Monday, Nov 30, 2020
To All Westminster College of the Arts Students and Faculty;
In the hope that this finds everyone safe and healthy, and having enjoyed a restful Thanksgiving, I write to provide information about plans for the spring 2021 semester. For those students who left the area to return home in the past week, I hope your travels were without challenge or conflict.
As you read this, you are engaged in remote delivery of the final week of classes. Please accept my thanks for all the adjustments you collectively have made. The uncertainty of the start of the semester gave way to weeks of instruction that you report has been primarily successful, despite the many challenges.
In the past month, many of you have participated in performance-based activities that we approved on a trial basis. Thank you for complying with health and safety protocols established for those activities. Particularly in the past month, when COVID cases have increased at an alarming rate, your adherence to safe behaviors is deeply appreciated. As we complete the semester, if you are on or will visit the campus, please continue to observe health and safety protocols, particularly the requirement to wear masks.
In mid-August, I announced that in an abundance of caution for everyone’s safety, performance-based classes would be delivered remotely for the entire semester. At that time, there was no way to predict what the environment would look like for the spring semester. We all hoped that there would be a way to return to something resembling a typical learning experience, and that we would again be able to study, teach, and perform in the ways that support our deep commitment to the community of making art.
In the past few weeks, enough WCA students and staff tested positive to result in several individuals who were in quarantine or isolation. Coupled with the rising cases throughout our region, I am deeply concerned for the safety of our community. Failure to do all we can to protect ourselves and each other has potentially dire consequences.
For that reason, after consulting with University administrators, health professionals, and WCA faculty and staff, all spring 2021 WCA performance-based courses will be delivered remotely until further notice. Like you, I hope that the situation improves to the point where we can consider another approach, but for now, this is the prudent course of action. Shortly, the Registrar will update the ECR to indicate that all courses on the attached list plus all applied music courses will be delivered remotely. If a course will be delivered remote-synchronous or remote-blend, please note the class time that is listed.
Before the end of the exam period on December 11, I will send another message with detailed plans and instructions regarding the process to request approval to schedule an in-person, on-campus, performance-based activity.
If you have questions about School of Fine and Performing Arts courses, please email Mr. David Sullivan, Associate Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts ([email protected]).
If you have questions about Westminster Choir College courses, please email Dr. Frank Abrahams, Associate Dean of Westminster Choir College ([email protected]).
Marjory Klein, WCA Academic Coordinator, ([email protected]) is also available to help all WCA students to navigate any schedule changes you find are necessary.
Thank you for your attention to this information. Again, please remain safe and healthy.
Dean, Westminster College of the Arts