/ COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

This page contains information for the Curtis community as we work towards reopening the campus this fall. Community members should plan to revisit this page regularly for updates.

The information below is current as of June 4, 2021.

Reentry and Reopening Plan 

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Fall 2021 Semester FAQ 

Students

Curtis has a strong expectation that all members of the community (students, staff, and faculty) will return to campus fully immunized or get vaccinated at the Curtis vaccine clinics on August 27 (1st dose of Pfizer) and September 17 (2nd dose of Pfizer). The only legitimate exemptions from this expectation are a medical contraindication to vaccination, a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA/Rehabilitation Act, or religious or personally held beliefs protected under Title VII.

The immunization requirement will be re-evaluated once COVID-19 vaccines move from their current categorization of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to full FDA approval.

At this time, Curtis recognizes those vaccines which have received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) or have been pre-qualified for Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organization (AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinovac).

Curtis will continue to follow all local, state, and national guidelines with respect to COVID-19 mitigation. As the Curtis community achieves full immunization and the above guidelines change, protocols will be updated as appropriate.

All students will have the opportunity to participate in in-person lessons, coachings, and ensembles. Conservative distancing guidelines will be in place until the community is fully vaccinated. At that point, guidelines will be re-evaluated.

On-site required testing may be scheduled based on the most current local, state, and national guidance. All Curtis community members are expected to comply. 

Yes. The fall semester will be segmented into three portions to account for the time it will take for the community to achieve full immunization. This will also provide the opportunity to (re)build the orchestra from the inside out.

The initial segment of the semester will focus on individual coachings, mock auditions, studio classes, chamber ensembles (all instrumental departments), and reduced string orchestras, and will prioritize individual and small group learning. Full immunization should be accomplished as we move into October. At that point, full sectionals (strings, wind, brass, and percussion) will be added to the above offerings, and there will be performance/recording opportunities for string orchestra, wind ensemble, and brass and percussion ensemble. As the semester moves forward, students will have a variety of orchestral opportunities.

Curtis will continue to prioritize COVID-19 mitigation efforts and follow local, state, and national guidance as it changes.

Yes, recitals will take place. Current COVID protocols and room capacity restrictions will be the most pertinent factors in determining when in-person audience attendance will resume. In the interim, recitals will be streamed online.  

Students in the vocal studies department will have a large-scale workshop opportunity in addition to a film project during the fall semester. Two fully-staged productions are planned for the spring semester. 

Yes. Curtis students will have the opportunity to play/sing for guest artists, both in-person and remotely.  

All nonimmigrant students are eligible to return to the United States in the fall. Each student should consult with Dean Tarditi to ensure they are in possession of valid documents. The USCIS guidance issued in March 2020 will remain in effect through the 2021–22 school year, which affords international students the flexibility to study fully online, in a hybrid modality, or fully in-person and maintain status. 

Yes, but for the fall semester, 1726 Locust Street will be unavailable. The reduction in available space necessitates a room reservation system. Details of Fall 2021 procedures will be shared as the new school year gets closer.  

Yes. For the fall semester Gould Dining Hall and Locks Board Room will be set up to accommodate in-person dining.   

Please speak with Veronica McAuley about your unique situation.

  • $1,750 Comprehensive Fee
  • $4,180 Health Insurance
  • $1,265 Health Services Fee
  • $2,000 COVID-19 Fee
  • $100 Library (New Students Only)
  • $100 Instrument Deposit/Piano $300 (New Students Only)
  • On-Site Testing (as scheduled or deemed appropriate)
  • Vaccine Day Clinics
  • Rapid tests at Vybe (as needed)
  • PPE supplies
  • Additional housekeeping around campus
  • Quarantine spaces/accommodations

Curtis understands that there may be restrictions or concerns that make returning to campus impractical or even impossible for the fall. The school is now accredited to offer courses through distance education. Students unable to travel to Philadelphia will be able to continue their studies remotely to provide as much access as possible. If you will not be returning to Philadelphia in the fall, please be sure to communicate your plans with Dean Bryan so you can be accommodated. 

If you are fully vaccinated by the time you move in, then no. If you are not fully vaccinated and exhibit any of the following symptoms, you should immediately get a COVID-19 test, and self-quarantine until you receive the results of that test:

  • 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

Both new and returning residents will be assigned a specific move-in day and time frame:

  • New and second year students will move into Lenfest Hall on Friday, August 20 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • All other returning students will move into Lenfest Hall on Thursday, August 26 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Peer Ambassadors (PAs) will have specific move-in days that apply to their roles.

Only student residents will be permitted into the residential floors of Lenfest Hall on their move-in day. No parents/guests will be permitted to assist with move-in. Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Peer Ambassadors (PAs) will assist residents with their move into the residence hall.

Curtis will have rooms on hold at a nearby hotel for quarantine/isolation purposes.  

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)

Currently, these requirements are being reviewed. 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 fall semester.

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

The fall 2021 semester course guide has been distributed and posted to the Curtis Portal. Academic advising will take place during the weeks of May 24 and 31, and online course registration will begin Monday, June 7. 

Each Curtis faculty member will determine their mode(s) of instruction. Many will choose to teach in-person while some will offer their courses online using a balance of synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods. The reduction in available space and COVID protocols will necessitate an overall class schedule that makes use of mornings, afternoons, and evenings.   

Library services and a schedule of operation will be determined as we approach the fall semester.

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, please contact the Orchestra Librarian, elaine.li@curtis.edu.

Textbook information will be released as the schedule and mode of instruction for each class is determined.  

Penn has not yet announced if the Quaker Consortium (reciprocal program) will be operating in Fall 2021.    

Students will receive a list of recommended technology (potentially department-specific), such as a laptop, external mic, headphones, etc. Students can opt-in to some or all of this equipment which Curtis will purchase. Expenses would be added to student invoices and could be off-set by need-based technology grants through financial assistance awards. 

Yes.  Physical wellness services, such as Alexander Technique and chiropractic care, can be provided safely within these guidelines. Penn Student Health Services will be fully open and operational for in-person visits with a physician or nurse. Mental health services will remain available via telehealth and may occur in person at the discretion of the clinician. Various other wellness programs will be offered remotely and in-person as capacity allows. Any student with a health or wellness need may contact a member of the Student Life team for assistance.

Faculty

Faculty should communicate requests directly to Darin Kelly, registrar. Mr. Kelly will advise on space availability and assignment. 

No. With 1726 undergoing modernization through the end of 2021, spaces on campus for students to practice are at a premium. We respectfully ask that practice facilities be reserved for student use during the fall semester. 

No. While 1726 is undergoing modernization, space on campus is at a premium and must be reserved for Curtis use only.   

If you need additional equipment or assistance, please contact Dean Bryan. Curtis may be able to subsidize the purchase of resources necessary to be fully engaged in the online delivery of lessons, coachings, and classes. 

Faculty may continue to choose from numerous methods to engage with students—in-person lessons, coachings, and classes; virtual activities held synchronously; content and work being done asynchronously, including e-mail and posting materials, lectures, and homework to Canvas. The reduction in available space and COVID protocols will necessitate an overall class schedule that makes use of mornings, afternoons, and evenings. 

Library services and a schedule of operation will be determined as we approach the fall semester. 

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

Textbook information will be released as the schedule and mode of instruction for each class is determined. 

Curtis has a strong expectation that all members of the community (students, staff, and faculty) will return to campus fully immunized or get vaccinated at the Curtis vaccine clinics on August 27 (1st dose of Pfizer) and September 17 (2nd dose of Pfizer). The only legitimate exemptions from this expectation are a medical contraindication to vaccination, a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA/Rehabilitation Act, or religious or personally held beliefs protected under Title VII.

The immunization requirement will be re-evaluated once COVID-19 vaccines move from their current categorization of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to full FDA approval.

At this time, Curtis recognizes those vaccines which have received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) or have been pre-qualified for Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organization (AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinovac).

Curtis will continue to follow all local, state, and national guidelines with respect to COVID-19 mitigation. As the Curtis community achieves full immunization and the above guidelines change, protocols will be updated as appropriate.

All students will have the opportunity to participate in in-person lessons, coachings, and ensembles. Conservative distancing guidelines will be in place until the community is fully vaccinated. At that point, guidelines will be re-evaluated.

On-site required testing may be scheduled based on the most current local, state, and national guidance. All Curtis community members are expected to comply. 

If a faculty 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. 

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 supports staff working 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 Kim Gould about your specific situation.

Going forward, in consultation with managers and employees, the Human Resources Office will categorize staff according to their need to come to campus for essential work functions. Essential staff will be expected to work on campus five days per week in their designated workspace and will be categorized as fully on-campus employees. Most staff will have a hybrid schedule of working part-time on campus and part-time from home. There will be two categories of hybrid employees: the first will work three to four days per week on campus in their designated workspaces; employees in the second hybrid category the second will work one to two days per week on campus in a shared workspace. A last small group of selected staff members will be designated as fully remote and will work from home five days per week.

Any staff member needing access to campus, whether on a regularly-scheduled basis or for a one-time visit, must contact Nan Alderson at least one business day prior to arrival (preferably more).

Anyone entering the Curtis campus is required to self-assess their own symptoms. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested and stay home and away from others.

Staff should practice social distancing while on campus, maintaining the CDC-recommended physical distance as much as possible.

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

Curtis has a strong expectation that all members of the community (students, staff, and faculty) will return to campus fully immunized or get vaccinated at the Curtis vaccine clinics on August 27 (1st dose of Pfizer) and September 17 (2nd dose of Pfizer). The only legitimate exemptions from this expectation are a medical contraindication to vaccination, a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA/Rehabilitation Act, or religious or personally held beliefs protected under Title VII.

The immunization requirement will be re-evaluated once COVID-19 vaccines move from their current categorization of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to full FDA approval.

At this time, Curtis recognizes those vaccines which have received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) or have been pre-qualified for Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organization (AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinovac).

Curtis will continue to follow all local, state, and national guidelines with respect to COVID-19 mitigation. As the Curtis community achieves full immunization and the above guidelines change, protocols will be updated, appropriately.

Conservative distancing guidelines will be in place until the community is fully vaccinated. At that point, guidelines will be re-evaluated.

On-site required testing may be scheduled based on the most current local, state, and national guidance. All Curtis community members are expected to comply. 

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. 

No. With 1726 undergoing modernization through the end of 2021, spaces on campus for students to practice are at a premium. We respectfully ask that practice facilities be reserved for student use during the fall semester. 

Audiences and Prospective Students

Yes. Our plans are predicated on a number of external factors, but we do intend to resume in-person performances in the 2021–22 school year. Ensuring the health and safety of all those in our community, however, remains our first priority. We look forward to welcoming back our audiences as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the interim, Curtis will continue to present a robust schedule of streamed performances online. A variety of content is also available on-demand throughout the year on Curtis’s YouTube channel.

Performance information for the 2021–22 school year will be announced in the coming weeks, and the schedule will be available on Curtis.edu/Calendar.

Yes. Auditions will consist of pre-recorded submissions, interviews, and live virtual auditions during February and March 2022. Please visit Curtis.edu to see repertoire, eligibility, and guidelines for each department, and e-mail admissions@curtis.edu with any questions. 

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. These requirements will be re-examined for the 2021–22 admissions process. 

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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