National Art School
17 March 2020
A Message To Students
from the Director and CEO
I am writing to provide you with an update regarding the National Art School and Covid-19.
The health and safety of our students, staff and visitors is our utmost concern. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic we have put a number of precautionary measures in place to minimise risk of infection and transmission. This includes increased cleaning across the site and sanitisers in all public areas, re-assessing class sizes, reducing gatherings on site and implementing recommendations from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, including recommending that visitors keep a safe distance from each other when visiting our galleries and programs.
The National Art School remains open and continues to teach across the academic program and short courses. The 22nd Biennale of Sydney exhibition NIRIN remains open as does our cafe Two Emus, the Print Lab, the Library and Parkers Art Supplies.
To further increase the safety of our School and community we have decided to postpone or cancel public events and related programs for the months of March and April, effective immediately. This includes school visits and school workshops, site tours, education expos, the Autumn school holiday program, and Biennale of Sydney public programs.
In recognition of the growing pandemic and in accordance with government issued advice, the National Art School is undertaking a range of immediate measures to maintain health and safety for students, staff and visitors. Non-frontline staff will work from home. This period of time is yet to be determined as we continue to take direction and advice from the Department of Health, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and TEQSA. If you would like to discuss your work circumstance, please have a conversation with your supervisor and Juanita in HR.
I can assure you we have well developed academic contingency plans, scenario plans and are up to date on current Government advice and directives to ensure the safety and comfort of staff, students and visitors. This is a quickly changing landscape and we are continually updating our status as per Government requirements.
Thank you for your consideration as we put in place systems to ensure the health and safety of the community at National Art School. Please refer to the FAQ’s below and for ongoing updates we have created a page on our website, Covid-19 Response. For further health enquiries, please contact NSW Health on 1800 022 222 or visit www.health.nsw.gov.au.
The following actions have been / are in the process of being implemented:
- Hospital grade disinfectant has been ordered and cleaning team are making the change over to this.
- Additional hand sanitizes have been provided in all kitchen spaces and entries where possible. There has obviously been a backlog due to shortage of stock.
- Additional soap and hand dispensers have been requested for all toilets. There is a backlog and we hope to have them installed as quickly as possible once they arrive.
- Masks have been provided on site for staff.
- Toolbox talks have and will continue to be conducted with cleaning team in regards to general hygiene and increased cleaning of all hand points.
- Facilities have also managed to purchase some hand sanitiser in bulk and have been decanting in to small hand pumps bottles.
- Request to cleaning company to put together a plan of action for a full hygienic clean.
Teaching in our degree programs will continue with some minor modifications effective immediately. These modifications will better enable the observance of current ‘social distancing’ advice and will be maintained until further notice.
Art History Core Lectures
Large scale core lectures such as AHT100 and AHT300 lectures will be recorded and delivered on-line through the NAS Art History website. Students will be notified via email of the availability of lectures once posted.
Art History Tutorials
Art History tutorials will proceed as normal.
Art History and Studio Seminars
Larger seminar groups (including some AHT Electives, and Studio Seminars) are being rescheduled into larger spaces or re-timetabled into smaller groups where required. Students will be notified by email of any such venue or timetabling changes. Updated timetables will also be posted in Student Services notice board.
Studio Classes (including Drawing)
Studio classes will continue as normal.
Wednesday Art Forum lunchtime Lecture
Our weekly Wednesday Art Forum Lunchtime Lectures have been cancelled until further notice.
NAS Galleries and Exhibitions
The NAS Gallery including Biennale of Sydney installations across the NAS campus, and NAS Library Stairwell Gallery remain open. Exhibition openings and events are on hold until further notice.
Café, Print Lab, Library and Parkers Art Supplies
The Two Emus café, Print Lab, Library and Parkers Art Supplies remain open.
Events and Related Programs
Whilst Term 1 Short Courses will continue, to further increase the safety of our School and community we have made the decision to postpone or cancel a range of other events and related programs for the months of March and April, effective immediately. This includes school visits and school workshops, site tours, education expos, Autumn school holiday program, and the Biennale of Sydney public programs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
NAS has a developed a Frequently Asked Questions sheets for staff and students. This FAQ is attached to this email and is available on the NAS website.
Your wellbeing as a student is our greatest concern. We are reviewing the situation on a daily basis and will continue to provide updates. Please ensure you regularly check your emails to ensure you receive our most up to date advice. NSW Health is encouraging people not to attend public events if they feel unwell. If you have travelled overseas to a higher risk country, we ask that you adhere to the latest isolation advice from NSW Health. For health enquiries, please contact NSW Health on 1800 022 222 or visit www.health.nsw.gov.au.
Director and CEO, National Art School