Subject: An update from our Safe Return Team
Date: July 10, 2020

Dear students,

Our Safe Return Team and our four working groups are continuing to make good progress toward ensuring your Safe Return to campus in August. While some of you have already returned this summer, the majority of the Calvin community will arrive next month. We are in the process of finalizing all of the details related to your arrival and will be making sure you have all of those details in the next few weeks.

For now, please visit the regularly updated Safe Return website for the latest updates on our Calvin community’s plans for returning to campus this fall. We’ve included a few highlights from each of the working groups that we hope will provide you with useful information for how we continue to plan for your return.

Instruction and the Classroom, Lab, and Studio

  • We will have a final class schedule for 2020-2021 determined by the end of July. Our goal is to preserve the existing class schedule by making use of larger spaces, ensuring appropriate social distancing, and addressing classroom and lab safety precautions without compromising the educational experience.
  • Beginning later this month, our information technology and instructional design specialists will be working with our facilities team to outfit all classroom spaces for your optimal learning and safety.
  • While we expect the majority of student learning to happen in the classroom, your professors are also working through a summer program that is helping them strengthen the quality of their online teaching through intentional pedagogical design. This will ensure that any student who needs to participate online this fall will have an experience that meets the needs of their learning environment. And this will ensure that the transition to online learning that will happen after Thanksgiving break for the remainder of the fall semester goes as smoothly as possible.

Health Maintenance

  • We have a plan for how we will handle screening all students and employees for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus next month. Helix Diagnostics, our partner in this effort, is ready to help us ensure a safe transition back to campus and the cost of the initial screening is covered by the university. We will share more about this process later this month.
  • We have developed a Healthy@Calvin Check-In form that will be part of your daily routine at Calvin. All faculty, staff, and students are being asked to spend a minute each day on this form. This simple action will help us do our own daily checkup. If we all get into the practice of self-monitoring for early symptoms, we will limit the spread and keep one another safe. If someone answers "yes" to any of the questions in the Healthy@Calvin Check-in form, they will then need to fill out the COVID-Reporting Form. This will help our COVID-19 Response Team provide you with guidance on how to keep yourself and the community safe.
  • We have all the necessary cleaning supplies for all spaces on campus and we will provide an initial supply of PPE (e.g. masks, cleaning supplies, etc.) However, we are suggesting that students bring a few masks, a thermometer, and cleaning supplies to supplement what the university will provide. Please note the university will not be supplying any thermometers for students, faculty, or staff.
  • Contingency plans are in place so that we are best positioned to adapt as we remain in compliance with any shifting local, state, or national health guidelines.

Campus Experience, Alumni, and External Events

  • We are finalizing a phased move-in schedule, which will allow for social distancing during the move-in process. Students who are planning to live on campus will receive a communication in late July or the first week of August with a link to a form where you’ll be able to sign up for a move-in date/time.
  • This week, most of our first-year students are completing their online orientation, which includes meeting with a student leader and other students in their group. While we would have preferred to gather together for this initial orientation, we are encouraged that students are giving this online experience high ratings. Our orientation team is preparing for an on-campus experience (Quest) in August, and they are making their plans in accordance with state guidelines.
  • We are finalizing protocols and guidance for groups of students who are hoping to make an earlier return to campus as part of some type of organized Calvin programming.
  • We are been piloting careful openings of public areas on campus and are following CDC and local health department guidelines as we consider all Safe Return/Event Proposal submissions we are receiving. It’s also worth noting that individually scheduled campus visits for prospective students and families are now available. Share this link with anyone you know who would like to make an appointment.

Employee Experience

  • In early August we will begin the process of transitioning employees back to campus for the fall semester. Faculty and staff who are currently working on campus will be tested this month, while the remainder of faculty and staff will be tested the first two weeks of August.
  • We are working on providing high-quality service to our students, while maintaining the health and wellbeing of our entire community. We are working this month on our fall plans where we control our employee density on campus as much as possible without sacrificing the service and hospitality to our students and guests.
  • We are finalizing a “Love Your Neighbor” covenant for all faculty, staff, and students to sign. This covenant represents our shared commitment to taking the necessary steps to keep our Calvin community safe. If we each commit to doing our part, we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

As you can see many details are coming together, and we are excited to welcome you to campus next month. Please also know that we will be communicating with you in the next couple of weeks with more details related to your arrival on campus for the fall semester.

The Safe Return Team

Sarah Visser (co-chair)
Laura Champion
Todd Hubers (co-chair)
Todd Dornbos
Arlene Hoogewerf
Kristen Alford
Tim Ellens
Juli Haga
Matt Kucinski
Russell Bray
Jim English
John Witte