OCM Health Precautions for In-Person Lessons

May 19, 2020

Dear Conservatory students, parents and families,

We would like to thank you again for your continued efforts and flexibility as we navigate this uncertain time. The stories and photos you’ve shared with us over these past weeks have lifted our hearts and spirits. We are so proud of all you’ve accomplished during your virtual lessons at home!

Here at the Omaha Conservatory, we have been actively monitoring the coronavirus situation and sending regular updates to our community. As we’ve shared previously, virtual learning will continue through most of this month. OCMI in July (full- and half-day) is currently still on the schedule to occur in-person as planned.

Week 34 of the academic year ends this coming Monday, May 17. Make-up week begins May 18 with the building closed for Memorial Day weekend from Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25. We will finish out the academic year lessons and make-ups as virtual lessons with the first possible in-person lesson occurring on Tuesday, May 26.

We encourage you to talk with your teacher about your level of comfort in returning to in-person lessons and your teacher’s plan for offering in-person lessons. Our top priority is the health and safety of our musical community. Each student should receive six summer lessons as part of the 40 lessons offered in the 2019/20 year, and you should work with your teacher to determine when those lessons will be scheduled and whether you prefer to maintain the virtual lesson format or if you would feel comfortable having an in-person lesson. There is flexibility with regard to scheduling summer lessons, which is beneficial to everyone.

Tuesday, May 26 will be the first day OCM will allow in-person lessons. For those teachers and families returning to in-person lessons, we wanted to inform you in advance of the health precautions we are implementing.

The following procedures are mandatory and must be complied with as a precondition to entering OCM and/or receiving lessons: 

  • Wellness check: Students and their guardians should not come to OCM if they have or have had in the past 14 days: a cough, a fever, shortness of breath, difficulties breathing, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal upset or a loss of taste or smell. To encourage adherence to this requirement, the lesson may be converted to the virtual format if needed.
  • Arrival at your lesson: To minimize time in the building, students and their guardians should enter the building no more than 5 minutes prior to their lesson. Teachers will finish lessons 3-5 minutes early to allow time for them to sanitize their space. In waiting for your lesson to start, social distancing must be maintained and we ask that students and guardians not congregate in the hallway if social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Where to enter: Students and their guardians will enter through the south overhang doors. At present, these will be the only doors unlocked for students to enter. If the guardian is not attending the lesson, they will drop their child off at the south overhang doors and return to pick them up at the conclusion of the lesson. 
  • Wash your hands: Students and guardians must wash their hands upon entering the facility. After washing their hands, they should go directly to the studio to be admitted by their teacher. Here’s a great video on how to wash hands effectively!
  • Masks: The use of masks in OCM’s common spaces is encouraged to the extent practical. Your student’s teacher will notify you if they require masks to be worn in their studio.
  • Sanitation: Each teacher will sanitize all areas where persons have been during the time the studio was opened and between lessons. OCM’s cleaning service will continue their regular schedule of cleaning the facility, sterilizing door knobs, surfaces, etc. throughout the building, as well as in the studios.
  • Social distancing: Proper social distancing must be maintained in common areas and in the studio. In the case of voice and wind/brass instruments, those in-person lessons will take place in the larger classrooms and gathering spaces.
  • Common areas: The coffee shop will remain closed until further notice. Everyone should avoid lingering in other common areas.

We ask that everyone treat the COVID-19 situation seriously, adhering to the above procedures so as to minimize the risk to all who enter the facility. Any concerns with these procedures, or otherwise, may be brought to the attention of the staff or faculty of OCM.

Thank you again for supporting our mission to create a vibrant musical community! We thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you join us in our ongoing commitment to health and safety as we navigate forward.

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