Columbia County school opens early for in-person learning


GHENT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School are opening their gates instead of their doors after transforming their grounds for in-person learning. The K-12 school has equipped yurts, tents and even greenhouses to function as classrooms so students can return safely.

Safety has come first and foremost in the school’s reopening plans. Through a combination of daily electronic self-assessment forms, temperature checks, mask wearing, physical distancing, hand washing, and enhanced cleaning of facilities, they hope to have an uninterrupted school year.

After surveying our parent community, and our staff, we knew it was essential that outdoor classroom spaces be made available.

We have been focused on creating a plan that allows for in-person learning in a way that is as safe and healthy as possible with a pandemic still in progress. We are fortunate to have a campus that includes a 900-acre farm so space is a commodity that’s certainly available to us.”

Karin Almquist
HVS School Director

Outdoor learning is not new for HVS as students normally spend at least a portion of their day in the fields, forests, and farmscape that comprise the Hawthorne Valley Association campus.

Connection to the natural world has always been an essential aspect of the HVS curriculum, and is a core philosophy of Waldorf education.

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