Dear Paier Community,
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Paier College on August 31. Over the past several months the administration at Paier has been working non-stop to bring forward plans for re-opening the campus while keeping our students, faculty and staff safe.
Over the next several weeks, we will share detailed information about schedules, health and safety guidelines, responsible distancing and more. In the meantime, I am pleased to provide updates on our fall opening:
Keeping You Safe
Daily Health Screenings: All students, faculty, staff and visitors who enter the buildings at Paier will be given a short questionnaire upon arrival along with a forehead temperature screen. Those who show signs of fever or answer yes to any COVID symptom will be excused and asked to study/work remotely.
Face coverings: All students, employees, and visitors are required to wear face coverings when inside the buildings at all times. Paier will provide every student returning to campus with one mask, but please plan to bring additional personal face coverings as backup. Every effort will be made to supply face coverings as needed in various campus settings. Faculty will receive additional protective supplies. The College will also distribute health and safety supplies to each Paier Community member during the first week of class or sooner. Faculty will be oriented to new pedagogical supports and safety regulations during the faculty kickoff meeting Friday August 21st 2020, details to follow.
Social Distancing: Academic facilities including classrooms, libraries, studios, and other campus areas are being reconfigured to allow for social distancing and reduced capacity. Please be sure to not to move chairs or furniture as they have been purposely installed. Additionally, the configuration of campus has changed and access to classrooms may have moved. We will provide assistance with navigating through campus in the first week of classes.
Cleaning and Disinfecting: Our facilities team will continue to perform regular intense cleaning of all public spaces. They will consistently disinfect classrooms, common areas, workspaces, and dining areas to help minimize transmission. Additional hand sanitizing stations are being installed across campus and ventilation systems are being updated with appropriate filters.
Academic Calendar and Class Schedules
As a reminder, we made changes to our fall 2020 academic calendar to reflect COVID precaution. You may have been sent a copy of your class schedule via email, however, it may be updated to reflect COVID precautions. We ask that you please pick up a fresh copy on your first day of class. Due to COVID precautions, we have created a blended approach to academics for the fall and are offering classes in a variety of formats:
In Person: Traditional in-person classes will meet at a specific time and place that is reflected on your schedule.
Hybrid: These classes are a mix of in person and online, depending upon the needs of the class. Some meetings will be in person, while others will be online, as determined by the faculty member. For example, if you have a Tuesday course, the instructor may tell you that it meets in person on Tuesdays and online.
Online OR Remote: Online classes are fully online and do not meet at a specific time (asynchronous). Remote classes are fully online but meet at a specific time as determined by the faculty member (synchronous).
It is possible that some of your courses will not be in the modality that you prefer. We are crafting our plan to offer in-person classes with space constraints required by social distancing in the classroom, and working with our students and faculty who have high-risk considerations or disability accommodations, to provide for your best overall experience given this unprecedented situation.
Depending on your program and specific course, there may still be updates in development. We will communicate specific plans in the very near future. For example, we have begun to move classes that have traditionally been conducted in one area of the school to a more open area for better distancing. We are also working out a plan to keep the wet studio classes in the studio area, but with proper working stations.
We know that many of you are looking forward to in-person classes but that there are others who, for various reasons, are unable to or do not want to return to face-to-face learning. We will do everything we can to accommodate a remote learning environment for the fall semester should you choose to remain off campus. If you are at high risk and must receive an accommodation, please contact Dean DiStiso at firstname.lastname@example.org
Housing assignments will be finalized by the beginning of August. Students (if they have not already) will receive an email with their fall housing assignments, and further information about residential life will be forthcoming. COVID guidelines and suggestions will be included with this information.
Contingency Plan and Criteria
While we remain optimistic about the fall semester, it is important to communicate a flexible plan in the event the covid-19 infection rate worsens in Connecticut during the semester. Please see the below table which will dictate the metrics used in the Administration’s decision making to ensure Paier community safety.
Covid Contingency Table
*Moving Average Percentage of Covid Testing Positivity Rates in CT
On Campus Capacity
|Full Capacity= 75% of regular capacity
Fully On-Ground, Hybrid and Online Courses
Hybrid and Online Courses
||Hybrid and Online Courses
Fully Online Courses
*Table data is based on the moving average of Covid testing positivity rates in the State of Connecticut for 7 sustained days. The percentage represents the number of people tested on a given day who test positive out of the total tested daily population. Covid changes can be tracked at the Johns Hopkins Testing Tracker website:
Policy: If there is a positive case of Covid-19 on campus some or all classes will go fully online for 14 days with access to individual studio time by appointment only. Staff may continue to report to campus or remotely. If a staff member is Covid-positive the Covid-19 coordinators will contact trace and may have certain departments or classes operate remotely. Operations may continue normally after a 14-day quarantine period or after a negative result after 3 days.
I hope this information helps you feel much more comfortable in knowing that your Paier community is committed to doing everything we can together to minimize risk of transmission of COVID 19 while maintaining a creative, intuitive and positive overall experience for learning.
Please check regularly for updates as we will provide them throughout the period before the fall semester begins at https://www.paier.edu/covid-19/
If you have any questions you may contact out Covid-19 Coordinator, Lynn Pascale at LPascale@paier.edu
Dr. Summer C. Amorosino
Paier College of Art
Good afternoon Paier Community,
As we all begin cautiously adjusting to the realities of the State of Connecticut reopening, I wanted to provide you with an update on some developments at Paier College of Art.
Over the past three weeks we have been working with Integrated Health Services to provide antibody testing for our students, faculty, and staff. As of Friday they were approved through the Department of Public Health and will begin testing as early as next week.
Initially we will begin offering the antibody testing registration to administrative staff that is already on campus, or those that are going to begin resuming their roles on site. We will then look to open the testing to students and faculty engaged in either of the summer sessions, beyond that we will open the testing to the entire community. This process is in place to prevent a bottleneck from forming while trying to move expeditiously.
Our Provost or your direct supervisor will reach out to you directly with the testing registration link once spots become available.
It is important to note that we are not mandating the testing for students, faculty, or staff; we are simply providing an expedited manner to get tested if you would like.
There is no copay and health insurers are required to pay for the testing. If you do not have health insurance, the link that will be provided to you will give you resources on how to sign up with the State of Connecticut’s HUSKY program. This will also allow you to get tested without any out of pocket costs.
As I alluded to in the previous section, we will begin resuming limited on-ground operations within the next few weeks. This will be limited to the administrative staff required to do intake and registration of new and existing students. If you need to visit campus you must call ahead and make an appointment first. This is to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff.
Looking forward, we will begin rolling out the protocol that was developed by our administration with guidance from the Connecticut Office of Higher Education by the end of the month. This will precede any students or faculty coming back on campus.
Additionally, to answer the question we have been receiving from students and faculty alike, Paier College of Art intends to resume all on-ground instruction in the fall. We will be taking precautions and will provided detailed updates to students and faculty over the course of the summer.
I hope everyone had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend and I look forward to providing you with updates within the next two weeks.
Joseph M. Bierbaum
Dear Paier Community,
As we come to the end of our semester I want to provide you with some insight into what the future holds at Paier College of Art throughout the summer, and looking forward to the fall semester. Before doing so, I want to start by thanking each of you for your resilience, cooperation, and understanding throughout the past two months. This has been an extremely trying transition for all of us and it has only been through each person’s sheer force of will that we have been able to make the situation tenable.
Last week the Governor announced opening procedures for colleges and universities in the State of Connecticut, this included a resumption of on-campus coursework for some schools as early as June 1st. With that being said, I do not anticipate resuming on-campus instruction until July, at the earliest, and that will consist of one Color and Design course. We are planning for all students to resume on-ground courses in the fall, as we recognize how especially vital studio experiences are to students, and will implement suggestions from the Governor’s office to ensure that faculty, students, and staff are safe. I will provide updates on any and all safety measures closer to the beginning of the semester.
In regards to this year’s graduation, after researching some inventive options to run our graduation this May, a poll of our graduates showed that the vast majority would prefer the full graduation at a later date. I will look to provide more definition to this timeline as we begin to see how the upcoming weeks of the State’s reopen effect conditions. While we will not have our graduation this month, that does not mean that we can’t celebrate our graduating seniors. Through social media and a virtual art show, we will be able to showcase each one of our graduates and their amazing transformation and growth over the course of their time at Paier College of Art. Additionally, the College will be providing each graduate with a matted and framed diploma to proudly display their achievement.
Finally, in light of the economic impact that this health crisis has had on students and their families, Paier College of Art will begin a program in which Title IV students registered in active courses will receive funds intended to provide additional financial security during this time. Students will need to opt-in to the program at www.paier.edu/carescheck which will become active on May 15, 2020. We expect to release funding evenly to all registered and active students as early as the end of the month. This will consist of those students registered for summer classes and beyond.
Separate from the above mentioned program, we will also be offering funds for students with extraordinary needs. These funds will need to be applied for independently and more information will be available through the link above.
I simply do not have the words to express my appreciation for everyone’s cooperation over the past month. We will all be back on campus soon and I sincerely look forward to walking the halls with all of you. Until that day, be healthy and safe.
Joseph M. Bierbaum
Dear Paier Community,
Today we will begin moving our classes on to the Blackboard learning platform. I know that this will be met with great trepidation on all sides, but in a few short days we will all begin to amend ourselves to the new “normal”. Your Blackboard logins will be sent to you today and your Student Advisors will call you to answer any questions you may have.
I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Zappalorti today, who said that he has been working on taping his courses. I say, if Zap is on board, then we can all make it work.
In an effort to ensure that all faculty and student concerns are being addressed in a timely manner, we will be gradually starting courses between Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and Monday, March 30, 2020. On Wednesday students in Effective Speaking and History of Contemporary Art will resume their coursework, this will be followed by all academic courses on Thursday, all courses utilizing the computer labs on Friday, and finally all studio art courses on Monday. These are our current guidelines and may be adjusted as the implementation is underway.
I would like to address some topics that we have regularly received questions about including:
Will seniors be able to graduate?
A big part of moving our courses online was to ensure that all of our students would still remain on track with their education. This includes our seniors, who will be able to graduate upon the successful completion of all of their courses this semester.
At the moment we have not cancelled the actual ceremony, while some colleges have. We are giving the situation in Connecticut time to develop and I cannot guarantee that it will occur as planned, but that is our goal at the moment.
What will happen to the art shows?
We are still developing our plan for both the Senior Show as well as the Spring Art Show. We are considering the possibility of a virtual show, but will look to provide further guidance next week.
How can I get access to Revit, Maya, or the Adobe suite if I don’t have it on my computer?
Your Student Advisor will explain this in further detail but, in short, we will provide each student with remote access to a certain computer in our labs during the time that your class would normally meet. This will allow students to utilize our existing desktops to work on their projects from home.
I will continue to communicate throughout the week to provide more guidance and answers to additional questions we receive. Until then, good luck to all of our students that will begin their first courses tomorrow.
Stay healthy and safe.
Joseph M. Bierbaum