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 – Updated 2/28/2022

ENHANCED CLEANING & AIR CIRCULATION

● Cleaning frequency and procedures include the following:
○ EPA approved cleaning solutions
○ Daily 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.
● Other Safety Protocols
○ 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.

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 common spaces to include dressing rooms and hallways.
● If a student remains at MSA during a break, we ask that they continue social distancing when possible in the hallways and eat/drink in a designated snack area at least six feet from any other person. MSA is not equipped to monitor the lobbies at all times, so please remind your children of these important mitigation measures should they be staying in the building between classes and/or be eating/drinking
● Lobbies remain restricted to faculty/staff and students who may be transferring between classes to limit traffic and exposure. MSA will re-evaluate this policy in the coming weeks.
● 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

● MSA will adopt the CDC’s revised guidance for masking based on community levels, updated February 25, 2022. Please see below for guidance:

Low
● Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk
Medium
● If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness
○ Talk to your healthcare provider about additional precautions, such as wearing masks or respirators indoors in public
○ If you live with or have social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness, consider testing yourself for infection before you get together and wearing a mask when indoors with them.
High
● Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings)
● If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness
○ Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection

● For the time being (but subject to change), the following limited exceptions to the mask-wearing requirement (when community levels require masking)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.

SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS

● Teachers will encourage students to keep distance during classes and rehearsals when possible.
● 2021-2022 Youth Classes are scheduled to be in person. 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. During heightened periods of community transmission, virtual options may not require the permission of a director. Families will be notified when these adjustments are available.
● 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 or community levels change, we will adjust the in-person class limits and begin a hybrid rotation schedule if applicable.

POSITIVE CASE ACTION PLAN

If an MSA individual reports a positive case and has been onsite during their infectious period (48 hours prior to symptoms/positive test if asymptomatic), MSA leadership will:
● Follow up with the positive case about isolation/quarantine guidelines for return to in-person activities through email.
● Notify the class(es) of the potential exposure through email. 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.
● Work with local health officials to support contact tracing only in instances of a determined outbreak. Students identified as a close contact during said outbreaks may be paused or quarantined.

RETURN GUIDANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS with COVID-19

MSA will adopt CDC’s recommendation for a five-day period of isolation for students, faculty, & staff.
Individuals who are COVID-19 positive are able to return to in person active when ALL of the following criteria are met:
● Student completes at least 5 days of isolation from symptom onset for symptomatic students or 5 days since testing positive (day test administered) for COVID-19 for asymptomatic students; AND
● Student is fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; AND
● Student’s symptoms have significantly improved (with the exception of loss of sense and smell which may remain well after…..) AND
Student is required to wear a N95 OR a surgical mask when returning to MSA on Day 6-10

RETURN GUIDANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CLOSE CONTACTS

MSA will adopt CDC’s recommendation for a five-day period of quarantine for students, faculty, & staff who have been identified as a close contact during a period of outbreak.
Asymptomatic individuals who are close contacts are able to return to school when ALL of the following criteria is met:
● Student completes five days of quarantine; AND
● Student is asymptomatic; AND
● Student is required to wear a N95 OR a surgical mask when returning to MSA on Day 6-10
Some individuals may be exempt from quarantine if they meet the CDC criteria, are able to wear a face mask, and are asymptomatic:
● Individuals must complete the MSA vaccination survey, and receive a clearance email from management prior to resuming in-person learning and activities.

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.
● Students should 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 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. If a student remains at MSA during a break, we ask that they continue social distancing when possible and eat/drink in a designated snack area at least six feet from any other person. MSA is not equipped to monitor the lobbies at all times, so please remind your children of these important mitigation measures should they be staying in the building between classes and/or be eating/drinking.

All families are required to sign a COVID ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND AGREEMENT (updated Jan. 14, 2022)
Please use following link.

MSA COVID-19 AGREEMENT AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – Updated January 2022

MSA COVID-19 AGREEMENT AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – Updated January 2022
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. 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.

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 [or my minor child/children] will stay at home if I [or my minor child/children] am experiencing any of the symptoms listed above unless medical documentation can be provided to attest to the fact that said symptoms are not due to any communicable illness.
I [or my minor child/children] will stay at home if I [or my minor child/children] have tested positive for COVID-19 and am/are within the advised isolation period.
I [or my minor child/children] will stay at home if I [or my minor child/children] have been exposed to COVID-19 and am/are within the advised quarantine period.
When in doubt, I [or my minor child/children] will use virtual options to ensure the safety of others.
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.

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.