May 27, 2020 – Email to parents about the fall semester
Dear Wildcat Parent,
We continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. Despite the challenging and difficult times, I hope you have experienced God’s blessing and provision in unique and special ways. We are especially mindful of our students. We miss them, and we look forward to seeing them back on campus soon!
As ACU makes plans to reopen this fall, we want to keep you informed about our path forward. Our top priority is the safety of our students, and we want you to feel confident as we prepare to reconvene classes as scheduled August 24 and finish the fall semester as planned on December 11. We are continuing to examine the right time to return students to campus for the spring semester.
When we announced April 29 our plans to reopen campus this fall, I referenced three teams working diligently to ensure we can create a path forward and safely resume instruction on campus this fall. I am happy to report the teams have made great progress. They have developed protocols for COVID-19 testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine, as well as social distancing, cleaning and sanitization. For instance:
- We have secured access to a significant number of COVID-19 tests and will complete systematic and routine testing to keep our campus community safe. Those living in residence halls will be given first priority for testing.
- We have increased cleaning protocols for high-volume touchpoints (door handles, table/desktops, light switches, etc.), including common-area restrooms, to further mitigate risks of COVID-19. We use an EPA-registered, healthcare-rated disinfectant to clean and disinfect campus buildings, including athletic and residence life facilities.
- Select ACU staff are being trained as certified contact tracers so we can identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
- We will provide face masks to students, faculty and staff.
- We will have designated space to immediately isolate and quarantine anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- We are adjusting class meeting times to avoid hallway congestion and allow ample time to clean and disinfect each room regularly between classes.
- We are changing the configuration of some existing classrooms - and identifying spaces previously not used as classrooms - to increase social distancing among our students.
- We will be reducing many in-person class meeting sizes.
- We will provide grab-and-go meals at The Bean, suspend self-service options, and provide appropriate social distancing for dining room seating.
- We will provide traditional double-occupancy rooms to preserve separate living spaces for possible isolation and quarantine should that become necessary.
- At this point, we have made the decision to suspend our large Chapel gathering this fall and hold small group Chapels instead, so students can be socially distanced. These will be staggered to avoid the post-Chapel crowd of students at The Bean. Chapel is such an integral part of our mission, and our commitment to our students, and we hope you will encourage your student to participate.
We will continue to reevaluate these decisions as the landscape shifts. We are in communication with federal, state and local health officials so we can make informed decisions that are in the best interest of our campus community. As a parent, we know you are interested in the measures we are putting in place, and we will keep you informed. We will also post updated information to acu.edu/coronavirus. You may email your questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder, one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus is through good personal hygiene and social distancing. We ask that you remind your student of these precautions as they prepare to return to campus.
While things will look and feel a bit different this fall, the heart of ACU remains unchanged. This is a special place, made up of amazing women and men who desire to follow God’s call for our lives, while encouraging our students to do the same. We are eagerly preparing to welcome your student back into our community as we continue our transformative journey together!
Phil Schubert, Ed.D.