Update on COVID-19 including
Safety Procedures and LIVE Virtual Options
How we are keeping kids safe, and providing unique options, flexibility, and benefits
Camper safety is our highest priority. Empow Studios has developed a robust safety plan to address the risks associated with COVID-19. Our comprehensive COVID-19 plan can be found here.
If you have a camper attending an upcoming on-campus program, you will be asked to complete this pre-screening survey each day before leaving the house.
- +Do we still plan to offer summer camp?
Updated July 31, 2020 – We are excited to welcome campers both on-campus and online this summer! In response to COVID-19, there have been some changes to our on-campus schedule:
- All camps scheduled for the weeks of June 22 and June 29 will run as LIVE Virtual Camps only.
Some of our location partners have opted to postpone Summer Camps until 2021. The following locations will NOT be available this summer:
- Acton (Acton Congregational Church)
- Arlington (Arlington Masonic Temple)
- Belmont (Beth El Temple Center)
- Beverly (Glen Urquhart School)
- Boston — Jamaica Plain (British International School of Boston)
- Cambridge North (Cambridge Montessori School)
- Cape Cod (Cape Cod Academy)
- Franklin (Dean College)
- Milton (Glover Elementary School)
- Natick (Riverbend School)
- Needham (Olin College of Engineering)
- Newton (Mount Ida College)
- North Andover
- Shrewsbury (Saint John’s High School)
- Somerville (Artisan’s Asylum)
Our Lexington and Newton Studio locations are running camps starting the week of July 6.
We are still finalizing all reopening plans with our remaining locations, and we will continue to update this list as plans change. Please check back frequently.
If you are registered for camps during the weeks of June 22 or June 29, or if you are registered for camp at any of the above locations, you will be contacted by our team here at Empow. We appreciate your patience as our staff works with the affected campers to convert them to our virtual camps, reschedule them to a later date, move them to another location or otherwise find ways to serve them best.
- +What options do parents have if summer camp cannot be run on-campus?
We are fortunate to be able to offer dynamic, fun and interactive programs virtually. Our proprietary online learning system, TalentBox, is already in use by thousands of students in the US and overseas, and we have gained highly positive feedback on our LIVE Virtual classes. For the summer, online campers will have the same instruction as on-campus, in the same small groups, and from the same team of awesome teachers. We have prepared fun activities to keep kids engaged and participating all day, both on and off the computer.
- +If I enroll my child in your LIVE Virtual Camp can we transition to on-campus if in-person camps are allowed to run?
Because we have greater ability to honor transfer requests from on-campus to online, we recommend that parents who are considering on-campus register for on-campus. With a maximum number of campers we can enroll on-campus at each location each week, space may not always be available for a transfer to on-campus. On the other hand, we have no such physical restrictions with our online camps, and thus greater flexibility to fulfill transfer requests from on-campus to online.
- +What are the health and safety procedures we are using to keep students safe?
Empow Studios has developed a robust safety plan to address the risks associated with COVID-19. Our plans follow the latest guidelines issued by the MA Dept. of Early Education and Care (EEC), the MA Dept. of Public Health (DPH), the American Camp Association (ACA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), where applicable. This summary provides a high-level overview of key components of our plan.
- As the primary route of transmission for COVID-19 is respiratory, face masks are among the most critical components of risk reduction, with an estimated near 80% effectiveness in reducing COVID-19 transmission. Therefore, we are requiring that all campers and staff wear masks at all times during camp, both indoors and outdoors.
- Physical distancing is another key practice that helps mitigate transmission of the virus. Studies suggest that keeping 3 feet apart while NOT wearing a mask results in reduction of transmission of the virus by 75%, and additional distance providing additional protection. EEC regulations specify a distance of 6 feet when not wearing a mask. Our practice in camp is to maintain a 6 ft. distance while wearing a mask, although due to the nature of teaching and camp activities, we expect some situations that bring children closer together, with masks on. We also have procedures in place for drop-off, pick-up, and other activities that create an increased risk of transmission. As instructed by the EEC, we are also separating each site into cohorts of up to 10 children, and keeping those groups completely separate.
- Cleaning and disinfection is a key safety practice, and we have a robust schedule for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and items in camp that can be touched by multiple people. In addition, we’re reducing the number of shared items by giving each camper a dedicated kit of crafts materials and computer hardware for the duration of the week.
- Information is power, and we’re prepared to educate and remind children and staff about best practices in face covering, cleaning, personal hygiene, and other practices via rigorous training and posters and signs at our camp facilities.
- We have procedures in place for responding to suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19, including locations for isolating individuals with symptoms and informing other individuals who may have been put at risk, as well as working with the local Board of Health in their contact tracing process.
Our comprehensive COVID-19 plan can be found here.
- +Are prices for on-campus and virtual camps the same?
We are happy to provide our LIVE Virtual camps at an even more affordable price than our on-campus camps! For example, our full-day on-campus camps are generally $665-699/week, while the comparable online versions are typically $499. A few of the LIVE Virtual camps do require the purchase of software or robotics kits that cost $25-50 but the majority do not. Details on prices and additional costs are available by selecting the LIVE Virtual location on the register page and clicking on the program and week in which you’re interested.
- +What if I have additional questions?