Campus Reopening Plan: Health and Safety Update and Block 1 Building Use Protocols

Monday, Jul 27, 2020
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Dear students and faculty,

I hope that this email finds you and your families staying healthy and safe. Over the past few weeks, we have continued to work tirelessly to plan for the safest possible return in the fall, gather further input and feedback from experts and from the community, and refine the 2020-21 academic year plans that we announced a few weeks ago.

I’m pleased to report that our Summer Term has been a tremendous success, with 339 students registering for credit-bearing courses and hundreds more students and faculty engaging in studio and performance classes, the Liberal Arts department’s Camp Juilliard, virtual projects such as our Community Cadence series, and other departmental activities. In so many ways, we are more connected this summer than ever. #JuilliardThrivesTogether.

As we shared in June, Juilliard will offer a rich curriculum this coming school year, including performances, academic courses, skills-based courses, and group/studio work through a mix of both online and in-person learning. For more information about our fall Block schedule and the full 2020-21 academic calendar, click here.

Today, we are writing with updates on our ongoing safety planning efforts and with further details on how our main building (the Diamond Building) and Residence Hall will operate during Block 1. With some limited exceptions described below, the vast majority of work in Block 1 will be done remotely, including all academic classes, meetings, group performance work, and research. As such, most students should plan to arrive on campus shortly before the beginning of Block 2.

While we can’t predict how the next few months will go, we remain encouraged by the fact that cases in New York City remain low and are holding steady, and that the city has successfully entered Phase 4 of its reopening plan.

Working closely with outside medical experts and engineering consultants as well as our Lincoln Center colleagues, we have developed a health and safety plan that addresses the following:

  • The need to make significant changes to our normal operations, and the need to adjust to new requirements for our collective good health, including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, and more.
  • Screening procedures will be required prior to entering the building.
  • Virus testing protocols are being developed.
  • Extensive improvements to building ventilation, airflow, humidity control, and filtration are underway.
  • Students arriving from areas of high incidence of the virus will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, following all governmental guidelines. Residence Hall students may quarantine in their assigned rooms.
  • Isolation rooms are being reserved in the Residence Hall if residential students develop virus symptoms or test positive for the virus.
  • Anyone who is sick will be urged to stay home, and attendance policies are being developed to provide flexibility.
  • A technology package for students and faculty, to be announced in the coming days, with a $150 credit toward selected equipment.
  • Policies are being refined for staggered building use to assure low density, including advanced space reservation, traffic flow patterns within the building, and priority usage for practice and access to instruments.
  • In-person lessons for musicians will be available on a limited and rotating basis and with mutual agreement between the faculty member and the student.
  • Practice rooms and dance/drama studios will be available for use on a limited and rotating basis with advance reservations.
  • Library resources will be available during Block 1 both digitally and through a curbside pickup service.

For extensive detail on these areas and much more, I encourage you to read the information below carefully as well as review the 2020-21 Academic Year Plan webpage, which has been updated to reflect this information.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to update you as our planning and the situation develops.

As always, if you have questions, feedback, or further concerns, please reach out to [email protected].

Be well,

Adam Meyer

#JuilliardThrivesTogether, and our success depends on our collective willingness to follow the same set of health and safety procedures. A key component of this safety plan is YOU. These plans are only effective with your cooperation, and we are relying on everyone who enters the building to observe the safety procedures.

Our safety plan is being developed in consultation with medical experts, an outside engineering firm, and our health and facilities colleagues at Lincoln Center. These procedures and safety protocols provide for safe and limited use of the building in Block 1 for those who need it, prepare for a hybrid learning environment in Block 2, and allow for in-person performance work during Block 3.

Throughout the fall, each person entering the building will be required to follow all safety protocols, including physical distancing, handwashing, wearing face coverings, cleaning protocols, following new traffic patterns in the building, and other requirements.

The following protocols have been put in place to protect the community:

Health Screening and Testing
Anyone entering the Juilliard buildings will first use an app to fill out a screening questionnaire. This questionnaire, which will be required once per day, verifies that the user is not currently experiencing any COVID-19–related symptoms. In addition, there will be a contactless temperature check and verification of face covering prior to entrance. We will share more details about the process soon.

We are developing a virus testing plan for students, with an emphasis on testing students from areas with widespread community transmission of the virus and individuals with recent long-distance or international travel. Specific instructions for testing will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we strongly encourage students to plan to get tested within 14 days prior to their arrival on campus and to take every precaution to stay well.

Students, faculty, or staff members who develop symptoms of COVID-19 or knowingly come in contact with someone who has tested positive will be required to take a diagnostic test and to quarantine while awaiting the result. In addition, any community member who tests positive for COVID-19 at any point will be required to immediately inform health services (students) or human resources (faculty or staff) so that we can coordinate contact tracing through the NYC Track and Trace Program and implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Additional rooms in the Residence Hall are being reserved for Residence Hall students who need to isolate due to a suspected case of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test result.

Further details regarding testing will be shared closer to Block 1.

Self-Quarantine Requirements
This self-quarantine information is for students who plan to use the Juilliard facilities in Block 1. Guidelines for faculty and staff are forthcoming. Due to evolving government guidelines it is too soon to provide quarantine information for Block 2.

Government guidelines currently require all travelers coming from places with significant rates of transmission of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period after arrival. The requirements to safely quarantine include students not being in public or otherwise leaving their residence. International students may face additional entry restrictions and should consult with the International Advisement Office.

For residential students:

If required by public health guidelines, residential students may quarantine in their own single rooms in the Residence Hall. They must remain in their assigned suite for the duration of the quarantine period and use face coverings when leaving their single room. Individuals must self-monitor for symptoms of the virus. Thermometers will be provided for daily temperature-taking and food, needed medication, and cleaning supplies will be delivered to each student.

Any residential student who tests positive for COVID-19 or becomes symptomatic during quarantine will report this information to Health Services and temporarily will be moved out of the suite and into a designated isolation room within the Residence Hall.

For nonresidential students:

If required by public health guidelines, nonresidential students will be instructed to quarantine in their local residences or another location away from school. Individuals will self-monitor for symptoms of the virus, including taking their temperature daily. Any nonresidential student who tests positive or becomes symptomatic during quarantine will report this information to health services.

For both residential and nonresidential students:

Students will continue to take their online classes while in quarantine, and the provost’s and academic affairs offices will work with students in quarantine to provide academic support and accommodations. The student development office will provide links to enrichment and wellness programs, as well as a list of resources addressing needs such as food and grocery delivery. Counseling services will remain available to students via remote sessions.

Face Coverings
Two washable, reusable cloth face coverings will be provided to each member of the community, and you are also welcome to wear your own. Face coverings must cover both the nose and mouth. Disposable face coverings will be available at the main security desk for anyone who arrives without one. Face coverings will be required at all times in Juilliard facilities; vocalists, brass, and wind players may remove them only when playing their instruments. Specialty face coverings and shields that are appropriate for use by actors, dancers, vocalists, and wind/brass players are being explored.

Residence Hall students will be required to wear a face covering in the Residence Hall unless they are alone in their own rooms.

The school is completing a comprehensive ventilation study and making improvements to indoor air quality, including increasing fresh air intake and better regulation of humidity levels. We are installing indoor air purifiers, repairing or replacing air and humidification equipment, and upgrading the building controls for these systems. In the Residence Hall, we are working with Lincoln Center to test and balance outside air to improve ventilation and repair windows to ensure they operate as intended. We are also installing air purifiers in the Residence Hall.

Building Usage
The Diamond Building will function differently during this academic year. In addition to the required screening when entering the building, there will be one-way staircases and hallways as well as floor markers to maintain physical distancing. Room and elevator capacity will be reduced and clearly marked. Plexiglas barriers are being installed where in-person interaction is required, including in teaching studios where appropriate. Improvements are being made to lighting and signage in stairwells.

Students, faculty, and staff are urged to remain home if ill. Attendance policies that accommodate these absences are being developed by the academic affairs and human resources. These policies will be communicated prior to the start of classes.

Significant effort is being made to improve access to a range of technologies for this upcoming year.

In the coming days, we will announce a program that will allow all students and faculty to utilize a $150 credit in the Juilliard Store to purchase technology and remote learning products from a designated list of equipment. This list of equipment, offered at a discount, will include a range of basic items such as USB microphones, headphones, ethernet cables, webcams, portable lighting, squares of marley floors for dancers, and more. Additional financial support specifically for equipment will be made available through the Financial Aid office for those students who demonstrate need.

In addition, the school is investing in enhanced livestreaming capabilities aimed at delivering greatly improved video and audio quality for performances from venues throughout the building. We expect this work to be completed in time for Block 3 performances.

Classroom faculty have been offered a range of training opportunities this summer to enhance online course offerings. In addition, workshops will be offered to students and faculty to help optimize the online experience.

The following building-use guidelines will be in place for Block 1. All guidelines will evolve and be adapted as needed in response to guidance from public health officials. Further guidelines about Block 2, including how we will phase in in-person learning, will be provided in the coming weeks.

With some exceptions outlined below, the vast majority of work in Block 1 will be done remotely, including all academic classes, meetings, group performance work, and research through library subscriptions to electronic resources. As such, most students should plan to arrive on campus shortly before the beginning of Block 2.

Staff will continue working remotely unless their work requires their presence on campus. Staff with specific questions should contact their manager or Human Resources.

Students who are assigned a space in the residence hall may begin moving in shortly before Block 2. A limited number of students will be granted permission on the basis of need to move into the Residence Hall during Block 1. Residence Life has communicated with those students directly. All Residence Hall questions should be directed to the Office of Residence Life.

Those students living in the New York area who need use of the Diamond Building as a resource during Block 1 may be granted advance approval from the Office of the Provost. Request forms will be made available in the coming weeks—approval will be granted to students who demonstrate one or more of the following needs:

  • Individual practice space—student does not have access to adequate practice space elsewhere
  • Access to a school instrument—student does not have access to a school instrument that is required to complete school activities
  • In-person music lessons—if space allows and both teacher and student can safely get to the building
  • Use of dance studio space—student does not have access to space appropriate for dancing
  • Use of drama studio space—student does not have access to space appropriate for acting
  • Access to an appropriate space to participate in online classes/rehearsals
  • Juilliard Library resources needed to complete Juilliard-related work that are not available digitally or through the library's curbside pickup service

Room Reservations
All room usage during Block 1, including teaching studio and practice room access, will be by advance reservation only.

Permission will only be given to use the building for approved, Juilliard-related activities, and no guest access will be allowed throughout the fall semester. All building users will be asked to remain in the building only for the length of time required to complete their work, to use spaces only for their designated and approved use, and to strictly abide by the rules and designated time restrictions.

The process for reserving a space will be communicated soon.

Accommodations for space usage and adherence to other guidelines will be made for those with documented disabilities.

Music Lessons and Practice Rooms
During Block 1, studio faculty may choose to give occasional lessons in the building, however, in order to reduce building density, a maximum of 50 percent of Block 1 lesson time may be in person. Faculty requiring more in-person time with an individual student during Block 1 may apply to the Office of the Provost for special permission. Students should consult with their faculty member about the balance of in-person and remote lessons in Block 1. Lessons will take place in larger studios, classrooms, and other spaces to allow for physical distancing. Plexiglas dividers will be provided for wind/brass/voice lesson spaces.

Residence Hall and commuter students should utilize their private residences as their practice space, if possible.

We do not anticipate using Juilliard’s kiosk-based sign-in system for practice rooms during Block 1. Instead, practice rooms will be made available for specified blocks of time by advance reservation only, with buffers in between reservation periods to allow air to recirculate. Currently, we believe we will be able to offer students one four-hour practice block per day while maintaining appropriate occupancy guidelines. If demand is greater than the number of available rooms, the number of weekly sessions allowed may be limited on a rotating basis. Similar reservation policies will also be put in place for Rose Building practice rooms.

All practice rooms will be available only for individual work as most rooms do not allow for proper physical distancing. Students will be expected to wash/sanitize their hands prior to entering a room as well as wipe down surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, and music stands using cleaning supplies provided by the school. Practice rooms will also be cleaned on a daily basis.

Specific practice room reservation protocols will be created for students who require rooms with specialized equipment/instruments (percussion, organ, harpsichord, etc.).

Separate guidance will be issued in the future regarding work with staff accompanists in lessons.

Detailed reservation procedures will be announced prior to the start of Block 1.

Dance Studios
The Dance Division is developing protocols and reservation policies for dancers who need access to Juilliard dance studios during Block 1. During scheduled technique class times, studios will be allotted to groups of no more than four dancers who are taking the same class and will be scheduled by the division on a rotating basis. Dancers should not expect to take all their technique classes from the Juilliard studios, given these constraints. Outside of technique class times, studios will be allocated for sign-out by individual dancers. Details outlining these policies and procedures will be emailed from the division in the coming weeks.

Drama Studios
The Drama Division will not require actors to be present in the building for any work during Block 1. However, actors may request, through the division, a drama studio for individual work or to take part in a drama class/rehearsal. No in-person scene or group work will be required or allowed during Block 1. Details will be emailed from the division in the coming weeks.

The Library will support online learning through a robust collection of digital resources, including databases on JUILCAT Plus, an expanded collection of e-books and full text journals, and scanning services. Beginning on August 31, we will offer curbside pick-up for physical materials. Further details will be forthcoming. Online reference service and reference chats will be available through LibAnswers.

Please send questions or requests to [email protected]. Access to reading rooms, special collections, and the media center will be provided on a limited basis beginning in Block 2.

Operations of the dining hall and other on-campus food services will be in accordance with New York State guidance. In the dining hall, there will initially be no customer-facing serving stations. Juilliard’s food service provider is working to ensure students have appropriate dietary options with three grab-and-go hot boxed meals per day. When safe, the dining facility will have limited serving stations open for meal periods. We will reopen seating in the dining area when it is deemed safe, with tables and chairs positioned for socially distanced eating. Regular cleaning and disinfecting practices throughout the dining facility will be enhanced according to guidelines.