Finalised reopening guidelines for ACD

Covid-19 Information Notice Update 1 September 2020

  • ACD will formally commence its academic year on Monday, 14 September 2020; the preceding week will be taken up with registration, induction and orientation events, concerning which advice will follow in the coming days.
  • Particular class arrangements will be advised on an initial basis with the issue of the first version of the timetable next week (no later than 9 September) and updated by teachers on a regular basis directly to their class groups thereafter; performing arts and musical theatre class arrangements will be notified separately by Director of Performing Arts Deirdre Masterson in the coming days.
  • Because of the covid-19 pandemic, there will be some adjustments to the methods and means of course delivery and the associated activities of College life. This notice is intended to give ACD’s community an outline of the institution’s current plans for our re-opening; updates reflecting changes, if any, in relevant circumstances and our responses to them will issue on a regular basis as necessary from now on.
  • The College wants to emphasise that, notwithstanding the seriousness of the pandemic, we are confident that working together we and all the members of our community will come through this situation effectively and constructively, and that we will return to our traditional style of teaching and accustomed educational activity before very long.
  • In our planning and work, our primary concern is the health, safety and welfare of our community, insofar as we are responsible for these matters in the operation of our educational facilities and related activities.
  • Given our small class sizes, we want to open under conditions that are as close to our traditional teaching model as the wellbeing of our community, medical circumstances and state guidances allow.
  • Currently, the institution is preparing for the scenarios below, in what it presently expects to be the most likely order for them to arise (please do note that the order of these scenarios and their relevant details are dependent on the prevailing conditions; they reflect our current thinking and as such will be subject to reconsideration and change as the public health context develops over the coming weeks). At this point, it appears most likely that Scenario A will be the one under which the College opens.
  • Scenario A The College opens with a blend of traditional delivery physical classes and activities in small groups and remote teaching enabled by Zoom and Moodle. In this approach the College will adhere to Department of Education and Department of Health scientific advice, guidelines and protocols on health and safety in education and the workplace. These provisions are currently expected to include the following, with ongoing review and adjustment to them to be implemented as necessary:
    • –  Students to wear face masks and/or face guards at all times in the College facilities (students and staff may bring their own supplemental sanitary materials as they see fit);
    • –  Students and staff to register their attendance through an electronic system when entering and leaving the College facilities, in order to assist in tracking and tracing should an infection outbreak occur in the College;
    • College and class materials to be provided in electronic soft-copy formats inasmuch as is practicable;
    • Students to attend the College facilities only for the purpose of taking classes and essential undertakings and, once those activities are over, to leave immediately;
    • All rooms to be cleansed twice a day;
    • Hand sanitization facilities to be provided;
    • Lecturers to teach behind perspex screens;
    • A marked one-way system to be provided and observed in stairwells, corridors and other common areas;
    • Adherence to current government-mandated physical distancing guidelines;
    • Student and staff interaction with administration to take place by appointment and whenever possible by videoconferencing or telephone;
    • Classes to be limited to a maximum of 9 students, with larger classes to be split into groups to keep within this limit and the class to be livestreamed to those not in the attending group (this will be advised with the timetable next week and updated by class teachers on a regular basis directly to their class groups
    • Some classes to operate with a mixture of traditional delivery and Zoom-enabled remote delivery (this will be advised with the timetable next week and updated by class teachers on a regular basis directly to their class groups thereafter). thereafter);
    • For students arriving from abroad, the College will be following the guidelines provided by the Department of Education and Education in Ireland for meeting and greeting at the airport, transport to accommodation and for the provision of fully remote orientation and instruction for the duration of the currently mandated 14-day quarantine period;
    • Performing arts classes will require additional special arrangements; direction and clarification on these arrangements will be provided by Director of Performing Arts Deirdre Masterson this week;
    • The College’s Lead Workplace Representative for Covid-19 is Rowland Crawte; Rowland may be contacted at rcrawte@iamu.edu for further guidance on these matters as necessary.
  • Scenario B The College opens with classes delivered in the traditional in-class format, again adhering to the state guidelines and provisions indicated in Scenario A. This scenario is the College’s preferred one; in the current public health situation this appears unlikely to be put in place in the initial weeks or months, although the College’s aim is to return to its traditional teaching model as soon as is possible.
  • Scenario C If required by government mandate, the College opens with fully remote teaching and associated activities delivered by Zoom and Moodle.
  • Scenario D The College opens under Scenario A or B, but will be prepared to revert completely to fully remote teaching and activities within 24 hours if required by the government to do so.