As we reach the start of the spring semester, I know that you are prepared to welcome our students back. Our efforts this fall proved to be successful in creating a safe environment for our students to learn and grow. This spring we remain focused on our goal of keeping our students, faculty and staff healthy and safe. The Return to Learn website maintains the latest information about protocols and procedures related to our academic operations. In December, a training session for faculty teaching in-person was held that covers the changes in protocols for the spring semester and can be reviewed on the Return to Learn website under Faculty Training Webinars.
As a reminder, we are asking every faculty and staff member to take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus or as soon thereafter as possible. To register for testing being administered daily by WellHealth at the Union Circle Garage, visit gogettested.com and use the group code "UNT" so positive test results can be sent directly to UNT's COVID response team.
Below is a highlight of items to keep in mind:
Continuity of Teaching
- Face shields are no longer permitted for use by faculty in lieu of a mask. All faculty should be wearing a mask during classes. An exception request can be made through Brenda.Kihl@unt.edu.
- The UNT Model Syllabus available on the CLEAR Syllabus website includes a series of statements that are related to COVID, including Attendance, Class Materials for Remote Instruction, Face Coverings, and Class Recordings & Student Likenesses. Please insert those that are applicable to your courses, and note that the class materials for remote instruction have been updated for the spring semester.
- Faculty should establish a seating chart and record attendance for all students attending in person. To support our contact tracing efforts, only input attendance for those students who are physically present in the classroom. Social distancing classroom layouts are available on the Return to Learn website under First Day Resources.
- Please send a communication to the students enrolled in your course on Monday, or before, with the following information:
- Introduce yourself
- Information about the class meeting schedule
- Your class syllabus, if available
- For remote classes: Any information about expected meeting times/days and method of meeting, such as Zoom.
- For in-person classes: Information about meeting patterns and expectations, including:
- Special meeting arrangements. For example, if half the class meets Tuesday and half on Thursday, explain who should attend class on which day.
- Explain that students are expected to be socially distanced throughout the class.
- Explain that each student will have an assigned seat and either include the seating chart or inform students that you will assign seats on the first class day.
- Let students know you will be taking attendance each class day.
- Remind students that face coverings are required in your classroom and in the building on the way to and from class. You can point students to UNT’s face covering guidelines. The Health Alerts website also has some helpful information for students regarding face coverings, including where to get a mask if the students don’t have one available. A first day presentation template is also available on the Return to Learn website under First Day Resources.
- Academic activities required for a course or academic program taking place outside of regular class time may be permitted with prior approval. The application can be found on the Return to Learn website or downloaded here. Contact Brenda.Kihl@unt.edu for further information. External guests are restricted from campus at this time.
- As a reminder, Perch Points are available for students that have a remote course immediately before or after an in-person class.
Continuity of Student Services
- Student Services offices are returning to provide virtual and in-person services to support our students.
- Events and activities such as student club meetings require prior approval, are limited to no more than 10 people and can only be held in three locations on campus: Recreation Center, Union and Gateway. Submit requests for approval to the Student Life Advisory Group.
Continuity of Clinical Operations
- Clinic operations are scaling on a clinic-by-clinic basis in accordance with approved plans. Specific guidance is provided through Brenda.Kihl@unt.edu.
Continuity of Operations
- UNT’s random testing of students has resumed this week and testing is occurring in the Union for students. A variety of incentives are being provided to encourage students to participate in testing.
- The Contact Tracing team has expanded to ensure that we can support a timely response to questions from our campus community and take reports of suspected and actual COVID-19 cases. Remember that if a student tells you that they are being tested for COVID or have COVID, immediately report this to the COVID-19 Hotline at 844-366-5892 or COVID@unt.edu.
Continuity of Communication
- Signage in the classrooms and on classroom computers has been enhanced with COVID-related messaging.
- UNT’s COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to reflect the number of active cases in our campus community that occurred over the holiday break.
- University-sponsored and work-related international or domestic travel continues to not be allowed for students, faculty or staff due to the CDC Level 4 Global Travel Advisory. To learn more, refer to the UNT System travel guidelines. Exceptions are only for essential business purposes, such as traveling to support state or federal COVID-19 recovery efforts. To request an exception, please complete the Request to Travel to High-risk Destinations form. Exception requests are only being reviewed for travel commencing prior to March 1.