Metropolitan School of the Arts will continue to monitor Covid-19 policies and procedures with support from the MSA Covid-19 Response Task Force. In modifying policies, MSA strives to balance scientific research, CDC guidance, and health department recommendations and requirements in addition to government directives at the federal, state, and local levels. MSA will abide by health guidelines; therefore, classes and performances may be in person, virtual or a mixture of both at any point during the year. We must insist that each of us, including specifically those entering our MSA facilities commit ourselves to doing our part to help keep each other safe.

SAFETY GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

ENHANCED CLEANING & AIR CIRCULATION

● Cleaning frequency and procedures include the following:
○ EPA approved cleaning solutions
○ Daily evening cleaning of the entire facility
● Air quality improvements
○ We have conducted an air quality inspection of our facility with a licensed contractor that included a review of our HVAC system
○ HVAC filters have been upgraded and some units entirely replaced.
○ GPS’ NPBI technology upgrade has been added to replaced units. GPS’ patented NPBI technology uses an electronic charge to filter particles in the air and kill any pathogens . The technology cleans all of the air stream through the system. If you are interested in more information, MSA is happy to share the details.
○ Air purifying units are in use in all private music rooms.
● Clear plastic sneeze guards around the front desk area.
● Additional portable barres to allow as much distance as possible between dancers.
● Clear outdoor signage at the entrance/exits as required by Virginia guidelines.
● Clear indoor signage for MSA safety policy reminders.

TEMPERATURE SCREENINGS AT THE DOOR

All faculty/staff undergo temperature checks at the door by a no-touch thermometer prior to working or teaching each day.
All students have their temperature checked at the door by a no-touch thermometer; Any student with a temperature > 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will be sent home. Parents are asked to not leave the property until the child is admitted into class.

CLOSED AREAS/LIMITED ACCESS/TRAFFIC

All students and guests must enter through the main set of front doors.
Dressing rooms are open for students. However, we strongly encourage students to come dressed and limit their dressing room usage. Students are not permitted to congregate in the dressing rooms.
Lobbies remain restricted to faculty/staff and students who may be transferring between classes to limit traffic and exposure.
Parents are permitted in the building after a temperature screening for administrative questions or restroom use but will not be permitted to wait in lobbies for the entire class.
Early childhood parents will be able to walk students to the classroom if necessary.
PP1 and PP2 parents who want to observe a class may do so via the Zoom class links with cameras off and muted to limit distractions.
Restrooms are open. However, we ask that students use the restroom at home when possible and only use restrooms for emergencies. Blower-style hand dryers have been deactivated and replaced with paper.

FACE COVERINGS

Universal masking, regardless of vaccination status, is currently recommended by the CDC and is therefore a component of our safety plan. This policy is subject to change as CDC guidance and state directives evolve in response to greater information becoming available about the transmission of COVID-19 from vaccinated individuals and the risks to children associated with the disease and with vaccination.
Masks need to cover your nose, mouth and chin, with no gaps where respiratory droplets can easily escape.
Faculty will modify training as necessary.
Students are asked to bring multiple masks to class(es). If your mask becomes wet from sweat or heavy breathing, change it out for a clean, dry mask. We suggest bringing two bags for your masks: one marked “CLEAN” and the second marked “DIRTY” for used masks.
For the time being (but subject to change), the following limited exceptions to the mask-wearing requirement shall be allowed:
● those with medical conditions supported with documentation to the effect that wearing a mask while physically exerting oneself would subject them to an unreasonably heightened risk of exacerbating the condition ​and​ a signed medical waiver on file (N​ote​: students in a class with another student allowed to participate without a mask will be notified in advance and allowed to participate virtually if choosing not to participate under such conditions.)
● those working in a studio or classroom alone without any other person(s) present.
● those wearing a face shield for a music theater coaching. (must receive parental permission)

SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS

Class sizes are limited based on studio layout to maximize a student’s potential and safety.
Students will be permitted to be 100% in person at the start of the school year. 100% virtual options will be available with a director’s approval for those who are not comfortable returning to in person training at this time. To request a virtual option, please email Louise Hislop, lhislop@metropolitanarts.org
Activity that requires physical contact or the use of shared equipment/props will be permitted when needed. Hand sanitizer will be available before and after the activity.
Should guidelines change, we will adjust the in-person class limits and begin a hybrid rotation schedule.

POSITIVE CASE ACTION PLAN

MSA will notify the Virginia/Fairfax County Health Department and follow recommendations which may include contact tracing. To protect patient privacy, contacts are only informed that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. The identity of the positive case will remain confidential. Classes with known potential exposure will be notified by MSA administration. MSA will comply with Health Department requests for information necessary to proceed with contact tracing and notifications.

WHAT TO DO/EXPECT “THE DAY OF” YOUR IN-PERSON CLASS

For those participating in person, a signed waiver is required. Waivers will be updated as government mandates and guidance shift during the pandemic recovery phases.
Take your temperature at home and monitor symptoms. If your temperature is >100.4 or you are experiencing other symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), please stay home. We would like to avoid sending kids home after they arrive.
Students are permitted to enter the building via the front door only ten minutes prior to their first class. Upon arrival, please line up at the front door and wait for a faculty/staff member to take your temperature.
Students must sanitize their hands before walking into the classroom. Hand sanitizer stations will be at the entrance of each studio to use before and after class.
Students will head straight to their assigned studio after the screening.
All guests and faculty are required to sign in. Students will be signed in by faculty via our new online attendance system.
Students should only bring a small dance bag with dance shoes, water bottle, and extra masks.
Studios have designated areas for personal belongings.
The water fountains are off limits. The water bottle refilling station is open.
Faculty will use the first few minutes of class to ensure everyone has received a temperature check.
Faculty will use the last few minutes of class to clean barres/shared equipment and floors when necessary.
Parents are asked to arrive 5 minutes prior to the end of class for student pick-up.
Students with same-day classes will be able to remain in the facility and transition through the lobbies to another studio for their next class.

All families are required to sign a COVID ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND AGREEMENT form (see below) before the start of the 2021-22 Session.
Please use following link.

COVID ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND AGREEMENT

Metropolitan School of the Arts will continue to monitor Covid-19 policies and procedures with support from the MSA Covid-19 Response Task Force. In modifying policies, MSA strives to balance scientific research, CDC guidance, and health department recommendations and requirements in addition to government directives at the federal, state, and local levels. MSA will abide by health guidelines; therefore, classes and performances may be in person, virtual or a mixture of both at any point during the year.
To this end, we must insist that those seeking to utilize our facilities disclose relevant health and personal information and call upon each of us to accept personal responsibility to assist us in implementing and maintaining these sanitation, disinfection, and facilities use procedures for the collective benefit of all of us.
First, familiarize yourself with the following list of known symptoms of COVID-19:
Fever or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fatigue
Muscle or body ache
Headache
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

PLEDGE OF SAFETY COMMITMENT/COOPERATION

While I/we recognize that an individual exhibiting any one or more of the foregoing symptoms may not be infected with COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and welfare of our MSA community and those with whom we all, in turn, might come into contact, as a member of the MSA community, I/we hereby accept and acknowledge a heightened responsibility and personal obligation to limit, and to avoid to the extent within my/our personal control, exposing others to the risk(s) of contracting and/or in turn exposing others to COVID-19.

HEALTH/PERSONAL INFORMATION

I/we will stay at home if I/we fall into any of the following categories:
Any member of my household, including myself (to the best of my knowledge), has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within 14 days prior to entering the building.
Any member of my household, including myself, believes that we have been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case of the Coronavirus(COVID-19) within 14 days prior to entering the building.
Any member of my household, including myself, has experienced or is currently experiencing (to the best of my knowledge), any of the symptoms listed above within 24 hours of entering the building.
Furthermore, I/we confirm that
I am [or my minor child/children is/are] otherwise healthy and physically capable of participating in dance or other activity without limitation at this time.
Should any of the foregoing materially change, I will notify MSA and will remain at home and/or refrain from participating in any MSA-related activity until circumstances again allow.

WAIVER OF LIABILITY/ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK

By signing below, I {parentguardianName}, and/or as parent/guardian on behalf of myself and on behalf of the student(s) identified herein, acknowledge and accept that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases exists in any public place where people are or have been present. By attending and participating in activities at or in an MSA facility, I, for myself and, if/as appropriate, on behalf of the MSA student(s) identified herein, voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and irrevocably agree that MSA and/or any officer, director, faculty, staff, independent contractor and/or other authorized agent(s) shall not be liable (except as may be limited or required, such as underlies Workers’ Compensation insurance, for example) for any illness or injury occasioned by or otherwise resulting from one’s participation with MSA or use of its facilities to the fullest extent permitted by governing law (that of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions), and in any event any such liability as may be deemed unwaivable, shall be limited to the extent legally permitted, to only such action or inaction as might be deemed to constitute willful or malicious action/inaction knowingly or purposefully intending to cause such illness or injury, and shall be further understood to be limited to exclude any consequential, indirect, third-party, and/or not reasonably foreseeable damages. In any event, this Waiver/Acknowledgement shall be admissible as evidence of the undersigned’s affirmative recognition of and contribution to the risk of potentially negative consequences (including but not limited to personal and eventual third-party sickness and possible death) resulting from possible exposure to COVID-19 by attending and/or participating in activities at or in an MSA facility.

FINAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I have read and understand all of the above material and agree to comply with MSA’s COVID-19 safety measures and requirements. I also understand that MSA reserves the right to terminate on-site or overall participation in lessons or classes due to non-compliance.