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We'll get through this together.

Mountain Sage Community School is committed to maintaining a safe, loving environment for our students, teachers, staff, volunteers, and their families. As such, we ask that you visit this page regularly, and take care of you and yours.

Mountain Sage is staying up to date on Poudre School District's guidelines, monitoring updates related to COVID-19, and will provide additional information as it becomes available. This webpage will be updated as new information is made available, please check back regularly. The MSCS community will be notified of any major events.

Fast Facts for the 2021-2022 School Year

Updated 1/3/2022

  • Masks remain required for all adults and children inside the school building. Masks are not required outside.
  • Any student or staff member who displays symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home immediately. Please see the Addressing Symptoms at School graphic. Please do NOT come to school if any signs or symptoms of illness are present.
  • Families will need to notify our Health Team immediately if any member of your household tests positive or if you choose to keep your child home for an extended period of time without testing:  healthoffice@mountainsage.org or 970-568-5456.
  • Families must have a "Plan B" in place for when a child needs to leave school early. Make sure your contact information and pick-up permissions are up to date. Please contact Kirsten Hundley to make changes.
  • Mountain Sage will be following the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s updated Return to Learn guidance.
  • If a COVID-positive case occurs, Mountain Sage will work with the Larimer County Health Department  to determine the appropriate response.  
  • Vaccinations are not required, but highly encouraged, for those who are eligible.

If You Have Symptoms or Test Positive

Students and staff must stay home if there are any signs or symptoms of illness, no matter how small, including congestion, a runny nose (even slight), and/or scratchy throat. If you have any signs or symptoms, contact the Health Office right away: 970-568-5456 or healthoffice@mountainsage.org. We follow the Return to Learn guidance in the graphic below.

If You Are a Close Contact

close contact is defined by the CDPHE as "a person who was close enough to a person with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 to be at risk of becoming ill," and has been "within six feet for 15 minutes or more of an infected individual if either the infected individual or the contact were unmasked during the exposure."

Students and staff who are considered close contacts must:

  1. Notify the Health Office as soon as possible: healthoffice@mountainsage.org or 970-568-5456.
  2. Quarantine.
    • If you remain symptom-free for the entire 5 days, you may return to school on the 6th day if you are still symptom-free. If you are fully immunized, contact the Health Office to see if you may be exempt from quarantine.
    • If you have symptoms but they resolve within 24 hours or are improving and you are fully vaccinated, you may return to school with proof of a negative PCR test. Rapid and at-home tests are not considered valid for this purpose.
    • If you have symptoms that are worsening and last for more than 24 hours or test positive, you will need to quarantine for at least 5 days and up to 10 days.

COVID-19 FAQ

Are masks really required?

Yes. For the time being, our school will require masks while indoors for all staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will not need to be worn outdoors, and children will be allowed to mix while outside for recess and during other outdoor activities. We want to keep kids safe and in school to provide a dynamic learning environment for students and minimize quarantines. We are monitoring and using data and public health guidance to be responsive (PSD-specific, Larimer County, state and national data). Decisions about masks will be re-evaluated as health conditions improve and county vaccination rates increase.

Do I have to wear a certain type of mask (i.e. KN95 or otherwise)?

You do not need a medical grade mask, however masks must be:

  • Be clean and in good repair.
  • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Be secure.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric (not mesh, lace, etc)
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Be on the wearer's face.

Masks should not:

  • Have anything hanging off the facial covering that would create a food safety hazard.
  • Have holes or tears.
  • Masks should not be shared with others.
  • Have only one layer of fabric.
  • Be made of a mesh material or lace; fabric should not have holes.

Will MSCS provide masks if my student forgets to bring theirs to school?

Yes. We have a limited supply of masks for students who may need one, however it is important that each child come to school with their own mask. 

What protocols are you taking besides mask-wearing?

  • Hand washing and frequent cleaning practices will continue.
  • Handwashing is preferred over hand sanitizer.
  • Hand hygiene will happen upon arrival, after using the bathroom, before eating, after recess or completing activities that involved shared materials.
  • Students may bring their own unscented hand lotion from home.
  • We will use a designated Under the Weather Room to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms.
  • Hand-sanitizer, touchless water bottle-filling stations, and touchless soap dispensers have been installed. Water fountains were approved for use again by the health department in summer 2021.
  • All employees are trained on health and safety protocols.
  • Where possible, three feet of distance between students and desks will be followed.
  • Seating charts will be maintained for all classrooms and small groups. 
  • Mixing classes during outside recess is acceptable.
  • Frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas.
  • Disinfect in classrooms with known positives and in high-traffic areas such as bathrooms.
  • All classrooms have HEPA filters. Fans can be placed to allow fresh air in, or if the air quality index is high, turned to pull classroom air out.

What does it look like if a child in my student’s class starts experiencing symptoms? 

Students who don't feel well will go to the Health Office to visit with staff. If it is determined that their symptoms meet the CDPHE Return to Learn guidance for going home, the parent will be contacted to pick up the child from school. Health Office staff will consult with the parent to determine when a student can return based on Return to Learn guidance.   

Flowsheet for Addressing Symptoms at School 

Will Mountain Sage engage in hybrid learning if necessary?

No. School will be in-person with full classes. There will not be hybrid classes or a separate virtual option. Individual classrooms may experience remote learning under certain circumstances.

What are Pre-Outbreak and Outbreak statuses?

Pre-Outbreak Status: If 2 or more students in any class are identified as a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 within 14 days of each other.

Outbreak Status: If 5 or more students in any class are identified as a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 within 14 days of each other.

See the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment's School Guidance document for more information.

What happens when there are multiple cases of COVID-19 in my child's class or in the school?  

When outbreaks occur, we will work with the LCDHE to determine the appropriate response. This could include additional distancing, contact tracing, and quarantining.

What does this mean for volunteers and visitors?

All volunteers and visitors must wear a mask when inside the building. We ask you complete a symptoms check before arriving and reschedule if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.

What does it mean to self-monitor? 

Student symptoms and temperature checks are the responsibility of parents and should be done prior to students  entering school. Staff members are also expected to complete symptom and temperature check before coming to work.

Anyone experiencing symptoms (runny nose, new or worsening cough, fever, etc.) should stay home. Mountain Sage will strictly follow CDPHE’s updated Return to Learn guidance. 

Can students and staff go to school if they do not feel well?

No. Staff and students must stay home if they have any symptoms. Parents should call the 970-568-5456 to report the absence and email our Health Team to consult about their return based on the CDPHE updated Return to Learn guidance. 

Where can I get a COVID test for me or my family?

These sites offer PCR or molecular tests, which is what we need to confirm your results. If you choose to get a test elsewhere, please make sure it is either PCR or molecular.

Where can I get a vaccination?

Please visit the PSD COVID Vaccination web page or the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment website

Pertinent Websites

Please refer to these websites for county, state, and federal information.

​​Larimer County Department of Health and Environment

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

School Announcements

Any school announcement pertaining specifically to our COVID-19 response, including movement between phases and school closures, is listed below. For access to every all-school email from Mountain Sage, download the SchoolMessenger app. For access to editions of The Beat, the school newsletter, click here.

January 6th, 2022

Hello Mountain Sage families,

We hope you are staying warm and safe during these cold and snowy days of winter. Now that we have returned from Winter Break, we are learning just how many families of students and staff have been affected by COVID-19. With this in mind, we are sharing information about extended absences and other potential school actions related to COVID.

First and foremost, we remain committed to avoiding whole-school remote learning and will not be engaging in hybrid learning. There may be class-specific instances where students will need to engage in remote learning for a period of time, however we are working diligently to avoid this scenario. Your continued participation in keeping children home if they show any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and timely communication with our Health Team are of paramount importance. 

Extended student absences are on the rise due to COVID-19. If your child will have an extended absence due to COVID, here’s what you can expect for make up work/assignments:

  • K-2nd students are unlikely to be given any make up work/assignments. We ask that parents focus on supporting literacy skills by reading with their child and/or encouraging their child to read alone, as well as spending time practicing numeracy/math skills as appropriate.

We encourage screen-free time to draw, create, play games, and uphold age appropriate home responsibilities.

  • 3rd-5th grade students may be given assignments/make up work via email from the class teacher related to core content (English language arts and math).
  • 6th-8th grade students will be expected to check the To Do List in Google Classroom and complete work related to core content (English language arts and math).

In the unlikely event that staff absences create a situation where we are unable to safely and effectively operate a particular homeroom class, the class group may be sent home. We will notify families by phone, text, and email if that is the case. If you have not already, please text YES to 67587 to receive text messages from Mountain Sage Community School. 

Thank you, Mountain Sage community, for having done such a wonderful job of keeping each other safe and protected to the best of our abilities. Let’s continue to do this, holding each other with respect and care as we head into the winter months. While we are doing everything in our power to maintain in-person operations, as this is best for children and families, we do want to be honest with you that the current spike in COVID cases presents new/renewed challenges. With a limited substitute teacher pool, we are doing our very best.  If you or anyone you know may be interested  in joining the Mountain Sage substitute pool, please contact Nancy Sexton at nsexton@mountainsage.org.

Any questions or concerns related to COVID-19 should be directed to our Health Office team by emailing healthoffice@mountainsage.org or calling 970-568-5456. As you might imagine, our health team is working as quickly as possible and responding to many requests. They will get back to each person as soon as they are able. Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding, communication, and support.

Questions unrelated to COVID can be sent to connect@mountainsage.org.

January 3rd, 2022

Hello Mountain Sage families,

Welcome back from Winter Break! We hope you and your family were able to spend the past two weeks exactly as you needed. The days are getting longer and while winter has many more weeks to share, the extra bit of light each day helps.

With school starting tomorrow and COVID-19 cases on the rise, we have updated our COVID guidance on the COVID-19 page of our website. As always, any student or staff member experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness, no matter how small, should remain home and contact our Health Office right away by calling 970-568-5456 or emailing healthoffice@mountainsage.org. Please do NOT come to school with congestion, runny nose (even slight), a headache, scratchy throat, etc. Any person in attendance at school with signs or symptoms will be sent home.

Highlighted changes to the protocol include:

  • What to do if you have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19
  • What to do if you are a close contact to a COVID-positive person

Please read the page in its entirety here.

Any questions or concerns related to COVID-19 should be directed to our Health Office team by emailing healthoffice@mountainsage.org or calling 970-568-5456. As you might imagine, our health team is working as quickly as possible and responding to many requests. They will get back to each person as soon as they are able. Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding, communication, and support.

Questions unrelated to COVID can be sent to connect@mountainsage.org.

See you at school!

September 10th, 2021

Hello Mountain Sage community,

We are writing to let you know of the following message from the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment:

​​Date of Notification: 9/9/21
Date Classroom/Activity was determined to be a pre-outbreak: 9/7/21

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) has been notified that two classrooms in Mountain Sage Community School (1st Grade Randazzo’s Class, 5th Grade Addington’s Class), are in pre-outbreak status. Pre-outbreak status is defined as 2-4 children in a single classroom that were identified as a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 within 14 days of each other.

The County’s recommendations for our school at this time are actions already being taken: wearing masks, following and providing seating charts, symptoms monitoring, and more. Thanks to the diligence of our school community, no additional actions need to be taken at this time. 

As we move forward into this year, we may see classes that move into Outbreak status, which is defined as 5 or more students in any class that are identified as a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 within 14 days of each other. Outbreak status does not mean an automatic quarantine or move to remote learning for that class. In the event of an outbreak status, more specifics will be given at that time after consultation with the LCDHE.

Here are some additional things you can look for throughout this year:

  • An email titled COVID-19 Case Assessment will be sent to any class with a probable or positive COVID case in that class.
  • Timely school-wide communication will be sent in the event of a Pre-Outbreak or Outbreak status.
  • All COVID-related announcements (including this email) and current information will be kept on the COVID-19 page of our website.

We ask that every family continue to:

  • Call 970-568-5456 to report an absence.
  • Make sure any required COVID test is either molecular or PCR and that your test results are shared with our Health Office in a timely manner.
  • Communicate frequently with the school Health Office, your class teacher, and administration.

If you have questions or concerns, please email connect@mountainsage.org or call us at 970-568-5456.

Thank you for working together and with us to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment at Mountain Sage.

​​​​​​​August 4th, 2021

Dear Mountain Sage Families,

With the start of the 2021 school year just around the corner, we are looking forward to reconnecting with all of you and once again bringing the beauty of in-person Waldorf-inspired education to full classes of children every school day.

As mentioned in last week’s school newsletter, The Beat, we will be continuing COVID prevention and response best practices such as handwashing, increased ventilation with air purifiers, open windows, and fans, utilizing outdoor learning spaces, and ensuring enhanced cleaning protocols. We will no longer do symptom checks and temperature checks at drop-off. Instead, families will be expected to self-screen prior to coming to school each day. Mountain Sage will also be following the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s updated Return to Learn guidance. If a COVID-positive case occurs, Mountain Sage will work with the Larimer County Health Department to determine the appropriate response. This could include contact tracing and quarantining.

We know many of you have been waiting for our decision about mask wearing for this school year. Earlier this evening, Poudre School District (PSD) announced its mask protocols for fall 2021: PSD will require masks in PSD buildings for all staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Mountain Sage Community School will align with this decision. Beginning tomorrow, August 5th, our school will require masks while indoors for all staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will not need to be worn outdoors, and children will be allowed to mix freely while outside for recess and during other outdoor activities. This indoor/outdoor approach is straightforward and will be easy for students to remember.

As we move into the new school year, please contact us with any questions you may have. We are here to help and are committed to bringing our best selves to our unique and beautiful school community each day. Although we may continue to experience the fluctuations and challenges of the pandemic, I am confident that this will be a joy filled year at Mountain Sage where students will be nurtured with love and positivity as they travel their educational path.

Thank you,

Liv

Liv Helmericks, School Director

Mountain Sage Community School