WE WILL RESUME IN-PERSON JANUARY 8!

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music COVID-19 Policy for 2021-2022


**Update – Return from Winter Recess Policy** (as of 1/4/2021)

BKCM plans to reopen for in-person learning this Saturday, 1/8. If you wish to attend your music lessons or music therapy in-person beginning this Saturday, a negative Covid test result is required for everyone in our community ages 5 and up, regardless of vaccination status. In order to facilitate our reopening, and in consideration of the challenging testing environment, we are making certain modifications to our testing policy to provide greater flexibility to our students and families.

In consideration of the obstacles many people are facing getting tested, BKCM is no longer mandating the type of Covid test that is required. BKCM will now allow a PCR, rapid, or home antigen test, subject to these guidelines:

  • PCR test: taken at an official testing within three [3] days prior to your first in person lesson or class.
  • Rapid tests: taken at an official testing site within twenty four [24] hours prior to your first in person lesson or class.
  • Rapid home antigen tests*: to be taken at home on the same day prior to your first in person lesson or class.

* If you are using a home testing kit, you are required to time stamp the photo. On iPhones, for example, the date and time of the photo are shown on the photo, at the top of the screen. A screenshot of that photo with the date / time info is sufficient for this purpose.

Those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last three (3) months, should submit proof of their recent positive Covid-19 test in lieu of a negative test for entry to the building.

If you show up to the building in person without a negative Covid-19 test or proof of having recovered from Covid in the last three months we will unfortunately have to turn you away, and you will not be subject to a make up.

If you cannot get test results in time, we will accommodate you with a remote lesson to the greatest extent possible. Remote lessons are not necessarily suitable for all programs and classroom formats. Please coordinate with your teacher and program director as appropriate.

All test info can be emailed to healthandsafety@bkcm.org or shown to one of our Safety Monitors upon entering the building for your first lesson or class.

The regimen of health protocols that we have had in place will continue into the new year, including:

  • Vaccination compliance by all entering building (5 and up)

  • Daily health screenings (temperature taking) / attestation

  • Mask wearing

  • Investment in air filtration, humidification and purifiers

  • Reduced building capacity

  • Outdoor waiting areas

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Masks: Close fitting masks covering both the nose and mouth are required at all times in our building. BKCM strongly encourages the use of surgical masks with a nose wire, i.e. N95, KN95, or KN94 masks.

If you feel sick, go remote!: A reminder to all students, clients, faculty and staff not to come to the building if you are sick or experiencing any kind of symptoms. We will accommodate those who are feeling sick with remote lessons whenever possible!

Vaccine policy: Please also be reminded that our vaccine policy for students ages 5 and up (announced on November 19th) goes into effect January 31, 2022. 5 – 11 year olds are required to be fully vaccinated (2 Pfizer doses) by January 31, 2022. Students turning 5 will have three (3) months from their birthday to be vaccinated without additional testing requirements.

Vaccine records may be emailed to healthandsafety@bkcm.org, or shown to the Safety Monitors at the front door.

Testing exception: Eligible students in the 5 – 11 year old age group who are not fully vaccinated by January 31st will be required to submit weekly rapid tests from a certified testing site within 24 hours of their lesson or class (students who attend multiple lessons or classes per week only need to submit one test per week).

Medical exemptions will be permitted.

As of July 1, 2022 all who are eligible will be required to be vaccinated in order to be admitted to the building. As of July 1, 2022 there will no longer be a testing exception.

Isolation:

For community members who test positive for COVID, we will continue to use CDC guidelines as the basis for our policies:

Per the CDC, for all individuals regardless of vaccination status:

“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

Quarantining:

IF you were exposed to someone with Covid-19, AND:

(1) You have been boosted

Or

(2) You have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months

Or

(3) You completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

THEN, you should:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days (though masks are always required at BKCM!)

  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

IF you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, AND:

(1) You completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted

Or

(2) You completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted

Or

(3) You are unvaccinated

THEN, you should:

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days (though masks are always required at BKCM!)

  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

Update – Holiday Policy (as of 12/24/21)

In light of the recent significant increase in Covid cases throughout the city, the lack of testing availability, and the long turnaround times on getting test results, our internal Health & Safety team has determined that it is necessary and safest for our entire community to transition to a temporary remote learning period the week following the winter break. BKCM lessons and classes will transition to remote learning from Monday, 1/3 – Friday 1/7.

BKCM plans to reopen for in-person learning on Saturday, 1/8. We intend for this to be a temporary remote period in order to give everyone, including our entire staff and faculty, a bit more time after winter break gatherings and travel to navigate potential testing bottlenecks. We plan to reopen on Saturday 1/8, but should our team determine that it’s necessary to go remote beyond the 7th, we will communicate no later than Thursday, January 6th.

For questions related to your specific lessons, classes you are encouraged to reach out to your program directors.

At present, our testing policy, which was communicated last week (below) will remain the same to return for in-person learning. We are going to carefully monitor the rapidly changing on the ground conditions both with respect to Covid prevalence and the availability and turnaround times on tests.

We will reaffirm or communicate any changes to our testing policy by the end of the day on Tues the 4th.

Thanks for your patience and flexibility. We appreciate that this is a challenging time for the health of our city, and are continually grateful to our students and community for your flexibility and care in navigating these necessary changes due to Covid-19.

We hope that you all have wonderful and restful holiday breaks and that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy.

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We are pleased to welcome our community back for full-in-person music education learning and music therapy this school year. Our staff and faculty are 100% vaccinated. In order to run our programs as fully as possible, our students, families and community members will need to closely observe BKCM’s policies and procedures for Covid-19 health and safety.

Our health policies were determined by a working committee of BKCM management, administrators, and program directors. As outlined below, these policies were developed with the well-being of our entire community in mind, and we believe they will help ensure everyone’s safety this school year.

Vaccines are required for all who are eligible

As we shared in our email to the community on August 3rd, BKCM will require all vaccine-eligible staff, faculty, students, and clients be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter BKCM’s premises (see below for updated information on policy for students and clients ages 5-11).

Starting on September 12th, BKCM began requiring proof of vaccination for any vaccine-eligible person entering our building including: students, parents and caretakers, siblings and relatives (who are vaccine-eligible), visiting performers, concertgoers, vendors and contractors.

To meet the vaccine requirement, all vaccine eligible individuals must be two weeks past either your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The fall semester began on Sunday, September 12th. As of October 15th, we stopped permitting PCR tests as an alternative to vaccine confirmation for entry to the building. BKCM also does not permit accommodations of virtual lessons, refunds, make ups, etc. for those who are eligible and unvaccinated after the October 15th the deadline. These will be considered unexcused absences.

Medical exemptions will be available for those in need with a doctor’s note. Requests for medical exemptions should be submitted to Director of Administration Michal Mechlovitz and your appropriate Program Director.

Updated Covid-19 Policies for After the New Year (Announced 12/18/21)

In consideration of the increase of Covid cases across NYC this week, please be advised that BKCM is adjusting our testing policy for returning to BKCM after the new year.

After the holiday break, all students, clients, staff, and faculty ages 5 and up regardless of vaccination status will be required to submit a negative PCR Covid-19 test to be taken within 3 days of your first day back at BKCM. *Those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last three (3) months, should submit proof of their recent positive Covid-19 test.

We understand that a number of areas schools are requiring PCR tests in order for students to resume classes after the new year. These schools are generally accepting tests from December 31 and on, for class starts on January 3 and January 4. If you have taken a PCR test starting on December 31 or later, but more than 3 days have elapsed between the PCR test and your first lesson or class and BKCM, then we will also require a rapid test (not a home antigen test) to be taken within 24 hours of your first lesson at BKCM.

Please also be reminded of our our updated vaccine policy for students ages 5 and up, found below.

Students turning 5/becoming newly eligible:

Students who turn 5 or who become newly eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine during the course of the school year will have three (3) months from their 5th birthday or eligibility date to be fully vaccinated.

New BKCM Policy for Returning from Winter Recess (Announced 12/18/21)

Like many of you, we are keeping a close watch on how the Omicron Covid-19 variant has been spreading across the city over the last week. In light of the recent increase in Covid cases, we are asking that all students and clients, regardless of vaccination status please stay home if you are not feeling well, or if you have been in within six (6) feet — even if you were masked — with a confirmed or suspected Covid case. We will accommodate any students who were in close contact with a confirmed or suspected Covid case with a remote lesson. 

Students may return to the building for lessons and classes if they present a negative rapid test within 24 hours of their lesson or class, or 5 days after exposure without Covid symptoms

New BKCM Vaccine Policy for 5-11 Year Olds Going into Effect (Announced 11/19/21)

Our team has continued to monitor Covid-19 rates, the newly eligible 5 – 11 age cohort for vaccination, and the policies that many of the schools and community organizations in which our students and families affiliate are now putting in place. We’re thrilled that children ages 5-11 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine as the majority of our onsite student body is under the age of 12. We are excited about what higher vaccination rates will mean for the safety and well being of our community and our collective music practice.

Taking into account this change in eligibility, we are updating our Covid Health & Safety Policy to require that: 

All eligible students, including the newly eligible 5 – 11 age group, are required to be fully vaccinated (2 Pfizer doses) by January 31st, 2022.

Students turning five will have three (3) months from their birthday to be vaccinated without additional testing requirements.

Testing exception: Eligible students in the 5 – 11-year-old age group who are not fully vaccinated by January 31st will now be required to submit weekly rapid tests from a certified testing site within 36 hours of their lesson or class (students who attend multiple lessons or classes per week only need to submit one test per week).

Medical exemptions will be permitted.

As of July 1, 2022 all who are eligible will be required to be vaccinated in order to be admitted to the building. As of July 1, 2022 there will no longer be a testing exception.

How do I submit my proof of vaccination/negative tests?

All vaccine records and negative PCR Covid-19 or rapid test results can be emailed to healthandsafety@bkcm.org. You can also present them to our building Safety Monitors on the first day of classes or lessons. We are only accepting rapid tests for aerosol instrumentalists; these results can also be emailed to healthandsafety@bkcm.org.

BKCM will accept all valid forms of vaccine confirmation including physical vaccine cards, copies/screen shots of vaccine cards (with ID if requested by our Safety Monitors), Excelsior pass, etc.

All medical records will remain strictly confidential.

Masks & Social Distancing (updated as of 11/19/21)

We are still requiring that masks be worn in the building at all times, and that social distancing be maintained whenever possible, especially with cold and flu season coming up. Masks will help ensure that our entire community, including immune compromised students and clients, and community members not yet eligible to be vaccinated are still protected from new variants and breakthrough cases.

Drop Off & Pick Up

Consistent with last year’s policy and until further notice, BKCM will not permit families or caretakers to wait inside our building. Family and community members should plan for drop off and pick up of their children. Aside from traffic coming and going to studios, we expect our landing areas, hallways, stairwells, and lobbies to be free of people.

Families and caretakers should plan to drop off all children five (5) years of age and older. Families will only be allowed to accompany children under five years old to their classrooms. BKCM Safety Monitors will be available to escort students to their studios. Additional accommodations will be permissible for extenuating circumstances or families with need pertaining to students and clients with disability and medical needs who are accompanied by family, caretakers, or aides.

*Suzuki families will be permitted to have parents/caretakers in lessons as is consistent with the Suzuki method and pedagogy.

Waiting Areas:

In connection with the reopening of our school in October 2020, BKCM acquired and transformed the adjacent vacant lot into a new community garden with tents, tables, chairs, lights, heating and WiFi. The space is open to the public. We encourage families and caretakers to make use of BKCM’s new community garden space as a waiting / gathering area during a child’s lesson or class.

The 2021-2022 school year begins Sunday, September 12th. You can find a copy of our annual calendar here, or on our website. Please also be on the lookout for additional program specific information from our program directors and our faculty prior to the school year starting. While our health and safety policies are applicable across divisions, there may be some differences in operating plans depending on which division you are enrolled in. If you have questions that relate to your program, or your student / family’s unique circumstances, you are encouraged to reach out to myself or your Program Directors.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and care with our Covid-19 policies. As always, our team will continue to monitor the changing landscape surrounding Covid, and will keep our community updated on any additional guidance on anticipated changes. It will take everyone’s full participation to ensure that our community continues to remain healthy and safe from Covid-19.

We’re grateful for your commitment to music education and music therapy and we can’t wait to see you all in September. Keep practicing, and take care until then!

 

Yes, you CAN still register for the 2021 – 2022 school year!

For information on enrollment and to sign up for a trial lesson, please call our registrars at (718) 622-3300.

Click here to see our lessons and classes