Dear Students and Families:
We are now halfway through the fall term and working on plans for winter. Our intention for winter term is to resume some in-person coursework and open residence halls to those students who were originally placed for fall. In preparation, we want to share some important information to aid in your decision-making process as you contemplate winter term registration and plans to move onto campus in January. Please note that we are continuing to carefully monitor public health data and will remain flexible to adjust plans if conditions significantly change.
Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students
Danette Ifert Johnson
Winter Term Classes
In winter term, the College will be offering courses in three different modalities: 1) online only 2) hybrid and 3) required onsite components. Additional information about what each of these modalities entails, as well as information about how to search for classes by modality can be found on the Searching for Courses by Modality link on the registrar’s website. Winter 2021 courses are coded in the course schedule with their modality so that students know the modalities of their desired courses when they meet with their academic advisors.
COVID Testing Protocols
The College will institute a robust COVID testing protocol as part of the return to in-person learning and working in the winter term.
All students, faculty and staff will be tested upon arrival to campus in early January 2021. All classes will be offered virtually the first week of the term to provide time for students to be tested and to quarantine until test results are available. We anticipate a turn-around time of 24–48 hours for test results. Students who test positive at that time will be moved into isolation spaces on campus if they live in the residence halls. Off-campus students will be instructed about how to isolate in their residences. Thereafter, a program of daily surveillance testing will be in place. The surveillance program will test 1–2 percent of students, faculty and staff each weekday, with follow-up for additional testing as required. Testing for symptomatic students, or for students exposed to the virus, will be ongoing.
Other health protocols established prior to fall will remain in effect, including enhanced cleaning protocols.The essential element in preventing the spread of the virus is physical distancing, wearing face coverings over the mouth and nose, frequent handwashing and staying away from others (and campus) when ill. Every member of the K community is expected to take these measures, without fail, when on campus.
On-Campus Housing Update
If a student had an active housing assignment at the point K announced it was going virtual for fall, and that student intends to live on campus for winter term, no action is needed. The housing assignment and meal plan are scheduled to automatically reactivate. Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, we know that some students may have changes in their plans. In an effort to streamline communication, the Office of Residential Life is providing a Housing Change of Intent Form for students to signal a change in their plans to live on campus. This form is only intended for those who received a housing assignment and whose plans for winter may be different from what was originally communicated to Residential Life. We will be making every effort to return students to their original housing assignments and configurations. However, since numbers are crucial to our planning, we ask that students submit the necessary information by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 8. While plans may continue to change, students should respond with their strongest inclination. We will not know until after the completion of this process whether any additional open spots will be available for students who did not receive a housing assignment originally, so please hold those questions until a later date.
We anticipate participating in MIAA competition after the first of the year. Athletes will receive more information about participation in athletics as plans are finalized.
Virtual Town Hall on October 29
We will be holding a virtual town hall meeting for students and families hosted by President Jorge G. Gonzalez on Thursday, October 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. ET. We will be sending more details soon regarding how to log in. Questions may be submitted in advance by emailing HornetQuestions2020@kzoo.edu. A recording of the event will be made available for those unable to attend.