DrivingMBA’s Reopening Plans
I am happy to announce that my Administrative staff has been in since Monday, May 18th. They have been diligently working to reschedule students that were cancelled during stay at home. They are also scheduling new students that are ready to get permits or have their permits and want to learn how to drive. We have taken the time to develop and clarify our COVID-19 protocols based on CDC and OSHA recommendations. Those protocols have been incorporated into our updated Terms & Conditions, and a separate COVID-19 protocols form. Our entire staff was in on May 21st, for training in the new protocols.
We are now navigating uncharted waters. My husband and I have done a copious amount of reading about the virus, its impact on the world and what the future holds as it relates to COVID-19. The reality is scientists and the medical community continue to learn about the symptoms, carriers of the virus, those at risk, and how it gets transmitted, all while the waters continue to be muddied by opinions and theories. As I have said in previous communications, DrivingMBA is taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously and we are doing all we can to mitigate risk for our staff as well as our students. Our entire set of protocols address every aspect of our business, our facility, equipment and vehicles. Those protocols will be sent to every parent, guardian or student that schedules. They are also included in our Terms & Conditions as well as in a separate form for new students.
Our current customers, new customers and even those that are considering DrivingMBA will be sent our protocols, so that you are aware of what we are requiring due to COVID-19. For example:
- DrivingMBA staff, students and parents are required to wear masks
- Anyone entering the building will have their temperature taken
- Hand sanitizer will be offered to everyone upon entry and exit
INTAKES: We will not be conducting “formal” intakes with parents. Instructors will ask their student, “Do your parents have anything they want to talk to me about before your lesson?” If you do, tell your student, PLEASE hang out in the parking lot in your air-conditioned car and wait for a phone call from your student, so that the instructor can hear your concerns or anything you want to convey to them before their lesson.
- If that doesn’t work, you are ALWAYS welcome to send me an e-mail if that is more convenient. Send it to me and I will make sure it gets to your student’s instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org
A SIGNIFICANT element of our training is our intake and debrief process. Due to COVID-19 we are limiting the parents that can come into our office. Under the following circumstances the parents will be allowed to come in for debriefs (end of lesson):
- 1st on-road lesson students
- Students in for assessments (either in the simulation lab or on the road)
- Students that are completing their final skills evaluation for their license
The only other reason a parent will be allowed into the facility is if they have an appointment with one of our staff members.
DEBRIEFS: if you are not one of the 3 exceptions listed above, we still NEED TO DO a debrief with you. The plan is to have your student contact you either via FaceTime, DUO, or any type of video conferencing you have available on your phones, or if not a video conference then a phone call. The instructor will tell your student, when to contact you, whether you are sitting in your car outside, or elsewhere, WE REALLY WANT TO TALK TO YOU , so please be available about 10 minutes before the end of your student’s lesson. We debrief after EVERY LESSON, whether it is a simulation lab or an on-road lesson. We want to let you know what they worked on, how they performed and what we’d like you to work on between lessons. It is a critical part of the learning process. WE TRULY regret having to restrict parents from come in the building or riding in the vehicle. If you feel you want to/need to, you are welcome to be on video conference on your student’s phone, with YOU MUTED, listening to the entire lesson – you’ll be in the cup holder!!
Communication with you and your students is a cornerstone of our instruction model. We are committed to making it work AND we need your help!!
I am delighted to have our staff returning to work. I am also grateful that we were able to secure the necessary funding to reopen and continue to do the important work of developing competent, safe and responsible drivers. For our training day, we started with a check-in about what people did and how they were feeling about stay at home and now returning to work. There were a variety of responses from discovering or rediscovering cooking, learning about new foods and how to prepare them, walking, hiking, gardening, enjoying family and pets, watching movies or binge watching different series or just enjoying the opportunity to turn off for a while. Some learned to connect with loved ones and celebrate milestones in a different way, from a 1 st birthday zoom party to a 70 th birthday drive by. There were others that found the stay at home isolating and difficult. Several talked about after “throwing themselves a pity party,” then they bucked up and figured out this is the way it’s going to be, and how to make the best of it. Everyone was happy to come back to work, they missed their colleagues and the students they work with every day.
The day’s agenda covered new programs and processes, a detailed review of the reopening plan and the COVID-19 protocols. We conducted demonstrations and practiced cleaning the office, simulation labs, equipment and vehicles.
We ended the day with a check-out. Some talked about our new reality as: “it sucks, it is what it is”, “wearing masks was going to take some getting used to”, and just an overwhelming feeling of “this is a LOT.” We had to think about all of the touch points, being cognizant of personal movements and being restricted in order to maintain social distance. The biggest concern was making students feel comfortable and create a fun and appropriate learning environment while keeping everyone safe. We have a plan that I am sure will change as we learn more about the virus itself and what works and doesn’t work. We ask for your patience and your feedback as our priority is to continue to provide an exceptional learning experience for our students and their support systems.