One of the biggest things that was confirmed by holding the outdoor classes is that children—especially younger children—learn far better in an in-person class than by Zoom. However, the safety of our students and families remains our top priority. We are trying to find a balance between what will reduce the chances of harm to our students and families while still providing them with the service they value so that our school can remain open.
So, we would like your input to help us plan our next steps. Please fill out this super-short survey to let us know your thoughts.
At the end of the survey, there is the opportunity to let us know your ideas. We’ve gotten some very helpful feedback from families over the past four months. Letting us know about your experience with our efforts and your ideas on how we can improve those efforts is invaluable!
We will send the same survey closer to the time of school starting to gauge your feelings, as we know that things can change quickly.
The science behind our strategy:
This summer, we successfully held in-person belt tests in the Dojang by testing in small groups (1-3 students), limiting capacity, requiring masks, and physical distancing.
We also shifted from all-online learning to a combination of live-streamed and outdoor, in-person classes (for those comfortable with this format), along with giving students access to the videos on the Virtual Dojang Home Reference Library. Overall, it has been a very positive experience despite the early mornings for the in-person classes!
With school set to resume August 18—even in a distance-learning-only format—we will not be able to continue to hold outdoor classes at that time, so we are evaluating our options based on the most current research and information about the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the information from the state and federal level continues to be incoherent at best, contradictory at worst. There is no science-based guidance for us to follow, so we are left to figure it out ourselves. Some facts have become clear over the past two months, however:
- Masks are one of the best ways to slow the spread of the virus.
- At least 25% of people who have the virus have NO symptoms, so even if you feel fine you could have the virus, and by wearing a mask you are protecting those around you.
- Physical distancing is effective at reducing transmission, especially combined with masks.
- Indoor transmission of the virus is far greater than outdoor, so physical distancing, masks, and good hand hygiene are essential when indoors with people who are not in your “bubble.”
- Viral load (how much of the virus is present) and time of exposure (i.e., how long you were exposed) are important factors in transmission of the virus.
- Our understanding of the virus changes with more research, and we must adapt our strategy based not only on that new information, but also based on the data showing the severity of the pandemic in Austin.