Walden COVID-19 Update: Fall 2021 Opening and Prevention Plan

August 26, 2021

Walden’s COVID-19 Safety Plan includes:

Additional Resources:


August 24, 2021

Dear Walden Community,

Attached is our completed Fall 2021 COVID Opening Plan. Please review it thoroughly and send any questions or concerns to Cristin Costello.

Save the date for our Community Town Hall Wednesday,  September 1 @ 7pm where we will review our Fall 2021 Opening Plan and give you an opportunity to ask questions.

A major change for this year is that parents will screen children at home DAILY using this symptoms and exposure screening list. You do not need to report it to the school unless you answer yes to any of the questions. If your child is symptom free and has not been exposed to COVID-19, you do not need to report anything to the school. 

Absences Form: This is the form you would use to report absences due to illness of any kind. Teachers will be taking attendance so it is very important that you let us know asap if your child will be absent and why.

Screening Form for Adults: Any adults, including staff, who have a work commitment on campus, must screen before coming onto campus, using the form below. If you have not screened, you will not be allowed on campus.

This year the COVID-19 management at Walden will be guided by a committee with Kalyani McCullough on board as our new COVID-19 liaison, Administrative Coordinator, Claudine Swickard, and Middle Group teacher, Cristin Costello.

Kalyani McCollough, a Walden parent, has a medical background as an MD and currently works for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)’s COVID response, specifically on the COVID-19 Clinical Team. Kalyani has already been a big help and guiding light in disseminating state, county, and city guidance as we plan our school’s reopening. We are very glad to welcome Kalyani McCollough on board as our new COVID-19 liaison. 

Claudine Swickard, Walden Administrative Coordinator, will be handling screenings, cleanings, and absences, and coordinating testing as well as contact tracing.

Cristin Costello, Middle Group teacher, will regularly be sending out notes and information to keep the community updated on changes in guidelines and protocols.

Some questions/concerns shared after the last COVID Update:

  • Will students eat lunch/snacks outside, rather than inside? 

Yes, classes will eat outside whenever possible. Canopies will be utilized so, even in wet weather, some students can still eat outside, while some students might eat inside but will have the full 6 ft physical distance while they are eating. 

  • What does it mean that indoor classes will have larger cohorts?  Does that mean LMG and LG are together at the same time, in the same room?

It means that they could be together for some activities, either inside (¼-½ group) or outside (½ group) for activities such as a game on the big field or garden class. The 2 MG homerooms can also have activities together and the entire UG can have activities among the 3 grade levels. 

  • Can you elaborate on the routine on-site Covid testing for students? Will it be weekly, daily, etc? 

Right now we are planning on 25% of the school getting Rapid tested each week using a nasal swab. That works out to monthly per student.

  • Will EDC be able to have drop in like usual or will it be something you have to sign up for in advance?

EDC will have drop-in availability. Please note: because EDC is a separate entity from the school day, if a child is on modified quarantine, they are not eligible to attend EDC, even if they are still attending the regular school day.

  • Between wildfire smoke and COVID, I’m guessing you’ll be using air filters in the classrooms? 

Each classroom has at least one Alen Hepa filter air purifier, each equipped with a brand new filter. 

  • What are the Distance Learning options if parents choose not to send their child to school? 

If a family chooses not to send their child to school, they should contact their child’s teachers to ask what distance learning accommodations might be possible. It will look different for each age group.

If distance learning is triggered due to quarantining, your child’s teachers will coordinate lessons, materials and zoom check-ins throughout the duration of the quarantine. 

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all soon!

Kalyani, Claudine, Cristin
on behalf of the Walden Collective

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