Return to Learn

Updated July 21, 2021

We have all been in the midst of continual change over the past 14 months.  Today, we are looking forward and preparing for our continued return to our campus. 

As the CDC and the State of Texas has removed certain COVID-related restrictions and community health conditions continue to improve, UNT is responding with changes to our COVID guidelines.  A number of these changes will impact our instruction, learning environments, research facilities and academic activities for Summer 2021. 

It is exciting to be able to offer students a learning experience they would normally expect at UNT this summer, but it also creates questions. This website includes UNT’s revised guidelines as they are implemented.   All guidelines are under review and will be updated as decisions are made.   Please continue to send your questions and requests to brenda.kihl@unt.edu  so we can respond to your needs.

Continuity Stages

UNT continuously monitors public health conditions, including infection rates in our region and state and seeks guidance from county and state health officials. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been phasing academic activities in response to conditions on campus and in the community.   The following offers further detail on key aspects of each stage of the plan.

March 22 – May 3

  • UNT campus closed, except for essential personnel
  • All classes moved to online or remote delivery
  • Willis Library open for academic and technical support
  • Residence halls closed, with limited exceptions

May 4 – July 5

  • Faculty/staff may have limited access to offices
  • Telecommuting primary mode of work
  • All 5W1 summer classes online or remote
  • Limited student access to experiential learning spaces (after June 1)
  • Willis Library remains open
  • Restart advisory committees develop plans to reopen campus

July 6 – August 9

  • Majority of 5W2 courses are online and remote
  • Limited in-person instruction for select experiential learning courses
  • Units reopening plans developed consistent with COVID Response Guidelines
  • Student support services open in-person services
  • Academic offices open 5-15 hours/week with all offices open Thursdays
  • Select Clinics resume in-person services
  • Select athletic teams resume voluntary practice
  • Limited dining operations
  • Willis Library open

August 10 - May 31

  • Resume in-person instructional delivery and student support services
  • Classes are hybrid, remote, and online delivery
  • All classes and academic services will follow social distancing and safety guidelines
  • Academic support services and offices open regular business hours with limited in-person staff
  • Student affairs and housing open
  • Virtual academic and student services will continue
  • Campus activities will scale based on demand and public health conditions
  • Clinics resume in-person services
  • Spring semester academic operations resume on January 4th after winter break
  • Spring 2021 classes resume January 11 in the mode of delivery that is scheduled

June 1 - Ongoing

  • Summer Classes will be in-person, hybrid, remote, and online delivery
  • Fall 2021 Classes will return to pre-COVID schedule and delivery
  • Classrooms configured for full capacity
  • Classes, research and academic services will follow 3-foot social distancing and UNT COVID Guidelines
  • Academic support services and offices open regular business hours
  • Full staffing for Academic Affairs resumes August 1, 2021
  • Student affairs and housing open regular hours
  • Virtual academic and student services will continue

Prepare to Return to Learn

UNT has made modifications to policies, procedures and standard practices in response to COVID-19. The following information details the changes to help academic faculty and staff prepare for on-campus teaching and operations. Information is updated regularly as decisions are made in response to health conditions and state and local orders..  

  1. Academic Calendar: Fall 2021

    There are no changes to the fall academic calendar. See the fall registration guide for details.

     

  2. Activities/Events on Campus

    Beginning, August 1, 2021, in-person events will return to normal UNT approval and scheduling processes.

    In-person events planned to take place prior to August 1 require approval. In-person events are reviewed by the Academic Affairs Advisory Restart Group or the Events Subcommittee. All events and activities are expected to align with UNT COVID response guidelines and social distancing room capacities.

    • Submit requests for student activities/events/meetings that are not required for a course and will involve more than 50 people to the Events Subcommittee using the Events Request Form
    • Submit requests for student activities required for a course to the AAARG using the  Course Activity Request Form
    • Submit requests for field trips using the  Field Trip Form
    • University-sponsored student travel is not permitted for summer. Faculty should plan to participate in virtual field trips, competitions, showcases, and other student curricular and co-curricular events.
    • Staff and faculty meetings are administrative functions and require review and approval by brenda.kihl@unt.edu.  If there are safety concerns, Brenda could refer the request to go through the Events Subcommittee. Reasons for safety concerns could be incorporating food, the location of the meeting, etc.
    • Guest speakers and other visitors are welcome on campus and required to follow UNT safety protocols. All events, including those that have visitors, need approval through the Events Subcommittee using the Events Request Form

    Events scheduled after August 1st will no longer need applications or approvals. All venues will be open to events and there are no restrictions on size. Information published or disseminated about the event must include a statement that the event may be adjusted, rescheduled, or canceled based on community health conditions.

     

  3. Classroom Cleaning and Disinfecting

    Classrooms will be equipped with a camouflage bucket with sanitizing spray. Students may continue to use these cleaning supplies to sanitize their classroom space when they arrive. Supplies will be replenished nightly by custodial staff while supplies last. Cleaning stations will be discontinued when supplies are exhausted.

  4. Classroom Culture That Promotes Health and Safety

    Everyone in the UNT community has a shared responsibility to sustain a healthy environment for ourselves, for our coworkers, for our students and for our visitors. Precautionary actions taken during the height of the COVID pandemic have been suspended. Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to continue to monitor their health and help keep our UNT community safe and healthy.

  5. Classroom: Instruction

    Summer 2021: Faculty may resume more experiential learning experiences in their classes that also allow for 3 feet of social distancing.

    • To support contact tracing, faculty are encouraged to establish small groups or “pods” of students who collaborate in discussion and team projects throughout the term to minimize the total number of close contacts each student has during class.
    • Students and faculty may share classroom objects, such as lab/art supplies, papers etc.
    • Submit requests for field trips using the  Field Trip Form
    • Guest lectures are permitted without approval.

    Fall 2021: All classroom instruction may return to pre-COVID activities. Although not required, faculty are encouraged to create seating charts and take attendance to assist with contact tracing.

     

  6. Classroom Layout

    Summer 2021: Classrooms (110 classrooms) returned to their typical configuration effective June 1, 2021. Classroom Support is in the process of updating the classroom furniture layout website to illustrate the furniture configuration for each classroom to reflect the typical configuration.

    While rooms will have their typical configuration, we are implementing a 3-foot social distancing capacity limit and it will be the responsibility of the users to ensure that a minimum 3-foot social distancing is maintained (larger social distancing, such as 6-feet is permissible). If there are classroom activities that would be less than three feet, the faculty member may make a request through brenda.kihl@unt.edu

    Fall 2021: All classrooms will return to pre-COVID configurations and seating capacities.

  7. Classroom Seating Chart and Taking Attendance

    Summer 2021: Classrooms (110 classrooms) are returning to their typical configuration effective June 1. Classroom Support is in the process of updating the classroom furniture layout website to illustrate the furniture configuration for each classroom to reflect the typical configuration.

    Faculty are required to establish a seating chart and record attendance in Canvas for all students present in the room during the in-person class sessions. These requirements support the university’s contact tracing efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 on campus. When making a seating chart check your Accessible Information Management- AIM Instructor Portal to determine if there are students in the class who need accommodations.

    Instructions on how to create a seating chart are on the CLEAR website. The Office of Disability Access has more information on accommodations for students with disabilities Information on the UNT’s contact tracing process can be found on the UNT Health Alerts website.

    A socially distanced classroom layout has been created for all classrooms and class labs to help faculty create seating charts for in-person classes.

    Fall 2021: All classroom instruction may return to pre-COVID activities. Although not required, faculty are encouraged to create seating charts and take attendance to assist with contact tracing.

  8. Classroom Technology: Remote Capability

    UNT is expanding the availability of HyFlex/Advanced Synchronous Rooms. These enable students to join remotely more easily. Hyflex classrooms can (1) capture better audio and video including the students for class discussion (2) feature more cameras and better angles so the professor can move around the front of the room. By the start of Summer 1, we expect to have expanded from 17 to 30 HyFlex rooms. More information to come when the rooms are ready.

    17 classrooms are equipped as HyFlex/Advanced Synchronous Rooms, with microphones installed in the ceilings above student seating.

    • BLB005, BLB010, BLB015, BLB090, BLB140 , BLB250, BLB260
    • DPK110, DPK120, DPK150, DPF175; DPD201, DPB185, DPB155
    • FRSC128, FRHB102, FRHB118

    Contact your department chair about remote instruction options in specialized classroom spaces.

    Useful resources and training materials can be found on the Teach Anywhere site or https://classroomsupport.unt.edu/teaching-with-tech.

    Classroom Support Services will continue to support classroom technology needs. https://classroomsupport.unt.edu/ classroomsupport@unt.edu or 940-565-2691

  9. Classroom Technology: Microphones

    Microphones have been added to all general (110) classrooms to ensure the best possible experience. Body pack microphone sets are installed in the general access classrooms. The transmitter will stay in the classroom for all faculty members to use and will sit in a charging station when not in use. The lavaliere microphone is the piece that you place on your body and clip to your shirt. This will be assigned to you individually for hygiene reasons. 

    For lavaliere mics: Contact DSI Tech (dsitech@unt.edu, 940-565-2691) to deliver the lavaliere before your first class and demonstrate proper use. 

    Classroom Support Services will continue to support classroom technology needs. https://classroomsupport.unt.edu/ classroomsupport@unt.edu or 940-565-2691

  10. Clinical Operations

    Fall 2021: Clinics may transition to pre-COVID operations as of August 1. Clinic leadership may opt to modify pre-COVID operations to ensure a safe clinical treatment environment for staff and clients. The Child Development Lab needs to submit their plan to AAARG/HCT for review since they will have all new staff.

  11. Close Contacts and Self-Quarantine

    Through the contact tracing process, individuals may be considered a close contact or asked to self-isolate of self-quarantine. The contact tracing tab on the health alerts website has definitions of these terms and more information about the contact tracing process.

  12. Contact Tracing

    UNT has developed protocols to trace contacts within our community, including UNT faculty, staff and students who have tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19. All protocols are in adherence with CDC guidelines and developed in conjunction with local health authorities. Contract tracing for purposes of public health includes all personal contacts and travel. The focus is on contacts within the UNT community, visits to campus, and risk within dining facilities, public areas of campus, and residence halls. The contact tracing tab on the health alerts website has detailed information about the contact tracing process.

  13. COVID-19 Hotline

    A COVID hotline has been established to help UNT community members report and understand COVID-19 symptoms, testing information and/or results; receive guidance on actions they may need to take following potential exposure; and with questions related to COVID-19’s impact on our university operations. Email COVID@unt.edu to report symptoms, positive COVID results, or ask COVID-related questions.

    The COVID Hotline will only be responding to emails beginning in summer 2021.

  14. COVID-Positive Student in Class

    If a student in an in-person class tests positive, they should contact the COVID-19 hotline for guidance and to start the contact tracing process.  Faculty teaching teaching the COVID-positive student will be notified and provided additional information, including a video to share with other students in the class.

  15. COVID Testing

    COVID-19 antigen testing is available in the student health and wellness center for students and for employees identified as close contacts during the contact tracing process. Employees are asked to see their primary health care provider for screening and possible testing for COVID-19 or take advantage of testing offered by Texas Department of Emergency Management at the Union Garage. Go to gogettested.com to schedule a test.

  16. Exams: Ensuring Academic Integrity

    Remote, online, or partially remote classes may offer remote exams. UNT subscribes to a product called Respondus that serves as a remote proctor. While testing with Respondus, the students’ browser is locked down so they cannot access web searches and offers AI-guided proctoring through student webcams. Information on Respondus can be found on the CLEAR website . DSI CLEAR also provides Respondus support to faculty.

  17. Exams: In-person

    Given the complexity in delivery modes, some students will likely face exam conflicts across their courses. In general, faculty are asked to recognize this and be as flexible and as accommodating as they can be. Here are some modifications that will help reduce the number of conflicts.

  18. Face Coverings: Campus Locations to Obtain Disposable Masks

    If a student would like to obtain a face covering for class, they are available at a number of campus locations. Masks will only be available while supplies last.  Some of the most convenient loacations include:

    • Willis Library
    • Union Information Desk
    • VP Student Affairs office – Hurley Administration Building
    • Discovery Park – Engineering Dean’s Office & College of Information Dean’s Office
    • Inspire Park –Administrative Office 115
    • Hall Park – Library 166
  19. Face Coverings

    Consistent with CDC Guidelines and state policy, individuals are not required to wear face coverings on UNT’s campuses. While non-vaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a face covering, all students and faculty are welcome to wear one in class or on campus if they desire.

  20. Faculty Development Leave

    Faculty Development Leave requests are being considered for 2021-2022 academic year. Faculty who deferred their 2020-2021 facuty develoipment leave should contact faculty success for more inforamtion.

  21. Faculty Flexible Work Arrangement

    When working remotely, faculty are expected to reside within the North Texas region. Prior approval from academic leadership and the Provost is required if faculty plan to teach outside the DFW region by submitting a request for a Faculty Flexible Work Arrangement.

    Fall 2021: Staff and faculty requesting flexible work arrangements beginning in Fall 2021 must follow UNT policy and obtain all approvals by submitting a flexible work arrangement form (https://policy.unt.edu/policy/05-022). As stated in the May 18 Provost update, requests for 50% or more remote work in the fall were due May 31 and required Provost approval. New requests for more than 50% remote work will be considered only for extenuating circumstances.

  22. Faculty Illness

    Faculty who become ill must contact their department chair to address the continuity of instruction, appointing a substitute instructor if necessary. Faculty may use sick leave or contact human resources for more information about leave options.

  23. Faculty Office Hours

    Faculty office hours should be scheduled in a way that support students in their learning and in a format that will meet students’ needs. Office hours are required of all faculty teaching courses and may be scheduled in-person or in a virtual format. Faculty may hold office hours in their office of other space with a minimum of 3-foot social distancing

  24. Field Trips

    Fall 2021: Academic activities outside the classroom such as field trips, performances, class project, etc. will return to pre-COVID approval processes.

  25. Hours of Operation

    Regular Academic Affairs summer hours of operation will be 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. Summer operations and in-person staffing should scale with demand for services. Academic Affairs units are expected to return to normal operations on August 2, 2021. Offices will post hours of operation on the entrance doors and the department website.

  26. Human Resources Information Regarding COVID-19

    Information about employment, work schedules, personnel and other human resources questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the UNT System HR webpage.

  27. Ill Student in Class

    If a student is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms in class, faculty should politely ask the student to excuse them self from class and return to their place of residence. Refer to the Health Alerts website for self-monitoring information. The student is also asked to email the COVID Hotline for assistance.

  28. Libraries

    Willis Library will be open with modified hours to support the needs of our students, staff and faculty. The libraries have added inter library loan services and compiled resources from remote facilities to the Willis Library location. Libraries will return to pre-COVID operations as of August 1, 2021.

  29. Personal Protective Equipment

    Personal protective equipment will be available only while current supplies last.

  30. Reopening Plans

    Reopening plans are no longer required for any campus office.

  31. Research

    Research activities must comply with the Governor’s executive order and no longer require masks, unless there is a non-COVID safety requirement for the research environment.

    Social distancing in research spaces may be 3-feet without approval. Research activities requiring less than 3-feet between individuals needs an application through Pam.Padilla@unt.edu

  32. Schedule of Classes

    The summer schedule of classes has a mix of in-person, remote, partially remote and online courses. Modified health and safety measures will scale toward our fall full return to campus.

    The fall schedule of classes will return to a pre-COVID schedule, similar to Fall 2019.

  33. Student Absences

    Students may become ill or asked to quarantine because they have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Faculty should be mindful that student absences due to COVID may still occur. The attendance policy for the class must be in the syllabus. Making attendance accommodations is at the discretion of the faculty member. Possible modifications include:

    • If you have attendance points – reconsider for COVID-related absences
    • Post course information and materials in Canvas
    • Provide flexibility in accepting late assignments and offering make-up exams to accommodate absences

    If a student misses more than one class without notification, send the student an email to check in and submit an early alert notification in EIS. This can be done be logging into EIS, under Faculty Homepage, select Faculty Center. Click Class Roster and the Early Alert icon is in the second column. Learn how to submit an early alert.

    A Fall 2021 attendance policy is available for inclusion in syllabi. See Syllabus Statement: Student Absences

    International Student Absences: International students may not be able to be vaccinated before arrival and will be required to quarantine. In addition, there are significant challenges with obtaining visas and the timing of the students' arrival may not be fully within their control. UNT will offer vaccination clinics to support our international students as they arrive at UNT. Faculty are asked to have alternative methods for participation during the period in which an international student is required to quarantine.

  34. Study Abroad

    We will return to the normal process for study abroad travel scheduled for academic year 2021-22. Travel to countries with a level 3 or level 4 State Department Risk will require an IROC review and Provost approval.

  35. Summer Camps

    All 2021 summer programs have been notified of their approval and required training prior to the start of their program.

    Summer camps and other summer programs must comply with the Governor’s executive order and no longer require masks. Other changes to COVID-related protocols will be included in safety training required of summer camp program staff. Trainings are scheduled in order of the summer program start date. For more information contact brenda.kihl@unt.edu. .

  36. Syllabus Statement: Absences

    Students may become ill or asked to quarantine because they have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Faculty should be mindful that student absences due to COVID may still occur. The attendance policy for the class must be in the syllabus. Making attendance accommodations is at the discretion of the faculty member. Possible modifications include:

    • If you have attendance points – reconsider for COVID-related absences
    • Post course information and materials in Canvas
    • Provide flexibility in accepting late assignments and offering make-up exams to accommodate absences

    If a student misses more than one class without notification, send the student an email to check in and submit an early alert notification in EIS. This can be done be logging into EIS, under Faculty Homepage, select Faculty Center. Click Class Roster and the Early Alert icon is in the second column. Learn how to submit an early alert.

    Below is the attendance impact statement to include in Fall 2021 syllabi. It is also included in the syllabus template available on the DSI CLEAR website.

    Attendance Policy [faculty should adapt their class attendance policy to suit their circumstances] [Insert Professor’s regular attendance policy here].

    Attendance Syllabus Statement:

    Students are expected to attend classes regularly and to abide by the attendance policy established for each class. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) please seek medical attention from the Student Health and Wellness Center (940-565-2333 or askSHWC@unt.edu) or your health care provider PRIOR to coming to campus. UNT also requires you to contact the UNT COVID Hotline at COVID@unt.edu for guidance on actions to take due to symptoms, pending or positive test results, or potential exposure.

  37. Syllabus Statement: Class Materials for Online Learning

    This course includes online learning components. To fully participate in this class, students will need internet access to reference content on the Learning Management System and [faculty member to include other required equipment or software such as a webcam, microphone, Adobe Photoshop, etc.]. Information on how to be successful in an online learning environment can be found at https://online.unt.edu/learn.

  38. Syllabus Statement: Class Recordings

    Synchronous (live) sessions in this course will be recorded for students enrolled in this class section to refer to throughout the semester. Class recordings are the intellectual property of the university or instructor and are reserved for use only by students in this class and only for educational purposes. Students may not post or otherwise share the recordings outside the class, or outside the Canvas Learning Management System, in any form. Failing to follow this restriction is a violation of the UNT Code of Student Conduct and could lead to disciplinary action.

  39. Syllabus Statement: Face Coverings

    A face covering statement is not recommended for inclusion in Fall 2021 syllabi.

  40. Teaching Resources

    CLEAR provides consultations and training to assist faculty as they design online courses. Resources can be found at online.unt.edu/teach online.unt.edu/teach.

    Professional development opportunities to support faculty teaching online are available on the UNT CLEAR website.

    Several Trainings are available asynchronously at clear.unt.edu/getting-started-online.

    • How to Organize Your Course – Creating Modules, Due Dates, a Using the Calendar to Stay Organized in Canvas
    • How to Work with Graded Assignments – Creating Assignment Items, Grading Assignments, and Using the Assignments Index in Canvas
    • How to Work with Quizzes & Exams – Creating Quizzes, Importing Questions, and Using Question Banks in Canvas
    • How to Implement Discussions – Creating Discussion Items, Graded vs. Ungraded Discussion, and Using Discussion Prompts in Canvas
    • How to Get the Most out of Zoom – Accessing Zoom, Scheduling a Session, and Using Zoom effectively during a Live Session
    • How to Keep it Legal - Copyright, and Trademark Compliance
  41. Teaching When Faculty Get Sick or Self-isolate

    Departments need to plan for the various faculty attendance scenarios that may occur. Faculty may be feeling healthy but required to self-isolate at home due to possible COVID exposure, having COVID-related symptoms, or being asymptomatic COVID-positive. In these cases, faculty could continue to teach remotely. Throughout the academic year, faculty may become sick and unable to work. In these cases, faculty should take appropriate sick time to take care of themselves and see their health care provider as needed. Because COVID-19 effects people very differently, each instance must be evaluated by academic leadership for an appropriate response. Some possible results of faculty not able to teach in-person include:

    • In-person experiential classes may move to remote delivery or assign a substitute to ensure students continue to progress in the in-person course
    • Partially remote courses may be assigned a substitute to continue in-person instruction, moved temporarily to fully remote delivery, or moved permanently to fully remote delivery
  42. Travel Restrictions

    The University of North Texas System has issued travel guidelines that apply to all UNT System institutions. For more information about travel, visit the UNT System’s travel guidelines. UNT has issued the following additional guidelines.

    Domestic Travel Restrictions: University-sponsored domestic travel is generally prohibited until further notice for students, faculty, and staff. Travel to attend or present at conferences is not permitted at this time. Requests for domestic travel for the following essential business reasons should be submitted to brenda.kihl@unt.edu and will be reviewed by the Provost.

    • travel in support of COVID-19 recovery efforts;
    • travel necessary to conduct research
    • travel by employees whose primary responsibilities include necessary travel, such as recruitment and advancement;
    • travel related to a course or academic program requirement;
    • travel to bring a finalist for an essential hire to campus for a visit.

     

    International Travel Restrictions: All university-sponsored international travel is generally prohibited until further notice for faculty and staff. Travel to attend or present at conferences is not permitted at this time. Exception requests are permitted and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the International Risk Oversight Committee (“IROC”). Travel exception requests can be submitted by completing the restricted travel exception request form. See the study abroad section for information about study abroad travel.

    All approved international travelers will be required to follow the testing and quarantine requirements of their destination country, and all requirements of the United States and the University of North Texas upon their return.

    UNT will require all persons arriving from international travel to quarantine for 10 days prior to returning to campus. Fully vaccinated individuals are required to quarantine for the full 10-day period.

    UNT will continue to use the State departments advisories as the basis of decision making. We will also be conducting country to country reviews which will aid in expediting review of international travel. Many countries still have significant restrictions on travel. As a reminder travel to Level 3 and 4 countries is not advised at this time.

    Student Travel: All domestic student trips (for classes, organizations or other) whether day trips or overnight trips, will be monitored by all normal processes in the fall with no modifications to those normal processes. Similarly, as reported last week international study abroad travel will resume its normal review processes.

  43. Travel: Vacation

    We want you to be safe if you’re planning to take a vacation. To prepare for your vacation, review COVID information from the state or local health department in your location, along your travel route, and at your planned destination. Tips can also be found on the CDC’s travel webpage and on the Travel Texas website.

    Faculty and staff are strongly urged not to travel for the two weeks prior to the start of the Fall semester.

  44. Vaccinations

    Vaccinations are critical to the success of our return to typical operations. Over the summer UNT will hold a rolling vaccination campaign with incentives for students, faculty and staff who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination. All who voluntarily disclose will receive a prize and be entered into a pool to win large prizes (such as tuition for a semester, parking pass, professional development funding). We will have separate prize pools for students and employees.

    International students and incoming international faculty access to vaccines is varied. UNT will accept vaccines recommended by the CDC and/or World Health Organization. Anyone who has not received one of these vaccines will be asked to quarantine for 10 days and will be offered the opportunity to receive a CDC recommended vaccine. A list of approved vaccines is on the Health Alerts Website.

    Given the environment and the number of people who will likely be vaccinated, there will be no mandatory testing for either students or employees in the fall.

    Only those vaccines listed on CDC/WHO sites will be the only acceptable vaccines approved for the UNT community. Please visit the Health Alerts Website for a list of approved vaccines.