Accademia Aldo Galli – Reaction, Care, Community

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The Coronavirus emergency has brought loss, damage and enormous inconvenience. However, we need to be able to reverse even negative situations and this event has been also a great lesson for us: a situation of extraordinary difficulty has actually unleashed a very strong energy, a disruptive tension, a drive towards project innovation.

Knowing how to turn a difficulty into an opportunity, even when leaving your comfort zone, is a necessary skill for any designer of today and tomorrow and these months have offered everyone a solid opportunity to get out of their comfort zone: for us it was time to think up a really novel academic year.

In recent months, we have brought the school into the homes of more than 5000 students. Two weeks ago, we reopened our home – your school – to students, teachers and staff.

Now is the time to look ahead and we have clear ideas about the future

Today we are aware that in the face of change a positive REACTION always brings innovation and therefore quality in our projects; we know that TAKING CARE of our people must have at its core the respect of all safety standards and that we must keep strong the sense of a huge local, national and international COMMUNITY so that everyone is guaranteed the same conditions, opportunities and rules.

REACTION

Accademia Galli reacted to the emergency by safeguarding the sense of belonging to the School and its Community. Within ten days of the start of the emergency, teaching activities and offices were transferred to remote mode and in a short time this became part of everyday life. The offices, laboratories, lecture rooms have been closed but the teaching never stopped. Being quick to accept change with courage has allowed us to continue to guarantee the quality of our courses. This same ability – typical of every designer – to know how to react to changing situations, will allow us to start the academic year 2020/21 in blended teaching mode: activities in the classroom and laboratories, in full compliance with the rules and personal safety, integrated with DL, i.e. distance learning. Transferring part of the lectures online will free up spaces and workshops in favour of more face-to-face design work focused on quality: training objectives, quality of content, relationship with lecturers and classmates, presence of companies. None of this will be lost.

What we did:

– On 9 March 2020, we activated our Smart School: the teaching activities of the Istituto switched to distance learning mode – following the traditional division between theoretical, practical or laboratory lessons with live streamed lectures and online or laboratory tutoring for projects.

– On July 2020, we partly activated the recovery of individual projects, curricular internships, working sites and practical courses; laboratories were made accessible by reservation.

– The exams have been rescheduled to take place online, as well as the dissertation discussions

– The regular summer session has been extended until 18 September and a new timetable has been prepared for the courses suspended during the lockdown.

What we are planning to do:

– We will adopt blended teaching: activities in the classroom and in laboratories – in full compliance with the rules and personal safety integrated with distance learning.

FAQ

How will lectures be delivered in the next academic year?

Next year, we will adopt a blended teaching approach.

If lectures are delivered online, for how long?

The lectures will be partly delivered online and partly face-to-face throughout the year.

How many hours per week?

Each subject in each Course will be organised differently depending on subject and methodology. There is no set number of hours.

Will the start of the courses be postponed?

We did not postpone any dates. The starting dates of the academic years of the three-year courses are as follows:

first year > 28 October 2020
second year (three- year courses) > 14 October 2020
third year (three- year courses) and fourth year (five – year courses) > 13 October 2020
third year, fourth year, fifth year (five – year courses)   > 15 October 2020

As for the start dates of Master, the calendar depends – as usual – on the organisation of individual courses

Is it essential for students to move to the location area before the start of classes?

First year students in difficulty or who prefer to attend distance learning, can wait until 30 January. The school is open for all other students.

What are we going to do if there is another lockdown?

Accademia Galli has made arrangements to react to the current emergency situation or the occurrence of a new lockdown.

Should the current state of emergency continue beyond January, we will continue with the current organisation. In the event of another lockdown lasting more than 6 weeks, students of the three-year and five – year courses may ask to freeze their course and resume it the following year, according to Accademia Galli regulations. For students enrolled in other Courses, Accademia Galli will assess the situation in relation to the duration and start date of each Course.

Will the visits scheduled in the program take place? If so, how?

Study visits will be organised in accordance with the rules of social distancing and international mobility. If they are not possible, they will be postponed or replaced with other activities.

Given the Covid situation, how are the internships working out?

The market is recovering and we started to activate the internships again. We launched the platform IED Alumni Network that currently hosts about 100 offers and we are planning an online activity plan for all Italian locations with experts in the field to discuss the recruitment process, digital reputation and how to have an effective video interview. Also scheduled for October is a virtual career week.

TAKING CARE OF OUR PEOPLE

Our people and their safety have been our priority since the beginning of the emergency and will continue to be so in the future. We took care of our community: students, teachers and staff. Care, in compliance with social distancing, hygienic and safety rules, drives the reopening of our spaces: social distancing signage, body temperature detection at the entrance, supply of the necessary PPE, sanitisation of the environments. The safety of us all is our goal.

What we did:

– We suspended teaching activities from 24 February 2020 at the IED locations in Milan, Turin, Venice and at the Accademia di Belle Arti “Aldo Galli” in Como. Accademia Galli observed the provisions laid down by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Regions involved and, in compliance with the requests of the President of the Council of Ministers, went on to suspend teaching activities at all IED and Accademia Galli locations in the national territory as of 5 March 2020.

– During the suspension period, all rooms in the closed premises have been appropriately sanitized.

– In compliance with the Government’s provisions on health safety, we arranged for dissertations to be discussed remotely.

– With the gradual reopening of the locations in Italy, we have prepared a notice that illustrates all the safety procedures and obligations imposed for the containment of contagion. Upon reopening, we introduced the following protocols: measuring the body temperature, an obligation to sanitise one’s hands and shoe soles using sanitiser gel dispensers, the provision of disposable masks and gloves for all employees on duty and any visitors who do not have them, Plexiglass dividers for any functions that involve contact with the public.

What we are going to do:

– All measures provided for in the notice explaining the safety procedures and obligations imposed for the containment of the contagion will remain in place.

FAQ

Will the students’ access to lecture room be restricted?
The access of students will be regulated so as to ensure social distancing.

Will you distribute personal protective equipment?
Yes, will be distributing personal protective equipment to staff, students and any individuals without PPE who need to access Accademia Galli.

COMMUNITY

We are committed to ensuring that all students have the same opportunities and rules at a time in history that threatens to create wide gaps. We know of students who travelled back home in Italy or who were alone far from home, and international students with similar situations who are physically even further away from their loved ones. We are also aware of the difficulties that some families may be facing, and introduced a financial aid and scholarship programme to support them, so that no one will have to give up their studies.

What we did:

– We introduced a financial aid programme to support families who are experiencing difficulties. Thanks to the collaboration of the Pro-family Institute of the BPM banking group, it will be possible to access an interest-free loan extended from six to ten months, and the interest expense on these loans will be borne entirely by Accademia Galli. Students whose families are experiencing proven financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 emergency will be awarded reduced tuition fees, provided that they have passed their exams as per schedule.

– Remote dissertation discussions enable students’ families and loved ones to attend remotely, regardless of where they are.

FAQ

I am an international student, can I come to Italy in the second semester?

If you are an international first-year student you can. It is also possible to attend practical lessons online during the first semester of the first year. If you are a student of the following years and you have difficulties returning to Italy, you must contact the secretary’s office for your course immediately.