COVID-19 Protection and Prevention Policies Guide
during the Pandemic
As of: June 2020
Staggered Class Times: When there are multiple classes in one afternoon/evening, class times will be adjusted to avoid people gathering in the area. A suitable amount of time will be left between classes which allows parents to pick up their children, adults to leave the area and the next group can arrive once the other group are gone. We will dismiss 5-10 minutes early- depending on class size and if they need to change rooms. There is a one way system in place so students should not pass each other in the corridors. This will also allow staff to clean equipment where necessary.
Drop Off/Pick Ups: When waiting for the previous class to vacate the building, children should remain in their cars with an adult until they are given the green light to enter the building. Children who are walking should wait in the designated area until it is time for their class to start. This waiting area will be clearly marked upon arrival. Adults should not enter the building and instead drop the children from their cars to the front door ensuring they are marked in by our administrator who will be on the door. Children will have a specified entry door, while children leaving classes will use a separate exit door.
Laragh, Brockagh Centre
Entry: Front door, through foyer and into hall
Exit: Back door beside kitchen at the end of the side corridor
Aughrim Sports Complex
Entry Door: Main door
Exit: Sports Hall or back stairs from the gym.
*We will require parents/guardians to be extra mindful or drop off/pick up times and do so promptly and on time so as to avoid any crossover between classes. Any communications with teachers will have to take place over the phone for the foreseeable future outside of class time.
Uniforms and Belongings: Upon our initial return we are suggesting Mini Star students should not wear their ballet dresses to avoid any hands on assistance from staff. at toilet breaks. Until further notice Mini Stars or any child who may struggle with undressing for toilet breaks should instead wear leggings/shorts and a tshirt. All other students can wear their regular class uniforms. We request that students bring minimal belongings to classes as these will be stored in a specified zone personal to each student and space is limited. Drinks bottles MUST be clearly labelled with your child’s name to avoid mix ups.
Hand Sanitiser and Respiratory Hygiene: Every attendee will be required to wash their hands upon arrival to classes and use hand sanitiser which will be available throughout the duration of the class. Tissues and bins will also be provided for coughs and sneezes and should be used by all students to encourage good respiratory hygiene.
Facemasks: People are welcome to use facemasks during classes if they wish, as long as masks are used securely and taken home to be disposed of or washed. Please note at this time that facemasks are not recommended for physical exercise or young children who may not be able to handle them as directed. PPE and a small number of disposable surgical masks will be on hand and readily accessible for use only if someone develops symptoms of COVID-19 or if a child shows signs of illness and staff members feel they need to use them.
Entry to Class: There will be chairs in the dance studio allocated to each student, so that the student has a home base for where to place their dance bags and belongs, change shoes, where to wait for across the floor work, and to serve as a general base. This will also allow no cross contamination and the teachers will be able to disinfect chair areas between each class.
Bookings: Children will attend classes currently with a phased plan to bring in older students towards the end of summer and younger students in the new Sept term. There will be a limited number of students per class based on the hall/studio size and as per our school Covid-19 Risk Assessment. Classes must be pre-booked via the school website or through the new online booking system on the new studio software app. Further details will be sent when booking opens.
Our floors will be gridded to allow for social distancing as per guidelines, leaving a blank space between each dancer as class sizes are limited. Students will not be permitted to enter the teacher area up front, as well as the stage area which will be the main teaching area and one by our desk, so that teachers can instruct with space.
Centre floor work: each student will warm up, stretch and do centre work in the middle (marked with a floor spot/coloured tape) of their assigned square.
Across the floor: each dancer will wait at their assigned chair and go across the floor when called. Teachers know to randomly stagger those who are called, so no one follows another and possibly breathes in their exhaled droplets.
Changing dance shoes/clothing: students will sit on chairs to change shoes. All students should come to class already in their dance uniforms and as prepared for class as possible as changing facilities are limited and may be closed off entirely.
Classes tailored to avoid contact: Classes will run as normal indoor classes but there will be no partner or contact work at this time. IMPORTANT: Modern and Acro classes- Children will be required to bring their own yoga mat and yoga brick with them to avoid any cross contamination of equipment.
Bathroom: In both venues we have 2 bathrooms, but one is now assigned staff only.
Laragh: Side stage room= Mini Stars and then teachers/ Main bathroom= students.
Aughrim: Disabled WC= Teachers only/ Main Bathroom= students
After they will wash hands, we will have them re-apply hand sanitiser.
Record Keeping: An attendance record of all classes will be kept to facilitate contact tracing in the episode of an infection.
Travel: As per our booking system, families will be required to disclose any travel arrangements outside of Ireland during term time. We will mandate a 14 day break from dance classes for any student (or member of their family who lives within the same household). ESPA must be notified if any signs or symptoms of Covid-19 appear before they may return to classes. We will be considering options to try to implement an online streaming system for students who may not be able to attend classes during this time.
Illness: If a student looks unwell, we will have a contactless thermometer on hand to check temperatures and children will be sent home at the discretion of staff. If a student needs to be picked up, they will be waiting in an isolated area away from other students and staff and will be walked out upon parents arrival.
Please keep any student home if they are sick, have or had fever in last 48 hours, or any other family member at home is sick etc. We will send anyone home who doesn’t feel well.
Social Distancing: HSE Guidelines will be followed. Depending on the venue we will either have grids marked out for individuals or there will be cones or similar used to ensure everyone is spaced evenly at the required distance. This equipment will be sanitised by staff before and after each class
Equipment Sanitising: Equipment will be sanitised between classes with particular attention to high-contact areas such as door handles, hand rails in corridors/stairwells, Ballet barres, mats, props and chairs. Floors under chairs are sprayed with disinfectant.
Contingency Plan for Second Wave: Should classes need to be cancelled again fro a period of time due to a second lockdown or restrictions being re-introduced, ESPA classes are fully prepared to move online so that the term can continue as normal for all of our students. As we are a small business we will not be in a position to offer refunds in order to survive in this situation if it does occur.
Staff: There will be staff and admin on hand at children’s classes to ensure all children are adhering to social distancing guidelines. Staff who identify as having symptoms or who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive will be told to stay home from classes for a set period of time.
Insurance: All teachers and admin staff of ESPA are covered by insurance, are Garda vetted and First Aid and Covid-19 Prevention certified by the WHO and Sports Ireland.
* Our Protection and Prevention Policy is subject to change to comply with the changing guidelines and ensure we are adhering to all advise from the HSE and NPHET. Please ensure you check back here regulalry for updates.