2020-2021 School Year COVID-19 Policy
Wise Earth Forest School
Covid-19 Protocols – Aug 22nd, 2020
It is our intent to create an environment for children where everyone is physically and emotionally healthy and safe.
Being outdoors with community is an excellent way to learn, socialize and know that everyone is safe. We have been purposeful in creating a small group learning experience, and a low staff to student ratio to create a small cohort. This could allow us to be in groups as small as 6 when needed.
As the Covid-19 situation changes, we will keep parents informed of school policy changes and new recommendations.
If you or those close to you are at higher risk for severe illness with Covid-19, please consider carefully if this school is for you.
We are a microcosm of our greater world. We are a small group of caring citizens and parents, representative of the larger population. In our experience, school communities are made up of people of all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, spirituality or religions, genders, sexual orientation, thoughts, and beliefs.
We are a community ~ a group of parents who embrace similar values of education for our children and experiencing something that is unprecedented. As such, we hope and trust that in choosing our school, you will consider the entire community, with its varying degrees of comfort when making choices for our health outside of school hours.
Our registration commitment to our students is 100%. Currently we have an indoor class portion of the day that is approximately 1.5 hours. If need be, we can transition to 100% outdoor learning.
In the case of government measures that require us to stop meeting in person after the program start date, we will offer a minimum of 50% prorated refund per day missed, based on the cost of individual program days.
In place of in-person programming, we will provide a mix of on-line meetups, lessons and individual assignments so that we can keep support you at home, and keep the momentum and our connection going
If a school-year program is cancelled by Wise Earth Forest School before the start date, full refunds will be offered and deposits refunded, minus transaction fees.
Children and instructors will not come to program if showing any signs or symptoms
Parents are required to screen their children at home each day before program (check temperature if feverish and symptoms of cough or breathing difficulties). I am available to speak to families in the morning to assess symptoms on a case by case basis.
Children exhibiting symptoms during program will be care for from the group and a staff will request parent to pick up immediately
Policies for Staff Safety
● Any Staff members who have had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days must self-isolate at home; symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and new muscle aches or headache. If a doctor or nurse practitioner confirms and writes a note that it is NOT Covid, staff may return to work before the 10 day period, when feeling better.
● Anyone under the direction of the provincial health officer must self-isolate according to those instructions.
● If a staff member starts to feel ill while at school, he or she should immediately notify the administration. Arrangements will be made for the person to travel home safely and for an alternate person to assume the staff person’s duties.
Sanitation will be maintained
Kids will wash hands with soap and water upon arrival, before eating, when they return from outside and any other time a staff member feels it is appropriate.
Staff will carry hand sanitizer, and children can also bring hand sanitizer and keep it accessible during outside time. There will be hand sanitizer available in the classroom.
Staff will carry gloves in first aid kit, and wear them when appropriate.
Children will eat their own food and drink, and use their own tools, clothing, gear or supplies while at school.
All hard equipment will be disinfected by school staff following Health Canada’s cleaning guidelines and recommended products between each use.
Door handles, taps, toilet seats, flush levers will be sanitized daily.
Staff will remind kids to limit touching their faces, use tissue when needed, and properly dispose of used tissue or paper towels
The Provincial Health Authority states, “Wearing cloth or homemade mask, particularly children, is not recommended. There is limited evidence outside of health care settings and only in uncontrolled situations where physical distancing between adults cannot be maintained for extended periods of time (greater than 15 minutes with a person who has probable or lab confirmed COVID-19). Wearing one is a personal choice,” and “Managing students with complex behaviours, on a delegated care plan or experiencing a health emergency may require staff to be in close physical proximity with the student. No additional personal protective equipment beyond normal universal precautions are required.”
Physically distanced desks
Desks and cubbies have been spaced at 6 feet, though we will also have times when we are in circle and working in proximity. We understand that there may be instances when the 2m distance is not possible as students and staff get used to the new spaces and ways of interacting, and will respond with care and gentle reminders. Everyone will be asked to do their best.
We will greet children in the morning, and verbally check in to ensure they are feeling well and be asked to go wash their hands, if the washing station is clear.
Parents will be asked to drop off kids and practice physical distancing when communicating with other parents in the morning or afternoon pickup.
Personal School Supplies
Pencil boxes, and books will be kept in children’s indoor cubbies, and each child will have their own desk when working indoors. As much as possible, materials will not be shared and each student will have their own supplies.
Communication plans and training
Teachers and teaching assistants will be trained in the physical distancing and cleaning measures that are in place before beginning work at EWEFS.
There will be occupancy limits for indoor spaces if necessary.
Effective handwashing procedures are posted at all handwashing stations.
Administrators, teachers, and teaching assistants will work together to ensure policies and procedures are being followed.
Monitoring and updating plans as needed
● If a new area of concern arises, or a current policy does not seem to be working, administrators will work with staff to update policies and procedures.
● Any staff member or parent can raise safety concerns with the school administration who will work with staff to resolve any identified safety issues.