COVID-19: Operation of the School Year 2020/21

Photography of a student of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
ACI Ciências ULisboa

Announcement (11/05/2021)

Dear students,

(With copy to all teachers)

In anticipation of the (long) exam season ahead, we are sending you the following set of recommendations for the preparation and conduct of exams, which do not forget the restrictions still imposed by the pandemic. At this moment, the Faculty has an unblemished record of contagion in the school environment and the collaboration of all is essential to maintain this result that should make us all proud.

1. Safety conditions for the exams

Inside the buildings only air extraction is taking place, which generates some thermal discomfort that cannot be avoided. For the same reason, the doors should remain open.

The hygienic plan ensures that all room seating will be disinfected between exams. During exams, teachers will use whatever criteria they choose to seat students, ignoring any signs in the rooms. The criteria adopted will necessarily be equal or stronger than those dictated by the Directorate General of Health (DGS), which imposes a minimum of one place between every two students, and all rows may be occupied.

All students must perform COVID tests every fortnight, for which they can use the free testing program of ULisboa. To do so, just go to the C4 building at the indicated times.

2. Exam absences for COVID related reasons

Students who are unable to attend an examination due to compulsory confinement must state the situation to the e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt, indicating the necessary information for COVID case management:

  • Full name, category, employee/student number, institutional e-mail, mobile phone number, National Health Service user number (or, in the case of foreign citizens, identification document number) and postal code of current residence address;
  • The last day you were in person at the Faculty;
  • The corresponding proof of isolation issued by the health entities (in the case of access credentials to prophylactic isolation declarations, it is necessary, in addition to the declaration access code, to send the date of birth and Social Security number);
  • Name and contact details of people (Faculty members) with whom you have been without a mask (including during meals), at a distance of less than 2 metres and cumulatively for 15 minutes or more in the reporting period:
    • If you are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, the reference period is the 72 hours before the onset of symptoms or the date of testing in asymptomatic cases;
    • If you have had high-risk contact with a confirmed case, the reference period is the period between the date when the contact occurred and the date you started isolation or the date you became aware of the positive test from the confirmed case.

They should also indicate which exams (date and name of curricular unit) they will not be able to attend. After sending the complete information to the e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt, they must contact the teacher of the curricular unit to schedule a new date for the assessment exam.

Teachers will be informed by the Academic Unit of all situations of compulsory confinement communicated by students to the e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt. After being contacted by the student, they should provide an alternative assessment test on a date when the students are able to perform it (after medical discharge or the end of the isolation period, as appropriate).

3. Student distribution across rooms

To avoid crowding at the entrance of the room(s), students should wait outside the building until a few minutes before the start of the examination and have their identification document readily available.

The day before they should check the curricular unit's page and e-mail, since many teachers will publish maps of students' distribution by rooms. To make the distribution easier, students are asked to register for the exams as early as possible.

4. Storage of belongings

The material to be taken to the examination should be as little as possible in order to avoid creating deposits of belongings (coats, backpacks, etc.) during the examination and thus touching other people's objects.

5. Exams at C3

On an experimental basis, the amphitheatres of C3 will remain open during the entire 1st season of the 2nd semester. Whenever the amphitheatres are being used for examinations of different curricular units, a virtual barrier will be maintained between the rooms and it will not be possible to pass beyond the room where the examination is being held. Noise will necessarily be kept to a minimum at all times, including when handing in the examination papers. All students must proceed to the outside of the building as soon as they hand in their examination papers.

Circulation paths inside the C3 building
   
Circulation paths inside the C3 building - 1 Circulation paths inside the C3 building - 2

In order to reduce the concentration of students at the entrance and exit, circulation circuits have been defined for the C3 building. Thus, the entrance of students for the exams taking place in the amphitheatres 3.2.13, 3.2.15 and 3.2.16 will be through the doors on the upper floor (floor 3). The entrance to 3.2.14 will be through the side entrances (near the washrooms) of the amphitheatre. The attached figures show these circuits. The exit from all amphitheatres will be through the central entrances. Students will not be allowed to remain inside the building after the exam is over.

6. Performing examinations on computers

The computer rooms follow the same rules as the others in terms of space limitation, ventilation and hygiene. Students may bring their own keyboard and mouse, thus reducing contact surfaces.

7. Further questions

The address covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt is still available to clarify doubts and support all teachers and students.

On behalf of the Faculty Board,
Hugo Miranda

 

Order D/17/2021

Considering the controlled deconfinement measures defined by the Government, namely the Recommendation to scientific and higher education institutions in the context of the controlled deconfinement measures defined by the Government, of 11 March 2021 and the statement regarding the Implementation of a screening strategy in the resumption of classroom activities in scientific and higher education institutions in conjunction with the Portuguese Red Cross: "CVP Testing Programme - Higher Education", of 19 March 2021, both from the Office of the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education; after hearing the Governance Bodies and the Safety, Health and Sustainability Office, I approve the 9th update of the Faculty's Contingency Plan - COVID-19, which adopts the necessary measures relative to the teaching practice, should the third phase of the deconfinement plan foreseen in the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 19/2021, of 13 March 2021, be confirmed by the competent entities.

These are priorities, as of 19 April 2021:

  1. allow, under safe conditions, the carrying out of practical classes of certain curricular units, listed in the contingency plan, with the field experimentation component, or laboratory and face-to-face evaluation tests foreseen in the examination calendar;
  2. maintain all other teaching activities using non-contact teaching, namely theoretical, theoretical-practical and practical lessons without a component of field or laboratory experimentation;
  3. provide, in the Faculty Campus, conditions for rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2 for teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff and students who develop their activity in person, according to the updated information available at https://ciencias.ulisboa.pt/programa-de-testagem-rapida;
  4. maintain in teleworking regime all the functions compatible with this regime;
  5. keep rotation schedules of workers between face-to-face work and teleworking or differentiated entry and exit times, for the functions that cannot be carried out in a teleworking regime, in order to maintain the physical distance in the work spaces;
  6. maintain the limitation of in-person R&D activities to those that cannot be carried out in a teleworking regime, nor postponed;
  7. keep and monitor practical measures to prevent and control the transmission of COVID-19 in all non-enclosed spaces;
  8. carry out a permanent evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures, reviewing or adapting them, whenever necessary, according to the global and local evolution of the pandemic and the instructions of the competent authorities.

This COVID-19 Contingency Plan - 9th update comes into force on 19 April 2021, if the entry into the third phase of the deconfinement plan foreseen in the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 19/2021, of 13 March 2021 is confirmed - then it will replace the previous versions of the COVID-19 Contingency Plan.

These measures will remain in force until further notice and will be adjusted as the situation develops.

Faculdade de Ciências, 13 April 2021

Luís Carriço

Dean

 

Order D/5/2021

Considering the Recommendation to scientific and higher education institutions in the context of extraordinary measures of the state of emergency, of 21 January, of the Office of the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education and the Order of the Rector no. 15/2021, of 21 January, concerning the Recommendations on the adaptation of the activities developed at the University of Lisbon in the context of extraordinary measures of the state of emergency:

1. I approve the amendments to the academic calendar, as set out in the Annex to this Order, after hearing the Teaching and Scientific Boards.

2. I maintain my determination to suspend face-to-face evaluation activities, calling for the continuation of as many evaluations as possible scheduled for the first half of the year, using alternative methods, in scrupulous compliance with the Rector's recommendations set out in his above-mentioned order,

«When, through remote evaluation, the reliability of evaluation processes can be guaranteed, this methodology will be adopted. For example, exams with a small number of students, individual oral exams, project presentations and discussions, monographs or computer programs can be carried out at a distance with a video camera on and ensuring their reliability.»

3. I determine that, according to the above mentioned Order, for students of the University of Lisbon under mobility programmes, evaluation processes and dates should be adopted adapted both to their needs of return to their country of origin (foreign students who attended UCs at FCUL in the first semester) and of stay abroad (FCUL students with mobility planned for the second semester).

4. I determine that the discussion of theses and dissertations, already scheduled or to be scheduled, take place remotely. In the absence of an agreement to do so, these discussions will be postponed until the situation allows them to take place in person.

5. I determine that the second semester should begin exclusively with the use of non face-to-face teaching, and that it should remain under this regime until determined otherwise, so that those in charge of the UCs should reorganise their planning so that classes requiring face-to-face teaching (laboratory, field trips, etc.) are concentrated at the end of the semester, and should nevertheless define a contingency plan to deal with any impossibility of conducting them in person.

6. In line with the recommendations of the Teaching Board, I recommend that, during the 2nd semester, methods of continuous assessment should be adopted in UCs with a number of fifty students or less, and that, whenever possible, this continuous assessment should replace the final examination, and for this purpose the teachers responsible should draw up a plan of continuous assessment which should be approved by the coordinator of the cycle of studies.

These measures are in force until further notice, will be adjusted in the light of developments and complement those contained in Order D/4/2021.

Faculdade de Ciências, 25 January 2021

Luís Carriço

Dean

 

 

Order D/4/2021

Considering:

a) the Decree no. 3-C/2021 of 22 January, amending the regulations on the state of emergency declared by Decree of the President of the Republic no. 6-B/2021 of 13 January, in force until 23:59 on 30 January;
b) the Recommendation to scientific and higher education institutions in the context of extraordinary measures of the state of emergency, of 21 January, of the Office of the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education and the Order of the Rector no. 15/2021, of 21 January, concerning the Recommendations on the adaptation of the activities developed at the University of Lisbon in the context of extraordinary measures of the state of emergency;

after hearing the Governance Bodies and the Safety, Health and Sustainability Office, I approve the 7th update of the Faculty's Contingency Plan - COVID-19, which reinforces the restrictions and constraints on face-to-face activity.

The following measures are of particular importance:

  1. Face-to-face assessment activities are suspended.
  2. Presential R&D activities, and support activities in general, are limited to those which cannot be carried out by teleworking or postponed.
  3. Access to buildings is made exclusively through the use of a card, or a specially issued authorisation, except for the C3 building, which is closed.
  4. Reading rooms of the Libraries are closed - the service of requesting and delivering publications to the Central Library remains operational by appointment.
  5. Work schedules are adopted between face-to-face work and teleworking, or differentiated entry and exit times, for those functions that cannot be performed by teleworking, in order to maintain physical distance in the work spaces.
  6. Attendance in the service units is carried out, whenever possible, by non-presential means of communication, using the contacts disclosed here. When indispensable, the face-to-face service is made by prior appointment for the respective service. Exceptionally, services of attendance are maintained without previous appointment in the Correspondence Centre (C5 building), and in the Entrances of C8 building and of Tec Labs ordinance, for the reception and delivery of packages and other mail.
  7. Field trips are limited to those that cannot be postponed and require prior authorisation as stipulated in the contingency plan.
  8. External visitors to ULisboa, including students, are restricted to participating in acts that cannot be performed by videoconference and to indispensable and unavoidable interactions, expressly authorized on a case-by-case basis by the Faculty Dean.
  9. All meetings are held by videoconference.

These measures are in force until further notice and will be adjusted in the light of developments and the adoption of the new academic calendar.

Faculdade de Ciências, 22 January 2021

Luís Carriço

Dean

 

Order D/3/2021

Considering the evolution of the pandemic situation and the consequent governmental determinations, as well as those resulting from the meeting of the Coordinating Council of the University of Lisbon held today, I determine the immediate suspension of the assessment activities and the respective postponement of the examination period, to take place in a period to be defined.

The Faculty Board and the Education Board are seeking solutions that minimise the impact of this situation on academic activities that will be communicated as soon as possible.

Faculdade de Ciências, 21 January 2021

Luís Carriço

Dean