COVID-19 Safety Plan
Updated March 20, 2023
Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm (SWSF) will continue to stay informed of all California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), and Sonoma County Health Department guidelines and regulations for safety while providing the highest quality Waldorf education possible in these times. The SWSF Covid-19 Safety Plan (CSP) is a living document with links to governmental agency guidelines. These guidelines do recognize that a school will follow protocols as much as is reasonable in the context of the education of children and young people.
While indoors we will layer multiple prevention strategies, such as improved ventilation, frequent handwashing, and regular cleaning to help reduce transmission risk.
- Face Coverings
- Healthy Hygiene Practices
- Isolation and Quarantine
- Screening Testing
- Daily Health Assessments, Absences, and Illness
- Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School
- Cleaning and Disinfection
- Triggers for School Closure
- Communication Plans
- Lunch and Snack
- Early Childhood Education
Effective March 14, 2022, the universal indoor mask mandate in K-12 school settings transitioned to a strong recommendation. Summerfield reserves the right to assess class or group activities and may ask students to mask for certain indoor activities. Students are required to have a mask at school for this purpose.
For indoor spaces, ventilation will be optimized by opening doors and windows when possible, using fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows, and running HEPA portable classroom air purifiers, all which help reduce the potential concentration of virus particles in the air.
Healthy Hygiene Practices
Teachers incorporate regular hand washing into the schedule of the day including before and after eating and recess. Teachers will instruct and support students in other healthy hygiene practices such as avoiding contact with one’s eyes, nose, and mouth; and covering coughs and sneezes. Hand sanitizer (ethanol based 70% denatured hand sanitizer) is available in all offices and areas of instruction.
Isolation and Quarantine
We communicate regularly with the Public Health Nurse and the County Health Department to work through their existing and updated protocols.
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
- Testing can be lab-verified PCR or Antigen, or Antigen (“rapid”) home-tests.
- Screening testing identifies people with COVID-19 who do not have symptoms or known or suspected exposures, so that steps can be taken to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
Our isolation and quarantine protocols come directly from the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2022-23 School Year and Guidance for Child Care Providers and Programs.
Recommendations for staying home when sick and testing
- Follow the strategy for Staying Home when Sick and Testing from the CDC. Please note that Covid testing is recommended as soon as possible after symptoms begin.
- Get tested for COVID-19 when symptoms are consistent with COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Advise staff members and students with symptoms of COVID-19 infection not to return for in-person instruction until they have met the following criteria:
- At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
- Other symptoms are improving; AND
- They test negative for Covid OR a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma) OR a healthcare provider has confirmed an alternative named diagnosis (e.g., Streptococcal pharyngitis, Coxsackie virus), OR at least 5 days have passed since symptom onset.
- If the student or staff member tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, follow the guidance for isolation.
Recommendations for Students exposed to COVID-19: Wear a well-fitting mask and get tested.
Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19 except in certain high-risk congregate settings. In schools and ECE settings, which are generally not considered high-risk congregate settings, people who were exposed to COVID-19 should follow recommendations to wear a well-fitting mask and get tested.
Summerfield will permit asymptomatic exposed students, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status or location of exposure, to continue to take part in all aspects of K-12 schooling, including sports and extracurricular activities, unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. It is strongly recommended that exposed students wear a well-fitting mask indoors around others for at least 10 days following the date of last exposure.
- Exposed students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, should get tested for COVID-19 with at least one diagnostic test (e.g., an FDA-authorized Antigen home test or PCR diagnostic test) obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure, unless they had COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
- Exposed students who had COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to be tested after exposure but should monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, they should isolate and get tested with an antigen test.
- If the exposed student has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should stay home, get tested and follow the guidance above for staying home when sick and testing.
- If the exposed student tests positive for COVID-19, inform the school (email to Sarah or Amelia) and follow the guidance for isolation – please note that the earliest possible day a student can return to school is day 6, but it may take longer. Follow the guidance on the CDC website.
Notifications of exposures at school will continue to be provided to all individuals considered exposed, including those who are vaccinated and/or recently infected.
Summerfield makes it possible for employees and students who are sick or who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home, including when a member of a student’s household has been sick with COVID-19. We have revised and extended our illness policies to require sick employees and students to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and will continue to communicate with employees, students, and students’ families to be aware of these policies.
Summerfield makes it possible for employees and students to test on campus weekly. We utilize an outside, independent testing company that sets up on campus and shares results directly with the school and the families who test. Faculty and staff will test weekly or prove vaccination. We follow Cal/OSHA and County Public Health Guidelines concerning screening testing.
Absences and Illness
- In general, parents will assess their children for signs of illness, and if sick or have a temperature of 100 or greater, will keep their children home without fear of reprisal.
- Parents and staff will report the reason for any absences. We also ask that parents, staff and faculty self-report illness.
- Any student who feels ill during the school day will go to the office and guardians will be called to pick up the student.
We ask that all families follow the State and County after-travel guidelines (whichever is the more conservative approach) if they have traveled domestically or internationally for any length of time, before returning to school. Please consult the CDC Travel webpage for details
Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School
How movement of students, staff, and parents will be managed to avoid unnecessary exposure:
- Parents drop off and pick up from their cars, except for Early Childhood children who are walked by parents to their teacher at their specific gate. There are five different drop off areas and different paths to classrooms assigned by grade.
- We will continue to keep the number of non-essential visitors on campus as low as possible for the health and safety of all.
- Events such as class parent evenings, individual class workdays, individual family parent-teacher conferences, and class festivals or class plays will be by invitation from the teacher or Core Group, and health guidelines will be followed.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Bathrooms are cleaned after each school day, and cleaning supplies are available for cleaning between uses.
Triggers for School Closure
The criteria the Governance Council will use to determine when to physically close the school and prohibit in-person instruction include:
- Increasing, substantial, or high COVID-19 transmission within the school or the surrounding community
- Increasing community transmission of a variant that is spread more easily among children and adolescents or is resulting in more severe illness from COVID-19 among children and adolescents
- As an independent school, we will follow the lead of the county schools, or as directed by Sonoma County Office of Education or Sonoma County Public Health, in accordance with current protocols
The school may close if air quality reaches unhealthy levels due to wildfire smoke or other contaminants. Young children are advised to limit outdoor activities, especially when the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches levels considered ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ (AQI 101-150) or above. See the school’s Air Quality Protocol for more information.
How the school will communicate with students, staff, and parents about cases and exposures at the school, consistent with privacy requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA.
As we have done with other illnesses, we will communicate in consultation with the County Public Health Disease Control Unit and follow their guidelines for proper reporting and privacy.
Lunch and Snack
Any snack or lunch services provided will be done within local and state guidelines. Given very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, there is no need to limit food service approaches to single use items and packaged meals.
Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education (ECE) section is licensed by the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services. For details about licensed care and Covid guidelines, go to: CA Safe Schools for All/Child Care. ECE classrooms at Summerfield (Kindergarten and younger) function under similar guidelines as the rest of the school.
Summerfield sports will follow all current State, County, and league Covid protocols.
We will provide aftercare following all the same guidelines as for the regular school day.
While our on campus protocols will be followed as much as reasonably possible, the school cannot require any standard of action outside of school time.
To keep our community strong, healthy and vibrant, we must all be constantly aware of others in our actions, and always keep present in our minds both our differences and that which brings us together.
For questions about timelines/when to test and stay home, please contact Sarah Hill in the main office: firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 575-7194 x101.
State and County Guidelines and Resources
- CDPH COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools 2022-23 School Year
- California Safe Schools for All Hub
- CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings
- CDC COVID-19 by County
- COVID-19 Case Data | Sonoma County
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- California State Department of Health (CDPH)
- Public Health – Sonoma County (DHS)
- World Health Organization