States Reopening Guidelines for Schools

Statesort descending Updated Link to State Plan Music/Arts Education or Related Provisions


June 26 2020 Roadmap to Reopening Schools


June 24 2020 Alaska Smart Start 2020


June 01 2020 COVID-19 Guidance and Suggestions

AZ Department of Education Arts and Physical Education Guidelines:         

Teach AZ State Standards in all Arts and Physical education subject areas, with sufficient time to develop students’ artistic and physical literacy, knowing that modification is required to develop safe, equitable, and cost-effective instruction for all students, in-person, online or blended.          

Modification Recommendations:
•  At a minimum, sustain current levels of funding as part of a student’s right to a Well-Rounded Education.      
•  Include teachers in content-specific professional development and planning to develop distance learning, blended learning, hybrid learning, or flipped classrooms.          

Performing Arts (Dance, Music Theatre):    
•  Consider portions of a class be done outside to provide more social distancing, weather permitting.    
•  Exclude activities that require physical contact from lesson plans.    
•  Use markings on the floor or and/or student workstations to adhere to social distance requirements in classrooms requiring movement.    
•  Develop live-performance alternatives or substitutes that meet ‘Performing’ state standards, following national guidelines.   
•  Follow the Instrument Cleaning Guidelines and Information released by NFHS, NAfME, and NAMM.    
•  Give special consideration to locker room/dressing room/green room usage and sanitation. 


June 04 2020 Arkansas Ready for Learning Executive Summary


June 05 2020 Stronger Together - A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools

•  “Limit sharing of objects and equipment, such as toys, games and art supplies to the extent practicable.”         
The intent of the document is to be a guide, “for local discussion on reopening schools.”  Plans for specific LEAs should be consulted for additional guidance on music/arts education. 


May 26 2020 Draft: A Framework and Toolkit for School and District Leaders


June 29 2020 Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together

Required: Develop plans for the implementation of a physical education, fine arts, and music curriculum that consider the needs of all students, including focusing on activities, adaptations, and modifications of all education decisions to ensure the full inclusion by all students.         

• For handling musical instruments, consult the National Association for Music Education’s COVID-19 Instrument Cleaning Guidelines.    
• Provide sufficient instructional minutes to support standards-based curriculum, student learning expectations, and district goals.    
• Strive to maintain current program of studies and course offerings, within safety precautions.      
• Maintain proper spacing of at least 12 feet when students are singing or performing wind instruments by scheduling large ensembles in auditoriums, outdoors, cafeterias, gyms or other large spaces.    
• Focus on maximizing distancing for instruments that require blowing or for singing, compared with string and percussion instruments.                                                                                                                  
• Schedule large ensembles into smaller groups throughout the day. Shift curriculum focus to solo and small ensemble work. Shift from a concert format to a recital format. Create virtual performance experiences and assessments.     
• Maintain small homogeneous groupings of instruments for lesson instruction.    
• Continue full access to beginning instrumental music.    
• Use on-line apps or platforms for student work (e.g., SeeSaw, Artsonia, Google Classroom, Flip Grid, SmartMusic, Sound Trap, Acapella, museum collections, painting/drawing platforms), video displays (e.g., YouTube), and slides (e.g., Google Slides, PowerPoint).     
• Further guidance related to chorus instruction will be shared as it is released.    
• Schedule Music, Visual Art and Theatre to be flexible and accessible for all students.


July 02 2020 School Reopening Working Groups

District of Columbia

July 06 2020 District of Columbia Office of the Superintendent of Education- Health and Safety Guidance for Schools

Schools must:
•  Cancel or modify classes where students are likely to be in very close proximity, unless group size and physical (social) distance of 6 feet between individuals can be maintained.   
•  Of note, activities in which voices are projected, such as choir or theater, present greater risk of spread of respiratory droplets even with physical distance of 6 feet. Such activities are strongly recommended to be cancelled even if group size and 6-foot distance can be maintained.      


July 06 2020 Reopening Florida’s Schools and the CARES Act

•  Florida’s K-12 schools should proactively plan to safely conduct extracurricular and co-curricular activities, including graduations, sports, and other "close contact events and gatherings.”    
•  All equipment, instruments, uniforms etc. should be washed or wiped after each use.     


June 19 2020 Georgia's K-12 Restart and Recovery


July 23 2020 Hawaii Return to Learn


July 08 2020 Idaho Back to School Framework 2020

•  Identify essential concepts/skills grade levels and provide access to enrichment (fine arts, music, world language, CTAE, computer science, AP/ IB, dual enrollment, physical education/ play, STEM/STEAM, etc.).      


June 23 2020 Part 3 – Transition Joint Guidance

Music-Related Courses:
• There is documented evidence of substantial spreading of the coronavirus during musical events caused by the possibility of droplet and fomite (objects or materials likely to carry infections) transmission. Indoor rehearsals are discouraged. Consider moving music and band-related courses outside. It is recommended that music and band classes be organized into smaller classes, minimizing the number of students for sectional or group rehearsal to provide for social distancing. Where possible, use separate partitions in open spaces; utilize markings on the classroom floor/wall/practice field.    
• Students should wear face coverings while singing and avoid touching, choreography, and singing/playing in circles.
• Instruments should not be shared at any time. Sanitize hands before and after using instruments. It is permissible for band members to remove mask during playtime needed, but only if necessary. Students should provide their own equipment for class and sharing of equipment between students should be prohibited. Long-term rentals are permitted; however, instruments should be properly cleaned and sanitized between rentals. Students should disinfect musical instruments between classes, if possible. Instruments should be cleaned using approved disinfectant and recommended cleaning guidelines (National Federation of State High School Associations, National Association of Music Merchants, National Association for Music Education instrument cleaning). Special care shall be taken with instrument mouthpieces; it is recommended that reed players use plastic instead of cane reeds. Conductors should face students from more than 10 feet away from the first row of singers/band members. Where possible, conductors are encouraged to wear glasses/goggles or install a Plexiglas shield. Consider blended/flipped classrooms, as well as individualized self-management programs, to reduce the risk of exposure and allow for personal choice/director choice with recording or practice performance. Provide virtual learning opportunities or record class rehearsals and share recordings with students who are unable to attend school in-person.


June 05 2020 Indiana’s Considerations for Learning and Safe Schools In-Class COVID-19 Health and Safety Re-entry Guidance


June 25 2020 Iowa Return-to-Learn Support


July 13 2020 Navigating Change: Kansas' Guide to Learning and School Safety Operations

Operations section (begins on page 1001):
Classrooms - Instructional Programming - General Guidance
Reduce class sizes as needed and maintain adequate staffing levels for teaching and learning to occur in a safe and equitable manner (i.e. band, choir, physical education).

Specialized Classes
Low Community Restrictions (based on status of pandemic)
• All supplies including instruments, art supplies, tools, etc. should be cleaned and sanitized daily.
• Students should not share other supplies, including instruments, art supplies, tools, etc. where feasible.
• Allow stable group of elementary students to move to specialized classes as a group with proper hygiene and cleaning routines.
Moderate Community Restrictions
• All supplies including instruments, art supplies, tools, etc. should be cleaned and sanitized with each use.
• Consider having the stable student groups remain in the classroom and specialized teachers can rotate in.
• To maximize classroom space, remove any unnecessary materials and furniture.
High Community Restrictions
• Students should not share any supplies including instruments, art supplies, tools, etc. where feasible.
• All supplies including instruments, art supplies, tools, etc. should be cleaned and sanitized daily.

Common Spaces (pages 1014-15)
• Pursue virtual activities and events in lieu of student assemblies, special performances, school-site parent meetings, and spirit nights, if possible.
• Revise assemblies and performances to allow for social distancing.

Extra and Cocurricular (pages 1018-21) - Recommendation(s) for Performing Arts:
General Considerations
• Refer to NFHS Performing Arts resources.
• Assigned seating.
• Consider live streaming as allowed with licensing.
Marching Band
Refer to KSHSAA Guidelines and NFHS information regarding instrument hygiene. Adhere to 6 ft or more spacing requirements for on-field performances.
High Community Restrictions
• Students should not share any supplies including instruments, art supplies, tools etc. where feasible.
• All supplies including instruments, art supplies, tools etc. should be cleaned and sanitized daily.
Choir/Music Education
Use NFHS guidelines and use cloth face masks if feasible.
6 feet of personal distance but should develop plan using 10 feet or more.  Venues and rehearsal space should provide enough space for increased personal distance -- again developing plan of 10 feet or more.
Maximum cast sizes based on stage size to allow for personal distance of at least 6 feet. Venue/spacing for rehearsals should allow personal distance of at least 6 feet. Size/spacing requirements for staging/choreography: 6 feet and goes to 10 feet if singing. Orchestra pits should allow at least 6 feet in personal distance.
Appendix includes additional resources.


August 10 2020 COVID-19 Reopening Resources

•  Modify classes/activities that normally require multiple students to engage in an activity that could cause close social contact, congestion or movement in the school hallways; such as choir, gym class, art, music, etc. These do not have to be canceled if distance and sanitation needs are met.     


June 25 2020 Strong Start 2020 School Reopening Guidelines & Resources

•  Band and vocal music may resume in Phase 3, with physical distance recommendations in effect.


July 24 2020 Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction


June 10 2020 Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education COVID-19 Response and The Path Forward

Maryland’s plan presents options to meet social distancing requirements, including rotations of one or two days per week as well as a four-day week.  All options include the following:   
•  Fine Arts, Physical Education, and Health Education teachers will be included, to teach their respective content. These classes will be offered as a rotation to provide the necessary content and support to students for a well-rounded curriculum while also helping to reduce the student-teacher ratios to 10 or fewer in each learning environment.    
•  Out of School Time (OST) programs will offer students a broad array of additional services, programs and activities such as: substance abuse and alcohol prevention, violence prevention, counseling, art, music and technology education.     


June 25 2020 Initial Fall Reopening Guidelines, COVID-19 Guidance/On the Desktop Messages

10 Additional staff training days (delays the start of school by 10 days).


June 30 2020 Return to School Roadmap

•  As able, “specials” (like art, music, and library) should be brought to the classrooms instead of having students move to different locations.
•  Libraries, computer labs, arts, and other hands on classrooms must undergo cleaning after every class period with either an EPA-approved disinfectant or diluted bleach solution.


June 18 2020 Minnesota Planning Guide for Schools

•  Whenever possible, hold physical education and music classes outside and encourage participants to spread out. Consider using visual cues to demonstrate physical spacing.   
•  Be aware that COVID-19 has rapidly spread among groups of people singing together in indoor environments.   
•  Arrange the space for singing sessions so that people are separated from one another by 6 feet when feasible and consider having all participants face in the same direction (rather than facing each other). 


July 09 2020 Missouri Reopening Guidance

•  If indoor rehearsals are not recommended, utilize other avenues of music learning such as music theory, music appreciation, songwriting, music history, and instrument classes such as guitar and ukulele.   
 •  Teachers should stagger access to lockers for instrument storage.   
•  In local areas with ongoing community transmission, chorus and band classes should be controlled. School leaders should be advised that the risk of transmission during music and band classes increases in older grades.   
•  When considering music classes, ensure that students remain in cohorts and are appropriately physically distanced. Holding these classes outdoors would be a safe alternative.     
•  When cohorting and/or physical distancing cannot occur, consider alternative music classes such as virtual instruction, music technology, music theory, and music appreciation.


July 09 2020 Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools


July 06 2020 Reopening Montana Schools Guidance

•  Emphasize physical distancing for vocal and instrumental music classes according to spatial allowances and room size.   
•  Allow for the cleaning and sanitizing of equipment before and after use.   
•  Provide instruction for healthy practices to use when cleaning personal instruments.   


July 10 2020 Launch Nebraska


June 26 2020 Nevada Path Forward: A Framework for a Safe, Efficient, and Equitable Return to School Buildings

New Hampshire

July 24 2020 School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce

New Jersey

June 26 2020 The Road Back Restart and Recovery Plan for Education

New Mexico

June 20 2020 New Mexico Public Education Department Reentry Guidance

New York

July 13 2020 Recovering, Rebuilding and Renewing: the Spirit of New York's Schools

North Carolina

July 13 2020 Lighting Our Way Forward: North Carolina's Guidebook for Reopening Public Schools

•  See page 4 of the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit (updated July 14) for recommendations on screening and careful consideration of music and band – limiting activities is recommended when there may be singing or the playing of wind instruments. Cleaning is required of any shared materials, such as instruments, or art supplies.    
•  For reopening scheduling options, consider: 
Course and content needs that may be difficult to offer remotely, such as courses with lab time and performance-based content like arts, Career Technical Education, PE/Health, and science courses. 

North Dakota

May 02 2020 North Dakota K-12 Smart Restart Guidance


July 06 2020 Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts

•  Under the document’s guiding principle of Prioritizing Student Learning: “Continue to value and use Ohio’s Learning Standards as the basis for guiding instruction and student acquisition of knowledge and skills. Ensure opportunities for students to master core subject areas and pursue well-rounded learning (such as music, arts, other electives, career-technical education, industry credentials).”          
•  Extracurricular/Co-curricular Activities (athletics, music, student groups): The Ohio Department of Education continues to collaborate with the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio High School Athletic Association, Ohio Music Education Association and others to determine summer practice routines and fall sports routines to be implemented. Schools and districts should work with their local health departments and stakeholders to determine the appropriateness and practical realities of whether to continue certain activities. Participation in each activity will need to be determined based upon maintaining Ohio Department of Health, local health department, Ohio Department of Education and Ohio High School Athletic Association guidance. Alternative methods for practice, instruction, rehearsal and performance should be considered to maintain maximum participation while minimizing health and safety risks.     


June 01 2020 Return to Learn Oklahoma - A Framework for Reopening Schools

•  It is important to understand that many music, art, drama and dance teachers have worked with the same population of students every year and may be able to more easily adapt their curriculum to the start of a new school year.    
•  Teachers should focus on standards for the current grade level while scaffolding knowledge that may have been missed or forgotten from the 2019-20 school year. To prepare for the upcoming school year, teachers are encouraged to consider the following:   
          (i)  Become familiar with the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Fine Arts and consider nontraditional teaching methods for the four artistic processes.     
          (ii)  Keep in mind that students in transition may need the most support as they begin learning in a new space and arts discipline with a potentially altered school schedule. Beginner
                  students in an instrumental music program may need to audition on instruments during class in the fall and be sorted into instrument-specific classes in the spring.    
•  Coming soon – Guidance for Safely Opening and Sustaining Fine Arts Classrooms      


June 30 2020 Oregon Ready Schools Safe Learners

•  Limit Transitions: Modify classes where possible and where students are likely to be in close contact (e.g., music, art, physical education, etc.) by bringing the specialist teacher to individual classrooms instead of having students go to the shared space.”     
•  Consider designing schedules to maximize well-rounded learning opportunities, including access to physical education, music, health, art, etc., where appropriate safety considerations can be maintained.    
•  Required: Follow Instrument Cleaning Guidelines for any music course where instruments are used.  Link is provided to NFHS, NAfME, and NAMM Foundation Instrument Cleaning Guidelines and Information.      


June 03 2020 Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools

•  Consider the unique needs of music programming (e.g., band, orchestra, choir) and transmission risk-mitigation protocols to address hygiene, disinfection of equipment, distancing during practice and competition, and numbers of participants. Due to the potential increased risk of droplet transmission, physical distancing should be prioritized for wind instruments.     

Rhode Island

June 19 2020 Back to School RI: Health and Safety Guidance to Reopen Rhode Island’s Elementary and Secondary Schools

•  It is recommended that activities such as chorus and any group band rehearsal or performance be suspended or occur virtually. If schools choose for them to happen in-person, students and staff should be at least 14 feet apart, and the chorus size should not be greater than the stable group size for high schools where students are not in stable groups. It is recommended to establish student groups that are consistent with class or bus groups whenever possible.      

South Carolina

June 18 2020 DRAFT: AccelerateED Task Force Guidance and Recommendations for 2020-21 School Year

Ensuring a Well-Rounded Education:
•  Certain courses and content face unique challenges for delivery via distance learning. These same courses are likely to be the ones that face the greatest instructional challenges due to new health and safety requirements like social distancing or wearing of masks.    
•  However, it is unanimously the recommendation of this task force that districts continue to ensure students have access to a well-rounded education in both in-person and distance learning environments this fall.     
•  These courses are an essential component of the world-class education identified in the Profile of the SC Graduate, and access to a well-rounded education has documented benefits for the social and emotional wellness of students through promotion of attributes like hope and engagement.     
•  In determining how to ensure student access, districts should refer to the guidance provided by the relevant state and national professional organizations. Specifically, students in South Carolina should have continued opportunities to participate in or access to the arts (visual and performing).    
•  While new health and safety protocols in schools may present challenges for instruction focused on the domain of presentation/performance, arts teachers have the capacity to shift instructional focus to the other domains in ways that are consistent with health requirements.    
•  Districts should seek to partner with the SCDE and state and local arts organizations to enhance student access to the arts.    
•  Districts should look to state and national arts organizations for guidance on how to safely ensure student access to the arts for in-person instruction and meaningful access for distance learning. The appendix includes a link to the NFHS, NAfME and, NAMM Foundation Instrument Cleaning Guidelines and Information.      

South Dakota

July 13 2020 South Dakota's Back to Normal Plan

Electives and Activities Participation Decisions:
•  Review SDHSAA Guidance (see Summer Contact Recommendations; guidance for fall to be published at a later date) to determine what levels of activities may be appropriate for the fall.
•  Determine what level of risk is associated with activities and elective courses (for example, chorus, band, and physical education classes).
•  As possible, find alternate delivery methods for high risk courses. When not possible, determine other means of exposing students to analogous curriculum.     


June 08 2020 Governor's Reopening Guidance

The TN Department of Education is releasing a series of toolkits with additional guidance.  From the Academics Toolkit is a section on incorporating the Arts:     
•  Arts classrooms, theaters, studios, music rehearsal halls, and other types of arts-specific learning spaces are typically designed for specialized use by arts programs.  Districts should consider ways to minimize transitions by large numbers of students in and out of art spaces and consider in-classroom arts where possible to minimize student movement.    
•  Arts educators should be involved in planning and decision-making to develop appropriate cleaning procedures for any class changes that follow current CDC guidance.    
•  Schools that offer individualized music, dance, or other types of one-on-one or small group lessons presented by a certified arts educator or an external arts provider, should designate appropriately sized spaces that can safely accommodate participants using social distancing guidelines.   
•  Districts should also consider how to accommodate virtual art experiences should the need arise.       


July 07 2020 Public Health Guidance for School Year 2020-2021

•  Students on campus should not participate in activities, such as choir, playing wind instruments, or indoor sports; except as part of UIL approved conditioning or training programs, consistent with UIL guidance, because of their potential for spreading the virus through respiratory droplets (from summer guidance).      


June 26 2020 Planning Requirements and Recommendations for K-12 School Reopening

•  LEAs must identify courses that would be more at risk and make plans with support from local health departments to mitigate the risks.     
•  Choir is an inherently high-risk activity due to the increased level of respiratory output; consider layering several other strategies to mitigate, including conducting in outdoor spaces, space at least 6 feet apart, reduce duration spent face-to-face, use of barriers, increasing airflow and ventilation.    
•  Explore limiting and/or canceling nonessential assemblies, recitals, dances, etc. or reschedule as virtual gatherings.        



•  Group activities with the potential to generate increased respiratory droplets and aerosols should be avoided. This includes activities such as singing (e.g. choir, glee club, a cappella groups, musical theater, etc.) and music that involves woodwind or brass instruments.      


July 06 2020 Final Phase Guidance for Virginia’s Schools

Guidance for teaching elective courses through remote instruction:          
 “Decisions about elective course offerings are determined at the local division level and must adhere to requirements in the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) and Standards of Quality for Virginia Public Schools. There are no plans to waive requirements for any instructional program, including electives, specials, and resource classes, required in the SOA. The Governor, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), will issue health and safety requirements and guidance for Virginia public schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Once the Governor’s guidelines and requirements are released, both core and elective courses may need to evaluate and adjust the curriculum in order to meet the guidelines.”     


June 11 2020 Reopening Washington Schools 2020 District Planning Guide

•  Limit cross-school transfer for special programs. For example, if students are brought from multiple schools for special programs (e.g., music, robotics, academic clubs), consider using distance learning to deliver the instruction or temporarily offering duplicate programs in the participating schools.     

West Virginia

July 08 2020 West Virginia Schools Re-entry Toolkit

•  Consider creative means and alternative delivery methods of offering physical education instruction and scheduling music courses so that age-appropriate social distancing is maintained and the spread of respiratory droplets is reduced.      


June 29 2020 Education Forward Reopening Wisconsin Schools

•  Bring in specialist teachers (e.g., music, art, physical education) to individual classrooms versus rotating all kids through a shared space that is not able to be cleaned with each new student introduction.      


July 01 2020 Smart Start Guidance