The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is extremely important to us at the Waldorf School of Bend. We have numerous policies and protocols in place to keep our community safe from harm, including:
Access to our campus is restricted to students, staff, parents, and approved visitors; our campus is not open to the public. External doors remain locked at all times during the regular school day, except during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, when a staff member is present to supervise. Our windows do not open and cannot provide access to outside parties. Our backyard play area is fully fenced and locked at all times except when staff are entering or exiting it with their classes. To access our campus, visitors must buzz our front office staff via intercom buzzer outside the front door.
Our school works closely with local emergency departments, such as the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office and the Bend Fire Department, to ensure the safety and well being of our community. Our local fire marshal inspects our campus on a yearly basis to ensure we are in compliance (for example, that all of our fire extinguishers are up to code, that our fire alarm system works, etc.) We will often host guest speakers from these departments who will come speak to our students about fire safety, stranger danger, etc. We take any communication and directives from local emergency departments very seriously and always follow the orders of police, fire, or other emergency officers.
Every year, we conduct periodic safety drills to prepare for a variety of emergency situations. Our students are explicitly taught what to do in the event of a fire, earthquake, or lockdown event so that they can act with confidence if a real emergency were to occur. For fire and earthquake drills, our faculty practice how to lead their students in quickly exiting the building, while for shelter in place drills, we practice turning off the lights, closing and locking all doors and windows, and remaining completely silent. We also keep emergency supplies on hand on campus in the event of a prolonged incident that would require students to remain at school past regular school day hours.
Our school utilizes a comprehensive emergency text alert system through EZ-Text, which can be used to quickly notify all registered parents and staff in the event of an inclement weather event or other time-sensitive emergency situation. We know that in the event of a real emergency that parents will be extremely anxious to access their children, so we prepare ahead of time by ensuring our emergency text alert database is up to date. We will always endeavor to keep parents apprised as quickly as possible following any potential emergency incident at school.
Every staff member at our school is required to complete basic first aid certification and CPR training for both adults and children. Should a medical emergency among a student or staff member arise, our faculty has the training to administer basic first aid while awaiting the arrival of paramedics. We are also very conscientious about our student’s medical needs, such as potentially severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, etc., and we work with every family to ensure that doctor-prescribed medications, inhalers, etc., are available at school and can be safely administered in the event of a medical emergency.
Our Family Handbook explicitly states our communicable disease policy, which restricts access to our campus for a variety of communicable disease symptoms, including symptoms associated with Covid-19. We maintain records of student vaccination reports per Oregon Department of Education regulations, and we work closely with our local public health department at Deschutes County to identify and isolate any possible cases of communicable diseases within our school community.
As an Emergency Childcare Facility, we remain open to on-site childcare and schooling during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic by implementing a variety of additional health and safety measures to keep our students, staff, and families safe.
We employ the following procedures:
- entrance screenings in the morning (including visual symptoms checks and temperature checks)
- supervised isolation of potentially ill or symptomatic individuals
- mandatory wearing of appropriate face coverings for all faculty, staff, and students age 5 and up in kindergarten or older grades
- repeated hand washing upon arriving at school, before and after eating, and periodically throughout the day
- closure of our communal staff break room
- explicit, age-appropriate instruction for students in proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette
- cohorting of separated classroom groups; staggered arrival and departure times for cohort groups of different ages
- physical distancing that guarantees a minimum of 35 sq ft per person per learning space
- reduction of shared supplies
- extensive cleaning schedules for all high-touch contact surfaces (such as doorknobs, keyboards, bathrooms, etc.) and use of ozone air-cleaning machines
- ample outdoor time for students and staff
- regular maintenance of our HVAC indoor air filtratration systems; prohibition of extraneous or unnecessary visitors to campus
- regular communication with local public health authorities
- regular staff training related to updated health and safety protocols
- periodic review of all health and safety protocols to ensure we are following the latest guidance issued by our public health authorities