Welcome to School@VisArts, a weekly program that provides support and supervision for up to 8 students Grades K-8 that are enrolled in a virtual learning program. School@VisArts provides educational support for the academic day as well as a full multi-media art program with classes every day with a teaching artist. This program is perfect for those students with an interest in art and a desire to learn more during their breaks and extra time provided with distance learning. To ensure the health of students and staff, School@VisArts will operate a cohort system that will limit contact to the students in the cohort and to a very limited number of staff. 

Before enrolling your child, please make sure that your student is able to wear a mask at all times (except for a half-hour for lunch) and that they are able to work independently on their daily schoolwork. There will be a teacher in the classroom at all times to aid students with logging in and staying in required classes, but they will not teach academic lessons. All daily art lessons will be led by a teaching artist. Students must bring their own laptops or tablets and their own set of headphones and other materials as needed for academic work. VisArts will provide a secured WiFi connection, a printer and outlets for students to charge their devices.

In accordance with the student’s schedules, time will be set aside every day for art lessons. There will also be art materials available throughout the day for fast finishers and for use during break times. Each student will have their own set of art materials and there will be no sharing of materials. 

Students must be enrolled in a weekly session and there is no partial enrollment in any scheduled week. School@VisArts will offer a full week of classes during all school holidays and MCPS half-days during this period, except for Labor Day, Thanksgiving break, Winter break, MLK Jr. Day, and the final professional day of the semester.

REGISTER FOR SCHOOL@VISARTS

In light of COVID-19 and the current situation, VisArts is taking every precaution as outlined by the Center for Disease Control. These policies for School@VisArts (hereafter referred to as S@V) are non-negotiable and must be followed by students, staff, teachers, and everyone who enters our building.

Health & Safety/Sick Policy at School@VisArts:

All students and staff members will have their temperatures scanned before they enter the building each morning. They will also respond to three written questions regarding symptoms they may be experiencing, as well as exposure to others with symptoms or who have tested positive. 

The three questions that staff and students will be asked daily are: 

  1. Have you had a measured temperature of 100.4F or greater within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you had any symptoms associated with COVID-19 such as sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, fatigue/malaise, head or body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell within the last 14 days?
  3. Have you had close, prolonged contact (less than 6 feet for more than ten minutes) with anyone in your household or any other person known to have COVID-19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19 as noted above within the last 14 days?

Anyone who answers yes to any of these questions will not be permitted to enter the building, unless they can provide proof of a negative test result no more than 14 days old or a written medical statement indicating that they are not contagious.

Health forms/in-depth health information:

S@V students’ health forms must be filled out completely before the first day of class. Health forms must be filled out with as much detail as possible; please inform us of ANY medical conditions your child has, (including seasonal allergies) even if it seems unrelated. If your student will need any special accommodations, please let us know ahead of time via the forms, an email, or a phone call. If your child takes medication, VisArts staff must be informed ahead of time. Staff will not be holding on to, or administering any medication, but we can remind students when to take them.

Preparing your child for S@V:

We understand that these are distressing times for everyone, and explaining it to children can be a delicate subject. Prior to signing up for, and sending your children to S@V, please discuss with them how to recognize symptoms, as well as how to express them. Please review the CDC guidelines on how to talk to your children about COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with-children.html

Please discuss with children appropriate ways to express their feelings/symptoms if they are feeling ill, and help them recognize whether they are feeling bad because of stress or anxiety rather than physical pain/symptoms. Discuss language with students that help them express their different symptoms with staff so we may make an accurate assessment of their condition.

Before coming to S@V (Daily):

Students’ temperatures must be taken before arriving at VisArts for drop-off. Any student whose temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher SHOULD NOT COME TO S@V. Other symptoms should be reviewed daily, these symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Sore throat
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue/malaise
    • Head or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Loss of taste or smell

If students begin demonstrating symptoms at home after attending S@V, staff should be notified IMMEDIATELY. Please make sure you fill out the health forms with as much detailed information as possible.

Sick at VisArts:

Students may not come to VisArts if they are unwell,  as they may spread or pick up germs in their compromised state.  If they have been sick, or there is a family member who is sick, children must remain at home until the family’s physician or health care provider can verify in a written statement that the child and the family member are not contagious and the child is cleared to return to school. 

If a child displays signs of not feeling well or expresses that they are not feeling well at VisArts, a parent will be contacted to inquire about symptoms.  After consultation with the parent, a decision will be made as to whether to keep the child in school or be sent home. It is VisArts’ final decision as to whether a child may stay in school if they are not running a fever but has complained about sickness. 

If the child has a temperature they will be kept in the classroom and the rest of the cohort will be taken to another room. Parents will immediately be contacted to arrange for pick-up of their symptomatic child within 30 minutes or less. Emergency contacts, designated by families, must be accurate and up-to-date.

After the symptomatic child’s pick-up, the staff members will clean and disinfect the classroom. Families of all students will be informed if any child/staff member is sent home because of illness while attending S@V. The anonymity of the student/staff member will be respected.

If a child has seasonal allergies, then the health form must indicate that the child is subject to this condition. Parents will be asked to identify what their child’s allergy symptoms look like, so they can be distinguished from other symptoms of illness. 

In Case of positive COVID Result:

In the event of a positive result of COVID in the building by any staff member or student, VisArts will be following the guidelines laid out by the CDC. VisArts will implement a short-term closure procedure, which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Dismissing the staff and students for 2-5 days after the discovery of the positive test result
  • Discouraging staff and students from gathering in large groups
  • Communicating with staff and students thoroughly regarding any updates
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the site — including waiting for up to 24 hours after the positive test result to begin cleaning to allow for respiratory droplets to settle, keeping doors and windows open (where it is allowed) to keep circulation as open as possible

Administrative staff will coordinate with local health officials to determine subsequent steps and courses of action.

Further Safety Protocols:

Hand Washing:

After entering school and putting away personal possessions, all staff and students are required to immediately wash their hands thoroughly.  The required hand washing protocol is for 20+ seconds with warm/hot water and soap, while rubbing both sides of the hands, wrists, each finger, and in between fingers before rinsing and drying thoroughly with a paper towel.

Staff and students will also wash their hands throughout the day and may use a sanitizer with 60%+ alcohol when a sink is not feasible. Hand sanitizer dispensers are stationed in various places in the building.

Masks:

All students and staff must wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times. Masks may not be bandanas or fleece or have an exhalation valve. Masks may be removed ONLY during the specific lunch and snack period. Please pack your child three masks in a clean, plastic bag every day and clearly mark your child’s name on each mask. 

Bathrooms:

Students will be escorted to the bathroom by a staff member and only students in the cohort can be in the bathroom. Bathrooms will be cleaned several times each day with special attention paid to high-touch surfaces. Supervised handwashing will be carried out after each bathroom visit. 

Class Cleaning and Disinfecting:

School@VisArts will use two side by side classrooms, at times the retractable wall between them will be opened so that there will be one large room. At no time, Monday through Friday, will students outside the cohort be allowed in the classrooms. The classrooms will be spot cleaned throughout the day and will be thoroughly cleaned during the student’s lunch break when they are empty. In addition, disinfectant wipes will be available so that frequently touched surfaces may be cleaned often. Frequently touched surfaces include light switches, sink knobs, door and cabinet handles, tables, chair seats, and chair tops, and other surfaces touched by staff or students during the day. 

What to expect from School@VisArts:

During the art portion of the day, students will work with a variety of media such as painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, collage, mosaics, fused glass and more! Because students will be able to use an assortment of materials in the class, they will gain the knowledge to focus on specific media when furthering their art education. Different projects, techniques, and skills will be taught each class as well as lessons on the technical use of media, art history, and self-expression through artwork. In addition to the time set aside for art class, there will be art materials available for independent exploration whenever students have breaks in their distance learning if they choose. 

The teachers at School@VisArts will facilitate and monitor students during online classes, assist with logging in and getting electronic devices set-up and ensuring students are remaining on-task. Please note, with the exception of art classes, students are expected to work INDEPENDENTLY on their daily school work via online lessons, packet, workbooks etc. Staff members will be on hand to provide minor assistance with their work (helping with spelling/pronunciation etc.), but staff will NOT be teaching academic lessons.

Arrival, Pick-Up and Lunch:

Arrival :

Check-in is from 8:30 to 8:50. Upon arrival, families should park their cars and escort their children up the the third floor lobby of VisArts, located at 155 Gibbs Street. Please use the elevators in the main lobby. A staff member will be waiting at the entrance of the third floor for intake. All students will have their temperatures taken and parents will answer a health assessment. Students’ temperatures will be recorded. Once screened, students will be escorted down the hall to their classroom. If your child needs any physical accommodations please let us know ahead of time.

In case of late arrival, please call and let us know when you and your child will be arriving. Someone will meet you at the third floor lobby for intake and escort your child to class. Please DO NOT walk down the hall or enter the administrative offices. 

Dismissal:

Students will begin getting ready for dismissal at 4:50 and will gather (while socially distant) in the stairwell adjacent to the outside door where arrival takes place. Beginning at 5:00 a staff member will be waiting on the corner of Beall Avenue and Gibbs Street where parents should pull up to wait for their child. Please have some form of photo identification prepared to show our staff when picking your child up. Staff will then escort your child from the designated School@VisArts lobby to your car.

Do not come to the third floor to pick up your child. If you do, we will ask that you go back to the outside door and we will take your child down the stairs to continue our efforts to keep the cohort as safe as possible. 

Late Drop-Offs/Early Pick-Ups:

If you know your student will be late for S@V, or will need to be picked up early, prior accommodations must be made. Please call or email us so that we can be prepared to check-in or drop off your child using or designated door. Under no circumstances should parents come into the building to drop off or pick up their children. 

Lunch/Snack Breaks: 

All students will take their lunch break during their scheduled MCPS time and all students will eat together as a group from 11:45-12:15 in the large Buchanan Room on the second floor. Masks will not be required during this half-hour, but social distancing will be increased to 12 feet between students with each student getting a separate table. During the other part of their lunch break, students will be either outside on VisArts’ Rooftop terrace or in the classroom, where students will continue to socially distance. There will be a designated, un-masked snack break in the afternoon which will take place outside of the assigned education/art classroom and will coincide with MCPS scheduled break. 

Please provide your children with a non-perishable, nut-free lunch and snack. Please also provide your child with a water bottle AND A STRAW so that they may drink while masked during class time. A water bottle with a straw is the only drink that will be allowed in the education/art classroom. 

Electronic Use and Requirements:

We don’t want our students to spend the whole day in front of screens, but screens are necessary for distance learning. 

Students must bring their own devices (laptops/tablets) for their virtual classes. School@VisArts will provide power strips, but students must bring their own chargers as well as headphones. If students use a mouse, they must bring their own mousepad.  All laptops and tables must have the parental controls that are required on MCPS chromebooks. No electronics shall be taken to the art side of the classrooms and cell phones must be stored away throughout the day, except for lunch time and breaks.

Teacher Role — Education:

The role of the teachers at School@VisArts is to oversee and monitor students during online classes, assist with logging in and getting electronic devices set-up and ensuring students are remaining on-task. Please note, with the exception of art classes, students are expected to work INDEPENDENTLY on their daily school work via online lessons, packet, workbooks etc.

VisArts will provide a secure WiFi network as well as outlets for students to charge their devices, but students will need to bring their own laptops, tablets, and headphones (with built-in microphone if needed) from home. Staff members will be on hand to provide minor assistance with their work (helping with spelling/pronunciation etc.), but staff will NOT be teaching academic lessons.

VisArts staff will provide families with daily reports from teachers regarding children’s progress in their school work, as well as the art projects they are working on each day. 

Teacher Role — Art:

Each week students will :

  • Learn about an artist, including the history and style of each artist, with a focus on artists of color, women artists, and artists with diverse cultural styles. 
  •  Create projects based on and inspired by artists and styles taught in class.
  • Use a variety of media and techniques to create their artwork, such as painting, drawing, ceramics, glass, sculpture, mixed media, and printmaking.
    • Projects created will have 2D and 3D elements throughout the week. 
  • Have instructional lessons demonstrating use of materials and techniques.
  • Be encouraged to express themselves through art.
    •  VisArts understands the importance of self-expression through art and the value self-expression gives to the enjoyment and growth of young artists. Students will be supported and encouraged to express themselves freely through their work.  
  • Be taught a new art lesson each day of the week.
    • Art curriculum will run Monday-Friday with new projects and lessons taught each week.
  • Receive their own set of materials for use during the week.
    • Materials will be cleaned before and after use and students will have access to only their designated materials throughout the week. Art materials will not be shared during the session.

In accordance with our mission and belief that anyone can be an artist, we welcome all students to participate in School@VisArts regardless of financial ability. To help accommodate working families, VisArts will be providing four full scholarships to attend our program. 

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students must be able to provide proof of their free and reduced lunch status. Because of COVID safety concerns, VisArts will not be providing lunches/snacks for the scholarship students. If this still poses a problem, please get in contact with us and we will work together to find a solution. 

Payment Plan options are also available. Please contact Devon Miller at dmiller@visartscenter.org to set this up.

Apply here!

School@VisArts Refund policy & Payment Plan

Up to three weeks prior to start date – 100%, refund less 10%, non-refundable registration fee

One – three weeks prior to start date – 50% refund less 10%, non-refundable registration fee

Less than one weeks prior to start date – No refunds

In case of a COVID closure: 

ONLY a credit will be issued. Credits will be prorated starting from the day of closure.

If a positive result of COVID is reported in the building by any staff member or student, VisArts will be following the guidelines laid out by the CDC. VisArts will implement a short-term closure procedure, which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Dismissing the staff and students for 2-5 days after the discovery of the positive test result
  • Discouraging staff and students from gathering in large groups
  • Communicating with staff and students thoroughly regarding any updates
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the site — including waiting for up to 24 hours after the positive test result to begin cleaning to allow for respiratory droplets to settle, keeping doors and windows open (where it is allowed) to keep circulation as open as possible

Administrative staff will coordinate with local health officials to determine subsequent steps and course of action.

To set up a payment plan, please email Devon Miller at DMiller@VisArtsCenter.org