Information and Resources for the William James College Community about Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Updates From William James College President Nicholas Covino

Presidents Update COVID-19 March 25 - 8PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 25, 8:30 PM: 

Dear William James Community,

I will write with a longer update about this week’s activities on Friday. Tonight, I wanted to share the link to the new Resource Hub that I mentioned in my last email. This online space offers a collection of materials curated or created by William James College Faculty and community members. It is accessible via the College’s homepage or directly via: https://www.williamjames.edu/resourcehub.

Through the Resource Hub, we aim to provide much-needed training tools for mental health practice in this critical time. We plan to share these resources with our Field Site partners; educators and leaders in school districts; parents seeking ways to engage and educate children at home; and, of course, provide mental health resources for the general public. It will be regularly added to and updated, and your suggestions are welcome. As I type this, the team is building a page on culturally responsive practices; this crisis has offered yet another window into the state of healthcare disparities, income inequality, racism and discrimination in this country, and to people who are impacted in significant ways by these inequities and disparities in ways far beyond the physical health threat this crisis has created. We are fortunate to have Dr. St. Louis and her colleagues in CMGMH who have created some thoughtful and useful resources for us on this topic.

I would also like to extend my thanks to Dean Josh Cooper, his team in the Dean of Students Office, and the Student Government ACES for hosting today’s midday forum, and for welcoming my participation in it. I look forward to joining the conversation for a bit this evening, as well. My thanks to Dr. Bruce Ecker for his excellent overview of Telementalhealth practice on our Resource Hub. Dr. Jason Osher and his colleagues have been creating resources and training to advance the online education skills of our faculty. Dr. Lambert, the Department Chairs, our Directors of Field Education, Registrar Sonja Paige and others have been reviewing the academic and proficiency status of our pending graduates to determine what must be done to ensure their successful matriculation.

Thank you all for this work and to the community for your commitment to learning and service, as we manage our worry and our sequestration.

A couple of quick notes:

  • We will reschedule our Commencement ceremony to be held the fall. Our graduates have invested significantly in their education at WJC, we want to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments with a special day. Degrees will be awarded upon completion of coursework, but we will party, formally, in the fall. A date to come soon.

  • The College has asked our Legislative Agent (Lobbyist) to appeal to the Commission that manages the Board of Licensure in Psychology to provide, immediately, the same clarification on supervision for Telementalhealth and a ruling on the number of supervised hours of practice required for licensure, as other states have already produced.

  • The College will keep the April Vacation. While some thought it beneficial to just continue with coursework, there are Financial Aid restrictions that impact this decision as well as the sense that many students and faculty could use the break.

My thoughts remain with all of you and your families. I hope you are staying well. You have my continued gratitude for your work and your service to others during these difficult days.

With respect,

Nick

President’s Update COVID-19 Governor’s Order March 24 - 1PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 24, 1:00 PM: 

Dear William James Community,

Governor Charlie Baker has issued an order effective tomorrow at noon with new directions for workers in nonessential roles. Effective Tuesday, March 24 and extending through April 7, consistent with the Governor’s instructions, William James College will cease certain non-essential activities and on-campus building operations, including library access. Most of our community has already transitioned to online/remote work and learning, as such, services will continue to be available to support students, staff and faculty remotely.

Please note the formal extension of online classes: We will continue to conduct all classes online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

Regarding Field Sites: Medical Professionals and caregivers (including physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists, other providers of mental and behavioral health care, personal care attendants, home health aides and home care workers) are defined as essential personnel. Students, especially those who are operating under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional are ‘other providers’ and essential personnel. Agencies will be making decisions about their status and whether they will remain open and continue to offer essential services. Students are asked to continue to take direction from Field Sites. And, if your site asks you to continue, please request that they issue a note that describes you as ‘essential personnel.’

As I stated in Friday evening’s email, our Field Education policy is meant to be consistent with our mission to educate behavioral health professionals, to be supportive of our community colleagues, to recognize the important role that our profession plays in lives of vulnerable people, and to be respectful of our students’ safety. The College will not require students or staff to remain in an environment in which they feel that they cannot work safely and competently. Should anyone believe that they must leave the field, our Faculty advisors and Field Education staff will help you with an application for accommodation.

Several WJC Faculty have developed an online Resource Hub with training materials on delivering Telementalhealth and related information on remote behavioral care. This resource will be posted to the WJC website by noon, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24. An announcement will, also, be sent to the community so that they will know that our students have the opportunity to become trained in this essential service. We will also be providing training materials to the more than 400 sites that we serve in Greater Boston to aid them in transitioning staff to this modality.

Again, I appreciate your patience, your courage and your professionalism in this challenging time.

With great respect,

Nick

President’s Update Field Education March 20 - 9PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 20, 9:00 PM: 

Dear Students:

I know that there has been a good deal of feeling about the school’s policy on remaining in Field Placements. I am sorry for the distress that some of you are feeling, in the midst of a very unnerving time, and I write to provide some context that I hope will help. Let me share some of the considerations that shape this policy.

William James College’s unique character

Behavioral health programs at some universities have pulled their students from the field. That is certainly their right to do. We are different from most academic programs. Central to the mission of William James College is a commitment to educate healthcare professionals. This charge leads to an institutional perspective that is multidimensional: we collaborate with community partners to deliver care; we educate future healthcare professionals; and we protect students from harm. Where research universities invent new knowledge, the character of William James invites us to develop new programs to train child therapists when there is a shortage, to vigorously include race and culture into curricula to improve clinical competence, to attract and support new professionals from underserved communities, and to Train Vets to Treat Vets. That William James College would retreat from caring for patients when the demand is rising is not consistent with our mission.

The healthcare careers of many members the faculty and the administration inform this policy. However, to check ourselves, we contacted colleagues at peer schools and several leaders in Field Education to find that many (e.g., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology) are doing the same as we are. Earlier this week, myself and several Field Education directors called more than a dozen large sites to see how they were operating and to ask what would happen if our people left their agencies. Their concern for your wellbeing was clear, but just as clear was the message that they have an unusual and significant need for your help with their patients.

With these things in mind, here is a statement of our current policy:


Our COVID-19 task force continues to meet each day to evaluate the needs of our community and the communities that we serve. After this review, we agreed to continue to promote the following:

WJC students should remain in the field; guided by the field sites regarding safe practice in the midst of this public health crisis; and be educated by the field sites, with support from our faculty, about safe and appropriate professional practice, unless and until the site dismisses the students or the Governor orders everyone to shelter in place.

This policy is meant to be consistent with our mission to educate behavioral health professionals, to be supportive of our community colleagues, to recognize the important role that our profession plays in lives of vulnerable people, and to be respectful of our students’ safety.

What about an accommodation for those who are, or who feel that they are, in an unsafe practicum situation?

In promoting this policy, we want to acknowledge that not all sites are the same and that individual differences with the current experience of being in the field certainly exist among students. Although we know of none, a site that is not taking care to maintain a healthy practice for staff will create intolerable anxiety for our students and their staff. As such, while our policy is as stated above, WJC will not require students or staff to remain in an environment in which they feel that they cannot work safely and competently. 

Faculty advisors and Field Education staff will work with any student who needs to consider a unique situation in light of this policy and help with an application for accommodation. As is the ordinary case with changes in field training, approval from both the student advisor and Field Education will be required and then reviewed by the Department Chair. While students have the responsibility to fulfill their academic and professional competencies, we are still an intimate learning community that will work with students to accomplish this.

In addition, should a group, a Clinical Seminar or an individual need more time than usual to process the experience in the field, I encourage you to find the time to do that. Even while we are working remotely, faculty advisors, staff and administrators remain available to you and they are there to help.

Closing

This is a very difficult time with no recent precursor. Again, I’m sorry for the stress around this issue that presents itself to some; please know that it has been carefully considered in an effort to balance mission, regulatory requirements, and individual interests. I hope that this note shows that. Should government directives change, so will our policies and procedures.

While it is difficult to know when this crisis will end, we will continue to work with each other to complete your education in the best, safest, and most professional way possible.  Thank you for your commitment to the field and to the faculty and staff who are committed to you.

With respect,

Nick

Academic Policy Update COVID-19 March 20 - 12PM

Update From William James College Vice President for Academic Affairs Stacey Lambert, March 20, 12:00 PM: 

Dear Faculty and Students, 

In his update email yesterday, President Covino wrote about the College’s efforts to enhance our teaching pedagogy in the context of the online delivery format. This format is new for several of our departments. He also noted our move to incorporate some asynchronous delivery. Today, I write to provide you with more specificity on two important academic policy changes.  

First, some background. As you know, we very quickly moved to online delivery in all departments last week. To support this rapid transition, and for consistency in this first week, we opted to stick with synchronous delivery: meaning, classes occurred in “real time,” live with an instructor, during their regularly scheduled timeslots. Asynchronous delivery, on the other hand, involves offering lectures and coursework that is still bound by a schedule but allows for a different pacing. 

We will still encourage synchronous delivery for classes that are typically delivered in a traditional classroom format, to the extent that it is practical, because of the important opportunity that offers for students to interact live with peers and instructors, but we also understand that people’s circumstances at home are complex right now and may require some adjustments or accommodations.

As such, we are temporarily adjusting some of our policies around delivery practices. Effective March 30, 2020, the following applies: 

  • Introduction to Clinical Practice and all Clinical Seminars will remain synchronous to comply with group supervision requirements from licensing and accrediting bodies. 
  • Faculty who are available to continue providing synchronous lectures will do so, and students are encouraged to join live.
    • The lectures will also be recorded, so students who are unable to join live can access them later. 
    • Faculty are responsible for recording each Zoom meeting and making it available to students. Students who have questions can send them to the instructor. 
  • Faculty who are unable to deliver a course live will post the video lecture before the scheduled class time and will provide a discussion board. 

A second notable change pertains to our grading policy. In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the decision has been made to move to a Credit/No Credit system for all classes in all departments for the Spring 2020 semester.

This decision was made in consultation with faculty and Department Chairs and is consistent with the current practice of many schools around the country, including our neighbors at MIT. The intent of the change is to ease some academic burden during a period of significant societal disruption.

Understandably, some who were anticipating a letter grade of “A” may feel disappointed, but we hope that those students can still take pride in the love of learning and knowledge that their professors can still recognize their very hard work.  Effective immediately:

  • All classes for the Spring 2020 term will be graded as Credit or No Credit. Specifically, end of term performance of above 80 points will constitute a passing grade. Please note that for APA accredited programs, as is customary and still required by APA, students must pass all Discipline Specific Knowledge (DSK) and Profession Wide competencies (PWC) assigned to each required class as represented on the syllabi at the Minimum Level of achievement (MLA). This change is allowable within current APA guidelines and will not impact our accreditation.  
  • Similarly, we are reducing the Spring 2020 semester DP II and IV task expectations for this semester only. Regarding the grading for Doctoral Project II and IV, we will continue with the current rubric such that students are expected to have “completed at least 80% of the contract requirements” to receive a passing grade in each DP course. This is also stated on the DP Progress form and has been the standard for the past 5 years. The use of the 80% standard has allowed faculty flexibility in determining grades in the DP courses and consideration of factors beyond control of student and chair. The current system was established to provide a balance between structure and flexibility and hopefully maximize the benefits of both. I believe it will provide the leeway needed by faculty to take our current situation into account when assigning the grades for DP courses. 

These changes will remain in place for as long as they serve the best interests of our students and faculty. I am checking in constantly with Department Chairs, faculty members and students. I will keep doing so, and I will continue to communicate with all of you. Thank you for your work and your professionalism during these trying days.

Sincerely, 

Stacey 

President’s Update COVID-19 March 19 - 8PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 19, 8:00 PM: 

Dear William James Community,

Looking at this week, it is striking to think about all that this community has accomplished in the face of this unprecedented health crisis. Your flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to our mission have kept our classes, our business operations, and our services running during a scary and unpredictable time. For me, sitting with four others in a building that normally houses several hundred, it is impressive that so much of our work migrated so rapidly, and with very little interruption. Thank you.

Teaching and Working Online

This institution has been working continuously for several years to upgrade its technology, teaching platforms, and skills. We’ve been well-led by Mr. Choo in IT, VP Brent, Ms. Hopf, Ms. Foley, Drs. Berman and Laboy, the OLP Faculty and many others who moved us to One Drive, Zoom, Teams, and Canvas. While this week required a steep learning curve for some, faculty, students and staff have largely managed to make that jump. We have these colleagues, and each other, to thank for the success of the week.

Unfortunately, health reports indicate that this emergency will be ongoing for several weeks or longer. WJC is not only actively planning to continue online instruction and remote work for several weeks or better, the College has begun to upgrade the quality and sophistication of its instruction. We are moving from an emergency response that focused, mostly, on our own needs to begin to create educational offerings, programs and consultation services for school districts and providers of clinical services. Curricula that range from Telementalhealth; to Managing Anxiety Disorders in Adults and Children through the use of CBT; to tools and tricks to keep online instruction interesting are underway. Over the course of next week, Dr. Osher and his faculty colleagues will prepare WJC to deliver asynchronous instruction that we hope will give students greater flexibility and greater freedom. Dr. Lambert will provide more information about this asynchronous model soon.

We have also brought in the talents of two consultants on distance learning. One was an architect of the online program at the best-known local university for this, and another is an expert in online instruction. These professionals will be with us for the near future to help WJC to bring additional best practices to our educational work. This ‘new normal’ may last for some time. Our aim is to progress our capabilities in this instructional modality as much as we can and starting right away.

Community Engagement

As we pivot to manage our instructional programs online, I have asked Dr. Robert Kinscherff to chair a committee to develop curricula that can be beneficial to our community partners and school districts. Drs. Ecker, Ryan, Ott, Reilly and others will be developing coursework and training modules in Telementalhealth and Clinical Interventions for trauma; culturally responsive care; and managing depression in children and adults. In addition, Mr. Ravenelle, a former Superintendent of schools, will be working with our Teachers21 colleagues, Dr. Weiner,  Dr. St. Louis, the School Psychology Faculty and the Freedman Center to create opportunities that support school district leaders, classroom teachers and communities that are struggling to make their own adaptation to distance education.

The William James College INTERFACE referral service is operating remotely to continue its important work of connecting people in need of mental health services to area providers. This service cares for thousands of Massachusetts residents each year and it is more important now than ever. Ms. Hannah, and Drs. Reilly and D’Auria will be planning programs for families and children at home, during this crisis.

While this innovative work goes on, Marketing and Admissions have continued to engage and support our future students. Mr. Abelard and Ms. Rodenhiser are reaching out interested graduates in the planned Behavioral Health Services Corps; more than 90 inquiries have been made. The building is cleaned several times each day by our Facilities staff, and our Library is still open and functional for several hours each week.

Faculty members have responded in recent days to create public information in response to this COVID-19 crisis. Drs. Block, Kliman, Rabin, Berman, and Cherkasky contributed to a story about self-care in these difficult times. Dr. Kate King was interviewed on MarketPlace by American Public Media for a story on remote work and the ways adult relationships experience new pressures when our working patterns change.

I want to emphasize, again, our appreciation for the contributions that so many students are continuing to make at your field sites. I know that not everyone is happy with the decision to remain in the field, but many patients and the majority of our clinical sites are depending upon you. For the agencies and patients, you are essential providers. For some this is a scary duty; I know that, too. We are developing additional materials and resources to assist you. I can’t say thank you enough for your generosity and professionalism. Know that your effort will make a difference in the lives of another.  

I’m likely missing many names in this note, including those of the many staff who have been redeployed to help in areas of need. Thank you all.

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow and beyond, we continue to plan for the uncertainty that lies ahead.

To our graduating students, we’re thinking about you and what we can do to provide a celebration that recognizes your incredible accomplishments. In case we are unable to gather for Commencement in our traditional fashion, we’re already polling our peers for ideas about how to move forward with alternate arrangements. I would appreciate receiving any suggestions from our own community in the coming weeks if this is something you’d like to think about. Please send your thoughts to graduation@williamjames.edu.

On a final note, leaving the building tonight, I met a young man and woman who came to clean the little space that we are occupying. I asked how they were doing and we talked a bit. Then they asked how I and my family are doing. Even with six feet of distance, it is possible to be touched.

I will be meeting with all College staff tomorrow via Zoom. While this is a time to keep physical distance from each other, it is critically important to maintain our connections and relationships. Your William James community is here to support you. I encourage you to use us. Take time to connect to your family, friends and network, as well.

With great gratitude and respect.

Nick

President’s Update COVID-19 March 17 - 3PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 17, 3:30 PM: 

Dear William James Community,

For my update today, Dr. Lambert and I would like particularly to address our students with the following update:

Today, along with several members of the department of Field Education, we have been in touch with CEOs and Training Directors of several large Field Sites. To say that they are grateful to you for staying with them through this unpredictable and unprecedented health crisis would be an understatement. They expressed their great appreciation for your professionalism and competence. Behavioral health providers are being called to a unique position of service in a very uncertain time. Children, people with severe mental illness, and numerous others still have needs to be met, some of them quite critical. Most Sites clearly do not have the staff to meet this need and they are relying on us to help.

Some clinical services do not lend themselves to telementalhealth, while others have been moving toward this service. In order to be helpful, several faculty members have been busy, today, collecting appropriate teaching materials and preparing others. These will be made available to students, faculty and to our community colleagues over the next several days and weeks. In addition, a number of faculty members have been preparing short teaching units on other issues relating to anxiety disorders, PTSD, cultural responsiveness, and substance use with the unique focus on this current event.

As we move through this semester, we will make every effort to acknowledge the unique times in which we are studying and take care to ensure, as much as possible, that normal instruction continues. While none of us could have predicted this crisis, the ways in which each of you have stepped up to assist your sites in delivering critical behavioral healthcare during an emergency makes us proud to count you as our students.

Respectfully and with gratitude,

Nick and Stacey

President’s Update COVID-19 March 16 - 1PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 16, 1:00 PM: 

Dear WJC Community,

We continue to monitor recommendations and take direction from the CDC and the Governor’s office. This is an evolving situation, and our policies and practices will evolve as well. Following recent announcements and recommendations, we are implementing a new remote work policy and making changes to building access.

Remote Work

Effective at 1 PM today, March 16, all William James College faculty and staff members are encouraged to work remotely. Please collect the materials that you will need today to complete work remotely for the coming weeks. At this point the date that staff will be expected to return is undetermined, but we will continue to be in touch.  The building will remain open only for selected services, and for the designated few staff members who have been directly asked by their supervisor to continue to report to campus to oversee this work.  

Work-from-home resources and guidelines are available on the IT website.

All support questions must go to support@williamjames.edu, not to the personal addresses of staff members. The “support” email address is being monitored by a team. Please use resources such as Teams and Zoom to conduct meetings, and please be in frequent contact with your supervisor.

All staff are reminded to continually check the College’s COVID-19 Information page and FAQ for updates: https://www.williamjames.edu/covid19

Building Access

While our working hours in remote locations will remain the same (i.e., if your regular schedule is from 8AM to 4 PM, you should continue to observe those hours) our access to the facility will be limited to weekdays from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The building will be closed on weekends. Beginning, Thursday, March 19, from 8:30AM to 3:00 PM, only the ground floor and first floor will be accessible. Services currently offered on other floors will relocate to the first two levels. Only authorized staff will be permitted to access floors 2 through 5.

Field Education

Many of our field sites are relying on us to deliver critical behavioral health care during an emergency. As such, we continue to be guided by the leadership at Field Sites regarding students’ presence at the site. If you feel ill; are symptomatic in any way; have been asked to self-quarantine by a medical professional; have reason to suspect that you may have been exposed; or if you are living with someone who is immunocompromised or may be put at risk, please be in touch with your Field Site supervisor to communicate this. Please see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Common Health

Our community’s health and safety are of the upmost importance. We, also, need to continue to run the business and operations of the College. Over the coming weeks, I invite your creativity and suggestions for ways to support each other and to continue keep our high level of service to our constituencies and stakeholders. I have asked Gloria Noronha to serve as a point person for anyone who would like to offer to assist teams who are currently handling additional tasks. Please email her at Gloria_Noronha@williamjames.edu.

Thank you, all, for your patience, your dedication and your professionalism during these unpredictable and unprecedented times; you are what makes our community strong.

I encourage you to be in touch with me, directly, if you have questions. I will continue to reach out to you with updates.

With appreciation and respect.

President’s Update COVID-19 March 14 - 1PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 14, 1:00 PM: 

Dear WJC Community,

I want, again to express my appreciation for your patience and cooperation as we create a plan to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. This week, we successfully moved all of our courses and related instructional work online. The efforts of many people in many departments over the past few years (e.g., OLP Faculty, IT, Online Learning, Academic Affairs, Finance, Marketing and Admissions, Trustees) have created the opportunity for this effort to be effective. Thank you.

In recent days, teams have been in close communication about ways to rework the non-academic responsibilities of the College to ensure continuity and to allow additional groups to transition to remote work. I appreciate your professionalism and dedication as we work to make this happen. We continue to follow CDC recommendations regarding the cleaning of our facility to allow us to keep it open for our community and clients in the meantime. In fact, a team of professionals will be conducting a deep cleaning of the facility all weekend.

Given the nature of our business and operating model, there are steps that we need to take to effectively transition the work of additional groups to remote settings. I write, now, to ask for your help in taking the next one.

This week, our transition will involve the following:

  1. On Monday, all College Faculty are asked to deliver their instructional classes from locations outside of the building. Should an instructor need to use the facility for some reason, the building will remain open. Staff will be available to help.
  2. On Monday, College Staff are asked to report to work as usual. We will convene to discuss what is needed to successfully conduct a test ‘Work Remote’ day on Tuesday. This will allow us to ensure that our necessary systems and operations will continue to work without interruption.
  3. On Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18, the majority of the College community will work remotely, with a skeleton staff of designated personnel remaining in the facility.
  4. In the morning of Wednesday, March 18, a group of selected administrators will meet on campus to evaluate the trial. If the transition is successful, remote work will continue through this week and next, with ongoing evaluation to determine the end of this phase.
  5. Through the next two weeks, a small group of Staff will continue to work within the building to ensure that important student or community work is able to be conducted.
  6. The building will remain open for business, during this period. Students and staff are encouraged to conduct their work electronically, but necessary meetings can occur. Please DO NOT come into the facility if you are symptomatic in any way, but, we want to offer an opportunity for anyone who is feeling the need to have a place to work.  
  7. Many of our students are providing necessary clinical services through their field sites.  Thank you.  Continue to look to your site for direction and pay attention to directives from the Field Education Department.

Again, you are asked to pay close attention to the WJC COVID-19 update page on our website.  This resource will be updated regularly and it will contain useful information. Our communications team has added an FAQ section that aims to address questions you may have about access to the building, online classes, technology, and staff/faculty policies.

This College community has been highly collaborative and professional as it embraces and encounters several novel, dramatic, and scary phenomena. While not wishing to underplay the serious nature of this public health moment, we know that as with other challenges that we have faced in recent years, this one will not last and we will return to normalcy.  Hopefully this will be shortly.

Thank you for your patience and for your good-will towards each other.

President’s Update COVID-19 March 13 - 4PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 13, 4:00 PM: 

Dear WJC Community,

I first want to express my continued appreciation for the care and compassion that has been demonstrated by our community as we continue to navigate these unpredictable times.  

As an update for today, let me begin by reminding you to pay attention to the WJC COVID-19 update page on our website.  This resource will be updated regularly and it will contain useful information.  Our communications team has just added an FAQ section that aims to address questions you may have about access to the building, online classes, technology, and staff/faculty policies, among other topics. You are invited to submit  your questions via this page and this page will be, also, updated regularly.

Here are some additional updates:

  • A deep cleaning of the building is scheduled for this weekend. Our Facilities Team asks that you remove papers and other objects from the surface of your desk. Please also put away any private files or information.
  • Our HR Team has received questions about our Telecommuting policy and information about child care resources. Please see the FAQ for information on both topics.
  • Should you find that you need help accessing online classes or other technology, our IT Team is available to you. Again, please review help topics listed on the FAQ page, but don’t hesitate to contact the Help Desk for assistance should you find you need it.
  • We are providing hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and disinfecting wipes for your use while you are in the building. These supplies are not to be taken home. If you have inadvertently removed something, please bring it back with you on Monday so that we can continue to protect our common health.

Our Administrative Task Force continues to meet daily. At this time, based on current recommendations, the model that allows us to best serve our community and those who depend on our services is the model we have in place; online classes that reduce the number of people gathered in the building and having our talented employees running our business operations. We continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning, group gatherings, and social distancing, and we will monitor current recommendations from government experts.  Plans and policies will be adjusted as we are advised.

During times like these it is more apparent that the spirit of “service to others” that has typified William James College is at the foundation of our organization. You have my gratitude.

President’s Update COVID-19 March 12 - 3PM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 12, 3:00 PM: 

Dear WJC Community,

This morning, I wrote to tell you that we will be moving all classes online beginning Monday, March 16. This will extend through Friday, March 27 and be continuously monitored by our Task Force. Our goal is to reduce the number of large group gatherings held here at the College. Our building remains open and we will continue to conduct other business as usual.

I am writing to follow up and to answer some of the questions that we’ve received. I expect there will be more. Our communications team will be posting responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the website to help keep our community informed. I anticipate this FAQ will be posted later this afternoon to our informational page. Please see: www.williamjames.edu/covid19.

Student Attendance and Use of the Building

In my email this morning, I stated that students are asked “not to report to campus.” This only pertains, at this moment, to attending classes. The building remains open for other business and students and faculty are welcome to use the library or other resources, or complete work-study hours here, if you so choose. Please refrain, however, from gathering in large groups.

Field Sites

Students, we ask that you please follow your field site policies. We are in communication with site supervisors and today shared the following information with them:

WJC has been able to amend our malpractice policy to allow our trainees to deliver telehealth services, with your training and supervision, as long as the following provisions are met: HIPAA compliant platform; supervision the same number of hours/week by a qualified supervisor; same documentation of services; qualifying supervisory backup in real time; attention to licensure of supervisor to only provide telehealth clinical services to clients in states where the supervisor is licensed.

Please communicate any interruptions in training to the field education department of your academic program. We understand that some students might end up with fewer hours of clinical service than planned; we will work with you to problem-solve these situations individually.

Faculty & Staff Attendance

Faculty and staff who are well, and who are not in a CDC defined high-risk category, are expected to continue to report to work. Our facilities team is cleaning all surfaces in the building with a disinfecting solution per CDC guidelines at a minimum of every two hours. We have also scheduled an additional professional deep cleaning of the building this weekend which will address public and community spaces, along with offices and equipment including desks, doorknobs, keyboards and phones. Please clear your desks of papers and other materials.

Once again, staff members should stay home if you are symptomatic in any way; if you have been asked to self-quarantine by a medical professional; or if you have reason to suspect that you may have been exposed. If you have someone in your immediate family who is immune compromised, please speak with your supervisor about any accommodation that might be necessary. Otherwise, the existing employee policies for vacation, personal days, work from home, and sick time remain in effect. Please see the employee handbook.

Technology

There is a list of informational resources and training links for Faculty, Staff and Students posted to the website. We will also be providing additional support for any student, faculty or staff member who feels they have a need. There will be upcoming trainings for faculty and students, please be alert for communications from Department Chairs. 

College Updates and Communications
Again, please visit www.williamjames.edu/covid19 for regular updates. Please also take a moment to make sure your contact information is up to date in the WJC Notification system: https://msppsupport.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211585966-Signing-up-for-Campus-Alerts

Let me express my gratitude for your patience during this unusual time. As we continue to learn through our monitoring over the coming days, we will revise and update our policies. Thank you for being respectful and supportive of each other. This situation will certainly improve, and it will be helped by our efforts to be kind and compassionate with each other. If you feel the need to reach out to me, please do. 

President’s Update COVID-19 March 12 - 9AM

Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 12, 9:00 AM: 

Dear William James Community:

I am writing to let you know that from this Monday March 16 until Friday March 27, William James College will move all classes to an online delivery system. Our building will remain open during this time and our staff will continue to conduct business; however students are not to report to campus. The Safety Task Force will continuously monitor the evolving situation and will make any further recommendations as needed.

In yesterday’s report to Congress, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci encouraged the country to move its focus from preventing infection to containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus by reducing large group gatherings. While Massachusetts, by all reports, remains at a low risk for infection, this action by William James College is in keeping with his advice.

At this point, for those involved in field education, the policies of your site will determine what is expected of you. Please follow the directives of your site and local supervisor with respect to attendance.  Our conversations are ongoing and updates will be provided as more is learned.

Members of the College Administrative Team will be in contact with relevant constituencies during today and moving forward. Regular updates will be made to our website www.williamjames.edu/COVID19.  Please check that webpage and your email frequently over the next two weeks.

I will be in touch with you all, again, later in the day.

Thank you for your attention and for your patience as we move through this evolving situation.

Community Information 

As Massachusetts continues to manage the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), William James College has appointed a Task Force to monitor current recommendations from the government as well as to evaluate the health needs of our community.  While the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, we are working first to be proactive to keep ourselves and our community healthy. We are assessing our situation, daily, to determine what actions we need to take and we have plans in place to support the decisions that best serve our community. 

Every member of the WJC community is asked to please observe the following: 

  • Stay home if you are symptomatic in any way and call your health care provider. Please help the community by keeping yourself apart from the community until you are fully recovered.
  • Wash hands frequently throughout the day, especially before going into a group setting like a meeting or class, and use hand sanitizer
  • No shared food is to be brought into the building. This is mandatory. Personal meals in closed containers are welcome, but food is not to be shared in meetings, classes or with groups. Nor is any type of food (i.e., cookies, cake, sandwich trays, etc.) to be left out for sharing. 

Cleaning Schedule

In addition to the normal cleaning schedule, the Facilities Team is disinfecting surfaces around the building every two hours throughout the school day. This includes high-traffic areas, elevator buttons and railings, entryway surfaces and hand rails. 

Assessment and Response

Department chairs, administrators and the College leadership team have plans in place to cover various contingencies at the College should the need arise. It is essential that we’re following CDC guidelines and working together following our community guidelines to stay well and keep our community well.

Common Health Resources

  • The CDC updates its website frequently with extensive guidance and Covid-19 information: www.cdc.gov/nCoV
  • Updates from MDPH are available at: mass.gov/2019coronavirus
  • Newton updates are posted in the “City News” section of the website, and additional information is available at: newtonma.gov/covid19.

This page is regularly updated. Last update March 25, 9:00 PM