Common questions about the JRCS Return to Learn Plan and school for the 2020-2021 school year
Last Updated: August 4, 4:56 PM; Please continue to check back for updates.  
2021/2022 Update to JRCS RETURN TO LEARN PLAN

Updated Return to Learn Plan 2021/2022

Dear JRCS Families,

I hope everyone is off enjoying some summer fun, rest, and relaxation.  While our staff is off to training and then taking time to rejuvenate, we are continuing to plan for the 2021/2022 school year.  We know it is going to be a great year!

As we look ahead to the next school, we wanted to communicate what next year will look like as we begin to come out of this pandemic.  At this time, there are still many unknowns about face coverings, quarantines, and vaccinations.  District 51 is working behind the scenes with Mesa County Health Department to develop a plan which best meets the needs of staff and students, keeping everyone as safe as possible. We should know that plan by mid to late July.

As Juniper Ridge looks ahead we have decided at this time we will not be offering a connect/remote option for the 2021/2022 school year and Fridays will be an in-person direct learning day from 8:00 -12:15.   We feel that in order to deliver a true Waldorf-inspired curriculum, children need to be at school in person for their learning.  In the event that students or classes have to continue with the quarantining policies next year, we will develop a plan to ensure that students continue to be educated while quarantined.

Please look for future updates as we get more information.  We are excited to welcome all of our students back on campus for another wonderful year of learning together.

JRCS DIRECT (In-Person/Blended Learning)
I would like my child to attend JRCS Direct (In-Person/Blended Learning). What do I do next? All students will automatically be enrolled in JRCS

What if I start out with JRCS Direct but change my mind?
Since all students will already be set up for online learning for remote Fridays, they will be able to switch to JRCS Connect (online only) at any time by contacting the office. However, if families choose to switch to JRCS Connect full time, we ask that they make that commitment for the remainder of the semester.

Students who stay home due to illness will be able to access JRCS Connect for that day, if they would like, so they can stay up on school work and learn from home.

What will school look like for my child if they attend JRCS Direct?
Although our goal is to keep everything as normal as possible for JRCS Direct students this year, some changes are necessary. The biggest change is that all students will only have two Special classes at a time for a block of nine weeks each. More information about schedules will be coming out soon.

I do not have access to the internet or computers at home for remote Friday work. Is there help?
Yes, please contact the school office.

Why are Fridays remote learning for JRCS Direct students? Why not have in-person learning all 5 days each week?
By having remote learning on Fridays for all students, we allow our teachers and staff time to meet with JRCS Connect students, have staff development and training, and also gives them additional time to handle the workload of managing both in-person and online learning.

Additionally, it gives are cleaning crew extra time to deep clean and sanitize the school.

If my child is ill or needs to be quarantined, can they access school via JRCS Connect?

Yes, since all students will already be set up for online learning for remote Fridays, they can access JRCS Connect any time from home if they are ill, unable to attend school, or need to be quarantined.

JRCS CONNECT (Online Only Learning)
I’m interested in JRCS Connect. What do I do next? Fill out this form for each child in your family that you would like to signup for JRCS Connect: https://forms.gle/WMHCAv4Wrb13SyQc9

What will school look like for my child if they attend JRCS Connect?
Students will have a specific time each day to login and watch main lesson live as their teacher teaches it.  All other work will be posted in their Google Classroom. Students will have 2 Specials during each block. Some Specials may be taught via live feed (i.e. Spanish) and other Specials may be taught via take-home projects, video lessons, or other methods.  We expect students to be online for about 4 hours per day.

What if I decide after the first quarter or first semester that I want to switch back from online learning to in-person learning?
We are asking that all families that sign up for JRCS Connect commit to that option for the entire first semester.  Families that would like to switch to JRCS Direct (in-person learning) will be able to for the second semester.

What if I start out with JRCS Direct but change my mind?

Families will be able to transition to JRCS Connect (online only learning) at any time by calling the office.

I do not have access to the internet or computers at home. Is there help?
Yes, please contact the school office asap.

Who will teach online school?

All teaching will for JRCS Direct and JRCS Connect will be done by your child’s teacher. Students learning via JRCS Connect will have a specific time to login and watch main lesson live as their teacher teaches it.  Other work and Specials classes will not be live but will be posted online to the Google Classroom.

Are volunteers/visitors allowed in schools?
No visitors, volunteers, or guest speakers will be allowed on campus during the first semester.

What time of day will schools start and end classes?
School Day for Kindergarten through Grade 8:
Start Time: 
Doors open at 8:10 am, Class starts at 8:20 am*
End Time: Monday through Thursday – 3:15 pm

Students will attend school remotely every Friday. Remote learning on Fridays will last no longer than the scheduled half-day.

Will schools allow large gatherings?
Large gatherings, such as indoor assemblies and field trips, will not be allowed during the first semester. Outdoor assemblies and gatherings are allowed if physical distancing can be maintained.

Will Back to School Night be happening?
We will be able to hold Back to School Night this year. Pleased watch your email for more information.

Will JRCS run air conditioning?
Yes. Additionally, JRCS will install Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization units on all school HVAC units to increase the cleanliness of the air inside the building.

Have supply fees changed? Will additional supplies be required?
Supply fees will still be $160 per student and due by August 31st. Additional items such as a backpack, a water bottle, indoor shoes will still be required. And some supplies will be needed as home (ie. crayons, colored pencils, scissors) will be needed at home for remote learning on Fridays. Lists will be sent out soon.

Will Before and After School Care be available this year?
After School Care will be provided on campus by the Extended Hours Program we used last year.  More information and registration can be found here: https://www.extendedhoursprogram.com/. This is a third party program offered at the JRCS campus but not ran by JRCS staff.
We no longer offer a Before School care do to lack of interest.


-What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms in children can differ from those more common in adults and include runny rose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, cough, and muscle aches, according to the Mayo Clinic. Adults can also have fever, cough, and muscle aches, as well as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, sore throat, a new loss of taste or smell, and chills.

What is the procedure if a staff or student has COVID-19 symptoms?
The CDC has very clear guidelines for people who are sick and symptomatic. If someone gets sick, student or staff, they should stay home and isolate from others in their household until:
At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
Symptoms have improved

If possible, a test is always recommended for someone who is symptomatic. However, they should follow the guidelines above regardless of the test result.

The symptom tracker parent fill put each morning will also give you advice and guidelines on how to proceed if you have symptoms.

What additional precautions should occur at the school or classroom level if a staff or student gets sick?
For classrooms, if someone gets sick, the class can continue, unless the person tests positive for COVID-19. Until then, extra precautions should be taken, i.e. more vigilant hand washing and mask use.

The Mesa County Health Department will notify families if their child was exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

What will happen if my child starts showing symptoms of COVID-19 at school?
Any child who shows symptoms of COVID-19 at school will be sent to the health office for screening and, if they do have proper symptoms, their parent(s) will be called and expected to pick them up immediately. While waiting, your child will be in a designated room away from others, and the student will wear a mask if at all possible. Surfaces will be cleaned/disinfected between uses.

Is there any guidance or expectation for staff/students who have recently traveled out of the area to self-quarantine?
Not at this time. The health department has not set that as a guideline.

How will students be tracked for symptoms of COVID-19?
Parents will be asked to fill out a screening tool before coming to school each day. The screening system is still being developed thru D51. More details will be released as it becomes available. If a child is not screened at home, he or she will be screened before starting class at school by a health assistant.

Will all students be tested for COVID-19?
Universal testing is not required.

If a student wants a test, what does it cost?
Mesa County Public Health will offer free testing at the Public Health building. If you believe you or someone in your family has been exposed to the virus, call your healthcare provider or the MCPH hotline at 683-2300 to be screened for testing.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine be required?
There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine in circulation, nor any requirement that all students and/or staff receive the vaccine.

Is my child safe going to the nursing office for symptoms other than COVID-19?

We will have separate rooms for symptomatic students and students receiving first aid and routine medical care.

If my child tests positive for COVID-19 but is feeling OK, can he or she do online schooling just for the time he or she is at home?
Yes, since all students will already be set up for online learning for remote Fridays, they can access JRCS Connect any time from home if they are ill, unable to attend school, or need to be quarantined.

What happens if a student or staff member shows symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19?
If a student or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms and/or is confirmed COVID-positive, families of students within the cohort of the symptomatic or COVID-positive student or staff member will be notified and possibly asked to quarantine based on guidance from Mesa County Public Health at that time. MCPH will perform contact tracing when a positive case is confirmed to find out who may have been exposed.
Do face coverings need to follow the JRCS dress code?
Yes, all face coverings need to follow the JRCS dress code. Unless clear, face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth but not more of the face (ie. no Halloween masks, costume masks, or ski masks will be allowed). Face masks should be free from commercialized characters and any logos or graphics must be smaller than the size of a credit card (approximately 2.5″ x 3″).

Will JRCS provide a face covering if a student or staff member doesn’t have them?
Yes, if students or staff lose or forget their face covering, they will be provided a disposable one for the day.

If your family is unable to provide a mask for your child, please contact the JRCS school office.

Do students in 6th-8th grade have to wear a face covering?
Students in middle school are required to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth (preferably cloth masks) unless they have an educational or medical reason not to wear them. Face coverings are not required for students of any age during outdoor activities and exercise.

Do students in K-5th grade have to wear a face covering?

Most of the time, no. Masks and/or face shields, are recommended but not required for elementary school students and are not required for students of any age during outdoor activities and exercise.

However, students K-8 are expected to wear face coverings when:

  • Arriving and leaving the JRCS campus
  • Entering and exiting the school buildings
  • In the hallway
  • When they’re not in their cohort group and cannot maintain at least 3 feet of distancing from other students or staff outside their cohort

Do all staff need to wear face coverings?
Yes, unless they have a medical reason not to do so. In that case, an alternative will be provided.

Will students need to provide documentation in order to not wear a face covering for educational or medical reasons?
Yes, a doctor’s note is required for a face covering exemption.
– Students: Doctor’s offices can fax or email the note to JRCS at (970) 986-8223.

Will JRCS provide a face covering if a student or staff member doesn’t have them?

Will students get “mask breaks?”
Yes, as often as possible when physical distancing is possible.

How will you implement cohorting?
Cohorts reduce the number of students and staff who are exposed to each other in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case. The implementation of cohorts will result in fewer students/staff being required to quarantine in such an instance.

To the greatest extent possible, students and teachers will remain together in the same groups (cohorts) throughout each day of in-person learning. These cohort groups will learn, play, transition, and eat together.

  • JRCS will work to minimize the ability of students and staff to co-mingle.
  • A cohort group is considered one class and up to 4 adults.
  • Students may participate in additional cohort groups if the student receives special education, social-emotional, or additional support outside of his/her classroom.
  • Students may have access to teachers or other staff outside of their cohort for lunch or recess, but this access will be limited.

How will you implement physical distancing?
Physical distancing will be implemented to the greatest extent possible in all JRCS environments. Six-foot distancing between individuals reduces the risk of transmission and is preferred; three-foot distancing still provides substantial benefits and is acceptable in the context of a comprehensive disease control strategy.

Physical distancing will be used as much as possible, with measures including spacing student desks apart as much as possible, using floor stickers to mark distances, and encouraging use of outdoor spaces for learning when possible.


How will you keep buildings and objects in them clean?
Playground equipment will be cleaned once each day. Bathrooms will be cleaned twice each day and frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned multiple times each day using EPA-approved cleaning products. Other health-minded protocols will include but are not limited to:

  • Students will wash their hands or use sanitizer upon entering the building
  • Students will be required to wash their hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Providing hand sanitizer in each classroom, to be used under adult supervision
  • Encouraging hand washing as often as possible using handwashing stations and existing sinks
  • Students are required to bring a water bottle from home to use during the school day. Drinking fountains have been disabled, but students may use the bottle filling stations to refill water bottles throughout the day.
  • Not sharing school supplies or communal objects whenever possible
  • Setting up traffic flow in hallways
  • Having teachers show students how to reduce the spread of germs
  • No snacks or other food in the classroom unless it is packed by parents for their student or provided by D51 Nutrition staff.
  • Students will be eating outside with their cohort as much as possible as weather permits. If the weather does not permit, students will eat in their classroom.
  • JRCS will install Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization units on all school HVAC units to increase the cleanliness of the air inside the building and filters will be changes as required.
  • Primarily holding meetings with parents virtually

    How will you make sure germs aren’t spread through devices?

    As soon as devices are available, students will be assigned a Chromebook to be checked for use at home for the remainder of the year. New Chromebooks needed to make this possible are on order and are due to arrive by the end of 2020.
How will snacks and lunches work?
Students will be eating outside with their cohort as much as possible as weather permits. If weather does not permit, students will eat in their classroom.

Nutritionally-balanced lunches will continue to be provided at JRCS via the Lunch Lizard D51 meal service program.

  • Meals will be prepared and packaged in a D51 kitchen and delivered via Lunch Lizard.
    • Additional Details:
      • Three main entree choices per day; PBJ/Deli Sandwich w/pre-packed fruit, veg & milk, Salad Bar Meal of the Day w/pre-packed protein, grain & milk, or Hot entree choice of the day w/pre-packed fruit, veg & milk.
      • In order to protect against contamination of foods, items offered will be wrapped or cupped with lids via compostable containers.
      • Condiments (salad dressing, cheese, salsa) will still be offered and will be cupped and lidded.
      • Single-use serving items (trays, cutlery, napkins) will be utilized.
      • Food safety protocols will continue to be followed by staff, including following proper hand-washing procedures, glove use, and temperature monitoring.


Will Before & After Care be offered this year?
Due to lack of interest, we will not be offering Before Care.

After Care will be provided at JRCS by a third party company, Extended Hours (the same as last year). For more information or to register, please visit their website: https://www.extendedhoursprogram.com/

Juniper Ridge Community School

615 Community Lane

Grand Junction, CO 81506

(970) 986-8219


Juniper Ridge Community School is a proud member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.