Our COVID-19 Restart Plan & Procedures

Published 15 AUG 2020 – Updates Below, last update 18 SEPT

Hello Everybody!

Please take the time to read this very important note about our plans for starting the school year and how we intend to handle a somewhat uncertain timeline for re-opening, and dealing with possible resurgences in the public health lockdown.

The most important thing for us is to make sure that everyone involved has complete freedom to choose to protect their health and the health of those around them, while doing our part administratively to take all reasonable steps to safeguard your wellbeing.

It is very likely that the details below could shift with any significant change in infection cases that can follow the Phase 3 reopening and the start of the academic school year on September 8th. We have built in as much consideration as possible for these unknowns, and will appreciate any feedback you may have to offer that could improve these plans and procedures.

Please note that our partner locations may have additional, and differing procedures from ours. We ask you to observe their procedures in addition to our own. This may require signing in/out, wearing masks in common areas, hand cleaning procedures, etc. We deeply appreciate your patience during this shared experience.

LESSONS

Click for the 20-21 Annual Teaching Dates Calendar


Please take particular care about #5, which deals with Contact Notification, and your attendance/make-ups.

  1. We will not begin in-person instruction until the Province and Municipal Health Officers allow all businesses to be fully re-open, and subject to our individual location partners’ individual decisions to open.

    1.1 Since public schools are opened at the beginning of September to all students, we will wait to start our plan until the 1st of October
    to provide a wide margin of safety. All aspects of this plan are likely to be affected by what happens with infection rates across the GTA with public school openings, and we will make decisions about in-person lessons based on your safety.
  2. When we start, we will have a flexible and timed re-start:

    2.1. We will have one teacher on-site per-day, per-week for the first three weeks, and then add another teacher per-day, per-week. This will continue in 3-week increments to allow for a full incubation cycle of the virus so we may responsibly stop in-person visits if necessary.

    2.2 No student/family will be required to attend in-person lessons, and may choose to continue digital lessons through December 2020 (at a minimum) based on their individual decisions around safety.

    2.3. Similarly to 2.2, Teachers may elect to continue to offer digital lessons if they elect to do so on the basis of their personal safety, and may continue to deliver lessons digitally to their students through December 2020 (at a minimum).

  3. If there is any occurrence of the virus in our student or teacher body by location, we will halt all in-person lessons at that specific location only, for a period of 3 weeks. The clock would then re-set on our re-start as outlined above. The new start date would be outlined at the time of the halt of in-person lessons.

  4. Anyone not feeling well on a lesson day will be required to stay home. They may take/teach their lessons via Zoom from home. This will be a requirement for the entire 2020-21 school year.

  5. All students and teachers will be required to attend lessons with the Health Canada COVID Alert app installed on a bluetooth-capable device. Teachers will be required to check each student, and will ask students not equipped with the app to leave. We regret that there will be no make-up lessons for this occurrence.

  6. We ask that for families where applicable/possible and where adults accompany their children to lessons:

    6.1. The same adult accompany the student each week.
    6.2. The accompanying adult wait outside of 12 Conway or 2180 Bayview, weather permitting.

    6.3. That caregivers above 60 not be asked to accompany students through the end of the calendar year (at a minimum)

As this is a careful and gradual plan, we feel it will allow the greatest degree of your confidence in our ability to operate.

Home-on-Demand – as a result of great success with online lessons we have decided to pilot a new Home-on-Demand (HoD) lesson feature this school year, giving families a new level of service that not only addresses our immediate public health concerns but also a few regular life situations. Basically, HoD will help make your life easier by giving you the flexibility to have your lessons online when you need them. Don’t have enough time to get kid ‘A’ to lesson and kid ‘B’ to their activity? Ask for a HoD lesson. Not sure if one of your kids is sick, or maybe you don’t feel so hot? Ask for a HoD lesson.

MUSIC TOGETHER

Boy, have we missed our regular classes! There is an unbelievable pleasure and satisfaction in meeting with you every week, and this has been really hard on us as teachers.

While young children are at very low risk for themselves, the associated risks for parents and grandparents has been top of mind for us as we’ve considered how to best re-start our classes.

We have also been considering that, even in the course of our regular operations, families miss classes every week. So, the first thing we would like to announce is that we will continue to offer at least one class per week of Music Together Online (including Rhythm Kids) this fall. The total number of online classes per week will depend on whether or not we can open our locations and start regular classes again.

Otherwise, our plan, which is highly subject to change, will resemble this:

  1. We will not begin in-person instruction until the Province and Municipal Health Officers allow all businesses to be fully re-open, and subject to our individual location partners’ individual decisions to open.

    1.1. We will wait a minimum of a full 3 weeks from this date to begin in-person classes.

  2. When we start, we hope to begin in October (on our normal schedule), and we will have a flexible approach inclusive of:

    2.1. No student/family will be required to attend in-person classes, and may choose to continue digital classes through December 2020 (at a minimum) based on their individual decisions around safety.

    2.2 Teachers may elect to continue to offer digital lessons if they elect to do so on the basis of their personal safety, and may continue to deliver lessons digitally to their students through December 2020 (at a minimum). If no teachers are prepared to return to in-person classes, all classes will be delivered digitally with a target start date of January 2021 for in-person classes to resume.

  3. If there is any occurrence of the virus at a class location, we will halt all in-person classes at that specific location only, for a minimum period of 3 weeks. The new start date would be outlined at the time of the halt of in-person classes.

  4. Anyone not feeling well on a class day will be required to stay home. They may take/teach their lessons from home. This will be a requirement for the entire 2020-21 school year.

  5. All families will be required to have and use their own hand cleaning/sanitizing equipment before the start of each class.

  6. All families and teachers will be required to attend classes with the Health Canada COVID Alert app installed on a bluetooth-capable device.

  7. We will only use easily cleaned equipment in our classes for a minimum period through December 2020. Materials such as scarves, Djembes with heads made of skin, will not be used. Rhythm Kids will be encouraged to bring their own Djembe (although we will work on a substitute option).

  8. There will be no in-person demo classes for new families through the end of December 2020 to minimize external interactions and maintain a class cohort approach.

  9. Families will not be able to take make-ups in other classes as we have traditionally done – the make-ups will be provided in the form of the weekly online classes.

You may have some concern virus transmission while singing in a group setting. We have not made any decisions on this at this time, as we are still examining and waiting for further, scientific information about this. We will update you on our approach to this as we get closer to October. The priority will be to make safety-first decisions.

18 SEPT 2020
Update (Music Together)

We need your help to decide how many classes we run, and at which locations. Please click and complete this 5-question, 1-minute survey now.

31 AUG 2020
Update (Lessons)

We added a button to our Annual Teaching Days Calendar. Please download and put up in an obvious place at home. We recommend highlighting your day across the whole school year (just not in boxed off holidays!).

25 AUG 2020
Update (Lessons)

After polling our teachers internally it has been decided that Lessons will continue digitally using Zoom through December 2020. We expect some changes to your meeting ID#s in September, so stay tuned.