Business Tips | News

The Coronavirus: How to Talk to Schools and Parents about Kids Yoga Classes

The Coronavirus How To Talk To Schools About Kids Yoga Classes

By Robyn Parets, Founder & CEO of Pretzel Kids

(NOTE: This is an ever-changing story and with city by city shutting down businesses, schools, and more, this story is now more applicable to when you go back into the classroom – whenever that may be.)

Life has changed for most of us. This much we know. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to thousands of school closures, cancellations of kids activities including kids yoga classes, and a myriad of uncertainty. 

The most important thing: Stay safe and healthy. And, according to World Health Organization (WHO), wash your hands and practice ‘social distancing.’

Ok, so this is our new normal – at least temporarily. The questions for Pretzel Kids yoga teachers (many of whom are also school teachers, moms, nannies and caregivers) now are: Should we cancel Pretzel Kids yoga classes? How do I best communicate with parents, kids and schools? Do I change my refund policy? 

If you’re a Pretzel Kids teacher or educator, our guide on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis: How to Talk to Schools and Parents about Kids Yoga Classes is an essential resource. In this guide, we answer your most pressing questions, provide you with an email template, and offer up resources so you can stay educated as the crisis unfolds. 

Read on to learn more.

Communication is Key

This week my entire focus has been on communicating with Pretzel Kids yoga teachers, discussing the situation with schools we work with, and talking to parents we serve. 

I recommend you do the same as this is key at a time when things are changing fast. 

When communicating with families, schools and other kids facilities, here are my top takeaways:

1. Let families know that you have a cleanliness policy. And, if you don’t have one, create one – TODAY!

At Pretzel Kids yoga, our policy already states that all schools and families must provide their own mats for sanitary reasons. This way kids are not swapping germs on mats. 

But if you want to provide mats to your classes, I suggest using a disinfectant after each class to thoroughly clean each mat as well as all other props used. Along the lines of cleanliness, make sure kids remove shoes before entering your yoga space, whether that’s in a preschool, church basement, gym or anywhere else. Shoes track in germs, so adopt a no-shoes only policy for all indoor kids yoga classes

Another thing to adopt now: a strict hand-washing policy. Make sure each child thoroughly washes their hands before starting each class. This goes for you, too!

Lastly, it’s time to end the fist bumps and high fives. I mean, we’ve got Namaste! Use it and we recommend letting parents know that you have a no-touch policy. They’ll feel more comfortable for a gazillion and one reasons!

When all is said and done, communicate your cleaning protocol to parents and the schools/facilities you serve.

2. Be prepared to change your illness policy

Although you may tell parents not to bring sick kids to class, there’s a good chance it’ll happen anyway. 

In this time of crisis, however, it’s time to draw the line in the sand. 

So, craft an email or add to your illness policy by perhaps stating that kids need to stay out of class if they have a cold or are coughing. Or, maybe you want to add three emergency contacts to each child’s file. This way you can let parents know someone will be called to pick up their child if you notice any inkling of illness. 

Whatever you decide to do, clearly let parents and schools know. 

3. Consider being flexible with enrollments

This is a tough financial time for all. Yet, sensitivity is also a good idea. 

So, you’re going to have to balance the two and make a decision on whether you’ll offer refunds, extend your class series, or offer makeups. Every class situation is different. For example, if a Pretzel Kid yoga class is taught at a school and that school closes, it may be fine not to offer makeups. This is the expected norm when a school cancelation occurs. 

But, if you rent space, collect your own fees and decide to cancel the rest of the yoga session for health reasons, you may want to offer make-up classes down the line. This will bode well for your business – while allowing you to continue teaching the kids. Better yet, you’ll have a better chance of parents re-enrolling kids for your next yoga session as they will appreciate your kindness and flexibility.

Should You Still Teach Pretzel Kids Classes When Schools in Your Area are Closed?

As of March 11, 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus a global pandemic. 

With this in mind, we recommend the following when it come to teaching your kids yoga classes:

  1. If a school is closed, it’s likely that any after-school or in-school Pretzel Kids classes  will also be canceled until the school re-opens. We don’t suggest moving classes to another location. It’s a tough situation but most parents will not expect to bring their kids to an enrichment activity during a difficult time like this, especially when health and safety comes first. 
  2. If you run kids yoga classes in gyms, studios or your own rented space – and those facilities are operating – it may be up to you to decide whether to continue the classes. However, if you teach kids yoga in a city or state that has declared a state of emergency (as in throughout the United States), we encourage you to follow guidelines set forth by your local health organizations, and keep up with WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  3. Stay calm and work on your Pretzel Kids yoga lesson plans and business goals. This is a good time to regroup, be with your loved ones and practice self-care.

Sample Email to Families

As stated above, clear communication with families and schools is key. With help from Paper Pinecone, a thought-leader and marketplace in Early Childhood Education, here is a sample template for an email you can send to parents to address cleanliness:

Dear [name of parent], 

Our greatest responsibility is to protect the health of your children and we take that extremely seriously. Here are the measures we’ve put in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus:

  • We have increased the frequency of deep cleaning mats, props and floor surfaces. 
  • We have reviewed proper hand washing techniques with the children and are ensuring all children are washing properly before every class. 
  • We do not allow snacks in class – therefore there is no sharing of food. 
  • We are reiterating to children to cough and sneeze into their elbows and wash hands after. We are immediately sanitizing any area where we witness children forgetting to do so.

To help prevent the virus spread families can:

  • Practice social distancing. Avoid large gatherings and work from home, if possible.
  • Wash hands frequently. Use hand sanitizer as a secondary measure, but proper hand washing is preferred. 
  • Avoid sick people and stay home if you’re sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow joint.
  • Greet people with a Namaste instead of a hug or handshake.

We are monitoring the situation closely, and will be in contact if classes are canceled or postponed. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Stay safe and healthy. 

Best, 

Pretzel Kids [Insert your name or business] 

If Schools are Closed and Kids are Home, Are Online Kids Yoga Classes Available?

The answer is yes! 

Pretzel Kids yoga offers four online class sessions, starting on March 19! 

Sign up for Pretzel Kids Yoga for Every Child (ages 8-12), starting March 17!  

Sign up for Semi-Private Mindfulness Training for Tweens/Teens

Sign up for Pretzel Kids Yoga: Relax, Just Do It: Mindfulness for Tweens/Teens!

Sign up for Kinderyoga®: Parent & Me Yoga (Ages 2.9-6!)

We are doing our best to keep your kids – and you – relaxed, even at this very difficult time. 

Stay Calm!

We’ll leave you with this: It’s important to stay calm. We’re all in this together.

About the author: Robyn Parets is the founder and CEO of Pretzel Kids yoga. She’s also a personal finance writer, business coach, yoga teacher, and meditation instructor. Like many of you, Robyn is working from home exclusively during this time of crisis and reigniting her meditation practice!

Similar Posts