COVID-19 Updates & Information


In an effort to ensure all of our SWS community is informed on COVID-19 updates, we will have all communications added to this page.

COVID-19 updates from the PA Department Of Health 

HEALTH & SAFETY PLAN

Event Updates

Monday, August 31th – Early Childhood classes will begin school
Tuesday, September 8th – Grades will begin school

HEART RIVER

Community Resources

SWS Teachers & Parents Offering Child Care:

  • Chantal Zimmerman:  Chantal is a 4th grade parent. She’s been a childcare provider for 10 years, for children 6 weeks to 13 years in age.  She has her associates degree in early care and education, all her clearances and is first aid and CPR-trained.  She offers care in her home Monday- Friday. Hours are flexible during this time of need. Her daily rate is $30, with  multi-child discounts. This rate includes all food, drinks and activities throughout the day. Her home is located in Maytown PA. Contact Chantal at 717-814-0113.
  • Wyatt Dranchek:  Wyatt has great references from caring for children ages 1 and up. He is a certified teacher with all necessary clearances.  He likes to take hikes and cook, and could be available to run errands if needed. References are available. Wyatt is available to watch your children in your home. Contact info: 717-808-3530 or wyatt.dranchek@gmail.org

COVID 19 UPDATE FAQ 5-14-20

1. Who do I contact if I have questions about my contract or financial aid award?
-Please contact the Business Office (Deborah Duke) at Deborah.duke@susquehanna.org
2. I haven’t seen an email about re-enrollment or my contract, what should I do?
-Please let Michelle Wann or Deborah Duke know. They can resend the link to you. Contracts were sent on May 1st. The email/ subject will say “Family Portal System has emailed your password to you” or “SWS has sent you login information…” Contracts are due back on June 1st.
3. Where do I find my tuition worksheet and/ or financial aid amount?
-Please make a selection of payment terms on page 2 of your electronic enrollment form. (If you skip this step, your Worksheet won’t show up on page 3).
-Then, on page 3 you will see an “Enrollment Contract Worksheet” tab at the bottom of the page. This will open your Tuition Worksheet.
4. How is SWS planning for the decision to re-open?
-SWS is focusing our decision making with three major areas in mind:
Health & Safety, Teaching & Curriculum and Finances. We will hold a Town Hall discussion on Wednesday, May 20th to discuss some of our ideas and to hear your input.
5. What is the status of summer camps?
-We are actively planning for safe summer camps IF the state moves our county to “green” status.
Registration is open at: www.swsrsvps.com/2020-summer-camps
We will make a decision whether to move ahead with camps by July 13th or earlier if that state indicates we are able to proceed.
Refunds will be provided if summer camps are canceled.
Please give us a call or email with any questions. May you all stay healthy, happy, and well.
SWS Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 4-22-20

PARENT UPDATE ON CONTRACTS AND END OF YEAR EVENTS

Dear SWS families,
As the signs of spring fully emerge all around us, our school looks ahead with hope and optimism. With so many of us stuck inside, we are all feeling the sap rising this year, as our Early Childhood teachers would say. That feeling of renewal, possibility and action was beautifully translated into SWS Connected Learning by our amazing teachers who, in such a short time, have transformed a no/low-tech curriculum into a rich, beautiful personal classroom in your home. We thank you, our families, for your cooperative response to SWS Connected Learning. Your support and participation has overwhelmed us.
We were ahead of the curve on continuing the education of our students during the first weeks of this new reality, and we thank you for your support of that journey. We also offer our gratitude for each of you and your children as our community and school has offered a place of connection and solace in our necessary isolation. Our shared mission of offering a quality Waldorf education to the children in our care has united all of us with purpose. Thank you for sharing our vision!
The school is in good standing. With your continued support, the focus of our Board, and the diligent work of our teachers, we are optimistic about our financial and strategic future. We continue our process of dual accreditation and remain fully committed to professional development for our teachers. We have applied for a PPP loan (part of the CARES act) that will further anchor our financial position. We were in the final stage of approval when the program funds ran short last week but hope to be in first position when funding resumes.
Here, we are offering an update on our re-enrollment timeline. Originally, March 23 was our contract issue date. We felt it important to give our families some time to adjust to the undeniable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to adapt to Connected Learning and to give us all a moment to catch our breath.
Now, with solid footing beneath us and hopefulness ahead, 2020-21 contracts will be issued electronically on May 1. The process is simple and very much like the steps you went through to reenroll at our web portal. Detailed instructions will be emailed to you on May 1st.
Electronic signatures and supply fees will be due back June 1st. We recognize that many have had shifts in finances so we want to note that if your supply fee payment is a barrier to re-enrolling at this time, please be in touch with Michelle or Deborah to discuss solutions. We are striving to support each family so that all may continue to receive this incredible education. We also must bear in mind that our teachers’ salaries and our operating expenses are fully funded through tuition revenue. Let us all work together in support of our school.
Lastly, as we continue to look for balance in home life, work life and schooling, we have made the decision that there will be no school on Monday, May 11 and that May 29th will be the last day of school for all students. Decisions still have to be made about several year-end events to include moving day, the last day of school rose ceremony and graduation. We will keep you informed as plans are confirmed. Please see the calendar below for these changes.
Please give us a call or email with any questions. May you all stay healthy, happy, and well.
SWS Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 4-16-20

Dear Parents,
Hello! We hope you are doing well, staying healthy, and settling into Connected Learning. Attached is the parent survey for Week Two (and Three), as well as a couple of updates/ reminders.
Connected Learning Survey
As committed, we are eager for your feedback on how Connected Learning is working for your family! **Please respond to the 2-minute parent survey no later than Friday at midnight. SURVEY.
Lunch update
We are offering 3 options to all parents who purchased lunches:
A. Donate the amount of your lunch payment to the class.
B. Have a prorated credit applied to fall lunches.
C. Receive the prorated credit by check.
Please reply with your response and/or any questions to this email: erin.darby@susquehanna.org.
Candlelight Gatherings
Please join us each Friday evening at 7:00 pm for a few moments of community. Each week we’ll share the Zoom login information by email and in the Heartbeat. We love seeing your faces, and are enjoying the beautiful and reverent moments we share.
If you missed the Grandparents & Loved Ones Candlelight, stay tuned for the video we shared that evening.
Stay safe; stay well!
SWS Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 4-03-20

Dear Parents,
Hello! We hope you are doing well, staying healthy, and enjoying our newly launched Connected Learning. Below you will find an update, a reminder and a week one parent survey ready for your responses.
Lunch update
It has been decided that we will be suspending hot lunches for the remainder of the school year. We are offering 3 options to all parents who purchased lunches:
A. Donate the amount of your lunch payment to the class.
B. Have a prorated credit applied to fall lunches.
C. Receive the prorated credit by check.
Please reply with your response and/or any questions to this email: erin.darby@susquehanna.org.
Spring Break reminder
As mentioned in our March 26th Heartbeat

-Because we were off for two weeks due to mandatory school closures, our Spring Break will now be April 10 & 13, allowing for additional educational days for our students. Please let your class teacher know if there are conflicts due to previously scheduled plans.

Connected Learning Survey
As mentioned in the most recent Heartbeat and echoing the words of the Board of Trustees, we are excitedly anticipating your feedback on how this first week of Connected Learning has landed at your house! **Please respond to the 2-minute parent survey no later than Saturday at midnight. SURVEY
Stay safe; stay well!
SWS Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 3-23-20

Dear Families of the Susquehanna Waldorf School,
We, the board of trustees, are writing you in these strange days to give you the most current and accurate information about the state of the school, the health of our community and our plans for what we all must hope will be brighter days. We mean to speak frankly with you about our obligations to each other, the threats our common project faces, as well as the school’s intentions and resolve to meet them. We further hope that you will find here extra courage and remain committed to our community. To be sure, the school will not succeed through any individual or small group effort. We will do so only together, as we always have.
At this moment we are scheduled to return to the classroom on the 30th. Quite honestly it seems unlikely the state will allow that to happen, and even if it did, it seems unwise at this point. We’ll cross that bridge if it comes to us. In the coming week our teachers will be finalizing plans to bring the school day to your home. This has been a herculean task—adapting lesson plans and learning new formats to bring the Waldorf curriculum to all students remotely—but one which the faculty has undertaken with love and alacrity. Our re-formed, remote school— SWS Connected Learning—will launch on Monday, March 30, 2020, unless you hear from us otherwise.
Our intention is simple: continuing to keep our children engaged and thriving in their educations. But it is not easy. Now, for obvious reasons, it is far less so. If we do not adapt, we will not survive. In truth this is a great experiment; necessity demands that we conduct it. We hope you will join us in the same attitude of hope and dedication with which it is offered. Certainly there will be glitches and bugs. We beg your patience and helpful feedback. We all want to return to Walnut Street. We’ll need to work together until such time. With a little fortune and grace we will be able to teach our children and ourselves how to persevere, find grit, and do something difficult with joy and purpose.
We must also say that despite our efforts and plans, uncertainty is thick in the air; challenges of the crisis continue to mount. It would be foolish to pretend otherwise. The effects on the world and national economies have been immediate and severe. We expect some of you are experiencing them personally. If your ability to make monthly tuition payments has changed, please contact Deborah Duke in the business office. Likewise, If your financial situation permits you to help someone in our community meet their commitment, your generosity will surely help us all weather the storm. Please do be in touch either way; communication is essential to our mutual wellbeing. Tuition payments have a direct correlation to faculty payroll. Let there be no doubt this crisis poses a certain existential threat to the school. Some of us may get sick, others may lose jobs or income. Our revenue may falter, our fundraising efforts will be diminished. We need to count on one another. We really are in this together. Now more than ever we are reminded (and hope you are too) how important our mission is: to protect childhood, to educate the whole child, to raise children who understand humanity’s place on the planet, solving problems as they arise, finding and making beauty where they live.
Please contact any of us for anything you may need. Let’s stay healthy, take care of one another and squeeze those kids tight.
With much affection and respect,
The Susquehanna Waldorf School Board of Trustees

COVID 19 UPDATE 3-18-20

Dear parents,
In a time of uncertainty, clear and concise information is of the utmost importance. It seems that the all school email we sent on Monday may have been unclear to some.
To be clear:
We are NOT planning on closing the school for the rest of the school year.
– We MUST consider this as one possibility as we create our short and long term plans.
We are assessing the evolving situation on a daily basis.
Cubby Supplies
– We wanted to send home anything that may be useful for your child during these two weeks- a rain coat, boots, etc. We are not sending home all of your child’s school and personal supplies.
Remote Learning on March 30
– It is our responsibility to prepare and plan for learning outside of the school/ classroom if that becomes necessary.
– March 30 is the date by which we will be ready to launch remote learning, if needed.
You’ll hear more very soon from your class teacher.
STAY WELL and be good to one another.
Blessings on all of you, your families, and our school.
Michelle, on behalf of the SWS COVID Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 3-16-20

Dear SWS Community,
The last few days have been a whirlwind, with many changes being enforced in our state and our country. We want to provide a few brief updates, with more information coming on Wednesday.
Our Administration and Class Teachers have been in close communication with AWSNA and other schools to learn best practices in remote education. Gov. Wolf has closed all PA schools until next Friday, March 27, however we anticipate we’ll be operating remotely after that date.
On Wednesday, our full College of Teachers will meet to finalize plans around the platform(s), schedules and communication processes we’ll use to continue bringing you a Waldorf curriculum/ education remotely. Next week, each department will finish preparations for Monday, March 30th- our official opening of remote learning and lessons.
We have scheduled two times for parents to (safely) pick up your children’s school supplies and cubby items.
Parents may come to school on:
Thursday, March 19 from 4:00- 7:00 pm
or
Friday, March 20 from 8:00am- Noon
Kindergarten and 1st through 4th Grade parents- Please use Main Entrance.
5th & 6th Grade parents- Please use the 5th Grade exterior door (from playground)
7th Grade parents- Please use the side door (fire escape with steps) off of the playground.
* Please send only ONE family member into the building.
* Your child’s things will be on their desk in their classroom.
* Please bring a bag or small bin to pack and carry your child’s items.
You will hear from us again on Wednesday with updates, followed shortly thereafter from your class teacher on specifics related to your class’s next steps.
We are putting the finishing touches on a COVID 19 Resource tab on our website. This will serve as one central point to see an archive of parent communications, as well as useful resources for parents, FAQ’s and links to health organizations/ state updates/ etc. Please send along any questions you may have to any member of the SWS Task Force:
Most importantly, stay safe and well. Take good care of one another.
Warmly,
SWS COVID-19 Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 3-13-20 (2)

Dear SWS Community,
Yesterday we announced a voluntary closure next week to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID19 and to provide our teachers an opportunity to prepare for the possibility of remote learning. What a difference 24 hours makes!
Today, Governor Wolf announced a 10 (school) day closure for all K-12 schools in PA.
SWS will be adhering to the two week closure, and appreciates the opportunity to provide social distancing with the hope of minimizing the reach of COVID19.
We intend to hold to our plan to use next week to familiarize our teachers and staff with remote learning platforms and possibilities.
Our Leadership teams will be meeting via Zoom on Monday, and the full College of Teachers and staff will meet remotely on Wednesday.   We will communicate our next steps to you once we have the outcomes from those scheduled meetings.
Our Board of Trustees, COVID-19 Task Force and Leadership Council are working around the clock to stay abreast of these unprecedented circumstances. Thank you for your patience and support! We look forward to providing you with more details soon.
Please take good care of one another.
Warmly,
SWS COVID-19 Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 3-13-20

Dear SWS community,
As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in our state, and around the country, SWS continues to thoughtfully monitor the CDC and WHO recommendations along with the decisions of local school districts and health officials. One of the most difficult aspects of this situation is the uncertainty: Whether to remain open or to close, how COVID-19 is transmitted, how to contain the spread of the disease, and when we will reach the other side of what feels like a rapidly widening chasm.
So that we are as prepared as can be to sustain ourselves through a potential long term closure, we will be closing school on Monday through Wednesday of next week. During this time, we will be preparing our school closure plan, should it be needed- to include professional development for our staff on remote learning tools. We’ve asked our teachers to prepare one week of lesson packets to jump start a remote learning scenario.
To assist us in building our remote learning plans, please let us know if you do not have access to a laptop, tablet, smart phone or wi-fi in your home.
Also, a REQUEST: If you have a device you could loan or donate to those without, please let us know.
We know how unsettling this must feel to the children. We are committed to developing communication/ language to guide them through this time.
Strong, open and regular communication will help us meet this challenge with courage and grace. We must work together and support each other in this unprecedented time. We do not have all the answers, but in our hearts, we believe in the capacity of our community to persevere, one day at a time.
Some notable updates:
* Parent Teacher conferences will be held as scheduled today, Friday March 13th.
* The All School Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday March 18, is canceled.
* We are carefully considering whether we should postpone or cancel other large gatherings at our school- namely the Spring Concert and Grandparents & Loved Ones Day.
A list of frequently asked questions will soon be available for your reference.
Blessings on our school and our greater community.
With deep appreciation,
SWS COVID-19 Task Force

COVID 19 UPDATE 3-12-20

Dear SWS Community,
In an effort to keep you informed of our plans and decisions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, and its impact on our school, we will be providing you with updates in the coming days. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read these communications and for bringing your questions or concerns directly to us.
We have developed a COVID-19 task force to review new information and provide guidance as we move forward. This group is composed of our administrative team (Erin Darby, Michelle Wann and Deborah Duke) a board member (Maria Dickson) and a faculty member (Melissa McIntyre). Communications will go out semi-weekly, on Mondays and Fridays.
We acknowledge there is a great deal of information available to everyone from many sources. The data and facts are changing rapidly. We are presently in conversation with our colleagues at AWSNA, our sister school in Philadelphia and with our local Donegal School District about solutions and options for managing in this crisis.
We continue to closely monitor information and protocols that could warrant a closure to ensure the health of the SWS community and beyond. We do encourage and fully support families, faculty, and staff to make decisions that reflect their own health needs and personal comfort.
The strong collaborative partnership between all members of our faculty and staff holds our community in good stead in these challenging circumstances. We are in daily communication and are continually evaluating the shifting landscape. The health of our students, faculty, staff, and families is at the forefront of every decision. We are grateful for your support and confidence, and we will keep you apprised as we move forward. Most importantly we are relying on one another to communicate with each other and in our decision making, to err on the side of prudence.
Warmly,
SWS COVID-19 task force