ACADEMICS – Covid19
This page contains information that is relevant to all students. It will be updated regularly.
Classroom seating capacity is limited due to distancing measures. For this reason, we will provide a hybrid mode of classroom delivery. Students follow along by video from other classrooms. If students are quarantined, they will be also required to follow along by video. Students are required to have access to a laptop/computer with audio capabilities and a functional webcam. Students will be required to use the course platform and specific conferencing tools such as Zoom.
Travelers arriving in Italy from the U.S. must quarantine for 14 days at a location to be determined by Gustolab International (GLi) and under the supervision of the Italian health authorities. Classes and orientation activities will be carried out using distance education procedures during this period. For this reason these 14 days will be included in the 89 days of the onsite program, which include the instruction days provided by GLi. Students must attend all classes on these days.
GLi is committed to serve our students and will not plan to cancel our program. If students will not be able to attend courses in person (for example, if circumstances deteriorate in Italy), GLi will shift to online instruction and work towards completing the academic program. Co-curricular aspects of the program such as excursions and onsite activities which require in-person attendance will be cancelled and will be replaced with online activities where possible. In this case, students will need to seek an alternate site for participating in the online courses. They can do this from their homes in the US or other sites. Please also note that GLi has had considerable experience providing online courses, including 5 courses in the Spring of 2020. All Spring 2021 courses are designed to be provided either onsite or online. This shift can occur at any time both before the program’s scheduled dates or after it begins. We are available to work with the student’s home university regarding anticipated credits for the spring academic program.
Students will be expected to follow our academic policies (regarding absences, assignments, grading, etc). They will receive this information with their course syllabi when courses start.
Please also note that in the case of a Covid-19 infection, we will provide distance instruction to the infected student, with possible changes to the curriculum. Students testing positive will be given additional time to complete course work after they return to their home country.
Guidelines at school
It is mandatory to respect certain guidelines regarding the GLi premises where instruction will take place in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection and respect the Italian law.
Entry is allowed only to people who have been previously identified by the school administration. All students, staff, faculty and visitors will have their temperatures checked at the entrance using a non-contact thermometer. Access will be allowed to students, faculty, staff and visitors whose body temperature is 37.4° Celsius (C) or less. Before entry, disinfect your hands and wait in an orderly line for staff to measure your temperature while maintaining a social distance of at least 1 meter. Prior to entry, it is mandatory to declare if one has traveled through risk zones or has been in contact with people who have tested positive to the virus in the previous 14 days. In these cases, Italian government measures require you to remain at home and inform the relevant health authority (in the case of a student, this would be the GLi medical advisor). Immediately after entry, stop at the tables positioned in front of you and sign the necessary forms. Alternatively, your temperature may be measured by staff at the front office of Leonardo da Vinci School (Piazza dell’Orologio 7, ground floor). After signing the measurement confirmation form, you are required to present it to GLi staff before entry (2nd floor). Anyone whose body temperature registers 37.5° C or more will be measured again. If the person is found to have 37.5°C, they will be given a mask and gloves and based on the severity of the case will be asked to go home or to the hospital. Private transportation (such as a taxi) can be arranged for students and the student will be charged for the cost. The medical advisor will be contacted and the student will be asked to follow the instructions of the medical advisor. If a person is found with symptoms during class, they will be escorted to a waiting room (with mask and gloves) and we will follow the procedures described above.
Students and teachers must observe scheduled entry/exit times and classroom shifts, wear a mask at all times and maintain social distancing of at least 1 meter from other students, staff and faculty during classes and activities.
Students will be required to follow signage and restrictions regarding space, capacity and hygiene. This includes using specific areas and restrooms reserved for students, moving to external areas to avoiding gathering during breaks, or waiting times, maintaining correct behavior in terms of hygiene before using shared equipment (we will provide hand sanitizers). Food and drink in class is forbidden to minimize droplet spread and to reduce the need to remove masks.
Since classroom seating capacity is limited due to distancing measures, we will provide a hybrid mode of classroom delivery. See the section on hybrid instruction for more information.
GLi premises and workplaces will be kept clean and sanitized daily according to the protocols regarding Covid-19 prevention. Cleaning personnel will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, using products recommended for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in the context of Covid-19. These are the products recommended for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in the context of COVID-19: Ethanol 70-90%, Chlorine-based products (e.g., hypochlorite) at 0.1% (1000 ppm) for general environmental disinfection or 0.5% (5000 ppm) for blood and body fluids large spills, Hydrogen peroxide >0.5%, alcohol with 70%-90% concentration may be used for surface disinfection
It is mandatory for all students, staff and faculty to use a surgical or FFP2 mask inside school premises and during activities.
GLi requires students to wear a disposable mask (specifically a surgical mask or FFP2) available in pharmacies and change it according to their recommended usage limits. Any other type of face covering is not allowed within the school premises or during school activities. Remove masks using an appropriate technique.
If students have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, or any other conditions (e.g. allergies to a medicine) they should contact GLi prior to attending the program to review alternative arrangements.
Our outside activities during the spring program usually include excursions outside of Rome, service learning, museum and site visits, lectures in the open, events, tastings, and cooking classes. We will carry out these normal program activities to the extent that we can carry them out logistically in accordance with requirements and precautionary measures put into place by the Italian government.
For all activities we will engage in best practices regarding Covid-19. These are likely to evolve through time and cannot be fully summarized here. Some of these measures include dividing students into small groups to avoid large groups, respecting physical distance (in Italy, this is at least 1 meter or about 3.3 feet), wearing masks, sanitizing hands, measuring temperatures. Failure to comply will prevent participation. Some of the precautions we will use include splitting students into small groups, using the radio system, staggering visit times, avoiding busy times.
All excursions including activities and locations will be reviewed in advance for feasibility of social distancing and general health at the destination, e.g. any recent cases of Covid-19, time since last case reported, local rules around Covid-19 prevention, resources available locally for emergencies. For field excursions by private transportation, we aim to work with vendors who will follow precautions such as seating arranged to allow for social distancing, drivers and tour guides who wear masks, hand sanitizers available on the transportation, evidence of pre-trip sanitizing bus/transport vehicles. For field excursions by public transportation (buses, trains, trams), face coverings will be required. Moreover, social distancing will be observed, limiting normal capacity and commuters need to plan extra time for travel. Students also should follow Covid-19 related signage on public transport and platforms including entrances, exits and paths. For excursions requiring overnight stay, we aim to work with lodging vendors will respect cleaning/disinfection regimen for rooms/common areas, provide hand-sanitizer in common spaces, limit occupancy in rooms and lifts, require wearing masks and social distancing in common spaces, offer service at the table instead of buffet service. For arranged meals during activities and excursions (in restaurants, etc), buffet style meals, family style meals or meal sharing are forbidden.
For each trip, students will receive a kit detailing the plan of action in case of emergencies including COVID-19 symptoms. This kit will include contact information for the health services available to students locally at the site of their excursion.