For Parents & Families / Health & Safety Updates
June 16, 2020
Hi Parents & Guardians of SC Students,
I want to thank each of you for helping us get through a unique and challenging spring semester. Transitioning from on-campus to virtual training came with enormous challenges and was only accomplished through the collective work of staff, students and parents.
We are planning and looking forward to resuming Shepherds College on campus this fall. While it will be exciting to have staff and students back on campus, doing so will require protocols that will look and feel very different than the SC experience we all know and appreciate.
Let me share with you some details regarding this upcoming fall semester, recognizing that these COVID-related plans are subject to change:
1) The health and safety of our students and staff remain priority number one, so our plans will be detailed and will include numerous precautionary measures.
2) We look forward to opening the fall semester on campus in August.
a. We plan to have a rolling open in which 1st year students move into campus on Saturday, August 15 and returning students move into their respective Student Life areas on Saturday, August 29.
b. The typical opening weekend experience will be greatly minimized as meetings with nursing, the business office, advisors, etc. will all be completed virtually.
c. Only parents and guardians, and no other family members or friends, should come to campus as the students move in. Parents and guardians will not be permitted to enter residential areas.
d. We encourage all students to consider taking special precautions in the 14 days prior to their return to campus in August.
3) As each group convenes on campus, their movement and interactions will be quite limited for the first 14 days.
a. Classes will meet during this time, and students will thoroughly review and practice health and safety protocols, including social distancing, PPE’s, sanitization, meals, etc.
4) Throughout the semester and as much as possible, student interaction will be limited to other students within their same year at SC.
5) Class sizes will be reduced so that social distancing can be maintained as much as possible in the classroom setting; PPE’s will be utilized as needed.
6) Large group events such as lunch and chapel will be divided into smaller group settings.
7) It will be necessary to limit visitors to campus as well as our students’ leaving and returning to campus, therefore:
a. We ask that students not go home on weekends during this fall semester.
b. Field Experiences for 3rd year students will be hosted on campus, where we will offer varied and meaningful assignments.
c. Tours, Preview Days, and other events that bring visitors to our campus will not be scheduled under these restrictions.
8) Regular health checks will be conducted for students and staff.
a. In conjunction with daily health checks, a plan is being established to determine when a student needs to return home or be assigned to our student infirmary and the parameters for such a student’s return to campus, classes, etc.
b. Staff members will be asked to take precautions away from campus and conduct a health self-screen each day before returning to campus.
9) The fall semester on campus will be completed prior to Thanksgiving on Friday, November 20. Students will travel home the evening of November 20 or during the day on the 21st, which will be our official travel day. Three weeks of online instruction will take place from November 30 – December 18.
10) The travel day for 2nd & 3rd year students returning to campus from Christmas break will be Wednesday, January 13. First year students will return on January 27 as part of a rolling re-open.
11) Spring break for 2021 is undecided at this time. If it is determined that we need to continue to limit students travel off campus, there will not be a spring break and commencement will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021. If we can take a spring break, then that break will take place April 3-10 and commencement will be pushed back one week to Saturday, June 12, 2021. We hope to make a decision on Spring Break 2021 sometime during January 2021.
12) A COVID fee of $100 will be imposed and will provide each student with hand sanitizer, wipes, white board and markers, and drawstring bags (which will replace the use of lockers or backpacks) and other items. Students will need to bring their own masks to SC, allowing them to select according to personal preferences. Additional communication about masks for students will be sent at a later time.
We plan to offer a Zoom meeting in late July to communicate more details of our plans for this fall semester and field your questions about all of this.
Thank you for your partnership with and support of Shepherds College.
May 9, 2020
Hi Parents & Guardians of SC Students,
After a great deal of consideration of the various options available to us, we have determined to maintain the current rate of online coursework through the end of June, allowing us to complete all of the clock hours necessary to fulfill a complete spring semester. So as we conclude this 5th week of online instruction, we plan to continue for 7 more weeks. Ultimately and due in large part to the uncertainties of next school year, we determined that it would be best to complete all of the clock hours for this semester now and not divert any of those hours to next school year and in doing so complicate next school year all the more. Please note that core classes for third year students will conclude at the end of May, leaving only hours related to their specialty major to be completed in June.
Important issues yet to be determined include the date for our 2020 commencement and the details for next school year. We will certainly communicate our plans for both as those come together.
Have a great weekend & Happy Mother’s Day to all SC Moms.
Tracy N. Terrill
April 22, 2020
Hi Parents & Guardians,
I have another update for you regarding this spring semester at Shepherds College. Last week, our Wisconsin Governor extended his Safer at Home order through May 26, and this week the Secretary of the Department of Health Services in conjunction with the Governor issued a Badger Bounce Back emergency order for the State of Wisconsin. In this emergency order, a three phased approach to opening the state’s economy and society was presented. This order did not contain specific dates for re-opening the State of Wisconsin, but rather requires the core responsibilities of testing, tracing, tracking, personal protective equipment, and health care capacity to show progress or advancement in order for the state to maneuver its way through the phases. Wisconsin has not yet attained phase one and, per the emergency order, post-secondary schools are not allowed to open until phase two is accomplished.
As a result our Task Force team has determined that classes on campus will not resume this semester. We will however, continue to offer classes through distance education in an effort to complete as much of this spring semester as possible. Recognizing that distance education is much more challenging for some students than in-person instruction, we plan to offer additional support to students who are struggling the most.
The duration of distance education classes for this semester has not yet been determined. In order for us to do so, we need help from a parent or guardian of each student. Here is what we need to determine an end date for this semester’s online classes:
1) If you haven’t already done so, please complete the parent survey sent to you last Friday. In particular, we need your estimate of the number of hours your student spends on school work each week.
2) A second survey of hours spent on school work will go out at the end of this week. Please track and report this week’s hours so that we can get an accurate count.
3) Once we have the data regarding the hours students are spending on school work, we will determine a plan of action for the remainder of this semester and communicate the plan to you.
Last week, I stated that once we know how this semester will play out, we would determine an appropriate billing adjustment. Since we now know students will not be returning to campus, we will begin calculating and applying a billing adjustment for residential students. The same adjusted rate will be applied for all residential students, however, any applicable internal scholarship rate as well as outside funding sources will be factors used to determine each family’s actual balance. Your patience as we work through each family’s statement is greatly appreciated, and as billing adjustments are made, you will receive an updated statement. If your account balance is paid in full, you will have three options: 1) Receive a refund for the amount of your billing adjustment, 2) Receive a credit in the amount of the billing adjustment towards next year’s cost to attend Shepherds College, or 3) Repurpose the amount of your billing adjustment to be a tax-deductible gift to Shepherds College to help offset our revenue deficit due to COVID-19.
I believe this decision to not resume classes on campus allows us to be true to our desire to put the health and safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our efforts during this pandemic. We remain committed to completing clock hours for this semester, and as stated previously we will honor our 2020 graduates with a full set of celebratory events, culminating with a commencement service, once it has been deemed safe to travel and congregate.
Thank you for your continued partnership with Shepherds College. We are praying for all of our SC families during these uncertain times.
Tracy N. Terrill
April 9, 2020
Hi SC Parents & Guardians,
I trust you are doing well and pray that you and your families are staying safe.
It has been a couple of weeks since I have communicated with you about our plans and actions regarding COVID-19. We have a Task Force Team that communicates regularly and meets weekly to review our plans and necessary responses to this ever-evolving situation. As I have stated previously, the health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities, and we will not jeopardize their well-being. Shepherds College will not be in operation if the world around continues to be shut down, and we will be certain to follow state and federal recommendations about travel and reconvening in groups.
To that end, it seems necessary to again alter our plans, as follows:
1) No date is established for the resumption of operations on our campus. If and when students returning to campus becomes a safe and viable option, we will establish a date and share that with you.
2) We are resolved to seeing all students complete this semester, even if it is necessary for the remainder of the semester to be completed via distance education. We will use these first few weeks to determine what works well and commit to providing effective online lessons for as long as this health crisis determines is necessary.
3) If COVID-19 prevents students from returning to campus this school year, we are committed to providing a glorious commencement to honor our 2020 graduates. Even if COVID-19 dictates that this needs to happen in the fall, at some point we will set a Friday and Saturday to host all of the commencement-related events that are part of the SC tradition.
It is our hope that students are able to complete coursework through the virtual lessons that our instructors have put together. Our instructor team has done a remarkable job of creating online content in one week, and I am grateful for their dedication to making SC distance education a reality, as well as their talent and creativity to put together engaging lessons. Please look for an email soon, providing you the opportunity to share feedback regarding the distance learning that was rolled out this week. We want to make this as effective as possible and look forward to hearing from you about what is working and what needs to be improved.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as together we navigate the challenges of this pandemic. Your continued prayer support for everyone in the SC family is appreciated.
Tracy N. Terrill
March 25, 2020
I have an important update for you regarding the remainder of this Spring semester at Shepherds College. The ever-evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has led many states to issue lockdowns, restrict people’s movement, close numerous businesses, and limit gatherings of people. Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order, closing all non-essential businesses and ordering people to stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible. This took effect this morning and continues through April 24. Governor Evers’ order provides us with some clear direction regarding our plans to resume our school year.
As we look out for the best interests of the health and well-being of our students and staff, respond to the impact of COVID-19, and follow the orders of our state and national leaders, our primary objectives are to:
- Complete the 2019-2020 school year by meeting the clock hour requirements for this spring semester.
- See all students return to SC to complete this semester.
- Hold a commencement ceremony to honor our 2020 graduates.
Here are the particulars of our updated plan:
- Spring break is again extended through Friday, May 1, with Saturday, May 2 set as the new travel day – the day that all students should return to campus.
- Classes will resume on Monday, May 4 and continue through Thursday, June 18.
- Two graduation-related events will be scheduled for Friday, June 19– a Baccalaureate service in the morning and a commencement celebration dinner that evening.
- Graduation will be held on Saturday, June 20 at 1:00 pm.
- SC instructors will put together virtual lessons and subsequent assignments for students to complete prior to their return to SC on May 2.
- Approximately 50 hours of school work will be made up during the month of April. The first set of lessons will be available no later than Monday, April 6.
- Lessons will be distributed to both students and parents. Instructions regarding the delivery methods of virtual classes will be shared with you by Friday, April 3.
- SC instructors and paraprofessionals will be available to answer questions from students/parents.
- Students will need to have access to the their SC email account.
- Student will need to have access to a computer and the internet. If a student does not have access to the internet, check with local providers to see if they are running specials during the COVID-19 event. In our area, Spectrum is offering free internet services to new customers where a student is part of the household. If the student has access to the internet, but does not have access to a computer, we can mail him/her their Chromebook from here at SC – just let their advisor know.
- One extra hour of instruction will be added to each class day on campus during May and June.
- The end-of-semester travel day for students traveling home by air, train, or bus will be Sunday, June 21. Those traveling home by car can check out of their student life areas on Saturday, June 20, following the commencement ceremony.
As with previous Shepherds College plans in response to COVID-19, this one is also subject to change if developments in the days and weeks ahead so dictate. Our COVID-19 related communications can be found at: https://www.shepherdscollege.edu/parents-and-families/for-parents-and-families/health-and-safety-updates/.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work through all of this together. Your support, encouragement and prayers for us through this time are appreciated.
Tracy N. Terrill
March 16, 2020
I have another important update for you regarding Shepherds College’s response to COVID-19. On Friday, my email update encouraged you to pick up your student or reschedule their air, train or bus travel home and do so over the weekend and through today. Around the same time that I sent that email on Friday, the Governor of Wisconsin decided that all K-12 schools should be closed starting this week.
Our plan was to continue to offer classes with whatever students remained on campus this week. However, given the closing of all K-12 schools in the state, other closures related to the virus, and the emphasis on “social distancing,” we have decided to take further action as follows:
- Classes will be cancelled following the academic training today at 3:00 pm. and
- Campus will close to students tomorrow at Noon.
So if you have not yet picked up your student, we are asking that you do so either tonight between 4:00 and 8:00 pm or tomorrow between 8:00 am and Noon. If you will be picking up your student today or tomorrow morning, please email Belinda Lunt and Lori Konopasek and let them know when you plan to arrive on campus.
Our plans, as announced last week, to extend Spring Break by two weeks and to delay graduation and the end of the school year one week to June 13 have not changed. If it becomes necessary to change those plans, we will communicate to you as soon as those decisions are made.
Tracy N. Terrill
March 13, 2020
It’s incredible how much has changed since yesterday morning with information pertaining to Shepherds College’s response to the COVID-19 virus. Yesterday, the Governor of Wisconsin declared a State of Emergency in our state and, as of today, we now have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Racine County where SC is located.
In an effort to look out for the best interest of our students and staff, and in consideration that there is a possibility that domestic air travel is grounded, we have determined the following plan of action for this rapidly evolving situation:
- We are extending Spring Break by two additional weeks, meaning the travel day for students to return to campus will now be Monday, April 13. As we reschedule this return travel date, please understand that this date is also subject to change depending on future developments related to COVID-19. Updated travel plans for students’ return to campus on Monday, April 13 will need to be communicated to Belinda Lunt in the SC office.
- The extended Spring Break and the loss of two weeks of class time has caused us to delay the date for our graduation and the end of the school year by one week, to Saturday, June 13. That extra week will help us make up class time, and we will extend instruction time on other days by 45 minutes so that we make up for the lost time.
- If your student is traveling home for Spring Break by airplane, train, or bus, we are strongly encouraging you to move up those travel plans and have your student travel home as soon as possible. Our preference would be that all of this type of travel be completed by Monday, March 16. We will make staff available to transport students to the airport, bus or train station starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 14. If driving here and picking up your student is within reason, you may want to consider that alternative in an effort to avoid the elevated risk of an airport or other means of public transportation. Please communicate the changes of these travels plans to both Belinda Lunt in the SC office and Lori Konopasek. Please be sure to schedule travel departures between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. and notify Belinda and Lori at least 24 hours in advance of your student’s travel departure.
- If you plan to pick up your student from campus for Spring Break, you are welcome to come pick them up starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 14 at 9:00 am. If you intend to pick up your student early, please communicate your plans to both Belinda Lunt in the SC office and Lori Konopasek. When you arrive on campus, please connect with the Student Life staff in your student’s residential area and check out with that staff member.
- We will be sending all medications that are on campus with students when they depart. Student Life staff will help students pack one week’s worth of items for all students. If you need additional items packed, please include that information in your e-mail to Belinda Lunt and Lori Konopasek. We would like to be prepared in advance in order to minimize the time that families are on campus to reduce exposure. If your student receives their medications from Lakeview pharmacy, please contact Lakeview to get the next month’s medication. The current medications finish on April 6. Lakeview will require 6 business days to fill the medications and mail them.
- If you have a time-sensitive need to connect with a staff member about any of this, please call the SC Charge Number at (262)-994-8670.
We fully recognize that each of these changes poses significant challenges for all of us, and that the weeks ahead will require us all to be extremely flexible. We will continue to monitor the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for further developments that will serve to guide our future response to this pandemic. Our COVID-19 related communications can be found at: https://www.shepherdscollege.edu/parents-and-families/for-parents-and-families/health-and-safety-updates/ . We are committed to communicating with you in a timely manner as Shepherds College’s decisions and action plans in response to COVID-19 are determined.
Thank you for your prayers and support as we navigate all of this.
Tracy N. Terrill
March 12, 2020
As concern for the spread of the Coronavirus continues, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS), under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has stated that the health risk to the general public remains relatively low, both in Wisconsin and in the United States. We have reached out to WDPH and look forward to their assistance in keeping our students and staff well. We continue our regular cleaning, but also have increased our disinfection of objects, surfaces and equipment in all areas.
With Spring break upon us in a week, we are cancelling both off campus activities and visitors coming to our campus through March 30. Consideration will be given into extending these restrictions as we learn more about this pandemic in the days ahead. These restrictions include:
3rd year students will not go off campus for their Field Experience assignments,
Students will not be taken off campus for grocery or personal shopping,
No off-campus activities (we will offer additional on-campus activities),
No off-campus church attendance (we will hold services on campus),
No visitors will be allowed on campus, including prospective students, volunteers, etc., and
Air travel for members of our advancement team has been suspended.
As of Wednesday, March 11, WDHS has now seen three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. Note: We have no known cases or any reason to be concerned about our staff or students at this point. We are resolved to encouraged students and staff to help to contain the virus by following these basic hygiene practices which we employ every day at Shepherds College, and recognize are even more vital at this time:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
- Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands,
- Cover coughs or sneezes with tissue, (not hands) then throwing the tissue in the trash,
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas, surfaces and objects in dorms, halls, apartments, etc.,
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and
- When feeling ill, students will be seen by our nursing team for evaluation and staff encouraged to stay home when sick.
Please know our Leadership Team will be monitoring the actions and recommendations of the CDC and the Division of Public Health regarding the outbreak of COVID-19. The safety of our staff and students is paramount and will guide our response to this matter.
We will continue to aggressively follow all recommendations and will provide additional communications on a regular basis.
Please check below for helpful links to both the WDHS and CDC coronavirus page for specific information.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your prayers, support and understanding as we all navigate this rapidly evolving situation.
Tracy N. Terrill