Community Message and Forums Archive

This page is an archive of the messages that have been sent to the community regarding COVID-19, as well as a video archive of the community forums hosted by senior staff in July 2020.

Monday Messages from Laura

Monday, December 14

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Congratulations on the successful completion of Fall Term in a year that demanded extraordinary resilience. In addition to the academic commitment of our students, I am so proud of this community for adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, for preserving the essential Bennington experience, and for your dedication to keeping one another safe and healthy. You have done great things over the past several months.

In observance of winter break, this is the last Monday Message you will receive from me until January, but it is not the last communication. Each Monday, students on campus can expect an email from Student Life with details about opportunities and events for the week. There will also be a Discord group for on-campus students to stay engaged; details are forthcoming. We will continue to keep faculty on and off campus apprised through Faculty Notes during this time, and we will provide updates to staff periodically, as needed.

We will continue to provide resources to support students’ physical, emotional, and academic well-being through break and Field Work Term. If you have concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Student LifeCampus SafetyPsychological ServicesAcademic Services, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or Student Health Promotion. Campus will be quieter than usual in the coming weeks, but the supports you rely on are all still here.

The next several months are going to be critical to our national efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, so I want to remind everyone to continue to follow the CDC’s masking, distancing, and quarantining recommendations. For those still on campus, our Commitment of Shared Responsibility remains in effect, and it will be crucial to maintaining a COVID-free community and welcoming everyone back next term. Testing over break is available on Mondays only, so plan accordingly. Testing schedules and logistics can be found here. As before, we will alert this community by email when positive cases arise.

Wherever you are today, I hope you can take some time to recharge and reflect on all that you have accomplished over the past several months. This has been a trying year, but the compassion you have shown for one another has been a bright spot and we will surely emerge stronger. In the words of Robert Frost, "the best way out is always through," and we are getting through this together.

Thank you and be well,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, December 7

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

It’s the final week of classes and I know you are all working hard to close out this demanding year. Campus is quiet since the shift to remote learning. It’s not the way any of us would have preferred to finish the term, but it has been effective in protecting Bennington from the surging rates of COVID-19 around the country.

COVID-19 Update

We have no new cases of COVID-19 on campus. Last week, we informed you of a positive COVID-19 case that was found through our routine testing procedures. There is no evidence of spread in our community, and I am happy to report that the affected person is feeling well today. It was the first and only new case on campus since September and it was a great example of our COVID-19 safety measures working as they were intended and a reminder that we can maintain this progress as long as we all stay vigilant. We will continue to keep you informed of any new cases as they arise while taking great care to protect the privacy of affected individuals. For more information, you can always visit our COVID-19 resource site.

End of Year Performances

From wherever you are today, you can support student work and the creative ways faculty have adapted around the challenges of remote learning by enjoying (virtual) end-of-year performances. On Wednesday, Kirk Jackson and the Drama Program will premier scenes from the Directing Class on YouTube, featuring ten scenes and thirty actors. The program will be available through New Year’s Eve; I hope you will tune in. And if you have any last-minute additions to the calendar of events, please don’t forget to submit them.

Town Hall Tomorrow

Just a reminder that I will be hosting a Town Hall tomorrow, December 8, at 12:00 pm to discuss fines for fire violations, including how to balance accountability, equity, and safety. Students, staff, and faculty are invited.

Congratulations Fall Graduates

Normally at this time of year, we would be preparing to fête our fall graduates with an in-person gathering. That will unfortunately have to wait, but keep your eyes out for an email later this week in which we formally mark the occasion with a reading of the names and a toast from faculty member Marguerite Feitlowitz. I am hopeful that we will have an opportunity to celebrate commencement in-person and on campus in the spring.

And finally, thank you all for your continued flexibility and caution as we navigate our work in the midst of a still-raging pandemic. With the latest developments in vaccines, there is much to be hopeful about, but we can’t let our guard down yet. With perseverance, we will get through the next few months safely and successfully. So keep masking, distancing, and (if you’re still on campus) testing and reporting your symptoms. We’ll get through this together.

Thank you,

Laura Walker
President
 

Monday, November 30

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

I hope you had a restful break and you are ready to complete the last few weeks of term with renewed energy and creativity.

I am writing to let you know that we have a new positive case of COVID-19 on campus. It was identified over the break; the Vermont State Health Department conducted contact tracing, the person is in isolation, and no one else was identified as a close contact. We will continue to keep you informed, while also working to protect the privacy of individual members of our community.

This event is an example of Bennington’s COVID-19 safety measures working as they were intended--to swiftly identify and contain the virus when it appears within our community. It’s a reminder that if we all continue to adhere to testing, reporting, masking, and distancing protocols, we can maintain a safe and healthy campus through the holiday season.

Additionally, several of you have asked about the plan for spring term, given the state of Vermont’s additional restrictions. I am pleased to tell you that we anticipate opening for spring term in much the same way we did this fall, as outlined in the Spring 2021 arrival plan which we shared in late October. If anything changes, we will be in touch promptly. We are currently planning Q&A webinars for students and families in late January as well.

Please continue to wear your masks, social distance, adhere to the state guidelines and the commitment to shared responsibilities. Please use the COVID webpage as a resource and submit any questions you have so the COVID task force can respond. We will keep you informed if there are any new updates.

Thank you for all you are doing to keep the community healthy.

Sincerely,

Laura Walker

Monday, November 23

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Greetings on this first day of all-remote learning. I want to thank you for your understanding of and cooperation with this shift in policy, which is due in large part to the State of Vermont’s tightened restrictions. Although this shift to remote has been disappointing, the Bennington community has met the challenge with understanding and creativity. Many students are Zooming in from other parts of the country right now, some are in transit, and some are still on campus. We are doing all that we can to make this transition as seamless as possible for students, faculty, and staff. The world is an uncertain place today, but we have so much to be grateful for—beginning with our collective health and COVID-free campus. We still have zero cases!

COVID-19 Update

The rest of the country is not so lucky. In most states, including here in Vermont, cases of COVID-19 are surging. In light of this and the new restrictions placed on campuses—including prohibitions on students gathering—all Bennington College students are encouraged to travel home in advance of Thanksgiving. Before leaving campus, please fill out this form. If you have questions about the shift to remote learning or campus restrictions, please see the Q&A webpage.

Just a reminder to all faculty, staff, and students who use campus: please follow the State of Vermont’s current rules, which prohibit gatherings of more than one household—including for Thanksgiving celebrations. I know many of you were looking forward to seeing extended family this week and that this is disappointing, but it’s important to follow these guidelines in order to keep COVID-19 off campus and out of our community. I am so grateful for the care you have shown one another in this time.

Events and End of Term Performances

From wherever you are studying and working today, you can still take advantage of a range of virtual events in the weeks ahead, including our ongoing series Music Mondays from the Carriage Barn. Next week’s performance features Brian Michael Murphy’s Afrofuturist Archives: Preserving Hip Hop Culture in the Digital Age, which explores a digital archiving project aimed at preserving hip hop culture.

There will also be opportunities in the weeks ahead to celebrate the work of our students through end-of-year performances and events, like the Animation Showing, which highlights the accomplishments of Fall 2020 animation students. If you have an event planned, don’t forget to let us know by submitting it to the events listing.

Spring Term

Some of you have asked about Bennington’s plans for Spring Term. Currently, we are optimistic that we will be able to return to campus in February. As we did at the start of Fall Term, we envision a testing and quarantine procedure upon arrival to identify and contain any cases at the start. (You can find more details about Spring Term in our community message from October 23). We are also optimistic that we will be able to provide vaccines to the community at some point in the spring. These plans are of course dependent on the state of the outbreak and the Vermont State guidelines.

Bennington Magazine

The next issue of Bennington Magazine is out and it's exclusively online. In this issue, I had the chance to expand on the challenges and opportunities I envision for the College in the months ahead. There’s also a round-up of the standout accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and alumni community. This online-only format is a new approach for Bennington; it will continue to develop as we refine what works for readers.

Closing the Wealth Gap

I had the privilege of (virtually) joining the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation last week as an honoree at their annual gala. Restoration’s mission is “to relentlessly pursue strategies to close gaps in family and community wealth to ensure all families in Central Brooklyn are prosperous and healthy.” I have supported the organization for many years and it was so heartening to join its hard-working team to reflect on the meaningful impact they are making today. Their vision for a more just world is closely aligned with much of what we do at Bennington.

Gratitude

I am deeply grateful to count myself among this Bennington community today. Your resilience, idealism, creativity and compassion are what make this work so rewarding. In a year of profound uncertainty, it is a privilege to be among people who inspire hope. May your holiday be peaceful, healthy, and restorative.

With gratitude,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, November 16

Transition to All Remote Instruction on 11/20

Dear community members,

As you are likely well aware, the rates of COVID are rising nationally and here in Vermont. Bennington has been enormously successful in weathering this pandemic; I’m proud of you, and grateful for the careful attention and hard work this has taken. Nevertheless, transmission rates are accelerating and the most prudent course for us today is to adapt—particularly as holiday travel is expected to exacerbate these trends.

With that in mind, we are announcing that Bennington College will be transitioning to all-remote instruction after Friday, November 20. We strongly encourage all students who can travel home before Thanksgiving to do so, although students are not required to leave campus at this time. Decreasing the population density on campus is an important way we can protect our students who are unable to leave and our essential services staff. In addition, given the rapid increase in infections around the country, travel is likely to get less safe as we get closer to December.

This change is consistent with Governor Scott’s stricter state guidelines which were issued last week. All members of this community are asked to adhere to the updated Vermont regulations which prohibit people from different households from gathering in private or public, indoor or outdoor, for any social, recreational, or entertainment gatherings. (For students on campus, this means they will no longer be able to socialize in person with anyone who is not a roommate. For staff and faculty, this means not socializing with anyone who isn’t in your immediate household.) We recognize that these changes may be difficult and disappointing, especially around the holidays, but the CDC indicates that this is the safest way to celebrate this year.

Our plan was designed to be flexible, to allow us to adapt to changing circumstances with as little disruption to students’ academic paths as possible. Faculty will work with students over the next several days to transition their in-person coursework to remote. We chose to implement this on Friday, rather than just before the holiday, to allow more flexibility with travel and to increase the likelihood that everyone in our community may remain safe and healthy.

We understand that this news may be disappointing to some and we really appreciate your adherence to these new parts of our Commitment of Shared Responsibility. Together I am confident that we can get through this tough period in good health and safely. More information is below. Please submit any questions you have. And thank you for all you are doing to keep our students, colleagues, friends, and family as safe as possible.

Thank you,
Laura Walker

What students need to know:

About life on campus

  • Dining has transitioned to entirely pick-up service. While the state guidelines allow for in-person dining, given the time left in the term, we are choosing to make this transition out of an abundance of caution.
  • We are working to determine access to campus spaces and equipment, likely with restrictions to adhere to new supervision requirements. Details will be announced by next Monday, after faculty feedback.
  • The state has restricted all public and private social gatherings, indoor and outdoor, to only members of a single household. We have asked for guidance on this and learned that a household means a room, not a house -- which means that students will no longer be able to socialize in person with anyone who is not a roommate.
  • Students should limit trips off campus as much as possible to include only the essentials. Students with employment off campus should contact Student Life to discuss their individual work situations. We encourage people to make use of delivery services whenever possible.
  • There will not be performances with in-person audiences after 5:00 pm on November 20.

About departure

  • Students are not required to depart at this time, however, given that the planned end-of-term travel would likely coincide with further increases in infection rates, and possible additional restrictions at destinations or with public transportation, students are strongly encouraged to take the opportunity to travel home now.
  • Students may schedule pre-departure testing by rescheduling their weekly test via the CoVerified app. We recommend a test two days before planned departure, to ensure they have results. Note that if any student receives a positive test, they will not be able to leave campus, to protect their family and fellow travelers. The College is prepared to care for them while they recover.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to confirm and adhere to travel restrictions and quarantine/testing requirements for the states that they will be returning to.
  • If you choose to return home before the end of term, please notify Student Life.
  • More information will be forthcoming about the impacts to student employment for students who leave campus early.
  • Please note that in accordance with our refund policy the College does not refund room and board charges after the 20th calendar day in the academic term which was September 21, 2020. Departing from campus is not a requirement but it may be in the best interest of many students.

For faculty and staff

  • In-person meetings are strongly discouraged; all meetings should be held virtually/by phone whenever possible.
  • Faculty may continue to use offices, studios, labs, and other spaces, and staff may continue to access offices.
  • Staff working on campus should continue to report to work as usual. Human Resources is working directly with each department to determine if select (additional) staff can be transitioned to remote work. Employees who have concerns about their work arrangements should speak with their supervisor or contact Human Resources.
  • All faculty and staff, regardless of the state they live in, are asked to adhere to Vermont’s prohibition on multiple household gatherings: People from different households should not gather in private or public spaces, indoor or outdoor, for any social, recreational, or entertainment gatherings.
  • There will not be performances with in-person audiences after 5:00 pm on November 20.

For the public

  • As of now, the public will still be permitted on the campus grounds, provided they are wearing masks and observing social distancing. As a reminder, members of the public are not permitted in any campus buildings. This decision is, of course, subject to change based on infection rates and other considerations.

Monday, November 9 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

What a week it has been! I hope you’ve had a chance to catch up on your sleep after many days of election watching. It was thrilling and exhausting to see the record turnout followed by days of uncertainty and then a sense of relief to finally know the outcome. At the same time, the election laid bare the deep and painful divisions in our country. It is time to rebuild friendships and family relationships across political divides and to feel optimistic about leadership that emphasizes unity over division and empathy over bullying. Even more importantly, at this inflection point, we have an opportunity to recommit to science, to chart a path to social justice and equity, to come together to make meaningful change. I know that our students will lead the way with idealism and persistence.

COVID-19 Update

As you know, the coronavirus is surging around the country and college campuses have been among the hardest hit. We continue to detect no COVID-19 at Bennington College, thanks to your ongoing attention to masking, distancing, testing, and reporting symptoms, but our chances of contracting it elsewhere are on the rise.

Given the extraordinary risk at this moment, we have amended the policy for Thanksgiving travel:

Students

  • If you leave Bennington county over the break, you will not be permitted to return to campus this term. This means you will need to complete your courses remotely. All students traveling for Thanksgiving and finishing the term remotely should fill out this brief form.

Faculty and Staff

  • Faculty and staff should continue to follow the Vermont Cross State Travel Information for personal travel. This does not include work commutes from outside the county. We strongly recommend limiting your social gathering size to reduce your chance of exposure to the virus.

We will provide more detail on the travel policy in the days ahead. Above all, I implore you to keep the health of this community in mind as you make your Thanksgiving plans. I know this season will be hard on many of us as we are forced to reimagine holidays without loved ones and favorite traditions, but our safety must be a priority today. Thank you for your cooperation.

Supporting Your Health

On behalf of the Office of Student Health Promotion, I want to remind students to please complete the National College Health Assessment Survey, which will help us identify ways that we can better support your physical and mental well-being here at Bennington. The survey is anonymous and all students who take it will be automatically entered in a drawing for a $50 Hannaford’s gift certificate.

Unstoppable Feat

I hope you will take some time this week to enjoy the artist talk and screening of the film Unstoppable Feat - The Dances of Ed Mock. Brought to Bennington by Farhad Mirza, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Dance Department, the documentary explores the extraordinary and underappreciated contributions of the late postmodern choreographer Ed Mock. The film is available here for several more days. And on Thursday, November 12, filmmaker Brontez Purnell will join us for a talk and brief Q&A during Dance Workshop at 7:00 pm EST. Everyone is invited.

Election 2020

I want to commend this community for both your enthusiastic participation in the democratic process last week and your measured, respectful response in the days that followed. I look forward to continuing this conversation through coursework, campus organizing, and special offerings on democracy and civic engagement in the months ahead.

Thank you and have a great week,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, November 2 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Campus was lively this weekend with (COVID-safe) Halloween festivities, including a pie-eating contest and a costume contest. I had the privilege of being one of the judges for the costume contest on Saturday night in the cold in front of Commons. The costumes were amazing—from a punk rock R2D2 and sexy Darth Vader to a spooky apothecary, a talented impersonator of Billy Idol, and a green alien.

COVID-19 Update

We are grateful that we still have no new COVID infections despite the fact that COVID-19 infections are on the rise again across the country, with more than 20 states reporting cases at or near record levels. Vermont still maintains the lowest per-capita rate of infection of any state, but our numbers have ticked up over the past two weeks and we’ve seen new cases in nearly every county. Clusters of infections in Vermont have been traced back to sporting events, social gatherings, and college campuses. The state’s official forecast suggests that we could see 50-60 new cases per day by the end of November at this rate.

It’s a reminder that we all must recommit to the safety measures that have kept this campus COVID-free since the start of fall term. We can’t let our guard down now. Please continue to wear masks, wash hands, maintain distance, report symptoms, and show up for testing. This community has done such an extraordinary job of looking out for one another over the past few months; let’s keep it up.

#DoingItintheDark

Congratulations to the residents of Franklin, the winners of Doing It in the Dark, Bennington’s first-ever energy competition, for reducing their energy consumption by nearly 30 percent! On average, houses used 7 percent less energy last week. The contest was a collaboration between Buildings and Grounds and L.E.S.S (Leaders for Environmental/Ecological Stewardship and Sustainability). We rang the Commons bell yesterday at noon to mark the end of the challenge and Daylight Savings. I and others have been inspired to take the habits and lessons learned over the course of this week into our daily routines and to stay more conscientious of our own energy use—turning off lights, turning down the heat, choosing efficient modes of transportation, and beyond.

Election 2020

Tomorrow is Election Day and I expect that it will be an emotionally-charged week. Whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member, I encourage you to stay attentive to your physical and emotional well-being in the days ahead. This Election Stress Toolkit is a great reminder of the practices that can help keep us well and the resources we have here to support you. Most importantly, please know that you are not alone right now. Every member of this community, regardless of voting status or political affiliation, has the right to feel safe and heard today. And students with concerns about how the election might be affecting their studies or well-being should reach out to Student LifeAcademic Services, their faculty advisor, or Health Services.

If you haven’t yet voted, I hope you will make a plan to get to your polling place tomorrow. Campus Safety will be providing a shuttle to the polls from 7:00 am-7:00 pm.

And to all of our students—whether on-campus or studying remotely from around the world—stay strong in your defense of democratic principles and one another.

Thank you and be well,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, October 26

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

I hope you had a chance to enjoy the burst of warm weather we had here on Friday; apparently there’s a chance of snow later this week!

COVID-19 Update

Bennington College continues to be COVID-free, but the United States is now officially in the throes of another viral wave. On Friday, the U.S. broke its previous record for new cases reported, making it the worst day for new infections since the start of the pandemic. Vermont remains a comparatively safe state, but per-capita rates have surged again in parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire. It’s a sobering reminder that we need to keep masking, distancing, reporting our symptoms, and looking out for one another. This thing isn’t over yet.

Visual Arts Lecture Series

I am so pleased to share that the focus for this year’s Visual Arts Lecture Series (VALS) will be Race, Representation, and Contemporary Art in the Age of Black Lives Matter. VALS is an opportunity for students to build on coursework by hearing directly from a range of contemporary artists, curators, historians and critics about their practices. As in previous terms, this year’s line-up is impressive and relevant, designed to inspire your work and stimulate on-campus conversation. The first in our series this fall features art historian, curator, critic and the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at the Cleveland Museum of Art Key Jo Lee on November 10 at 7:00 pm (virtual). I’m looking forward to it.

#Doingitinthedark

Bennington’s first-ever house-by-house energy competition kicked off yesterday and continues throughout the week. Doing It in the Dark, a collaboration between Buildings and Grounds and L.E.S.S (Leaders for Environmental/Ecological Stewardship and Sustainability), challenges individuals and house communities to save as much energy as they can over the course of this peak week. It’s a great opportunity to put our Bennington values into practice and establish new habits for a long-term impact. The winning house will mark history by ringing the Commons bell next Sunday to signify the end of Daylight Savings. I will commit to participating at the Brick House as well. So use the hashtag #doingitinthedark, track your progress online, and turn those lights off!

Halloween 2020

And finally, a note about Halloween this Saturday. Whether you are a student planning to attend an on-campus gathering, or a faculty or staff member taking your kids trick-or-treating, I encourage you to continue to observe the masking and distancing practices that have kept us so safe, and consider the CDC’s Halloween guidance for geographically-specific best practices. I’m confident that we can all celebrate without compromising the amazing work we’ve done to keep this campus COVID-free.

Have a great week,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, October 19 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Today marks the last day of Fall Weekend. I hope students have all taken some time to relax and recharge together. I also want to thank the staff and faculty who worked so hard over the past few weeks to make this reimagined event a success. Look out for an email from me tomorrow with a photo round-up of the festivities.

COVID-19 Update

Despite rising rates of COVID-19 around the country, Bennington College and the state of Vermont remain exceptionally safe today. We continue to detect no COVID-19 on campus, thanks to everyone’s adherence to masking, distancing, and reporting protocols. In parts of the U.S. and around the world, we are now witnessing a resurgence of the virus, including countries that observed strict early lockdowns and successfully curbed its spread at the start. It’s a reminder that we must stay vigilant if we are to maintain the safe and healthy campus we enjoy today. Pandemic fatigue is real, but we can’t let it weaken our resolve.

Resources for Resilience

FLoW (first-generation, low-income, and working-class) students still have one more chance to enjoy the FLoWing With Your Power pre-election group gathering, hosted by Kat Daley, LICSW, and FLoW co-founder Jocelyn Salcedo ‘18. Next Monday at noon, they will hold the last of three events in the “Before the Election” series, designed to help students process the upcoming Presidential elections and related stressors, hopes, fears; and its impact on students’ day to day lives, academics, and overall sense of safety and well-being.

Look for an email from me tomorrow on ways for all students to stay engaged with the democratic process and support one another as Election Day nears. And if you haven’t already, be sure to get registered and make a plan to vote in the state in which you are eligible.

Diversity and Inclusion

I am happy to share with this community the names of the students, faculty, staff and alumni who have been selected to lead the President’s Working Group, which you can now find on the PWG page. You will hear more from us in the coming weeks and months about the antiracist efforts we have under way. I can’t wait to get started.

Get Your Flu Shot

Just a reminder that one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy and out of the doctor’s office is get your flu shot. Students can make appointments at Health Services. Faculty and staff who are currently working on campus are encouraged to take advantage of the flu shot clinic that will be offered at Hannaford in Bennington this Thursday, October 22, and next Wednesday, October 28. Appointments can be made by calling 802-442-3642.

Thank you for all that you do and stay well,

Laura Walker
President
 

Monday, October 12 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Today on Indigenous People’s Day, I’d like to begin with the acknowledgement that Bennington College is built on Wabanaki and Mohican land. I heard a powerful piece on NPR yesterday which featured the story of one Wabanaki woman who, as part of a truth and reconciliation process, spoke of her experience. As a young girl, she was forcibly removed from her mother’s home and then put in a foster home where she suffered indescribable violence. Telling her story as part of the truth and reconciliation process has helped her uncover hard truths and begin to heal. It should also help all of us understand better the violence and discrimination faced by Native Americans.

Here at Bennington, we strive to foster respect, sustainability and a sense of history in our relationship to this land. The student-directed Purple Carrot Farm and its small-scale approach to agriculture is just one example of those ideals. On Sunday from 2:00-4:00 pm, as part of Fall Weekend, all students, faculty and staff are invited to a Community Work Day at Purple Carrot Farm to celebrate together our sense of place and reverence for the natural world.

COVID-19 Update

We continue to detect no COVID-19 on the Bennington campus thanks to everyone’s vigilance. As the cold weather approaches, it is more important than ever that we all continue to report daily symptoms with CoVerified and observe masking and social distancing requirements. The virus is currently having a second wave in parts of the northeast, so a rededication to the measures that have kept us so safe is imperative right now.

Diversity and Inclusion

I am pleased to share that we have determined the 25 students, faculty, staff and alumni who will lead the President’s Working Group for antiracist action here at Bennington. It was a difficult task to choose among so many passionate Bennington people, but Delia and I strove to reflect the broadest range of perspectives and interests, with particular attention to individuals who were nominated multiple times and demonstrated a longstanding commitment to equality and inclusion. We look forward to sharing the names with this community very soon.

Planning for Spring 2021

For your own planning, I wanted to give you a sense of what you can expect life to be like next term. The bottom line is that the policies we enacted this fall have been successful in protecting our community and supporting the academic needs of our students. By 2021, we expect to cautiously begin welcoming more people back to campus. With this in mind, we are planning to return to a full 14-week term for Spring 2021. We will also be providing housing over Winter Break and Field Work Term for students without other housing options. You can expect further details on all of this next week.

Fall Weekend

Students, don’t forget that Fall Weekend kicks off on Friday with the Harvest Dinner, and there are activities scheduled through Monday—both on-campus and remote—with the express purpose of relaxing and recharging together. It has been a demanding few months, and I hope you take this well-deserved time to step away from your work to enjoy this stunning season and great company.

Enjoy your week,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, October 5 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

This is a busy time for students as Plans are finalized and senior essays delivered. I want to commend this community on its unwavering commitment to not only the rigorous academic work you do every day, but also on your commitment to one another and our collective health. The cold weather is just around the corner and your attention to the preventative measures that have kept us so safe will be more important than ever as our lives move inside for the coming months.

COVID-19 Update

We continue to detect no COVID-19 on the Bennington campus thanks to everyone’s ongoing vigilance. As a reminder, you can always find the latest on our COVID-19 Information Page.

Diversity and Inclusion

I want to share with you all that Delia Saenz, our current Vice President for Institutional Inclusion, Equity, and Leadership Development, has requested, and I have approved, a modification to her appointment at Bennington. For personal reasons related to family health, Delia has specifically asked to switch over to an advisory role, and to do so in a reduced time appointment and in remote format. Naturally, we want to support her desire to attend to personal exigencies even as we recognize that the reduction of her full-time commitment to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion will be a loss to us. Fortunately, she will maintain a connection and, as an advisor to me, will continue to provide her expertise and passion to key select functions at Bennington (such as the President’s Working Group, oversight of the diversity interns, and consultation with HR/Provost's office on inclusion efforts related to faculty and staff development). We will also ascertain the personnel needs of the office during this time so that we can determine what is needed to maintain our commitment to equity and inclusion. I hope you keep Delia and her family in your thoughts, and that we all continue to do what she has encouraged—to aspire to make Bennington an intentionally inclusive and equitable environment where we are guided by our intelligence and openness, rather than by habit. This is not a goodbye, but we will miss having Delia here on campus.

Later this week, we will announce the members of the President’s Working Group. I am grateful to Delia for her ongoing support of these efforts, even from afar. There will be plenty of opportunities for anyone in this community who wants to help advance our goals of inclusion and antiracism to participate in the coming months.

Take Care

It has been a tumultuous week for the nation in an already tumultuous year. I want to remind each of you that if you’re feeling frayed by global events or the demands of your work, we have resources that can help. On Wednesday mornings at 9:00 am, you are invited to join Mindful Wednesdays via Zoom for a chance to breathe and build resilience with other Bennington people. There are also many ways to recharge with great art this fall including a virtual Music Monday performance this evening with Dr. Alisha Lola Jones and the final installment in our Poetry at Bennington series this Wednesday with Layli Long Soldier.

As a reminder, today is the last day to register to vote in many states. If you haven’t registered yet in the state in which you are eligible, I urge you to check your deadlines and get registered.

And finally, please save the dates of October 16-19 for Bennington’s Fall Weekend. We are taking the opportunity of the long weekend this year to create ways for students to recharge and reconnect from wherever they are. You will hear more from me in the coming weeks about it.

Thank you and have a great week,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, September 28 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Fall is Here

We are more than halfway through the first seven-week term and fall is officially here. Thanks to everyone’s continued commitment to the measures that have kept us so healthy, Bennington is a distinctly safe campus in a distinctly safe state today. It’s been a pleasure to observe the creative ways that this community is enjoying our beautiful outside spaces as the leaves change color and the temperatures drop.

COVID-19 Update

I am pleased to tell you that there are no new cases of COVID-19 on campus and that we are COVID-19 free. Rolling testing began last week and will continue for the foreseeable future. We will, of course, continue to report any changes on our COVID-19 Information Page.

Our priority today is to maintain this incredible progress by staying resolute in our adherence to masking and social distancing. The cooler temperatures are going to present new challenges as we find ourselves indoors more often. Public health experts have warned of a possible surge in cases this fall and winter, so let’s stay masked, spaced, and safe as the seasons change. And get your flu shots! Students can make flu shot appointments at the Student Health Center at no cost.

Diversity and Inclusion

Last week, I joined a number of other college presidents in signing a letter of support for Princeton University and calling on the Department of Education to drop its harmful investigation that would, in effect, punish Princeton for reckoning with its legacy of institutional racism. I believe every college in the nation should be tackling racism within its community and taking an honest accounting of its own history. This investigation will in no way affect our initiatives to become a more inclusive, just, and antiracist community.

I am so pleased that more than 140 people nominated themselves or someone else for the President’s Working Group. I am so excited by the enthusiastic response and I can’t wait to get started. Nominations are under review now and, while we can’t place everyone who was nominated on the final working group, there will be plenty of opportunities for engagement for everyone interested in building an inclusive and antiracist community. Delia and I look forward to sharing more details very soon.

Belarus and Democracies Around the World

I am pleased to share that Susan Sgorbati and CAPA are putting together an exciting pop-up course in coordination with our Belarusian students. The content will look at a critical understanding of democracy in Belarus and the importance of this examination for the United States and other countries around the world. The course will be offered in the second seven-week term of this fall on Tuesdays from 10:20 to 12:10 PM. It will be conducted remotely and open to the public. We will share more details as soon as they’re finalized.

Lastly, I wanted to let you know that you now have until tomorrow to enjoy Bennington’s production of The Days of Re-Creation, a nationwide collaboration of made-for-Zoom plays, originally developed by Live & In Color, a collective of BIPOC playwrights.

For those who observe Yom Kippur: L'shana Tovah.

Have a great week,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, September 21 

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

We are pleased that the Bennington College student who had been detained in a prison in Belarus following her participation in a peaceful protest earlier this month has been released from prison and is well. In deference to foreign policy experts and the student herself, we are not taking an active public advocacy role in these matters; I advise others in this community to exercise cautious restraint in the days ahead as well. Our primary focus today is on supporting this student and all Bennington students, and creating new opportunities to learn about democracies around the world.

Pulling Together

It’s hard to recall a time in recent history when the world felt more fractured and uncertain than it does today. But here at Bennington, with a few weeks of fall term behind us, it’s clear that you all are turning uncertainty into connection. You are using the challenges before us to knit the fabric of this community ever tighter—and you’re finding some joy along the way. From your adherence to the health measures that are keeping COVID-19 off campus, to the support you’ve shown for your peers affected by the wildfires and your call for racial justice at Friday’s rally, Bennington people are embracing these challenges with empathy and energy. This tumultuous world demands compassionate stamina, and I see it every day in our community.

COVID-19 Update

Bennington continues to record no cases of COVID-19 on campus. In fact, Vermont currently leads the United States in the lowest number of COVID-19 cases on college campuses. During a recent press briefing with Governor Phil Scott, Dr. Anthony Fauci praised Vermont's COVID-19 response and encouraged us all to stay focused. Vermont colleges got here by acting swiftly and following the science; and we will continue to maintain this great progress by staying committed to the practices that have worked so well. So keep wearing your masks and following the bunnies.

Support for Students Affected by Environmental Crises

I know that a number of Bennington students are personally affected by the wildfires that are ravaging much of the West Coast today. Whether you’re living near the path of the fires right now or you’re watching them from afar, we recognize the toll this can take on your mental health and your focus. In addition to the fires, much of the Gulf Coast is reeling from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sally last week and tropical storm Beta is moving in behind it. Because we understand that the devastating effects of climate change are getting closer and more frequent, Bennington College therapist Kat Daley, MSW, and Director of Student Health Promotion Ali Tartagelia, DrPH, will be focusing their weekly Saturday student support group, Better Together, on the environmental disasters impacting students.

Antiracism, Diversity, and Inclusion

I was moved by the passion and energy students brought to the rally for racial justice on Friday. Organized by the Black Student Union, the People Committed to Collective Liberation event was a (safely distanced) space for members of this community to display their creativity and discuss proactive antiracism action that we can all take today. On behalf of the faculty and staff, please know that we see you and we're listening.

If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I encourage you to check out the new Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter, which went to students, faculty, and staff last week. Under the direction of Vice President for Institutional Inclusion, Equity, and Leadership Development Delia Saenz, the biweekly update is dedicated to amplifying the voices of students who are committed to ensuring a pluralistic and equitable campus environment. For the first edition, Delia introduced this year’s diversity interns, Ara Aman ‘21 and Rojay Bryan ‘22, along with a new resource for students called JEDI advising, which will be a space for students to consult with her office on matters of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

And lastly, just a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline to nominate yourself or someone you know to join the President’s Working Group for creating a more inclusive, antiracist and just community here at Bennington. To be considered, please submit a completed nomination form by tomorrow.

One Final Note

Among the ways students are inspiring me today, I have been particularly delighted by the original COVID-19 signage I’ve seen around campus. With artistry, empathy, and irreverence, you’ve made this public health challenge your own.

Thank you and keep it up,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, September 14

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Let me start by telling you that we have spoken to the family of the student who is in prison in Belarus. They are grateful for your concern and your solidarity. I am moved by the (socially distanced) event that was held here on Saturday, and the thoughtful support shown by students, faculty and staff during this time. We will be sure to keep you apprised of developments and opportunities for you to learn and take action in the weeks ahead.

Well Done

This week begins with some good news. First, we continue to record no cases of COVID-19 on campus, thanks to everyone’s careful attention to the safety measures we have in place. And second, Bennington was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to support our hybrid learning model. There are more details about these items below, but I want to highlight that these accomplishments are not unrelated; they both illustrate this community’s ability to adapt swiftly and to turn hardship into strength. You have transformed the challenges of this pandemic into opportunities to enhance both the educational experience and our connection to one another. I’m so grateful to be a part of this team.

COVID-19 Update

As I mentioned, there are currently no cases of COVID-19 on campus. Rolling testing has begun, and we remain prepared to respond to any changes with the same attention we devoted to the first few weeks of reopening. As of today, the vast majority of students have completed their second arrival test. We are still conducting a small handful of tests each week with late arrivals, but we expect those to be completed soon.

The most important thing everyone in this community can do today is 1) stay committed to the COVID-19 safety measures that have worked so effectively thus far and 2) stay healthy in every aspect of our lives.

Get Your Flu Shot!

One of the most critical things we can do to stay healthy as a community is to keep the flu at bay. Bennington College is asking everyone—students, faculty, and staff—to get a flu shot this fall. As the CDC has stressed, getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year because the flu can increase our vulnerability to COVID-19 and because staying healthy will keep us out of the doctor’s office and alleviate the strain on public health resources. Flu shots are safe, effective at preventing and minimizing the flu’s impact, and generally free. When we get a flu shot, we do it for our own health and for that of our neighbors.

Students can make appointments at the Student Health Center for a flu shot. We encourage faculty and staff to use their local pharmacies, most of which offer walk-ins at no out-of-pocket cost.

Getting a flu shot is an essential step to staying healthy this fall, but it’s not the only step. Now more than ever, I encourage you to get enough sleep, eat well, and take care of yourselves in mind and body. If you have questions about the resources we provide here on campus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Health Services.

Davis Educational Foundation Update

We were thrilled to announce this week that Bennington College has received a $25,000 Presidential Grant for Alternate Academic Delivery from the Davis Educational Foundation. The grant will support both the technology upgrades necessary for our shift to a hybrid model this fall, as well as the continuation of a faculty pedagogical workshop series that focuses on hybrid teaching techniques. This grant is really an acknowledgement of Bennington’s creative and innovative approach to learning. It will help us continue to improve upon our hybrid model and stay responsive to changing needs in higher education.

And Finally...

Keep an eye out today for a memo about the President’s Working Group.

We also expect to have more to share about the Bennington student detained in Belarus later this week, along with details about educational opportunities to learn and engage with the political conditions there.

It has been wonderful to see folks (safely) returning to daily life. The Dining Hall opened last Monday, and both The Bookstore and Meyer Rec Barn opened a few days ago. I’m getting to know more and more of you each week, and I continue to look for new opportunities to learn more about what you’re studying and teaching as the term progresses.

Thank you and stay well,

Laura Walker
President
 

Monday, September 7

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

A Great Start
The first week of the fall term began with a smooth and carefully-sequenced round of final move-ins, COVID-19 testing, and quarantining. Classes began, both online and in-person, and we are excited to be back in full swing. For the first time in Bennington’s history, we celebrated Convocation as a podcast. It featured moving speeches from student, faculty, and staff speakers as well as contributions from students on the meaning of community, and an ethereal soundtrack befitting the moment. If you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, you can find it on our Convocation 2020 page.

COVID-19 Update
Arrival testing for students, faculty, and staff concludes this week. All of the students tested on August 31—the final large batch of tests—came back negative, and those students will all be tested again today. Currently, there are no active cases of COVID-19 on campus. Four students are in isolation as part of standard arrival protocols; they will be released from isolation when their latest test results are negative.

It is a testament to everyone’s close adherence to the Commitment of Shared Responsibility that our rates of COVID-19 have remained so low and it’s a reminder that the choices we make—to wear masks, keep our distances, and stay accountable—determine both our physical safety and our trust in one another. You made these choices for the people around you and for the most vulnerable members of our community; you should feel good about that.

The challenge before us today is to remain committed to this ethos in the months ahead, even as we are tempted to let our guard down. Just as you wouldn’t close an umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm, we won’t stop masking and distancing during a pandemic.

The daily health screening is still in effect and rolling testing will begin next week. Let’s all stay focused and keep up the great work.

Dining Hall Reopening
Beginning today, Commons will be open for both in-house dining and take-out to students who have been cleared from isolation/quarantine and have completed their daily CoVerify health screening.

The dining rooms are open at 50% capacity, with additional seating on the balcony overlooking Commons Green and at Wolery Terrace. Because we want everyone to have regular opportunities to enjoy this space, Student Life worked with students to develop a four-week grid for rotating use, which was provided to House Chairs last week. This is just a suggested strategy for equitable access, not a requirement, and I know Natalie Basil is grateful for the constructive feedback she has received so far on how it can be useful.

I want to thank Chef Steve and the Dining Services staff for their hard work over the past few weeks. Their team—along with Buildings & Grounds and Campus Safety—made the delivery system to quarantining houses look easy, but I know it was a massive lift. We could never have implemented these critical safety measures without all of their creativity and effort.

This week’s menu will be posted very shortly, so when you stop by for a homemade Rice Krispy Treat, be sure to introduce or reintroduce yourself and let the dedicated Dining Services staff know how much you appreciate their efforts.

President’s Working Group
I am deeply committed to working together with you to build a culture of inclusive excellence and to take concrete actions to dismantle systemic racism and sexism. Look for a memo in the next few days describing how to nominate yourself or someone you know to be part of the President’s Working Group.

Follow the Bunnies
I know many of you have asked what determines when we decide to tighten (or loosen) safety restrictions on campus. The answer is multifold; it depends upon not only the rate of COVID-19 on campus, but also on public health variables at the local and state level. To help illustrate how our plan can adapt these variables, our design whiz Kat Hughes created this graphic.

Again, I want to thank you all for your feedback, your energy, and your care for one another.

Stay well,

Laura Walker
President

Monday, August 31

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Welcome! 
Welcome to this first official week of Fall Term. Some of you arrived in the past two weeks; others just today; and still others are joining us remotely from around the world. It’s an extraordinary time to be a college student, but I can already feel us drawing energy and inspiration from one another as we come together across distances.  

I am happy to report that, because the vast majority of you have adhered so closely to the Commitment of Shared Responsibility and because the systems we have in place have all worked precisely as they were intended to, campus reopening was a relatively smooth process. Thank you all for your continued cooperation.

This is the first in a series of messages that I plan to send on Mondays with the purpose of keeping everyone informed of the state of COVID-19 on campus, our response and prevention efforts, and the creative ways we are all adapting around this pandemic. 

COVID-19 Update
Last week, three cases of COVID-19 were discovered through the arrival testing process and we were able to quickly isolate those students while providing them with the care they needed. The Vermont Department of Health conducted contact tracing for them, and anyone who was identified as a close contact has been notified. There will likely be more cases in the coming weeks and months, but the rapid response and containment of these initial cases was a successful test of the College’s ability to maintain a healthy campus with little disruption. I am also pleased to share that none of the students who have tested positive are seriously ill at this time. 

Our early arrivals had their Day Seven test last week, and the results were all negative, so all houses have completed their quarantine. The arrival testing process is currently under way for students arriving today.

As a reminder, you can always find the most up-to-date numbers on tests conducted, positive results, and active cases on our COVID-19 Information Page. If anything more urgent arises, expect an email from us. 

A Feat of Organization and Cooperation
These past few weeks on campus have been choreographed down to the minute—from student arrivals and testing, to food delivery and quick adaptations in quarantine housing.

If you received your COVID-19 test last Thursday, you saw that approach in full effect as we conducted the largest and most complex testing operation yet. Under the direction of Dr. Randy Anselmo, Bennington staff and faculty volunteers processed a total of 338 tests and then sent them off by courier to a Boston lab where they were processed and reported back to us over the weekend. The day went by without a hitch, despite the fact that an unexpected rainstorm required the quick rearrangement of the entire physical operation. 

Among the many people who made these efforts possible, I would like to thank Student Life; Health Services; Buildings and Grounds; Human Resources; Campus Safety; IT; Dining Services; Bennington College staff volunteers; Southwestern Vermont Medical Center staff; the Bennington Rescue Squad; Dr. Randy Anselmo, for his tireless leadership; and all of you, for your collaborative and optimistic spirit—even in the rain.

Creating in Quarantine
One of the things I knew about Bennington College long before my arrival here was its proud tradition of turning toward the most urgent crises of the day; of students innovating around challenges through art, political action, science, and culture. These are extraordinary times, but Bennington students are doing what they have always done in moments of great upheaval: they are coming together to create. The new obstacles presented by this pandemic are fertile ground for Bennington thinkers and makers, and I’m energized by the passion you’ve demonstrated in just the first few days of fall term. 

One example of this is The Campus Mural Project, a collaborative project in which students work within their house communities to create a large work of art that expresses their collective hopes for the coming year. Once completed, all house murals will be connected—and digital contributions from remote learners will be integrated—to create a 50+ foot work that embodies the aspirations of Bennington students in this moment. So far, the murals are already shaping up to be surprising, provocative, and wholly original. I can’t wait to see the final product.

Photo credit: Nirmohi Belvalkar

I look forward to highlighting more of the creative ways you are working, playing, and living together. If you have something that delights or inspires, please let me know at president@bennington.edu

Again, I want to thank you all for your cooperation and patience in these early days. I can’t wait to see many of you around campus and to get to know this community as the term unfolds. 

It’s going to be a great year,

Laura Walker
President

Past Community Messages

December 30, 2020 | COVID update

TO: Students, Staff, Faculty, and Families
FR: Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College

I want to let you know that we have received a report of a new positive case within our community. This employee is currently isolating at home. As a precautionary measure, we also have another employee quarantining at home.

As with any positive case on our campus, the College is working closely with the employee and the Vermont Department of Health. At this time and based on our knowledge of the case, we believe that the exposure risk to our campus community is very low, if there is any risk at all. As a reminder, if you are not contacted by the Vermont Department of Health, you are not considered a close contact.

Most importantly, the employee reports feeling well and has no symptoms at this time. We are all wishing this person well.

As always, please check the COVID webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Please recommit to the importance of our shared responsibility for each other in the New Year through adherence to the Commitment of Shared Responsibility, including wearing masks, washing hands, and observing social distancing.

December 26, 2020 | COVID update

TO: Students, Staff, Faculty, and Families
FR: Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College

I want to let you know that we have received a report of a new positive case within our community. This was an employee who was most recently on campus on Friday, December 18, 2020.

The College is working closely with the employee and the Vermont Department of Health. At this time and based on our knowledge of the case, we believe that the exposure risk to our campus community is very low, if there is any risk at all. As a reminder, if you are not contacted by the Vermont Department of Health, you are not considered a close contact.

Most importantly, the employee reports feeling well, has no symptoms at this time, and is currently quarantining at home. We are all wishing this person well.

As always, please check the COVID webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Thank you to everyone for adhering to the Commitment of Shared Responsibility, including wearing masks, washing hands, and observing social distancing. We hope everyone is enjoying a safe and restful holiday break.

December 21, 2020 | COVID update

TO: Students, Staff, Faculty, and Families
FR: Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College

I want to let you know that we have received a report of a new positive case within our community. This was an employee who was most recently on campus on Wednesday, 12/16.

The College is working closely with the employee and the Vermont Department of Health. At this time and based on our knowledge of the case, we believe that the exposure risk to our campus community is very low, if there is any risk at all. This case is not related to the case we notified the campus community about on December 11. As a reminder, if you are not contacted by the Vermont Department of Health, you are not considered a close contact.

Most importantly, the employee reports feeling well, has no symptoms, and is currently quarantining at home. We are all wishing this person well.

As always, please check the COVID webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Thank you to everyone for wearing masks, washing hands, and observing social distancing. These actions reduce the risk for all of us. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

December 18, 2020 | Public Point of Distribution

TO: The Bennington Community
FR: COVID-19 Task Force

As many of you may remember from last spring, Bennington College has an agreement with the Vermont Department of Health that allows for our campus to be used as a Public Point of Distribution (POD) site. Our POD was activated over the spring and summer to support on-going Covid-19 testing for the greater town of Bennington community. And in very positive news, we have been asked to activate it again this winter for vaccine distribution to frontline workers.

We anticipate that this work may begin as soon as January 1, 2021 and continue through the winter. For those staying on campus, this should not cause disruption but you may notice additional vehicles in the VAPA parking lot. Individuals coming to campus will be doing so by appointment only and under the supervision of the Department of Health. The POD will be Greenwall auditorium and the adjacent parking lot and is completely staffed by the Department of Health. Greenwall is dedicated for this operation so request access to this space and the corresponding wing will not be available during this time.

There is no action needed at this time. We just wanted you to be aware of possible outside traffic on campus. Campus Safety will work to ensure that the existing security measures are maintained throughout this period. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ken Collamore.

Thank you for your cooperation.

December 11, 2020 | COVID Update

TO: Students, Staff, Faculty, Families
FR: Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College

I want to share that we have received a report of a new positive COVID case within our community. This was an employee who was most recently on campus on 12/8.

While we can understand that this news may be concerning, please be assured that the College is working closely with both the employee and the Vermont Department of Health. At this time and based on our knowledge of the case, we believe that the exposure risk to our campus community is very low, if there is any risk at all. As a reminder, if you are not contacted by the Vermont Department of Health, you are not considered a close contact.

Most importantly, the employee reports feeling well, has no symptoms, and is currently quarantining at home. We are all wishing this person well.

As always, you can check the COVID webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Thank you to everyone for wearing your masks and observing social distancing.

November 20, 2020 | Additional information about remote learning shift

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

As President Walker shared on Monday, Bennington College is taking additional steps to safeguard this community in light of the new guidelines issued by the State of Vermont that dramatically limit socializing among students and the surging COVID-19 rates around the country. After Friday, all courses will shift to remote instruction and students are strongly encouraged to travel home now if they can. Students need only fill out this form to begin their departure.

We have created this Q&A webpage to serve as a resource for you and your family as you plan the rest of the term. If you have additional questions not answered in this document you can submit them here.

Detailed information about access to academic campus spaces can be found here. Many thanks to the faculty discipline groups for their work on these adjustments.

I also want to thank in advance all faculty and staff for adhering to our COVID-19 protocols by staying home and celebrating Thanksgiving with only those in your immediate household. Your commitment to health and safety has helped to keep us COVID-free this term.

Thank you for your care and understanding,

Oceana Wilson
Acting Dean of the College and Dean of the Library

November 17, 2020 | COVID-19 Test Center Hours of Operation

TO: Students, Faculty, and Staff
FR: Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College
Dr. Randy Anselmo, Director of Health Services

The Bennington College COVID-19 testing center will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and will change its hours of operation for the Winter Break/Field Work Term. Please refer to the grid below for the full test center hours of operation. Additionally, please review these important notes:

  • Given that the test center is closed for Thanksgiving on November 25, November 26, and November 27, employees and students should plan accordingly and test earlier in the week if possible—on Monday (11/23) or Tuesday (11/24). The testing center will resume regular hours on Monday, November 30.
  • The test center will transition to new hours of operation for the Winter Break and Field Work Term. Effective Monday, December 14, 2020 the test center will only be open on Mondays. We encourage Group B employees to conduct their monthly test for December between December 1 and December 11, prior to the scheduled change in hours.

COVID Test Center

Date Hours of Operation
November 23-24 Open Monday and Tuesday only
8:00 am-3:00 pm (closed for lunch 11:30 am-12:30 pm)
November 25, 26, 27 Closed. Please adjust your testing schedule accordingly and test on Monday (11/23) or Tuesday (11/24), if possible. Students should contact Health Services for concerns about testing in advance of leaving campus.
November 30-December 11 Open Monday through Friday
8:00 am-3:00 pm (closed for lunch 11:30-12:30 pm)
December 14, 2020-February 7, 2021 Open Mondays only
8:00 am-3:00 pm (closed for lunch 11:30 am-12:30 pm)
February 8, 2021 Open Monday through Friday
8:00 am-3:00 pm (closed for lunch 11:30 am-12:30 pm)

As a reminder, students and Group A employees will continue to be tested weekly and Group B employees will continue to be tested monthly. Please continue to schedule your rolling testing appointment through CoVerified. If you have any questions regarding these changes please contact Meredith Meurs (faculty), Taylor Shelton (staff) or Health Services (students).

November 16, 2020 | Transition to All Remote Instruction on 11/20

Dear community members,

As you are likely well aware, the rates of COVID are rising nationally and here in Vermont. Bennington has been enormously successful in weathering this pandemic; I’m proud of you, and grateful for the careful attention and hard work this has taken. Nevertheless, transmission rates are accelerating and the most prudent course for us today is to adapt—particularly as holiday travel is expected to exacerbate these trends.

With that in mind, we are announcing that Bennington College will be transitioning to all-remote instruction after Friday, November 20. We strongly encourage all students who can travel home before Thanksgiving to do so, although students are not required to leave campus at this time. Decreasing the population density on campus is an important way we can protect our students who are unable to leave and our essential services staff. In addition, given the rapid increase in infections around the country, travel is likely to get less safe as we get closer to December.

This change is consistent with Governor Scott’s stricter state guidelines which were issued last week. All members of this community are asked to adhere to the updated Vermont regulations which prohibit people from different households from gathering in private or public, indoor or outdoor, for any social, recreational, or entertainment gatherings. (For students on campus, this means they will no longer be able to socialize in person with anyone who is not a roommate. For staff and faculty, this means not socializing with anyone who isn’t in your immediate household.) We recognize that these changes may be difficult and disappointing, especially around the holidays, but the CDC indicates that this is the safest way to celebrate this year.

Our plan was designed to be flexible, to allow us to adapt to changing circumstances with as little disruption to students’ academic paths as possible. Faculty will work with students over the next several days to transition their in-person coursework to remote. We chose to implement this on Friday, rather than just before the holiday, to allow more flexibility with travel and to increase the likelihood that everyone in our community may remain safe and healthy.

We understand that this news may be disappointing to some and we really appreciate your adherence to these new parts of our Commitment of Shared Responsibility. Together I am confident that we can get through this tough period in good health and safely. More information is below. Please submit any questions you have. And thank you for all you are doing to keep our students, colleagues, friends, and family as safe as possible.

Thank you,
Laura Walker

What students need to know:

About life on campus

  • Dining has transitioned to entirely pick-up service. While the state guidelines allow for in-person dining, given the time left in the term, we are choosing to make this transition out of an abundance of caution.
  • We are working to determine access to campus spaces and equipment, likely with restrictions to adhere to new supervision requirements. Details will be announced by next Monday, after faculty feedback.
  • The state has restricted all public and private social gatherings, indoor and outdoor, to only members of a single household. We have asked for guidance on this and learned that a household means a room, not a house -- which means that students will no longer be able to socialize in person with anyone who is not a roommate.
  • Students should limit trips off campus as much as possible to include only the essentials. Students with employment off campus should contact Student Life to discuss their individual work situations. We encourage people to make use of delivery services whenever possible.
  • There will not be performances with in-person audiences after 5:00 pm on November 20.

About departure

  • Students are not required to depart at this time, however, given that the planned end-of-term travel would likely coincide with further increases in infection rates, and possible additional restrictions at destinations or with public transportation, students are strongly encouraged to take the opportunity to travel home now.
  • Students may schedule pre-departure testing by rescheduling their weekly test via the CoVerified app. We recommend a test two days before planned departure, to ensure they have results. Note that if any student receives a positive test, they will not be able to leave campus, to protect their family and fellow travelers. The College is prepared to care for them while they recover.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to confirm and adhere to travel restrictions and quarantine/testing requirements for the states that they will be returning to.
  • If you choose to return home before the end of term, please notify Student Life.
  • More information will be forthcoming about the impacts to student employment for students who leave campus early.
  • Please note that in accordance with our refund policy the College does not refund room and board charges after the 20th calendar day in the academic term which was September 21, 2020. Departing from campus is not a requirement but it may be in the best interest of many students.

For faculty and staff

  • In-person meetings are strongly discouraged; all meetings should be held virtually/by phone whenever possible.
  • Faculty may continue to use offices, studios, labs, and other spaces, and staff may continue to access offices.
  • Staff working on campus should continue to report to work as usual. Human Resources is working directly with each department to determine if select (additional) staff can be transitioned to remote work. Employees who have concerns about their work arrangements should speak with their supervisor or contact Human Resources.
  • All faculty and staff, regardless of the state they live in, are asked to adhere to Vermont’s prohibition on multiple household gatherings: People from different households should not gather in private or public spaces, indoor or outdoor, for any social, recreational, or entertainment gatherings.
  • There will not be performances with in-person audiences after 5:00 pm on November 20.

For the public

  • As of now, the public will still be permitted on the campus grounds, provided they are wearing masks and observing social distancing. As a reminder, members of the public are not permitted in any campus buildings. This decision is, of course, subject to change based on infection rates and other considerations.

November 15, 2020 | Transition to take-out dining

TO: Students
FR: Meredith McCoy, Associate Vice President, Institutional Initiatives

As you may know, the Vermont governor announced on Friday new regulations to respond to the surge of COVID cases. Our plan for the fall was always designed to be flexible, and we are working on responding to the new regulations as quickly and efficiently as possible.

As an immediate first step in our response, the College will be transitioning dining to take-out only. This will be effective at brunch this morning.

Additional changes will be needed in order for the College to comply with the new State regulations. We are working hard to consider all changes that will be necessary. We will have additional updates early next week.

Our gratitude to the Dining Hall staff and our vendors for responding so quickly and helping us keep the community safe.

November 11, 2020 | Thanksgiving Follow Up

Dear on-campus Students,

On Monday, you saw in President Walker’s message that the College has made some changes regarding Thanksgiving travel.  We wanted to offer a follow-up on that email; staff and faculty will also be receiving more clarification.

As the email stated, students who choose to travel outside of Bennington County from this point forward (day trips or overnight) need to continue the term remotely.  If you have decided to travel outside of the county, please fill out this form which will indicate that you are completing the term remotely. Please follow the End of Term checklist that will be sent out next week if you are leaving campus.

It is important to know that many countries and states have begun to impose travel restrictions, so make sure you know the latest travel, testing, and quarantine rules at your destination location.  

Please continue to make appointments via Coverified for your weekly testing. Some travel may require that you present a negative test result.  You can request an official copy (PDF, print, or both) of the laboratory report from Health Services as soon as you receive notification of your test result on CoVerified.

If you are planning to stay on campus for Thanksgiving, Chef Steve and the rest of the dining staff have great plans including a Thanksgiving Brunch (11:00AM-1:30PM) and Thanksgiving Dinner (5:00PM-7:00PM).  

We are closing in on week 4 of the final 7-week term and the number of positive cases is increasing in our state and the country.  It is important that we continue to be vigilant at this time, including continuing to wear masks, continuing to maintain social distance, limiting the size of group gatherings, and reviewing the Commitment to Shared Responsibility when questions arise.  

While it is not my preference to send emails after 5:00PM, I wanted to ensure that you had this information as quickly as possible as you are making plans.  If you have any questions about Thanksgiving travel, please reach out to Student Life at studentlife@bennington.edu.

Christine Winget 
Acting Dean of Students & Associate Dean of Student Life 

PLAN21

October 23, 2020 | Spring 2021 Plan

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families,

Spring 2021 is still a few months away and the state of the pandemic remains in flux, but we wanted to let you know what we anticipate for next term.

The policies we enacted this fall have been successful in protecting our community and supporting the academic needs of our students. At a time when colleges around the world have had to reinvent the classroom experience, we have successfully maintained an intimate, collaborative, and rigorous liberal arts education here at Bennington. This was only possible because of the flexibility and compassion demonstrated by the people in this community. Your willingness to adapt to challenges in the interest of our collective health has made us stronger, for which you should be very proud.

Here is what the Spring 2021 term will look like:

  • Students are encouraged to join us safely on campus, and those who cannot will again have the option to learn remotely. Students who wish to make a change to their on-campus or remote status should fill out this form by Sunday, November 1.
  • We will return to a full 14-week term. The two seven-week terms were designed to make it easier for students and faculty to respond to sudden increases in remote learning, either for individuals who needed to quarantine or in the event of outbreaks on campus. Fortunately, that was not necessary, so we are pleased to announce a return to the standard full term structure.
  • Students will quarantine until negative test results are in. All students returning after break will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and then again on day seven; they will quarantine in their rooms until the first negative test result is in, and quarantine on campus until the second one is in. This plan was informed by the lessons of our initial quarantine procedure in the fall, in which we detected all COVID-19 infections in the first round of testing; it’s consistent with the experiences of our peer colleges as well.
  • All courses will begin remotely to allow students complete the quarantine process before in-person instruction begins.
  • Campus will open for the Spring 2021 term the weekend of February 13, 2021. Students will be asked to sign up for a specific time to arrive and complete the move-in process. We are currently planning that students who did not live on campus for the fall term will arrive on February 13, and students who lived on campus for the fall will return on February 14. (As was the case in the Fall, we will work with International students who can not arrive in February due to restricted travel or delayed visa processing as a result of closed embassies.)
  • Long Weekend will change to be two 3-day weekends to comply with Vermont mandatory guidance.
  • The Commitment of Shared Responsibility will remain in place for the Spring 2021 term.

We will be holding Q&A sessions for students and families to answer any questions they have:

  • Tuesday, October 27, 2:00-3:00 pm ET—register
  • Friday, October 30, 3:00-4:00 pm ET—register

Please submit any questions you have and register to attend.

All of our procedures are compliant with the State of Vermont’s current travel requirements and our own on-campus rules. As before, every on-campus student, faculty, and staff member is expected to continue to report daily symptom changes with CoVerified and follow current masking and distancing requirements.

Please keep in mind these policies have been designed to be flexible and respond to public health needs, so any dramatic changes in the course of the coronavirus could prompt further changes. We will keep you apprised of the details as Spring 2021 approaches.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our collective health and well-being,

John Bullock, Acting Provost and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College and Dean of the Library

August 27, 2020 | Second Case on Campus

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

In the interest of keeping everyone informed during this campus reopening period, I am writing to let you know that a second student has tested positive for COVID-19.

As with the first, this second case of COVID-19 was discovered during the mandatory arrival testing phase. The affected student has been placed in quarantine and the Vermont Department of Health has begun the contact tracing process. As before, the student had limited contact with others while awaiting test results, and anyone who may be considered a close contact will be informed. 

Because we believe that transparency and communication are paramount to our collective success in the coming weeks, I want to remind you that you can always find the latest numbers on tests conducted, positive results, and active cases on our COVID-19 Information Page. It will be updated daily and I encourage everyone to visit it for the most up-to-date numbers. You can also expect to hear from me every Monday with a broader look at our COVID-19 strategy. And, of course, if anything warrants more immediate attention, we will send out email alerts as needed. 

I want to thank the staff who continue to execute our COVID-19 Preparedness Strategy so deftly; our students, for your adherence to these safety measures and your collaborative spirit; and everyone in this community, for the conscientiousness and care you’ve shown for one another as campus reopens.

Be well,

Laura Walker
President

August 26, 2020 | New Quarantine Policy

Dear students, faculty, staff, and families,

As we joyfully welcome students back on campus during this pandemic, we are forging an ever stronger sense of community built on empathy and compassion. In response to feedback from all of you and the lessons we are observing around the country, I am writing today to inform you of an update to one of our student arrival policies.

Beginning August 31, all students arriving to campus will be asked to quarantine in their designated rooms until their COVID-19 tests come back negative. We anticipate that this will take 24-48 hours. Accommodations for meals and restrooms will be made for all students quarantining in-room; everyone affected by this change will receive additional details.

We believe that this more conservative approach is right for the health of all students and the well-being of this community. It will also help alleviate student anxieties and cultivate an environment of trust among peers as new relationships are forged. As you know, the Bennington College COVID-19 Preparedness Strategy was designed to be flexible, to adapt swiftly to shifting needs and emerging information, which is precisely what we are doing today.

In the case of the one positive COVID-19 test we informed you of yesterday, the contact tracing team from the Vermont Department of Health was immediately in touch with the person who tested positive and they identified everyone who came in close contact with the affected student (also quarantining in-room). The vast majority of the affected student’s housemates did not come in close contact, however, and are not required to quarantine under the guidelines set by the Vermont Department of Health.

Our objective is to minimize both viral exposure for everyone and anxiety for students. We are committed to cultivating a healthy community that shares responsibility for each other; we also want each student to feel nurtured and welcomed as the school year begins—this year more than ever. We will continue to respond to the health needs and community concerns as the weeks unfold. Our adaptability and cooperation is central to a successful fall term.

Thank you again,

Laura Walker

August 25, 2020 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Students and Families, Faculty, and Staff,

I wanted to let you know that, as of this morning, we have one confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus out of 535 tests conducted. This was not unexpected and we have been preparing for this scenario. I am pleased to report that all of our COVID-19 Preparedness systems worked as planned. The student has been isolated and is receiving care; the House Chairs and other students in the House have been notified. 

Upon receiving the positive result, our comprehensive response plan was initiated, and Health Services contacted the student with the result. The student was then moved into one of our dedicated isolation spaces by Campus Safety, and contact tracing commenced by the State of Vermont. Health Services will provide care for the individual student, and Student Life will be checking in as well. Meals will be delivered to the isolation space. As a reminder, all students on campus are currently in quarantine in their residential houses, so exposure was already limited. The student’s housemates have been notified, offered support services, and asked to protect the privacy of the individual student. Buildings and Grounds has notified the housekeeping staff for additional cleaning protocols of this house and the transportation vehicle, and to ensure that the risk to our staff is as low as possible. 

I know that this is an anxious time and the presence of the virus can feel alarming, but the good news is that the policies we have implemented to detect and contain COVID-19 did precisely what they were designed to do. We expected this first round of campus arrivals to be challenging, but we were prepared for it. 

There will likely be more positive results in the weeks ahead, and we will respond with the same robust agility to each. Anyone who is suspected of having been exposed to COVID-19 will be personally contacted, but we will not send out campus-wide emails with each new case unless it presents a broader risk to the community. You can always find current information about the number of tests, positive results, and policies on our COVID-19 Information Page, and feel free to send us your questions at any time. Students with concerns about their own physical or emotional well-being should reach out to the Office of Student Life. I will be in touch with regular communications throughout the term. 

I am encouraged by the eager and thoughtful engagement with which our students have been arriving to campus and settling in. It is a testament to this community’s care for one another and your adherence to the Commitment of Shared Responsibility that we are so overwhelmingly healthy today. It bodes well for the coming months and for our eventual full return to campus life.

Thank you and be well,
Laura Walker

 

August 24, 2020 | What You Need to Know for the Start of Fall Term

Dear Bennington Community,

Students have begun to arrive on campus and anticipation for the start of fall term is palpable. It has been a thrill to welcome many of you to campus—some of you for the first time—and feel the energy return to our buildings and green spaces.

I am writing to give you an update on the key pieces of our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that may affect your daily lives. Whether you are on campus or studying and working remotely, I hope you will familiarize yourself with the details below.

You will hear more from us in the weeks ahead, as we adapt to changing circumstances and continue to address your questions. You can always find current information on the refreshed COVID-19 Updates and Information Webpage—your dashboard for day-to-day changes within our community. I am pleased to report that, so far, all COVID-19 tests for faculty, staff, and students have been negative 

I am confident that with close communication, flexibility, and a commitment to our collective health, this term will be a success. 

I look forward to seeing and hearing from you in the weeks ahead,

Laura Walker
 

Testing: 

  • Student arrival testing was held on August 19, 20, and 21, and will continue on August 27, 31 and September 7. 
  • So far, 534 tests have been administered to students, faculty, and staff. All were negative. 
  • All students will be tested on the day they arrive (Day zero), and Day 7 after they arrive. While Vermont requires all students to get a test on Day 7, and students from high-prevalence areas to get a test on Day zero, we are opting to have all students take both tests—which will hopefully increase the chances of a smooth start of term. 
  • Students are also encouraged to get tested before they leave home, if possible.
  • Students will be contacted directly by Health Services if their result is positive with instructions and next steps.  
  • For future reference, all COVID-19 information that is specifically for staff and faculty can be found on the new FAQ for Staff and Faculty page. 

 

Start of classes **UPDATE***

  • Classes will now begin remotely for Tuesday and Wednesday, September 1 and 2. In-person classes will begin on Thursday, September 3. This change was made to ensure that we have the COVID-19 test results for the students arriving on August 31. If there are any unexpected delays in processing tests, we will adjust and will be in touch as soon as possible.
     

Daily screenings:

  • All students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a daily temperature and symptom self-screenings. Please confirm that your temperature is within a range that does not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Please also confirm that you are free of any new respiratory illness (fever, new/worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills/muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell).
  • For now, faculty and staff should continue to use the Health Screening google form; students should reach out to Health Services if they experience any symptoms.
  • The College will be transitioning to CoVerified, a COVID-19 Campus Management Platform, which is available on the web and as an iOS phone app. The College is in the final testing phase and CoVerified should be ready by the end of this week. CoVerified is secure and confidential, and does not track users location or movement. Only Health Services, Human Resources, and the Dean’s Office will have access to this information.  
  • If you develop symptoms and log them, someone will reach out to you with instructions (students will hear from Health Services; faculty will hear from the Provost and Dean’s Office, and staff will hear from Human Resources). The app will also allow you to schedule appointments for rolling testing when that begins, receive test results, and log test results that you may have from elsewhere. If you test positive, CoVerified will allow you to report close contacts and it maintains your privacy if you choose to do so. 
  • Information and instructions on using CoVerified will be shared as soon as it is ready. If you have questions, students should feel free to reach out to Health Services, staff to Human Resources, and faculty to the Dean's Office. Please also see the App tutorial and Parent guide.

 

How the College will report cases on campus: 

In order to be transparent and also protect individuals’ privacy, we will share the total cases, active cases, recovered cases, and total tests conducted on campus on the COVID-19 updates webpage. We will not be confirming details about specific cases. 

The state of Vermont will be conducting contact tracing and will be in touch with members of the community believed to be at higher risk of having contracted COVID-19 from someone who later tested positive. Alison Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, is the College liaison to the Vermont Department of Health for student contact tracing. Health Services will also contact Human Resources and/or the Provost and Dean’s office, as appropriate; those offices will be in touch directly with staff or faculty, including to answer any questions specific to the work of the office.

If a student was believed to be infectious while in class, the faculty member will be told what class, but not the individual student’s name. The faculty member does not need to notify the students in the class. The contract tracing process will determine which students need to be notified. 

Students who test positive for COVID-19 may choose to alert their families or emergency contact. The College will not share health information about specific students with family members unless a student is under 18, has given permission, and/or is severely ill and unable to communicate.

Rolling testing

There will be rolling testing to help identify asymptomatic cases throughout the term. The rolling testing will be conducted by Broad (pronounced to rhyme with “road”) Institute of MIT and Harvard. The frequency of the rolling testing will be responsive to the number of cases on campus. More information to come. 

An Adaptable Plan 

Our re-opening plan is designed to allow us to be flexible. Like opening or closing a spigot a little at a time, we can and will adjust policies based on how things are going. Factors that will influence those decisions include things happening both on campus (e.g., how well the community is adhering to the Commitment to Shared Responsibility, the number of cases on campus, if there are cases of community spread, the number of quarantine and isolation spaces available, the speed of test results) and off-campus (such as the local hospital’s capacity, and the state’s capacity for contact tracing). 

Adjustments may include things like: increasing or decreasing indoor dining capacity, switching to pick up service for the Dining Hall, Library, and Bookstore; a temporary transition to all remote instruction for a week or two, specific courses temporary transition to remote learning, and/or an additional quarantine by house community.

Will will continue to be in touch as things progress. All community members can help by adhering to the Commitment of Shared Responsibility to help reduce the risk of spread. 

I will be writing to you frequently with updates of COVID related news. In the meantime, enjoy the summer weather. 

 

August 18, 2020 | Open call to serve on the CSR Violation Panel

TO: The Bennington Community
FR: John Bullock, Acting Provost and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
       Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College and Dean of the Library

We are about to embark on a term unlike any other in the history of the College. We have heard from many of you about both your excitement and your trepidation. There have been many questions from students, their families, staff, faculty, as well as those in the surrounding community, about steps we are taking to ensure the safety of those on campus this fall. Among the many health and safety measures we are implementing to ensure our success, one of our most important is the Commitment of Shared Responsibility, our compact to each other that our individual actions and behaviors will be aligned to protect the health and safety of every member of the College community.

With respect to enforcement of the specific guidelines, we are confident that the community will pull together in this moment of mutual dependence. We anticipate that most CSR infractions will not be willful, but rather a lapse into older pre-pandemic patterns of behavior. In these cases, which we anticipate will be the vast majority, the issue will be addressed in a way that focuses on education and restorative practices. However, the College is required to address more serious infractions in accordance with the Mandatory Guidance for Residential Campus Learning, issued by the State of Vermont. The College defines a serious infraction of the CSR as acts that are egregious, willful, and/or repeated.

The mechanism by which serious infractions will be addressed will be as follows: faculty violations will be addressed by the Acting Provost; staff violations will be addressed by Human Resources; and student violations will be reviewed by the CSR Violations Panel. This panel will be composed of students, faculty, and staff. Because of the need to address these situations in a timely manner we are enlisting a group of fair-minded students, faculty, and staff willing to serve in this capacity and thereby play an active role in protecting the safety of the community. If you are interested in being part of this group and meaningfully contributing to the health of the community and the success of the term if called upon, or if you have any questions, please email us at provostanddean@bennington.edu.

Sincerely,

John and Oceana

August 15, 2020 | Instructions to faculty and staff for obtaining your COVID-19 Test Results

TO: Faculty and staff
FR: Health Services

For employees who participated in COVID testing, please note the following instructions for obtaining your COVID-19 test results.

Log into Aegis Labs patient portal. Refer to the Laboratory Request print out given to you during your testing. The requisition number is an 8 digit number, located in the upper right corner of your Laboratory Request with a barcode above it. Enter the requested information. If the test is complete, the report may be viewed, downloaded or printed. If the test has not been completed, no report will be available, but you can check again later.

COVID-19 Test Results Q&A

I was not provided or I lost a Laboratory Request print out. How do I get another?
Contact Health Services to request a copy.

Why are my results not ready yet?
Result times have been averaging 24-48 hours from the time the lab receives specimens (usually the morning after your specimen was collected). Higher demand due to increased COVID-19 activity in other parts of the country could slow down the result times periodically.

What should I do and who do I contact if my results are positive?
Contact Human Resources and your primary care physician. Please refrain from coming to campus until you have been cleared to return.

What should I do if my results are inconclusive?
A number of factors can lead to an inconclusive test. This does NOT mean you have COVID-19. Your test should be repeated, though. Contact Health Services to arrange for a repeat test.

My test ID number is not valid or I'm experiencing issues with the website, who do I contact?
Contact Health Services.

August 10, 2020 | COVID-19 and the Bennington Community

At the August 10 meeting of the Bennington Select Board, College leadership shared this overview of the College's COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

May 18, 2020 | Bennington College Fall 2020 Plan

Read the message from Interim President Isabel Roche

April 3, 2020 | COVID-19 Relief Fund

Dear Students,

I know that these past few weeks have been incredibly trying for all of you. The shift to remote learning and separation from one another—coupled with the broader anxieties of this moment—are testing all of us. Your lives have been upended by this global health crisis and I am acutely aware of the material, academic, and emotional hurdles you face today.

This is a challenging time for everyone, but for some students in our community the financial strain caused by these changes is especially daunting. To help alleviate the extraordinary burden and unforeseen expenses some of you face, I am writing to share that we have expanded our emergency assistance efforts to create and launch the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund, which will be made possible through the generosity of Bennington alumni and friends, will allow us to offset some of the costs associated with this crisis, including providing modest grants to our highest need students to help defray unexpected costs they have incurred related to COVID-19.

As you may know, the College established this year an emergency travel fund for international and domestic students with demonstrated financial need. These funds have been fully depleted in providing emergency travel grants for students to get home. Donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used to support additional emergency travel needs as well as address additional areas of hardship, including:

  • Food insecurity for students not living in campus housing
  • Internet access for remote learning
  • Student medical expenses related to contracting COVID-19

Eligible students will receive an email today directing them to a simple application to apply for a COVID-19 Relief Fund grant. We recognize that this will not address the needs of all students but must first focus on the most critical needs the fund can support at this time.

And to all of our students—whether or not you will seek emergency assistance—please know that we are here to support you.

-Isabel Roche

March 27, 2020 | Establishing a COVID-19 Relief Fund 

Dear Bennington alumni, parents, and friends,

These past few weeks have been some of the most trying for all of us — as individuals, as a community, and as a college. I am touched by the concern and support so many have shown for the Bennington students whose lives have been upended by this public health crisis, and for the faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to support them in this unprecedented moment. 

Throughout it all, our extended Bennington community has been characteristically generous and compassionate. Many of you have asked how you can help in this moment of crisis, and I am so grateful for your concern. 

For our students' safety and in the interest of public health, we have had to make extraordinary changes in how we educate our Bennington students and, as of Monday, all instruction will be remote for the remainder of the spring term. This is an anxious time for us all, but for some students in our community, the shift to remote learning has created an especially challenging financial burden.

To address the most urgent needs of our students and to provide additional support for faculty as they begin to teach in this new way, we have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a special initiative of the Bennington Fund. The College is incurring significant new costs associated with this crisis — from expanding technological support for students and faculty to emergency travel funding for students — and this Fund will allow us to continue to assist students with unforeseen expenses, and students and faculty in the transition to remote learning. 

Our longer term priorities — like rebuilding the Barn, and keeping momentum on the Barn Challenge — have not changed and remain critical as well, but the urgent need of this moment calls for a commensurate response. 

If you can, please make a gift to the COVID-19 Relief Fund today. We are deeply grateful to those of you who have already made donations to support our students and faculty in this time, and to everyone who has reached out to help. The Bennington community is stronger today than it has ever been, and our connection to one another — while distant and physically separated at the moment — is reaffirmed by your kindness, compassion, and generosity. 

With gratitude and well wishes to all,

Isabel

March 27, 2020 | Change in COVID-19 testing & student isolation information

To: Students, Staff, Faculty
Fr:  Dr. Randy Anselmo, Director, Student Health Services

I am writing to update the community that we currently have a student in isolation for possible COVID-19 monitoring. While the student has no identifiable risk factors for having contracted COVID-19, their symptoms were consistent enough with it to warrant this step. Following the revised guidelines from the Vermont Department of Health (VT DOH), the student has not been tested; and current practice is to treat people who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 as though they have COVID-19. 

The VT DOH’s revised advice is that COVID-19 testing is no longer recommended unless an individual’s symptoms are severe enough to require hospitalization, and we have adapted our strategy in light of that advice. 

This may mean that students who don’t actually have COVID-19 will have to go into isolation; we will likely not be updating the community every time, but wanted to share now, given the change in guidelines and any concern on campus. 

What happens in isolation
Students in isolation will receive the same treatment as is currently recommended by the CDC for confirmed COVID-19 until medically cleared to leave isolation.

Isolation will be carried out in one of many rooms on campus that have been designated for this purpose, with a private bathroom and meal delivery. I will be checking in daily with all students who are in isolation, providing medical care as needed, and arranging transfer to the hospital for anyone with symptoms that suggest the need for a higher level of care than can be provided on campus. Once these students have been released from isolation, you can be assured that they have been medically cleared and are able to resume communal living in student housing. 

Guidance for other students
All students who are placed in isolation will be asked to identify “close contacts.” Those individuals will be contacted directly with information and instructions. If you are not contacted, you were not identified as meeting the close contact definition and should continue standard social distancing and prevention guidelines.

Close contacts will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. If they do not have symptoms, the student can self-isolate in their assigned room. Housing staff will be in touch with the student to assign them a specific bathroom for use and arrange for meal delivery. If a student becomes symptomatic during self-isolation, they should contact Health Services right away for an assessment and advisement regarding their situation.   

Facing isolation can feel very daunting, and one’s first impulse may be to keep quiet about symptoms in order to avoid it. However, it is critical - and ethically imperative - to the health of the community that students with respiratory symptoms report their symptoms and comply with our request that they isolate according to best practices.  
 

The best prevention and protection from COVID-19 continues to be to prevent exposure to the virus. We ask all community members to continue to seriously observe these prevention guidelines and thank you for your continued partnership to keep our community healthy and safe. 

March 27, 2020 | Change in Hours & Meal Delivery Model

TO: Students on campus
FR: Meredith McCoy, Associate Vice President for Institutional Initiatives
Steve Bohrer, Director of Dining Services
 

Dear Students,

We want to begin by saying just how grateful we are for all of you and the energy you bring into the dining hall each day. Your spirit and smiles make coming to work a joy and are also the reasons we are doing all we can to keep you safe and well-nourished. With this in mind and in alignment with the State of Vermont Office of the Governor Executive Orders, we want to make you aware of some additional safety measures to the dining program. 

  • Dining services will move from a take-out buffet service to a to-go boxed meal beginning Saturday (3/29) at lunch.  
  • Dining hours of operation will be limited to 2 blocks of time each day - lunch and dinner 12:00pm to 1:00pm for lunch and 5:00pm to 6:00pm for dinner/breakfast. 
  • Dinner meals will include breakfast items for the following day. 
  • Meals will be pre-packaged and ready to go on tables (vegan and dietary restriction meal boxes will be labeled) just outside of the entrance to the dining hall during the 2 blocks of time. 
  • You are not required to swipe your card.
  • Students on the Flex-7 meal plan should pick up their meal at lunch each day.  
  • We ask that you follow the honor system and only take your meal and not those designated for those with dietary restrictions.

As we move to this model, it will be important to know of dietary restrictions in order to provide meals to meet those needs.  As a proactive measure, no meals will be made with nuts or shellfish. For those requiring dietary restrictions, please complete this form and we will do our best to provide a variety of options; however, all food preferences may not be able to be met at each meal.  

Yours in health and safety.

 

March 24, 2020 | Campus Employment Update

TO: Staff, faculty, and students

FROM: Oceana Wilson, Acting Dean of the College and Dean of the Library
Faith McClellan, Associate Dean of Work-Integrated Learning

We write to follow up on Friday’s communication about campus employment with more detailed information on our transition to remote employment for students for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term.  We know that many students rely on the income earned through campus jobs and we are committed to continuing to provide work for students.

With the College’s shift to remote learning and a significantly reduced population on campus, the work needed to support students, faculty, and staff as they carry out their work both on and off campus is different. All in-person work has been discontinued for the remainder of the spring term. We have transitioned as many positions as possible to remote work and have added a number of new positions that provide additional support to faculty, students, and staff. 

Here follow the next steps, designed to maximize student access to jobs in an equitable manner, all while streamlining the transition process for students and supervisors:
 

  • Within a week, there will be remote work openings listed on Handshake for close to 200 students. Some of these are current positions transitioned for remote work, while others are new remote positions--and still more will be created in the coming weeks. All students are welcome to apply for remote jobs, regardless of their location, for the remainder of the term. 
  • All students need to submit a “fast track” application on Handshake, even if they wish to continue the job they currently hold. Only resumes are required; we are not asking for cover letters or interviews. 
  • Students with prior experience in a particular role may receive priority due to prior knowledge of the position. We are also prepared to add new openings in cases where new applicants can help to meet a department need. 
  • All positions will be posted on Handshake by the end of day Friday, March 27. Positions will be updated on a rolling basis for the next few weeks in an effort to maximize opportunities to students. 
  • Because our goal is to provide access to jobs to as many students as possible desiring work, hiring will typically be limited to one job per student. If we find that additional work is available, students will be notified and can then apply for more hours. Additionally, if students seek to apply for two jobs with fewer than 4 hours each, we will consider this.
  • All students will of course be paid for hours already worked.  Students or supervisors who are having trouble entering hours on TimesheetX should contact helpdesk@bennington.edu
  • Students who have been working this spring may access ADP to set up direct deposit or update their mailing address in order to receive wages from this past pay period. Any questions related to paychecks, payrolls, I9s/W4s, or related issues can be directed to payroll@bennington.edu.

Campus supervisors will soon receive information on the details of how to list positions, and students can expect that their applications will be rapidly moved forward to hiring decisions. It is our hope that many students will be up and running in positions at the start of next week. 

In the meantime, please be in touch with us directly at campusjobs@bennington.edu with any questions or concerns that you may have, as we know how critical campus jobs are to your financial and personal well-being. 

 

March 23, 2020 | Update on Staff Operations

To: Staff
From: Heather Faley, Director of Human Resources

I am writing to provide you with two important updates related to the health crisis. Please reach out to your manager or to Human Resources if you have questions about this information.

Massachusetts Stay-in-Place Order

Today, the State of Massachusetts announced a temporary Stay-at-Home order that requires businesses that are not deemed essential to close their physical workplaces as of Tuesday, March 24 at noon until Tuesday, April 7 at noon. This means no employees are to work from any Massachusetts location unless the business has been placed on the exceptions list. 

Although Bennington College is not a Massachusetts employer, we know some of you live in the surrounding Massachusetts communities and are likely wondering how this order will affect you and your work. While not required to do so, the College has decided to follow the Massachusetts Order for our employees who reside in Massachusetts. Similar to the New York Order we informed you about yesterday, we view this as a prudent measure.

Essential staff working at educational institutions in the following areas are exempt from this order: Buildings & Grounds, Business Office, Campus Safety, Dining Services, Health and Psychological Services, Human Resources, Post Office, and the President’s Office.

If you are a staff member living  in Massachusetts who works in a department not listed above - please refrain from reporting to work on campus as of Tuesday, March 24 and until April 7, 2020. If you have not yet done so, you should shift to working remotely as of Tuesday. Please reach out to your manager if you have questions. 

Vermont Department of Health Update on Monitoring Your Health

The Vermont Department of Health has updated their guidance on monitoring your health. The Department of Health indicates that Vermont is now experiencing community spread of COVID-19, which is why they are encouraging social distancing. This will help slow the spread of the virus and protect people who are more vulnerable. The Department of Health indicates that if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and mild illness, you can stay home and treat your symptoms. They further indicate that not everyone needs to be tested. If you are sick or concerned about your health, contact your health care provider to find out if you should be seen for an evaluation and considered for testing.

Resources and Support

Please contact Human Resources if you are experiencing financial hardship or need assistance and support in any way. Additionally, please use the resources of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as needed.

If you have questions, please contact hroffice@bennington.edu.

 

March 22, 2020 | Preventative Measures & Social Distancing On Campus

TO: Students
FR: Dr. Randy Anselmo, Director of Health Services
Ali Tartaglia, DrPH, Director of Student Health Promotion
Natalie Basil, Dean of Students

As we prepare to move into a new phase of a smaller campus population and remote teaching, learning and advising, we want to reiterate the importance of using preventative measures and social distancing during this time of crisis. At the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading, every day counts, and we cannot wait “until things get bad” to take the necessary steps.

Thus far, the campus has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and we must delay the spread of this virus to campus as long as possible. We also must protect those individuals whose role on campus is deemed essential (e.g., buildings & grounds, campus safety, dining services) to support having students living on campus. Once the virus comes to campus, we must do everything possible to mitigate the exponential spread.

Current guidance from health officials, epidemiologists and historians, indicates that because this virus spreads in density, social distancing along with hand and respiratory hygiene are imperative to slowing the spread and “flattening the curve” in order to reduce the surge of medical need that will overwhelm our local and regional medical community. You play an important and imperative role in this movement.

We are sharing these guidelines and ask that you please take them very seriously. These instructions are written for students remaining on campus, but we strongly recommend all students adhere to social distancing and hygiene recommendations.

  • Students should keep 6 feet (2 meters) between them and other people regardless of the health of each individual. Visibly healthy people can be carriers and spread the virus.
    --No gatherings (social or academic) in house common rooms or campus facilities that do not allow 6 feet (2 meters) of distance between individuals. In most cases, this will be no more than 6 people depending on the size of space.
    --Campus Shuttle vans will limit the number of riders per trip to 2 people and 1 driver. The Campus Shuttle will be available on Saturdays only. Commons Dining will be open but students must take food to go and not congregate in groups or spaces that do not allow 6 feet (2 meters) of distance between individuals.
    --Students should limit hosting other students in their individual rooms and keep 6 feet (2 meters) of distance between individuals.
    --While faculty and staff may be in their campus offices, students should avoid walking in and instead call or email to schedule appointments to meet remotely.
  • Students will limit travel into Bennington to once per week and should use social distancing measures such as avoiding crowded areas and all events. This also applies to students with personal vehicles on campus and should limit the number of passengers in the vehicle to 1 other person who sits in the back seat rather than the passenger seat.
  • Students will not travel outside of the towns of Bennington or North Bennington, into other states or internationally. Students who do so are not permitted back on to campus or into campus housing.
  • Students who are ill - including cough, sneezing, sore throat, fever - should avoid in-person interactions with others and not be in common and public spaces.
    --Call Health Services, rather than walking in, to schedule an appointment and receive instructions.
  • No guests will be permitted on campus or in campus houses.

Our understanding of this virus is evolving as is the spread of this pandemic. We are in difficult and unsettling times. As such, new guidance is being issued rapidly and you should prepare that:

  • Campus operations may decrease further as health issues develop in Bennington and surrounding areas and impact staffing on campus.
  • In case of emergency or growing public health concerns, the government may impose limitations on public movement and businesses may close. Plan for what you may need in the event you are unable to leave campus and your house for any period of time.
  • In accordance with Bennington College’s 2018 agreement with the Vermont Department of Health, Greenwall may be used as a Public Point of Distribution (POD) site for the purpose of running mass clinics and/or distribution activities for disease prevention and/or control.
  • If you decide at any point to return home, you must notify Christine Winget, provide her with your travel itinerary, clean out your room, and return your room key.

Our campus is operational, but will need to look and feel very different in order to protect you, those who care for you and the broader community. This is guidance we are all taking seriously, even in our own homes, and we understand how constraining it feels. We are developing ways to stay virtually connected as a community but we must act and act quickly for the health and safety of our entire campus community.

Staying Connected
For information on how to stay connected, engaged and supported in this moment, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Psychological Services
For students living on campus who cannot go home to be with family for support during this stressful time, the Psychological Services Office is closed for face-to-face sessions, but therapists are available to speak to students for therapy on a confidential therapy platform. To make an appointment, please email Health Services. Our emergency on call therapist will also be available. You can contact the on call therapist at any time by calling Campus Safety.

For students off campus, please feel free to reach out to April Stein, Director of Psychological Services, or your clinician on campus for help finding support in your area.

March 22, 2020 -- Update on Staff Operations

To: Staff
From: Heather Faley, Director of Human Resources
 

Thank you for all that you are doing to keep our community as healthy and safe as possible as the situation around COVID-19 continues to unfold. We appreciate the support that you’ve shown one another and your patience as the College continues to assess and reassess our response to this unprecedented health crisis. 

Of utmost importance to us is supporting your health and well being, as well as making you aware of new developments as quickly as possible. We are working hard to keep pace with this rapidly evolving situation and write to provide you with critical new information and updates.  We apologize for sending this over the weekend but feel it is important to disseminate this information as soon as possible, as we know that you continue to have questions and concerns. 

New York State Stay-in-Place Order

New York State has implemented a Stay-in-Place Order effective Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 8:00 pm. The Order requires a 100% reduction of the in-person workforce in any business location for businesses that are not deemed essential. This means no employees are to work from any workforce location unless the business has been placed on the exception list. 

Although Bennington College is not a New York employer, we know some of you live in the surrounding New York communities and are likely wondering how this order will affect you and your work. While not required to do so, the College has decided to follow the New York Stay-in-Place Order for our employees who reside in New York. We view this as a prudent measure.

Essential staff working at educational institutions in the following areas are exempt from this order: Bookstore, Buildings & Grounds, Business Office, Campus Safety, Dining Services, Health and Psychological Services, Human Resources, Post Office, and the President’s Office.

If you are a staff member who works in another area of the College - a department not listed above - please refrain from reporting to work on campus as of this date and until further notice. If you have not yet done so, you should shift to working remotely as of Monday. Please reach out to your manager if you have questions. 

Change in Operations

The majority of students will have left campus by Monday evening. At that time, we anticipate that we can begin reducing the number of on-campus staff in Buildings & Grounds and Dining Services. These offices are working to develop initial staffing plans that will allow the College to maintain only the most essential and critical services on campus - those that are necessary to allow students to remain in a healthy  living and learning environment. Managers will be in touch directly with their respective staff members to provide information on these changes.

Alternate Work Arrangements/Time Away from Work

New Federal regulations have been passed that will provide leave time for eligible employees who are unable to work (or who can’t work from home) because of a school closure due to a COVID-19 crisis. As these regulations were just recently approved, the College - like many other organizations - is  working to learn how these changes apply to our staff. We will provide an update on this provision early next week.

In the meantime, the following options remain available to assist with meeting your personal and family needs:

  • Employees may request a temporary schedule change including an adjustment to your work hours or work schedule. Requests should be submitted to your manager.
  • Eligible employees with individual health concerns may request a workplace accommodation by contacting Human Resources.
  • Employees may continue to request the use of accrued vacation and leave time.

Monitoring Your Health

If you are sick at all with any cold or flu-like/COVID-19 symptoms, including  a fever or respiratory-illness symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath, please take preventative measures - stay home and contact your primary care provider and/or SVMC ExpressCare for screening and recommendations. Employees who are absent due to symptoms that are consistent with the flu and COVID-19 will be required to present a note from a doctor prior to returning to work. Please do not return to work until you receive medical clearance from your doctor and have been free of fever for 24 hours. Human Resources will follow up directly with the employee and the employee’s manager to secure a return-to-work note prior to the employees’ return to campus.

The College has temporarily altered its sick time policies in order to assist employees who need to be out of work and new Federal regulations have been implemented to provide additional assistance in these instances. Additional information about the Federal regulations will be forthcoming next week. 

In certain circumstances, time away from work may be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act. An employee should consult with Human Resources on FMLA matters. Please continue to report your absences through ADP

Buildings/Space on Campus

The work of the College is continuing. However, only a select number of buildings on campus remain open for use. Please review the most current information on services and space here.

Resources and Support

Please contact Human Resources if you are experiencing financial hardship or need assistance and support in any way. Additionally, please use the resources of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as needed.


If you have questions, please contact hroffice@bennington.edu; we will do all that we can to respond to your inquiries throughout the weekend.

March 20, 2020 -- updated shuttle schedule

TO: Students
FR: Ken Collamore, Director of Campus Safety

Today and tomorrow, Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 the local shuttle will continue as scheduled: tonight until 9:00 pm, and tomorrow from 11:00 am-9:00 pm. 

After tomorrow, the shuttle will have an updated schedule. These changes are in accordance with the continued health concerns, and efforts to implement social distancing and to limit exposure for our community and the larger Bennington community. 

Shuttles will only run on Saturdays; there will be no shuttles Sunday through Friday. 

Every Saturday beginning March 28, 2020, two shuttle vans will run concurrently from 10:00 am-6:00 pm. The second shuttle is to offset the two passenger limit per trip and provide ample time for all students to have an opportunity to ride the shuttle.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me.

Thanks to everyone for the community-wide sense of responsibility to everyone's health and safety.

 

March 20, 2020--A Note About Student Departures

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

We are all adjusting to the new realities of the public health crisis we are in, and the uncertainty and change that is inherent to it, and I want to thank you for your care and flexibility during this incredibly difficult time. We have aimed over this past week to communicate our decisions to the community as quickly and clearly as possible, but we know that there are questions about some of these decisions. It is for this reason that I write to elaborate on the rationale behind some of the very tough choices we––like most residential colleges around the country––have had to make.

As we have continued to monitor and assess the steady increase in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Vermont, our region, nationally, and globally––as well as the projections for its growth in the coming weeks––we are guided above all by our responsibility for the health and safety of Bennington students, faculty, and staff. The decision to shift to remote learning was made because we need to significantly reduce the on-campus population. Every public health official and epidemiology expert has been urging social distancing, and we have seen individual institutions, businesses, towns, and now states, mandating this action in the name of slowing the growth of the virus. Keeping the campus full or even half full presents a danger not only to you––our students, faculty, and staff––but also to the broader community, as it will strain the already limited healthcare infrastructure in our region. It is for this reason that we need every student who can leave campus to do so.

We determined the number of students who could safely be housed on campus in close consultation with state and local health experts. More than half of our students petitioned to remain on campus, and we had to set a high threshold for approving requests to best protect those students whose only option is to stay on campus––and to protect those staff members who cannot work remotely and will be providing these students with essential services and support. Please know that these decisions are extremely difficult, and being made with care and consideration for each and every student––and for all students and the larger Bennington community at the same time. For those students who are leaving campus this week, we truly appreciate your understanding of the need to help protect both the students who must remain and the larger community.

For those students who have not been approved to stay at Bennington, and for whom leaving campus presents specific difficulties, we are doing everything possible to help you, ranging from emergency travel grants to campus storage for your belongings to free transportation to Albany International Airport and Albany-Rensselaer Train Station. We will keep working with each of you as you prepare to leave campus.

We at Bennington College are as connected today as we have ever been. The compassion and empathy exhibited by this community as this crisis unfolds has been inspiring.

With gratitude,
Isabel

 

March 13, 2020

announcing the transition to remote learning -- read the full message

March 12, 2020

Sharing the FAQ -- read the full message

An update for families -- read the full message

 

March 11, 2020

Sharing that we have a student who is currently being tested -- read the full message

 

March 10, 2020 (Survey)

To: All students
From: Zeke Bernstein, dean of research planning and assessment

In light of the presence of the novel coronavirus in our local community, and as at many colleges and universities in affected areas, we are planning for the possibility of moving some or substantially most of our courses into an online setting. This might involve video conferencing, exchange of information or assignments via email or digital drop-boxes, or other forms of online teaching and learning.

As we prepare for this possibility, we want to assess whether you have the technology that you would need for this transition. Please take a minute to fill out the very brief survey linked here:

https://forms.gle/WjvTixybgByQeUgT9

As the situation evolves, we will be in touch with more details and information in the coming days.

March 9, 2020

Read the message

March 8, 2020

Read the message

March 5, 2020

Read the message

March 2, 2020

regarding AWP -- read the message

February 12, 2020

Read the message. 

January 29, 2020

Read the message.

students walking on campus play video
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7/17/20 | Forum with Senior Staff

two students sitting on a bench talking on a spring day play video
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10/27/20 | Spring 2021 Q&A for Students and Families