Berklee to Reopen Campus this Spring with Hybrid Learning Model

By 
Tori Donahue
October 15, 2020
Press release
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Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee will open in January for a mix of in-person and remote learning.

Aerial shot of Berklee's main building in Boston
Berklee will reopen its campus with a hybrid learning model in January.

Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee will reopen their Boston campus facilities in January 2021 with a hybrid model, blending remote and on-campus teaching. The return to campus, known as Spring Back to Berklee, introduces a number of new safety measures that enable students to progress toward their personal, academic, and career goals in a safe and flexible environment. For students who are not able to return to campus, Berklee will provide an option for them to complete their studies entirely online during the spring semester. Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, which reopened in a hybrid model this fall, will continue to maintain a hybrid format for its graduate students in the spring. The spring semester will begin on January 25, and its March recess will be eliminated to reduce mid-semester travel. 

Spring Back to Berklee type treatmentBerklee will prioritize in-person private instruction, experiential courses, and ensembles for students to have connection points with faculty and peers, as far as permitted by local, state, federal, and college guidelines. A significant amount of private instruction for all instruments will be available in person, except where the student or faculty member requires remote instruction. Across Berklee, more than 200 small ensembles will take place in person, across many different musical styles. The College will also offer at least 75 virtual ensembles that teach remote production and collaboration techniques used by much of the commercial music industry. Outside of scheduled class time, both the College and Conservatory have prioritized space for students to practice and perform. With in-person audiences for live performances inadvisable at the current time, the College and Conservatory will leverage streaming technology as much as possible this spring so students’ performances can be experienced by others.

Creating and Maintaining a Safe Campus

As part of the Spring Back to Berklee initiative, Berklee is reconfiguring its Boston campus facilities to support and promote safety. This includes updating classrooms and communal spaces for social distancing purposes, expanding grab-and-go food options at the dining hall, converting residence hall rooms to accommodate social distancing, and exploring new scheduling systems to limit the number of people on campus at any given time. 

Berklee will follow health and safety guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other trusted sources in keeping its campuses clean and in establishing a working and learning environment that will minimize the spread of disease to the greatest extent possible. All community members will be required to sign a social compact of shared responsibility, agreeing to the following conditions: practicing social distancing, wearing facial coverings, washing hands regularly, wiping down workspaces thoroughly after use, limiting travel to and from campus during the term, and reporting exposure to COVID-19 and positive cases to Berklee in a timely manner. The institution will be contracting with an entity that currently provides COVID-19 screening support for more than 100 public and private colleges and universities in New England and surrounding states to provide our testing services. Berklee is also in the process of developing a strong surveillance testing protocol that will seek to identify asymptomatic cases among students, faculty, and staff before community spread occurs, which will include all faculty, staff, and students to be tested in advance of starting classes or working, and ongoing testing throughout the spring semester.

A comprehensive FAQ with more information regarding policies related to the campus reopening is available at berklee.edu/btb.

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