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
- As of August 5th, masks are required for all adults and children inside the school building. Masks are not required outside.
- Any child who displays symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home. Please see the Addressing Symptoms at School graphic.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
- School will be in-person with full classes. There will not be hybrid classes or a virtual option.
- 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. This could include contact tracing and quarantining.
- Vaccinations are not required, but highly encouraged, for those who are eligible.
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.
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.
- Larimer County testing sites
- 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80521
- Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-11am
- Youth Clinic
- 970) 267-9510
- 1214 Oak Park Dr. Fort Collins, CO 80525
- UCHealth Harmony Laboratory
- 4630 Snow Mesa Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80528
- Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado
- (970) 494-2626
- 4845 Weitzel Street Suite 101, Timnath, CO 80547
Where can I get a vaccination?
Please visit the PSD COVID Vaccination web page or the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment website
Please refer to these websites for county, state, and federal information.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Liv Helmericks, School Director
Mountain Sage Community School