COVID-19 updates for the SOE community

The Office of the Provost’s Key Issues web site is the University’s central location for information regarding COVID-19 and questions: 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 

This page is intended to provide answers to questions we have been hearing from School of Education community members. 

Teaching and Instructional Support

Where can I find U-M and SOE-IT Resources for faculty, staff, and students?

U-M and SOE-IT Resources

 

What resources are you recommending for initial/basic remote instruction?

Canvas: Enabling and using tools in Canvas is a helpful resource for getting started. 

BlueJeans videos and tutorials are coming soon!

U-M and SOE-IT Resources is a document with resources that is being updated frequently.

Contact the SOE Instructional Technology team at brandoncenter@umich.edu if you require assistance with remote instruction.

Keep Teaching @ UM includes practical, pedagogical guidance for teaching remotely under different circumstances.

CRLT and the Center for Academic Innovation will post remote office hours here

   

What training is being offered to support remote instruction? 

SOE Instructional Support is available to work one-on-one with SOE instructors. Reach us at brandoncenter@umich.edu or (734) 764-5427.

Canvas Training Opportunities are announced on the Canvas at Michigan site:
https://umich.instructure.com/courses/200

BlueJeans Training Sessions:
https://its.umich.edu/communication/videoconferencing/blue-jeans/training

Zoom Training Sessions:
https://its.umich.edu/communication/videoconferencing/zoom/training

   

What Information Technology resources are there for obtaining hardware or software? 

Brandon Center: The Center's physical space is closed, but staff members can be reached at brandoncenter@umich.edu or (734) 764-5427.

MiWorkspace in SOE: MiWorkspace's physical space is closed, but assistance is available at 4help@umich.edu or (734) 764-HELP.

Hardware: Coronavirus has impacted the supply chain with delays on most custom and some standard configurations.  Ship time on Apple devices remains at 3-5 days for units not in stock.  HP devices other than the HP 840 laptop are running 1-6 weeks on ship time. The MiWorkspace Hardware Request form is the fastest and easiest way to begin your order.

RemoteApp is a service exclusively available to MiWorkspace customers that provides access to university-licensed, Windows applications from any device with an internet connection, including your device supported by MiWorkspace and personal Windows or Mac computers.  Learn how to setup RemoteApp here.

Contact the SOE Office of Information Technology if you have further needs or questions: soe.it.support@umich.edu or (734) 764-5427.

 

Am I contractually obligated to follow my syllabus? 

We anticipate that you will need to make changes driven by the movement to remote teaching. However, please be mindful of your students’ stress; major changes may be disconcerting. Any changes you make should be a result of the move to remote teaching; changes should not include adding additional assignments, readings, or large content adjustments, etc.

   

What about pedagogical support?     
Program chairs and directors are working with their faculty to develop this support within individual programs. If you are seeking guidance, please reach out to your chair or director. 

   

Are classrooms available if small classes or groups wish to meet in person? 

No. Classroom reservations will not be available for the duration of the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order (until April 13). We will reassess room availability at that time.

   

Work

Are School of Education offices open in-person?
No, all university employees are currently advised to work remotely. Therefore, offices are accessible virtually. They can be contacted via email, and many are offering virtual services.

   

Can I work remotely? 

Communicate with your supervisor to discuss your upcoming work plans, whether you are working on campus or remotely. If you will work remotely, complete a Telecommuting Agreement Form.

Check in with your supervisor daily to report on tasks, priorities, and challenges. Your supervisor will work with you on their specific expectations for daily check-ins.

You and your supervisor will establish a standard mode for your check-in meetings (email, phone, Hangout, etc.).

You should plan to respond to email/phone calls promptly unless you use vacation or sick leave during this period.

You should attempt to limit distractions while working from home. We understand that the fluid situation may result in child care or other challenges, and we are asking supervisors to be flexible with unexpected needs that arise. Please communicate any of these challenges during your daily check-in.

Ask for help if you need it.

   

What if I cannot work remotely or need time off work due to COVID-19 illness or care? 
University Human Resources has offered guidance and additional resources regarding these issues on their website. Please review this information and discuss your needs with your supervisor.

   

Can I come to work as I normally would? 

We ask that all employees work remotely for the duration of the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order (until April 13). We will reassess building use at that time.

 

Student teachers, interns, and field work

Information for students in Educator Preparation Programs 

The SOE is developing alternative activities for students in Educator Preparation Programs that will allow them to achieve certification remotely. We have received written confirmation of MDE’s commitment to work with EPP programs to approve these alternative activities that will be conducted remotely.  

Thus, even if the K–12 schools re-open in April, we will not require interns to complete required hours in the field for the winter semester, which ends on April 21. Instead, we will use a variety of activities to be completed through remote access. These activities—which are still in development—will stand in for field work in this unusual situation. EPP leaders and/or individual EPP faculty members will communicate the details of those alternative requirements. 

If you have questions, please contact your program chair. 

   

Information for students in non-certification internships (e.g., edMINOR, Master’s degrees)

We are developing alternative ways for you to continue your engaged learning through activities that will be conducted remotely. 

These activities—which are still in development—will stand in for field work in this unusual situation. Internship supervisors will communicate the details of those alternative requirements. 

If you have questions, please contact your internship supervisor. 

   

Spring/Summer Semesters

Will there be a spring and summer semester?

Yes. Spring and summer semester courses will be conducted remotely.

   

Events and Meetings

What are the guidelines for events and gatherings in the School of Education?

There will be no events for the duration of the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order (until April 13). We will reassess event and meeting policies at that time based on CDC recommendations.

   

Should I continue planning to hold an event scheduled after April 21?

This is a rapidly changing situation. At this time it is the discretion of the event planner to determine whether or not to cancel or to await further information regarding an extension of the current policies for events and gatherings.

   

Is the SOE Commencement Ceremony cancelled?
Yes, unfortunately all University of Michigan spring commencement activities are cancelled, including the School of Education commencement. We will explore how to celebrate our 2020 graduates in the future. 

   

Travel 

When should I self-isolate?

Check the CDC’s travel advisory information around COVID-19 which will provide up-to-date advisories.

Please stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

As of March 16, countries that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (widespread, ongoing transmission):

  • China
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City

Please note that the Schengen countries (the last group on the list) were only added recently.  The Schengen Agreement removed the border restrictions among these countries and so travelers can move across borders easily. Given the high level of COVID-19 cases in Italy, the CDC decided to designate all Schengen countries a Level 3 travel risk. Thus, if you have been to any of the countries on the list, we urge you to comply with the travel advisory to self-isolate for two weeks. The link above gives more advice. Please feel free to reach out to the Dean’s office if you have any questions about this.

   

Can I still travel for University business?

The University has suspended all U-M international travel until at least April 21, with rare exceptions. If you would like to request approval for international travel, please contact the Dean. 

Domestic travel for University business is strongly discouraged. If you would like to request approval for domestic travel, please contact your supervisor. If approved, please notify the Dean.

   

What should I do if I have personal travel planned? 

The University also discourages personal domestic and international travel. Engage in personal travel using your own best judgment, and if you do travel, we recommend monitoring CDC warnings and avoiding both domestic and international destinations where COVID-19 is prevalent. We also recommend discussing your travel plans with your supervisor and self-monitoring following travel as needed. 

   

Reimbursements and Finance

What are the rules regarding reimbursement for cancelled conferences or business travel?

If an employee has purchased a flight, and due to cancellation has an un-used ticket (or credit), they may utilize that for their next business trip. Most airlines are offering refunds or full credits with change fees waived for flights internationally from 

March 1 to March 31, 2020, we recommend checking with the airlines to determine what they will offer for the cancellation. 

If your program chair, director, or supervisor approves, they may reimburse the students for their purchased flights. 

Please provide adequate comments in the reimbursement request that states the travel was cancelled due to the event being cancelled and the department is reimbursing the students.

   

Emergency Funding & Health Insurance for Students

Is any financial support available to students experiencing emergency situations?

School of Education student emergency funds are awarded to students who experience emergency situations, one-time unexpected expenses, or unforseen events.

Please contact Scholarship and Fellowship Manager Eileen Brussolo at efc@umich.edu or (734) 936-1829 for assistance. She works closely with the offices on campus such as the Center for the Education of Women+, the Office of Financial Aid, and Rackham Graduate School to coordinate and maximize your funding. If your expenses fall outside of the categories listed below, we still encourage you to pursue funding.

Situations which warrant emergency funding include the following:

  • Medical, dental, or mental health emergencies for the student
  • Major accidents and events such as fire and natural disasters
  • Expenses related to the death of an immediate family member

Undergraduate students: Seek support from the Center for the Education of Women+ and/or the Office of Financial Aid.

Graduate students: Seek support from the Center for the Education of Women+, the Office of Financial Aid, and/or Rackham Graduate School.

Note: Emergency funds can adversely impact your previously awarded financial aid. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid with questions.

 

What health insurance options are available to students?

Having health insurance is important and many of you may have had your health insurance status impacted in the recent months. As such, please review the options below.

MI Expanded Medicaid
Assistance with Medicaid eligibility is available through the Patient Financial Counselors at Michigan Medicine: (877) 326-9155 or email pfc-counselors@med.umich.edu.

Blue Care Network re-opened their enrollment for students in need
If you don’t have health insurance, please consider this option. View the Domestic Health Insurance Plan provided to students. An open enrollment period has been extended to students due to COVID-19. Students can enroll now until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020. You will receive coverage from 3/23/2020 through 8/23/2020. The plan is also described at https://uhs.umich.edu/dship

To enroll please go to https://www.bcbsm.com/content/microsites/umich/en. Benefit details can be found under "Get Coverage Information."

Please contact Scholarship and Fellowship Manager Eileen Brussolo at efc@umich.edu or (734) 936-1829 for assistance. She works closely with the offices on campus and will be able to guide you through appropriate next steps.

 

Facilities

Can I still access the building?

We have been doing our best to keep the School of Education building available to you. Unfortunately, with the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order, we are required to close the building temporarily to anyone who is not engaged in essential activity, effective midnight, Wednesday, March 25. Essential activity for our space is being defined as instructional activity; thus, the building must be closed to everyone except those who must use the space to teach or those who support teaching. Faculty members, staff members, and Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) will retain building access. That said, we encourage all instructors to work from home unless absolutely necessary.

If necessary, faculty members, staff members, and GSIs may enter the building using card readers at the southeast, southwest, and north (under the connector to Social Work) entrances of the building. To use your MCard, it needs to be active and have access granted to the building. If your MCard has expired, it will not work. We have been advised that the Student Activities Building will be open and staff members will be able to help you renew or replace your card quickly.   

If you are a faculty member, a staff member, or teach or have office space in the building, then you should already have card access. If you are unsure, you may email soe.facilities@umich.edu to confirm. We are aware that some U-M faculty and staff members who are external to the SOE community may need to obtain access, and we are working to notify them and ensure that they can get into the building to deliver their remote classes or activities. 

For students, if the building closure presents barriers to accessing your coursework, please communicate with your instructor. A list of SOE and U-M IT resources is available here as well. If you need help addressing challenges, please contact your program chairs or the associate deans.

Thank you for understanding the importance of following the Governor’s Executive Order. We will let you know as soon as we are all able to return to the building.

   

How can I prevent the spread of germs in my office and in the building?

Take everyday preventative actions to prevent the spread of germs.

Sanitize high-touch surfaces for both shared and personal spaces frequently.

Work remotely if you are able. 

Follow CDC guidelines.

 

How are mail and packages/deliveries being handled?

USPS Mail: Mail is being delivered on a semi daily basis and is being secured in the cage of the School of Social Work. Every other day I will be picking the mail up from the cage and sorting in our mail room at the SOE. If you would like me to keep your mail secure and in the locked portion of the mail room please let me know (respond to me or soe.facilities only please). Otherwise, I will be sorting mail like normal and putting it in your mailbox/slot in the mail room.

Packages/Deliveries: ALL, Office Depot, UPS, FEDEX, and Amazon packages and deliveries are currently being held at the carriers local distribution center/building and will be delivered on Monday April 13 or the following day.

   

Links to other University COVID-19 resources

U-M CENTRAL LOCATION FOR INFORMATION: 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

Keep Teaching @ UM

Human Resources information for employees regarding COVID-19

Rackham Resources for Graduate Students

COVID-19: Research Operations at U-M

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Faculty and Staff Counseling Consultation Office (FASCCO)

   

Ask a question

Contact: 
soeofficeofthedean@umich.edu
734-615-4415