S A F E  R E T U R N  T O  T H E A T R E

Theatre students and parents, 

The purpose of this letter is to help summarize the large amount of information provided by Olathe Public Schools as it pertains to curricular and extracurricular theatre. There is a lot to dig through, so I thought this summary might help you as you plan to make difficult decisions for the upcoming school year. Please see the summary listed below this letter.

If you choose to enroll in remote learning, we understand that you will be able to do extra curricular theatre. I do not know how remote theatre classes will be handled yet. I don’t know who will teach them or if they will be offered. If you are trying to decide what to do, I would suggest contacting the school district for clarification. These are not decisions that are made by teachers. Regardless of the enrollment choice you make, you will have options to participate in extracurricular theatre. At least that is my understanding of the district policy today.

Regarding extracurricular theatre, Mr. Rentfrow, Mr. Goddard, and I have revised our Theatre Season to adhere to the State and District guidelines. We were able to keep all the same titles, but the dates and sequence of shows have been changed to accommodate the new restrictions. As of now, the Fall Season will be completely virtual, the Winter season will have the option to go live or stream, and the Spring/Summer season will (hopefully) be live. It is our intention to revisit the current restrictions at the start of each season. Please be advised that the Winter, Spring, and Summer Seasons are dependent on the advice from our school district, the Kansas Department of Education, and local health departments. If the current restrictions are still in place, we will have to modify each season, including the elimination of shows. To see our new season please click here

My goal is to provide educational theatre in the classroom that adheres to the Olathe Public School’s guidelines outlined in the Return to Schools plan. At this time, all five high schools will be providing Virtual Performances for the entire fall semester. The high school theatre educators will reassess at the end of first quarter, and follow any updates that the district makes to their plans. We hope to return to in-person, live performances in the spring semester, but this will be at the discretion of Olathe Public Schools.

 

This will be a unique year. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and continued support of Olathe East Theatre  

 

Sincerely, 

Edward Shafer

Director of Theatre

Olathe East High School

The following guidelines for theatre are from the comprehensive Olathe Public Schools Return to Learning plan.

Olathe Public Schools is providing two learning options for the 2020-21 school year. You will be asked to choose one of these options between Monday, July 27th and Monday, August 3rd. The information about these plans is subject to change based on guidance from county, state and national authorities. I suggest you check the Olathe Public School’s website for the most current information.
 
As of July 26th, the district is offering these options:
 
Option 1: In-Person Learning 

  • Masks will be required for students and staff throughout the instructional day. Masks will also be required on district transportation.

  • Classrooms will promote social distancing to the maximum extent possible. 

  • The sharing of supplies and classroom items will be limited. 

  • Staff will follow the Olathe Public Schools Board Approved Curriculum.

  • Students will follow the Olathe Public School’s daily bell schedule.

  • All safety and health protocols established by the district will be followed.

  • More details on in-person safety and operations plans can be found at www.olatheschools.org/return2020

  • HybridThis schedule would only be enacted if in-person learning isn’t possible and a staggered schedule is necessary to limit the number of students in our buildings. Students will learn through a blend of on-site and home learning environments utilizing a rotating schedule (follow an AA, BB - attending school two consecutive days of school each week).

    • Staff will follow the Olathe Public Schools Board Approved Curriculum. Focus will be placed on core content areas (e.g., math, science, social studies, and English Language Arts). At the secondary level, some elective courses may not be available.

    • Students will follow an AA, BB (attending school two consecutive days of school each week) schedule and will learn through a combination of on-site and home learning utilizing the rotating schedule.

    • All safety and health protocols established by the district will be followed.

    • Schedule: Students PK-12 will attend either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday likely by last name/family. Students will not be in attendance on Wednesday at this day will be utilized to provide individual support
      to students or small groups of students and will be used for deep cleaning.

    • Olathe Public Schools intention is to keep all families together attending school on the same days.


Option 2: Remote Learning

  • Students will receive daily direct instruction.

  • Daily attendance will be taken.

  • Daily assignments will be given, turned in and graded.

  • The district will issue a device for students to participate in remote learning.

  • Watch a short video about remote learning

  • Staff will focus on the core content areas (e.g., math, science, social studies, English Language Arts). At the secondary level, some elective courses may not be available.

  • Students will learn through an online learning environment.

  • All safety and health protocols established by the district will be followed.

  • Direct instruction by level:

    • PK-5: Daily direct instruction should be about 1-3 hours with additional work happening independently and supported at home.

    • 6-8: Daily instruction should be about 3-4 hours with additional work happening independently and supported at home.

    • 9-12: Daily instruction will include self- paced learning and direct instruction in core content areas (math, science, social studies, and English), and will also need to be supported at home.


Staff and students will use Synergy as an interactive platform and Learning Management System that will assist in student and staff interaction, and will provide an avenue for students to share assignments and for staff to provide feedback.

The Olathe Public School’s Return to Learning guide says the following about Instructional Programming in the classroom:

  • In order to social distance to the maximum extent possible:

    • Increase spacing between students and student desks/tables.

    • Arrange furniture to have all students face in the same direction.

    • Assign seats and require students to remain seated in the classroom.

  • Practice and prepare to model proper hygiene practices such as hand washing, using hand sanitizer, and social distancing techniques, including alternatives to handshakes.

  • Practice and prepare to model the proper wearing and disposal of PPE, including masks.

  • Post district approved signage in classrooms, hallways, and entrances to communicate how to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • Utilize outdoor spaces as appropriate.

  • Field Trips will not be allowed.

    • Utilize virtual options to supplement learning activities.

    • Programs with off-site learning requirements will be considered separately.

  • While essential visitors may be allowed into school buildings, no visitors, guest speakers or volunteers will be allowed in classrooms.

  • Minimize sharing of materials, including instruments, supplies and tools that are difficult to clean and disinfect sanitizing shared items frequently.


The OPS Return to Learning guide says the following about Theatre Performances (page 31):

  • Theatre Performances: Virtual rehearsals and performances will be used whenever possible. If in person rehearsals or performances become possible, safety guidelines based upon current research and established by national theatre associations will be followed. Guidelines include:

  • All actors, technicians and directors will wear masks and maintain 6 feet of social distancing in all rehearsal/performance spaces, green rooms, and dressing rooms.

  • Avoid sharing costumes, makeup, microphones, wigs and props. Any equipment that must be shared or touched by multiple people will be cleaned and disinfected between uses.

  • All students will have their own copy of the script and work on backstage sets, costumes, lights, sound, etc. will be done on a staggered schedule to ensure social distancing in all spaces.


The OPS Return to Learning guide says the following about Theatre (pages 19-20):

  • Follow all safety and prevention protocols practiced in school.

  • When transportation is required:

    • Assigned seating.

    • Wear masks or face coverings when 6 feet of personal distance is not
      feasible.

  • Maximum cast sizes based on size of stages to allow for social distancing of at
    least 6 feet.

  • Venue size/spacing requirements in rehearsals should allow for personal
    distancing of at least 6 feet.

  • Size/spacing requirements for staging/choreography should allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet or 10 feet when singing.

  • Technical theatre considerations:

    • Shared tools should be cleaned as frequently as possible and not shared if possible.

    • Use masks or face coverings when unable to maintain social distancing. Develop plans for individual microphone usage, storage, cleaning/disinfecting.

    • Develop plans for cleaning costumes and/or use of rental costumes.

    • Develop plans for cleaning/disinfecting items handled by multiple
      Students.

  • Spacing for orchestra pits in musicals should allow for at least 6 feet of social distancing.

  • Eliminate special on-stage moments or effects not compliant with 6 feet of social distancing.

    • Prohibition of stage kissing or staged intimacy.

    • Omit flying rigs and other action requiring close physical contact between technician and actor.

    • Omit or mitigate staged combat.


The OPS Return to Learning guide says the following about Spectator/Audience Recommendations (page 20):

  • Audience Considerations

    • Encourage participants to use hand sanitizer prior to entry at events.

    • Venue size/spacing for maximum audience size should allow for social
      distancing.

    • Consider streaming rights/licensing for allowing online audiences.

    • Audience members are to wear masks/face coverings.

    • Address audience traffic management (Arrival, Entrance, Intermission, Exit) to maintain social distancing to the maximum extent possible.

    • Consider box office management/online sales

    • Address restroom safety issues, limit numbers

    • Develop a plan for safety measures for concession services

    • Develop a plan for safety measures for souvenir or other sales

    • Prevent audiences from gathering in large groups to greet students after performances.

^^^ Click to view ^^^

© 2012 by OE THEATRE.

No animals were harmed in

the making of this site.

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