Dear Sunburst Students, 

First, we want to thank everyone for sticking with us during the COVID-19 pandemic! It has been and continues to be a difficult time for everyone. All in all–based on feedback from our students and instructors–our lessons on Zoom have been quite successful and they’re now a permanent part of our business model. However, Zoom lessons don’t work perfectly for all students, and now that Pennsylvania has moved into the Green Phase, we’ve made a plan to resume in-person lessons safely and at a limited capacity starting July 1st.

Before we get into the broad strokes of our plan, two important things to remember: 

-Not all of our instructors will be doing in-person lessons, so they will not be an option for all students.

-Any students can choose to continue lessons online indefinitely. 

Schedule

Our plan is to begin in-person lessons on Wednesday, July 1st. We are in the process of confirming exactly which teachers, days, times and instruments will be available, and will be reaching out to their students to offer the in-person option. If your instructor is not going to be offering in-person lessons and you would prefer to switch temporarily or otherwise to an instructor who is, please get in touch with us and we can go through the available options. 

There will be other small schedule changes for most students, as we’re going to adjust our calendar to allow for 5 minutes between each lesson. This is to allow instructors time to clean surfaces in the rooms between students, and also to spread out foot traffic in the common areas. We’re hoping this will be a positive change long-term, as many of our students have suggested this in the past. 

Coming and Going

To make coming and going safe for students and staff, we have several new policies for our common areas:

-No waiting in the common areas. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons with their students, or wait outside or in their cars. There will be no seating in the hall or waiting room. There is one exception to this, which is that we will have a place for young children to wait if their lessons are over before their parents come back up to get them.

-Masks must be worn at all times (we have extras if you forget one!)

-All students are required to thoroughly wash their hands immediately upon entering, we’ll have one of the front bathrooms set up as a handwashing station. 

-Hand sanitizer will be available outside of each room.

Rooms

There will be two kinds of rooms that we’ll be using for private lessons, large rooms, and tandem rooms. 

Large Rooms

-Students and teachers are in the same room, adhering to markings on the ground and remaining 6’ apart at all times. 

-Masks must be worn for the duration of lessons.

-Students must bring their own drum sticks, guitars, etc. and keep the number of surfaces they touch to a minimum. 

-No singing in these rooms.

Tandem Rooms

-In this setup, teachers and students are in adjacent rooms with a glass window, microphones and speakers. 

-Masks must be worn for the duration of lessons.

-Singing is allowed. 

-Students must still bring their own equipment and keep surfaces they touch to a minimum.

Cleaning and Sanitation

As we mentioned, adding 5-minute intervals in between lessons allows our instructors to sanitize rooms between students. Here is our cleaning protocol:

-All surfaces will be disinfected between each student, including keyboards, door handles, seats, stands, and anything else that could be touched.

-Instructors will be required to wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer between each lesson.

-We will be doing a daily cleaning of the school before students arrive including common areas and all rooms to be used.

Health Screenings

For Students

-We ask all students to perform temperature checks and generally screen themselves for symptoms at home before coming in. If you are feeling sick, or have a high temperature, please let us know and we will issue a make up pass.

-If our admin or instructors notice students with visible symptoms, they will be asked to leave.

For Staff

-All staff members will undergo a temperature check and screening for visible symptoms upon arrival. If symptoms or high temperatures are discovered, those staff members will be sent home.

Group Programs

Our group programs are going to be held in the parking lot behind the building under a large tent. To get there, students will need to walk down the alley between Gaby et Jules and Pizza Bellino. We will have some cones out to make a walkway, please use caution getting back there. We’ll also have a parking spot reserved for student drop off.

-Masks must be worn at all times.

-Students must stay in their marked circles to remain 6’ apart at all times.

-Keep touching of equipment and surfaces to a minimum. 

-Staff will disinfect all shared equipment between classes. 

-In the event of lightning or heavy rain, we will have to reschedule or cancel some classes.

Summary

 -In-person lessons will be an option with some instructors. We’ll be in touch about who and when.

-Zoom lessons will always be an option for anyone.

-Masks required. 

-Must wash hands immediately upon entering.

-Must stay home if you have symptoms or a high temperature. Students can receive a make up pass, or do their lesson over zoom. 

-Must bring your own guitar, bass, drum sticks, picks, etc. and keep surfaces touched to a minimum. 

-Instructors will be sanitizing rooms between students.

-No waiting in the waiting room, parents can sit in lesson, wait outside, or in their car.

Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, comments, ideas or feedback! We’re committed to only doing in-person activities if they can be done in a low-risk fashion, our plan is based on feedback from students, staff, doctors, local officials, and other businesses, and we’re open to any further ideas that can help our students and staff stay safe. We’ll also be monitoring the situation closely on a local and national level and make adjustments as required or suggested by the CDC, City of Pittsburgh and state of Pennsylvania. 

We’re going to be holding a parent meeting over zoom on Thursday, 6/26 from 6-7pm. We plan to use this time to walk everyone through our new protocol, and field any questions and concerns people have, feel free to join us!

We hope everyone is doing well out there, we look forward to seeing you soon! 

–Alex Stanton and Sunburst Team