Fall 2020 Classroom Practices

From: Interim Provost Richard Gillman
To: Students, Faculty, and Staff
Posted: August 7, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Faculty, Students, and Staff,

As we begin to return to campus and make our final preparations for the fall semester, it is worth taking a few minutes to review the steps that we are taking to minimize the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in our classrooms. The Academic Affairs Scenario Planning Group has been working on this problem throughout the summer and the following paragraphs summarize a wide range of actions.

The academic calendar has been compressed to minimize on and off campus movement during the semester; campus visits by external parties are limited. The daily schedule has been expanded to increase passing periods in order to minimize congestion in hallways. Wesemann Hall has been re-opened to provide additional classroom space.

A significant number of courses are being taught online, while others are being taught in a hybrid modality. Students should be corresponding with their instructors to ensure that they know the modality of each of their courses. Instructors should test their technology tools before classes begin.

Most academic buildings will have designated entrances and exits, along with designated up and down staircases. Primary entrances will have hand-sanitizing stations.

Classrooms have reduced occupancy levels so that physical distancing is possible and there will be assigned seating. Students and instructors will be required to wear masks in the classroom and, in some cases, additional PPE. Food is prohibited from classrooms and beverages are only permitted with the use of a straw. Faculty members have been provided with syllabus language which supports these health and safety protocols.

Faculty will have access to an emergency supply of masks if a student loses/breaks/forgets one between classes. Desks, tables, and workstations will be routinely sanitized between classes and cleaned twice daily.

Faculty, staff, and students are expected to conduct and report a daily self-check for symptoms. Symptomatic faculty and students should not attend classes and should contact their health provider and follow campus guidance.

The opening convocation, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 16, has been moved outside to Brown Field. Logistical details are being reviewed by the Porter County Health Department to assure compliance with the current Indiana guidance on public gatherings.

Additional information can be found here: Valpo Safe Reopening

The Valpo Vow reminds us both of our purpose for being here and for the importance of attending to each other’s health and safety.

Sincerely,

Richard Alan Gillman
Interim Provost