COVID-19 Safety Policies And Procedures

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To ensure the health and safety of our students and faculty, we will implement the following policies and procedures to mitigate risks related to COVID-19. We will follow safety guidelines outlined by the Ontario Government and Halton Regional Public Health, and as such, our policies and procedures are subject to change as provincial and regional guidelines evolve. Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts is proud to be a DANCE SAFE ONTARIO studio.

Effective October 3rd , ALL dancers ages 5 and up are required to wear a mask for the entire time that they are in the studio. Dancers will keep masks on while dancing. Short mask breaks will be given (keeping distanced at all times) and dancers may also step to the side of the studio and sit/stand beside their belongings if needing a break at any time on their own. Teachers will balance the pace of the class to regulate breathing and reduce aerobic activity. Should your child have a medical reason that would make them exempt from this, we ask you to connect with us.

Here is what Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts Staff will do to keep students safe:

– Staff will not report to work if, within the last 14 days, they have been unwell or have had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

– We will post signs with passive screening and safety information as reminders at our entrances and throughout the studio. Signage will include: hand hygiene, mask bylaw, physical distance reminders, self-assessment questions etc.

– We will wear face coverings when entering the building and moving throughout common areas, in accordance with the Regional Municipality of Halton Face Covering By-Law.

– We will wash and sanitize our hands often. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up at both entrances, as well as at each studio door for staff and student use. Children will be supervised in the use of hand sanitizer.

– We will use government approved cleaner daily throughout the studio to ensure that our dancers and staff are kept safe. In addition, we will sanitize the ballet barres, common touch points and floors between every class as needed. We will keep a log book for all cleaning tasks.

– We will make use of our back door as a second entrance and exit.

– We will supervise the arrival and dismissal of dancers, with the help of our ‘dance ambassadors’. Class times have been staggered as much as possible to reduce the number of people in the building and to cut down on the volume of students during drop off and pick up.

– We will take attendance for every class, which may be needed for contact tracing.

– Class sizes will be limited due to physical distance measures and the size of each dance studio. Other factors that influence class sizes will include the style of dance and the age of the dancers in the class. We will also adhere to the provincial government’s requirement to maintain a maximum of 50 people per indoor facility. A hybrid of in-studio and at-home learning will be used via ZOOM when necessary.

– No shared props will be used.

– There will be no body contact (eg. hugs, high fives, holding hands, partner work or contact improvisation etc).

What Dancers and Parents Can Expect During Drop Off/Class Time/Pick-Up:

– Anyone coming into Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts must complete a Self-Assessment prior to arrival. This assessment can be found at the end of this document and will also be posted on our website and in locations around the studio. Students must not come to class if, within the last 14 days they have been unwell or have had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

– Parents are asked to advise the studio of any absences from class, whether they be in-studio or at-home learning classes.

– Students are encouraged to use the washroom and wash their hands at home, prior to coming to the studio.

– Families will receive information on which entrance/exit they will use for their scheduled classes. Further information on the flow of drop off/pick up will be provided once registration is complete and classes are formed.

– Students should remain in their vehicle until approximately 5-10 minutes prior to class. Students should line up outside of the studio, practicing physical distancing. Parents may line up with younger dancers, but will not be allowed to enter the building at this time (with the exception of nursery/pre-primary/primary 1st year ballet and primary modern parents), due to group gathering limits.

– Nursery, Pre-Primary and Primary 1st Year Ballet and Primary Modern classes will have one parent join their dancer in the class. We normally, have these dancers take part in class on their own, but until dancers are used to our new protocols, parents will be a part of the class, supporting their dancer’s learning, and assisting with our physical distancing measures. Parents who join their dancer will need to follow all of the policies and procedures and will stay inside their special dance box with their child.

– No other family members (siblings included) will be allowed in the studio . Please plan your class choices with this in mind.

– Everyone entering and exiting Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts will be required to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up at both the front and back door entrances. Children will be supervised.

– In keeping with the Halton Region Face Covering By-Law, anyone over the age of 5, coming into Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts must wear a face mask. Dancers under the age of 5 may also wear a face mask if their parent prefers. Once dancers are in their physically distanced spots in the dance studio, they may remove their mask and either clip it to their dance bag, or place it into a plastic or paper bag/ case inside of their dance bag. Dancers have the option to wear their mask during class if parents prefer. This should be indicated under ‘special needs’ upon registration.

– Students will follow social distance markers in the waiting areas to line up for classes. All chairs and benches have been removed for the time being.

– Students should come dressed and ready for class. They should bring a small bag or plastic bin for dance shoes, water bottle and also to put their outside clothing in. While weather permits, all outer wear (sweaters, pants, jackets) are to be left in their vehicle. Clothing that is worn into the studio must fit into their dance bag/bin.

– Students/parents are encouraged to wipe all items with sanitizer wipes before and after coming to the studio. Dancers are also encouraged to have their own small bottle of hand sanitizer, labelled with their name.

– Dancers who have more than one class in a row and need a snack between class will wash their hands before and after eating. They will eat in their ‘dance spot’ and all garbage/containers will be taken home. As always, snacks should be NUT FREE.

– Our Lost and Found has been removed from the change room. Please ensure that all personal items are labelled.

– A hand sanitizing station will be set up at each studio door for dancers to use as they enter.

– Students will enter the studio, placing their belongings in their assigned spot and then move to the dance box.

– Each studio will have 6ft x6ft boxes outlined in colourful tape to mark each dancer’s space. This will help to guide students to keep physically distanced during class. Teachers will incorporate these boxes creatively within the dance curriculum.

– Students are permitted to use the washrooms if needed, and must practice physical distancing and wear a mask when moving from the studio to the washroom (if over the age of 5). They must wash their hands and use hand sanitizer before re-entering the studio space.

– Dancers will be reminded to avoid touching their face (eyes/nose/mouth) and to practice respiratory etiquette (coughing/sneezing into a bent elbow, disposing of tissue in the trash and using hand sanitizer).

– When class is over, students will line up practicing physical distancing. They will use hand sanitizer as the leave the building.

– Parents are asked to be punctual when picking up their dancers. Parents of younger dancers should line up at their pick up location to collect their children, so they are not walking through the parking lot on their own. Further details on the flow of pick up time will be provided once class registration is set.

At-Home Learning

– All dance classes will also be broadcast live via Zoom. This will be necessary for several reasons as we head into our 2020-2021 season.

– Each studio will be set up with high speed internet, new smart TVs and webcams in order to make Zoom an option for everyone moving forward.

– If our class registration exceeds the number of people permitted in our facility, we will implement a hybrid class rotation system, so that everyone has a chance to dance in person at the studio. This would mean alternating one week in the studio and one week dancing at home on Zoom.

– If a family is more comfortable with ONLY dancing at home, they may choose to take the class virtually every week. They will log onto Zoom from home and participate in their class via Zoom, in real time, as the in-person class happens at the studio. If and when they choose to re-join the studio classes, the dancer will be at the same point in their training as the rest of the class.

– If a dancer or anyone in their household is unwell, the dancer will not be permitted to attend class at the studio. In this instance, students will be able to participate in class via Zoom at home and will limit potential exposure to their classmates. PLEASE REFER TO THE SELF ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS.

– Similarly, if a staff member is not feeling well, but is well enough to teach, we will avoid cancelling classes and teach via Zoom (either with students supervised at the studio, or at home on Zoom - communicated on a case by case basis).

– If one of our teachers needs to self isolate for any reason, this can be supported by having classes run on Zoom.

– If Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts is required to suspend in-studio classes due to an emergency declaration or other required closure(s), all classes will continue via Zoom. Refunds and discounts will not be provided for Zoom classes. Please refer to our Fee Structure and Policies for more information.

Feeling ill?

– Dancers/family members who become ill or are displaying or feeling symptoms must self isolate and will not be permitted to take part in dance classes.

– If a dancer expresses or exhibits COVID-19 related symptoms while at the studio, their family will be notified and the dancer will be sent home immediately. Parents will be asked to contact the local Public Heath Unit to advise of their symptoms.

– The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other illnesses, including the cold and flu. At this time, it is recommenced that any dancer who has respiratory symptoms or any symptoms of illness will be sent home. Public Health Ontario has provided helpful guidance on self monitoring and self isolation. In addition, the dancer’s family should complete the online self-assessment and/or call their family physician or Telehealth 1-866-797-000.