Texas Guitar Directors Association
CLASSROOM SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
If we plan to teach with students in classrooms during the pandemic, we must take maximum possible precautions to keep everyone safe due to the severity of the pandemic dangers. The precautions described here are not intended to profess absolute safety from the COVID-19 virus as this is not possible. These recommendations are considered as part of ongoing assessments based on CDC guidelines and the best available data.
What does a safety-conscious classroom look like now and how is that created?
NY Times, July 29, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/29/us/schools-reopening-coronavirus.html
Plan now for classroom safety: 1) Identify your possible classroom set up as best you can regarding class size, set up, extra facemasks, cleaning supplies (cleansers and applicators, etc., see: CDC guidelines to cleaning facilities link below). 2) Confirm with your administration the material needs to operate safely and confirm provision of these items. 3) Work with your administration to document the safety rules for your classroom. 4) Post the rules outside and inside your classroom. 5) Adjust as needed to meet high-standard safety needs and make your choices for the safety of yourself, your students, and all who come in contact with your class.
Safety takes time and inconvenience (for everything, always). If we return to the classroom in any way, we must establish classroom procedures and, once established, we should understand that safety will continue to take a big chunk of in-person instructional time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first weeks of class will probably be dominated by establishing safe habits and understanding. Following that, the procedures will continue to take time to implement before and during class.
CDC guidelines to cleaning facilities: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html.
List of cleaners suggested by the CDC: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2-covid-19
Very Low Risk: Each student should have their own instrument. This is the safest and best practice. Every avenue to reach this goal should be explored for student success and healthy learning. Nothing in school engages a student more in a classroom than when they play an instrument or sing! This may require additional modest school investment, an “Instruments in the Attic” community donation program, a loaning or rental program, or other avenues you can pursue to ensure students have access to equipment necessary for safest learning.
Increased Risk: Sharing instruments may increase the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. Assign instruments to students only if three students or fewer use the instrument in day. Given the individual circumstances, it will likely reduce risk of infection if students are assigned instruments for consecutive days each week with thorough cleaning and sanitizing before loan to another student. If using instruments for live classrooms, sanitize the instrument before and after use. Sacrificing the finish of a guitar might be necessary to maintain safety. Carefully sanitize the strings, fingerboard, neck, and buttons on tuning machines and then the guitar body after each use. STUDENTS MUST WEAR MASKS WHILE PLAYING as breath droplets are deposited on the guitar while playing.