(Last updated January 14, 2022)
Given the evolving data on the Omicron variant and its current emerging impact on communities and the country, the college is canceling the on-campus residencies of the MFA in Writing, MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adult, and MFA in Visual Art programs. There is sufficient concern about the virulence of Omicron, as well as an increasing rate of infection in Vermont, combined with testing facilities being stretched to capacity and the concern of medical facilities soon being hit with an increase of new cases to warrant this decision. We understand there are students and faculty looking forward to being together again on our campus as a community of artists, colleagues, and friends, but our foremost priority is the safety and well-being of our whole VCFA community and the broader communities in which we all live.
We will continue to monitor the information about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the guidance from the State of Vermont and CDC to make the most informed decisions as we move forward and consider the other winter residencies.
At this point, residencies for the Music Composition, Graphic Design, and Film programs are expected to be held in person with a remote option.
Space rentals and on-campus events are being considered on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out to Tanya Patterson for information about availability: [email protected].
COVID Guidelines for Residencies
Vaccination, Testing, and Masking Requirements
All students, faculty, program guests, and staff who plan to be in person for a residency or event at VCFA must be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus; no exceptions will be made. This means they must have received their final dose of the vaccine no later than 14 days prior to arrival on the VCFA campus. Additional guidelines are as follows:
- Students, faculty, program guests, and staff living in the United States should receive a US Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) and a booster shot prior to their arrival. For winter 2022 residencies there are some exceptions for timing due to initial shot(s), access issues within your state, and access issues for international residents.
- Students, faculty, program guests, and staff living abroad without access to the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines should prioritize WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines, followed by any other government vaccines provided in their location prior to coming to campus.
- Students, faculty, program guests, and staff must complete the vaccination survey and declare their intention to attend the in-person residency. In the survey you will be asked to upload a copy of your vaccination card.
- In addition to proof of vaccination, all students, faculty, program guests, and staff must show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours prior to departing for VCFA. Test results will be required at check-in.
- In addition to proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test result 72 hours prior to departing to VCFA, all students, faculty, and program guests must sign a health and safety pledge.
- Masks are required in all indoor settings. They are not required when alone in dorm rooms and in the dorm bathrooms for specific daily hygiene practices. We highly recommend using masks if you need to go off campus to any public indoor places.
- The program office will send paperwork regarding in-person attendance, including a link to the vaccination survey and health and safety pledge.
Additional Health and Safety Measures
All students will be placed in single rooms. Single room fees will be waived this semester.
Academic spaces have been measured and will be set up to allow for social distancing during classes, workshops, lectures, readings, and other residency events.
Air purifiers/cleaners/scrubbers will be placed in all classrooms, cafeteria, and bathrooms.
Housekeeping staff will use appropriate cleaning procedures for bathrooms, high-traffic areas, and high-contact areas and surfaces. Additionally, cleaning supplies will be made available in bathrooms in order for students to use them between housekeepers’ daily shifts.
Hand sanitizer will be available across campus, and extra masks are made widely available across campus.
The cafeteria will be supplied with hand sanitizer and air purifiers. Cafeteria staff have been vaccinated and will be masked during meal service. To-go containers will be supplied for people to take their meals to their rooms, however, people who feel comfortable eating in the cafeteria will be allowed to do so. Tables will be set up to limit the number of people to allow for social distancing. High-touch surfaces in the cafeteria will be sanitized regularly.
The cafe will be supplied with hand sanitizer and air purifiers. Cafe Anna staff are fully vaccinated and will be masked at all times. Tables will be set up to limit the number of people to allow for social distancing. Drinks and pre-packaged food will be available to purchase. High-touch surfaces in the cafe will be sanitized regularly. Overflow seating for the cafe will be made available in the Gallery or Vault as availability permits.
Isolation and Quarantine Plans
Individuals who develop cold symptoms while on campus must stay in their room and notify program staff. Arrangements will be made to get a COVID test, if needed. This assessment will be made on a case-by-case basis by the VCFA health & safety officer. In the event of a positive COVID test, a quarantine facility has been established to house people along with meal delivery and daily health monitoring. Contract tracing will be implemented, and students will be advised as to what, if any, procedures they will need to follow (testing, isolation, remote learning, etc.). In the event of a positive test result, all residency attendees will be communicated with about the situation while maintaining individual medical confidentiality.
HEERF – Emergency Relief Grants
Under the CARES Act in January 2021, VCFA became eligible for a second allocation of federal dollars in the amount of $71,143 to provide emergency grants to students. These emergency funds can be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus including eligible expenses under your cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
VCFA created criteria for eligibility for grant awards based on need and enrollment in degree programs at VCFA in March 2021. Two tiers were identified which were based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as reported on students’ 2020-21 or 2021-22 FAFSAs that the college has on record. The tiers were: EFC between 0-2000 and 2001-10,000. Grant awards for students with EFC of 0-2000 were $660, and grant awards for students with EFC of 2001-10,000 were $280.
All students were emailed this information about eligibility on April 16, 2021, and were given an opportunity to alert VCFA by completing a short survey if their financial circumstances had changed due to the pandemic in order to be considered for an award or a larger award. If you are/were a student who was enrolled in March 2021 and had extenuating circumstances that prevented you from acting on the email sent in April, please contact VCFA at [email protected] as soon as possible.
As of July 8, 334 grants have been issued totaling $142,286.
PRIOR MESSAGES & COMMUNICATIONS
- August 11, 2021 community update
- August 4, 2021 community update
- CARES Act HEERF info — April 2, 2021
- CARES Act HEERF info — August 24, 2020
- CARES Act HEERF info — July 27, 2020
- CARES Act HEERF info — July 6, 2020
- May 5, 2020 community update
- April 29, 2020 library update
- April 20, 2020 community update
- March 26, 2020 library update
- March 20, 2020 library update
- March 17, 2020 press release
- March 12, 2020 COVID-19 update
- March 6, 2020 COVID-19 update