OISE Communication on Fall Planning

From
OISE Dean
To
OISE Community
Date: June 15, 2022

As the province gradually lifts regulations related to COVID-19, we are pleased to confirm OISE’s plans for welcoming our community back to more in-person teaching and learning beginning this Fall.  While we remain optimistic that the public health situation will allow us to safely proceed with a return to more in-person activities, our plans are subject to change as necessitated by external circumstances.

 

Course Delivery

The majority of OISE's Fall 2022/Winter 2023 courses will be held in-person, with a significant number of courses being offered online in synchronous and/or asynchronous formats.  Specifically, the Master of Teaching and the Master of Arts in Child Study and Education will be delivered fully in-person. In addition, a large majority of courses in programs where students are being trained in professional practice in psychology and psychotherapy will be delivered in-person. Courses in other programs will be delivered in various modes, including in-person and online. For additional information about modes of course delivery in your particular program, please consult with program administrators.

 

Hybrid Delivery of Services

We are committed to offer services to faculty and students in a hybrid format to ensure you receive our high quality of service in a convenient, timely and efficient manner, whether you choose to access services in-person or remotely. Our hybrid work arrangements for staff will be organized in a way to support hybrid services to faculty and students.

 

For up-to-date information about access to library services, spaces, and collections, please see https://oise.library.utoronto.ca/hours-and-location.

 

Hybrid Work Arrangements Pilot for Staff

As we gradually transition to more in-person activities at OISE, a key consideration has been maintaining a balance between providing a rich, vibrant student and campus experience, with the benefits of operational effectiveness, service innovation, and flexibility for staff made possible by remote work.  Let me express my utmost appreciation for the contributions of OISE staff in facing the challenges of the pandemic these past two years.

 

As announced to the OISE community on June 2nd, the University has accepted our request to initiate a pilot program exploring staff operation in a hybrid work model. The program is intended to provide the ability to work both on-campus and from a remote location in order to ensure that every faculty, staff and students have access to the same quality of services, regardless of location. The high-level principles guiding planning of the pilot include:

 

  • Service excellence
  • Operational efficiency
  • Fostering an equitable and inclusive employee experience
  • Team and community building
  • Health and wellness

 

This is an iterative process, and program effectiveness will be assessed and measured throughout to ensure it enables operational excellence and a collaborative workplace and campus community experience.

 

Each unit is developing their own plan under the principles with a soft launch of the pilot scheduled for July 2022, with full implementation planned for September 2022.

 

Post-Pandemic Wellness

In November 2021, I formed a working group focused on post-pandemic wellness support for members of the community with an objective to develop programs and resources to help cultivate a culture of Readiness, Resilience, and Recovery as the community adapts to evolving learning and work arrangements. 

 

In early May, the committee launched an OISE-wide survey in order to ensure the resources and programs that it will develop serve as many members of the community as possible. With almost 300 respondents, we have received an abundance of rich feedback on how we can support the wellness of the community during this period of transition. 

 

While I await the committee’s full recommendation on programs and resources to offer, as an immediate next step to address the input received from the survey, OISE has announced a Spring Wellness Day for faculty, librarians, and staff to be held on June 20th.  We will be offering a range of sessions that align with the feedback we heard from the community. More details regarding the schedule of events will be shared in the near future.

 

Building Protocol

As you will have seen in the Provost’s Fall Planning message sent to employees on June 9th, the University continues to encourage all members of the community to be fully vaccinated and to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they become eligible. In the eventuality of a new wave of COVID-19 and further guidance regarding public health regulations, students, faculty, librarians and staff may be required at any time on short notice to be fully vaccinated in order to visit the campus in person.  More information about vaccines can be found at https://www.utoronto.ca/utogether/vaccines.

 

Students who complete an external practicum placement may be required by their placement site to be fully vaccinated in order to complete their practicum.  Please consult your program administrators for more details.

 

The University’s current mask requirement will be lifted as of July 1, 2022, subject to any changes in public health guidance. Members of our OISE community may make their own decisions regarding whether or not to wear a mask after July 1, and we ask everyone to respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels, and health needs.

 

I want to also remind the community that the University has implemented a sector-leading ventilation strategy that includes improvements to existing ventilation systems that service all parts of buildings, including classrooms, labs, offices, meeting rooms, and hallways.

 

Understanding that the community has many questions during this transition, with the support of the University’s Environmental Health & Safety and Facilities & Services teams we have developed and continue to update an FAQ specific to our operations at OISE with answers to questions posted by students, faculty, and staff. The FAQ contains information about quality assurance measures that are in place related to ventilation and air quality in the OISE building. This section is constantly evolving as we add more questions received from members of the community, and we invite you to submit your own questions to oisecao@utoronto.ca.

 

You can also stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 information as it relates to building procedures and policies by regularly visiting the Chief Administrative Officer’s community information page at: https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/covid-19 and see the University’s updates at: https://www.utoronto.ca/utogether/.

 

After reviewing all of this information, if you have further questions, please feel free to forward to oise.dean@utoronto.ca.