MARCH 23, 2020
Good morning IINE colleagues,
I hope you and your families continue to be well. I’m writing you now with brief updates regarding COVID-19 and IINE operations.
I’d like to start this email by thanking the Boston, Central, and Manchester staff who were able to join the performance evaluation trainings held over the last couple days. I’m looking forward to connecting with the Lowell team later this morning. I’ll be releasing at least one recording of the training (likely whichever is the best quality) for folks who were unable to attend the live meetings and for anyone that would like to review the content a second time (in place of Friday’s scheduled make up). And as promised, I’ll send out any significant clarifications, including a timeline for whether and when we’ll be conducting Q2 evaluations, sometime next week.
COVID-19 (2019 Coronavirus)
Per Jeff’s email last week, IINE staff will continue to work remotely through at least April 3, 2020. As always, I encourage everyone to stay updated with the most recent COVID-19 news and precautions from the CDC, your state, and your locality. The information that IINE has collected from these sources and others can be accessed via our internal website at the following link:
While I trust you read all these emails carefully and have looked over the team.iine.org webpage at least once by now (and are therefore familiar with all the best practices we’ve recommended), I’ll plug good hand washing/hygiene one more time –
- make sure you are washing your hands thoroughly! And here’s a quick article to the same effect [Northeastern].
Requests to visit an IINE Office or conduct a meeting:
Please remember that you are required to complete the following form prior to visiting any IINE office or conducting any in-person meetings:
If and when meeting in-person with a client, you are required to verify that the client has not exhibited any COVID-19 symptoms, that the client hasn’t knowingly come into contact with anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, and that they have no reason to believe they were exposed to COVID-19. You, the staff member conducting the meeting, are responsible for verifying those answers are all “no” prior to confirming the meeting. Similarly, by completing the above referenced form, you are verifying that your answers to those questions are also “no” and that you have no reason to believe you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
With Governor Baker and Governor Sununu’s recent Orders, only employees performing essential services should be traveling/commuting anywhere on IINE business in the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Those individuals who are exempt from the stay-at-home advisory will be identified and approved for travel following their completion of the above referenced COVID-19 form.
More information on Governor Baker’s Order can be found here:
More information on Governor Sununu’s Order can be found here:
To avoid any confusion, please note that IINE’s form will generate an automated approval, and wish you a good visit or meeting, if it does not flag any of your answers as concerning. If and when it flags one or more of your answers, you’ll be instructed to contact me and gain my approval before proceeding with the meeting or visit.
Should you have any questions, please contact your Managing Director or me.
Requests for Volunteer and Intern Approval:
I’ve received approximately 10 requests over the last week for the resumption of an intern or volunteer(s) IINE engagement, and the first four of those requests were approved earlier today. I’ll be reviewing and responding to any requests received this week by Friday. As a general reminder, interns and volunteer programs were suspended along with in-person services on March 13, 2020. You must get approval for your intern or volunteer to continue supporting your program remotely by completing the following form:
Interns and volunteers that are approved to continue in their capacity with IINE will be expected to complete a waiver that outlines the conditions of their ongoing engagement.
IINE resources are limited; at this time interns will not have access to an IINE computer, an IINE phone, or the VPN or Remote Desktop (essentially access to the drives). And then there’s the often un- or under-acknowledged resource: your time. Anyone gaining approval for the continuation of their intern’s internship or a volunteer program will be expected to provide thorough, consistent supervision and training. As noted below, we may have GoToMeeting accounts that volunteers and interns will be able to reserve and use starting next week.
Other Operational Updates
Not much news on this front. Employees should be certain they are checking their IINE voicemails regularly, reviewing the scans of mail being sent by their Office Managers, and utilizing VPN rather than remote desktop (unless otherwise directed).
VPN is now fully functional across all 3 sites. I’ve received plenty of positive feedback so far, but please make sure you are in touch with your Office Manager should you experience any issues.
Manchester team, thanks to Emily and Stephen (thank you!), we were able to correct the issue with Windstream, our internet service provider, that was preventing access to the M:/ via the VPN connection. Please make sure you are using the VPN application/connection through your IINE computer moving forward (instead of Remote Desktop).
I have good news regarding the additional GoToMeeting licenses. It seems likely that we will be able to secure additional licenses for Manchester staff, Boston’s ESOL Instructors, and the handful of employees that don’t have JIVE phones. I also hope to make a couple GoToMeeting accounts available for intern and volunteer reservation/use at each site.
We expect to have the additional licenses early next week, and I’ll endeavor to get the information for them to staff as quickly as possible.
Boston & Lowell Active Attack Safety Training:
I’ll be exploring whether the active attack trainings scheduled for the Lowell and Boston sites in late April can be conducted remotely. If that’s not an option, we’ll plan to postpone it until later this year.
That’s it for my updates. Stay tuned for more information next week.
Shayne Kinsella | Director of Human Resources and Operations | International Institute of New England
2 Boylston Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116 | Tel (617) 695-0965