Welcome back to the start of Block 3 and spring semester classes—we hope that everyone had an opportunity to rest and unplug during the break. We are at a critical stage of this pandemic. While there remain many limitations on what we can do, there is much to look forward to in the coming months. In Block 3, we’ll begin livestreaming student graduation recitals (a first for Juilliard!), continue to capture video of in-person performance work across all three divisions, launch new virtual projects, host guest artists from across the globe, and enrich ourselves with a new set of academic classes.
As a reminder, your active, ongoing commitment to our Community Pledge is vital to our continued success and to our ability to keep working together in person. This is as true now as it has been at any point this year. As we start Block 3 performance work and spring semester classes, we ask that you review and recommit to the safety protocols found in the Community Pledge, take extra precautions to avoid risky gatherings outside of school, and adhere to all testing requirements. Aside from the very clear health risks involved, it only takes one positive case to put an entire project’s worth of students, faculty, and staff into quarantine for 10 days.
This email will provide you with important information and updates regarding Block 3 and the spring semester, including an announcement that we are offering students three different options for participation in the spring semester, including an option of being fully online for those students who face travel difficulties or who have health concerns about working in-person. Details on these options can be found below, along with:
- Updates on Juilliard testing and cases
- Vaccine information
- Options for remote learning in the spring semester
- International travel regulations
- Financial aid/billing information
- Residence Life information
- Information for international students
In addition, we want to remind everyone that the Diamond Building will be closed to all on Monday, January 18, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day—this includes access to the practice rooms and studios. In addition, there are a number of community events planned next week to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. You will receive an email tomorrow from the President’s Office with the complete schedule.
While the new year brings hopes of renewal and recovery, we also wanted to acknowledge the continued uncertainty, disruption, and pain caused by COVID-19 as well as the continued economic, political, and social upheaval that is impacting so many. In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to lean on each other for support, community, and purpose. If you have questions, concerns, or need further support, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office or to any of the other support services offered by the school.
Updates on Juilliard testing and cases
Last week, Juilliard provided baseline testing for over 400 members of the community and we are happy to report that, in that group of tests, we had a less than 1 percent positivity rate. This week we have again tested over 450 community members as part of our weekly surveillance testing, and results are quickly coming back from our testing provider. I am also happy to report that, to date, we have seen no community spread from any of our positive cases this entire year. As a reminder, all Block 3 building users are required to submit a baseline test prior to first entry. We will continue to provide free weekly testing for all in-person participants moving forward.
It is also true that COVID-19 cases in New York and around the country continue to rise. While there has also been an uptick in cases within the Juilliard community in the last two weeks, the vast majority of these cases were either asymptomatic cases caught as part of our baseline testing or were community members who have not been in the building since before the winter break. In keeping with our protocols, those who have tested positive are required to isolate until cleared by our Covid Response and health office teams. The cases from the last three weeks have resulted in a very small number of Juilliard-related contacts, all of whom are also required to quarantine and have undergone additional testing. If you have not received a call from our Covid Response Team, you are not considered a contact of a positive case and there is no further action you need to take.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout becomes an increasingly important part of our ability to return to more normal work modes, we are committed to providing information and updates as we learn about vaccine eligibility for those in higher education. We are actively in contact with sources who have direct knowledge of the rollout plan to get clarification and the most current information as well as to advocate for additional groups of students, faculty, and staff to be included in the eligible groups.
At this time, anyone 65 years or older, college faculty teaching in-person, as well as certain higher education student health employees, are eligible for the initial dose of a vaccine.
You can sign up for updates on vaccine eligibility in New York State here, am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov
Options for remote learning in the spring semester
As you know, students already have the option to remain fully online during Block 3, and many spring semester academic courses (for example, those in Liberal Arts, Music Theory and Analysis, Music History, Graduate Studies, and Ear Training) began on January 11 and will run through Friday, April 23. In addition, we are announcing today that students who face difficulties getting to New York or who have health concerns about working in person may individually request to complete the spring semester fully online.
Students may select one of the following options:
- Hybrid learning: In-person performance work with academic classes remaining online for the entire spring semester (March 1–June 11)
- Learn online for the first half of the semester (March 1–April 23) and then be in person for the remainder of the semester (April 26–June 11)
- Learn online for the entire spring semester (March 1–June 11)
For those students who choose to remain online, ensemble, technique, rehearsal, and small-group studio work will be done online. This means that performance work, including juries and graduation recitals, will be replaced by virtual, individual, or written/research projects at the discretion of the student’s department.
To request options 2 or 3 above, please fill out this form. You do not need to take any action to opt into option 1. Your department will then be in touch with you to provide details on how performance-based work will be completed in the spring semester. We request that you fill out this form as soon as you know your plans—and no later than Monday, February 1. In order for us to plan spring semester activities, we ask that you adhere to this deadline.
International travel regulations
For those who must travel internationally, please be aware of a recent CDC order “requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than three days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative test result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.”
Financial aid/billing information
As a reminder, although some spring classes began on January 11, the official start date for spring semester is March 1, 2021. The Student Accounts Office will email students when spring account statements are ready to be viewed on WebAdvisor. Credit balances will be mailed to your preferred address after March 1, so please plan accordingly. Questions about billing, payment, or refunds should be directed to [email protected].
If you are experiencing any financial hardship, please contact the Office of Financial Aid ([email protected]) as soon as possible to discuss your options. We also encourage you to visit our emergency resources page for additional funding opportunities.
Residence Life information
The Residence Life Office will send a separate communication to residential students. Students who are not currently on a residential contract but wish to have on-campus housing for the spring should contact [email protected] to discuss availability.
Information for international students
In accordance with March 2020 guidance issued by SEVP, all international students are permitted to study remotely for the duration of the spring 2021 semester or in the hybrid model they choose. Please note the following:
- Continuing students: Students studying in the same academic program as of Spring 2020 may study remotely for the duration of the spring semester or in-person in the U.S. or their home country.
- Initial students: Students who are new to Juilliard and have not yet entered the U.S. are permitted to study online from their home country. If you choose to enter the U.S., you must report to campus for in-person requirements.
Graduating students interested in applying for OPT must be in the U.S. to apply. F-1 visa holders are not permitted to apply for OPT from abroad. An email from OIA (Office of International Advisement) will be sent shortly with information regarding upcoming town hall sessions to discuss the spring 2021 semester and answer any student questions.