WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2021

Dear Montserrat Community,

Happy New Year! I hope you all are enjoying your Winter Break and using this time to recharge and put your creativity to good use. The Fall Semester taught us a lot, and we’re ready to have the same success this Spring. 

We currently intend to start Spring Semester classes, as planned, on January 25th. However, with COVID cases on the rise as we come down from the holiday surge, we have decided that all Studio and Liberal Arts classes will be taught remotely for the first two weeks of the term (January 25th – February 5th).  

Although classes will be taught remotely to begin the semester, studios, labs and shops may be open with restrictions. For the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester ‘open’ classrooms in Hardie can be accessed once a student is out of quarantine. Specialized spaces that require a monitor including Printmaking, Photo, Sculpture and the Fabrication Lab are scheduled to open during the week of February 1st. Senior spaces  will open the end of the last week of January. Additional information is available in the ‘Studio Access’ section below. 

We have also implemented a revised academic calendar for the Spring, which removes the Spring Break in a further effort to keep our community safe. (Several days off from classes have been sprinkled throughout the term so that students still get the breaks that they need.)

We are planning a safe return of students to campus to ensure we can have everyone tested in order to start the semester on the right track. This update will outline our plan to safely open the campus for the Spring semester and remind everyone of the protocols in place. As always, we continue to monitor all of the guidance from public health and government officials and will be ready to pivot as needed. 

Be well,

President Kurt

RESOURCES 
Academic Access Studio  Meagan Grant 
Writing Center  Colleen Michaels 
Financial Aid  Joanne Rakoc  
Library Services   Cheri Coe  
Student Affairs   Maureen Wark 
Technology Services  cts@montserrat.edu
Health Services  sheryl.max@montserrat.edu
Registrar  theresa.skelly@montserrat.edu 

 … … …   

INTRODUCTION

Testing

One of the many efforts Montserrat College of Art is undertaking to help keep the community safe and healthy is to offer on-campus COVID-19 testing. Montserrat is working with the Safe for Schools Program with the Broad Institute for this testing program.

We are requiring COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff who will be living/studying/working on campus prior to the start of classes. Those members of the community who will be studying and working completely remotely do not need to be tested since they will not be returning to campus.

Commuter students, residents who are currently on campus, faculty and staff can be tested on campus on Wednesday, January 20th and Thursday, January 21st from 10am – 3pm. You do not need to ‘schedule’ an appointment, but it would be helpful to know if you are planning to come for testing on those days. Please complete this brief form (3 questions!) so that we can plan accordingly:  https://form.jotform.com/210116087797056

Resident students will be tested upon arrival for move-in. Move-in will be by appointment on January 23rd and January 24th, like in the fall. Each resident student will receive an email by Friday, January 15th with instructions on how to schedule a move-in time. Everyone moving in will need to get their COVID test upon arrival to campus, before moving in. Each resident may bring one person to help them move-in. 

MONTSERRAT SURVEILLANCE  COVID-19 TESTING  PROGRAM OVERVIEW

In addition to the start of classes testing, surveillance testing for COVID-19 will continue to be conducted throughout the spring semester for the community. 

Please note, this testing program is for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19. Any individual with any symptoms of COVID-19 should remain home and follow up with their medical practitioner for testing and complete isolation. If a student is symptomatic of COVID-19 during the registration process, they will be directed to return home and will need to submit documentation of testing and clearance from isolation before returning to campus.

Initial Surveillance COVID-19 testing will be done on campus. Resident students must quarantine until a negative test result is received.   

COVID-19 Testing procedure for the start of the semester: 

  1. On all testing days, masks and social distancing are required.
  2. Commuting students, faculty and staff will be tested on January 20 and January 21st. An email with details will be sent by January 15th.
  3. Resident students will be tested upon return to campus on January 23rd and January 24th, by appointment. Details will be sent via email by January 15th.
  4. Everyone being tested will be given verbal instructions on the process and on receiving results.
  5. At check-in, each participant will confirm their name, date of birth and phone number.
  6. For the spring semester, there is no need to sign a consent form unless you are new to the process. New students under the age of 18 are required to have a consent form for testing completed by a parent or guardian. 
  7. Once checked in, the participant will receive a test tube with a barcoded label on it and be directed to the next station. The Participant will proceed to the next station to blow their nose and sanitize their hands.                                                                       
  8. Participants will then move to the self-swab testing station. The Montserrat Health Director or designee will observe the participant performing the self nasal swab and ensure that proper technique is being followed. During testing, the testing staff and participants will remain 6 ft apart and wear face masks, and will be separated by a plexiglass barrier as a safety precaution. 
  9. AT THE START OF THE SEMESTER ONLY, each participant must quarantine after taking the test. Residential students will proceed to move into their assigned apartments and begin quarantine until their COVID test results are received. Masks should be worn by everyone in the apartment until everyone in the apartment receives a negative test result. Commuting students, faculty and staff will return home and await their COVID test results. 

TESTING RESULTS:

  1. Testing results will be reported within 24 to 48 hours via CareEvolve, which is the webportal used by BROAD testing program. Participants will be sent an email from CareEvolve with a link for registration into the system, which allows you access to your results. 
  2. Only negative results will be reported to participants. Positive results will be sent to the campus Health Office, as well as to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the  Beverly Department of Health.  You will be contacted via telephone at the phone number you enter during testing registration if you have a positive result.  

ON-GOING SURVEILLANCE TESTING

Based on updated guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Montserrat will be performing COVID testing approximately every 10 days during the spring semester. The testing schedule will be released during the first week of the semester. This testing will be mandatory for all resident students and available to those who fall under the ‘highest risk’ category:

Highest risk: Residential students and individuals with high contact hours with residential students. Individuals with limited contact hours with residential students who have medically defined risk factors for severe COVID illness. 

Monthly surveillance testing will continue to be offered for those community members who fall into the ‘medium or low risk’ categories, as defined here:

Medium risk: Nonresidential individuals who commute to campus, have limited contact hours with residential students, and work in environments with appropriate protocols to limit the spread of infection.

Low risk: Staff who commute to campus who have little or no contact with students and others working in environments with appropriate protocols to limit the spread of infection. 

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID and/or WERE IN CLOSE CONTACT OF SOMEONE WHO TESTED POSITIVE: Anyone who indicates that they are experiencing any symptoms or that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID should reach out to COVID-19@montserrat.edu IMMEDIATELY so that there can be a follow-up conversation with the Health Director.

DAILY SYMPTOM CHECK:

Every community member is REQUIRED to use a free symptom checker app called CampusClear for daily checks, etc. This symptom checker can help to identify an individual who needs to be in quarantine or if medical follow up care is necessary. The app usage is checked daily. The app is CampusClear and you can download it now so that now you can get used to incorporating this task into your daily routine! There is also a web version. 

Apple AppStore: https://apps.apple.com/app/campusclear/id1516163872
Google Play:            https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.campusclear
Web app: https://ivy.ai/app/campusclear

 

This app does not use GPS.  

Cleaning of Campus

We have added weekend cleaning and sanitizing of Hardie, 248 Cabot St and 301 Cabot St to the schedule. We continue to follow CDC guidelines in terms of process and products purchased.

Out-of-State Travel Guidance

Please consult the Mass.gov website for UP-TO-DATE travel information. At this writing, the Commonwealth is identifying only 1 ‘low-risk’ state (Hawaii), but this could change. If you are coming from a low-risk state, you do not need to do anything other than what is stated above in the ‘Testing’ section. If you are coming from a ‘high risk’ state, you must follow all guidance on this page: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order#lower-risk-states-.

If you are travelling back to campus via plane, train or bus, you will be tested on campus upon arrival for the spring semester and again 5 days later. A negative test result ONLY from the on-campus test will cancel the need for the 14 day travel quarantine.  More details will be provided as the testing period gets closer.

FOR STUDENTS

Academic Schedules

It was an important part of the Spring 2021 course registration process that students had choices in the classes they selected AND in the way they chose to take classes. It is our intention to honor all of those choices in the best way possible.  Should students need to make adjustments in their schedules because their own personal circumstances have changed, please contact Laura Ives, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, by emailing laura.ives@monttserrat.edu.  If Montserrat is required to adjust any of its plans because of the ongoing pandemic, students will be contacted as quickly as possible.  

Students may also contact Alex Carley, the Academic Affairs Coordinator, to set up a call regarding their classes or any other class related issues by emailing alexandra.carley@montserrat.edu or calling 978-921-4242 ext. 1602.

Out-of-Class Studio Access

A list of workspaces will be provided at the beginning of the semester where commuter and resident students may access a remote class from somewhere on campus. In addition, ‘open’ studios will be available in the evenings and on the weekends. Resident students will be permitted to do some studio work in their apartments.

Specialized spaces that require a monitor, including Printmaking, Photo, Sculpture and the Fabrication Lab, are scheduled to  open during the week of February 1st. Senior spaces will open the end of the last week of January. Restricted areas may be accessed before those times to retrieve materials and supplies by making an appointment M-F 11:00 am-12:10 pm with the relevant Technicians and Staff. 

Fabrication Lab: Winslow Funaki winslow.funaki@montserrat.edu
Printmaking  and Photography: Joe Saunders joseph.saunders@montserrat.edu
Sculpture: Holly Kelly holly.kelly@montserrat.edu 
Senior Workspaces: Stacy Thomas-Vickory stacy.thomas-vickory@montserrat.edu