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Public Health/ pandemic policies

Public Health, special pandemic process. 

Over the years we've seen outbreaks in our community like Swine Flu, Covid-19, even outbreaks of hand-foot-mouth.  I regularly reevaluated my process.  As of spring 2023 the Covid-19 pandemic/official emergency is over.  Currently we are back to normal policies & class size (which have been tweaked with modern science).  NO requirements for masks or distancing However I will provide options for personal choice/need. We are still subject to location on final policies. Check blog for updates during the term/season.

Our community has always been blessed with great diversity and with it a variety of need and opinion.  I have always tried to nurture a careful balance of respect and no judgement zone.  Personal choice is respected BUT ultimately I need to set boundaries/agreements for the studio community.  I do listen to all the concerns of our families and community.  I hope you can respect that I have spent considerable time and effort to balance the needs and concerns of everyone involved and reevaluate as new guidance & situations occur.  I am open about my process.  As I stated in my basic health policies I rely on professional/scientific guidance generally and specifically look to the CDC & local experts to set my policies and mitigation strategies- I read them very carefully and do my best to access the best data.  When a health & safety situation arises (future outbreaks of any illness) including Covid, I can implement temporary policies. When available I gather and use info from 3 counties Guadalupe, Bexar, and Comal with particular attention to local government/ISD notification/closures/trends. I take into account location, teachers (their family exposure needs), & registered family opinions/needs. 

Options for classes.  I can do Indoor, outdoor, drive-in, private (or for a specific contact group), and virtual.  I can use a variety of other mitigations.... masks, cleaning procedures, and other guidelines.  I consider vaccination, other immunity, and testing availability.  And I think about weather, developmental need, our KindermusikbySally community need/want , my personal situation, as well as the professional numbers and guidance.  As I make decisions about class size, distancing, masks, I look for vaccine availability for class age range (or guidance on immunity/vulnerability), higher community immunity numbers, and low community numbers (spread & especially hospital).  

Mitigations vary depending on the illness and situation. Although the last few years have had there ups & downs, I don't expect to have long or sever mitigations again (at least not for Covid-19).  As we live with a world with new awareness and concerns, I will have my Covid-19 policies (below) to use as a framework for any situations that may arise. 

Allergy or other concerns. I understand that there are non contagious chronic conditions, difference btwn viral & bacterial conditions, and now vaccination.  Many sever illnesses (like Covid, flu, RSV) can have mild symptoms for some so I ask that you stay vigilant.  If you develop symptoms (like cough, sneezing, intestinal, rash, runny nose) check with your doctor, stay home, use tests to check if possible, and if there is a chronic cough/sneeze situation you can contact me and we can discuss the situation and options.  

General attendance (applies for All Illness but especially with covid or other more contagious are around)...

  *Stay home when sick (or join one of the virtual classes if available) fever, coughing, sneezing, or other indications of contagious illness (list above in regular policies).  With allergies and outside classes the issue of sneezing particularly can be tricky- I personally have this problem.  So if cleared by a doctor, testing negative, random sneeze allergy symptoms are ok.  If regularly sneezing/coughing/etc I do ask for wearing mask ( contact me or see blog for current situation).  I do have a distance thermometer if needed/requested.

  *Inform.  Please inform me (Miss Sally/Sally Dancy) if your child is diagnosed or are/were in close contact with Covid-19, flu, or any other highly contagious disease (like Hand Foot Mouth, Measles, any novel virus).  Your personal info will stay private but this will allow the studio to make decisions on mitigations.  Please follow the isolation period or doctor's advice for that disease.  Covid testing when symptomatic is always appreciated.

  *Clean hands.  I have an outside sink with soap & water and individual hand sanitizers so you can clean upon entering the studio and whenever you wish/necessary during class- we also suggest washing before you leave.

updates specific for Spring/summer 2023 

  *Social distancing- no longer required.  For those who'd like to distance, I continue to have separate carpets or blankets available and you are welcome to set up where you are comfortable.  We will also have communal areas where mixing is expected.  We encourage respecting other person/family boundaries. Boundaries/bubbles can vary so we encourage openness (be honest and share with teacher and other families your preference).  But also be understanding that small children don't understand personal space bubbles or facial/body cues so help your own children by modeling/practicing/redirecting for space, telling families your needs if necessary, ask permission if you're not sure, AND be understanding & flexible of being human (no one is perfect or the same). 

  *Separate container of instruments no longer required and we will have turn taking and communal exploration available.  HOWEVER if you prefer & notify me I will provide separate/designated cleaned instruments in a container handed specifically to your family (I realize depending on age children will need some flexibility on this).  I will also have hand sanitizer available both a communal container and individual containers- you can ask me to sanitize my hands and do the same.  Everything is sanitized to policy guidelines.

Occupancy will depend on the location and risk level. 

*normal, pre pandemic, 10-12 families (24- 30 individuals)

*summer 2023 up to 10 families & may go to 12 in locations with enough space- anytime there is a special need or concern let me know and i can either cap a class or direct you to a smaller class

Any new outbreak, would require new recommendations but you can see examples of options near the bottom of the page.

Specific Mask Policy while at studio- Only When Necessary during an outbreak (notice of outbreaks & temporary policy will be done by email, posted on blog)...

2023 masks are not required however we do ask if you or your child (over 2) are symptomatic either distance or have a mask available when in close contact. We have a liberal makeup policy for those who choose to stay home when they have symptoms (runny nose, cough, etc).

I understand that there are a variety of concerns regarding masks and symptoms when it comes to early childhood activities-- airborne particle spread, childhood development/speech, neuro-difference/need, anxieties, even community care/sensitivity. When masks are necessary, I treat them like other kinds of protective clothing or adaptive devices- with acceptance, good humor, no stigma, and flexibility when the situation allows. You can scroll to near the bottom for examples of what was done during Covid-19. 

Mask Exceptions even during outbreaks... We support everyone's choice in their own space. Even while on our facility property we respect your car as your own space.  Each facility will likely have their own policies on their property (outside the car). In general most outside activities have never needed mask (the courtyard, meadow, firepit, forest).  I still ask that we all be empathetic of other people's bubbles and try to respect others needs especially when within close contact (within 3-6 feet)- other people may choose their own bubble or need for a mask.  If needed i may announce when masks may be required for a particular facility, class, activity.

Reminders, New, or Changing policies will be posted on the BLOG- like everything else will depend on local/timely situation, facility, and as we find what works as a group. Difficult situations are difficult for everyone (including me) and I ask for understanding through whatever comes.  

Example of class options Below a reminder of what kind of classes can be available based on the local situation/numbers...

*during late 22- early 23 max 8 families (upto 20) inperson

*2022 we did inside at 6-8 families (16 individuals)- risk was considered low

*2021-22 inside, 4-6 families (10 individuals)- risk was medium to low

*2020-21 outside, 8 families - risk was high 

*anytime high risk- inside for individual families/private groups (assuming I or another teacher has been cleared)

*anytime highest risk- outside drive-in (6 vehicles) or meadow classes for private groups

*anytime highest risk- no inside but can provide virtual: 12 families/screens

Examples of mask options below a reminder of what mask guidelines we used

*Under 2yo No mask use

  * Generally 2 yos don't use masks. However during times of higher risk masks are suggested IF they are experiencing allergy or cold symptoms.  There is understanding and flexibility with children because of age, need, situation, and parental choice.

  *3-5 encouraged to have a mask available during outbreaks in drop off classes. Parental choice in parent/child classes. Mask use or distancing is suggested when symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, coughing are present.

  *5 & over required to try (with reminder, some special need adaption/exception) in drop off classes.  Parental choice and management when all parents/caregivers are in attendance. For consistency in my small group classes withOut parents masks are required during outbreaks or when presenting with runny nose, sneezing, coughing (again with adaptations & reminders) in class.

  *Adults are respectfully required to have a mask on for any/all close contact during outbreaks.  Inside or out (at least for the time being).  Please respect other people's personal bubbles.

Example of how data was evaluated  below we what we looked at and the advice we follow(ed)

Expert & CDC recommendations and data on risk, use of masks, group size wellness checks, distance, cleaning, even testing & vaccine status.  I do not ask vaccine status (i have no way to verify anyway) but I do consider the local percentages and availability to make decisions on how to manage the situation with inside, outside, drive-in/meadow, private, virtual class situations as well as other mitigations.  

My studio in Cibolo is also my home, I have to be especially careful since multiple members of the family are at high risk -- I thank you for your understanding about this.

Other locations/facilities will have their own processes. I will coordinate with each facility on if, when, and how in-person classes will proceed.  There will likely be some differences between facilities in policies that I have to follow.

  The research now shows that outside activities are safe in most cases.  Even with higher numbers/positivity outside can be done safely with mitigation (different mitigation with different numbers).  So if numbers increase we can move outside; if numbers lower and we can go back to normal occupancy, distancing, covers, etc.   We even have the option for Tailgate, Pool, Courtyard, Meadow if needed.   Weather is also a concern for outside events so they will be contingent on advisories and conducive weather.  During time of heat, I can look into pool events and private inside studio visits (one family at a time). During time of cold, I look for outside heating, drive in events and private studio visits.  I also have done virtual classes and if necessary can do them again. Also before going back to virtual I will just postpone classes for a week or so.

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