Q: What can you tell us about the health & safety adjustments you’re making for this summer in response to COVID-19? A: The health and safety of our staff, students, families, board, and broader GlassRoots community are top of mind. Some of the many things we’re keeping an eye on will be:
Offering programs via video links with kits to support hands-on participation
Staggered or longer check-in times & outdoor check-in for onsite programs
Regular temperature and health screens of students and staff
Decreasing group sizes & student/ staff ratios
Increased frequency of hand-washing and installation of hand-sanitizing units
Creative programming aimed at reducing the amount of physical contact and shared items
PPE for all staff members
Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of all studio surfaces
Limiting any outside visitors
Safe transition procedures within the studio space
Q:Are you going to be able to effectively promote social distancing in your facility? How can groups effectively manage during these unprecedented times? A: It will be our goal to keep students and staff 6 feet apart, 100% of the time; understanding there may be some instances where individuals are closer simply due to what people do. However, we can control a number of factors, such as the spaces we use, the activities we run, and our group sizes. We do feel that with these adjustments from years prior, we can help to reduce the risk of transmission.
Q: What activities can we expect to see with all of these new guidelines? A: In addition to limiting the number of students in any of our shops or facility at one time, our staff have retooled some of our studios and developed projects requiring minimal or no personal contact, while stressing safety. In some cases this involves using pre-cut glass or safety tips on our blow pipes, or the use of our new project kits on-site or at home. During our Phase 1 closure, we learned a great deal about distance-learning and look forward to implementing new programs available from anywhere in the world!
Q: What is your plan for students and staff – sanitation procedures? A: We are have been working diligently to build a plan and routine to keep our office and studio spaces clean this summer and going forward. Upon arrival you should expect to see a good deal of signage, encouraging social distancing, reminding of health protocols and spelling out any special procedures.
Q: For onsite programs, will the lunch procedures be different? A: It sure is. For the most part, our programs will be scheduled to avoid meal times at our studios. In a case where someone will be onsite during lunch, we’ve ramped up cleaning procedures, hand washing protocols, and how and where we store lunches.
Health and Safety
Q: How will you determine if it is safe to open? A: We are in close communication with the City of Newark, and will be applying for their clearance to have students in our studios. Together, we’re discussing the latest updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and our local governing bodies. Ultimately, the City will share local guidance that will govern permitted activities in Newark. We will continue to monitor this information and abide by the state and local phased opening protocols.
Q: How can I support GlassRoots right now? A: We have experienced significant financial loss over the past two months with the immediate suspension of our school programs and spring lessons. With our summer season also in flux, we expect lower enrollment and much higher costs – as a small business, we’re feeling it. We are deeply grateful for any support right now. If you are not planning to come to our studios and are willing to donate your tuition let us know, or please click here to donate. We want to keep up the fight and continue providing programs for years to come. A sincere thank you from everyone at GlassRoots. What other questions are on your mind? Please submit them here, and we will do our best to answer questions with whatever information we have in this quickly changing environment.