Art Steps News & Notes!

Covid-19 Safety Accommodations

March 11, 2022

Dear Art Steps families, staff and vendors,

As of March 12, 2022, mask wearing is optional for students in our studios. In light of recent CDC guidelines, the State of California plans to remove mask mandates in schools as of March 12, and all school districts local to our studios seem to be falling in line with the policy. 

We follow guidance from these organizations for all aspects of running our small business, including pandemic safety measures. We stay alert to changes from all agencies each day, stay up-to-date with CDC recommendations and modify policies accordingly.  

At this time, as staff and students acclimate to this change as of March 12, we plan to continue to ask parents to drop-off only and not enter the studio except for rare exceptions.

SAFETY POLICIES as of March 12, 2022
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Students & Parents
  • Only students, staff and Free Introductory Class students' guardinans will be allowed inside the studio. 
  • Students are not to come to the studio with any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell. Makeup classes will be provided for symptomatic children. We require that any known case of COVID-19 in a student’s household be reported to our office on the day that it is discovered. 
  • Parents must sign an Assumption of Risk and Liability Waiver on paper or digitally, as an addendum to the Waiver section in Art Steps Customer Portal.
  • Students who either will not or cannot abide by the above requirements for any reason will be asked to leave the premises as soon as it is safe to do so, per the teacher’s or Studio Manager’s sole discretion. 
  • Art Steps reserves the right to ask any particular student not to return to the studio for any reason, and reserves the right to require written documentation of a negative COVID-19 test or of sufficient quarantine before allowing a student into the studio.

Ventilation
  • Advanced MERV air filters have been installed into the HVAC system for each studio location.
  • Each classroom is outfitted with a standard air purifier, whose filter is changed monthly.
 
Teaching Methodology
  • Demonstrations may be done at the student’s bench as usual, but where equally effective, the teacher will conduct demonstrations at a distance, such as using a pointer stick or bringing the drawing board away from the student.
  • Teachers may briefly touch a child’s hand or art supplies where needed to teach a specific technique. Teachers will stay aware that it is better to choose hands-off teaching methods instead when equally effective.
  • Hand sanitizer will be kept at each student’s workstation and on teacher aprons for use after any hands-on instruction. 
  • Students are seated three feet apart where possible, though they may be closer than three feet together from time to time.
 
Staff Policy
  • Each staff member self-screens for and attests that they do not have any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell. Any staff members who have any of these symptoms, believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 who are ill, or who appear ill, will be required to stay home, and will be asked to leave if they arrive at the studio.
  • Staff will be required to wash or sanitize hands upon entrance to the studio and frequently throughout the day.
  • Staff members who visit studios must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
  • If a staff member has come into contact with another person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they must inform their studio Director/Manager immediately, and will be asked to stay home in accordance with CDC, State of California and OSHA guidelines. See below for more details.

Introductory Classes
  • Parents may sit outside or simply drop students off for introductory classes.

In the Event of a Positive Test Result:

  • Contact Tracing: All staff and students known to have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, whether an Art Steps staff member or student, will be contacted immediately. "Close contact" is defined as having less than 6 feet of distance indoors for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, of someone known to have tested positive for Covid-19. We will contact people who have been in close contact two or fewer days prior to the onset of symptoms, and/or five days prior to the positive test result, whichever is known to have occurred first. 

  • Confidentiality: The name of the individual who reported being positive must be kept confidential by management

  • Those Who Test Positive: All persons who test positive for Covid-19 must stay out of the studio for five (5) days and may return when the following conditions are met: 1.) 24 hours have passed since resolution of a fever, if any. 2.) other symptoms, if any, have improved 3.) they can show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result. If no test result is shown, individuals may return to the studio following the tenth day after the positive test result, provided that they meet criteria 1 and 2 above.

  • Close Contacts: All persons who have had close contact (less than 6 feet of distance indoors for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period) of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, must take a Covid-19 test on the 5th day following exposure. Fully Vaccinated & Boosted: Fully vaccinated staff and students who show evidence of their second shot less than six (6) months from the current date or a booster vaccine that is up-to-date per CDC guidelines may return to the studio without immediate quarantine. However, staying away from the studio for five (5) days is strongly encouraged. Unvaccinated & Not Boosted: Unvaccinated staff and students or those who are eligible for a booster shot but have not had one, must not return to the studio for five days following the exposure. If asymptomatic, they may return to the studio if the Covid-19 test taken on the fifth day following exposure produces a negative result. Without a negative test result after five (5) days, it is necessary to stay out of the studio for ten (10) days, and may return after the tenth day provided that there are no symptoms.
Thank you for working together to ensure a safe environment for our students and their families.  
Wishing all of our families the best.