June 16, 2020
Parent and Student Advisory: Resuming On-Site, In-Person Lessons
Under Phase 2 Community Reopening Guidelines
We are resuming in-person lessons with the beginning of our Summer Term on June 15. Our Summer Term will run through Sunday, September 4.
As directed by the County Health Department under the current Phase 2 Guidelines, we’ll be conducting on-site, in-person lessons as follows:
1) We’ll meet outdoors in the courtyard whenever possible. This is the safest possible environment for students, family members, and instructors. We’ll shift indoors for lessons should the temperature be over 90° F, should the Air Quality Index be over 150 (Red), or should we be under a Severe Weather Warning.
2) Students, family members and instructors will wear masks or other appropriate face coverings, working both indoors and outside. We are protecting each other by doing this. At this time and under these circumstances, working together masked is a necessary personal discipline.
3) You don’t have to wear your formal uniform for lessons. Instead, please wear comfortable clothing that keeps you cool and gives you protection from the sun. Also wear shoes that will allow you to move and especially to kick – sandals or flip-flops tend to fly off when kicking. Please wear your rank belt as well – that is all the uniform you will need. (Special Summerweight uniforms are currently available for order – please see Mr. Booker for details.)
4) We’ll be working together in warm, sunny conditions much of the time. We should be properly prepared so that our lessons together will be as pleasant as possible. I would strongly suggest bringing the following for each lesson:
- Water. Make sure you’re getting enough water, during the day as well as during your lessons. Soft Drinks or even “Sports Beverages” such as Gatorade are no real substitute.
- Sunscreen. A minimum of SPF 15 is recommended – a higher rating is even better. Even though an individual lesson will only last 45 minutes, sunlight is hard radiation and should be treated with the proper respect.
- Sunglasses. We’ll be working together from mid-afternoon into the evening, when the sun is getting low in the sky. While this means the day will get cooler as it gets later, it also means the light can get into our eyes. Wearing sunglasses will help keep you more comfortable.
- Sun Hat. Consider wearing a Sun Hat with a wide, floppy brim. A baseball cap should also work. This will help to both shade your eyes from the light, and to keep you cooler overall.
- Camping Chair. We have several concrete benches available in the courtyard. These can be fatiguing to sit on for more than a few minutes. For family members coming to our lessons, I would strongly suggest bringing some sort of folding camping chair for greater personal comfort.
5) “No Contact”. In line with personal distancing requirements, students will not be holding targets, shields or other training tools for each other. Our students will need an adult member of their immediate family to attend lessons with them as their training partner, so that we are limiting contact appropriately. The adult training partner will be holding training tools as well as applying some simple grabs.
6) We won’t be sharing training equipment, such as targets and shields. Students will bring their own individual, dedicated equipment to lessons with them, and take them home again afterwards. Having these available will also allow you to practice your karate skills together at home. While we had originally planned to use Tiger Claw Blockers, these are currently unavailable for order. Instead, we will work as follows:
- Karate Tigers & Fundamentals Students: please bring an Arm Shield to your lessons. We have a number of these used but in good condition available at our school that we’re happy to lend you for the Summer Term.
- Honors & Black Belts: please bring your Arm Shield and your Padded Long Sword to your lessons. For your “B” lessons on Wednesdays and Thursdays, please bring your Bo as well.
7) When we are working indoors, we will maintain appropriate physical distancing. We have training spaces marked out on the floor for our students, and we have dispersed seating available for family members. Because of the space restrictions involved in Phase 2, students should have just their adult training partner with them when we’re working indoors.
8) If you haven’t already done so, please register for your Summer Term lessons. This will allow us to limit lesson sizes to the numbers deemed acceptable under the Phase 2 guidelines. These allow us a maximum of 1 instructor and 4 students per lesson. Registration forms have been sent out by email, and are also available for you to download from our website. If and when class times for a group fill up, we will set up “overflow” lessons as needed.
A few other general points that several members of our school community have asked about:
- Video Tutorials: We will make online video tutorials available on your karate skills for this term to help you practice at home. Unlike the Spring Term, when we did video lessons on a week by week basis, these will be one-off reference videos. These will take you through your skills in greater depth than we would do in any single lesson. We will have a set of these available for your 1st Achievement Stripe skills, and for your 2nd.
- Indoor Lesson Participation: We will have days when weather conditions are such that we have to shift indoors for safety. When this happens, you won’t be required to participate indoors if you would prefer not to. Some of us have highly vulnerable family members sheltering at home that we are committed to protecting. Instead, you can submit your work for that lesson to Mr. Booker by video for your class credit. You can use the online video tutorial and written lesson guide to help you with this.
- Assertiveness & Warrior Personal Strength: Your Assertiveness lessons from Speak Up & Get Along by Scott Cooper, and your Warrior Personal Strength lessons will continue to be available as online videos on a week-by-week basis, just as we did during the Spring Term. We will resume these next week.