Latest COVID Update: Toronto Phase 3 Re-Opening
Toronto is moving into Phase 3 Reopening. Toronto Arts Academy will be making plans for a strategic, and phased re-opening of our schools. Below is an overview of the procedures we are putting in place:
- You may continue your lessons online only, or continue in-person, or a blend of both, when we reopen.
- Both staff and students are required to not enter the school and stay home if they feel sick at all or are experiencing any symptoms such as coughing, fever, or sneezing.
- There will be increased safety precautions including: mandatory masking; lesson room plexiglass barriers; social distancing between staff, teacher and students; friends and family members must wait outside or in their cars; one way flow of traffic through the schools; touch point cleaning in between students; & a team of cleaners cleaning the schools daily.
- Disposable non-medical masks will be made available to students as needed, as well a limited number of face shields.
- Once opened, we may be required to close again and return to online only if/as needed.
Q: Do I need to return to the academy for in-person lessons?
A: Absolutely not! You are welcome to continue your lessons online, or come to the academy, or do both.
Q: When are you opening the academy?
A: We are expecting to return to in-person lessons middle of August.
Q: Who needs to wear a mask and when?
A: All staff, parents, and students with the exception of children under 8 years old, are required to wear masks at all times while in lessons, or hallways. You may observe our staff without masks if they are alone in a room, or alone in a room teaching on zoom. They will be required to wear mask when leaving their lesson room however.
Q: Are singers allowed to continue lessons at the academy?
Yes! We have installed plexiglass barriers in each lesson room, available non-medical masks for those who need them, and we’re providing 2m distanced space for lessons so that even singers can return to in-person lessons.
What We're Doing To Navigate Covid-19
An Evolving World
It’s no secret that the world has changed dramatically in the past few months. Things that would have seemed off the wall in January are now common practice, the biggest of these being social distancing, which has affected so many aspects of our lives. Interactions that have always been done in person have moved online: work meetings, classes, and even socializing with friends.Music lessons have changed as well, with our entire school currently operating online for the safety of both our students and staff. Although we have always offered online lessons, we did have to make some small changes in order to shift our business 100% online. As the province prepares to reopen, all of us have questions about how we as a society should best move forward. Our academy is also adjusting to all these fast moving changes.
With change of any kind it is normal to be wary and have questions. We hope to address some of those below.
Adapting To Change
Change is scary, but it almost always contains some good. By temporarily losing the routine ways of going about our lives we are forced to be present, to interact with the world in an active manner instead of drifting on autopilot. This provides the opportunity for creative problem solving, for passions to re-emerge and for finding new ways to answer questions long hardened by habit.
Adding A TON Of Free Bonus Classes!
We have made a massive investment and significantly growth to our group call schedule and programming. You can find over dozens of bonus online group classes for our students to access exclusively for either adults or for kids!
Our Temporary Shift Online
Many students think they can’t continue their hobbies or after-school activities during the Covid closures. But that’s not the case! Our online music lessons are designed to be easy to use for our students to continue their music lessons online! While we’ve always provided online music lessons as an alternative to our in-person lessons when students and parents might be away on holiday, we’ve invested heavily in improving our online lessons system during the closures! We’re sure your experience with our online lessons will be fun and exciting! When the schools re-open, you can continue your lessons in-person with your reserved lesson time at the academy, or continue your lessons online. It’s up to you!
Enhancing Our Online Lesson Platform
We took some significant steps to make our online lesson platform even better. Among the things we changed include:
- Reworking our office staffing so that we have one dedicated staff member to assist with zoom lessons only. This is why if you call the school, the person you speak with on the phone is probably not be the person you will meet when you drop in to visit us on zoom
- Training teachers on how to use zoom, including how to make the correct adjustments to get the best audio for both teachers and students
- Created a tech support system so that if any issues are encountered, our head office manager is available to jump on the session and help our office, teachers and students as needed!
Everything very organized with calls to remind us beforehand about our Zoom lesson
Thomas is so happy and upbeat. Everything is very organized with calls to remind us beforehand about our Zoom piano lesson. Really supportive!
Getting Ready To Reopen The Academy
Our Cleaning Procedures
We invested significantly in cleaning systems and products. Before the school had to close, we hired a team of dedicated daily cleaners to give the schools a deep clean everyday. We also purchased hand sanitizing dispensers and commercial sanitizing wipe dispensers, and include lots of soap and water for our staff and students to use freely.
The Option To Continue Online Or In-Person
While our teachers will be based at the academy, you will still be able to choose whether to continue to have your lesson in-person or online. If you choose to have your lessons in-person, your lesson will be shortened from 30 minutes, to 28 minutes. Ending your lesson 2 minutes early will enable us to properly clean and wipe down the instruments after use during your lesson.
The Slow Reopening Of Toronto Businesses
Currently, news about the business closures changes daily. We except that at some point soon, we will be allowed the opportunity to serve you again in person soon. But just because we can, doesn't mean we will. We will weigh the risks and data available to make the most informed decision about when to reopen our location. We do not want to put our staff, students, of families in danger. When we do make the decision to open, here's what you can expect.
Use Of Protective Masks
Until recommended otherwise, moving forward we expect that when we reopen the schools, we will require both students and teachers to wear masks at all times. We will also provide disposable masks available at the door. We know how difficult it can be to find reusable masks right now. Especially ones that look cool! So we’ve done some of that work for you and we’ve ordered custom branded masks with replacement filter pockets. We are planning to make one mask available to every student and teacher.
Parents To Wait Outside
In order to maintain social distancing, we will ask that parents as much as possible to not to enter the school. Family members will be required to wait outside or in their car, or enjoy some local shopping.
Still want to check in on your kids during your lesson time? No problem! Let the office staff know, and we will be sure to setup zoom so that you can observe the lesson with your child through your zoom remotely. You are also welcome to observe our security camera tv from outside so long as you are able to observe social distancing from other parents.
How Do I Get Started?
We love helping new students and families! Have a question? No problem! Send us a message or give us a call! We can answer any of your questions, and help get you setup easily and quickly with the best teacher that's right for you.