Important Announcement & Updates
Hello HRD Families!
We hope that you are doing well and everyone is staying cool and enjoying some quality summer days!
For some time now we have wanted to give some kind of update about the coming school year’s afterschool plans and open up registration. We know many of you are also eager to lock in plans, however, like you, we have also been waiting to see what the local schools and state guidelines come out with because of the COVID-19 situation. We know everyone is still having a tough time managing the situation and figuring out how to effectively deal with the multitude of issues related to COVID and the fallout of its consequences.
Throughout the start of the pandemic, myself and entire staff have been working tirelessly researching the circumstances, as well as keeping up with the many ever-changing guidelines that continue to come out. We will obviously continue this path, and like everyone else, we recognize that there will definitely be more changes to come as the situation continues to evolve.
We totally recognize that while we are all in the same ocean, we are all in different boats and each of us need to figure out our own best ways forward. Everyone has their own concerns and necessities, and we wish you all the best as you continue to navigate your way through the times.
With that said, related to our school and afterschool program in particular, here are a few key points of consideration:
- We have been following all of the CDC and MDH guidelines since re-opening regular classes and summer camps a month ago, plus doing extra cleaning. This seems to be working well, and we are finding a workable groove. It is also clear that we have a wonderfully responsible community that is making sure people with any kinds of cold symptoms are staying home, and we can keep a mostly predictable environment to limited exposure.
- Since resuming classes, it is VERY clear that the in-person experience is VERY beneficial – especially for the kids. Due to the months of isolation, there are many kids experiencing quite a bit of anxiety/stress combined with manifestations of negative behavior. However, even after a day or two of camp a lot of that negative energy was dissipated through training and our positive messages. The kids who have been attending camp are genuinely uplifted in many significant ways and their motivation is also rejuvenated! It has been great to see!
- We are still doing no-contact and keeping up social distancing as much as possible. While it would be nice to do some sparring, grappling, and techniques, Hwa Rang Do has plenty of other material to work on for now!
- While we are all worried about COVID and there are things to be done to decrease risk of exposure, cleaning the world constantly everyday, wearing masks, or waiting for vaccines are not the only long-term strategies. The lessons we have been preaching here at our school for 20 years are also important in that we must take as much ownership of the quality of our health and well-being as possible! There is not 1 magic bullet that will save anyone from anything, yet our overall lifestyle makes a huge difference! Being healthy and having a strong immune system is a critical piece of the puzzle that I wish more people were talking about. Having a nutritional diet of real unprocessed food, consuming multi vitamin supplements and especially Vitamin D, C, & zinc are important, getting quality consistent exercise, and also making sure to get quality sleep and rest for recovery makes a tremendous difference in the state of our health and ability to fight off the negative impact of the multitudes of viruses and bacteria we are exposed to everyday. Being healthy, strong, and vibrant has always been important, but in more threatening times it is not a luxury, it should clearly be an essential priority for us all!
- Working parents really do need quality child care, even during a pandemic. We have always taken the concept of child care very seriously and have always promoted a positive and productive time when both parents are working. While we know we have some afterschool students that come just for the benefits and fun of it and do not necessarily need “child care type services” we also have many students that do. I have been following this issue pretty seriously with the distance school learning of the spring, even now through the summer, and there are a lot of parents and children really struggling with managing so many logistical pressures of working fulltime. For those of you doing all you can to just hang in there, we hear you and we will be here this fall!
- The negative economic impact of the shutdowns and low capacity limits of operations are really starting to take hold across so many sectors around the country and world. We truly wish you all the best as everyone tries to move forward, especially all of you small business & independent neighbors.
- The COVID situation is still serious, and the escalating amount of cases across the country is also very worrisome. Especially as we think about the schooling situation, there is no easy answer for anyone or any institution. Thankfully children and younger adults are still at low risk for serious complications, the overall death rate is lowering more and more, there are also better treatment approaches helping those who are harder hit, however, caution is still very much needed as people are being impacted.
As with our previous announcements, we want to be honest and forthright with all of you our loyal patrons. Regarding the logistics of our future programming and general afterschool operations, here are the updates that we can give you as of today 7/14:
- We will find a way to float to the coming afterschool year and we will definitely be open in some form this fall!
- At this time we still cannot open registration, as we do not know what the capacity limitations of our program will be for the school year. Aftershool limit was 60 kids per day, however, we are definitely anticipating a reduction in this overall capacity. Before we can determine what works best for our site we also need to know what the specific government mandates will be and then we can figure out our capacity. Thankfully we do have a fantastic and large facility, including a big 2nd floor space, so we may be re-configuring the layout to make things work better to promote more social distancing.
- Just like the past, before opening any public registration we will give priority placement to returning students.
- Just like all operating budgets we have to meet our expenses to stay open, and unfortunately the major expenses such as our lease, payroll, and utilities don’t have much flexibility. Thankfully we don’t have to worry about the issue of inventory, however, we can be on the negative side of the accounting results for only so long….. Based on the final capacity #, we will be forced to adjust our rates to make ends meet. I wish we could tell you more, but the basic math will have to wait until we know #s and I am very sorry to have to add additional financial pressure on tuition. Most of the other school care programs get operating support from the districts / property taxes as well as for the space they use so can offer lower rates, and despite offering a significantly premier service here we have always tried to stay competitive financially. At this point, all I want to see happen is to somehow make ends meet……
- While we like to reward the commitment that people make to our school by heavily discounting yearly tuition options (which also helps us plan space allotments), it is likely we will be removing that from the menu this year, and just going by semester and monthly options in order to roll with the punches that may or may not occur. We want to stay more agile so we can properly respond to the ever-changing circumstances. Big thank you to all people who have done that option previously, as we have always had consistent enrollment numbers throughout each year.
- Additionally, we are looking to expand potential offerings based on what the educational schools decide. As most of you likely know, the majority of districts across the country are considering between 100% virtual or 50% attendance rotations for the coming year. While a few places are considering to be fully open, who knows what will really happen, especially as the trends of COVID and mandates continue. We have heard from many educators that even “if” schools open to some degree this fall, there are plans to move 100% virtual at some point if COVID surges more.
Fortunately we have great staff that have education degrees, quality backgrounds and experience, and we would be willing to offer a “school camp” setting for a limited amount of kids if there is interest and if schools are not 100% open. This would be a way to provide watchful care, tutoring and real instruction regarding school educational material, internet access, some martial art training/exercise, and quality socialization too. While highschool kids can handle more screen time, hours and hours a day is certainly not good for the younger elementary age and they really do need quality attention to help them progress at learning important school material.
*If you would be interested in HRD “School Camp” if the schools do not fully open please shoot us a reply and let us know! It would really help bridge the difference here and we would be happy to help the kids learn! (If you didn’t know, I had a serious dream a while ago to setup a HRD Charter School, so who knows, maybe this can be a start in that direction!)
Ok, that’s all for now! Thanks for your patience and understanding as we try and gear-up for fall. The staff and I have discussed a ton of options and are just waiting to see what the school guidelines are and we will have a quality plan in place shortly thereafter. We will also open registration literally ASAP, and will give our existing students priority on the spots available (however, we do have a bunch of interest from the public too, so there will be just 1 week of priority placement available and then all other spots go first-come-first-served.) Please start thinking about your plans if you haven’t already 😉
Please enjoy the summer wherever you are, we wish you the best always!