Coronavirus Update 8/10/20

As the fall semester nears, I know each of you is making the final preparations to welcome our students back, whether virtually or in-person. Our efforts to prepare for the fall semester are guided by our goal of keeping the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront as we work to fulfill our teaching, research and clinical missions. There are several important actions that all of us can take as we near the start of our academic year.

Continuity of Communication

  1. I strongly encourage those faculty, TAs/TFs and instructional support staff who are scheduled to teach in-person or partially in-person to participate in the Guidance for Face-To-Face Teaching Part 2 – Fall 2020 training session on Friday, Aug. 14, from 2 to 3:30 pm. This event will cover additional classroom protocols, processes and safety. Please submit your questions in advance so we can address as many questions as possible during the training session. Part 1 of the training is linked from the Return to Learn website if you were unable to participate in the first session.
  2. UNT’s COVID-19 dashboard is now available and is updated each Friday to reflect the number of active cases in our campus community.  
  3. The Return to Learn academic restart website is regularly updated with the latest information, as is the Health Alerts website.

Continuity of Teaching

  1. 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. 
  2. Each faculty member should send an email to students in all of their classes on Monday, Aug. 17, providing the following information:
    1. Introduce yourself
    2. Information about the class meeting schedule
    3. Your class syllabus, if available
    4. For remote classes: Any information about expected meeting times/days and method of meeting – such as Zoom.
    5. For in-person classes: Information about meeting patterns and expectations
      1. Special meeting arrangements: For example, if half the class meets Tuesday and half on Thursday, explain who should attend class on which day.
      2. Explain that students are expected to be socially distanced throughout the class.
      3. 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.
      4. Let students know you will be taking attendance each class day.
    6. 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 site also has some helpful information for students regarding face coverings, including where to get a mask if the students don’t have one available.
  3. CLEAR has a series of professional development classes to help support faculty preparation for the fall.

Continuity of Student Services

  1. Students will begin moving into the residence halls Friday, Aug. 14. 
  2. Student Services will also resume normal operating hours, with limited in-person staffing, beginning Aug. 14. We will be closely monitoring student demand and public health conditions and scaling our in-person services, staffing and hours of operation accordingly.

Travel Restrictions

  1. As a reminder, we are asking all faculty and academic staff to avoid travel between now and the start of the fall semester. 
  2. University-sponsored and work-related international or domestic travel is currently not allowed for students, faculty or staff due to the CDC Level 3 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 Sept. 30.

Thank you again for all the hard work you continue to do to make the fall semester as successful as possible for our students. I know that each of you is prepared to adapt as needed, depending on public health conditions.