Zionsville Community Schools outlines music program protocols


Zionsville Community Schools officials have outlined limitations for music programs during the 2020-21 school year.

ZCS Assistant Supt. Of Academics Kris Devereaux said choir and band students will be required to wear masks.

“Masks are required even when you are singing,” Devereaux said during a YouTube livestream Q&A.

Devereaux did note that an exception will be made to allow students to play instruments, but when they are not playing they are required to wear a mask. She also said remote-learning students will have access to music classes and elementary schools will still have specials.

“Those classes are important,” Devereaux said. “We want to make sure we still have time in our day and our week for those classes to happen. In order to keep cohorting happening at the elementary level, those teachers will be working with one class of students at a time so that we aren’t crossing classes of students or multiple students from other classes in with that teacher.”

For older students, when schools reopen Aug. 10, the school system will implement a three-phase plan for students in music programs.

Phase 1 protocols, which were originally scheduled from July 6 to July 19, applied limitations to summer activities, allowing students 15 hours on campus per week. The school system will stay in this phase until notified otherwise. Each group is permitted three hours a day of rehearsal, and only essential personnel were permitted, meaning no parents or spectators were allowed.

Phase 2 protocols, which were originally scheduled to be in effect through August 14, implement the same limitations, but nonessential personnel, including parents, are allowed.

Phase 3 protocols, scheduled to begin August 15, apply normal rules and regulations. Spectators, media and vendors can be present but all “should implement social distancing when possible,” according to the school system’s Eagle Start Guide, which can be viewed at zcs.k12.in.us/Eagle_Start_Guide_20-21.pdf and is updated as school guidelines change.

When students participate in musical programs such as choir, orchestra or band, interior facility doors will be propped open when possible, and classroom and instructional classes will only use 50 to 65 percent capacity, according to the start guide. Groups will work outdoors whenever possible, and the largest available space will be used. When not directly participating in a drill, social distancing should be observed.

Equipment, such as instruments, props, rifles and sabers, must be cleaned following each practice session. Instructional groups will be established and used for attendance, water breaks and dismissals, according to the start guide. Each group will have guidelines that may be specific for their activity and will be communicated to participants by directors. Students should not sing or play an instrument while facing another individual when possible.