As of March 23, we have transitioned to a remote learning mode to allow students to continue their courses this semester with as few disruptions as possible. Only employees who have been identified as essential may access campus buildings until further notice.
If, while installing and testing the platforms listed below, you run into trouble and need help, please reach out to Training and Support at email@example.com or 617-747-2238. Support staff will be available to help you during the following hours:
- Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
- Friday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
For additional information, please check out our guide for teaching and learning remotely.
You are welcome to use WebEx or Google Hangouts if you’d like; in addition, Zoom has the ability to use stereo audio for classroom collaboration between faculty and students. You may want to use Zoom for these types of teaching:
- Faculty and student collaboration in a virtual classroom
- Classes that require an audio setup (i.e., DAWs, Finale, audio interfaces, or playing the audio from a YouTube video during class time)
- An additional resource for private instruction
Video Conferencing and Other Ways to Connect with Students
Video conferencing is not the only way to connect with students. High-bandwidth technologies like WebEx and Zoom can pose problems for students and teachers with limited or slow internet. There are a variety of other ways—such as email—to connect with students that can preserve a sense of immediacy while using far less bandwidth.
Guidelines and advice on how to evaluate your course for its remote-learning needs are available on the Evaluating Your Course for Remote Learning webpage (login required).
How to Access Zoom
- Faculty who teach at Berklee Online: Berklee College of Music faculty who teach, or who have taught, at Berklee Online must use their Berklee Online Zoom account. Go to berklee.zoom.us, and log in with your Berklee Online credentials (most likely your Berklee email address). Click the Host button to launch a Zoom session.
- Faculty who do not teach at Berklee Online: Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee faculty who do not teach or who have never taught at Berklee Online can access Zoom by going to berkleecampus.zoom.us. Log in with your Berklee email address, and then click the Host button to launch a Zoom session.
If you use Zoom, please note that students should not create accounts; they only need to accept the invitation in order to access the class.
Training for Zoom
Technology Training and Support is ready to help you set up your Zoom account and get started. More in-depth training will be provided at a later date.
- Training Sessions: The Technology Training and Support team offers daily training sessions. View the Remote Teaching and Learning Calendar for training dates and times.
- Setup Guide: View the Zoom for Berklee setup guide.
- Service Desk: Contact the Service Desk at 617-747-2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Test your ability to open a video conference application, such as WebEx. Training and Support is offering daily training sessions this week from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. More information about these sessions, in addition to support materials, is available at this site (login required) and by calling 617-747-2238.
- Email students with clear information on how you will conduct class.
- Indicate that you plan to interact with them during regularly scheduled class times (Boston time).
- Indicate what technology you will use (e.g., OL, WebEx, email, or other technology).
- Plan to start video conference classes 10 minutes earlier than your scheduled time to make sure everything is working. If you or your students experience connection issues, encourage people to turn their video off and conduct the conference through audio. If you continue to experience issues, use tools such as OL or email to communicate with students.
- Keep your first class lesson plan simple to allow time to connect with your students and address technical concerns.
- Be flexible with students as they may be facing challenges related to internet access, different time zones, or caring for loved ones. Urge them to communicate with you if they are unable to attend class meetings. WebEx meetings can be recorded for students to view at a later time. Refer to the WebEx training documentation (login required) for help with setting up WebEx recordings.
- Make sure students understand what they should be working on outside of class time, when work is due, and how they should submit it. Be clear with students about any necessary adjustments that you are making to course content and assignments. Indicate how you will grade (even if there is no change). Resources, advice, and guidelines for how to teach online effectively are available here (login required). You can also email library staff at email@example.com for assistance with accessing online library resources and services.
- Communicate any challenges you are having to your chair.
Classes are now online, and so are we.
While the Stan Getz and Albert Alphin library facilities are both closed until further notice, library staff are available to assist faculty and students with accessing our rich set of digital resources and online services.
To forward your desk phone to your cell phone, follow these steps:
- Get a dial tone on your Berklee phone, then dial 91.
- Dial 71 and the phone number to which you'll forward your calls.
- Press the large check (✓) button on the Berklee phone to save your call forwarding.
- The display on the Berklee phone may flash or flutter once this is complete.
You can also route your voice mail to your email by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get your technology set up correctly, try the following:
- Test WebEx, and attend a WebEx training session (offered from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on weekdays).
- Test your VPN access if you need to use Colleague, Informer, PowerCampus (after March 18, 2020), bShare, bcbShare, FileMaker, Sibelius (license server), Reason, or Autocad (license server).
- Download Duo on your mobile device (login required).
- Make sure you have a working set of headphones with a microphone and a camera.
- Loaner laptops are available from Technology Resources on a limited basis and must have vice president–level approval. Laptops can be picked up at the service desk in the basement of 186 Massachusetts Avenue on Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13. After that, email email@example.com to make arrangements.
- Note that Berklee is unable to resolve internet access issues in the homes or remote locations of employees.
Find more information about preparing to work remotely (login required).
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support in getting your technology set up for remote work.
Human Resources: Benefits, Telehealth, Recruitment, and Hiring
Copayments and Out-of-Pocket Costs
Effective immediately, Tufts Health Plan will provide current members access to the following:
- No out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, counseling, and vaccinations. This coverage applies at in-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and other facilities, and at out-of-network providers in the event a member cannot easily find an in-network provider to provide timely services.
- No copayments for medically necessary COVID-19 treatment. This coverage applies at in-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and other facilities, and at out-of-network providers in the event a member cannot easily find an in-network provider to provide timely services.
If you think you are infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are a member of the Tufts Medical Plan, Teladoc doctors can answer questions about the disease, evaluate your risk, and advise you on next steps. Please register for this service now so you’ll already be registered and ready to use it if you happen to feel unwell later on. You can enroll at the Tufts website and follow the link to “Access Teladoc Telemedicine Services.”
In addition, please notify the core response team at email@example.com and let your supervisor know that you are feeling unwell.
If you have questions about your health care information, please contact a member of the Human Resources benefits team at 617-747-2375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave of Absence and Paid Time off (PTO)
Review Berklee's Leave of Absence and Paid Time off (PTO) policies online.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020), signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, helps provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. The legislation is very broad and impacts a range of industries and policies, including your benefits. Read about updates to your benefits (login required), including Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and your retirement account.
If you have a commuter MBTA pass, you can return it for credit if WageWorks receives it by April 5, 2020. If you have a Perq/Charlie Card, the MBTA will provide a credit If there is absolutely no usage on the card for the month of April. Learn more about these options, as well as parking and other commuter pass programs.
Berklee 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan
You may be concerned about your retirement plan during these volatile times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to have a widespread impact on both the U.S. and global economies over the next several months, and you will see this impact affect your Berklee 403(b) retirement savings plan as well. Transamerica will post articles that address the concerns that you may have in addition to providing their perspective on the economy and markets.
Berklee College of Music, Inc. Retirement Plan (Pension Plan)
For those who are participants in the Berklee College of Music, Inc. Retirement Plan (Pension Plan), the effect is somewhat different. The monthly benefit that you will receive from this plan is based upon your years of service and the salary that you have received from Berklee. Since these items are not affected by the market, you monthly benefit will not change. However, the current lump sum option could be affected by the change in interest rates in plan year 2021. We are closely monitoring this situation and will keep you informed.
As you consider your response to the volatile markets, please keep in mind your long-term retirement goals. A good plan includes selecting an allocation that considers both your time frame and your personal outlook on risk and staying the course. History has shown that the market is resilient, and although short-term impacts can be scary, there is no current indication that the COVID-19 impact will be long-term.
In both the 403(b) and the Pension Plan, it is important to understand that the funding for the benefits provided by these plans are kept in trusts that are separate from Berklee's monies. That means that Berklee cannot use these funds for purposes other than for the benefit of the participants in these plans.
As Berklee considers the myriad complexities and challenges presented by this crisis, we have instituted a freeze on recruitment and hiring for current open faculty, chair, and staff positions at all locations.
If you have new hires who have not started yet, you may decide whether to delay their start date on a case-by-case basis. First, determine whether this is a pressing position that is needed at this time. Can the start date be delayed if an offer has not yet been made? Has the new hire given notice to their current employer? Managers should determine if there is work available for the new hire to perform remotely. For example, managers should consider information needed to get the new hire up to speed in their new job.
New Hire Orientation for Chairs and Staff
Beginning in April, new hire orientation will be held as a virtual orientation through Google Hangout, with presenters joining as needed. The new hire benefits session will be coordinated with orientation. The additional benefits orientation will be held through Google Hangouts. Individuals will be sent invites, and any needed documents will be sent electronically.
New hires can get Berklee IDs from Public Safety when campus operations return to normal.
I-9s and CORIs
Starting March 23, Human Resources will email instructions to new employees along with general onboarding instructions.
Managers of new hires should contact Technology Resources at email@example.com to coordinate technology needs, including laptops. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Training will be available remotely. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an online technology training session.
Remote faculty members are expected to uphold all Berklee expectations for performance and behavior. Human Resources can provide support to ensure that individuals are performing at their highest level in this remote work situation. If you have performance concerns, consult with Human Resources for support in giving feedback, coaching, and/or corrective action in a remote setting.
Human Resources is exploring how we may provide these offerings in a virtual setting. Please continue to check our web portal page for updated information related to workshops and training sessions.
- Review more benefits information online, and reach out to a member of the benefits team at email@example.com if you have any questions about your Health and Wellness benefits. Human Resources staff can be reached remotely via email, phone, and video conferencing. Human Resources will operate with an extremely limited physical presence on campus, as needed for emergent matters.
Starting March 25, Mail Services will operate with limited staff until further notice. As such, faculty, staff, and student mail services will be modified. Please review the following guidelines to help us through this transition:
- Use electronic mail for all business correspondence and encourage your contacts not to send physical mail via the U.S. postal service or other carriers.
- Change all your subscriptions and correspondence to the paperless option.
- Only essential packages, with a product that is needed immediately, should be shipped to the Berklee campus.
Berklee Student Employment will offer the possibility of working remotely to student employees whose work can be performed at locations other than traditional, on-campus workspaces. Supervisors who wish to have their students work remotely must complete the Remote Work Request Form to be processed and reviewed by Student Employment.
The Student Employment team is working with Technology Resources to evaluate the feasibility of granting access to certain Berklee technology and systems.
If students provide support for staff who are deemed essential, they may be allowed to work on campus. However, no student employee shall work in an on-campus office or facility without a professional staff/faculty member present.
- Berklee will continue to pay all of our student employees their regular pay during this period of reduced service needs, independent of whether their full services are needed.
- Student employees who can complete their regularly scheduled work hours remotely should make every attempt to do so and should enter their times into Workday by 2:00 p.m. on Fridays as usual, and supervisors should approve by midnight.
- Student employees who are unable to complete their work remotely or who can not work for other reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) will still be compensated and should enter their previously/regularly scheduled times into Workday by 2:00 p.m. on Fridays as usual, and supervisors should approve by midnight.
- You can view the full policy and more details here (login required), and feel free to reach out to the Student Employment team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
If you would like support to help you navigate this stressful time, you can get counseling services through our Employee Assistance Program (login required), E4Health, at 800-624-5544. Access the EAP with company code: Berklee, password: guest. You can also reach out to your primary care physician or Human Resources for guidance.