Dear SGA families,
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis continues, we are aware of the new developments over the last few days, including the extension of the school closure (statewide) through April 24, and the Governor’s mandate just last night for the closure of all restaurants, bars and entertainment / recreational facilities & gyms / sports facilities (that’s us) statewide. This means SGA will need to remain closed until this executive order is lifted.
As we have done during the duration of this situation, we want to let you know that we are currently working through what this means for us, and what our next steps are. We do want to let you know, however, that we will NOT be running any tuition auto-payments on March 20. While the state government is currently advising the earliest this order will be considered to end is March 31, we are anticipating not being able to reopen before April 24, when school may resume, which is why we have made the decision to suspend April tuition on March 20.
As we are suspending tuition charges, we do want to encourage you to keep your child enrolled, ensuring they keep their place in class, as we hope as many of you as possible will be there to join us when we are able to reopen. We’d like to keep as many children in their same familiar classes as we can, so they too can feel a sense of normalcy return, when we are able to do so. We will notify families in advance when we will be resuming auto tuition once the mandate is lifted and we can safely go back to classes, and give families the opportunity to assess their status.
Since our closure last week, many of you have reached out to ask questions about our staff and coaches, and their well-being; this is just another indication of how amazing all of you in our community are. We can’t tell you how much this support means to all of us – everyone has so much worry to deal with right now, it’s so heartwarming to know that our staff is on your minds, too. While we are still working through all the details, we want to let you know that SGA is committed to weathering this storm and giving our staff as much of the same financial support as we can, as if business had continued on, providing them with work to complete while we are closed – this includes their help in creating content that helps keep us connected to you, and your gymnasts to gymnastics, while we are away (which we will begin releasing as soon as possible!). We will have more to share with you around this in the coming days, while we work through the plan and also talk to all our employees directly.
We’re all in this together, and we know about the worry and uncertainty you feel, because we, as people, feel it too. But countries that took these same drastic steps earlier, are already seeing the curve bend and flatten, and that’s what we need to do here. And it’s only through our shared sacrifice, that we can get through this together. In the meantime, please continue to stay safe, take care of yourself, your families, and each other.
March 12, 2020
Dear SGA families,
It is only after great consideration, and a difficult decision, that effective Thursday, March 12th, 2020, SGA will be closed for 14 days, due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) recommendations issued by Governor Jay Inslee, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
As you are aware, Seattle Public Schools announced today that they are closing for at least two weeks, starting today, March 12. Also today, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on public gatherings of 250 people or more, and, along with other government agencies, is encouraging the practice of “social distancing,” keeping a distance of six feet or more between individuals. You can read Governor Inslee’s statement here.
Yesterday, SGA let you know that we, along with most places of business in the Seattle area, were trying to navigate these uncharted waters as best we could, and that we were planning to stay open until our scheduled Spring Refresh started on Friday.
However, we have now concluded, after very careful consideration following these announcements, that we must close for a minimum of 14 days as well, effective immediately, Thursday, March 12, which we plan to end on March 25, 2020. As of this time, we would plan to reopen on March 26, however as this is a rapidly-changing situation, we will continue to monitor and assess, and take heed of any recommendations or mandates from government agencies.
All classes and activities at all three Seattle Gymnastics Academy locations are suspended beginning Thursday, March 12, for the next two weeks.
We know that you will have many questions about what this means for you. We are all working through this together, and our staff is prepared to take your questions and concerns as best as we are possibly able, but we do ask that you please read this statement in full as a first step. We also thank you in advance for your patience and graciousness with our support staff, who are on the front lines of your inquiries during this unprecedented event.
This was a very difficult decision for us to come to, and was not made lightly, but one that was made in the best interest of both our employees and customers. As we have shared many times, our goal has been to keep our doors open as long as possible in order to support our students and families. Our incredible staff and SGA families / attendees have been unwavering in the commitment of our enhanced cleaning and safety protocols, and we appreciate everyone’s effort – this closure is in no way because of a failure in those practices. It is despite our best efforts to remain open, that we cannot continue to do so and still be in compliance with social distancing regulations. We have a responsibility, as a company who work with thousands of children and adults, to comply with these guidelines in order to ensure a safer and healthier community for all.
The truth is, there was no decision we could make that would satisfy every person that attends SGA. We know that we are a respite for many of our gymnasts and families, and we have heard from many of you that you were thankful we remained open. We are saddened to take a two-week break from the sport we are so passionate about, and more importantly, from the students that are like family to us.
However, we know that if our community is to stop the spread of this virus, that we have an obligation to adhere to the same actions. While we fall well below the 250 person regulation, we cannot safely adhere to social distancing. It isimpossible to conduct progressive and safe gymnastics if we are unable to spot our kids, and keep everyone separated by at least six feet at all times.
We cannot put our vulnerable populations at greater risk by continuing the spread of this virus. The most responsible thing we can do, is to take greater action now.
What does this mean for families enrolled in classes and paying tuition?
When we are approved to reconvene, we have come up with some alternative make-up options for students – in the same meaningful way that we strive to deliver in our regular classes, as if business had carried on as normal. This means all gymnasts will be given the opportunity to make up class time in formal classes. Our commitment to you is to fully and completely deliver everything we pledge with your tuition dollars – this plan is outlined below:
- Make-Up classes for students enrolled in Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday classes:
- This novel coronavirus closure overlaps with our annual Spring Refresh break (planned for Friday, 3/13 – Monday, 3/16). As planned SGA closures are accounted for and built into our yearly amortized tuition costs, students will be eligible to attend one (1) scheduled make-up for the week missed after Spring Refresh that we will remain closed.
- Make-Up classes for students enrolled in Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday classes:
- Students will be eligible to attend two (2) scheduled make-ups due to the scheduled closure dates.
- Make-Up in Indoor Playground or Gym Time:
- If you are unable to attend one of the scheduled make-up classes offered, you are still eligible to attend Indoor Playground or Gym Time as a make-up option.
This schedule of makeup classes will take some time for us to put together logistically, we hope to begin implementing the makeup options by April 15th, pending approval to reconvene. Customers may pre-register for make-up classes over the phone or in person, beginning April 10th, at your preferred SGA location.
What does this mean for families attending drop-in activities (such as Indoor Playground, Parent’s Night Out, and Birthday Parties)?
All drop-in programs, including Indoor Playground, will be suspended until we reconvene normal operation. Any pre-paid punch cards will have their values remain in-tact. Any pre-paid activities, such as and including Parents’ Night out on 3/20 & 3/21, will have credits applied to your accounts. We will work with Birthday Parties scheduled during this closure to either reschedule, or credit for future activities.
What does this mean for gymnasts in competitive programs?
Our competitive program leaders are working through this situation, in conjunction with our larger governing body, and will have further info for competitive families specifically, which we will communicate directly to you as soon as we are able.
Has SGA had a confirmed case of COVID-19?
No, to our knowledge, SGA has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19 at any location. This closure is not to quarantine, but rather to align with the protocols our government and local agencies have put in place and/or recommended.
All of you are our SGA family, we could not, and will not exist without you. This storm is very difficult to weather both as a business, and as people. We all need to support each other. We need to help our neighbors. We need to support our small businesses. We need to keep our families safe. We do not have all the answers. But we do know that if we all pull together as one community, we can recover, and regain our strength. We are stronger as one.
Please be safe, reach out to us with questions that we will try our best to answer, and we thank you now, more than ever before, for your support.
-Seattle Gymnastics Academy