A Letter to the Academic Community: Students, Faculty and Administration

A Letter to the Academic Community: Students, Faculty and Administration

 Dear Students and Colleagues,

As we approach the opening of the coming academic year, and further to our letter dated August 5, we are pleased to present in detail the format and guiding principles of the academic program structure for 2020-2021. The structure has been developed in light of the new reality imposed upon us all by the Corona crisis.

The JAMD places great importance on being flexible, dynamic and responsive to students and faculty. We strive to provide optimal and professional solutions in the curricular and technological spheres, while maintaining the distinctive character of our institution, our academic and artistic values, and the special experience enjoyed by our students.

The coming year entails no small amount of uncertainty and fluctuations. When we fixed the schedule of classes, our goal was to provide a rich learning experience that ensures the health of our community and is in line with Ministry of Health guidelines. We also took into account the varying needs of our students, from needing to be in the building's practice rooms daily; to concerns about living quarters and employment. We are also aware of our teachers' goal to advance their students, and their wish to improve their online teaching abilities.

Schedule of Classes, 2020-2021

1. The schedule will appear on the JAMD website by the end of August. It allows for a combination of on-site and on-line learning

2. The guiding principles upon which the schedule is based are: a) an optimal balance between on-site and online; and b) first priority for on-site learning is given to individual and ensemble lessons and workshops, as well as courses specified by the various faculty deans; as per each department's curriculum.

3. The schedule was built taking into account each department's needs and characteristics, per academic year, aiming to cluster on-site studies into 2-3 days a week.

4. Dance classes in the studios will be held daily. If required, and in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines, classes will be split, as determined by the Dean of the Dance Faculty and department heads. During the semester, classes will be held from time to time outdoors, weather permitting.

5. The schedule and format (online or on-site) of the first semester exams will be published in December 2020.

Individual Lessons, Ensembles and Performing Group Activity

6. Individual lessons and ensemble rehearsals will be set directly by the students and teacher.

7. Orchestra, choir, or ensembles not in the framework of a course or weekly workshop: These schedules will be set closer to the start of the academic year, as per Ministry of Health guidelines. This also applies to concerts and other performances.

Online Courses

8. As much as possible, online courses will be set at times when students are not required to be on-site.

9. Online courses will be indicated as such in the schedule (with no room no.)

10. Important: Courses set to be held online will continue online even if and when we are able to return to normal activity. This is in order to avoid the need for changing students' personal schedules or living arrangements during the year.

11. In courses that are hybrid (on-site and Zoom), students will be permitted a degree of flexibility, as approved by the teacher.

Technological Infrastructure and Technical Support

12. The Academy is gearing up for hybrid learning: improving our WIFI Internet reception, widening the band to allow more users and providing technical solutions and support for teachers, including teaching on-site and on Zoom simultaneously.

13. In order to use Zoom in an optimal fashion, short courses and simulations will be held for teachers during the first half of September. A technical support framework will continue to be available to them during the year.

14. The Student Union is training students in each department and in each year to serve as technical assistants who will deal with problems and issues that may arise.

Course Registration and Academic Counseling

15. The 2020-2021 academic year will open on October 18, 2020. Course registration will begin after Rosh Hashanah, on Tuesday, September 22 and will continue until November 1 (two weeks after studies begin). Course registration will be done through the student portal.

16. The Academy encourages the students to receive individual academic counseling, which will take place, as much as possible, via email or phone. We ask that, for now, physical presence in the academic administration office be kept to a minimum, as per Ministry of Health guidelines.

First Year Students: Orientation and Coaching

17. During October 2020, orientation sessions for first year students will be held. The times and format of these sessions will be announced separately.

18. The Student Union is establishing a personal coaching program for first year students who wish to work with an advanced student during the year.

Class Attendance

19. Class attendance, whether in on-site or online classes, will be in accordance with the Academic by-laws: absence without justified cause is allowed up to 25% of classes.

The Student Union

20. The JAMD commends the Student Union for its initiative, creativity and fruitful cooperation in this challenging time. We maintain on-going contact with the SU, which is involved in the decision making process of various committees.

21. The SU is working on several projects, in and outside the Academy, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality and other educational institutions in the city, with the goal of creating performance venues for students during this time when performance opportunities hardly exist.

22. All students are invited to contact the SU with any question, apprehension or vacillation concerning the coming year. Contact: aguda@jamd.ac.il

It is important for all of us to remember to keep Ministry of Health guidelines: wear a mask, keep social distance and follow the rules inside and outside the Academy. In this way we will maintain our health and the health of those around us.


Best wishes for a good rest of the summer and a productive year,

Prof. Yinam Leef, President

Prof. Michael Klinghoffer, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Uri Neumann, Vice President and Director General

Michal Golani, Academic Secretary

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