Q: Is GlassRoots open this summer? A: Yes, we will be running programs at our Newark studio with a limited number of participants, holding off-site programs with program partners, introducing our new hybrid programs, and selling products with curbside pickup and shipping.
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: Staff have been working hard to develop programs that will keep us plenty busy this summer. 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.
Q: We want to register for classes, but we’re obviously unsure what the coming months hold. What should we do? A: We understand that every family and individual has to make their own decision about classes this year – we’re living in a different environment. However, you can trust that if class is a fit for you this summer, we will be ready to have an amazing program in a safe environment. We will have lower caps on class enrollment this year, so we encourage you to sign up as soon as you are comfortable. If you’re unsure about anything in particular, please give us a call or shoot us an email! We’re happy to talk through the details to make sure GlassRoots feels right for you.
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 guidance closely as we get closer to our studio opening date.
Our protocols are marked draft as we are still discovering what the best practices will look like going forward, and we will continue to update our policies as we get closer to opening our studios. The bottom line is that GlassRoots will have a different set of procedures this year to keep all of our students and staff safe, but the spirit of GlassRoots won’t change.
Financial Assistance Q: I’m registered, but I’m still not sure about participating in an in-person class. What is the cancellation policy if I decide to cancel? A: We recognize that every family is in a unique position this summer to decide if coming to GlassRoots is right for them or not. To remind you of our policies and key dates, please use this as a guide for what to do next.
Refund now – If you are sure you want to cancel and receive a refund, you’re welcome to let us know. You will receive the full amount paid, minus handling fees, if this is done before July 1.
Rolling registration – If you are sure you want to cancel for Summer 2020 and push your weeks to later in the year (for adult and private lessons) or to Summer 2021 (for summer camp), you will not lose your fees. You may have to pay the difference in any tuition next year, although the price increase is usually nominal. As we navigate this difficult time, we would be grateful if you would consider this option before requesting refunds.
If you have any questions on your decisions above, please shoot us an email and we can work through it with you. We’re in a very difficult position as a small, local business, and appreciate the teamwork and partnership as we lean on each other.
Q: If you have to cancel programs in the middle of the summer or for a certain number of days because of COVID-19, will I get a refund? A: Yes, absolutely. We understand this is a risk and something our students are worried about. You would receive a refund for the days or weeks missed.
Q: My family is experiencing financial hardship, and we didn’t apply for financial assistance. Can I still apply? A: We never want financial circumstances to be a barrier for any of our youth or workforce development programs. We understand COVID-19 has presented everyone with unique and challenging circumstances. Since our funding is quite limited at this time, we cannot make any promises around funding and scholarships, but we are trying our best to accommodate requests or offer alternative program suggestions. If additional funding becomes available, our team will reevaluate the application timeline.
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.