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Education

Boston Ballet School Return to Dance Plan

Boston Ballet School is closely monitoring community activity, academic school plans, CDC and Massachusetts guidelines and taking the advice of many health experts, including our partners at Boston Children’s Hospital. The safety of our students and families remains our top priority.

Our mission statement continues to guide our re-opening plans: while excellence in ballet training is crucial to our mission, our job as arts educators goes well beyond technique. The School's philosophy and curriculum support the development of the whole student within a stimulating educational environment.

RECENT UPDATES as of 9.11.2020

We are offering in-studio and virtual classes for the 2020/2021 school year, while understanding the reality that we will likely need to pivot to 100% virtual instruction at times throughout the year.

Children’s Program classes begin September 24 and Classical Ballet Program classes begin October 1. To make up for the delayed start, to ensure students receive the full curriculum over the course of the year, the December break was shortened to one week and we have consolidated the February and April breaks into one week in March. Additional learning opportunities for the Classical Ballet Program will be communicated throughout the year.

Please note: Hand in Hand classes will not be offered this year as this curriculum relies heavily on social interaction, faculty involvement, and various shared equipment, and it would be very difficult to implement our new safety procedures for this age group.

Due to feedback from our Adaptive Dance families, we will be offering virtual classes in the fall (Oct-Dec). The option for hybrid or in-studio classes will be explored for the spring (Mar-May). All Education and Community Initiative programs will be offered virtually through December 2020.

Adult Dance Program classes will be offered virtually until further notice.

HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
Our goal is to keep everyone safe by following appropriate governmental and health recommendations, and proactively implement procedures that will ensure a safe dance environment for all our students and families. Our studios have been redesigned to address social distancing, hygiene, updated staffing and operational procedures, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.

Sanitation

  • All studios will be disinfected before and after class, including wiping barres and  door handles.  
  • Bioesque Botanical solution will be applied to the entire studio, including floors, using a electrostatic sprayer (fogger).
  • Common areas will be disinfected frequently.
  • Sanitation stations will be available upon entry and throughout the studio.
  • All studios will be supplied with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.
  • Masks are required for all students, parents, and staff throughout the entirety of the program unless you are unable to comply due to a documented disability. BBS will have additional masks if needed.
  • Locker rooms are open for restrooms but not for changing. The lobby and showers are closed. Contactless water bottle refill stations and water fountains will be closed. Students should bring their own water bottles each day.
  • Six feet of social distancing is required throughout the entire program.
  • Students are required to wash their hands after using the bathroom, sneezing, coughing, or nose blowing, and when entering and exiting the building.
  • Students should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Signage is displayed at the throughout all studio locations that describes sanitation procedures, social distancing guidelines, and information regarding COVID-19.
  • Boston Ballet has 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.  The HVAC system and filters are frequently being inspected and replaced as necessary. Filters have been upgraded to MERV-13.


Social Distancing at the Studio

  • Class capacities have been reduced to accommodate social distancing.
  • ​Each student will be assigned a marked off spot at the barre and in the center of the room.
  • Each space will be a minimum of 6’ apart from each to maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Students and faculty are required to remain in their designated areas for the duration of the class.
  • There will be spaces marked off in front of the mirror for students to leave belongings (e.g. water bottle, small dance bag), to remove outerwear and to change into their shoes.
  • All doors will be propped open before and after class. Only the faculty member will touch the door to close it during class.
  • There will be no physical contact during class, including corrections from faculty except in cases where a student may injure him/herself or others. 
  • Students will enter and exit the studios by using a one-way system. Social distancing markers will be placed on the floor for students to follow throughout the building.
  • All students and faculty will remain six feet apart in hallways.

Mask Safety

  • Everyone is required to bring their own face coverings and wear inside at all times, including during dance class.
  • Faculty members will help students acclimate to wearing a mask when exercising.
  • Students should bring at least three clean masks to the studio so they can be switched out when wet from sweat or breathing.
  • Cloth masks must preferably have layers. Bandanas, handkerchiefs, fleece balaclavas, and neck gaiters are not acceptable masks.
  • Masks should be clearly marked with the child’s name and clearly distinguish which side of the covering should be worn facing outwards, so they are worn properly each day.
  • Masks should be washed frequently.

Arrival and Drop Off Procedures

  • Prior to the start of a program, each student will be assigned a level. Arrival and dismissal times will be staggered by level.
  • Students need to conduct a daily self-screen, including temperature checks, for themselves and household members prior to arrival.
  • Students must arrive and wait where 6’ social distancing markers will be placed.
  • Only one guardian-student pair is allowed to check-in at a time.
  • At the front desk, a BBS Administrator will conduct a visual and verbal wellness check and maintain a record on file for each student. The guardian/student is also required to sign a daily attestation that their child and members of their household do not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, has had their temperature checked at home, and no exposure is suspected.
  • If admitted, the student will wash their hands and go directly to their pre-assigned studio.
  • Students are asked to arrive in their dance gear and with a small bag consisting a water bottle, ballet slippers and pointe shoes (where applicable).
  • Each level will have a staggered dismissal time.
  • Students must wash their hands before leaving.

Approved Chaperones

One chaperone per student under the age of 21 is permitted on site at a time for purposes of checking in only.

In order to reduce occupancy levels on premises, during class time, Boston Ballet School will limit chaperones 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, 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.

WHAT IF BBS HAS A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19?

  • If a student or staff member becomes ill during the course of the day, they will be isolated to a specific area until they can leave the building. The parent or guardian will be notified immediately and asked to pick up their child.
  • If a student or member of the household becomes ill during the course of the program, contact BBS at SCHOOL@BOSTONBALLET.ORG. The student must remain at home.
  • The family must contact their Primary Care Physician for medical advice and guidance. Boston Ballet School must notify the local Board of Health.
  • The affected cohort will receive virtual training effective immediately until further notice.
  • If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the building will close to be disinfected and all students will begin virtual classes immediately and continue them until reopening.
  • BBS will respect the privacy and confidentiality of any student or staff member who reports an illness. BBS will inform others of an infected individual but will do so without identifying the individual by name.
  • In compliance with the CDC and local health officials, no students who have symptoms of COVID-19, which may include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, running nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or new loss of taste or smell, should enter the studio.
  • Parents are required to keep a log of student’s travel and symptoms at home. If the student, or any family member living in the student’s home show signs of sickness, the student should not come to the studio.
  • Student will not be penalized for sickness-related absences. Please email school@bostonballet.org to report an absence.
  • As a reminder, staff, students and guardians must ensure that they follow all state-mandated safety and quarantine requirements, including the most up to date Massachusetts Travel Order

COVID-19 EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Guardians are encouraged to read through these COVID-19 educational resources prior to participating in any BBS program.

Please reach out to school@bostonballet.org with any questions or concerns. Information and schedules are subject to change.

We celebrate diversity while fostering a team spirit.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director
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