COVID-19 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, all courses are now online and employees are working remotely.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Lesley University is monitoring the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) situation, offering guidance, support, and regular updates. We have seen an increased presence in the United States, including Massachusetts, and we are intensifying our response. The health, wellbeing, and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of our extended community, are always first.

Please read the following information, policies, and key decisions. Please check this page for regular updates.

Tracking COVID-19 within the Lesley University Community

We will be using this web page to track and report instances of positive tests for COVID-19 within the Lesley University community.

As of March 19, we had one possible case of COVID-19. We have since learned that the test results were negative.

  • Respect for Privacy

    We are committed to supporting our colleagues, students, and the broader community through the challenges presented by COVID-19.

    In the event that members of the Lesley community test positive for COVID-19, we ask that you be respectful of their need for privacy.

  • Getting Help if You're Concerned about Exposure

    If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 please contact your primary care physician.

    If you have been tested, please notify Lesley University at michele.trifiro@lesley.edu so that we may take appropriate steps to support you and protect the Lesley community.

    • Take Care of Your Mental Health

      Lesley's Counseling Center

      In this time of uncertainty, we know many of you are struggling to make sense of everything that is happening. Lesley's Counseling Center continues to support our students the best way they can. At this time, the Counseling Center can only offer some current clients counseling services via teletherapy. They are also happy to help you locate resources and referrals that are near you.

      • Students: Email counselingcenter@lesley.edu or call 617.349.8545, and leave your name and number in a message. The Counseling Center is checking voicemail and emails each day, and a member of the team will be in touch with you.
      • Employees:  Contact Magi McKinnies at the Counseling Center at mmckinni@lesley.edu

      Resources on the Counseling Center's Web Page

      Visit the Counseling Center's web page for resources such as crisis hotlines, meditation apps, and more.

    • Health and Safety

      We encourage you to continue to take steps to keep yourself and those around you safe. Although most of our employees are working remotely, we do have some students with special circumstances who were allowed to stay in the residence halls and some employees who continue to report to campus. We have provided guidance on health and safety, enhanced our cleaning protocols, and are doing our best to support their safety and wellbeing.

      Social distancing and frequent handwashing are essential. Please continue to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Governor Baker.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • General

      Q: IS LESLEY UNIVERSITY STILL OPEN?

      A: Yes. We extended students' Spring Break for one week. Students have resumed their studies online and have not returned to campus. Faculty and most staff and administrators will work remotely to provide the same level of office operations and services as before. Further information is available on this webpage.

      Q: WHY IS LESLEY MAKING THESE DECISIONS?

      A: These are uncertain and, at least in recent history, unprecedented times. The World Health Organization has classified the Coronavirus as a worldwide pandemic. In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is operating under a governor-declared State of Emergency as well as a "stay at home" order. The university is proceeding with an abundance of caution for the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, vendors, and visitors.

      Q: WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

      A: On the CDC website: cdc.gov/covid

      Q: WHAT ARE HEALTH EXPERTS RECOMMENDING?

      A: Watch for symptoms, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Also, assess whether you have traveled from a place experiencing widespread reported cases of Coronavirus, or if you believe you’ve had contact with someone exposed to it. If so, experts advise self-quarantining at home, if at all possible. Consult cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

      Q: ARE CAMPUS EVENTS BEING CANCELED?

      A: The university is postponing or canceling ALL on-campus events and major celebrations, including Commencement, through the end of the semester, and reviewing next steps, all with an eye toward the health, safety and wellbeing of our community members. Our goal is to resume full on-campus operations at a later date, when it is prudent to do so. Keep checking this page for further updates.

      Q: ARE COMMENCEMENT AND OTHER ASSOCIATED EVENTS STILL ON?

      A: No. Regrettably, Commencement is postponed and, out of an abundance of caution, all campus events through the end of the semester are postponed or canceled. The decision to postpone Commencement, especially, was a difficult one, as it traditionally is a time for the entire Lesley community to gather in celebration of the accomplishments of those earning their degrees. Though degrees will still be awarded upon the successful completion of programs, we wanted to acknowledge the gravity of this decision, and what the entire community will be missing in May. In the meantime, the university continues to consult the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

    • Students and Parents

      Q: DO STUDENTS COME BACK TO CAMPUS THIS SEMESTER?

      A: No. Lesley University will NOT be holding classes on campus through the end of the semester.

      Q: ARE COURSES THAT WERE ALREADY ONLINE STARTING LATE AS WELL?

      A: No. Courses that were already delivered online will start the week of March 16 as scheduled.

      Q: SO, DO STUDENTS RETURN TO CAMPUS TO MOVE BACK INTO THE RESIDENCE HALLS ON MARCH 22, THEN?

      A: No. Lesley University has moved all classes ONLINE through the end of the semester.

      Q: I DIDN’T LEAVE THE RESIDENCE HALL FOR SPRING BREAK. CAN I STAY?

      A. No. We are asking students to leave the residence halls. We recognize that not all students have off-campus housing options. Dean Nathaniel Mays will work with students who have special circumstances to explore possible solutions.

      Q: CAN I RETURN TO MY RESIDENCE HALL AND STAY IN MY ROOM WHILE TAKING CLASSES ONLINE?

      A: No. Anyone who is off-campus during Spring Break is advised to stay off-campus at home until further notice. Students who are on campus are advised to go home, if possible. As noted above, we recognize that not all students have off-campus housing options. Dean Nathaniel Mays will work with students who have special circumstances to explore possible solutions.

      Q: ARE STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR A ROOM AND BOARD REFUND?

      A: We anticipate providing students with the option to select a refund or a credit for the pro-rata portion of room and board payments, accounting for the time the student is away from campus. There are a number of governmental regulations and guidelines that must be taken into consideration to make sure we structure these refunds or credits properly for you so we appreciate your patience as we await guidance from the Federal government.  

      Q: CAN STUDENTS RETRIEVE BELONGINGS FROM RESIDENCE HALLS?

      A: Dean of Students Nathaniel Mays is coordinating access for students who need to return to campus to retrieve items.

      Q: SHOULD I MOVE OUT COMPLETELY?

      A: Yes. Dean of Students Nathaniel Mays will follow up with additional guidance about the process for doing so. Please do not return to campus until you hear from him, and be sure to read his message closely about days and times to move out, so that we can continue to protect the health and safety of our community.

      Q: WHAT ABOUT STUDENT EXCHANGE AND STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS?

      A: Our students typically participate in a variety of programs. Over the course of the semester, a number of programs have either canceled or recently moved online including all Lesley Exchange Partner programs. We have been in contact with all of our study abroad students regarding their individual circumstances to support their transition. International faculty-led travel courses for Spring 2020 that had not commenced prior to Spring Break were canceled. We are carefully considering courses planned beyond the spring semester.

      Q. WHAT ABOUT MY INTERNSHIP OR FIELD PLACEMENT?

      A. Lesley has come to the difficult decision that any field placements and internships that have not been cancelled will remain remote/online participation experiences until future notice through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. We came to this decision after our faculty and field offices contacted students, faculty, sites, and the licensing boards to determine how to best move forward. During this time, please be in contact, virtually, with your practicum/internship supervisor and/or your school's field training/internship office.

      For students in licensure programs, you will (or will have) received communication from your school's field offices that remain in contact with external regulatory bodies. For specific guidance, please refer to those correspondences.  

      Our Field Placement Offices remain your partners in experiential learning throughout this situation and will guide you through this transition. Field experience and internships are key parts of a Lesley education and we recognize how difficult it is to imagine long-term on-line engagement as a replacement for face-to-face contact. As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, we will review the circumstances again when the state and national declarations of emergency are lifted and we will be guided by ongoing consideration of state and health agency recommendations.

      Q. WHAT ABOUT SUMMER RESIDENCIES?

      A. Right now summer residencies are scheduled as planned, but we continue to monitor the situation and will update accordingly.

      Q. I’M AN ACCEPTED STUDENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

      A. Our admission decisions won't change because of the current pandemic. Please proceed as follows:

      If you are an accepted undergraduate, please contact Deb Kocar, Director of Undergraduate Admissions: dkocar@lesley.edu; 617.349.8800.

      If you are an accepted graduate student, please contact Barbara Selmo, Associate Vice President of Graduate Admissions: bselmo@lesley.edu; 617.349.8300.

      Q. IS LESLEY STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS?

      A. Yes. And we have a very flexible approach and can work with you if you've experienced disruption due to the global pandemic. Additionally, we've extended our commitment deadline from May 1st to June 1st.

      If you are applying as an undergraduate and have any questions, please contact Deb Kocar, Director of Undergraduate Admissions: dkocar@lesley.edu; 617.349.8800.

      If you are applying as a graduate student and have any questions, please contact Barbara Selmo, Associate Vice President of Graduate Admissions: bselmo@lesley.edu; 617.349.8267

      Q. I’M A STUDENT (OR PARENT): TO WHOM SHOULD I DIRECT QUESTIONS?

      A.  Nathaniel Mays, Dean of Students
           Email: nmays@lesley.edu
           Phone: 617.894.2765

    • Faculty and Staff

      Q: SHOULD STAFF AND FACULTY CONTINUE TO REPORT TO CAMPUS?

      A: No. Lesley University is requesting that all employees work remotely. If you need to access your office or come to  campus for a short period of time, please contact public safety at 617.349.8888 to inform them of your plans.

      Q: WHAT KIND OF CLEANING IS BEING DONE ON CAMPUS?

      A:  We have adjusted our campus cleaning protocols and buildings are being cleaned up to two times a day, with special emphasis on frequently touched areas. 

      Q: WILL TRAVEL TO OVERSEAS CONFERENCES BE ALLOWED?

      A: No. All Lesley-sponsored foreign travel has been suspended until further notice.

      Q: WILL TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES BE PERMITTED?

      A:  Any essential work-related domestic travel via airplane or Amtrak requires Cabinet-level approval, even if you have already obtained department approval. 

      Q: WHAT ABOUT PERSONAL/VACATION TRAVEL?

      A: We discourage any international travel at this time, and urge community members to consult the CDC’s travel advisory page and the Department of State’s travel advisory page. travel.state.gov. Anyone who does travel should contact Michele Trifiro, Director of Campus Safety and Services, michele.trifiro@lesley.edu

      Q. WHAT ABOUT GUESTS WHO MIGHT BE COMING TO CAMPUS.

      A. We are discouraging guests coming to campus, and ask that you reschedule or switch to a virtual format.

    • Contacts

      Questions should be directed to the following individuals:

      Student and parent questions:

      Faculty questions:

      Staff questions:

    Teaching and Learning

    Here are some important changes to how courses will be delivered and other events.

    • Moving Courses Online

      As of March 23, we have moved our undergraduate and graduate courses online.

      Regrettably, the university will not return to in-person instruction before the end of the semester. Students should continue to check their email for information from the university and for instructions from faculty about their courses going online.

      We are working on the implications of this shift for studio courses, labs, internships, the Threshold program, and other types of courses or activities. We are sharing information as it becomes available.

    • Grading Policy for Spring 2020

      After careful consideration from faculty, the Registrar’s office, and other affected constituents, the grading policy for the Spring semester and Spring Term 2 has changed. Key points are:

      1. Default grade for all classes will be pass/fail (P/F)
      2. Students can request letter grades instead (opt in) by April 8
      3. Faculty have the discretion to allow their students to opt in for letter grades after April 8
      4. The Registrar and Information Technology will change the setting of all courses (except those already P/F) to allow either P/F or a letter grade

      Note: While a grade of P (Pass) does not impact the GPA, a grade of F (Fail) does have an impact. In computing grade point averages, Pass (P) is not included, but a Fail (F) is always included except when a course has been repeated.

    • Guidance for Faculty

      Please see the Provost’s previous communication for initial guidance in the email archive on the bottom of this web page. The Provost and E-Learning and Instructional Support team (eLIS) will share additional information to support faculty.

      Additionally, the grading policy for Spring semester as well as Spring Term 2 has changed. Please see communication from Dean of Faculty Diana Direiter for details. The highlights are:

      1. Default grade for all classes will be pass fail (P/F)
      2. Students can request letter grades (opt in) instead by April 8
      3. Faculty have discretion to allow their students to opt in for letter grades after April 8
      4. The Registrar and Information Technology will change the setting of all courses (except those already P/F) to allow either P/F or a letter grade
    • Guidance for Staff

      Staff members are very important in supporting our students and keeping the university functioning. We have moved to an online learning format and employees are working remotely. Employees can access guides and instructions for Lesley's technology and systems on the Information Technology help portal, including Microsoft Office 365 products, online collaboration tools, software, phones, and more. Please contact it@lesley.edu with questions.

    University Travel and Meeting Policies

    Contagion patterns are not well known and global hotspots are ever-changing. With that uncertainty, we need to make prudent choices to protect the health of our own community and the broader communities we belong to while continuing our educational mission.
     
    Effective immediately, and in step with new advice from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the following policies are in place.

    • Lesley-Sponsored Travel
      • We are suspending all Lesley-sponsored international travel for all students and employees.  
      • Any essential work-related domestic travel via airplane or Amtrak requires Cabinet-level approval, even if you had already obtained department approval.  
      • We encourage everyone in our community, students and employees, to weigh whether domestic travel is essential.
    • Meeting and Events Guidance for Spring 2020

      During this period we will cancel or postpone all campus events, including athletics. We are also postponing Commencement. We are asking faculty and staff to postpone all outside meetings and to limit inside meetings. Most activities will be curtailed to encourage social distancing. 

      We will limit access to buildings as we continue our efforts to reduce disease transmission. Buildings have shifted to keycard access as of 5:00 pm on Friday, March 13, 2020. If you do not have an ID card, please go to the security desk at University Hall or on the Doble Campus or contact Bill Eve, Assistant Director of Campus Services, at lesleycard@lesley.edu.

    • Personal Travel

      We discourage Lesley community members from personal travel to international locations. However, if you must travel to another country, please review the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page before leaving. We urge you to weigh the risks and potential consequences for yourself and others if you travel to any nation where the CDC reports “widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission” of COVID-19.

      Further, as new outbreaks occur and government travel restrictions shift, be aware that if you travel outside the United States, you may encounter difficulties in returning. If you return from a country where there is sustained transmission (Level 3) or from a U.S. outbreak location, according to the CDC, you will be asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. Please self-report any travel to a CDC travel advisory of Level 3 or Level 2 region or to a U.S. outbreak location to Michele Trifiro, the Director of Campus Safety and Services, at michele.trifiro@lesley.edu

    • Study Abroad

      Our students typically participate in a variety of programs. Over the course of the semester, a number of programs have either been canceled or recently moved online, including all Lesley Exchange Partner programs.

      We have been in contact with all of our Study Abroad students regarding their individual circumstances to support their transition.

      International faculty-led travel courses for Spring 2020 that had not commenced prior to Spring Break were canceled, and we are carefully considering courses planned beyond the spring semester.

    • Protocols for Those Abroad Returning to Campus

      Lesley is following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on all screening and response protocols. These evidence-based protocols meet national and international standards.

      If you return from a country where there is sustained transmission (Level 3) or from a U.S. outbreak location, according to the CDC, you will be asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. Please self-report any travel to a CDC travel advisory of Level 3 or Level 2 region or from a U.S. outbreak location to the Director of Campus Safety and Services Michele Trifiro at michele.trifiro@lesley.edu.

    About COVID-19

    Learn about symptoms, staying healthy, university resources, and other information.

    • Symptoms and Staying Healthy

      Symptoms

      Symptoms of the Coronavirus occur between 2 and 14 days of exposure and include fever, cough, body aches, and shortness of breath.

      Self-Reporting Your Diagnosed Illness

      Students diagnosed with seasonal flu, or with a confirmed Coronavirus diagnosis or exposure, must notify Student Health Services at lesleyhealthservice@lesley.edu.

      Faculty and staff diagnosed with seasonal flu, or with confirmed Coronavirus diagnosis or exposure, must notify Human Resources at 617.349.8787 or hr@lesley.edu.

      Staying Healthy

      Effective steps you can take every day to protect yourself from this and other respiratory viruses:

      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (such as Purell) when soap and water are not available.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • Wipe down frequently touched surfaces, such as tabletops and doorknobs, with disinfecting wipes.

      Who Is Most At Risk

      Currently, individuals who are most at risk of developing COVID-19 are those who have traveled to areas of sustained community transmission or have been in close contact with a person confirmed to have the disease. Visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website for up-to-date information.

      Getting a Flu Shot

      Flu activity in Massachusetts is high and the flu vaccine is among the most effective ways to safeguard the health of the entire Lesley community. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, please consider getting it.

      Faculty and staff can contact their Primary Care Physician. All health insurance plans, including those offered by Lesley, cover the flu shot without a copayment from in-network providers. Use the vaccine finder tool to find the nearest walk-in provider.

    • Coping with Anxiety and Increased Stress

      We recognize that events like these can cause anxiety and increased stress. If you would like to speak with a counselor, students can contact our Counseling Center at counselingcenter@lesley.edu, or faculty and staff can reach out to Magi McKinnies, Director of Lesley's Counseling Center, mmckinni@lesley.edu.

      Fear and anxiety can also lead to social stigma, and it's important that we counteract stigma and provide social support within our community and beyond, treating each other with dignity and respect.

    • External Resources and Duration of the COVID-19 Outbreak

      Unfortunately, we know very little about COVID-19 right now and cannot estimate the duration of the outbreak with any certainty. This is an emerging infectious diseases with little clinical experience to make informed predictions.

      For more information, here are a few external links:

    Campus Resources and Updates

    A task force from across the university is meeting regularly to review the evolving situation and current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

    We recognize that the fluidity and uncertainty of this outbreak present challenges across our community and we appreciate everyone’s assistance, cooperation, and ongoing efforts to contain disease transmission.

    • Campus Cleaning Protocols

      Adjusted Protocols

      On-campus cleaning protocols have been adjusted as a result of the current flu season. Campus buildings are being cleaned up to two times a day with a special emphasis on cleaning areas such as flat surfaces, bathrooms, doorknobs, elevators, and other areas of high-touch activity.

      Cleaning solutions include both a virucide and bactericide, which have been reviewed and approved by the Occupational Health Center.

      We would like to remind the community to practice good hygiene and follow measures to lower your risk of getting sick.

      Requesting Cleaning

      • Schools, colleges, and departments with specific cleaning concerns should contact Facilities at 617.349.8881 or submit a work order.
      • Students living in residence halls with specific cleaning concerns should contact the Residence Life Office at reslife@lesley.edu or 617.349.8585.
      • For after-hour emergency cleaning, contact Public Safety at 617.349.8888.
    • Impact on Commencement

      Regrettably, the university has postponed Commencement and related celebrations, and canceled and postponed ALL campus events through the end of the semester. However, we acknowledge that the difficult, though necessary, decision to postpone Commencement is especially sobering. Though degrees will still be awarded upon the successful completion of programs, we understand that the Commencement celebration is replete with tradition, meaning and importance. The university continues to consult the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

    Email Communications from Lesley University

    Here is an archive of the email communications we have sent to the Lesley community regarding the Coronavirus.

    Contact Us
    Here's who to contact with regard to your concerns regarding Coronavirus and the flu.