Block 3 Update: January 6–February 23

Monday, Oct 26, 2020
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Dear students,

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying some downtime during the fall break. I’m writing today with additional information about online options for Block 3: January 6-February 23.

We believe we have a strong plan in place to offer a meaningful hybrid of online and in-person experiences in Block 2 and 3, and we are eager to have many of you back on campus next week for the start of in-person activities in Block 2. At the same time, we recognize that many students continue to face health and travel-related challenges. Approximately 25% of you made the decision to remain fully online in Block 2, and we know that many students remain concerned about returning for Block 3. In light of the evolving public health circumstances, we have made the determination that students may now also request to remain fully online for Block 3.

Block 3 Activities:

New York continues to have good success managing the virus, with positive test rates hovering at around 1% statewide, and under 1% in Manhattan. We believe the health and safety guidelines we have in place, including routine testing starting in Block 2, will allow for safe and meaningful in-person experiences. That said, in consultation with our medical consultants, we currently expect the physical distancing and travel restrictions to remain in place for at least the next several months. Therefore, we are planning for in-person performance opportunities in Block 3 to look very similar to Block 2. Because academic classes will have finished, there will be increased time in the schedule for performance-related work, however, we expect that work to remain in the form of small groups, and that there will be limited room and building capacity, and enforced room rest and mask requirements. For a reminder of what will be allowed in Block 2, please see this chart. Of course, we will continue to refine and adjust these plans as we learn from our work together in Block 2 as well as in response to changing health conditions. For questions about what will be offered in your division, please contact your departments.

Requests to Remain Online:

For Block 3, students who face difficulties getting to New York or who have health concerns about working in person may individually request to complete Block 3 fully online. For those students who choose this option, all Block 3 performance-based, technique, rehearsal, and small-group studio work will be done online. This will mean that Block 3 performance work will be replaced by virtual, individual, or written/research projects at the discretion of the student’s department.

If you feel you need to complete your Block 3 work online, please fill out this form. Your department will then be in touch with you to provide details on how performance-based work will be completed in Block 3. We request that you fill out this form as soon as you know your plans—and no later than Wednesday, November 11. In order to plan Block 3 activities, we ask that you adhere to this deadline.

Please note that students who choose to complete their Block 3 work online will not have access to the building.

An important note regarding the spring semester (starting on March 1):  At this time, the expectation is that all students will be able to return for in-person work in the spring semester, although circumstances will likely require us to use a hybrid model that mixes in-person and online experiences. We are closely monitoring progress on testing and treatment options, scientific studies of the performing arts, government guidance, and vaccine development to help us determine a plan for the spring semester.

Residence Hall and International Students:

Students assigned to a room in the Residence Hall should contact [email protected] for more information about how remaining online for Block 3 will impact your on-campus housing status.

International students who remain fully online in Blocks 2 and 3 may face visa-related complications, depending on your individual situation. The Office of International Advisement will follow up with you shortly with further details and guidance so that you can make an informed decision. This will include a potential option for our students currently in China to complete some of their work at our newly opened campus in Tianjin.

Block 3 Quarantine Reminder:

In-person students who are required to quarantine before the start of Block 3—including those who have traveled during the holiday break to locations requiring a quarantine—should plan to travel to New York on or before December 28, which will allow you to finish your quarantine by Sunday, January 10. Students living in the Residence Hall will be allowed to complete this quarantine in their room and should plan to return no earlier than December 28. Please note that any student who has to quarantine will complete the first three days of Block 3 (January 6-8) online while in quarantine, which your department will accommodate. All students who travel during the winter break should fill out the required travel form. Residential students who wish to quarantine off-campus will need to provide details on the quarantine location on the travel form. More information will be provided closer to the start of Block 3.

Block 2 Reminders:

If you are planning to participate in-person for Block 2, please be sure you read and understand the current testing and quarantine requirements, found in the “Health and Safety Update” section of the website. New students must also submit all required health forms. You will not be granted access to the building until you have completed these requirements—these steps are detailed in the “Block 2 Building Use and Activities Guidelines” section of the website. Please note that it may take 1-2 business days to receive your approval email after submitting all your requirements. We encourage you to submit these requirements as soon as possible so that we have time to process all requests. 

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to your artistic craft, and to the health and safety of the community. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].
Adam Meyer