student as an individual and to help each student connect to the material they are studying in a personal way. There is an added complexity when that observation is through a digital portal, but the core principal is the same.
Feedback from current parents...
- "We can really tell that you all love our children. There is so much care, consideration, love... and I can go on and on.... We really appreciate all you do for the well being of our children. What a special school this is!!!" - Parent (10th & 12th grades)
- "I’m so glad that [my child] can continue both her learning and her relationships with her 8th grade teachers. Thanks so much to you and the staff and teachers for making this period not only bearable but enjoyable for our family." - Parent (8th Grade)
- "I am very grateful and impressed with how you, our teachers and staff - everyone - at WWS have risen to this occasion with such dedication and commitment to our children." - Parent (4th Grade)
We celebrate our community's response and ingenuity during social distancing. See examples of how our community members are sharing their skills and creativity during this time.
General Resources for Families
- The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America COVID-19 Resource Page
- Child Mind Institute Support for Families during COVID-19
- Child Mind Institute Article About Supporting Teens and Young Adults
- How to Talk to Kids about Coronavirus
- School is Closing. Now What?
- Home with Kids? It’s Ok to Do Nothing
- Routines for Families: How and why they work
- Lifeways of North America Online Course: Healthy Home Rhythms
- Our Screen-Free Week Guide from 2019
- Check out our school YouTube Cooking Channel for recipes to make at home! Chef is working on new videos as well!
- 10 Nature Activities to Help Get Your Family Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
Resources Specifically for Parents of Young Children
Resources from Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN)
- WECAN has established its own resource page on their website.
- WECAN Suggestions for Parents of Young Children When School is Closed
- How Do I Find and Create Goodness for My Children
- Communicating with Children and Supporting Them in Difficult Times
- How to Stay Sane When Working from Home with Young Children
- How to Be a Quiet Adult: Five Tips to Encourage Child-Directed Play
- Story: The Little Gnome Who Stayed Home
- Handwashing and Bath Time Poems
Craft and Handwork Resources
Wool Felt & Wool Batting
Needles, Thread & Embroidery Floss
- Brown Sheep (Lamb’s Pride Bulky is perfect for finger weaving)
Watercolor Paint, Beeswax, Kite Paper, Crayons
Crafting & Curriculum Books