Healthy and Happy in OUTDOOR Kindermusik classes and events.
Important Update: As of 2-8-2021, we are returning to our Outdoor classes on the DECK at our Kindermusik studio at 2700 S. Florida Ave in Lakeland. Anyone joining us for an OUTDOOR class or event must do their part to reduce risk and help keep us all safe and healthy as we gather. These guidelines will help us work together as a team to do so. You will need to sign a document agreeing to the following, so please read it carefully.
Status of INDOOR classes:
As of March of 2020, due to the highly potential spread of COVID 19 when SINGING INDOORS, we are not resuming classes inside our delightful Kindermusik studio room. We will begin to meet again inside our happy studio when we feel it is safe to gather again in small groups when we are confident we can keep us HEALTHY and HAPPY.
Virtual Kindermusik class Option:
Your family will have the option to connect 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. Parents appreciate how easy it is, not having to pack up & travel, just gather some instruments and props around the house, Zoom In following the text message reminder, and engage with your child enjoying music time together with Ms. Debbie as your guide.
Even if enrolled for OUTDOOR classes, there may be circumstances in which this option may work best for the situation. If your family is ill or quarantining for any reason you can attend our 10:30 virtual classes on Tues, Wed, & Thurs. You would just need let me know to send the codes and details.
Outdoor Kindermusik Class Option:
Starting in September 2020, we began enjoying Kindermusik OUTDOOR on our deck 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, this 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.
Local statistics for infection will be monitored carefully to determine any adjustments to this plan, and you will be notified by email and/or text message. I am dedicated to making sure this small group activity is as safe as possible, and I appreciate your help to ensure we can continue with the least amount of risk to our families. Personally, my parents live here and are high risk category, and I help them daily.
A quick overview will identify some highlights, AND please read this whole guide thoroughly below for more details:
- If you have ANY symptoms, or have been recently exposed, stay home and join one of our 10:30 virtual classes that week.
- You and your child (3 ond older) must wear a mask during class. Children 2 and younger are encouraged, but not required to do so. You will get a quick temperature check as you arrive.
- Bring your OWN BLANKET /Yoga Mat to create your FAMILY ZONE. Most families choose a special blanket or mat to keep in the car for Kindermusik day.
- Bring a non-spill cup of water, but please do not bring food.
- Frequently use the provided hand sanitizer included in your Family Box on your bench. Careful cleaning procedures will be a necessary team effort for all of us as we arrive, sneeze or cough, touch others, trade instruments, and leave. Read farther in this article about safe practices for these interactions and clean instrument.
- If it is RAINING or too cold (less than 60 degrees F), we have the option to meet in the LARGE community room, and we will need to be separated by more distance. Masks are required.
- If someone in your family tests positive for COVID 19 within 5 days of attending class, connect with Ms Debbie as soon as possible so we can contact others in the class to be aware, and quarantine for the next week. Class will be held VIRTUALLY that week.
- If Ms Debbie tests positive for COVID 19, or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, classes will be held virtually until notified otherwise.
- If Ms Debbie is sick, classes will be rescheduled for the following week, and one week will be added to the end of the session.
- See below for additional details about the items on this Quick Guide, and more.
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 disastrous 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 in the other cars, making heart shapes with hands, etc.
When arriving, adults and children 3 years and older shall wear an effective FACE MASK. Use the hand sanitizer as you get into place on the deck prior to participating. Children 2 years old and younger will not have to wear a mask. There is a bathroom in the Kindermusik studio that 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. This provides a more comfortable place to sit on the ground in front of the bench… and you KNOW it is healthy for your family. If you forget, I will have a blanket available for you that is safe, because they are washed after ANY USE. Thing is, You bringing your own helps reduce wear & tear on my blankets… and ME as I lug them home to wash every day.
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, YOUR first priority is getting your child settled and comfortable and ready to participate. Make sure their water is available. FOOD is very distracting both to the child and other children, so if they need to have a snack, take a moment to leave the deck and move to the picnic table.
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. As we need items for activities, parents will assist the child to remove that item, and set the rest aside until later.
Ms Debbie will have a Special box up front with a box of tissues and extra things we may need during class. If you need something, please just ask.
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 by me before their next use.
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.
Children may want to “TRADE” instruments as we have traditionally 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 (as much as possible), 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 a short amount of time will be allowed to enjoy this before you or I redirect them, It is important for us not to overreact and cause our children to fear interactions with others. WHEN this type of interaction 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 through 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. During January 2021, The high 2nd wave of COVID 19 after the holidays required us to be extra cautious, so we continued Kindermusik Virtually. Starting Feb. 8, 2021, we will resume outdoor classes. Ms Debbie closely monitors our safety to meet in person based on statistics in FOUR areas:
- numbers of new positive tests per day in Polk County,
- hospital capacity, and % of hospital beds filled by Covid patients,
- actions taken by health care facilities, such as limiting visitors
- Federal, state, and local government guidelines.
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 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.