COVID-19 Guidance for the Fletcher Community
The following information provides guidance to the Fletcher community on preparations and protocol relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Our goal is to provide current and transparent communication to Fletcher faculty, staff and students. Please check back regularly for updates and visit emergency.tufts.edu/coronavirus for further information from Tufts University.
Please visit Tufts University’s Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to questions surrounding COVID-19.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has been identified as having a potential or positive COVID-19 diagnosis, email email@example.com immediately. For more public health and medical guidance relating to COVID-19, please visit Tufts University's Public Health & Medical Issues FAQ.
Please note, on March 23, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. Read more
Community Updates and Resources
March 26, 2020
Dear Members of the Fletcher Community,
We are nearing the end of our first week of a completely online operation, which I’m pleased to say is going smoothly thanks to everyone’s hard work, agility and commitment to a Fletcher learning environment by remote. Additionally, I’m heartened by the kindnesses witnessed across the community everyone worked tirelessly to ensure that our transition worked for everyone. We continue to look ahead at ways to improve our processes, to optimize the remote experience for Fletcher students, faculty, and staff and to refine and perfect our teaching, learning and togetherness while apart.
What follows below are new and important updates for our community.
Tufts University President Tony Monaco’s issued a letter moments ago announcing the cancelation of this year’s Commencement ceremonies https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/03-26-2020-commencement/
In expectation of this decision, a Fletcher team is already working on plans for a virtual commencement celebration that will include key elements we associate with this special occasion.
Our plan is for a dynamic, inclusive and indisputably Fletcher ceremony that will be meaningful, and memorable for all the right reasons, as well as for our dislocation. We will be tapping into our community of students, faculty, and staff for your ideas. If you have ideas please submit them here and the team will get back to you. We are often at our most imaginative and innovative when faced with extraordinary constraints. I know this is not what the class of 2020 imagined, and we empathize you . Together we can make another indelible mark in Fletcher’s history.
The commencement team will report back in the coming weeks as plans develop.
School by school across Tufts, the administration and faculties have been looking carefully at grading flexibility, recognizing that COVID-19 is adding strain to students at a critical time of the academic year. At The Fletcher School, the faculty has met and decided to allow students to choose Pass/Fail on a course by course basis. This choice, which will be confidential between the student and the Registrar, should be conveyed to the Registrar by April 17.
Fletcher Hardship Fund
In the last community update on March 22, we reported the creation of a Hardship Fund for Fletcher Students to help those with unexpected financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. We have created a dedicated email address for applications or questions about the Fund. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tufts Community Response Volunteer Groups
Fletcher military fellows, students, faculty and staff have already shown true civil engagement, a commitment to voluntary action and a dedication to service to the University and the communities around us. Many of you continue to enquire how you can help alongside your studies and work.
On behalf of the University, Tisch College has created an online platform dedicated to volunteer efforts. All volunteer efforts across the University are being coordinated through this platform. Through this platform Tufts students and staff who could be deployed will be organized and trained, if/when they are needed, either virtually or in-person (health, safety and state or local travel restrictions permitting), to support response efforts on our campus and in partnership with our host communities. The types of tasks are still under development and will be based on community needs. If you wish to volunteer and would like to learn more about joining these efforts, please follow the instructions on Tufts Community Response Volunteer Groups web page.
Keeping in touch - Town Hall
I’d like to invite students to a virtual town hall next Friday, April 3 at 1 – 3pm. I will provide updates on where we are in this online environment and will be happy to take questions and hear how everyone is doing. Staff and faculty are invited to join to listen in and answer questions where relevant too. Please save this date and time and keep an eye out for further details early next week.
The pandemic is at different stages of its progression in different countries around the world and in different states in the US. I am sure, as international leaders and as those committed to a safer world, you have friends, family and colleagues in many places in the world. As each one of us deals with the stresses and strains of the virus and its economic consequences, as well as the traditional stresses and strains of education and scholarship, we will continue to be mindful of each other’s circumstances.
On a global webinar (in lieu of a conference) yesterday, Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England, and now a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General noted that if the virus was a war, then we should be committed to winning the peace. We can imagine that on the other side of the virus, somethings will be permanently changed. That they should be changed for the better is our work as Fletcher Faculty, staff, students and alumni.
I will continue to keep you updated via these community updates, which you may also find – along with links to helpful resources – on our COVID-19 website.
Rachel Kyte CMG
March 22, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Spring break is coming to an end in an extraordinary time. I hope that wherever you are in the world you are safe, following local public health guidance, and adjusting to this new way of living as the world struggles to respond to COVID-19.
In a relatively short period of time we have readied Fletcher to be able to operate online or remotely. This has meant inconveniences small and large, a great deal of adaptation and considerable learning. I am proud of our agility and our collective strength. We will inevitably identify more challenges in the days and weeks to come. However, I am confident that for each one, we will find a solution with the systems we have put in place. Our team is looking at the horizon and thinking ahead while at same time operating in this new way.
What follows are clarifications and reminders of how we will be operating.
The Fletcher schedule
The Fletcher School will be operating on the same schedule as before the virus forced changes in operations. We realize that for some people this will mean classes at inconvenient times of the day and night, and we thank you for your flexibility. The faculty have been working hard to develop the remainder of their courses with synchronous and asynchronous teaching and interaction. Please contact individual faculty members if the schedule causes you significant problems.
Policy on grading
We are aware that other academic institutions are changing their policies on grading. Fletcher, as well as other schools at Tufts, is examining this issue and we expect to inform students of any policy accommodation in the next few days.
Faculty have worked hard since March 10 to be proficient in Zoom and have put large amounts of material onto Canvas. Staff too are proficient in Zoom.
We will continue to offer trainings for Faculty through Fletcher, and we have increased other forms of assistance to Faculty to ensure that they have the support they need. Tufts is offering additional training workshops and virtual drop-in sessions on working and teaching remotely for all levels of aptitude.
Tufts also has extended Zoom licenses to all students so please make sure to activate your Zoom account to take advantage of what the platform offers. Helpful information and best practices for transitioning to an online environment are available on the Tufts Technology Services web site.
Please note that Zoom is compliant with Massachusetts law on two-party consent. Some online classes may be recorded to accommodate students working across different time zones who may not be able to attend classes at the scheduled times. Professors who will be recording their classes will inform their students in advance.
Fletcher Hardship Fund
During this challenging time, some students may experience unexpected financial hardships. In response, I have reached out to our alumni for support, and we have created a Hardship Fund for Fletcher Students. Resources will be limited, but we will try to respond to as many requests as possible. Hardship Fund awards will be considered for those who have experienced immediate financial disruption as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, such as costs associated with housing accommodation, travel, or disruptions to employment. Students may also have unexpected expenses related to the technology needed to move to a virtual learning environment or commuting costs. When issuing Hardship awards, please note that we will take into consideration financial information on file with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. In the coming days, look for an email address for information and application to the Fund.
As the situation relating to the pandemic evolves, we will continue to share community updates on our COVID-19 website. Tufts has created a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page to answer medical questions.
Moving forward as a community
Solving interconnected complex problems is what we train for at Fletcher and that remains evident in the midst of this crisis. Tufts UniversityPresident Tony Monaco’s op-ed in The Boston Globe on Wednesday, March 18 called this our “Dunkirk moment.” He outlined the role Tufts is playing in the wider community and the leading role Fletcher plays within that. Since that op-ed, our military fellows have deployed strategic support to decision-making, problem-solving and communications across the Tufts crisis response, as well as managed numerous incoming requests for additional support. In addition, they have helped coordinate Fletcher student volunteers who, without hesitation, offered their support. Our volunteers have helped with real-time solutions in supplying PPEs to medical personnel at Tufts Medical Center and beyond, among other efforts.
President Monaco is offering our expertise and approach to planning and response to the broader community. In the weeks to come, Tufts will continue to provide support to the communities that surround us, together with other universities and hospitals in the area, to bolster response efforts and provide support to city and state planning efforts.
Our faculty and other members of the Fletcher community have been active voices in the media on COVID-19, showcasing the true multidisciplinary nature of our expertise.
And our staff, with meagre resources, continue to work tirelessly to train/support faculty and students to ensure the semester continues seamlessly online. I am proud of our Fletcher team.
Documenting what we learn, continual improvement, and agility in management are best practices that we teach. Now we are living them in a way that most of us did not expect. We should take care of each other to ensure our team’s overall resilience.
Here’s to a safe semester and the unexpected riches that may come with new discoveries from the next few weeks online.
Rachel Kyte CMG
March 19, 2020
Dear Tufts students,
I am writing for two reasons. First, I want to ensure that you are fully aware of all the ways in which we are here to support you. This is an unprecedented and difficult time for our Tufts community, and I appreciate all of the changes you have endured this past week. I am thankful for our outstanding faculty and staff who are working diligently to move our courses and infrastructure online, and I am especially grateful for each of you and your patience. I know that beyond dealing with disruptions to your coursework, research, study abroad, and many other activities you were engaged in while on campus, you are also dealing with being away from your friends. Please know that despite the distance, we are still connected and Tufts is here to offer you help and support.
Allow me to remind and reassure you that, in addition to the support you may rely on from the faculty members whose courses you are taking and with whom you are working right now, the university has curated a wide array of resources, tools, and suggestions for your use, on the Learning Remotely page available from Tufts Technology Services (TTS).
Also know that the faculty members teaching your courses have been actively preparing to teach online using Canvas and other tools. The TTS Educational Technology Services team is supporting the faculty members in every school, providing the tools, training, and support that they need to make your learning experience as positive and constructive as possible.
Second, please know that we are making every effort to ensure that remote learning will be as seamless as possible for you. I recognize that issues will arise and questions will need to be answered. On behalf of the entire faculty and President Monaco, I sincerely appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to ensure that you can continue to thrive as a member of our community of learners. When you encounter issues or have questions, please know that your faculty members and those of us in administrative roles want to hear from you, so please reach out and ask for help. For access to the latest information and updates, I encourage you to visit go.tufts.edu/coronavirus.
It is my hope that our staying connected in new, creative, and dynamic ways may help build a more connected and even stronger university community. Please accept my gratitude for your flexibility with our evolving circumstances, as well as my very best wishes for the health and well-being of you and your loved ones.
Provost and Senior Vice President
March 15, 2020
Dear members of the Fletcher community,
Earlier this evening Tufts University Executive Vice President Mike Howard informed Tufts staff that Tufts University is moving to a remote work environment starting Tuesday, March 17 and continuing until further notice.
The goal is to reduce the number of community members on our campuses as part of a wider effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, protecting ourselves and the broader communities with whom we interact.
This note is applies to all Fletcher students, staff and faculty. This note includes new information.
Starting Tuesday March 17, all Fletcher staff will work remotely and the Fletcher academic complex will be closed. For students, please note that this means all your appointments with administrative staff and faculty will be conducted over the phone or online. Our administrative offices will maintain normal business hours (9am—5pm) and remain at the ready to assist you now and throughout the semester.
Faculty and staff who need to collect any materials or equipment needed to work remotely should pick them up from Fletcher tomorrow, Monday, March 16 while respecting good hygiene practices and social distancing.
Ginn Library is closed until further notice. We understand that students and faculty may require materials from the library over the duration of the semester. You will be able to submit your requests online, and a skeleton library staff will scan and email the requested text back to you. Please note that only one or perhaps in extraordinary circumstances, two, library staff will be in Ginn Library and so consider the importance of your requests in this light. Your cooperation is much appreciated as we share a limited resource. Please visit the Ginn Library website for further information on how to submit a request.
Any staff considered essential personnel will be informed of this designation by their supervisors. For those staff who may need to enter the Fletcher complex, as they are considered essential personnel on March 17 or thereafter, please use your Tufts ID card at the swipe card readers located at the Mugar and Hall of Flags entrances.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and for the care you are showing each other. I know we each have concerns for our colleagues, friends and family across the world.
With best wishes,
Rachel Kyte CMG
March 13, 2020
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
This week has seen momentous change, not only at Tufts but also across the world. Countries are taking unprecedented steps to control the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Health organizations are taking extraordinary measures to stem the spread of the disease, and businesses are fundamentally changing the way they work to protect employees and customers. Higher education is no different.
On Thursday, March 12, an undergraduate student who had been in isolation tested positive for COVID-19. We are following the guidance of public health authorities pertaining to notification of community members who may have had contact with the student. Those community members will be—or have been—contacted directly by the University and/or Medford Department of Health and provided with information and direction, including information on self-quarantine. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed, please contact the crisis communications center at email@example.com.
Like many of our peers, Tufts has taken significant steps to ensure the health, well-being, and safety of not only our students but also our faculty, staff, and the members of our host communities, especially those who are most vulnerable to infection. This is our civic obligation and, although change has been disruptive, it is undoubtedly the right thing to do. Continue to read this message from Tufts University Executive Vice President Mike Howard.
March 12, 2020
Dear Fletcher Students,
I know the last few days have been challenging for you as Tufts University and The Fletcher School’s response to COVID-19 has been rolled out. You’ve been asked to act quickly and to alter the plans you may have had in place for next week and, of course, the remainder of the semester. I’m aware that this is stressful and I would like to thank you for your patience, cooperation and your kindness towards one another as we work through this unprecedented public health crisis. Please know that every rule put in place and each recommendation being made is done with your best interests in mind. Our top priority is to protect your health and safety, and that of our wider campus community. While the remainder of the semester will be a different experience than we anticipated, I want to assure you that we are here to support you and remain committed to providing the best education for everyone currently enrolled. Our faculty are working hard to ensure that their remaining courses are online in a way that will give you a good experience and the staff are working hard to support them in that. We are also in contact with Fletcher exchange students currently abroad.
In what follows, you will find further information related to housing, remote learning, library services, dining, student services, and other resources.
For Blakeley Hall students the last 48 hours have been particularly trying following President Monaco’s announcement on Tuesday evening stating that all students residing on the Medford/Somerville campus were asked not to return to campus following spring break. We asked Blakeley Hall students who could not travel home or had other personal circumstances that needed to be addressed to contact Student Affairs. We have worked with Tufts administration and with each student who has asked for dispensation and I am pleased to say that we will be able to accommodate each one. Blakeley will have a reduced population, but those who contacted us and discussed their need to stay, can.
There will be a further communication this afternoon going only to Blakeley Hall students with more details on the operation of the Hall in these new circumstances.
Some students who are leaving have asked about storage of personal effects and other needs. Again, we are sure that we can accommodate most of these needs and these will be addressed in the separate note to Blakeley students.
Students who are leaving Blakeley Hall will receive a prorated reimbursement.
If you have any questions related to your housing, please contact Katie Mulroy (Katie.Mulroy@tufts.edu).
INFORMATION ON REMOTE LEARNING & GINN LIBRARY
Ginn Library and IT staff are committed to working with you to help you navigate the online class environment, answer your research questions, and find you the materials you need to complete your course work. If you have any constraints that will affect your participation in online education please contact Cyndi Rubino (Cynthia.Rubino@tufts.edu) as soon as possible. We are committed to finding solutions to address individual circumstances.
Ginn Library will be open, but will limit access
While Ginn will remain open to Fletcher students, we will need to adhere to social distancing and best public health practices and therefore number of people who can be in the Library at any given time will be limited. We encourage you to access Ginn Library resources from off campus whenever possible. Before March 16, an online booking system will be put in place allowing you to reserve a space in the Library for a set period of time. This will be accessed via the Ginn Library website. Please also access the website for a complete list of resources.
Navigating the Online Class Environment
Classes are officially moving online on March 23. Faculty will be using Zoom and Canvas to teach and deliver course content. To test your computer settings and to become familiar with Zoom, visit the Audio and Virtual Conferencing with Zoom web site.
Ginn Library and FletcherCliffNotes are teaming up to offer a virtual session: Learn How to Maximize Your Remote Learning Experience. More information is forthcoming on the website and will include dates and how to sign up.
Please see the Working from Home cheat sheet for additional tools to stay productive.
Getting help when you need it
Our library staff remains happy to answer your research questions in-person or virtually. Use the Ask a Librarian portal for help with your research projects, if you have trouble accessing online resources, and to schedule a virtual meeting with a research librarian. Library workshops and Writing Center tutoring sessions will be moving online, and you will receive instructions prior to the session on how to connect.
Requesting library materials for coursework
- If you need a chapter of a print book, you can request that it be scanned by library staff and emailed to you as a PDF. Request scanned chapters on the Interlibrary Loan website.
- If you need an entire physical book, library staff can mail it to you. Request physical books through the Tufts Libraries catalog. Please note your full name and mailing address in the comments field of your request.
- Reserve books will not be loaned since they are required for class and need to be shared.
- Contact Access Services staff if you already have a book checked out and need to extend the due date, please email library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with the book’s title. Please feel free to call the Access Services Desk @ 617-627-3852.
- As always, you can view electronic content that the library already has access to by searching the library catalog and following the links in the results. From off campus, library databases and journals will require you sign in with your username and password. You may want to use the Tufts VPN to access them.
FLETCHER STUDENT SERVICES
All Fletcher student services, such as Student Affairs, The Registrar’s Office, Admissions and Financial Aid, and Office of Career Services will remain open. Appointments will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16, and may also be done in-person at the discretion of staff for those who will remain local.
Beginning this Saturday, March 14, all Tufts Dining locations on both the Medford and SMFA campuses will close for the remainder of the semester, with the exception of the Commons Marketplace and the Carmichael Dining Center, which will remain open through May 8 with modified hours of operation and some changes to service. Students will be able to use meal swipes and JumboCash at these two on-campus locations, and may also continue to use JumboCash off-campus locations. Additional information can be found on the Tufts Dining website. The University is currently reviewing the possibility of pro-rating Meal Plan fees and financial aid for Meals plans and will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience as the University makes a determination.
OTHER FACILITIES AND OFFICES
University offices will remain open; faculty and staff will continue to work as regularly scheduled; and, at this time, some facilities are planning to remain accessible to Tufts students, faculty, and staff. However, certain facilities, including all libraries except for Ginn Library, art galleries, and the Tisch Sports Center and Gantcher Family Sports Center, will be closed to the general public effective March 16.
International students are receiving guidance directly from the International Center regarding immigration and visa-related questions. The International Center will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Appointments and check-ins will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16. (Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of staff.)
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Student Health Insurance coverage remains unaffected by the move to online instruction. The University is currently reviewing the possibility of pro-rating the Health Administration fee and will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we make a determination.
Beginning March 16, Health Service will remain open throughout Spring 2020 for urgent care only, with modified hours for students who remain on campus or in the local area. Please consult their website for their hours of operation each day, as they may be subject to change.
If you have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 or become ill yourself while away from campus, Health Service asks that you notify their office either by emailing Dr. Margaret Higham or calling the Nurses Station at 617-627-5154. Your information will be kept strictly confidential and may assist us in tracking the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning March 16, Counseling and Mental Health Service (CMHS) will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with modified hours for students who remain on campus or in the local area. Please consult their website for their hours of operation each day, as they may be subject to change. All students may also continue to reach the Counselor-on-Call after hours and on the weekend by calling Public Safety: 617-627-3030.
Students who are away from campus and are currently in care with a provider at CMHS may be offered brief counseling remotely solely as a bridge to a provider in their local area, or to telehealth resources, including iHope or BetterHelp. Those students will hear from their counselor directly through Tufts’ Secure Health Portal. Students who are away from campus and are seeking to initiate counseling can access telehealth resources, including iHope or BetterHelp. CMHS will not be able to initiate counseling with students remotely.
STUDENT ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES
Student Accessibility Services will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Any student with approved accommodations that has given their faculty their accommodation letter should expect that their accommodations will continue in the online environment. Appointments and check-ins with SAS will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16. (Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of staff.) All previously scheduled appointments will continue: SAS will reach out to those students with the preferred format. The process for registering for accommodations will proceed normally.
After March 13, all exam accommodations will be monitored by instructors online (Dowling and Lincoln Filene will be closed as of March 13 at 5 p.m.). Students scheduled to take exams on or before March 13 should proceed with their previously scheduled plan. Students may check the Student Accessibility Services website for more information about accommodations in online classes, any virtual workshops, and other programming.
Students may continue to work at their on-campus jobs depending on the needs of their department and at the discretion of staff.
International students’ questions regarding OPT.
For international students with questions about OPT please refer to communications from the International Center which should provide clarification and guidance. If questions remain please address them to the International Center, but also let the student affairs office in Fletcher know if you have additional questions.
This is a lot of information to digest and we will continue to update information as circumstances change or as new material information becomes available. I have been heartened to see the way we pull together to take care of everyone in the community and to find creative solutions to problems that present themselves for the whole community or for one individual.
Your flexibility is appreciated. Agile decision making is a virtue. Please continue to adopt good practices of social distancing, handwashing, cleaning surfaces, and avoiding crowded spaces. As we head into spring break and into an online environment I know that together we will be able to meet our shared goals of a Fletcher education and protecting our community.
Rachel Kyte CMG
Dear Fletcher Students, Faculty and Staff,
As you have seen from President Monaco’s communication a few moments ago, Tufts University has taken decisive action related to our health and wellbeing and that of the wider community, between now and April 30th. The message includes specific directions regarding teaching and learning remotely, international and domestic travel, event management, and business continuity. These decisions were not taken lightly. I realize they may cause disappointment and some anxiety for many, but they represent an important collective action. If we all pull together and support one another, we can achieve our primary goal, which is to continue to secure the best education for everyone currently enrolled while protecting everyone’s safety. The reason universities and other institutions around the country are taking these measures is to ensure that we can slow or “flatten the curve” of the epidemic. While many of us are healthy and the virus should not threaten our lives, our collective action is essential to protect the vulnerable in a situation where health care provision will be tested. This graphic from CDC can help us understand this.
The President’s message states that for students at the Medford/Somerville campus you should not return to campus following spring break. For those students living in Blakeley Hall who are unable to return to their permanent residences at this time due to travel restrictions or other significant constraints, please contact Katie Mulroy at FletcherStudentAffairs@tufts.edu to discuss your individual situations and whether or not a dispensation to remain can be considered.
What follows is specific additional or clarifying information for the students, staff and faculty of The Fletcher School.
ALL CLASSES ARE MOVING ONLINE
While undergraduate instruction will go online as of March 25, The Fletcher School will go online on March 23 in order to avoid further complications with the class schedules. All Fletcher instruction will be conducted virtually for the remainder of the semester. In preparation for the move to online instruction, all faculty have received information from Academic Dean Steve Block and Director of Ginn Library and IT Cyndi Rubino to help them complete their courses though remote instruction. This includes lectures, classroom discussion, office hours, other engagement with students, study groups, conduct of exams, grading, and communication of grades. We are ensuring that faculty members have the necessary Tufts Technology Services (TTS)-supported tools (Zoom and Canvas) to continue instruction and class discussion online without interruption.
Cyndi Rubino will be sending all students information on Thursday, March 11 on how to access classrooms remotely, as well as the availability of our library resources. If you believe that you may have difficulty connecting to or participating in online instruction, for whatever reason, please contact Cyndi Rubino (email@example.com) and/or Katie Mulroy (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. We are committed to finding ways to support every student to be able to complete the semester online and will find solutions to any obstacles that present themselves.
Please note that while all courses are all being taught remotely, students will continue to have access to Ginn Library.
TRAVEL – Domestic and International
Effective immediately, all University-related domestic and international travel for students, faculty, and staff is prohibited. We also strongly discourage all personal domestic and international travel by students, faculty, and staff, except for the purposes of students returning home.
Please be advised, if you choose to travel you may run the risk of being unable to return, should state and/or federal government travel restrictions change while you are away. I urge you to consider these risks and their potential impact on you and your community.
Student questions regarding travel should be directed to Katie Mulroy (email@example.com) .
FLETCHER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
All Fletcher events are canceled, effective immediately, up to and including April 30, 2020. This includes both on- and off-campus events. For events in May, further information will be posted by email and on the Fletcher website as soon as it becomes available.
THE FLETCHER SCHOOL WILL REMAIN OPEN
Fletcher offices will remain open, and faculty and staff will continue to report to work. Staff will receive separate instructions on how to work remotely from Jim Rollins. Any staff concerns on this matter should be directed to Jim Rollins (firstname.lastname@example.org). No one should feel they are being put in a position that makes them uncomfortable and we will work to ensure everyone is able to continue to be effective in their respective roles.
All should continue to observe best practices to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. This includes using social distancing(keeping a distance of six feet from others) or more from each other when meeting, washing your hands frequently using soap and water or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and avoiding touching your eyes and nose. You may find a complete list of preventative measures being shared by the CDC here.
This note is also available via Fletcher’s website providing COVID-19 guidance for our community. As the situation evolves, additional guidance and updates will be added promptly to the site and will continue to be provided by email.
THE FLETCHER WAY
We understand that this poses challenges and that some of you will have to adapt and shift the way you work, teach and learn. But, I know that with care for each other, kindness, attention to detail, good planning, and teamwork, we will ensure a good learning environment, continued scholarship, and a safe and supportive workplace for us all. Again, these changes result from decisions to act collectively to slow and suppress the spread of the virus and to ensure we can complete the semester.
Thank you for your cooperation and dedication to keeping our Fletcher community together during this unprecedented challenge to our school year. I am confident that we can rise to this challenge, and as a school of international affairs we appreciate that this epidemic presents us with a real-time example of the complexity of our current world and the interconnected challenges a zoonotic disease poses.
Rachel Kyte CMG
March 6, 2020
As we track the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a response team is meeting regularly at Fletcher and coordinating with the emergency response team at Tufts. Our overriding concern is your well-being and safety, and our ability to ensure that our students’ education can continue under various scenarios. For some faculty, important research may also be impacted. With spring break almost upon us, we know that many are anxious as they try to confirm travel and plans for research as well as study. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has the information they need to make important decisions and that everyone can complete the semester, no matter the spread of the virus.
We will email updates to our community as circumstances change. We have created a web page (fletcher.tufts.edu/covid-19-updates) where you will find all advice as it comes out, linking to messages like this one.
Faculty preparedness and our commitment to ensure you can complete the semester
A note has gone to faculty from the Academic Dean and support is in place to ensure that our faculty are prepared to continue teaching, offer exams, and provide their students with grades throughout this period.
Please take note of the document prepared by TTS that puts in one place all the advice you need for working remotely. It is important that everyone ensures they are able to operate remotely in the event that you may not be able to be on campus or that campus is closed.
For students, it is important you know that faculty efforts will be focused on Zoom and Webex (for remote teaching) and on Canvas for syllabi, office hours and other important communication. However, in the event that there is disruption to classes, you will receive school-wide information by email and will also hear directly from your professors.
Travel – The Fletcher School
With reference to the University-wide notice that went out on March 5, 2020, additional detail follows for the students, staff and faculty of The Fletcher School.
- All travel to CDC Level 3 and countries is prohibited (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices).
- Visitors from CDC Level 3 countries are prohibited from visiting campus within 14 days of leaving a Level country and those visiting from CDC Level 2 countries are asked to reconsider their plans to come to campus within that same timeframe.
- For students, staff and faculty wishing to visit CDC Level 2 countries, you must receive the approval of the Dean.
- All University-supported student travel to other international destinations is suspended until further notice. This includes student treks, school-supported research and conference participation.
- All faculty and staff travel to other international destinations should be reviewed carefully by the individual faculty and staff and only undertaken if it is considered critical for research or scholarship. If there is any doubt, we urge you to postpone travel.
- Personal travel to any international destination should be considered carefully in line with the travel guidance provided by Tufts.
Students are already required to register their University-supported travel with the Travel Registry and should continue to do so. All staff and faculty are now required to register all travel connected to and/or supported by the University, as well.
If students have questions regarding support that are not answered by the webpage, they should direct them to Katie Mulroy (email@example.com).
Thank you for your attention to these steps, which have been put in place to protect each of us and the School’s mission. Please continue to follow advice from public health authorities on how to protect yourself and seek advice if you begin to experience symptoms of the virus.
With best wishes,
Rachel Kyte CMG
March 11, 2020
New travel and event restrictions
- Effective immediately, all University-sponsored, connected, or funded domestic and international travel for students, faculty, and staff is prohibited. The University also strongly discourages all personal domestic and international travel by students, faculty, and staff, except for the purposes of students returning home.
- On-campus events that include external visitors will be prohibited through the end of April. Tufts-sponsored off-campus events are prohibited through the end of April as well. No decision has been made about events following April 30, including Commencement and Senior Week.
- As consistent with previous guidance and CDC guidelines, any faculty, students, staff, or visitors currently abroad and arriving from CDC Level 3 warning countries — currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy, though this situation could change quickly — are prohibited from coming to campus, even if symptom-free, for 14 days; you must self-quarantine in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC. Additional requirements apply to inbound travelers who arrive on campus following this 14-day self-quarantine.
March 6, 2020
We continue to monitor the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 along with local public-health partners in Medford, Somerville, Boston, and Grafton. As of March 4, cases have been reported in 76 countries, including cases in the United States. The CDC has issued travel guidance for China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, and South Koreaand recommends that individuals avoid all non-essential travel to these countries.
As the situation is evolving rapidly, we offer the following updates to travel guidance for students, faculty, and staff.
- From now until further notice, all travel by students, faculty, and staff on university-related or funded business to countries with a CDC Level 3 travel warning for COVID-19 (China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) is prohibited. In rare instances, exceptions may be granted by the provost with the approval of the dean of the relevant school. If you have questions about this travel restriction, please contact Diana Chigas, senior international officer and associate provost (firstname.lastname@example.org). All travel to any additional countries for which the CDC raises the travel warning to Level 3 will also be restricted. We expect that the list of countries with a CDC Level 3 warning may change quickly as the situation evolves.
- University-supported travel to other international destinations over spring break for co-curricular (e.g., student treks) and non-credit bearing student research is suspended, although we expect very few groups to be affected. Further guidance on summer programming will be forthcoming soon.
- Students traveling to a CDC Level 2 warning country (currently Japan) must obtain approval from the International Travel Review Committee for their travel.
- Until further notice, all faculty and staff will be required to register any university-connected or sponsored travel with the Tufts Travel Registry. Students are already required to register their university-connected or supported travel with the Travel Registry and should continue to do so. Registering your travel with the Tufts Travel Registry gives you access to up-to-date information from International SOS and access to medical services while abroad.
- While these restrictions do not apply to personal travel, we strongly urge anyone considering either personal or university-related trips to impacted areas for any length of time (including countries with CDC Level 1 and Level 2 travel warnings) to cancel their plans immediately. We also discourage non-essential international travel to non-impacted areas for the time being, as the situation is evolving rapidly, and your travel will likely be disrupted. You may become subject to government restrictions with little notice, have difficulty returning home, and will be subject to any restrictions in place at the time of your return. In those instances, Tufts University will not be able to intervene on your behalf. If you do choose to travel, Tufts urges you to:
- Monitor any entry restrictions, quarantines, or isolation protocols for any countries to which you are considering traveling as these are changing daily. The CDC website provides updated information, as well as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), U.S. Department of State, and International SOS.
- Update the Tufts Travel Registry with your trip itinerary and dates if your travel plans change.
- Ensure that you take basic precautions recommended by the CDC, including avoiding contact with sick people and cleaning your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol. Remember to cover your cough with your upper sleeve or elbow, avoid sharing drinks/food/cigarettes and vaping products, and, if you share a room or apartment with someone who is sick, stay at least six feet away to prevent exposure through coughing.
For inbound travelers who arrive on campus, the following guidance applies:
For those arriving from CDC Level 3 warning countries—currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy—Tufts prohibits faculty, students, staff, and visitors from returning to campus, even if symptom-free, for 14 days and must self-quarantine in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC.
- All students, faculty, and staff, and any visitors returning from an affected area (CDC Level 2 and 3 warning) will be required to fill out a travel form upon their return. This will assist the university to monitor the situation on campus and to provide any needed assistance to those in need.
- Tufts strongly encourages visitors from all CDC Level 2 and 3 affected countries to postpone their visits to Tufts at this time. Visitors arriving from CDC Level 3 travel warning countries will be prohibited from coming to campus and must self-quarantine in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC.
- Students, faculty, and staff returning from US cities where there have been cases of COVID-19 should also be mindful and seek medical care if they have both a fever and cough.
- For general health and safety questions related to travel, please contact Tufts Global Operations office email@example.com or 617-627-3981.
- If you experience an urgent issue (medical/security) while traveling internationally, please call International SOS at 215-942-8226.
- If you are a student studying abroad and have any questions about your program, please contact Tufts Global Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-2000.
- For questions about travel restrictions, please contact the Senior International Officer and Associate Provost (email@example.com).
- If you are required to self-quarantine and do not have off-campus residential options where you can do so, please contact the student affairs office in your school.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update the community as needed. Thank you for taking steps to travel safely.
Provost and Senior Vice President
Executive Vice President
Senior International Officer and Associate Provost
Student Updates and Resources
Beginning March 16, Health Service will remain open throughout Spring 2020 for urgent care only, with modified hours for students who remain on campus or in the local area. Please consult the following links for more information.
With Tufts announcing that all courses will be conducted online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, Tufts Technology Services (TTS) wants to ensure that students are prepared and have the resources they need to optimize their online learning experience.
For information on learning remotely check out the following link:
Staff and Faculty Resources
Contingency Planning for Covid-19 Epidemic
Continuity of Teaching
Given the degree of uncertainty currently surrounding the speed and extent of the coronavirus epidemic, it is essential that all faculty teaching courses this semester plan and prepare appropriately. Contingencies range from individual faculty or students requiring temporary quarantine to a complete campus shut down. In general, our goal is to complete all classes this semester, and to communicate that goal early and often to our students.
Please consider as required for all teaching faculty the following preparedness steps:
- All course materials – especially course syllabi – must be posted on the Canvas site for each class.
- Any course elements that require in-person classroom activity should be brought forward to occur prior to spring break.
- Assure your students that every effort will be made to maintain continuity of teaching.
- Be flexible regarding unanticipated student absences from class, and plan ahead for how to manage potentially large numbers of student absences.
- Try to replace planned in-class exams with take-home exams.
- Convey to your students your contingency plans for being in remote communication with them, including expanded virtual office hours.
- Technological Preparations: Each faculty member will be responsible for ensuring the continuity of their courses, using appropriate technologies. The strong recommendation is that you use these platforms to pre-record lectures as needed for asynchronous viewing by your students. Ginn Library staff (as described below) will provide training sessions and support for the use of Zoom platforms for delivering course content.
The technical resources you will need for remote teaching are described at:
- If you are teaching this semester, you will receive a license to use the Zoom video conference platform to teach classes remotely. Please note there is a limited number of Zoom licenses and priority must be given to faculty teaching Spring 2020 courses. Cyndi Rubino will contact you Monday, March 9 with instructions on how to set up your Zoom account. In the meantime, Cyndi and Brad Macomber will hold virtual office hours and conduct in-person trainings on how to use Zoom. Sign up for Virtual Office Hours and connect remotely from home or your office. For a more hands-on experience, check out the Ginn Library workshop calendar to sign up for a Zoom workshop. Email Brad.Macomber@tufts.edu for questions or support.
- Use Canvas as a central meeting point for all of your class needs. Canvas tools can be used for online office hours, to administer exams, post recorded lectures, and more. Visit the Keep Teaching web site for ideas and instructions on how to leverage Canvas: https://sites.tufts.edu/ets/keepteaching/. Email Cyndi.Rubino@tufts.edu for questions or support.
- For all staff and faculty:
Make sure you have the necessary tools and plug-ins to work remotely and take your laptop to the IT Drop-in Clinic on Wed, March 11th, from 12:00pm-2:00pm in the Ginn Library Office Suite, M118. Technology staff will be on hand to install VPN software, Jabber (for chat), Box plug-ins, and run system updates.
Each faculty member teaching this semester must fill out the Course Contingency Planning Template outlining your plans for office hours, exams, and course content, and return it to the Academic Dean prior to spring break.
If you are teaching this semester, a Zoom account has been created for you. You should receive an email communication from Zoom later today asking you to Activate Your Zoom Account. You will need to activate your Zoom account to complete the account set up process and log onto the system. Please make sure you do this in a timely manner. If you do not receive the email from Zoom, check your trash/spam folder first and if you still don’t see it, please let me know. Once your account has been activated, and for future access to your Zoom account, you will go to tufts.zoom.us and log in using your Tufts Username and password.
Join us for office hours or an in-person training to learn how to use Zoom for meetings and classes. Sign up for Virtual Office Hours or visit the Ginn Library workshop calendar web site to sign up for a Zoom workshop. Please let me know if these times are not convenient so we can schedule another time to help you become familiar with the platform.
If you’ve used Zoom before or would like to learn the platform on your own, check out the following Zoom resources:
- Tufts Audio and Virtual Conferencing with Zoom online guide
- The Zoom Help Center for information services, help information, and online videos.
Visit the Working Remotely site for additional information on tools to use from off-campus to stay productive. Bring your laptop to the Ginn Library staff office suite, M118, on Wed. March 11th, from 12-2pm, to have an IT colleague check to make sure you have the right tools, plug-ins and updates. The Keep Teaching web site also includes information on how to use Canvas as a central meeting point for classes.
For updated information and resources about Fletcher’s COVID-19 planning, visit the COVID-19 Guidance for the Fletcher Community web site.
Many thanks and best,
Director of Information Services, Ginn Library/IT
The Fletcher School, Tufts University
There are a number of tools that enable the community to continue to be productive while working remotely in the event work or academic functions are disrupted due to COVID-19.