Keep Teaching

Keep Teaching

UNCSA is providing online course delivery from Monday, March 23 for the remainder of the semester.

We understand that there are challenges for faculty when shifting instructional modes midstream. However, students cannot be expected to have the same level of connectivity they have when they have access to campus. At the same time, it is possible to maintain our connections with students, and to complete the work we’ve begun this semester without relying extensively upon synchronous communication. 

With the suspension of in-person instruction, it is likely that many other aspects of students’ lives have been upended. We cannot assume that all students will have reliable internet access when off campus. Therefore, instructors should not rely exclusively on synchronous communication during class times. Rather than requiring all students to be online at the same time, instructors should develop plans to complete the work asynchronously, meaning students can engage in the class and complete work at any time throughout a delineated period.

These resources are for faculty members as they lead online courses during part of the spring 2020 semester. Additional resources will be added as needed.

Resources:

Updates

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UNCSA's Plans for Fall 2020 (May 28, 2020)

Dear UNCSA Community,

I hope this email finds you well wherever you may be after what was an extraordinary semester at UNCSA. As our thoughts turn to fall 2020, today I am writing to share our intention to welcome students to campus next semester, and the adjustments we are making in order to ensure it is safe to do so.
 
Over the past month the UNCSA leadership team has been working closely with faculty and staff in discussing possible scenarios for the fall. I am proud of the dedicated and innovative work that is underway to rethink the way we deliver instruction as we adapt to the landscape facing not only universities across the country, but the industry for which we prepare our student-artists. 
 
As we think about fall, we are keeping in mind that our primary mission is to train our students for the arts and entertainment industry, and we are making modifications to our instruction for this year that reflect the way that industry is adapting to the current reality. With guidance from industry as well as medical experts, our faculty and staff have been working diligently to develop our courses and experiences as we stay vigilant in protecting the health of our campus and the community at large.
 
As we enter the final stages of our operational planning, we are announcing the following key decisions for the coming year:
 
#1 – Modified Academic Calendar 

  • Classes for undergraduate, graduate and high school students will begin on Monday, Aug. 17, and end on Thursday, Nov. 19.
  • We will forego the Labor Day holiday as well as fall break.
  • On-campus final exams and juries will be conducted Friday, Nov. 20, through Tuesday, Nov. 24, with finals continuing online following the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The duration of winter break will be expanded. 
This plan greatly reduces any need for travel during the middle of the semester, as limiting movement is key for managing virus spread. It allows the institution to avoid bringing students back following the Thanksgiving break, when so many will have traveled home to destinations around the country and the world. This modified calendar also enables us to maintain the necessary instructional days required to meet our academic standards and best serve our students. The final academic calendar, including details for the spring semester, will be announced at a later date.
 
#2 – Hybrid Instructional Model
 
We will adopt a hybrid instructional model for the fall semester. This means maintaining our core in-person classes and experiences while also incorporating online instructional resources where possible. More specific details about modifications to courses will come from the schools’ deans in the coming weeks. I wish to commend our faculty for their work in coming up with creative solutions that reflect the way the industry is adapting to the current situation, which will ensure the training is more relevant than ever.
 
#3—Health and Safety Protocols
 
Under guidance and protocols outlined by the UNC System, UNCSA is working closely with state and local partners in health and public safety in finalizing our operational plans for the fall semester and beyond. Our focus is to be able to offer the core elements of in-person training in a manner that is meaningful and relevant to the industry, while doing everything possible to protect the health of students, faculty and staff. Details about these protocols, as well as on-campus health and safety procedures such as screening, testing and quarantining, will be announced in the coming weeks.
 
To deal with these and many other issues, I’ve organized various cross-departmental task forces. These include Academic Programs, Health and Wellness Services, Environmental Safety, Residential Housing and Dining, Human Resources and Infrastructure, Communications and External Relations, and Finance and Infrastructure. These task forces include broad representation from faculty and staff across the campus, as well as representatives from student government.  
 
We continue to be guided by the UNC System Office, the Centers for Disease Control and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and are working with local partners to further refine our return to campus. It is important to note that we must maintain maximum flexibility in our planning, knowing that conditions with COVID-19 may evolve over the summer or during the school year. We will keep you informed every step of the way.
 
We plan to hold several online Town Hall meetings in June to address questions you may have about the fall, and will announce those dates shortly. Until then, please continue to monitor our new Fall 2020 webpage for changes and updates.
 
In these unprecedented times, the world needs the inspiration and creative problem-solving abilities of artists now more than ever. The people of the UNCSA community are better prepared than anyone to meet these challenges, and our institution is ready to do so. While this is a complex situation, I also believe it is one that presents an opportunity for UNCSA to do what it does best – let our ingenuity, resourcefulness and imagination shine.


Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Chancellor



Governor moves North Carolina into modified Phase 2 (May 22, 2020)

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 22, that will allow North Carolinians to move into Phase 2 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions due to COVID-19.
 
Phase 2 lifts the stay-at-home order, but recommends residents will be “Safer At Home” – especially people at high risk. Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said that while the state’s overall key indicators remain stable, continued increases in daily case counts signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.
 
For UNCSA, the move into Phase 2 has no significant impact on our operations as teleworking is still encouraged. Employees should continue teleworking and remote work arrangements where possible, and only mandatory employees who have been directed by their supervisors to support essential operations should report to campus.
 
Under Phase 2, the following occurs:
•    Restaurants can open at 50% capacity for dine-in customers.
•    Personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, can open at 50% capacity.
•    Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level.
•    Mass gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. These limits apply to: event venues; conference centers; stadiums and sports arenas; amphitheaters; and groups at parks or beaches.
•    Day camps and overnight camps can open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements.
•    Bars, night clubs, gyms and indoor fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters and bowling alleys remain closed.
•    Rigorous restrictions remain on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.
The Safer At Home Phase 2 runs through 5 p.m. Friday, June 26, unless revised or replaced. For more information on Phase 2, see the FAQs on the NC governor website.

Administrative Leave/Mandatory Employee (May 8, 2020)

UNCSA Employees:

I hope you and your family and friends are well.

Please take a moment to review the following new information regarding your work during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Special Work and Leave Provisions for April (see "Administrative Leave/Mandatory Employees" Update published March 31, 2020) were recently extended by the UNC System Office through May 8. After consulting with the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), the UNC System Office has now provided updated guidance, effective May 9 until further revised or rescinded.

The provisions in the May 9 guidance are substantially the same as those in the April guidance, including the availability of special paid administrative leave in eligible circumstances. The May 9 guidance also includes a more detailed summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its administration; for more information, see "Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave Provisions" (effective May 1, 2020) (PDF) and the UNC Personnel Policy 300.2.15[R].

The federal FFCRA was signed into law on March 18 and is effective April 1-Dec. 31, 2020. The law provides a time-limited allocation of emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave coverage for employees who cannot work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provisions of this law apply to both permanent and currently employed non-student temporary employees for time missed due to qualifying circumstances beginning May 1, 2020.

On a related note, Gov. Roy Cooper has issued an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, which allows North Carolinians to move into Phase 1 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions he issued on March 27 as the state continues to battle COVID-19. For UNCSA, the move into Phase 1 has no significant impact on our operations. Employees should continue teleworking and remote work arrangements where possible, and only mandatory employees who have been directed by their supervisors to support essential operations should report to campus.

At a future date, possibly in late May or early June, we expect that the UNC System Office will develop detailed guidelines regarding incremental return to work onsite for its constituent institutions, including UNCSA, based on guidance received from the OSHR, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and further executive orders.

I know this is a challenging and confusing time for all of you. Remember that we are all in this together, and that your HR team is here to support you. You may email questions related to this communication to HRLeaveInquiries@uncarts.onmicrosoft.com; we will respond to your questions as soon as possible.

Until we are together again, be safe and stay healthy.

Take care,
Angela L. Mahoney, SHRM-CP, PHR
Director of Human Resources

Governor moves North Carolina to Phase 1 (May 8, 2020)

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 8, that will allow North Carolinians to move into Phase 1 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions he issued on
March 27 as the state continues to battle COVID-19.

The statewide stay-at-home order will still be in place, but restrictions on leaving home will be loosened as more business are allowed to open. People will be able to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open.

Retail businesses will be allowed to open at 50% capacity with social distancing and frequent cleaning. Other businesses remain closed, including personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants and bars may continue to offer drive-through, takeout and delivery only.

Though small outdoor gatherings will be allowed, gatherings of more than 10 people generally are still prohibited. The opening of state parks and trails is encouraged.

Child care facilities will be open, with strict cleaning protocols, to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work.

Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it. A memorandum from the UNC System’s Office of Human Resources will follow with more details.

See more on what's new in Phase 1 (PDF).

The governor’s order is in effect until 5 p.m. Friday, May 22; however, Phase 2 will start only if public health data and indicators meet the governor’s plan.

According to public health officials, there have been more than 300 reported cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, with five deaths. Statewide, there have been more than 13,000 cases and more than 500 deaths to date.

For more information on COVID-19 and how it affects UNCSA, please visit our website, uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

N.C. Governor extends stay-at-home order to May 8 (April 23, 2020)


Today, Thursday, April 23, Gov. Roy Cooper extended North Carolina’s stay-at-home order until May 8, in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The order had been set to expire on April 29.

Gov. Cooper said that North Carolina will need more widespread COVID-19 testing, tracking of those who have had contact with those who are ill, and slowed case and hospitalization rate trends before restrictions can ease. He also laid out a three-stage plan for reopening the state once those criteria have been met.

Winston-Salem’s stay-at-home restrictions were already extended to May 7.

According to public health officials, there have been 143 reported cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, with five deaths. Statewide, there have been 7,759 cases and 275 deaths to date.
 
As previously reported, UNCSA will be online only for the remainder of the semester, with faculty continuing to deliver online instruction off-campus, as much as possible.

Non-mandatory staff continue to telework where possible, and mandatory employees continue to report to work as approved by their supervisors. The special work and leave provisions as communicated on March 31 will remain in place through April 30; we are expecting continued guidance from the UNC System Office for the month of May and will communicate any information we receive.

The small number of residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must continue to adhere to this stay-at-home order.

Remember, there are several exemptions to the stay-at-home orders, but only for essential services and activities, such as visiting healthcare providers and pharmacies, getting groceries and takeout, and taking care of pets. For more detailed information, see the governor's office's FAQs regarding this order.
 
For more information on COVID-19 and how it affects UNCSA, please visit our website, uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Virtual and in-person celebrations, planning for fall semester (April 21, 2020)

 Dear UNCSA Community,
I hope everyone is well as I check in again with my latest video update.

It is hard to believe that we are already well into the homestretch for this academic year. With that in mind, I have used this update primarily to fill you in on our planning for the virtual celebration of graduating students. While we are still planning an in-person commencement ceremony in the future, we have come up with what we believe will be a wonderful way to celebrate our University and High School Classes of 2020. We'll launch these online celebrations at 10 a.m. May 9 for University graduates and 10 a.m. May 16 for High School graduates; but they will remain available following each event to view on demand whenever you wish. Tune in to the update and look out for an email invitation for more details.

In this update I also address questions and concerns that we continue to receive regarding plans for the fall semester. Please know that we are actively planning for several scenarios for how the school year might begin, knowing we can't yet predict with certainty the path the current health crisis will take. We are hopeful that we'll be able to bring students, faculty and staff back together as soon as possible, but top priority remains the safety of everyone in our community. We are working hard to prepare for the future and do everything we can to be able to deliver the caliber of education and experience you expect from UNCSA next year.

Until the next time -- stay strong, Pickles!

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Video Check-in No. 2 (April 3, 2020)

Dear UNCSA Community,

As promised, here is my next video message to all of you as we complete Week 2 of online classes. I wanted to take this opportunity to address a few of the most frequently asked questions from this week, specifically about refunds and academic grading policies. I am pleased that we were able to offer some good news on both fronts, as we know how important these subjects are to all of you. But I know that each move forward brings more questions, and we will stay in close communication to share more information as soon as we are able.

I want to again reiterate that we remain keenly aware that in addition to navigating the shift to online instruction, some of you are dealing with challenging personal and family situations that make living up to your usual potential more difficult. Please know that we want to do all that we can to help you succeed in these less than favorable circumstances.

Again, I want to assure you that we are listening and trying to respond as quickly as possible and we will continue to provide updates via email and messages from me. In the meantime I look forward to seeing more of your fantastic contributions online at #poweringcommunity. Remember that continuing to make art is one of the ways you can be a light in the darkness as the world navigates this pandemic.

Hope you are safe and well, and that you are all able to enjoy your weekend wherever you may be.

Sincerely,
Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Provisional academic policies for Spring 2020 (April 1, 2020)

Dear Students,

I write to share with you the provisional academic policies we have put in place to support you during this semester. These policies are intended to give you some flexibility in navigating your online coursework. I understand how difficult it is for our campus community to be apart and to have to adapt so quickly to an online learning environment. The UNC System considers the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic as constituting extenuating circumstances, and this will be noted on your university transcript.
 
UNCSA is making the following policy provisions for the spring 2020 semester only:

  • A Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option, which you may elect after your grades have posted. Given the uncertainty of everyone’s circumstances, we believe that giving you the option at the end of the term to change letter grades in your courses to S/U gives you the greatest flexibility.
  • Extension of incomplete grades due this semester
  • Exception to probation and dismissal policies
  • Availability of withdrawal under extenuating circumstances

The entire policy is included below and will be on our COVID-19 website. Please submit your questions through this form so that we can review quickly, respond to you, and add to the FAQ section.
  
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at UNCSA, I wish to convey our concern for you and your well-being. Please stay connected with your faculty and peers during this time, and reach out when you need us.

Yours,

Karin Peterson
Interim Provost



UNCSA COVID-19 Provisional Academic Policies

Governor issues stay-at-home order (Mar. 27, 2020)


Today, Friday, March 27, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 30, and will remain in effect for 30 days.

The statewide order is similar to the citywide order given on March 25 by Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines that goes into effect at 5 p.m. today. There are more than 700 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina and at least 24 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, according to public health officials. There are currently no COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus.

Previous measures implemented at UNCSA still apply:

  • Online instruction is defined as an essential service. Faculty are strongly encouraged to deliver their online instruction off-campus, if possible. If the delivery of their online course requires access to campus, faculty should report their schedule to their dean.
  • All shops, practice and rehearsal rooms, theaters and studios on campus remain closed.
  • All non-mandatory employees are expected to telework where possible.
  • Mandatory employees should consult their supervisor regarding their requirement to continue reporting to campus.
  • Residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must adhere to this stay-at-home order.
  • Student Affairs will allow students to pick up essential belongings through Sunday, March 29, as planned. To schedule an appointment, please email Kathryn McMillan for high school and Nick Gawlik for college.

There are several exemptions to the stay-at-home orders. Some of them are: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, and to take care of others. For more detailed information, see the governor's office's FAQs regarding this order.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Stay-at-home order for Winston-Salem (Mar. 25, 2020)

Dear UNCSA Community,

Today, Wednesday, March 25, Mayor Allen Joines issued a stay-at-home order for the city of Winston-Salem in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. This order includes members of the campus community who reside in Winston-Salem and goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, March 27, and will remain in effect until Thursday, April 16.

There are currently no COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus. There are at least 17 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, according to public health officials. Previous measures implemented at UNCSA still apply:

  • As specified by the mayor's order, online instruction is an essential service. Faculty are strongly encouraged to deliver their online instruction off-campus, if possible. If the delivery of their online course requires access to campus, faculty should report their schedule to their dean.
  • All shops, practice and rehearsal rooms, theaters and studios on campus remain closed.
  • All non-mandatory employees are requested to telework where possible.
  • Residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must adhere to this stay-at-home order.
  • Residential students who are not currently on campus must schedule an appointment with Student Affairs to pick up their belongings before Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m., if possible. Student Affairs will allow pick up of essential belongings through Sunday, March 29 as planned. To schedule an appointment, please contact Kathryn McMillan for high school and Nick Gawlik for college.

There are several exemptions to the mayor's stay-at-home order. Some of them are: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, and to take care of others. For more detailed information, see the mayor's official order and the city's FAQs regarding this order.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Rising to the challenge together (Mar. 23, 2020)

Dear UNCSA Community,

Today we mark a significant moment where we take our first steps forward in these unprecedented times. This morning we resumed classes at UNCSA, all of which are now taking place exclusively in an online environment. While the moment is one that carries a significant level of sadness and disappointment for all of us, it is also one that brings resilience and hope as this community of artists together begins to move forward.

It wasn't that long ago that we had to make the initial announcement that we would be extending Spring Break and transitioning to online instruction, and yet so much has happened since then. The rapid pace of the change and disruption we have faced has been disorienting for everyone, and the required adjustments are substantial and impactful. On Saturday I came to campus to check in with the dedicated Student Affairs team that is doing everything they can to assist students and parents with a difficult transition. While there, I spoke with students and parents as they collected belongings and prepared for a much different conclusion of our semester than we had planned. There was a lot of sadness on those faces, but there was also strength and perseverance. I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone – students, parents, faculty and staff – for the diligence, faith and resolve that have been evident throughout our community over these last days. You have each been instrumental in helping UNCSA move forward.

Nothing – not even the novel coronavirus – will deter us from our mission to train artists and enrich the cultural and economic prosperity of the people of North Carolina and the nation. Now, as we enter a new and unprecedented chapter in the history of our school, we will focus on the core goals and outcomes for our students and continue to do everything possible to position you to be successful in your programs, as well as next steps in your careers. Today is a step forward, but I know that things will likely get harder before they begin to return to any sense of normalcy. Recently I heard UNC System Interim President Bill Roper say, "We will get past this, but to get past it we first have to go through it." The strength of the UNCSA community is what will make that happen. We will do that together with patience and a deep commitment to each other.

One of the principal things that defines us is the art that we create and how we share it with the world every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a physical distance between us, and in the past weeks we have been left with a silence and a darkness in the absence of the art that usually overflows from this campus and its people.

Today let's commit to filling that silence with more music, poetry and storytelling than ever before. Let's bring our light back into the world with more dance, painting, and sculpture. From wherever you are currently sheltered, please share the images and videos of the art that you are creating with #poweringcreativity as well as a new hashtag especially for this time: #poweringcommunity. We'll be actively reposting and sharing the work from our students, faculty, staff and alumni through the UNCSA media channels more meaningfully than ever.

I have never been more proud to be a part of UNCSA. This is an incredible family that has unparalleled talent, creativity and grit. What our community of artists does is not only important for the arts industry – it is crucial for our society. Our world desperately needs the empathy and joy that only art can create, and none of that is possible without you. I know that you will all rise to the challenge.

#poweringcommunity #poweringcreativity

Very best regards,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

 

Non-mandatory employees strongly encouraged to telework (Mar. 17, 2020)

Dear Staff and Faculty,

As you know, the federal and state government’s response to COVID-19 continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Given recent changes, the UNC System has updated its guidance to campuses to include a directive to substantially reduce the number of students in campus housing and to encourage non-mandatory employees to telework if possible. Below is how this will affect UNCSA:

SHRA and non-faculty EHRA non-mandatory employees are expected to work remotely, if possible.

  • Supervisors should allow employees whose jobs can be performed remotely to telework. Teleworking may not be possible for some positions depending on the impact on university operations and especially positions that impact essential functions, such as student services. However, telework is expected where possible. UNCSA has resources for remote working available.
     
  • It is expected that student-facing offices will remain operational remotely, with sufficient onsite staffing to support students who must remain on campus, and all other phones forwarded and email monitored. 
     
  • If not already communicated, supervisors should now inform mandatory employees of their requirement to either work remotely or continue reporting to campus. Due to the unforeseen impact of COVID-19, mandatory status may change throughout the course of the next several weeks and clear communication of employee expectations is vital.
     
  • The UNC System continues to prohibit all university-related travel following CDC guidelines and the further direction of public health officials. University-sponsored travel outside the state of North Carolina, or within the state to gatherings of 100 or more people, shall be suspended unless prior written authorization to travel is given by the chancellor or the provost. This prohibition includes student organizations.
     
  • Refer to this webpage for more information and for instructions regarding self-quarantine.

As we adapt to the rapidly evolving situation, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as our community at-large, and the delivery of our core academic mission, remain our priority.

Staff, please direct questions about teleworking or administrative leave to Director of Human Resources Angela Mahoney

Faculty, please direct questions to your dean and Director of Faculty Affairs Kim Pauley.