Healthy and Happy in OUTDOOR Kindermusik classes and events.
Important Update: As of 8-17-2020, due to the highly potential spread of COVID 19 when SINGING INDOORS, we are not resuming classes in our delightful Kindermusik studio room.
We WILL be connecting with each other ONLINE through the ZOOM app for many of our regular classes and events, As we are separated into our own homes, we can still make music together… AND stay healthy. We will begin to meet again in our happy studio when we feel it is safe to gather again in small groups in this place where we are confident we can keep us HEALTHY and HAPPY.
Starting in September 2020, we will also be offering an OUTDOOR option for some classes and events. There is an Outdoor DECK outside of our Kindermusik studio and is large enough to fit only 6 -8 families seating at least 6′ apart. With critical precautions in place, and adhered to, it can be a safe alternative. The following health and safety guidelines MUST be agreed to in writing by the adult who will bringing their children to class in the outdoor setting. Please read this fully so you are prepared to sign the Overview when you arrive on the first day.
A quick overview will identify some highlights, AND please read this whole guide thoroughly:
- If you have ANY symptoms, or have been recently exposed, stay home and join one of our virtual classes that week.
- Wear your mask (if 3 or older) as you get to your spot on the deck. You may continue to wear it, and it should be worn if venturing from your spot. But if you are safely in your spot and at a safe distance, the mask can be removed if you choose.
- Bring your OWN BLANKET or Yoga Mat, and a non-spill cup of water.
- You will have a Family Box with your instruments, and hand sanitizer. Carefully cleaning procedures will be a necessary team effort for all of us.
- If it is RAINING, we have the option to meet in the LARGE community room, and will be separated by more distance. Everyone 3 years old and older must wear a mask the whole time we are inside.
- If someone who has attended class tests positive for COVID 19 within 5 days, Ms Debbie must be notified as soon as possible so we can contact others in the class.
- If Ms Debbie has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID 19, classes will be held virtually until notified otherwise.
- See below for further details.
Nobody wants to be sick. Staying healthy is key for all of us to thrive. Parents are legitimately concerned for the health of their children as they venture outside of their home, and engage with others in group activities. There are a lot of germs out there, and there always seems to be a new virus or illness that makes us ALL take a look at what we can do to stay healthy. COVID 19 makes it necessary for us to be more cautious as we meet together in order to prevent the virus from transmitting to anyone who will be affected by it in disasterous ways.
Kindermusik International (as always) has done extensive research on the subject, and is providing educators facts and recommended methods for keeping everyone Healthy and Happy. And Ms Debbie is also obsessively good about keeping the instruments, manipulatives and surfaces wiped clean with Odoban (used by most high quality child care centers due to it’s effectiveness and safety to use with children right away).
“It is extremely important to create environments where parents are assured their children are as safe as we can provide. It adheres to our Core Value of doing what is best for the parent and child.” – Michael Dougherty, President of Kindermusik International, 2014.
Based on this information, and my further research, the following policies are in place for our Kindermusik classes in OUTDOOR spaces. We take care of many of these cleanliness practices on our part, we just need you and your child to do your part as well. Together we must continually renew our commitment to be diligent, consistent, and proactive in keeping each other healthy.
ATTEND ONLY when EACH member of your family is symptom FREE.
In Kindermusik, we love to share many things, just not germs. I swear that is one of the hardest decisions we have to make as parents – to determine whether a child is dealing with contagious or non-contagious symptoms. Now, simply having any symptoms, fever, persistent coughing, sneezing or runny nose gives you the answer. Stay home and get better.
If you arrive and it appears that you or your child have symptoms, we reserve the right to ask you to leave, as it is important for the health of everyone.
If are unable to attend an outdoor class that week, you are strongly encouraged to attend a virtual class, of any level, that week even if you are sick. Since we only have one outdoor class time per person, we cannot schedule make-ups in other outdoor classes.
We look forward to making music with you and your child every single class when you are healthy. If you ever have questions, please call Debbie.
Arriving, Family Zones & Family Boxes
If you arrive early, please stay in your vehicle until about 5 min. before class as I will need to be free to set up for class effectively. This is a great time to practice our HELLOs from a DISTANCE… waving, clapping and pointing to our friends, making heart shapes with hands, etc.
When arriving, adults and children 3 years and older shall wear a preventative FACE MASK as you approach with your child and assist your family to wash hands prior to participating. Children under 3 will not have to wear a mask. There will be hand sanitizer in your FAMILY BOX, and the waiting room / bathroom will be available to wash hands or use the bathroom before class starts.
Upon arrival on the deck, each person’s Body Temperature will be quickly checked. If a fever is present in any family member, it will be necessary to leave and join one of our virtual classes for that week.
There are benches on the deck spaced apart from each other, and each family will bring a medium sized blanket or large yoga mat to set in front of the bench that will mark your FAMILY ZONE. (I will have extras if you forget, but this will ensure your family’s safety and be of great help to me.)
As you lay out your blanket together, make it a delightfully big deal with your children focusing on the ownership and boundaries of your FAMILY ZONE, as your family will need to stay within its boundaries during class. ( As best we can, my friends, as best we can.)
Once you get into your FAMILY ZONE, you have the option to remove your masks during class, making sure to keep your distance from others. I believe YOUR first priority is getting your child settled and comfortable and ready to participate.
All of your precleaned instruments, props, and scarves provided by Ms Debbie will be stored in a FAMILY BOX and will be located on the benches when you arrive. It will also include a container of hand sanitizer and a small container of tissues. As we need items for activities, parents will assist the child to remove that item, and set the rest aside until later.
Our blankets serve as uniquely defined spaces for each family to sit that encourages interactions with each other, and reduces touching interactions with other families.
When we finish with that instrument or prop, stay in your ZONE, and Ms. Debbie will bring a container around to collect them so they can be cleaned after class. They will be cleaned with Odoban which is known to kill 99% of germs on non-porous surfaces. Used scarves are placed in a hamper to be washed before their next use. No other classes will be offered that day to reduce risk, and the deck will be cleaned before the next day.
All participants must strive to utilize the healthy habits of keeping their hands out of their mouths, and covering sneezes and coughs with the inside elbow. If a child wipes their noses or puts their hands in their mouth, their hands should be cleaned again before any potential interactions with others outside their family. Of course, we expect young children to explore instruments and their hands with their mouths – that’s how they learn. We will just all need to do our best to reduce the possibility of sharing germs along with our learning experiences.
Some activities may be adapted to reduce unnecessary touching.
For some activities that typically encourage person to person contact, like circle dances, we encourage your family to hold hands with each other to make a circle in your FAMILY ZONE. Many of our dances will look a lot like LINE DANCING where we face our partners in their FAMILY ZONE across from us and dance back and forth and side to side in our spaces.
Sometimes in class, children may want to “TRADE” instruments as we have done before, and I firmly believe that is part of learning how to interact well with others. BUT, right now, we need to take firm steps to prevent children from trading instrument with each other. AS PART of this process, Ms Debbie will be filling the FAMILY BOXes with the SAME INSTRUMENTS as everyone else, so they are less likely to want to trade for a different color or instrument. AND there will be instruments for parents that may be a little different color or shape so we can encourage them to trade WITHIN the family.
As parents, we want to encourage unique and creative positive social interactions between children from a distance, such as shaking an instrument toward another child from a distance and having them shake back…. or Peeking out from behind a drum to see another child.
There are inevitably times that children will reach out to touch each other, or Ms. Debbie, and I will likely allow a short amount of time for this, just to ensure we don’t overreact and cause our children to fear others overly. WHEN this occurs, and the child returns to their spot, simply be quick to use the hand sanitizer to reduce spread of germs to face or mouth.
Ms. Debbie will be watching closely and promoting safe and healthy practices, but, as with all aspects of raising children… it takes a Village. Together, we can keep our children and families as healthy as possible.
At the END of Class
Just before we sing the goodbye song, we’ll sing a little song about cleaning hands while we take a moment to use the provided hand sanitizer, as well as a fun MASK song for the bigger kids.
Families should stay in their FAMILY ZONE as we sing the goodbye song and until their child can be engaged with a goodbye ritual with Ms Debbie. Even if they do not want to SING for me out loud, this time of connection at the end is so important.
As you gather your things and depart, wear your masks as you leave the deck and return to your vehicle.
Kindermusik Studio ROOMS
The waiting room of the Kindermusik studio will be accessible so families can wash their hands and use the bathroom. Families must maintain and appropriate distance while waiting for a turn to use the facilities, and not linger inside. Masks should be worn whenever INSIDE our studio rooms. This will help the surface areas remain as sanitary as possible. The Waiting Room and bathrooms will be cleaned after class.
The Kindermusik room is reserved ONLY for Ms Debbie, as it is set up with equipment for the VIRTUAL classes and not safe for our little ones.
Parents with children in the Level 3 and Level 5 classes are asked to take a walk during class, or find a place in the waiting room that is 6 feet away from others. You will know what time you need to return to class.
Back Up Plan due to Rainy Weather or Illness
If it is RAINING, we have the option to meet in the LARGE community room, and our blankets will be separated by more distance. Everyone over 2 years old must wear a mask the whole time we are inside. We must be even more cautious because singing indoors is considered an extreme risk.
If there is exposure to someone with COVID 19:
- If someone who has attended class tests positive for COVID 19 within 5 days, Ms Debbie must be notified by text or phone call as soon as possible so others in the class can be notified to be cautious.
- If Ms Debbie has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID 19 (whether in or out of class), classes will be held virtually until notified otherwise. A text message will be sent as notification that class will be held VIRTUALLY at that same class time, along with codes for joining us on Zoom. MAKE SURE you are connected to our REMIND system so you can recieve text messages.
- Outdoor classes will resume once Ms Debbie has been symptom free for 14 days and test results prior to resuming class is NEGATIVE.
During this Fall, this happened ONE time, and only 1 week of virtual classes were necessary.
If Ms Debbie has worse symptoms and cannot teach, even virtually, or if schools are closed due to a hurricane… you will be notified that classes will be suspended for the week. Any classes that are missed will be rescheduled at the end of the session. For example, the 3rd week in December is reserved for such a switch in the schedule.
If YOUR family is unable to attend an outdoor class during a week, whether due to illness or a schedule conflict, you are strongly encouraged to attend a virtual class, of any level, that week even if you are sick. Since we only have one outdoor class time per level, we cannot schedule make-ups in other outdoor classes.
THANK YOU !
I know… my heart hurts too that it is not yet safe to fully interact. Writing this was hard, and it will be a challenge to keep these practices going. It will take a little extra time and energy to adjust to these changes and ensure a healthy environment, but it will be worth it for the health of everyone involved. I am committed to ensure this happens for each one of you! (I certainly want, and need to stay healthy. AND, I have aging parents with medical issues who are at my house daily whom I need to protect.)
THANK YOU for following these guidelines and doing your part to help us all stay healthy and happy at Kindermusik !
If you have any questions, or recommendations, be aware that I would love to hear from you. I’m sure there are still things I can learn about staying healthy, and I am always eager to learn more. If you have a specific concern or recommendation, make sure to talk to me directly. There may be something we can do right away to keep everyone safe, healthy, and happy.