Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College

COVID-19 Information

Simon's Rock maintained a safe in-person learning environment for the 2020–2021 academic year through careful planning, informed decision-making, and a culture of community support.

We are committed to preserving the rich and engaging education that students expect from Simon’s Rock by maintaining our safe in-person experience throughout the 2021–2022 academic year. (Read about last year's in-person experience.)

With COVID vaccines now widely available in the United States, we anticipate fewer restrictions during the 2021–2022 academic year. We have announced the details of our Spring 2022 Plan and have shared updated safety protocols with the community.

The Simon's Rock buildings are currently closed to casual visitors. Employees may register Authorized Visitors only.

Dear Students and Families,

We hope this note finds you well and that you enjoyed your time away over the break. As Simon’s Rock prepares to welcome students back to campus, we write with information on a required campus safety Pledge, our COVID safety protocols, arrival dates, and move-in procedures.

Action Required: Complete the Spring 2022 Campus Safety Pledge & Testing Consent Forms

Before arriving on campus for the spring semester, all Simon’s Rock students and their parents/guardians are required to complete the Spring 2022 Campus Pledge. This Pledge outlines the commitments we expect students to make to respect the safety and wellbeing of each other, of the broader Simon’s Rock community, and our neighbors this spring. With the addition of the Omicron variant and the recent surge in cases, it is important this semester that we all pay close attention to the Pledge and follow the guidelines with care and concern for our community. Additionally, we ask all students and parents/guardians to sign our COVID testing consent forms for arrival testing:

» Take the Spring 2022 Campus Pledge

» Students: Complete the COVID Testing Consent Form

» Parents/Guardians:Complete the COVID Testing Consent Form

Recent Positive Diagnosis? Any student who tested positive over break must be in touch with the Preparedness Committee. Please forward the positive test report to preparedness@simons-rock.edu. Since PCR testing will continue to return a positive test result for up to 90 days, a student with a previous positive diagnosis will have the rapid test only upon arrival.

Key COVID Safety Protocols

While specific safety procedures will fluctuate based on the stages of our Contained Community (see details below), certain protocols will remain in place throughout the spring semester, including:

  • Everyone must wear a mask inside classrooms.
  • Everyone must wear a mask in public spaces (lounges, kitchens, library, KAC, campus administrative buildings, etc.).
  • Everyone is expected to wash their hands frequently and maintain good hygiene.
  • Everyone is expected to monitor for symptoms of COVID daily. Students who experience symptoms are asked to contact the Wellness Center immediately and should not attend class until cleared by the Wellness Center.
  • Per CDC guidelines, everyone should maintain a social distance of six feet outside of the classroom and three feet within the classroom.
  • Unvaccinated students are required to test each week. More details will follow.
  • As outlined in the Spring 2022 Campus Pledge, everyone is expected to respect the safety and wellbeing of each other, of the broader Simon’s Rock community, and our neighbors.

As COVID cases in the Berkshires are increasing due to holiday gatherings and the Omicron variant, we are actively tracking the number of cases across the county, country, and globally. We will continue to monitor local, state, and federal health guidelines, and we may adjust certain plans and protocols on campus based on the trajectory of the virus.

Contained Community: Stages

Please review the most updated information on our Safe Campus Community stages carefully. Feel free to download and save this infographic version for your future reference.

»View the Contained Community Stages

Pre-Arrival Guidance

Before arriving on campus, we ask all students to submit, to the Wellness Center,  a negative PCR test result done within 3 - 5 days of their arrival to campus (wellnesscenter@simons-rock.edu). Given the beginning of Academy J-term on January 12, we recognize that it may not be possible for Academy students to obtain a negative PCR test result. Therefore, we ask any Academy student who cannot get a test to reach out to preparedness@simons-rock.edu. All College students are required to submit, via email, a negative PCR test result done within 3 - 5 days of their arrival on campus to wellnesscenter@simons-rock.edu

Upon arrival to campus, students will take both a rapid COVID test, with results available after 15 minutes, and a PCR COVID test, with results returned between 24 and 48 hours. Students will remain in quarantine, and in Stage A, until all PCR test results are received. The first few days of J-term, Writing and Thinking Workshop, and College classes will be conducted in-room or at home as we await PCR results.

While we are not asking students to quarantine prior to arrival, it is especially important at this time that all students be mindful of their habits in these final days and weeks before arriving on campus. Please exercise care and caution and try not to put yourself at risk of infection prior to your arrival. If you are experiencing any COVID symptoms as you prepare to return to campus, we ask that you do not return to campus until you have received a negative PCR result from a home provider.Please reach out to preparedness@simons-rock.edu if this is the case, and we will support your return to campus at a later date. We hope, to the best of our collective ability, to ensure a safe campus from the start. We also want to be respectful of our neighbors in Great Barrington.

Finally, the CDC encourages everyone able to receive a booster shot to do so immediately. We strongly encourage students to receive their booster shots at home since appointments in our local area are challenging to obtain, and for students under the age of 18, parent/guardian presence is required. The CDC has updated its mask guidance and recommends that KN95, N95, KF94, or three-ply surgical masks be worn to mitigate the spread of COVID. We ask that each student brings a supply of these masks to campus. Face shields, bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves, turtleneck collars, masks with valves, and balaclavas/ski masks are not acceptable.

Arrival Dates & Sign-Up Links

Residential students will move to campus in groups during assigned dates and times. Please use the links below to select the preferred arrival time slot. Day students are also expected to arrive on the designated arrival day to receive their COVID tests unless they submit negative PCR results topreparedness@simons-rock.edu within 3 - 5 days of arrival on campus.

To ensure an effective and safe start to the semester, it is critical that students arrive on their assigned date and within their chosen time slot. Arrival dates and relevant sign-up links are as follows:

Last-minute updates or changes to your arrival plans? Please contact Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students, at tcameron@simons-rock.edu, 413-644-4711 and Campus Safety, 413-528-7291.

Arrival and Move-In Procedures

To prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our community both on campus and in Great Barrington during students’ arrival period, we’re sharing key reminders on move-in procedures:

  • Please do not arrive early. If you anticipate needing to arrive early, contact Campus Safety (413-528-7291) in advance.
  • Family and or friends may accompany students on campus. We ask that these people only help unload the vehicle and remain outside of the residence hall.

Key Resources

If you have questions, please feel free to consult the following Simon’s Rock resources:

We thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we plan for a safe return to campus this semester. We look forward to welcoming you to campus!

 

Sincerely,
The Simon’s Rock Preparedness Committee

Karen Advokaat, Associate Director of Finance & Administration
Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students
Pat LoNano, RN, Wellness Center
Sue Lyon, Vice Provost 
Phil Morrison, Director of Finance & Administration
John B. Weinstein, Provost and Vice President

Dear Students and Families,

We hope this note finds you well. As Simon’s Rock prepares to welcome students to campus, we write with information on a required campus safety pledge, our COVID safety protocols, arrival dates, and move-in procedures.

Action Required: Complete the Fall 2021 Campus Safety Pledge & Testing Consent Forms
Prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester, all Simon’s Rock students and their parents are required to complete the Fall 2021 Campus Pledge. This pledge outlines the commitments we expect students to make to respect the safety and wellbeing of each other, of the broader Simon’s Rock community, and of our neighbors this fall.

Additionally, we ask all students and parents to sign our COVID testing consent forms for arrival testing:

» Take the Fall 2021 Campus Pledge
» Students: Complete the COVID Testing Consent Form
» Parents/Guardians: Complete the COVID Testing Consent Form 


Key COVID Safety Protocols
While certain safety procedures will fluctuate based on the stages of our Contained Community (see details below), certain protocols will remain in place throughout the fall semester, including:

  • Everyone must wear a mask inside indoor classrooms (outdoor classes may be unmasked).
  • Everyone is expected to frequently wash their hands and maintain good hygiene.
  • Everyone is expected to monitor for symptoms of COVID daily. Students who experience symptoms are asked to immediately contact the Wellness Center.
  • As an added safety precaution, we recommend that everyone maintain a social distance of three feet, particularly if unmasked.
  • Unvaccinated students and employees are required to be tested each week. More details for these students will follow.
  • As outlined in the Fall 2021 Campus Pledge, everyone is expected to respect the safety and wellbeing of each other, of the broader Simon’s Rock community, and of our neighbors.

While COVID cases in the Berkshires remain low, we are actively tracking the increase of cases across the country. We will continue to monitor local, state, and federal health guidelines, and we may adjust certain plans and protocols on campus based on the trajectory of the virus.

Contained Community: Stages
Please review the most updated information on the stages of our Safe Campus Community carefully. Feel free to download and save this version of the infographic for your future reference.

» View the Contained Community Stages


Pre-Arrival Guidance
Prior to arriving on campus, all students are required to submit proof of their COVID vaccination or submit a negative PCR test result done within 72 hours of their arrival. Upon arrival to campus, students will take both a rapid COVID test, with results available after 15 minutes, and a PCR COVID test, with results returned between 24 and 48 hours.

While we are not asking students to quarantine prior to arrival, we do request that all students be mindful of their habits in these final days and weeks before arriving on campus. Please exercise care and caution prior to your arrival. We hope, to the best of our collective ability, to ensure a safe campus from the start. We also want to be respectful of our neighbors in Great Barrington.

Arrival Dates & Sign-Up Links
Residential students will move to campus in groups, during assigned dates and times. All students and parents have received sign-up links to select their preferred arrival time slot. New Day students are also expected to arrive on August 20 to receive their COVID test and participate in the first week of orientation activities.

To ensure an effective and safe start to the semester, it is critical that students arrive on their assigned date and within their chosen time slot. Arrival dates and relevant sign-up links are as follows:

*Students who were newly enrolled last academic year but studied remotely.

Last-minute updates or changes to your arrival plans? Please contact Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students, at tcameron@simons-rock.edu, 413-644-4711 and Campus Safety, 413-528-7291.

Arrival and Move-In Procedures
In order to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our community both on campus and in Great Barrington during students’ arrival period, we’re sharing key reminders on move-in procedures:

  • Please do not arrive early. If you do anticipate needing to arrive early, contact Campus Safety (413-528-7291) in advance.
  • Family and/or friends may accompany students on campus. We ask that these people only help unload the vehicle and remain outside of the residence hall. 

Key Resources

If you have questions, please feel free to consult the following Simon’s Rock resources:

  • Academic Calendar: View the 2021–2022 Academic Calendars for Bard Academy and Bard College at Simon’s Rock
  • Admission and Enrollment Questions: Mitchell Chavez, Director of Admission Enrollment & Management, mchavez@simons-rock.edu or 413-644-4700
  • Campus Life & Arrival Questions and Procedures: Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students, tcameron@simons-rock.edu or 413-644-4711
  • COVID-19 Resources and Answers: Visit simons-rock.edu/covid19 or email preparedness@simons-rock.edu
  • Transportation & Airport Shuttles: transportation@simons-rock.edu
  • Wellness Center Questions: wellnesscenter@simons-rock.edu or 413-528-7353

We thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we plan for a safe return to campus this semester. We look forward to welcoming you to campus!

Sincerely,
The Simon’s Rock Preparedness Committee

Karen Advokaat, Associate Director of Finance & Administration
Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students
Pat LoNano, RN, Wellness Center
Sue Lyon, Vice Provost 
Phil Morrison, Director of Finance & Administration
John B. Weinstein, Provost and Vice President

Dear Students and Parents,

We hope this message finds you well and that you’re enjoying the summer. We are thrilled that we will be welcoming new and returning students to Simon’s Rock next month!

In anticipation of your arrival to campus, we write with important information on COVID safety protocols for the fall 2021 semester. Please review the following information on the stages of our Safe Campus Community carefully, and feel free to download and save this infographic for your future reference.

Establishing our Safe Campus Community in Stages

All stages of our Safe Campus Community are contingent on favorable COVID statistics both on campus and in the broader region surrounding campus. All Academy and College students will move through each stage with their Arrival Group until all students have arrived on campus. Our goal, based on COVID statistics, is to move into Stage C and progress towards Stage D by the end of the first week of classes.

  • Stage A (Arrival Containment) begins when you arrive on campus and take both a rapid COVID test and a PCR COVID test.
  • Stage B (Stay On Campus) will be announced after everyone receives their PCR COVID test results.
  • Stage C (Limited Off-Campus) will be announced after all students have reached Stage B.
  • Stage D (Expanded On- & Off-Campus) will be announced after a holistic assessment of campus and regional COVID statistics.
  • Additionally, any student who tests positive for COVID at any point during the semester will enter an Individual Isolation Stage.

Join Our Next Call with Provost Weinstein For More Details: Wednesday, July 21

All returning and new students and their families are encouraged to join the next Bi-Weekly Summer Meeting with Provost John Weinstein on Wednesday, July 21 at 7:00 p.m. ET. During this Zoom meeting, John will provide an in-depth overview of each stage of our Safe Campus Community and answer questions regarding the stages.

Bi-Weekly Meeting with Provost John Weinstein for Students & Families
Wednesday, July 21, 7:00 p.m. ET
Join Directly via Zoom
Webinar ID: 859 8776 6956
Passcode: 713192
If using a mobile phone: +1 646-558-8656

Required: Send Us Verification of Your COVID Vaccination As Soon As Possible

All Academy and College students are required to be vaccinated against COVID for the 2021–2022 academic year. Please send a photo or a copy of your COVID vaccination card to the Wellness Center as soon as possible. You may send it in any of the following ways:

  • Email: wellnesscenter@simons-rock.edu
  • Fax: 413-528-7358
  • Direct Mail: Bard College at Simon’s Rock Wellness Center, 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230

In the weeks to come we will also be sharing an FAQ with additional information on our Fall 2021 Plan and will be updating our COVID webpage with additional details.

We look forward to seeing many familiar faces again, and to welcoming our newest Rockers to our community next month!

Sincerely,
The Simon's Rock Preparedness Committee


Karen Advokaat, Associate Director of Finance & Administration
Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students
Pat LoNano, RN, Wellness Center
Sue Lyon, Vice Provost
Phil Morrison, Director of Finance & Administration
John B. Weinstein, Provost & Vice President

 

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this finds you well, and that you’re enjoying the start of summer. With Massachusetts lifting its state of emergency this week, the current vaccination rate of employees over 90%, and our latest move into Phase 4.5 as a campus, I write to confirm that the Simon’s Rock campus will officially reopen on Thursday, July 1, at which point all employees are expected to work on campus. Any exceptions must be approved by your departmental supervisor and myself.

As a reminder, we must all operate under the new Phase 4.5 guidelines while on campus.

For employees, this means:

  • Outdoors: Masking not required when social distancing is possible
  • Indoors: masking rules generally remain as in Phase 4
  • Employees working for extended time alone in indoor spaces with no expected public access can be unmasked, with supervisor/Preparedness approval
  • Completing the travel form is no longer needed for personal or work-related travel; employees are expected to follow all state and CDC travel guidelines

Additionally, campus will remain closed to unauthorized visitors. We have expanded authorization to include registered or ticketed guests who may be touring campus with Admission, attending an event at the Daniel Arts Center, or are part of another authorized group renting our facilities. Protocols are in place for these guests to be on campus; please reach out to preparedness@simons-rock.edu with any questions.

Thank you for your support and cooperation as we move into this new phase. John will be sharing more details about forthcoming safety protocols and updates in Monday’s employee briefing.

Sincerely,

Philip Morrison
Director of Finance & Administration

To the Simon's Rock Community,

I hope that you are enjoying the summer. I am still reveling in my memories of our end-of-year events, including our joyous Commencement ceremony.

As CDC guidelines around COVID shift and Massachusetts policies change, we too, are moving forward with our phases for those on campus. We will be moving into Phase 4.5 today, Saturday, June 12, which will allow for some additional openness, as outlined below.

Our employee vaccination rate is now over 91%. We have just begun to track student rates; thank you to those students who have already completed the vaccination survey. If you haven’t done so yet, please complete it as soon as you can so that we can have a sense of our community status. This survey will provide the data we need to determine when we can move into Phase 5 later this year as we aim for herd immunity thresholds.

 

Please read the details below carefully if you are currently on campus. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to preparedness@simons-rock.edu.

Who this Phase Shift Applies To
Employees and students living, working, and/or attending class on campus

When this Phase Shift Goes into Effect
Saturday, June 12

Phase 4.5 Guidelines
Students currently on campus:

  • Outdoors: Masking not required when social distancing is possible
  • Indoor masking rules remain as in Phase 4
  • Travel off-campus is permitted 7 days a week
  • Travel off-campus is permitted within a 15-mile radius of campus
  • All other travel still needs pre-approval from Preparedness

Employees:

  • Outdoors: Masking not required when social distancing is possible
  • Indoors: masking rules generally remain as in Phase 4
  • Employees working for extended time alone in indoor spaces with no expected public access can be unmasked, with supervisor/Preparedness approval
  • Completing the travel form is no longer needed for personal or work-related travel; employees are expected to follow all state and CDC travel guidelines 


Campus remains closed to unauthorized visitors. We have expanded authorization to include registered or ticketed guests who may be touring campus with Admission, attending an event at the Daniel Arts Center, or are part of another authorized group renting our facilities. Protocols are in place for these guests to be on campus; please reach out to Preparedness with any questions.

We hope that being able to be outdoors, distanced, without a mask, will offer more pleasure and comfort, particularly in the summer weather. My best wishes to all in our community, whether here right now on campus, or anywhere in the world.


Sincerely,

John B. Weinstein

Provost and Vice President

Dear Students,

We hope your summer is off to a wonderful start. We thank you for all that you’ve done to keep our community safe, vibrant, engaged, and connected over the past year. With your support and cooperation, we did not simply make it through the year, we adapted and thrived in new ways that we will continue to carry forward in the years to come.

As we plan for the fall semester, our first priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our students, employees, and neighbors. We also aim to provide our students as normal a campus experience as possible. With that in mind, we write with an important update on the Simon’s Rock student COVID vaccination policy for the 2021–2022 academic year.

COVID Vaccine Required for All Students During 2021–2022 Academic Year
According to the CDC, the COVID vaccine is one of the safest and surest ways to protect ourselves and those around us from contracting the virus. Vaccines are now widely available in the United States, and the FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for people 12–15 years old.

Based on this information, in addition to the guidance of public health experts, the recommendation of the American College Health Association (ACHA), and the policy of Bard College, Simon’s Rock will require all Academy and College students to be vaccinated against COVID for the 2021–2022 academic year.

This vaccination requirement will protect our students and the rest of our community, and will help us all return to campus safely and confidently. More information regarding the processes for submitting proof of vaccination will follow soon. Requests for medical and religious exemptions to this requirement will be permitted, with an approval process which begins with taking the survey below.

Action Required: Brief Survey on Vaccination Status & Exemption Request
We ask that all students fill out this brief survey by August 1, 2021, to let us know if you’ve already received a full dose of the COVID vaccine or whether you already have plans to be fully vaccinated before the fall semester. Note: If you are seeking a medical or religious exemption, filling out this survey is the first step in the process. You must complete this form even if you’ve previously submitted documentation for prior vaccine exemptions.

 
Resources

We will work closely with all of our students, both domestic and international, to facilitate access to vaccinations before the start of the fall 2021 semester. Domestic students seeking vaccine availability at home are encouraged to use the CDC Vaccine Finder tool. International students are encouraged to review the World Health Organization’s list of approved COVID vaccines for emergency use.

Over the coming weeks we will also be providing additional information on updated campus safety policies and protocols for the fall semester.

With the arrival of safe and effective vaccines and a deeper understanding of how to maintain a safe campus, we are confident the fall semester will mark the beginning of a return of normalcy on the Simon’s Rock campus. We are looking forward to it!

Thank you again for doing your part to help make Simon’s Rock a place for safe and productive learning.


Sincerely,

The Simon's Rock Preparedness Committee

Karen Advokaat, Associate Director of Finance & Administration
Tracey Cameron, Dean of Students
Priscilla Cote, RN, Wellness Center
Sue Lyon, Vice Provost
Phil Morrison, Director of Finance & Administration
John B. Weinstein, Provost & Vice President

 

 

Resources

Links to the Mass.gov and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention