Connecticut State Department of Education
(Revised October 18, 2021)
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is essential for Connecticut schools to maintain challenging and rigorous programs of study in the arts across all grade levels. As detailed in the Connecticut Arts Standards, meaningful music learning equally includes the artistic processes of creating, responding, performing, and connecting. This document provides information and strategies that can be used in school settings as well as during performing arts extracurricular activities to further the theory and practice of arts education in our schools while also providing protective environments for our students and staff to learn and work.
In addition to CDC’s general Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools, the updated Fall 2021 CSDE Adapt, Advance, Achieve Reopening document, and other state and federal resources, the guidance contained in this document is largely informed by the results of the international University of Colorado study, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and recommendations of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Guidance on Returning to Marching Band, and New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Guidance for School Ensembles. In particular, the University of Colorado study examined aerosol rates produced during different performing arts activities, and how quickly the aerosols generated by these activities accumulated in a space. These observational measures were then used to develop assessments of COVID-19 transmission risk that may exist in performing arts classrooms and performance venues.
It is important to note that the recommendations contained in this guidance may reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission associated with performing arts activities, but they will not eliminate those risks entirely. Within the parameters of any current federal, state, or local requirements for schools and districts should continue to comply with their local departments of public health to safeguard the health and safety of students and staff.
In addition to the general requirements and recommendations for schools contained in the updated Fall 2021 version of the CSDE Adapt, Advance, Achieve Reopening document, there are several strategies that can be applied to arts instruction and activities that can lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission among participants and keep everyone involved learning and working.
Vaccination is currently the most important and effective strategy for preventing COVID-19 infections and transmission in schools and other settings. CDC indicates that vaccination can greatly benefit students and staff based on the fact that fully vaccinated students and staff:
are much less likely to become infected, suffer from complications of COVID-19, or transmit the virus to others;
Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together COVID-19 Considerations for Connecticut PreK–12 Arts Programs Universal Considerations for Arts Instruction and Activities