Dear MDU Family,
I am writing today with a proactive communication regarding the potential state-wide mask mandate repeal going before the Legislature on Thursday.
Regardless of the outcome, our business will continue to support a mask requirement (unless you have an exception) until further notice.
While it is true that we have had a negligible occurrence of COVID-19 in our programs since re-opening in June (.00025%, or 5 reportable cases out of over 20,000 heads in classes, and none for two months) Coulee Region public schools are in the process of welcoming their students back which introduces a new risk variable to our student population. Even if the mask mandated is repealed on Thursday, it would be unwise to introduce a second risk variable to our student population at the same time.
As a teacher and a dancer, I look forward to the day when this is no longer a talking point, but in the meantime, we will continue all of the Safer Studio™ measures that have brought us such success so far including keeping people home when they don't feel well, well checks for employees, ongoing facility cleaning with our Sparkle Squad, hand sanitation, and face coverings. Our community is turning the corner and we need to stay the course until we get there <3.
As always, we will continue to monitor the situation as we keep our focus on supporting the whole health of our students—including physical, social-emotional and, mental well-being—through dance classes each week.
Thank you for your support!
We are SO excited to be in our 2nd week of in-studio classes and have prepared the following information to help you have a happy, healthy, and safe month of classes. The feedback to our preparation has been very positive from both the La Crosse County Health Department and our MDU teachers, families, and students and we couldn’t be happier to start seeing faces in our classrooms again.
As with our reopening in June, all class sizes are limited to the recommendations provided by the county.
New for July, we are live-streaming all classes so if anyone wants to, or needs to, learn from home they can easily do that.
We continue to follow the More Than Just Great Dancing!® Safer Studio Guidelines which prioritize a hierarchy of safety and wellness measures including:
Our public areas are still closed including all lobby waiting areas, kitchen area, children’s play spaces, student study areas, locker rooms, mother’s room, business offices, staff room, etc. Please bring clearly labeled water bottles. Drinking fountains will not be available and no food will be allowed in the studio.
Dancers will bring all dance bags into the studio for changing shoes. Locker rooms will be closed. Bathrooms will be available for toileting only, but not for changing clothes.
Curricular adjustments have been made to eliminate prop use and hand-holding and to reduce mixing and mingling in the classroom. Classrooms will refrain from high fives, “ballerina hugs”, fist bumps, stickers, and stamps.
Please enter using the 12th Avenue main entrance for all arrivals. At this time, we ask that parents wait in their cars or outside during classes to help with social distancing in the building. Parents of little dancers under age 6 are able to wait inside if necessary for child comfort. Please limit parent drop off to one person whenever possible. Sibling visitors cannot be accommodated during this term unless they are too little to wait in the car during drop off.
Please exit using doors closest to studio 4 for all departures. Parents will be asked to wait outside for kids to be released. At the end of class, parents must be by the door to receive their child. Students cannot walk across the parking lot to go to their parents for safety reasons. Classrooms will have staggered dismissal (3-5 minutes) to allow for student transitions.
Bathroom facility use will be limited to the front two unisex bathrooms for this term. We encourage all students to use the restroom at home before coming to class.
Our employees will be wearing masks with some exceptions until La Crosse County Covid-19 Compass reaches an “orange” status. As today’s date (7/7/20) La Crosse County is “red”. For more information please visit: https://www.lacrossecounty.org/covid19. Mask wearing for students and parents is at personal/parental discretion.
As shared in our June re-opening letter, schools are going to experience reports of COVID-19 exposure as they welcome back their staff and students. The County has assured me that single reports of exposure risk will not require a studio closure. If the studio receives a report of exposure risk, the reporter will be asked to share with the County, close contacts will be notified, and exposure-risk cleaning will be enacted. The County encourages those with exposure risk to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of potential exposure. Please note that MDU has the ability to monitor staff self-quarantine but does not have the capacity to monitor student self-quarantine. As such, parents will be asked to use their own discretion as to their comfortability returning to class or if they would rather participate from home. There is absolutely no penalty for absence and classes may be made up in-person (space permitting) or online (anytime). If the studio receives a cluster report of exposure risk, we will work directly with the County on the next steps.
Thank you, thank you for your support as we continue to learn how we can amplify joy for our students while reducing risk and learning to live in this new world.
We appreciate you!