As some places begin to allow businesses to re-open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very important to make sure you create the safest and cleanest environment for your students and team. You cannot control the virus, but you can control the procedures and systems within your school as you open it to the public. Aside from following your local county’s laws and regulations (which can provide more clarity than federal/OSHA/CDC guidelines), here are some things to consider implementing to make this re-opening process successful and with as little stress or uncertainty as possible:
- You will likely need to adjust your curriculum to meet the needs of social distancing
- Younger students may not understand how or why they need to keep their distance
- Not everyone will want to return to in-person classes immediately
- Parents and spectators in-school will be limited and required to follow similar rules
- You will need to adjust staffing and student-to-instructor ratios
- Some customers may not want to comply
- Curriculum? Start adjusting now, check out your county opening rules and required policies to see what you can safely cover within your classes to avoid the least amount of contact or interaction.
- Young Students? Prepare focus drills and techniques to keep students on their spot, but engaged. You need to make sure you hold control of your class at all times.
- Not Ready? Continue to offer virtual classes and training for those who do not feel comfortable coming into the dojo and make sure you sync those classes with the in-school classes so students don’t get confused or feel left out.
- Spectators? If you choose to allow spectators, be sure to set up spacing in your seating area ahead of time and pre-frame a message to parents not just on what their students should expect, but also what spectators should expect.
- Team and Student Count? Determine what number of students your team can serve, adjust your schedule to avoid over-crowding, and have students sign up for their time slot.
- Non-Compliant? Your first goal should to be to provide a safe and controlled environment for your students and your community. You have the right to ask for that control and if anyone refuses to comply, you can refuse admittance to your dojo. Consider sending out consent forms for the updated reopening rules ahead of your first class back. Collect the signatures before allowing students to register for classes before they can register to attend again live.
The more prepared you are for re-opening your martial arts school, the less worry or stress you will have when the time comes to open the doors. Stay safe and good luck!
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