On August 26, UO President Michael Schill sent a letter to the UO community about the current state of the university’s COVID-19 response, as well as overarching plans for resuming studies and activities in the fall term. While the letter touches on the topics of health and safety, adapting to create opportunities for first-year students, and tuition, its ultimate message is that remote and online learning is in the best interest of UO students, faculty, staff, and public health.
In alignment with the president’s decision, the School of Music and Dance (SOMD) intends to operate primarily through remote and online instruction in the fall term. However, due to the unique nature of music and dance classes, some SOMD studio experiences will receive exemptions. Whenever safe to do so, and in accordance with health and safety guidelines and university policy, SOMD applied lessons, dance classes, and ensemble experiences will be offered in person.
Over the next couple of weeks, more detailed information will become available from SOMD about which classes will be fully remote and which will offer hybrid options. Class schedules will be finalized by September 4. The goal will always be to offer instruction – especially for applied learning – in the safest manner possible. The school will have three technology-enabled classrooms that will allow an instructor to teach in person and remotely simultaneously. Alternatively, an instructor could teach in an empty classroom with students logging in from remote locations. More information about the functionality of those rooms will be posted in the SOMD COVID-19 FAQs. In addition to issues of academics and performance, the SOMD team is aiming to provide answers on socialization, “the college experience,” and a myriad of other concerns during this time.
The SOMD faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to develop strategies that protect students and faculty, while continuing to offer the highest quality educational and performance opportunities. These tactics include enhanced cleaning protocols, increased ventilation wherever possible, and social distancing for studios and lessons. It is the expectation that faculty, staff, and students who return to campus (or utilize campus resources) will follow posted SOMD and UO guidelines, as well as adhere to statewide and CDC recommendations. This includes maintaining distance, wearing masks, staying home if exhibiting symptoms, performing self-checks, and washing hands often.
More information will be posted as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have specific questions or concerns, please email the SOMD response team.