Shutdown of the Campus

Shutdown of the Campus

Process to Evaluate and Determine a Shut Down of the Campus

Teachers College will maintain awareness of the federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidance to ensure that we have the most current information about the COVID-19 pandemic. We will work to ensure compliance with all health care guidelines and will coordinate with all agencies as needed. Important sources of information include (but not limited to):

Federal agencies COVID-19 related guidelines via:

  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)
  • U.S. Department of Education (DOE)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of State 

State/Local agencies COVID-19 related guidelines via:

  • New York Forward - Governor Cuomo’s office
  • New York State Department of Health
  • New York State Department of Education (NYSED)
  • New York City Department of Health

Teachers College will fully adhere to New York State Governor Cuomo’s phased reopening plan, New York Forward. Should any of the health metrics outlined in the state plan exceed the state’s threshold for safe activity, and the state elects to delay or shutdown reopening, Teachers College will take immediate action to adhere to the state plan by discontinuing partial or all campus activity.

Fall 2020 Status

In June 2020, Teachers College determined that the College courses would remain fully virtual with a few exceptions and that employees would continue to work remotely from home except essential employees. The College’s residential housing reduced the density of the residential students significantly to minimize the infection risk. As a result, the College determined that students would not have to vacate the residence halls if there was a shut down. The College created the following study spaces for isolated study outside of their rooms: 1. Library 2. Computer Lab 3. Grace Dodge Dining Hall. Each space is reconfigured to meet health and safety guidance.

There is no food service provided on campus this fall 2020. The College is permitting in-person classes for those very few courses that cannot be taught virtually.

Also, we are permitting a small number of faculty (5) to teach in zoom ready classrooms without students.

Adherence to State and Federal Agency Mandates

The college is continuously monitoring the state health metrics, which determine regional eligibility to move to the next phase of reopening. More information about these metrics can be found in the NY Forward Guide to Reopening. The College will also continue to be in contact with the NYC Department of Health. Should local or state authorities require a reduction in regional activity to decrease the risk of spreading the virus, the College will immediately respond by shutting down all non-essential campus activity.

Internal Monitoring of Health Metrics

The College will also monitor data acquired through the Daily Health Screening and COVID-19 Testing programs, to identify any or positive cases on campus. Should a positive case be identified on campus, the College will evaluate and determine, through the internal contact tracing process, whether a temporary or indefinite shutdown of campus activity is necessary to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19.

Shutdown Measures

The following measures will be taken should either the external governing agencies OR internal monitoring of health conditions on campus warrant a phased or more full shutdown of campus activity to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19:

  • Transition all in-person classes to virtual course delivery, notify faculty and students that in person courses must be moved to virtual
  • Shut down all nonessential campus activity: Close the library, computer labs, TC dining hall study space, and access to any areas of non-essential activity. Resume remote work for all non-essential functions
  • Faculty research will be discontinued pursuant to the Research Compliance Working Group protocols
  • Student teaching and field placement activities will be reviewed and adjusted pursuant to the protocols of the Student Teaching/Field Placement Working Group
  • Implement advanced cleaning and sanitation protocols for all spaces of possible exposure
  • Implement mandatory self-quarantine in the residence halls
  • The residence halls density is significantly reduced currently and will not have to be vacated during the shutdown

Phased Shut Down

Phase One

Should the College’s contact tracing efforts identify a number of students that are positive, the College administration will determine with guidance from local health authorities the next steps. The next steps may include varied implementation of the above shut down measures.

Phase Two

Should New York State of New York City or local health authorities require New York City to reduce or stop activities to reduce transmission, the College may implement all of the above shut down measures.


Teachers College will continue to inform our community members about COVID-19 information concerning the health and safety of the campus. The communications will include any new changes in policies or actions the College is taking to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 infection. It will include directives to shutdown the campus, if necessary.

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