The New York State Department of Health has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline (please call 1-888-364-3065) for the public to call with inquiries about COVID-19.
Given that the situation is rapidly evolving, we encourage you to visit the sites listed below for the most detailed and up-to-date information on COVID-19. We will update this page periodically with relevant information as it relates to Rudolf Steiner School.
Letters from Leadership Council
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated March 20, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated March 19, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated March 15, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated March 12, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated March 10, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated March 9, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated February 28, 2020
- Message to Steiner Parents, dated January 29, 2020
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- New York City Department of Health information on Coronavirus
- New York State Department of Health information on Coronavirus
- World Health Organization
- 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
- Coronavirus vs. Flu vs. Cold Chart
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I keep my child home from school?
Do not send your child to school if you suspect that your child may be ill, and has exhibited any of the following signs or symptoms:
- An elevated temperature of 100 degrees or more during the last 24 hours
- Vomiting within the last 24 hours
- Repeated episodes of diarrhea within the last 24 hours
- Chills, loss of appetite, unusual fatigue, and/or lingering headache
- A significant amount of nasal discharge, particularly if the discharge is yellow or greenish in color
- A persistent cough
- A significant sore throat
- An earache
If your child has a serious communicable disease, we ask that you please notify the school promptly so we can comply with any reporting requirements.
What happens if my child feels sick while at school?
If a student comes to school sick (including coughing, sneezing, or short of breath), or becomes ill during the course of the day, you will be contacted to pick your child up immediately.
What can families, students, and school personnel do to keep from getting sick and spreading COVID-19?
The CDC recommends the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- 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. Practice this protocol at home so that your child will be ready to maintain it at school.
- 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.
- Stay home when you are sick (and do not return to school until you are fever-free for 72 hours without medication). We ask you to strictly adhere to this policy
- 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 can a parent do to prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19?
The situation is rapidly evolving so we encourage you to stay updated with the latest information and recommendations posted by the Health Organizations listed in the links provided above.
Is Rudolf Steiner School closing?
Our buildings will be closed until Sunday, April 19th. Rudolf Steiner School (RSS) launched its “beyond the classroom” distance learning model on March 30th.
How will the decision to close the school be made?
The health and safety of our community is our top priority. While RSS monitors other school closings including the NYC Public School District and other independent schools, RSS makes decisions independently based on the school’s unique needs and situation as well as guidance from external agencies.
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in our community, the school will work closely with the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and health professionals to determine the best course of action, following all public health protocols.
Under what circumstances will the school close?
If a case of COVID-19 is identified in the RSS community, we will follow local and/or state health authorities’ recommendations or orders to close. We may close, however, out of caution and in consideration of the school’s unique needs and situation, even if health officials do not deem it necessary.
What can a parent do to prepare for a school closure?
A few things parents may begin to think about include:
- Plan alternative childcare arrangements for children in case school is dismissed early and/or closed.
- Talk to friends, neighbors, and other parents in school about sharing childcare duties if your children are well, but school is closed.
- Talk to your employer about working from home or shifting schedules in the event of a school closure.
What would happen with school events and class trips?
We will make decisions about holding or canceling events with caution and based on updated information and recommendations from the CDC, the New York State Department of Health, and the New York City Department of Health. We will communicate any cancellations as promptly as possible – through our Calendar of Events communication – in order for community members to make any necessary arrangements. With respect to upcoming class trips – including the Grade 3, Grade 5, and Grade 10 Hawthorne Valley Farm trips and the Grade 5 Pentathlon scheduled for the month of May, the Grade 11 trip to Kimberton Hills, also scheduled for May, and the Grade 12 Senior Trip to Costa Rica, scheduled for the month of June – we will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision whether to cancel or not closer to the date of the trip.
How will my child’s education continue in the event of an extended school closure?
Faculty are preparing lessons, assignments, activities, and resources that will allow our educational program to continue as much as possible in the event of an extended school closure.
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.
- Additional cleaning of common surfaces by faculty and staff is happening at regular intervals throughout the school day.
- The evening cleaning crew has implemented a disinfectant protocol in addition to the regular cleaning.
- All faculty and staff are required to maintain appropriate hand washing and sanitizing protocols upon entering the building and throughout the day.
What are the restrictions on travel at this time?
In the most current travel guidance, the CDC recommended that travelers (a) avoid all non-essential travel to the countries identified with a Warning-Level 3, (b) practice enhanced precautions with respect to countries labeled with a Level 2 Warning, and (c) practice usual precautions for countries with a Level 1 Warning. Please refer to the list below:
- China — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated March 27;
- Hong Kong — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated March 27;
- Iran — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated March 27;
- Italy — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated March 27;
- Japan — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated March 27;
- South Korea — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated March 27.
We recommend that anyone returning from geographic regions where sustained community transmission has been identified (China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan), should self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days before they return to work or school, so as to limit any possible transmission of the virus.
Maintaining an inclusive environment
Rudolf Steiner School is committed to maintaining an environment of respect and freedom from discrimination and to supporting all members of our community affected by this global health threat. Bias, discrimination, and harrassment are inimical to our values and violate Steiner policies. For more information, please go to Steiner’s Parent Handbook.
We continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated as things change.