Our COVID-19 Pandemic History
After the COVID-19 Pandemic, we all have a greater understanding of the meaning of the word “unprecedented”. As individuals, as a school, as a country, and as a world, we traversed a time of great change, unable to anticipate the outcome. Despite the myriad possible reactions in this fearful time, consideration, patience, and generosity were taken up in our community as we entrusted our Covid-19 Task Force, College of Teachers, and Board to do the hard work to create the healthiest school possible within the boundaries of governmental, social, and personal requirements.
While being ever vigilant of physical health and safety, our community rallied to make sure the emotional and social wellbeing of our students was equally considered and valued. The pandemic confirmed that most students learn best in person, led by a teacher and engaging with classmates. Supported with technology, our community wove together a responsive plan to accommodate as many health needs as possible, provide as much in-person engagement as we could, and keep students moving forward in their learning even when fully-remote education was required.
Due to the financial pressures caused by business disruption and job loss during the pandemic, many families struggled with tuition. Our school worked diligently to find a 57% increase in tuition assistance that helped many students stay enrolled and part of our community. We were also lucky to welcome several new families who share our belief that students learn best in an in-person environment.
To help support the many changes needed, our faculty and staff voluntarily took less pay and donated more of their time to adapt to on-line class experiences. Our Board Executive Group, College Chair, Coordinators, and Community Members with applicable knowledge and experience were part of a COVID Task Force that met weekly to assess and adjust our safety plans. Everyone in our community stepped up to implement our COVID plan to keep our students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible. Additionally, school parents, grandparents, and alums donated an unprecedented amount to the COVID Response and Annual Funds, and several alums taught and assisted in classrooms when we needed additional help. Our students did not give up and learned how to experience education and build community in a whole new way!
As we slowly returned to a more normal experience of school and life, we held in our hearts a great many people: Friends and family who we lost; community members who went above and beyond to support the school; families who chose to continue their child’s education at our school even as financial difficulties increased; and our beloved faculty and staff, whose belief in the Waldorf pedagogy and commitment to their students and the work of our school helped Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor survive the years of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Pandemic was a frightening, distressing and often sad time in our collective history, but we are proud of how our school managed and we look forward with anticipation to the continuation of our vibrant, engaging, and welcoming school in the Ann Arbor community.
COVID-19 Statement of Impact
Although the pandemic had an immediate and lasting effect on our school, our community came together in unprecedented ways to ensure that the impact was felt as little as possible by our students. Our highest priority during this time was to bring the school back to “normal” operations and activities as soon as safely possible and make sure that the continuity of education – academic, social, and emotional - continued for our PreK-12 families.
The table below gives examples of school events and how the school offered them over the years of the pandemic.