– The provisions of article 9 of Decree-Law no. 10-A / 2020, of 13.03, which determined the suspension of classroom, academic, non-academic and training activities, and the context of declaring a state of emergency in Portugal;

– The determinations of the Government and health authorities regarding the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic;

– The Recommendation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, of 17 April, regarding the progressive lifting of currently existing containment measures;

– The particular circumstances and current limitations of thousands of students, following their return to their original municipalities, scattered throughout the country, including autonomous regions, as well as their countries of origin;

– The importance of ensuring equity in access to teaching and assessment activities, especially the technological means associated with distance learning;

– The effort and investment made by all elements of the academic community of the Polytechnic of Leiria, teachers, students, bodies with technical-scientific and pedagogical competence, as well as technical and administrative staff, in the transition from classroom teaching to a distance teaching and learning model, as well as the transition from face-to-face work to teleworking;

– The globally positive results of the transition from classroom teaching to a distance-learning model recently assessed through an internal survey;

– Social responsibility, research and development activities carried out in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely personal protective equipment, medical devices, conducting diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and volunteering actions;

– The commitment of the Polytechnic of Leiria, as an intervening agent in the resumption process of academic, social, cultural and economic activities, in conditions of safety for all, and without setbacks, in the positive evolution that has been felt in Portugal;

– The provisions of paragraphs d) and t) of article 92 of Law no. 62/2007, of 10.09, which establish that it is the President’s responsibility to supervise academic management and take the necessary measures to guarantee the quality of teaching and research in the institution and its organic units;

– The consultation with School Directors.

It is determined:

1. The maintenance of the suspension of classroom teaching activities until the end of the semester, including assessment in normal and recourse periods, with the courses continuing to operate in a distance learning regime, according to the academic calendar in force.

2. From the 4th of May, conditions should be gradually created to gradually resume face-to-face activities in the Schools, Research Units and Services of the Polytechnic of Leiria. These face-to-face activities, mainly in support of distance learning, should include:

– The availability of classrooms, in all schools, for access to the various technological means involved in distance learning (computer equipment and access to a quality internet network), in order to guarantee maximum equity for our students, not only for the monitoring and carrying out of synchronous and asynchronous activities in the teaching-learning processes, as for the distance evaluation processes;

– Authorizing access to offices, other spaces and resources that are necessary for teachers to access technological means (computer equipment and access to a quality internet network), involved in distance learning;

– Authorization for access to laboratories, practical rooms, ateliers, equipment and specific materials needed, giving priority to finalist students;

– Authorization for access to laboratories, practical rooms, ateliers and equipment for carrying out research and service activities.

3. The gradual and progressive reopening of the spaces of the Polytechnic of Leiria will be determined in close articulation with the health authorities and depends on the safeguarding of health and safety conditions and standards. Thus, the following measures will be adopted and reinforced:

– It is mandatory, from the 4th of May, the use of a mask (non-surgical, community or social use mask), according to DGS Guideline No. 09/2020, of 13.04, in all spaces of the Polytechnic of Leiria. Masks will be made available free of charge to all students, teachers, researchers and technical staff who do not have them;

– The availability of disinfectant and cleaning products in all areas of the Polytechnic of Leiria will be reinforced;

– Adequate cleaning and hygiene of surfaces / spaces / materials will be reinforced whenever there is a change of user;

– The use of other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be indicated, which must be responsible and appropriate to the activity and the risk of exposure. The use of PPE does not dispense with the compliance with Basic Precautions for Infection Control and other measures, including respiratory etiquette and social distance, which are effective measures to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the community.

4. The research activities of teachers, researchers and research fellows in Schools, Research Units and Scientific Infrastructures should, whenever possible, favor teleworking and online activities.

5. The holding of meetings by telematics means should be privileged (video or teleconference), especially in the provision of public tests, namely, dissertation defense, work projects or reports, juries in competition within the scope of the teaching career in higher education , research, technical staff and even meetings of government and management bodies. The progressive on-site resumption of the mentioned activities must be planned, safeguarding the conditions of security and recommended social distance.

6. Public attendance services must continue to privilege non-face-to-face service, through portals, e-mail, telephone and postal mail, continuing to reinforce the digitization of services, namely in Academic Services.

7. The functioning of the services must continue to favor strategies for operating in telework. In addition, a plan for the progressive resumption of attendance and face-to-face operation of all Services must also be established, adopting, whenever possible, the rotation and functioning of teams in a “mirror”, and the progressive resumption of face-to-face activity must be articulated by hierarchical superiors in order to safeguard specific, vulnerable and at-risk groups.

8. The School Offices, Research Unit Coordination’s and Service Offices are responsible for the management of the progressive recovery plans, and updated information on the rules, times and conditions of access to each of the spaces must be explicit on the respective web pages.

9. These measures will be continuously monitored and evaluated, and new guidelines can be communicated, in view of the evolution of the pandemic and exceptional situations that may require it.

Inform the academic community and publish it on the website of the Polytechnic of Leiria.

Order No. 120/2020
Guidelines for the gradual resumption of classroom activities at the Polytechnic of Leiria

Leiria, April 22, 2020

Rui Pedrosa
President of the Polytechnic of Leiria