Music School – COVID 19 Protocols

21/22 School Year

Beginning with our new 2021/22 School Year, we are offering in-person instruction for all instruments. Students have the option to request online lessons if desired. We believe it is imperative that we respond transparently and responsibly to the COVID-19 crisis in order to sustain a healthy and safe environment. We will continue to evaluate the Department of Education guidance as well as other state and federal guidance while keeping the health and safety of our student families, our faculty, and our staff as our top priority.

The following list of protocols and policies outlines the measures we are actively taking, and that we will require our student families to take, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

Regarding lessons, classes, and ensembles:

  • As of Monday, March 14, Indian Hill will be “mask optional.”
    • Individuals are always allowed to wear a mask if they choose to.
    • For private lessons, class sessions, and small ensemble rehearsals happening in our studios, teachers will have the option of allowing the space to be “mask-optional” or mask-required for all individuals.
    • For private lessons, if a student chooses to wear a mask and requests that the teacher wear one as well, the teacher will put on a mask when teaching that student.
    • All rehearsals in Blackman Hall will be “mask-optional,” due to our ability to socially distance and to benefit from enhanced HVAC air purification.
    • Our staff will have the option of wearing or not wearing masks in our office spaces, common areas, and Blackman Hall, except when our protocols indicate masking for all.
    • Note that masking protocols are different for attendance at concerts, recitals, and events. 
  • Please see Section 3 for policies related to COVID exposure and positive diagnoses.
 

Regarding attendance at Indian Hill Music School concerts, recitals, events, and our Youth Orchestra/Wind Ensemble concerts:

  • In order to keep our musical community as safe as possible, all event attendees (including audience members and performers) age 16 and older will need to provide proof of full vaccination. (Full vaccination is defined as one shot of J&J COVID-19 vaccine or two shots of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, with two weeks having passed since the final shot was given.)
  • Alternatively, an attendee may provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event start time, or a negative non-home antigen test taken within 24 hours of the event start time, in order to be admitted into the hall.
  • Proof of vaccination or negative test can be shown by either a physical copy or a copy on a smartphone. Such proof must be shown at every event that a patron attends.
  • In order to match vaccination records or negative test results to patrons, patrons 18 years and older must display a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport. Patrons under 18 may use a school ID as proof of identification.
  • All audience members are required to wear a face mask at all times, regardless of age or vaccination status. It is strongly recommended that attendees wear either N95, KN95, KF94, or double masks (cloth mask on top of surgical mask) when in our building.
  • Please note that masks are now optional for professional or student musicians while playing on stage only. There will be at least 12 feet between the stage and the first row of the audience. Seating inside Blackman Hall will be socially distanced for all events.
  • Please Note: If you plan to attend Orchestra of Indian Hill concerts, please read those protocols here, as they are different.

SECTION 1: Indian Hill’s Commitment to Health and Safety for our In-Person Education Programs

  • MASKS: Beginning Monday, March 14, Indian Hill will be “mask optional.”
    • Individuals are always allowed to wear a mask if they choose to.
    • For private lessons, class sessions, and small ensemble rehearsals happening in our studios, teachers will have the option of allowing the space to be “mask-optional” or mask-required for all individuals.
    • For private lessons, if a student chooses to wear a mask and requests that the teacher wear one as well, the teacher will put on a mask when teaching that student.
    • All rehearsals in Blackman Hall will be “mask-optional,” due to our ability to socially distance and to benefit from enhanced HVAC air purification.
    • Our staff will have the option of wearing or not wearing masks in our office spaces, common areas, and Blackman Hall, except when our protocols indicate masking for all.
    • Note that masking protocols are different for attendance at concerts, recitals, and events. 
  • DISTANCING: For all indoor areas, all students, family members, employees, and visitors are encouraged to ensure separation of 3 feet or more between individuals at all times.
  • AIR PURIFICATION: High quality air purifiers will be placed in each instructional space. Significant upgrades have been made to the HVAC filtration system in Blackman Hall, which will also be used for our summer programming.
  • SIGNAGE: Visible signage has been posted throughout the site to remind staff and visitors of hygiene and safety protocols.
  • SURFACES: High touch areas such as instruments, music stands, and piano benches will be wiped down with antibacterial wipes regularly.
  • GENERAL HYGIENE: All individuals will be encouraged to avoid touching their face (particularly eyes, nose, and mouth) with their hands to prevent from getting infected; to cough/sneeze into their sleeve, preferably into their elbow; and to immediately and properly discard any tissues and then wash or sanitize hands.
  • HAND HYGIENE: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will be available throughout the building. Students and employees will also be instructed to wash hands frequently, especially before and after lessons and group instruction.
  • FOOT TRAFFIC: Students and family members are asked not to congregate near entrances/exits or along the walkway area. The elevator will only be available to those who require it for physical reasons, including moving a heavy instrument, and will only be used by one person at a time.
  • PICK-UP / DROP-OFF: With certain exceptions, students must enter the building by themselves. Parents or guardians will only be allowed inside the building for students age eight and under and only to take them to or from the appropriate drop-off or pick-up location, or if there is a special circumstance that makes the presence of a parent or guardian absolutely necessary.
  • WAITING AREAS: There will be designated, socially distanced areas for students waiting for their lesson or class to begin. Students should wait in those marked areas before entering a studio until called by their teacher.
  • FOOD: No food or drink will be allowed in the building.
  • ISOLATION: If a student exhibits symptoms that raise concern, they will be isolated from their peers immediately and placed in a designated Isolation Room while they wait for their parent or guardian to pick them up.
  • POSITIVE CASES: If Indian Hill Music is notified of a positive case at our school, we will conduct contact tracing and cleaning/sanitizing as appropriate and in accordance with the guidance of the CDC, the state, and the local Board of Health.
  • UPDATING GUIDELINES: Indian Hill Music will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally and nationally in order to assess the implication of new restrictions and guidelines on student and employee safety. Plans will be adjusted as needed and communicated to the community directly and on this website.

SECTION 2: Student/Family Obligations

By enrolling in one or more of our school programs, the registrant is agreeing to all of the stipulations below. These guidelines are recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Department of Education as well as other health and medical experts. Please note that COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 virus or other infections even if all safety precautions are followed.

 

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Students / families must become familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19; when to seek medical attention; and the underlying health conditions that may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus. Details are on the CDC website here.
  • Students / families must self-screen at home for symptoms such as fever or other signs of the virus. If a student has COVID-19 symptoms or is not feeling well, the student or family will notify Indian Hill and will not come to the building that day.
  • Students / families must follow all relevant state and federal travel restrictions that might be in place while participating in an Indian Hill program.
  • At all times, students / families must follow the health and safety protocols implemented by Indian Hill Music.
  • All students / families are encouraged to ensure separation of 3 feet or more between individuals at all times unless a lesser or greater distance is outlined in our protocols.
 

SECTION 3: COVID-19 Action Plan

The following is an outline of our COVID-19 Action Plan which we have developed in consultation with the local Board of Health. We will remain in constant communication with any parties involved until their situations are resolved. 

SymptomsStudent families and faculty have been made aware that no one should enter our building with any symptoms of illness.
  • If a faculty member has mild symptoms, they will teach online until they are symptom-free. (Students may decline these online lessons and will receive excused absences.)
  • If a student has mild symptoms, they may be offered online instruction until they are symptom-free. (Students may decline these online lessons and will receive excused absences.)
  • If a student comes to the school with symptoms:
      • Students under 18 will be sent out to their parent/guardian if they are in the parking lot, or brought to our isolation room until the parent/guardian is contacted to pick them up.
      • Adult students will be asked to leave the facility
 

The CDC defines “exposure” as contact with someone infected with COVID-19 in a way that increases the likelihood of getting infected with the virus. Vaccinations and boosters can decrease the likelihood of getting infected with the virus. Safety precautions such as masking, social distancing, and air purification are also measures that decrease the likelihood of getting infected.  If an individual is in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID, and either or both individuals are not practicing safety precautions at the time of contact (i.e. not wearing masks and not socially distancing), that contact should be considered an exposure.

Indian Hill Music requires that everyone follow CDC guidelines which state:

(A) If the exposed individual:

  • is symptom-free; AND
  • has been boosted; or
  • has completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months; or 
  • has completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months;

They are welcome to attend in-person activities at Indian Hill Music. Exposed individuals should take a COVID test after day 5 of their exposure. Strict masking protocols must be followed for 10 days and these individuals should wear either N95, KN95, KF94, or double masks (cloth mask on top of a surgical mask). 

(B) If the exposed individual:

  • has completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and is not boosted; or
  • has completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and is not boosted; or 
  • is unvaccinated;

They should quarantine, and may not enter the Indian Hill Music building for 5 days from the time of the exposure. (They may enter the building on day 6 of their quarantine.) Such individuals should take a COVID test on day 5 after their exposure. Strict masking protocols must be followed for 10 days and these individuals should wear either N95, KN95, KF94, or double masks (cloth mask on top of a surgical mask).

If symptoms develop, the individual may not come to Indian Hill until their symptoms are resolved. It is recommended that the individual get tested for COVID.

Positive test: Students and faculty who have tested positive for COVID-19 must inform us right away by reaching out to Ann Maher at amaher@grotonhill.org or 978-486-9524 x104. If the individual has no symptoms after 5 days (with “day 0” being the day of the positive test), the individual may then attend in-person activities at Indian Hill Music. Strict masking protocols remain in place and these individuals should wear either N95, KN95, KF94, or double masks (cloth mask on top of a surgical mask) for at least an additional five days, though our recommendation is to use one of these types of masks at all times.

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