Dear Lehman Colleagues,
As we continue to move toward an increased in-person presence at Lehman College, faculty and staff may have noticed the presence of high school students on campus. Understandably, this has raised some questions I wanted to address here.
CUNY has a longstanding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) which allows the use of assigned spaces by NYC high schools on CUNY campuses. That MOU was put in place long before COVID-19. As of September 13, we executed a new license agreement with the DOE which contains a list of our requirements for the use of spaces on campus, including elaborating on the COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place for the Lehman College community as well as for the high school students who use our facilities.
In accordance with this agreement, high school students who come to Lehman campus must first report to their respective high school to swipe their IDs and verify that they are cleared to come to school and campus. Students, their teachers and staff have separate COVID-19 and vaccination screening and reporting policies and systems. High school principals are responsible for monitoring the number of vaccinated students, as well as informing us of the results of weekly COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated students.
As of Tuesday, high schools advised us that more than half of all students in both high schools had uploaded proof of vaccination and more are being uploaded daily; those who haven’t are subject to weekly testing with the consent of their guardians. All high school students visiting campus must be escorted by high school staff and are required to enter via Gate 6, which has been dedicated to high school students to ensure that the College’s main entrance at Gate 5 is not clogged and to follow ongoing COVID-19 safety precautions.
They are then directly escorted to their assigned classroom – there are only a few dedicated spaces where high school students are permitted including three Lehman classrooms.
There are two high schools utilizing the Lehman campus: the High School of American Studies and Celia Cruz High School of Music. Celia Cruz students have a dedicated classroom in the basement of the Speech and Theatre Building. They use Music 330 for band from 8 am – 3 pm.
The HSAS students have a dedicated cafeteria and art classroom in their cafeteria in the lower level of the Music Building. They are also using three classrooms and a teacher break space. On inclement weather days, they are permitted to use a gym in the APEX.
When the class is over, they are escorted directly off campus. This process is in place so that high school students are kept separate from Lehman College students – they are not permitted on campus without a scheduled escort at all times and these restrictions are spelled out in our license agreement.