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Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Please find the most frequently referenced information by Boston Ballet School families below. Should you have any questions regarding the information, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone at 617.456.6333 or email

Photo credit: Igor Burlak Photography

Registration and Daily Programming
Can you confirm what level my child is in and what their schedule will be this year?

An enrollment ambassador will be in contact regarding class enrollment starting on 8.31.2020. They will confirm you child’s schedule, including which mode of learning they will participate with. The enrollment ambassador will also be able to coordinate class switches at this time, if needed. Please note: electives will not be offered this year as we have had to recreate our class schedule to incorporate increased sanitization standards. If you were signed up for an elective, your account will be automatically adjusted to reflect your cancelled class.

Can my student attend 100% in-studio or 100% virtually?

All enrichments will be offered virtually only this year. Your child may elect to attend their technique classes in person OR virtually, depending on space.

Is the tuition the same for virtual and in-studio programing and if so, why?

Yes. Our faculty have been teaching virtually for several months now and can support all students, regardless of whether or not they are joining us in the studio. Students can expect a high level of personal feedback in both settings. The decision to participate in the program virtually or in-studio is based solely on your comfort level and students who register virtually should expect the same quality of classes and instruction as those attending in- studio.

Why is BBS now requiring a doctor’s note about proper immunizations and an individual health care plan if my child has a chronic health condition?

These are new requirements set by Commonwealth of Massachusetts that BBS must adhere to in order to operate. BBS is required to have on file a physician’s, nurse practitioner’s, or physician’s assistant’s certification that your child has been successfully immunized in accordance with the current Department of Public Health’s recommended schedules.

All registered students will be receiving an encrypted email from our HIPAA complaint medical system. Families must upload all required medical information via the online system. Hard copies and emailed version of forms will not be accepted. We ask that all registered students complete the medical form process, with proper certification of immunization attached, prior the start of the program. If we do not receive updated medical records from each student prior, students will be asked to participate virtually, until completed and received.

What will in-studio learning look like for this school year?

In-person learning will look different than in years past. Each class will adhere to the state’s current capacity policies, and will utilize social distancing throughout the classroom. Each student will have their own spot at the barre (distanced from other students) and will have their own designated box for center work (distanced from other students). All participants will be required to wear masks, and will follow proper hygiene protocols upon check in and out, outlined in our back to school packet. Following CDC guidelines, we will disinfect each studio between classes, and at the end of the night. Students can still expect to receive personal feedback and corrections from faculty, but it will be delivered verbally in order to maintain 6’ social distancing.
 
The in-studio experience will be different as we ask everyone to adopt a “get in, get out” approach. Students will have specific, scheduled arrival and pick-up times in order to reduce occupancy of our premises. Locker rooms remain closed except for using the bathroom so students should arrive prepared to dance. Common areas like the lobbies are also closed and furniture either removed or blocked off. For students who have been accustomed to doing homework when they are on site, they will find they won’t have breaks between classes to do so and are asked to arrive and depart in their scheduled blocks.

What will virtual programming look like for this school year?

All Children’s Program (except Hand in Hand) and Classical Ballet Program classes will have a virtual learning option this fall, and all enrichments will be held virtually. All virtual classes will be held through Zoom (a video conferencing application). Virtual students will take live class with in-studio students as we continue to foster a community environment with all of our students. Faculty are able to provide live corrections and feedback to students just as if students were in the dance studio. For more information about virtual learning, please see the student handbook.

Can students switch between in-studio and virtual learning or vice versa?

BBS understands that comfort levels will change throughout the school year and we plan to be flexible. If at any point a student wants to switch from in-studio learning to virtual learning, they may do so, and may make this switch as soon as they would like. If a student is virtually learning and would like to return or switch to in-studio learning, they can do so, as long as there is space in class (following state’s capacity policies) and it’s approved by the faculty and staff. BBS will be facilitating switches from virtual learning to in-studio learning on a monthly basis. Please email school@bostonballet.org to request a class switch.

Will curriculum change for the 2020/2021 school year?

Our faculty are working with Boston Ballet’s Physical Therapist to adjust the curriculum at the start of the school year to ensure that all students return to dance safely after a long break. Because the vast majority of students haven’t been in a dance studio since March, it is important that we return in a manner that is safe and responsible. Additionally, faculty will pick up from where they left off last year, to ensure that students continue to receive the progression of training and curriculum benchmarks this year. Students can still expect to receive the same amount of hours of instruction for their level as in previous years.

My child hasn’t been dancing much since March. How are you going to help prevent injuries?

Our faculty have been collaborating closely with Boston Ballet’s physical therapist to redesign the program and curriculum to enable all students to slowly and safely return to dance.

Are guardians allowed to go into the building with their children?

One chaperone per student under the age of 21 is permitted on site at a time. All chaperones will check in the student at the check in desk and then exit the School. In order to reduce occupancy levels on premises, Boston Ballet School will limit chaperones after check in to:

  • Children’s Program students, ages 3-7, in order to assist with handwashing (if permission to use hand sanitizer is not given), removing street shoes and clothes in order to prepare for class, bathroom trips if required
  • Special exceptions will be granted for the Classical Ballet Program, ages 8-18 with prior written approval. Prior approval requires a documented disability.

Chaperones must follow on-site protocols at all times including completing the wellness check, washing hands upon arrival and dismissal, wearing a mask, and maintaining 6’ social distancing. Designated chaperone waiting areas will be provided and clearly marked. Younger siblings of students are permitted to join the chaperone-student pair at the wellness check, and if necessary, on premises while the chaperone assists the student to prepare for class. Siblings must be closely supervised at all times and adhere to the safety protocols.

When are students required to wear masks?

Children, parents, faculty, and staff are all required to wear masks the entire time they are at the studio. As masks become less effective once students begin sweating, we recommend bringing multiple masks per day so they can be switched out when needed, including a dry one to go home at the end of the program. Families must have a plan for routine cleaning of masks, and clearly distinguish which side of the covering should be worn facing outwards so they are worn properly each day. BBS will provide assistance to families who need help acquiring masks. BBS will also provide a document with safe practices while wearing masks to all enrolled students ahead of the program start.

What will the daily visual and verbal in-person screening process look like?

The Administrator will conduct a visual inspection of each child for signs of illness, which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness. The Administrator will confirm that the child is not experiencing any of these symptoms including coughing and shortness of breath. In the event that a child is experiencing difficulty breathing, emergency medical services will be called immediately. Individuals who decline to complete the wellness check in its entirety will not be permitted to participate in the program. The administrator will ask the following verbal questions to all students:

  1. Today or in the past 24 hours, have you or any household members had any of the following symptoms:

    • Fever (temperature of 100.0 F or above), felt feverish, or had chills?

    • Cough?

    • Sore throat?

    • Difficulty breathing?

    • Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)?

    • Fatigue? (Fatigue alone should not exclude a child from participation).

    • Headache?

    • New loss of small/taste?

    • New muscle aches?

    • Pink eye?

    • Any other signs of illness?

  2. In the past 14 days, have you had close contact with a person known to be infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

 
If your child or a member of your household is sick, you must notify Boston Ballet School and your child must stay home and participate virtually. Your child will not be penalized for missing in-studio class.

Why is BBS not taking temperature checks?

If your child or any member of your household has a fever, BBS requires that you keep them at home and don’t come to the studio. We think that the most socially responsible thing to do is to require all guardians and children take their temperature at home before they even arrive on-site to prevent necessary exposure and maximize safety.

Policies and Procedures

Will I be allowed to do make-ups for the delayed start of the school year or receive a refund for missed weeks during September?

Our faculty and staff will be adjusting the calendar, to provide the full weeks of instruction typically provided in a school year. We will be communicating these updates as they are finalized.

What is the process for withdrawing?

We continue to monitor daily updates from public health agencies, and will adjust our programming, logistics and availability accordingly so we open our studios when everyone can feel safe and secure, and we can operate in a manner that is responsible. In the event that our programming changes, you will be the first to know and will be guaranteed a full credit, refund, or tax-deductible donation option (your choice).When a student withdraws from any Boston Ballet School class, it is necessary to complete our online Formal Withdrawal Survey. Please email withdrawals@bostonbollet.org to receive the link. The Formal Withdrawal Survey must be completed in order for the account to be properly adjusted. All tuition is pro-rated on a monthly basis. Notification of withdrawal must be received by the Student Services Department via withdrawals@bostonballet.org by 5 pm on the last weekday of the month in order to terminate enrollment and not be charged for the following month (e.g. a withdrawal date between September 1-30 warrants payment for September tuition, but not October). All tuition for the Classical Ballet is non-refundable after March 31, 2021 with the exception of medical withdrawals with an applicable doctor’s note.
 

What will the process look like for Nutcracker this year?

We are unable to provide information regarding Nutcracker at this time. We will update everyone as soon as we are able to later in the coming months.

What if my child misses a class? Can they take a make-up class?

If a student misses a class, they will be allowed to do a make-up class virtually, in their level or below. We will not be offering in person make-ups for the duration of the school year.
 

How do I report absences?

In an effort to track all absences, all absences must be reported to school@bostonballet.org. Please include your child’s name, level, studio location, and reason for absence. A member from our staff will confirm receipt. 
 

Will locker rooms and lockers be available this year?

Due to COVID-19, lockers will not be available for use this year and locker rooms will be available for restroom use only. We ask that all students come in their dress code, with their hair done ready for class, upon arrival.
 

COVID-19 Health and Safety

How will you keep my child safe if they choose to return to in-studio classes?

Boston Ballet School has developed an expansive Risk Reduction Strategy in accordance with CDC and Massachusetts guidelines and requirements. Those requirements include social distancing, frequent handwashing, reduced class capacities, and frequent disinfecting. Boston Ballet has also invested in Sterile-Aire Light systems to the rooftop air handlers. Additionally, Boston Ballet has engaged an Air Balancing service to ensure the optimum amount of fresh air is being introduced to the environment. We require everyone entering the building to self- screen at home prior to arriving, and all parents are required to attest to student and household health prior to their admittance to the building. Masks are to be worn at all times, including during class. Additionally, as we prepare for the upcoming school year, we are closely monitoring community activity and taking the advice of many health experts, including our partners at Boston Children’s Hospital.
 
Participation includes possible exposure to and illness from infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID- 19, which is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. Boston Ballet has put in place enhanced safety and sanitation protocols (outlined in the BBS COVID-19 Safety Guidelines) to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but participation in BB Programming could increase the risk of contracting COVID- 19.

What kind of symptoms will restrict a student from participating in class at the studio?

Parents are required to self-screen their children and household every day before coming to the studio. The following symptoms will restrict a student from participating in person, fever (temperature of 100.0 F or above), felt feverish or had chills, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting), fatigue, headache, new loss of small/taste, new muscle aches, or pink eye. Generally speaking, students should not come into the studio if they suspect illness of any kind (COVID-19 related or not). Students will not be penalized for missing class due to illness. If the student is well enough, they may still participate virtually.

What will happen if a student demonstrates any of these symptoms while at the studio?

If a child exhibits severe symptoms, emergency services will be called immediately. Severe symptoms include: extreme difficulty breathing (i.e. not being able to speak without gasping for air), bluish lips or face, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, severe persistent dizziness or lightheadedness, new confusion or inability to rouse someone, or new seizure or seizures that won’t stop. If a student or staff member demonstrates symptoms when on site, they will be moved to an isolated area of the building and the student’s guardian will be notified for immediate pickup. The student’s primary care physician should be contacted for further instruction. The student’s class will shift to virtual training until further notice.

Will the program shut down if a student shows COVID-19 symptoms?

If a student or staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19, the student and the entire class cohort will immediately move to virtual learning. The student will have to follow guidance from their Primary Care Provider and likely be advised to be tested for COVID-19. If the test is positive, all students in the program will be notified about the positive case while keeping the identity of the individual confidential. The building will be immediately closed to be disinfected, and all programming will switch to online-only until further notice. 

How long does my child need to stay home if they tested positive OR a doctor said they likely have COVID-19?

The person who tested positive can only return once the following criteria are met:

  1. Improvement in respiratory symptoms; AND

  2. It has been 72 hours since a fever resolved without the use of medication; AND one of the following:

  3. 2 consecutive negative tests collected >24 hours apart; OR 10 days have passed since symptoms first occurred (or since the person tested positive, if he/she remains asymptomatic the entire time).

What if my child or a member of my household has been in contact with a confirmed case, or my child or a member of my household tested positive to COVID-19, but doesn’t show symptoms?

Regardless of whether or not the student exhibits symptoms, they must stay home and inform BBS administration. Guardians should contact their child’s primary care physician to obtain testing recommendation and obtain doctor’s note of result.

We celebrate diversity while fostering a team spirit.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director
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