NTPA Academy Safety Protocol

Introduction

We are pleased to introduce the NTPA ACADEMY SAFETY PROTOCOL to guide the safety procedures and processes for Academy class and Core Flexible Learning activities.

NTPA will be providing a more safe and healthy alternative learning environment this Fall by employing these unique advantages:

  • NTPA’s “Integrated” learning environment allows students and their families the choice to decide whether to join online, in-person or a flexible combination for almost all classes.
  • The Academy has a historical average classroom size of 10.3 students, providing almost 4 times the space per student of a typical public school in spacious studios and theatres.
  • Most classes will be capped at 15 students.
  • Campuses will be capped between 30-100 students (depending on location size) in a location, providing a limited-contact exposure environment to our students.
  • Students can pursue a number of distance-learning “Core Academic Study” programs, including those now offered online at their public schools and still take advantage of the NTPA performing arts curriculum and “Core Café” learning environment.
  • NTPA will adhere to rigorous disinfection efforts, safe social distance and protective mask policies.

In order to maximize the safety of NTPA students, parents, patrons and staff, the North Texas Performing Arts created its Reopening Task force of some 25 professionals including four medical doctors, legal counsel, board members and others. The Task Force defined the procedures and protocols outlined in this document to ensure that NTPA’s Production Rehearsals are opened in a safe and deliberate manner that best protects the health of its students and staff.

In addition to the NTPA ACADEMY SAFETY PROTOCOL outlined below, NTPA Staff have been trained upon and will enforce a detailed “Staff Safety Protocol” and “NTPA Facilities Protocol” also approved by the NTPA Task Force outlining their obligations and responsibilities. 

This Staff Safety Protocol includes the continuous wearing of masks, the maintenance of a “safe social distance” of six feet at all times, the vigilance for signs of potentially unhealthy students or staff members and appropriate response, the availability of hand sanitizers at all times, the on-going cleaning and sanitizing of all facilities, the wiping down of commonly-touched facilities on a regular schedule and other protocols consistent with the Governor’s Strike Force recommendations for personnel and facilities for these purposes. A copy of the full detailed staff guidance may be made available to Parents or Guardians upon request.

NTPA’s safety protocol builds upon the requirements recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas Governor’s Strike Force, and expands beyond them to provide a comprehensive and careful standard of care.

Our thanks to the Members of the NTPA Re-Opening Task Force

  • Mark Frankenfeld, Board President
  • Elly Marsh, Board President-Elect
  • Steve Flad, Past Board President
  • Michelle Hoffman Board Vice President
  • Trysh Pope, Board Secretary
  • Tamara Jones, Board Treasurer
  • Michael Massiatte, Board Counsel
  • Dr. Jenny Duewall
  • Dr. Jeri Tidwell
  • Connor Bourland

Management Board Chairpersons:

  • Laura Coppedge, Plano
  • Holly Tripp, Fairview
  • Sara Johnson, Dallas
  • Erika Bazan, Frisco
  • Lisa Rodenbaugh, Repertory
  • Fred Lamb, Starcatchers
  • Holly Dalton, Academy
  • Jennifer Harrison, Principal
  • Steve McMurray, Board Set-Build Oversight
  • Tammy Thies, NTPA Ticketing, RN

NTPA Staff Members:

  • Darrell Rodenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer
  • Lindsey Lederer, VP of Youth Theatres
  • Lauren Boykin, Senior Marketing Director
  • Mike Mazur, Academy Head of School & Plano Managing Director
  • Cibby Bowden, Fairview Managing Director
  • Hannah Makepeace, Frisco Program Director
  • Danny Miranda, Rep Theatre Artistic Director
  • Greg McKnight, NTPA Technical Director
  • Riley Gray, Starcatchers Theatre
  • Jackie Miller, Business Manager

Advantages of University Model Instruction

NTPA students already have the option of selecting classes on a university style schedule. Therefore, students have the option of attending between 1-5 days a week. These choices naturally reduce the total population on campus each day.

This approach also means that students could continue to participate in their regular public school online programs while taking advantage of coursework at the NTPA Academy.

Integrated Learning Model

This fall, the NTPA Academy will be implementing its “integrated” learning environment providing flexibility for onsite and at-home learning opportunities. Almost ALL CLASSES will be able take advantage of this approach:

  • Student/Parent determine the strategies and best practices associated with blended learning to design learning activities for all students.
  • Regardless of learning environment, will engage in high quality learning experiences aligned to NTPA’s Academy Curriculum.
  • Student/parents can decide BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS SESSION which learning environment they will be taking advantage of and advise Academy management accordingly.
  • The student will join with THEIR OWN CLASS when they join remotely or in-person and participate in either setting.
  • Both the remote and face-to-face experience will utilize ASAP and Google Classroom, provide similar expectations around coursework and follow the same grading guidelines.

The remote learning opportunity will allow students to engage in high quality learning experiences, utilize regular instructional resources and meaningfully connect with their teachers and other students. Students will join the in-person classroom via remote connection with TV screens. Parents will support remote students as a “learning coach” and ensure they have access to a device, a place to work and are engaged in virtual learning activities. Grading will be consistent with the guidelines and practices used in all face-to-face instruction. All coursework, expectations, and evaluations will be the same regardless of the method of attendance. Students attending through Zoom, must be visible on camera during the duration of the class period in order to receive credit for attendance.

Some courses may have a few required in person days established at the start of the semester.

Students will have the flexibility to determine which attendance method meets their needs throughout the semester.

  1. Example: A student could zoom a class on Monday and choose to attend on Wednesday
  2. Example: A Student could zoom for several weeks and then start attending in person or vice versa.

This will be a “synchronous” learning opportunity, and while classes will be recorded, students joining online must be available for live, synchronous instruction during each school day. Any absences will be recorded in ASAP.

Daily In-Person Admittance

  • To minimize parent movement in the facility, parents are encouraged to remain outside the facility and safely drop their children off when appropriate and await the student’s completion of the health checklist.
  • In admitting their student, the Parent acknowledges that they have not observed or have any reason to suspect their actor is ill or about to become ill or has been exposed or recently placed in a high-risk situation and therefore should be in quarantine as defined by the Center for Disease Control.
  • Students should bring their own water bottle and necessary materials.
  • For the protection of the Student and staff, all persons onsite at every NTPA facility must wear a facemask, including students, Parents or visitors, at all times. Those appearing without a mask must acquire one before entering or will not be admitted. Parents are encouraged to work with their children to gain experience with their facemask for prolonged periods in advance of coming to rehearsal.
  • The students must provide their own acceptably protective face mask. NTPA will have reusable face masks available for sale for $10 each and single-use disposable masks for sale for $2.00 each for those who arrive without a mask. NTPA will provide single-use masks to families in financial need on an individual basis at prior request and as available and on an exceptional basis.
  • Students are required to use hand sanitizer provided by NTPA before entering the building at the entry of each of NTPA’s facilities.
  • Students will be directed to walk directly to their classrooms upon being cleared to enter.
  • Specific Classroom locations should be communicated in advance and confirmed by the show manager so that students can go directly to their studio or room without congregating in the theatre lobby. From the moment a student enters to the time they leave, social distancing will be enforced.

Lunch and Breaks

  • The supervised Core Cafe for its “flexible learning environment” for core academics will be established with tables and chairs set for social distancing to allow breaks between classes and lunch. The core cafe provides a refrigerator and a microwave available for student use.
  • While students are eating lunch or snacks in the Core Cafe, they may remove masks, but must maintain a strict social distancing of 3 feet or more.
  • Once students are finished they will replace their masks in accordance with the general mask policy.
  • In accordance with past semesters, students will be allowed to leave the NTPA Plano Campus for lunch so long as a parent waiver is on file. Most students walk to the mall food court or equivalent in other facilities. Students are advised to maintain social distancing while away from campus.
  • The Academy Administration team will determine the appropriate lunch privileges for new campuses based on the facilities.

Academy Classes and Productions

  • The NTPA Academy will adhere to the standard NTPA classroom/rehearsal/performance safety protocol for Academy Shows, Rehearsals, and Technical Rehearsals activities.
  • Academy Head of School, Mike Mazur, may determine classroom activities (such as final performances for a grade) that are considered “mask optional on stage” activities. Students may remove their mask only while performing in these activities.
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