News Updates and news from the academy

FVAD Re-opening Plan

May 18, 2020

Following guidance now available from the BC Health Officer, Fraser Health Authority, and WorkSafeBC, we have begun to define our FVAD Re-Opening Plan.

In line with our provincial government’s plans, we are taking a four-phase approach to re-opening our school. All phases rely on the success of the previous phase, as well as the success of the overall BC re-opening plans. Each Phase includes its own COVID-19 Safety Plan, within the overall FVAD Re-Opening Plan.

Preparation for Phase 1

Initially, we decided to offer online classes by donation only, as we all needed time to adjust to the shut-down situation. We also felt it important to find an online format that would provide value-for-money for any fee-based classes.

We are exceedingly grateful for those who offered donations in exchange for classes in those first weeks of closure. However, as the shut-down progressed, it was clear that we would need to re-introduce tuition if we were to survive the closure financially. We had no income for our staff, and needed a plan to bring our teachers back to their classes.

Before adding fees to our classes again, we felt we should first reduce all expenses possible so that we would be asking only for the minimum possible from our families. As such, we closed our costume and props storage units, reduced overheads, cancelled operations services, and took the difficult decision to close Studio C.

We have thankfully also been able to access additional government support, including all of the acronyms (CERB, CEWS, TWS, CEBA, CECRA), as well as business support in mortgage/loan deferrals and utility waivers.

Phase 1 – Online Classes [Ongoing]

In Phase 1, we have introduced many hours of online classes, both pre-recorded and live classes as well as private lessons.

We decided on a gradual approach, first offering free in-studio recorded classes, then free newly recorded classes, then free live classes.

Once we had a format that worked, we created the “Live Classes 2020” schedule as pay-per-class offerings, including new Private Lessons.

Next, we will be transitioning our available pre-recorded classes into a pay-to-stream-weekly on-demand library for additional revenue support.

With the additional government support combined with our new fee structure for online classes, and if we have sufficient online enrolment going forward, we should be in a position to move into Phases 2, 3 and 4.

Phase 2 – In-Studio Private Lessons [Jun]

In Phase 2, we will introduce in-studio private lessons.

Fitness Facilities are permitted to open in our area from May 19, albeit under very strict guidelines and restrictions. We must first satisfy numerous WorkSafeBC specifications as well as BC Health Officer and Fraser Health Authority guidelines. These are being developed now and will be released as our COVID19 Safety Plan – Phase 2 prior to our opening the building for private lessons.

In Phase 2, we plan to allow one student with one teacher in each studio for a private lesson. Aside from the cleaning, disinfecting, distancing and other requirements to be set out in our COVID-19 Safety Plan – Phase 2 (included in our COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan), the studio lesson times will be staggered, and waiting rooms and office will remain closed, to reduce contact.

While we are hopeful that Phase 2 will begin in June, there are many external factors that could delay this phase.

The Phase 1 online classes, both live and recorded, will continue in Phase 2 except for those replaced by an in-studio private lesson.

Phase 3 – In-Studio Semi-Private Classes [Jul]

In Phase 3, we will expand to in-studio semi-private classes for 2-4 students.

We have determined that we can safely enter Phase 3 under the existing physical distancing requirements of 2m (6′), assuming our COVID-19 Safety Plan – Phase 2 is proven effective, and our COVID-19 Safety Plan – Phase 3 is in place to accommodate the additional students accessing the building and studios.

While we are hopeful that Phase 3 might begin in July, there are many external factors that could delay this phase.

The Phase 1 online classes, both live and recorded, and Phase 2 private lessons will continue in Phase 3, except those replaced by an in-studio semi-private class.

Phase 4 – In-Studio Small Classes [Sep]

In Phase 4, we will introduce in-studio small classes of up to 8 students.

Based on our calculations of student movements inside a studio, we have determined that we can only safely enter Phase 4 when current physical distancing requirements of 2m (6′) have been lifted or reduced, and if our COVID-19 Safety Plan – Phase 3 proved effective.

While we are hopeful that Phase 4 might occur in September, there are many external factors that could delay this phase.

Class Schedules for 2020-21

Due to the uncertainty as to when we can begin Phase 3 and Phase 4, we are now preparing two schedules for 2020-21:

  • Phase 3 Schedule with 1-4 students per class, with all classes staggered
  • Phase 4 Schedule with up to 8 students per class.

Student Auditions for 2020-21

Due to space limitations, we may need to audition students to join our 2020-21 in-studio classes.

We will prioritize placement for students who have been training in our Phase 1 and Phase 2 classes, and place them into in-studio classes first.

While we will do our best to accommodate everyone who wishes to join us in Phase 3 or 4, we may then need to hold class auditions for other students.

In this case, we will continue to offer online classes for students who are unable to access in-studio classes.

Health-and-Safety Advisory Board

In addition to following the official guidance from our provincial government and regulatory bodies, and to expand our existing FVAD Health-and-Safety Policies, we will be establishing an FVAD Health-and-Safety Advisory Board.

Many of our families are directly involved in community and government organizations, as well as industries, who are working through the same issues. Many of these organizations have access to larger associations for policy creation. To avoid re-inventing the wheel, we hope to access as much of this existing and developing experience and knowledge-sharing as possible, and to obtain feedback on our COVID-19 Safety Plans.

We will be reaching out to our families for support in this area as we move forward with defining our plans for each phase of our hopeful re-opening.