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LWC releases Action Plan for a safe return to campus
By Venus Popplewell
Lindsey Wilson's A.P. White Campus is beginning to feel like a college again.
That's because 164 members of the Lindsey Wilson College football team began the process of moving back into the residence halls after a five-month absence. The carefully orchestrated and socially distant move-in weekend signifies the start of the 2020-21 academic year.
The 117-year-old liberal arts college has been preparing for this day since March when spring semester classes were moved online in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.
Student-athletes began arriving on Friday morning, Aug. 7. Each student-athlete was required to either participate in a 14-day health assessment or provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival.
"We are very excited about the fall semester. We were cut off abruptly last year when COVID-19 was spreading throughout the United States," says LWC President Willliam T. Luckey Jr. "And Lindsey Wilson, like every other college in the U.S., had to send students home and go to remote learning."
A committee consisting of 70 faculty and staff from nine functioning areas of the college have worked together throughout the summer to develop an action plan that details requirements, expectations and new policies related to a safe return to the college's residence halls and face-to-face instructional format.
"Right now we are planning to go to a hybrid model with face-to-face classrooms at half-capacity," says Luckey. "Half of the students will be in class on one day and the other half on the next day so that we can socially distance and not overcrowd classrooms and provide a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff."
Luckey also says the semester will end early in hopes of avoiding the next possible wave of the virus.
"We've eliminated our fall break and Labor Day holiday," says Luckey. "Classes will begin on August 22 and we plan to be finished with finals and the fall semester by Thanksgiving break. It's a compressed but concise semester. We're trying to get in and out before the second wave of the virus hits the U.S. the way it has been forecasted."
Luckey says all of the plans put in place for LWC have been informed by medical leaders and decision makers in Kentucky along with a knowledgeable and active board of trustees.
"We've met with the Adair County Health Department and the Lake Cumberland Area Health Department and we've read all we can read from the Centers for Disease Control. Our trustees consist of medical professionals, attorneys, public relations and business executives. We've been on phone calls with Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, our representatives and the governor. We've tried to seek as much advice and counsel as we can get."
The rest of the college's residential students will be given a move-in day and time between Aug. 19 and Aug. 22. Move-in will be limited to two hours and students and their guests will have their temperatures checked.
All students and employees on the A.P. White campus and community campuses are required to submit a health assessment and check their temperature daily. Students will receive a starter kit consisting of a washable face mask, two travel size hand sanitizers and a thermometer. Face masks will be mandatory across campus. Everyone will be encouraged to thoughtfully practice healthy habits.
Food service will operate with limited seating and will only be available to students. Entrances, exits and traffic flow will be clearly marked and only grab and go options will be available.
Social distancing will be implemented in all classroom environments and students and faculty will sanitize their individual work spaces. Students will have the option to complete courses by returning to campus or they may stay at home and study.
LWC is a member of the Mid-South Conference and the NAIA. The NAIA has pushed all of their fall championships to the spring semester. Schedules for scrimmages or intersquad games are being considered for the fall.
"That's our plan and we're really excited about it," says Luckey. "But we are being very cautious. You can't have 1,500 people on a campus and not have COVID-19. We must be realistic about that. But our faculty and staff are trained and ready for it."
"We're going to work very hard to communicate with our students and lay out what our expectations are and I think they will respond. I am optimistic they will do the right thing."
To read more about Lindsey Wilson's action plan for a safe return to campus for the 2020-21 academic year, go to www.lindsey.edu/LWCPlaybook (PDF) or call LWC's Office of Student Services at 270-384-8036.
This story was posted on 2020-08-12 05:58:18
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