2021 - 2022 Reopening Plans

FALL 2021 REOPENING PLANS

Last Updated: 09/16/2021

At Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), our top priority is the safety and health of our community. Second to that is returning to in-person singing. We have spent the last few months working on plans to re-open that are safe and equitable for all our singers and their families. With the help of a BCC parent Re-Opening Task Force, we have decided to move forward with safe, in-person programming for the fall of 2021.

BCC has taken extra steps this past year to prepare a thorough safety plan for in-person singing. We encourage singers and staff to continue good hygiene practices as well as continuing to monitor for symptoms.

BCC will continue core mitigation strategies throughout the 2021-2022 season. In continued consultation with medical advisors and our Re-Opening Task Force, the strategies below and other BCC reopening guidance issued this year will remain in effect through the end of the season unless otherwise notified.

BCC staff will continue to work in a hybrid in-person/working-from-home schedule. The BCC office at 20 Old Colony will be open to singers only during scheduled rehearsal times. Only BCC staff will have access to BCC’s office spaces and equipment. BCC staff will remain masked while onsite at BCC HQ. 100% of BCC’s teaching and office staff are fully vaccinated.

2021 FALL IN-PERSON REHEARSAL MODEL

For Central Intermediate Advanced, Choral Union, Concert Choir, and Premier Choir: At this time, BCC’s Upper Choirs will be meeting masked, indoors at BCC HQ. These choirs are primarily singers 12 and older. Of these singers, 98% are fully vaccinated. The Upper Choirs will meet as full groups but spend some of rehearsal in small sectionals in different rooms to allow for more distancing. Onsite choirs will rehearse in rooms that offer maximum ventilation where possible, including open windows and HEPA Air Purifiers.

Please note that all choirs will be meeting in full groups. Central Intermediate Advanced, Concert Choir, and Premier Choir meet twice a week. If you had requested a specific cohort time, our Program Coordinator, Kripa Joseph, will work with you to see if this full group time will still work for your schedule. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make this change.

For Dorchester Training, Central Training, Dorchester Advanced Training, Central Intermediate*, and Dorchester Intermediate: Our Training and Intermediate Choirs will all rehearse masked, outside in the fenced yard at our space partner, First Parish Dorchester. Tents will be in place to provide cover from the sun and light rain. In the event of inclement weather that the tents cannot withstand, rehearsals will shift online. Notifications will be sent to families by 7:00 am the morning of if rehearsals will be on Zoom due to inclement weather.

*We recognize that this location is a change for Central Training and Central Intermediate families. Please reach out to info@bostonchildrenschorus.org if you have any questions about the change of location.

Please note that all choirs will be meeting in full groups. If you had requested a specific cohort time, our Program Coordinator, Kripa Joseph, will work with you to see if this full group time will still work for your schedule. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make this change.

Virtual Tour of BCC HQ with Ms. Joseph

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Virtual Tour of First Parish Dorchester Rehearsal Space with Ms. Joseph

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES

The guidelines outlined below will be in effect for all BCC-hosted activities, including but not limited to in-person rehearsals both indoor or outdoor and live performances.

  1. Monitor for symptoms and stay home when sick: Staff will monitor themselves for symptoms daily and singers, with the assistance of families, must also be monitored daily for symptoms before coming to rehearsals. Staff and students must stay home if feeling unwell. Everyone must do their part to protect others and not come to rehearsals if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or are feeling sick. *See details on singer health check below.
  2. Wear masks: Masking and vaccination are critical to containing the spread of COVID-19 and variants. We will require all students and staff to wear masks at all BCC hosted activities unless singers receive a medical or learning exemption. When worn, masks must completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face without gaps. Masks and additional PPE, including face shields, will be available onsite if needed.
  3. Maintain physical distance: All singers will maintain a minimum of 3 feet of distance when singing indoors or outdoors.
  4. Vaccination status: At this time, singers will not be required to show proof of vaccination to participate in regular rehearsals. Vaccination of singers 12 and older remains highly encouraged while the vaccine remains Emergency Use Authorized (EUA). We will continue to monitor the vaccination rates of our singers 12 and older as well as the EUA availability of vaccines to singers 11 and younger in order to make necessary decisions regarding singer safety.

REHEARSAL PROCEDURES

SINGER REHEARSAL CHECK-IN PROCEDURE AT BCC HQ

  1. Singers will enter BCC HQ through the front entrance at 20 Old Colony and will only be admitted during the 15 minutes ahead of their rehearsal time.
  2. Singers will be met by a member of staff and/or volunteer at the front door who will do an on-site health check screening. This screening will involve verbal affirmation that neither they nor members of their household have been in close contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms and that they themselves are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Everyone entering the building must wear a mask and will have their temperature taken.
  3. Singers will proceed to the second floor where rehearsals will take place. A staff member and/or volunteer will meet the singers at the entrance of the second floor to check them in for rehearsal and direct them to their rehearsal space.
  4. Singers will move in one direction through BCC HQ following the hallway around the rehearsal rooms in a clockwise direction.
  5. Hand sanitizer will be available in all rehearsal rooms and public spaces.
  6. Access to onsite restrooms will be available to all singers.
  7. Masks will be worn for the entire duration of time on-site at BCC HQ.

SINGER REHEARSAL CHECK-OUT PROCEDURE AT BCC HQ

  1. All singers will be escorted by a member of their conducting team down the front stairs of BCC HQ to be picked up on Old Colony Avenue.
  2. A member of conducting staff will wait with the singers and check them out as parents arrive.
  3. Parents should be ready to pick up their singer immediately at the end of their rehearsal time.

POLICIES FOR VISITORS AND PARENTS TO BCC HQ

All visitors will be asked to comply with on-site health screening and temperature checks. Please respect our community by wearing a face covering at all times. Masks are required for all individuals over the age of 2, per CDC Guidelines. Masks must cover both the mouth and nose at all times.

Please practice social distancing when moving around BCC. There will be an assigned room for visitors during rehearsal hours that open only 15 minutes prior to rehearsal and close promptly at the end of rehearsal.

Due to the limited space in compliance with social distancing, we will only allow a maximum of 12 visitors (non-singers or staff) in the building during rehearsals. We realize that many of our families rely on public transportation or walk to rehearsals and need a place to wait. We ask that if you drive or have other means to wait off-site, please be courteous and leave the limited on-site waiting space to families who need to use that space.

Singers, parents, and caregivers will not be able to enter staff offices, the kitchen, or use office equipment.

Singers, parents, and caregivers are asked to refrain from eating onsite.

SINGER REHEARSAL CHECK-IN PROCEDURE AT FIRST PARISH DORCHESTER

  1. Singers will be met by a member of staff and/or volunteer at a BCC table outside the church who will do an on-site health check screening. This screening will involve verbal affirmation that neither they nor members of their household have been in close contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms and that they themselves are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Everyone entering the rehearsal site must wear a mask and will have their temperature taken.
  2. Singers will proceed to their designated rehearsal space and check in with their conducting team.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be available on site.
  4. Access to onsite restrooms will be available to all singers
  5. Masks will be worn for the entire duration of time at the rehearsal site.

SINGER REHEARSAL CHECK-OUT PROCEDURE AT FIRST PARISH DORCHESTER

  1. All singers will be escorted by a member of their conducting team to the parking lot to meet parents/guardians.
  2. A member of conducting staff will wait with the singers and check them out as parents arrive.
  3. Parents should be ready to pick up their singer immediately at the end of their rehearsal time.

CONTACT TRACING

In the event that an onsite visitor (singer, caregiver, staff, etc.) tests positive for COVID-19, that choir’s rehearsals will shift online to Zoom for 10 days from exposure. Anyone (singers or staff) who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days and return to rehearsals only after providing a negative test result. 

  1. If a positive case is reported to BCC from either staff or singer, we will work with Boston Public Health Commission to conduct official contact tracing and follow recommendations for quarantining and cleaning.
  2. BCC will reach out to possible direct contacts in our community and offer support connecting families with test providers.
  3. BCC facilities will be closed for 24 hours for cleaning and sanitization.
  4. An official notice will be sent to the community.

In the event that an onsite visitor (singer, caregiver, staff, etc.) has had possible exposure to COVID-19 outside of BCC, we will reach out to possible direct contacts in our community and offer support connecting families with test providers. The choir will continue to meet in person.

TESTING PROCEDURE

If you are exhibiting symptoms or believe you or a member of your household have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home. Call your child’s primary care physician, local community health center, or local COVID-19 testing site. A list of test sites throughout Boston can be found here. Some sites may require a pre-screening, referral, and/or appointment.

SINGER HEALTH CHECK

Review this checklist every day with your singer.

YOUR SINGER MUST STAY HOME if they or anyone in the household has any of the symptoms listed below:  

  • Fever (100.0°F or higher without fever-reducing medicine), chills or shaking chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue 
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose        

OR

Any singer who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 must stay home

If your child has any symptoms or has been in close contact with a person exhibiting symptoms:

  • They must remain home and be evaluated by their primary care provider to be tested for COVID-19
  • Parents/guardians must report the absence to BCC staff and their choir conductor