Dear DDC Dance Families, Thursday, August 26, 2021
Due to the recent increase in the number of Denton ISD students contracting Covid, and the DISD School Board’s decision to temporarily require masks for all staff, students, and parents going into schools, we are going to do the same. As of today, Thursday, August 26, 2021, we are requesting that all dancers and parents coming into the studio, wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose in order to allow DDC to continue to legally operate within the City of Denton (this includes dancers, ages 2+, as per the Denton City Council Order, referenced below.) The wearing of masks while dancing is, understandably, difficult, but our dancers have proven that it was possible all year long last year. For the safety and health of all of our dancers and staff, please allow your dancer to wear a mask—temporarily—until the numbers of students with Covid in the DISD, go down. Please see Superintendent Wilson’s letter to DISD families bel ow:
Denton ISD superintendent's letter on face masks
Aug. 24, 2021
Dear Denton ISD Families and Staff:
At our recent Board of Trustees Meeting, staff presented our Trustees with current data regarding the community spread of COVID-19 related to the virus. You can find the weekly report at https://www.dentonisd.org/Page/103127. Our team will update this information each Friday.
We began the school year without a mask requirement and left the choice to each individual. Although we have strongly encouraged wearing masks, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and the number of positive cases has continued to rise since we began school on August 12, 2021.
More specifically, the first two days of class we had less than ten reported cases. At the end of the first full week of class the number grew to almost 100, and this week we are averaging more than 60 positive COVID-19 cases per day.
Following the advice of officials at Denton County Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) beginning Thursday, Aug. 26, face coverings or masks will be required for students, employees and visitors inside all Denton ISD buildings where physical distancing is not possible. This temporary requirement will remain in place until local hospitalization access and community spread of COVID-19 slows.
We know the best place for most students to learn is in-person and on campus. We must take the steps necessary to not only keep our students and staff healthy and safe, but also to learn in person with our highly skilled teachers.
Our teachers will need your help. Each one of them will now be tasked with ensuring our students wear face coverings while in class and when keeping a physical distance is not possible. We believe it is our responsibility to use every tool available to protect our students and staff.
Together, with our local health officials, we ask that you join us in promoting:
- Vaccinations for all eligible individuals, under your personal physician's guidance
- Physical distancing, when possible
- Good hygiene, especially hand washing
- Wearing a face covering
Denton ISD is a special place, and I am confident our families will embrace this temporary requirement to keep kids in school. I feel honored to serve as your superintendent, and I appreciate your partnership as we continue to navigate a COVID-19 environment.
Thank you for supporting us in this necessary change.
Jamie Wilson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
In order to read the Fourteenth Order of Council pertaining to a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency, requiring all child care facilities, gyms & fitness classes, and commercial businesses operating within the City of Denton to post health and safety guidelines and policies, and require all people within our building to wear masks in order to prevent the spread of Covid, please go to https://www.cityofdentonnews.com/post/denton-city-amends-order-regarding-masks. The Order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2021 and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 30. 2021. The Fourteenth Order amends and updates the Thirteenth Order, previously adopted on Aug. 12.
As always, my focus is on the health and safety of our dancers and faculty. In order for us to continue to operate, produce “A Gift for Emma,” our annual Recital Showcase, and have a successful dance year, it is imperative that our dancers and their families stay healthy and safe within our facility, and that we follow the health and safety protocols set by our school district, the City, and the County. Following are the steps we are taking in order to keep having “in-person” classes and "keep our doors open":
- Anytime our “mask ask” has to be updated, we will email all of our dance families, update our website, post in the hallway, and update our required medical release waiver in the parent portal.
- We have set up Zoom classes for ALL of our dance classes (including competition rehearsals AND Adult Dance Fitness classes) in case our dancers need to quarantine. Please login to your DDC Parent Portal, click on the specific class, and then the “class location” and you should be able to join the class through that link.
- We will continue to notify parents if we conclude that dancers have been exposed to a Covid-positive case within our facility.
- We can supply masks at the front door for anyone forgetting their mask
- We will continue to monitor temperatures with non-contact, infrared thermometers for all who enter DDC, and offer hand sanitizer as people enter the building, and after dancers finish their dance class.
- We ask that all parents let us know if and when your dancer will be absent from class for ANY reason, by going to our homepage at www.dentondance.com, and filling out our "Absence Notification" Google Form located at the top right-hand corner of our homepage banner. (If you would like to Zoom the class, we need to know by 2pm the day of the absence in order to prepare our technology and notify the instructors.)
- In May of 2020, we were able to install ozone free Active Pure Technology Air Scrubbers on all three HVAC units.
- We have maintained our increased disinfecting of touchable surfaces throughout the dance day and hired a janitorial service to clean and disinfect nightly.
- We are currently researching additional portable air filtration systems to put into each studio in order to mitigate the spread of viruses. These systems will be purchased soon.
Hopefully, with this updated health policy, the numbers of Covid positive students in DISD will go down. We will continue to follow DISD’s and the City of Denton’s guidelines and protocols throughout the year. I know that if we continue to work together for the good of our dancers, we will all receive the benefits of a consistent and continued dance education!
With love and care always,