COVID-19 INFORMATION

Early Fall 2021

Brookline Music School actively monitors local, state and federal advice and directives on how to safely operate during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Under the guidance of its Re-opening Task Force, BMS regularly updates its policies, keeping the health and safety of the BMS community at the forefront of all policy decisions.

Be Healthy at BMS

It is of utmost importance that staff, faculty and students notify BMS and do not come to work/teach or a lesson/group class if (1) they are awaiting results of a COVID test for themself or a member of their household; (2) they have recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID; (3) they are experiencing any of the following signs of illness (the CDC notes that this is not a list of all possible symptoms):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Before entering Kennard House or any other BMS teaching space, faculty, staff, students, families, and visitors should self-screen and stay home if they are ill. If someone exhibits symptoms that raise concern, they must isolate until they can safely leave the building.

Masks and Instrument Coverings

The Town of Brookline instituted an indoor mask mandate effective August 27, 2021. Anyone entering Kennard House, or taking lessons/group classes with a BMS teacher, must be masked. For students, masks must be worn before, during and after the lesson/group class unless under 2 years of age. This includes students taking winds, brass and voice lessons. Masks must cover mouth and nose at all times and be a 3-ply surgical mask (BMS has these in the office if needed), a fabric mask with a filter, or a specially designed mask to play winds or brass instruments, or to sing. Please note that for winds and brass students, masks must be able to be closed while not playing. In addition, instrument coverings may be required for certain wind and brass instruments.

Vaccinations

The CDC emphasizes that vaccination is the most effective way to protect against severe illness or death from COVID. BMS strongly encourages everyone who is eligible to be fully vaccinated. While it is not required for students/families to share their vaccination status with BMS staff or faculty, if faculty members are not comfortable teaching unvaccinated students in person, they will inform students that they will continue to teach remotely.

Eating/Drinking

There will be no eating and drinking allowed at Kennard House or other teaching spaces.

Drop-off/Pick-up or Entering/Waiting at Kennard House

Everyone entering BMS will sign in at the lobby desk. Parents/guardians bringing children/dropping off students for lessons should use their judgement to ensure the students safely and comfortably arrive at their lesson/class destination. Once children are situated, parents/guardians are asked to wait outside of the building. We encourage parents/guardians of young children to stay nearby. You are welcome to sit on our porch, and the playground next to Kennard House is a fun space for siblings and other children. There are also a couple of local eateries within walking distance of BMS.

Distancing

The CDC continues to recommend physical distancing, in addition to masks and other protocols, to protect unvaccinated persons. Students may not be fully vaccinated (under age 12 are not yet eligible) and so faculty and staff are required to maintain appropriate distancing from students, even when both are wearing masks.

Hygiene

Hand sanitizers are located on each floor of Kennard House and should be used by everyone entering Kennard House. In addition, students and employees will be instructed to wash hands frequently, especially before and after lessons and group instruction. Piano keys will also be wiped down regularly.

Air Purification

BMS installed a new HVAC system during the 2020-2021 school year which includes an air purification system running through our ducts. This system is active all of the time.

Isolation

If a student exhibits symptoms, we will isolate the student until a parent/guardian can pick the student up. In order to minimize these occurrences, we implore students to stay home if they have missed school or work on the day of a lesson due to illness. The same is true for faculty and staff.

Positive Cases

If a staff, faculty member, student, or other visitor tests positive for COVID-19 after spending time at Kennard House or in one of our other teaching spaces, they must notify BMS. The School will work with the Brookline Health Department as required for contact tracing in accordance with the CDC and state guidelines. BMS will follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation.

Remote Lessons

If a student or faculty member needs to continue learning/teaching remotely, they should contact the BMS Director of Education for assistance.