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Coronavirus: HGSE Looks Forward

HGSE’s top priority during the COVID pandemic has always been the health and safety of community members, their families, and the public. This remains our top priority, and it guides our current planning and actions as we reopen our classrooms to learning. As guided by the CDC and University, our approach to safety is threefold: required vaccination, regular testing, and indoor masking. Please find more information below about our specific policies and procedures. For additional questions about HGSE's safety plans and precautions, please contact

HGSE's Community Compact

As we safely reopen our campus and our classrooms, HGSE’s Community Compact spells out our shared responsibilities for maintaining a healthy community. Read the compact.

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HGSE's Latest Updates

Procedure for HGSE Students Coming to Campus
September 30, 2021, important updates for students coming to campus

View the latest testing results on the University-wide COVID-19 testing dashboard

Important Policies and Procedures

  • Required Vaccination
    Vaccination is an effective way to protect yourself against COVID-19, and it severely decreases the likelihood of serious health outcomes requiring hospitalization. Campus-wide vaccination is the best weapon against the coronavirus, and therefore, the University has imposed a vaccination requirement for all community members working and studying on campus. Learn more about Harvard's vaccination policies.
  • Regular Testing
    Regular COVID testing is an essential part of our precautions to safeguard the health of our community. Remember to complete a COVID test regularly as dictated by University guidance (currently weekly for vaccinated individuals). You can start the process, check your results, and verify your testing cadence by logging into your Color account. For an overview of Harvard's testing process works, read HGSE's COVID-19 Testing Protocol Guidance.
  • Indoor Masking
    Masking is a critical line of defense from preventing the transmission of COVID, and indoor masking requirements are currently in effect. Learn more about how to choose a protective mask, and gently remind colleagues to wear their own masks if necessary.
  • Responding to Positive Test Results
    In the event that a member of our community receives a positive COVID test result, a series of protocols and supports are invoked. We are closely monitoring data on positive tests to make informed decisions about whether adjustments are needed to our policies, procedures, or in person activities. Learn more about how to respond to positive test results. 
  • HGSE’s Visitor Policy
    Based on our precautions, visitors are not currently permitted on campus, and students, faculty, and staff should be prepared to show your Harvard ID when entering Gutman Library. Special guests must be approved, complete a formal registration process, and adhere to the same safety measures being required of faculty, staff, and students (vaccination, regular testing, and masking). Read HGSE's Visitor Policy.
  • HGSE’s Campus Drinking and Eating Policy 
    Based on guidance from the University, it is permissible to briefly remove your mask to take a quick sip of a drink. However, eating presents a much larger challenge while we are required to wear masks indoors. As such, we are limiting eating to select location. Read HGSE's Campus Drinking and Eating Policy.
  • Course Auditors and Cross-Registrants
    HGSE is not permitting auditors in face-to-face courses, whether the person is a Harvard affiliate or not. This restriction helps to keep classroom spaces less dense and focus our monitoring efforts on students taking the course for a grade.

    HGSE will permit cross-registrants from around Harvard University depending on course availability. Additionally, in order to honor our cross-University agreements, we will permit cross-registrants from MIT and Tufts University, just as they are accepting our students into their courses. Cross-registered students will be subject to all the same protocols as an HGSE student (e.g., required vaccination, regular testing, and masking). For HGSE students seeking to cross-register: It is our expectation that some cross-registration into residential courses at other schools will be available. Contact the registrar’s offices of the other schools to confirm policies for incoming cross-registration.
Visit Harvard’s coronavirus website for detailed information about vaccination, testing, travel guidance, and other university policies and communication.
Prior Communications
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Education and the Pandemic

The pandemic has upended the field of education and the lives of students, educators, caregivers, and community leaders. HGSE has responded by offering an immersive series of broadcasts and useful resources. Explore our Education Now initiative to watch episodes on timely topics. See below to explore content on teaching, leading, and parenting

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Teaching Amid Crisis

Education Now: Teaching and Leading with Compassion

A discussion on how to cultivate compassion and leadership in one’s own teaching practice — and how to approach some of the challenges we're seeing in classrooms now.

Outdoor learning

The pandemic moved classes outdoors. We should keep them there.

Prasanth Nori on Zoom call

A post on Twitter led to one alum helping families in India during the country's second wave of COVID.

Leading Amid Crisis

Person making a phone call

The pandemic broke school relationships, but one district found a way to connect with students in ways that will last for the long run.

Success plans infographic

How Education Redesign Lab's student success plans helped districts meet needs during the pandemic.

School Bus

HGSE experts surface key challenges and concerns for educators, leaders, and families — and share concrete ideas for addressing them.

Parenting Amid Crisis

teenage students with backpacks

A discussion on how schools can help every student to feel that they belong — by encouraging friendships and supportive relationships.

Teen lounging on couch with books on floor

Ways to help students who are struggling with task initiation, time management, prioritization, and organization find their way.

Pop art illustration of school bus

Physician and public health expert Leana Wen shares her advice.

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