ELIOT, Maine — Seacoast Waldorf School announced it will remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even if public schools go remote, our campus will remain open for students ages 2.5 through 12,” said School Director Jacqui Boyko. “To make this education option accessible to more local students, we are offering four scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year for children of essential workers.”
The school’s Board of Trustees announced the scholarships will be available to new grade students whose parents’ work is considered essential throughout the pandemic including, but not limited to, first responders, healthcare workers, doctors and nurses, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees, retail, grocery, food service and restaurant employees, transportation employees, custodians and janitorial staff. The winners will each receive a $7,000 scholarship applicable toward one year’s tuition at the school.
“These scholarships are our way of saying thank you to all of the essential workers who have helped the community in the midst of this trying time,” said Dennis Drennan, teacher, parent and board member at Seacoast Waldorf School. “We are filled with gratitude for all of the people who have been out there providing essential services. They are the ones who are holding things together until life can return to normal.”
Boyko said faculty and staff are working on a plan for the students’ return in September.
“Our plan represents how we can welcome all of our students back into our care safely and responsibly,” she said. “These guidelines are a culmination of hours of planning, countless meetings, recommendations and requirements from various public health organizations, and a healthy dose of common sense.”
Boyko said students will experience flexibility, creativity, ingenuity and tireless efforts of the school’s teachers.
“They have gone above and beyond their normal call of duty during these summer months to prepare outdoor classrooms, reconfigure indoor classrooms, become Google Classroom gurus and so much more,” she said. “We are so grateful for their dedication to the wonderful students and families here at the school.”
Teachers are constructing outdoor classrooms with chalkboards, heat and shelter from rain so students can have some sense of normalcy while remaining safe throughout the fall. The school will offer small class sizes, two buildings and five acres of fields, forest and green space to spread out on.
Essential workers interested in applying for a scholarship can write a letter stating their essential profession and why they are interested in having their child attend the school. Letters can be mailed to Seacoast Waldorf School, 403 Harold Dow Highway, Eliot, ME 03903 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seacoast Waldorf School was established in 1999 and is a member of Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. The school serves Seacoast children in nursery through middle school. Visit www.seacoastwaldorfschool.org.