INFORMATION ABOUT IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION @ PAA
What to expect this Fall…
To increase the chances of a smooth re-entry, we will not begin to offer in-person classes until October. During September, classes will be offered online only, so that all students become familiar with navigating our in-depth online educational offerings.
In October, conditions permitting, we plan to introduce in-person classes gradually, starting with two days per week and working our way up to full-time. However, students will always have the option to continue with online instruction as most of our courses will be integrated for both in-person and online study.
For students who decide to come into the studio for in-person classes, we plan to implement the following procedures in an effort to keep everyone safe:
1. Mask wearing will be strictly enforced. Students will be required to put on a mask before entering the building. Masks must be worn covering both the nose and the mouth. No exceptions. If you feel that you need air, please step outside of the building to a secluded area before removing your mask.
2. We will have more air filtration machines with HEPA filters, in addition to the Molekule air filter we use currently. Each additional machine will also run at all times in the studio to promote better air quality. Additionally, we are looking into purchasing an excimer lamp that uses 222nm Far-UVC light which eliminates 99.98% of the world’s most harmful bacteria, viruses, and spores at 10,000 cfm in an airstream.
This lamp is safer than conventional UVC germicidal lamps ( 254nm ), as it is unable to penetrate deep into human tissues.
Conventional UVC lamps emit 254nm which is highly dangerous for not only the eyes, but the skin as well – we will never use this option in our studios.
The human-safe Far-UVC lamp will be installed in our air duct to ensure the constant circulation of fresh, clean air.
**Please consider donating to our fund hoping to raise money for this highly advanced and efficient equipment. Our goal is to create the safest study environment possible so you do not have to choose between worrying about your health or your studies.**
3. Students will be encouraged to use the stairs, rather than the elevator, when entering or leaving the building.
4. Students will be encouraged to wait to enter the building until one minute after the previous person has entered. Only one person should use either the staircase or the elevator at a time.
5. Doors to the studio will be propped open at the start and end of classes to minimize crowding as students enter and leave the studio and to increase air flow.
6. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at each doorway to the studio. Everyone will be required to use sanitizer immediately upon entering the studio. Experts suggest rubbing the sanitizer into your hands paying close attention to cuticles and under the nails rubbing until the sanitizer has completely dried.
7. Touchless soap dispensers will be installed in bathrooms and by the studio sink.
8. The amount of people in the studio at one time will be strictly limited to no more than 15, in order to promote an 8-10 ft social distance between students.
9. Students will only be allowed in the studio at their scheduled, in-person class time or with prior permission. No “drop-ins” allowed. If you want to come in at a time other than your scheduled, in-person class, call, text or email ahead of time to make sure there is room for you in the studio. Please be sure to receive confirmation from either the Operations Manager or the Director or you will not be permitted in the studio.
9. Easels will be positioned at designated stations on the floor to facilitate social distancing of 8-10 feet.
10. During the pandemic, no students will be allowed to leave materials in the studio. Students must bring in and take home their art work and art supplies each day. There will be no shared supplies available in the studio (other than children’s art supplies which will be sanitized thoroughly after use). If you see supplies out, please do not use them as they are the personal supplies of Academy employees. We recommend a portfolio folder for drawings and a box or bag for canvases. Supplies can be carried in an art tool box or a rolling bin.
11. For everyone’s safety, paint brushes must be cleaned at home, not in the studio, to keep students apart at the end of class. Students will be encouraged to use disposable paper palettes to lay out paints. In addition to limiting close contact between students, we would like to slowly lighten our carbon footprint by discontinuing the use of styrofoam plates. Alternatively, students can cover their wooden palettes with plastic wrap or reusable materials to transport them home. Dirty paint brushes can be transported home in a plastic bag or box.
12. ABSOLUTELY NO EATING OR DRINKING IN THE BUILDING. Students must step outside the building to eat or drink anything, including water. Masks are required in the building at all times. THE USE OF ACADEMY DISHWARE (I.E CUPS, MUGS, PLATES, SILVERWARE) IS NOT PERMITTED AT ANY TIME.
13. Students and staff will not be allowed in the studio if they have any symptoms of illness. If you become ill, you must inform studio staff immediately. All students will be notified if any student or staff member becomes ill with confirmed COVID or possible COVID symptoms. These include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Atypical. persistent, or severe fatigue
Muscle or body aches (not related to physical activity)
Persistent or severe headache (atypical)
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Find more information from the CDC here.
14. If someone becomes ill with confirmed COVID or possible COVID symptoms, all persons in contact with that person will be required to observe a two-week quarantine before returning to the studio. We reserve the right to notify all known persons they have been in contact with.
15. Studio surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of every class day and between daytime and evening classes.
16. All students who choose to attend in-person classes at the studio will be required to sign a release form. Although we will make efforts to create a clean and safe environment, we cannot guarantee anyone’s safety. Every student must consider the procedures we have outlined above as well as their own circumstances and risk tolerance to make the decision that is best for them. Online classes are available and an excellent option for individuals and families who are very busy or medically vulnerable.
17. We reserve the right to transfer all courses to online instruction if we decide the public health situation makes this necessary or there’s a government mandate. We are very well-equipped to offer high quality online instruction and have had this option available for all PAA programs since the middle of March 2020.
Continuity of Operations
Operations will continue as detailed in the above tab regarding our re-opening plan.
If there are changes to this plan, we will notify students by the same means we use when announcing school closures for snow days or other reasons:
- Emails to students and parents/guardians using email addresses via the student portal.
- Academy Newsletter – sign up here
- Website header/related information tabs (mainly the COVID-19 page).
- CDC Flu (Influenza) Information https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- CDC COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
- CDC What you need to know about COVID-19 (English) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.
How does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.
Can the virus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.
Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?
It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.
Will schools be closed?
Beginning Thursday, March 12, 2020, Princeton Academy of Art closed and will moved all classes online to a virtual/remote learning environment.
On Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced that all New Jersey schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
A decision as to when the schools will reopen will be made by the Governor and all NJ schools will open at the same time.
As an art Academy, we are following these guidelines closely though we do not technically fall into the same category as public school in NJ.
Our plan will run nearly parallel to that of the public schools in our are.
We plan to remain online for the month of September, but slowly introduce in-person lessons throughout the month of October.
Each week we will introduce 2 courses to the studio.
Please visit our guidelines for reopening in the tabs to the left for more thorough plans and procedures.
How will instruction continue?
Our integrated learning plan expands upon our existing practices to ensure the continuity of instruction. Teachers and students will continue to use a wide variety of learning platforms. We are well equipped to deliver instruction remotely as all students have access to advanced student portal software provided by the Academy. Our teachers regularly utilize this portal in addition to Zoom to deliver class resources/activities and assessments.
All information in these FAQs taken from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NJ Department of Education, NJ Department of Health websites and district emails.