FGC REOPENING PLAN & PANDEMIC PROCEDURES
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Our FGC COVID-19 Response
As we step into the new FGC season, our Number One Priority is to provide circus programs that protect the health of our students, families, and staff. In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, practicing circus safely means that we all must adhere to new policies and procedures that are meant to protect us all. Circus can only be created when we work together.
In this pandemic, our mutual trust and respect take on even greater importance for creating our common safe space. More than ever, we ask that you trust and respect our highest intentions for creating a safe space. Let us all err on the side of caution to protect each other to the best of our ability.
Based on what we know at this time here’s what we’re looking at this fall:
Pandemic Procedures for All Situations
1) When you register for the season, you will need to sign a one-time COVID-specific waiver. acknowledging that FGC’s efforts to mitigate risk will not completely eliminate the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19. You can preview the waiver here (you will sign electronically when you register).
2) Each time a participant enters an FGC space (indoors or outdoors), we will require you to complete a Safety First Partnership Agreement & Assumption of Risk - Entry Survey . This has become standard practice in many circus studios nationwide. You will complete it online (any device) within 6 hours before an FGC activity.
3) We will take temperatures on site using a no-touch thermometer. We will keep a log with our attendance records. Troupers with signs of illness or known exposure will not be allowed to participate for up to 14 days. This will also apply to coaches, staff, trustees, and parents.
4) We have created a comprehensive Risk Mitigation Strategies document to guide us during the COVID-19 crisis. This is a fluid document that we expect to continually revise as new information and practices emerge. Please review this to address questions about FGC risk mitigation.
Fall & Spring (Outdoors)
We intend to work outside in fall and spring, as weather permits.
We will communicate simplified protocols around in-person training, safety expectations, using restrooms, masks, hand sanitizer, etc.. These protocols are outlined in detail in the FGC Risk Mitigation Strategies document.
A detailed system for cleaning, sanitizing, or rotating equipment and mats will be implemented between each group and training session. Equipment that cannot be easily sanitized will be rested for 72 hours. This schedule is currently under construction (9/4/20).
With a grant we received, we have purchased an aerial rig and extra fabrics for outdoor training (yay!)
Winter (Indoors) - Schedule TBA - starting in November
In cold weather, we hope to be able to work in the Circus Studio provided that High Mowing and the State of NH permit.
To comply with indoor physical distancing, troupes will have to be divided into cohorts of 7 or fewer troupers. Schedule TBA.
We will communicate simplified protocols around in-person training, safety expectations, using restrooms, masks, hand sanitizer, etc.. Detailed protocols concerning indoor training are located in the Risk Mitigation Strategies document.
Entry to the studio will be by the back door fire escape. We will use only one restroom.
We are currently researching the ventilation situation in the Studio (as of 9/4/20). We intend to consult with air conditioning professionals to examine air flow options through some combination (tba) of open windows, air conditioning, and/or air scrubbers.
We will only consider performance opportunities that we can reasonably assess to be as safe as possible. In the spirit of safety, all shows will include solo-only acts, or acts with troupers who share “pods” (siblings or friends who share a close family circle).
Shows that are booked in low-COVID areas, but which show increased cases near the performance date, will be canceled.
Troupers/families will be able to choose which performances they want to participate in on a case-by-case basis
We will only perform at events approved by the FGC Board of Trustees.
We’re fully aware that incomes have taken a hit and parents may be fully or partially unemployed. As always, we strive to make our programs affordable for all. Financial aid will continue to be offered.
While we cannot currently offer as many troupe hours as in non-COVID times, and we are only allowed to offer group classes at High Mowing from Friday-Sunday, we’re excited to work together again however we can!
Because the pandemic situation is rapidly evolving and constantly changing, we will adjust tuition according to adjustments we must make to our programs--whether fully in-person, a hybrid of in-person/online, or fully online. We will have a back-up plan to move fully online in the event that the State of New Hampshire reverts to lockdown. We will all need to be patient and attentive with any plan going forward. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we reinvent our programs.
We pledge to work hard to make FGC as fun, light, and social as we possibly can, especially now when your trouper may need circus more than ever!
As always, feel free to come to either of us with any questions, concerns, or cheerleading. We are looking forward to working together again!
Yours in Circus and Safety,
Jackie Davis Jon Roitman
Founder & Executive Director Artistic Director & Head Coach
The FGC Admin Team relies on several trusted sources in creating our evolving COVID-19 policies:
1) We make sure we hear from you, via survey, email, texts, or phone conversations. We value and respect your perspectives and suggestions.
2) We comply where needed with policies set by our host facility and partner, High Mowing School. The HMS Reopening Plan takes into consideration recommendations from the State of New Hampshire and the framework of ISANNE (Independent Schools Association of Northern New England).
3) We are in close contact with our colleagues at the American Circus Educators Association, which has provided us with important, circus-specific templates to mitigate risk from COVID-19. Much of what we’re implementing has come recommended from the ACE COVID-19 Response Guide and associated resources. This guidance comes from an 8-member ACE COVID taskforce and was approved by the ACE Board of Trustees, in consultation with 9 safety consultants and Safety Committee members from across the United States. We participate in biweekly Zoom meetings and regular email exchanges to keep current with best practices in circus studios across the nation.
5) We fully honor our own long-standing relationship with you, our circus community. We are doing our absolute best to take all perspectives into account to make the best decisions we possibly can. And we are blessed to have a dedicated staff and Board of Trustees comprising community members, founding members, alumni parents, and current FGC parents -- all to bring circus arts to you.