COVID precautions

 

 

Updated 8/10/2020

We are happy to announce that we will be able to have band in person this school year! Though this year will look different than what your students are used to due to health and safety precautions, students will have the ability to be in band whether they are in-person or digital learners.

We take the health of your students VERY seriously during this pandemic. The last few months, Dr. Shelly Miller at the University of Colorado led a scientific study in the UC Boulder Aerosol lab to discover if and how Covid 19 would be spread while playing musical instruments and singing. Their findings are currently being corroborated by Dr. Jelena Srebric at the University of Maryland and they are repeating their tests to ensure accuracy. They found that playing a wind instrument does not generate any additional aerosols than a normal conversation would from about six feet away; however, they had some recommendations in order to reduce the spread of aerosols even further.  We have taken all of their recommendations into consideration while formulating our guidelines for the safety of our students. You can read more about the study and see their results here.

 

For all of our students who choose to come back to school in-person, we will be making the following modifications in accordance with UIL, CDC, and district guidelines as well as the results of the UC Aerosol study. These guidelines are in addition to our district health protocols, which you can read about here.

Virtual learners

  • All students who wish to enroll virtually will be able to participate in the band program!

  • We will be sending out more details as plans get finalized, but we welcome all students who want to be a part of our band program!

Entering and leaving the room

  • We will wait for the previous class to leave the band room before the next class comes in to avoid crowding at the door and in the locker room.

  • Students will wear masks as they enter and leave the room.

  • Student lockers will be spread out as far as possible from other students in their class.

  • All students will use hand sanitizer as they enter the room.

  • The band locker room will be ONE WAY ONLY in order to ensure proper social distancing.

  • ​Students will only touch their locker, instruments, and supplies.

Student Spacing and class sizes

  • Students will be spaced out 6 feet away from each other in all directions and students will stay in their seats throughout the duration of class.

  • Trombones will have an additional 3 feet of space in front of them, as recommended by the UC: Boulder Aerosol study referenced above.

  • Beginner classes are small enough already to stay in their current classrooms.

  • Symphonic Band and Honor Winds will be split up into smaller groups in multiple rooms to make the class size smaller so we can space students out adequately.

Masks

  • All students will wear masks as they enter the room until they are seated in their chairs.

  • Wind players will slide masks down to the chin while playing their instruments and slide them back when students are not playing and while receiving instruction.

  • Percussion students will wear masks during class.

  • At the end of class, or if students need to stand up to walk around, they will put their masks back on again.

Instruments

  • None of our wind players share instruments, so there won't be a chance of spread from instrument contact.

  • We already have a policy of "don't touch an instrument that isn't yours" and it will continue to be enforced this year.

  • The UC: Boulder Aerosol study found that aerosols are not transmitted much from instruments, but that the primary source on every instrument is the bell, and that air primarily goes forward.

    • Students will all sit facing the same direction to minimize potential exposure and be spread six feet apart.

    • All instruments will have bell covers, as recommended by the study above. We will provide those bell covers, more details coming soon.

  • Flute players will have an additional cover over their headjoints.

  • Brass players will NOT empty their water keys on the carpet.

Disinfecting

  • At the end of class, all chairs and stands will be disinfected.

    • We won't be moving chairs at all and stands will be adjusted at the start of class but otherwise won't be touched. This is just an additional precaution we will be taking!​

  • Percussion instruments will be disinfected as needed.

  • NO wind instruments will be shared between students, so disinfecting will be unnecessary.

    • If you would feel more comfortable with your student disinfecting their mouthpieces frequently, the product that is used for that is called Mi-T-Mist. Click here to see the manufacturer's website. You can buy it directly from them or from any one of our local music stores. Please do not use any household cleaners to disinfect any instruments as they could be damaged!

Miscellaneous

  • No talking will occur without face masks. They will stay on any time students are not playing their instruments.

  • The study recommended HEPA filters for band halls. We have already ordered these and they will be installed as soon as they arrive.

  • The study recommended a specific air refresh rate for the room (3ACH) and we will be discussing with our maintenance and facilities department.

© 2020 Argyle Middle School Band