/ COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

This information will be updated as developments related to the COVID-19 health crisis arise.

From the Office of the President

NOVEMBER 20, 2020 LETTER

 

Spring 2021 Semester FAQ

The below information is current as of November 20, 2020. Please plan to revisit this page frequently for updates. 

Students

While schedules may be altered as needed, Thursday and Friday evenings will continue to be set aside for orchestra and chamber music activities, respectively. Students are encouraged to complete the fall 2020 semester online learning survey (sent by e-mail on November 20) to share their thoughts on these and other opportunities.

The Frequently Asked Questions have communicated Curtis’s intention to support regional chamber music “pods,” allowing students who are located near one another to practice and coach together, safely. Curtis will assist pianists and string players on a case-by-case basis to facilitate their possible face-to-face work together. Please note the following guidelines:

  • Participation in a “pod” is voluntary. There are a variety of reasons a pianist or string player might be uncomfortable or unable to participate, any/all of which will be respected.
  • Each group must conform to the local, state, and national recommendations/restrictions in their area.
  • Each potential group will work with Dean Bryan to gain access to a space in their area conducive to a safe experience. Curtis-sponsored groups may not rehearse or coach in a private residence.
  • Masking and social distancing guidelines must be followed.

Yes, recitals will continue to take place this year, recorded from home and streamed online. 

Students in the vocal studies department will continue to have remote lessons and coachings. The department will also participate in streamed recitals and other special performing projects. Students are encouraged to complete the fall 2020 semester online learning survey (sent by e-mail on November 20) to share their thoughts on these and other opportunities. 

Yes. It will be possible for Curtis students to have the opportunity to virtually engage and remotely play/sing for guest artists.

At this time, the status of nonimmigrant students is unaffected by Curtis’s all-remote status. If this information changes, affected students will be contacted by Meredith Tarditi. 

Gould Rehearsal Hall (GRH) and the Dining Hall are available on a limited basis to pianists and/or string players residing in Philadelphia and must be reserved in advance through the Registrar. As a result of the additional restrictions announced by the City of Philadelphia on November 16, these spaces may be used by only one student at a time through at least January 1. Please see Dean Bryan’s e-mail message from November 18 for additional details. Access to Curtis spaces will continue to be updated based on local and state restrictions.

Curtis will continue to make supplemental grant payments to qualifying off-campus students who have an approved and executed financial aid award for the 2020–21 school year. Dining grants and on-campus employment will continue to be disbursed to off-campus students on a monthly basis. Loans will still be available. Housing and dining grants will not be disbursed to on-campus residents. Some remote employment opportunities may be available.

Please speak with Veronica McAuley about your unique situation.

The comprehensive fee and student health services fee will both remain in place. 

  • Any student residing in the U.S. during the spring semester must be covered by a health insurance policy and will, therefore, be billed for Curtis’s student health insurance. Those students who are insured through a parent or family member should complete the insurance waiver process to have that charge removed from their statement.
  • Students residing outside of the U.S. will not be billed for health insurance coverage this year.
  • Students who plan on changing their residential status (to or from the U.S.) at any point during the academic year should notify Nicholas Lewis (nicholas.lewis@curtis.edu) and Meredith Tarditi (meredith.tarditi@curtis.edu) in advance of making their travel plans.

If you already maintain an off-campus apartment, you may return to Philadelphia, subject to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. Note, however, that for the most part students will not be allowed access to campus for practice. (See above, “Can I practice on campus?”)

The Lenfest Hall residences will remain closed, so on-campus housing is not available.

Guidance in this area will continue to change. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Philadelphia, please visit phila.gov/covid-19.

As announced by the City of Philadelphia on November 16, people traveling to Pennsylvania from outside the region must self-quarantine for 14 days unless they have tested negatively for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to arrival.

Consideration for enrollment in Curtis’s Bachelor of Music program requires:

  • A complete official high school or, if applicable, college transcript in English, with grades and graduation date
  • Official scores for the SAT—ALL PORTIONS OF THE EXAM ARE REQUIRED
  • Official scores for the TOEFL exam (for non-native speakers of English)

Curtis allows undergraduate diploma students to take up to two semester-long liberal arts courses prior to being considered for an official transfer to the Bachelor of Music program. Undergraduate diploma students may register for liberal arts classes if they have not yet exceeded the two-course maximum described above. Undergraduate diploma students who have reached the above course limit may take one liberal arts class in the spring semester.

We intend to maintain all academic courses as planned for the spring semester, so students in the final year of their programs will be able to complete their graduation requirements.

Students wishing to discuss deferring their enrollment should contact Dean Bryan. Each student’s unique situation will be considered in making a determination.

The spring semester course guide will be released shortly after the fall break week. Advising sessions will be held in December.

As with the fall semester, spring semester classes will feature a balance of synchronous and asynchronous models of instruction. Faculty may choose from among numerous methods to engage with students asynchronously including e-mail and posting materials, lectures, and homework to Canvas.

Faculty members have been requested to teach or provide one session per week of “live” synchronous interaction via phone, Canvas Conference features, or an online platform such as Zoom or Google Hangouts.

These one- to two-hour live classes will be scheduled via the registrar, and their day and time will be consistent each week.

The Rock Resource Center is providing curbside pick-up and drop-off in Lenfest Hall for the Curtis community in the Philadelphia area and is providing limited scanning of materials for all Curtis community members outside the Philadelphia area. To request either a pick-up or scan please find the materials in the ROC (roc.curtis.edu) and fill out the request materials form. The library subscribes to Nkoda and Classical Scores Library for digital access to copyrighted music and is working with publishers to find additional ways to provide legal access to non-public domain music. Visit libguides.curtis.edu to access all other electronic resources including JSTOR, the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall, and many more.

Librarians and archivists are available by e-mail to assist with class help and library and archive resources at library@curtis.edu. If you have any questions about orchestra repertoire unavailable in digital resources, please contact the Orchestra Librarian, elaine.li@curtis.edu.

Curtis’s traditional grading system will continue to be used in the spring 2021 semester.

We are partnering with RedShelf to provide e-books for most classes. Other texts and resources for each course may be scanned and posted to Canvas.

Drew Schlegel and Mickey Welde have also put together instructional guides and videos which will be available through the library.

Penn has announced that they have suspended the Quaker Consortium (reciprocal) program for the spring semester.

Curtis has purchased tech equipment and keyboards for students as reported during the summer 2020 survey. If your circumstances have changed since you completed the survey, please reach out to infotech@curtis.edu for assistance. 

In addition to access to the members of the school’s mental health team, Curtis will offer gym membership reimbursements and remote opportunities in Alexander Technique and physical therapy. Ariel Weiss will provide a variety of ways for Curtis students to engage in Alexander Technique including a series of instructional videos, a weekly group class, and individual sessions, and Howard Nelson will continue to offer rotating physical therapy sessions by appointment.

Wellness resources are added to the Curtis Portal on an ongoing basis; students should check the Portal regularly for new information. Students also receive e-mails from Steven Couras and the Office of Residence Life with social, developmental, and engaging virtual programs and activities being offered to students.

Our plans are predicated on a number of external factors, but we hope to resume in-person instruction in the 2021–22 academic year. Ensuring the health and safety of all of our community members, however, remains our first priority.

Faculty

The use of Gould Rehearsal Hall and the Dining Hall is currently limited to one person. Please refer to Dean Bryan’s November 18 e-mail for further details. Access to Curtis spaces will continue to be updated based on local and state restrictions.

Please refer to “If I live in the Philadelphia area, can I teach from the campus?” above.

No. Non-Curtis students are not permitted on campus for any reason during the campus closure period. This includes prospective students, as campus tours will be conducted virtually.

Curtis has been working to provide faculty with the technological resources necessary to be fully engaged in their online lessons, coachings, and classes. Faculty are encouraged to compete the fall 2020 semester online teaching survey (sent by e-mail on November 20) to share their thoughts on these and other teaching-related matters. If your needs have changed, or you need additional equipment or assistance, please contact Dean Bryan. 

As with the fall semester, spring 2021 classes will feature a balance of synchronous and asynchronous models of instruction. Faculty may choose from among numerous methods to engage with students asynchronously including e-mail and posting materials, lectures, and homework to Canvas.

Faculty members have been requested to teach or provide one session per week of “live” synchronous interaction via phone, Canvas Conference features, or an online platform such as Zoom or Google Hangouts.

These one- to two-hour live classes will be scheduled via the registrar, and their day and time must be consistent each week. Students and faculty alike need regular, predictable times for online classes—as if we were teaching in person. Any request for an exception to the one synchronous meeting per week will be discussed and determined within the context of the overall school schedule.

The Rock Resource Center is providing curbside pick-up and drop-off in Lenfest Hall for the Curtis community in the Philadelphia area and is providing limited scanning of materials for all Curtis community members outside the Philadelphia area. To request either a pick-up or scan please find the materials in the ROC (roc.curtis.edu) and fill out the request materials form. The library subscribes to Nkoda and Classical Scores Library for digital access to copyrighted music and is working with publishers to find additional ways to provide legal access to non-public domain music. Visit libguides.curtis.edu to access all other electronic resources including JSTOR, the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall and many more. Librarians and archivists are available by e-mail to assist with library and archive resources at library@curtis.edu.

We are partnering with RedShelf to provide e-books for most class needs. Other texts and resources may be scanned and posted to Canvas for each course. Contact Emily Waters if you have questions about textbooks.

The Rock Resource Center is providing limited scanning of materials for Curtis community members outside the Philadelphia area. To request a scan please find the materials in the ROC (roc.curtis.edu) and fill out the request materials form.

Our plans are predicated on a number of external factors, but we hope to resume in-person instruction in the 2021–22 academic year. Ensuring the health and safety of all of our community members, however, remains our first priority. 

Staff

We are finding that working from home benefits staff in many ways. Even after the pandemic is over, we will be an organization that encourages that staff work from home when possible.

Curtis has been working with staff to provide necessary equipment and reasonable accommodations to continue their remote work throughout the pandemic. If you believe you require additional, reasonable accommodations to continue your remote work, please speak with Kayla Dredden about your specific situation.

Going forward, we expect that most staff will work from home all or most of the time. 

Staff who are currently permitted to come to campus for essential work functions may continue to do so; however, these staff will only be permitted on campus based on a predetermined schedule. If you need one-time access, to retrieve items from your office, please contact Nan Alderson.

Anyone entering the Curtis campus is required to self-assess their own symptoms and is not permitted to enter the campus if they answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

  • Have you been within six feet of a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least five minutes, or had direct contact with their mucus or saliva in the past 14 days?

  • In the last 48 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms?

    • Fever of 100 F or above, or fever symptoms such as alternating chills and sweating
    • Cough
    • Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or severe wheezing
    • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle aches
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of smell or taste, or a change in taste
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Headache 

Face coverings must be worn at all times while inside Curtis campus buildings, except when alone in your office. Face coverings can be any covering that goes over both the mouth and nose, including but not limited to cloth masks, gaiters, and disposable surgical masks.

You should also practice social distancing while on campus, maintaining the CDC-recommended physical distance of 6 feet between you and the nearest person, as much as possible.

 

If a staff member who has been on campus tests positive for COVID-19, they must report their positive test confidentially to Human Resources, who will ask contact tracing questions to determine if any other Curtis community members may now be at risk. When speaking with other community members as part of a contact tracing procedure, Curtis will not release the name of the individual who tested positive. Curtis will simply inform those on the contact tracing list that an individual with whom they may have been in contact with recently has tested positive, that they should be monitoring their condition for the next two weeks while working from home, and should practice aggressive mitigation.

At this time, the facilities are not available for practicing, but some exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances. Please speak with Dean Bryan about your unique situation.

Our plans are predicated on a number of external factors, but we hope to resume in-person instruction in the 2021–22 academic year. Ensuring the health and safety of all of our community members, however, remains our first priority.

Audiences and Prospective Students

Curtis students are presenting a robust schedule of streamed recitals and concerts, available to the public at no charge. Please visit Curtis.edu/Calendar for the schedule of upcoming virtual performances and events. Visit Curtis’s YouTube channel for a variety of performance content available on-demand. 

Our plans are predicated on a number of external factors, but we hope to resume in-person activities in the 2021–22 academic year. Ensuring the health and safety of all those in our community, however, remains our first priority. 

Yes. While in-person auditions will not be possible this year, we will hold live virtual auditions in February and March 2021 in certain departments. Please visit Curtis.edu for more information. 

Due to the pandemic, Curtis will waive the necessity of presenting SAT and TOEFL scores for enrollment in Bachelor level classes for the 2021–22 academic year.

The Curtis campus is currently closed to visitors, including prospective students, alumni, donors, and audience members. In addition to our website, we invite you to enjoy the Curtis experience on social media (@CurtisInstitute), or to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter

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