As the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve and spread, it's important for leaders of summer programs to be preparing ahead of time for the potential implications. This page includes a variety of resources and recommendations to consider relative to your summer and auxiliary program planning. We will continue to update this page as new informations becomes available.
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Considerations and Recommendations for Independent School Summer Programs
Given the rapidly evolving situation, provide regular and frequent communication with key constituencies, both internally and externally, that is informative, direct, and reassuring.
- Use all modes of communication including email, social media, and video messages.
- Developing a new page on your website with current, dynamic, and comprehensive information specific to your Coronavirus response. Many schools are taking this step now, and a similar approach for your summer program families would be valuable and effective.
- With Summer Programs Families - Let your families that have already registered for your summer programs know that you are closely monitoring the situation and that you'll keep them informed regularly as new developments emerge. Be prepared to field questions from families who still may be considering your programs but have not yet registered.
- With Summer Programs Staff - Similarly, make sure that your summer staff are kept informed throughout the spring. Let them know that you're taking appropriate action as the situation evolves.
- Within Your School - Summer and Auxiliary Program Directors should be included in group decision-making as the school determines appropriate actions and communication. This necessary both for continuity and for the input auxiliary leaders can bring to those conversations.
- With Your Partners and Vendors - Maintain a close and open line of communication with your program partners.
- Maintain close and ongoing communication between your Summer Programs Office and your Business Office.
- Assess the potential impact on summer enrollment and develop modified revenue projections based on potential scenarios.
- Review your insurance policies to determine whether coverage may apply for any cancellations as a result of this situation and any steps you may need to take as a result.
- Examine your refund policies and determine under what circumstances they may need to be modified. Consider making a statement about your refund policies that is clear for families who still may be contemplating registration for your programs, but want to know under what circumstance they may get a refund.
- Re-examine your seasonal employment agreements and prepare for the possibility for adjustments in your compensation and staffing.
- Monitor the possible extension of school calendars (both your own and schools in your market) to determine whether you may need to adjust your summer program calendar.
- Conduct a program/activity inventory that assesses whether certain programs/activities should be modified or eliminated under certain conditions. For example, you may need to institute new procedures for cooking, or limit contact in games, or develop new standards for shared equipment such as computers, helmets, etc.).
- If you offer trip programming, prepare for potential disruptions in travel. Many schools have cancelled international and national trips during March and April, and are already considering cancellation of trips during the summer.
- Assess the potential impact of significantly reduced enrollment on your program(s).
- Communicate and plan with your school healthcare professionals, both to have access to new protocols and procedures, as well as to define specific, new protocols and procedures for summer programming.
- Review these useful recommendations provided by ACN, the Association of Camp Nurses.
- Prepare to provide enhanced staff training around communicable disease prevention and transmission.
- Develop or update your Exclusion Policies that explicitly define under what circumstance a child or staff member will not be permitted to attend your program.
- Prepare for the possibility that you may need additional healthcare staff or expertise to effectively manage the healthcare of your summer program community under the current circumstances.
- For boarding schools and residential programs, stay up-to-date on travel limitations and warnings that may impact the ability of your participants to get to your programs.
- If you operate in a state where your summer programs are subject to regulation, open a direct line of communication with your governing agency.
- Understandably, many of our schools' Marketing and Communications offices are fully committed to guiding the school communications through this challenging time. For some schools, this may disrupt the normal work that marketing offices are doing in the spring to help with summer program marketing. Alternative may need to be considered.
SPARC welcomes additional recommendations from our member schools that would be helpful to add to the above list. Send suggestions directly to info@SPARCnational.com.