The Québec Government is in regular contact with higher education institutions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday evening and this morning, Polytechnique received detailed information that is guiding measures taken by our institution. Note that Polytechnique is also following the evolution of guidelines provided by reliable authorities during press conferences.
1. DETAILS FROM THE Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur
- Administrative personnel must continue to be available to work. Wherever possible, teleworking (working from home, télétravail) is encouraged. Wages will be maintained and paid.
- Until March 27, inclusively, all non-essential and non-necessary teaching and educational activities are suspended in universities, CEGEPs and colleges. It is up to higher educational institution leaders to make decisions regarding the minimum number of staff present on campus. Wages will be maintained and paid.
- Higher educational institutions who offer distance learning courses (which do not require the physical on-campus presence of instructors) have been given the ‘green light’ to continue as scheduled.
- As much as possible over the next two weeks, higher educational institutions have been encouraged to determine means of offering educational activities remotely, in the event that educational institutions must remain closed for a prolonged period.
2. Polytechnique Montréal’S STATUS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
- Accept our collective responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 by maximally restricting access to Polytechnique buildings, and by strongly encouraging telework and distance learning.
- Implement all means possible to enable students to complete the Winter 2020 session. Polytechnique is aware that the current situation is quite stressful and uncertain, given its constant evolution and the uncertainty inherent in that. Polytechnique keeps its students’ success in mind, and is working diligently to ensure that viable solutions are found as quickly as possible.
- In the event that Polytechnique must remain closed for a prolonged period, envisage distance learning solutions for courses and programs.
Measures taken by Polytechnique
- Access to Polytechnique buildings and facilities is restricted to activities deemed essential or critical. Only employees whose physical presence is required (as determined by their supervisors) on campus will be permitted access. Save for rare exceptions, students will not be permitted access to Polytechnique buildings.
- As of Tuesday, March 17, administrative personnel must be available to work, preferably via telework. Supervisors will contact their teams to communicate telework options where available. The Service informatique team is currently working to make telework tools and information available to employees; this is expected to be completed by Tuesday March 17th. Wages will be maintained and paid.
- All educational activities are suspended from the present time until March 29th inclusively, with the exception of online certificate programs, which will continue as scheduled. For all other courses or programs, assignments due within the suspension time period are postponed.
- Research labs are closed, and only activities essential to the maintenance of research facilities or activities associated with in-progress experiments deemed crucial are to be continued – with the express authorization of the professor in charge of the lab.
- Polytechnique has established a working group comprising individuals from the professorial corps and representatives from services who support teaching efforts. The Committee is mandated to identify short-term solutions which will enable students to complete the Winter 2020 session; note that the Winter 2020 has not been cancelled.
- The aforementioned group is also working towards planning the end of the semester via distance learning. Professors will receive information related to this measure tomorrow, Tuesday March 17th; this necessarily includes a course syllabi update. Polytechnique’s current objective is to complete the Winter semester according to dates set out in the official academic calendar. Polytechnique will be in regular communication with the professorial corps.
3. STAY informed
In order to stay current with any new guidelines, and to be alerted immediately of any changes, download the PolyAlerte application (https://www.polymtl.ca/polyalerte).
Polytechnique Montréal has created a web page where up-to-date information is centralized for easy access.
Individuals can email COVID19@polymtl.ca to pose any questions or express any preoccupations related to measures taken by Polytechnique; questions will be forwarded to the most appropriate service to respond to queries.
For questions about COVID-19, Polytechnique advises the use of reliable information sources, namely:
- For questions about COVID-19, the toll-free telephone service provided by the Government of Québec: 1 877 644-4545
- For questions about COVID-19, the toll-free telephone service provided by the Government of Canada: 1 833 784-4397
- Website of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec
Prof. Philippe A. Tanguy, Ph.D., Eng
Updated: March 17, 2020, 10:55 AM