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Temporary Remote Learning Starting Monday, Sept. 7

COVID Response Team Communicates Change

September 6, 2020

Wittenberg Community,

From the start of this pandemic and in every facet of planning for fall semester, two priorities have guided us: the health and safety of all faculty, students, and staff, and the delivery of an excellent academic and student life experience consistent with our mission and values.

At this time, while we have a majority of students pursuing in-person learning, we also have a number of students currently requiring remote learning as a result of quarantine and/or isolation, which certainly changes the dynamic of our classroom experience and calls into question the equity of access to our academic enterprise. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure a more equitable learning model for our students, the COVID Response Team, with the full support of President Frandsen, Senior Staff, and the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD), has made the difficult, yet prudent decision to move to remote learning beginning tomorrow, Sept. 7, with in-person learning scheduled to resume Sept. 21.

In terms of what this means for our community, residential students should remain on campus unless they have been asked to go home to isolate or quarantine. This is consistent with guidance from Governor DeWine and national coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. We are also planning to operate in the same manner as we have been since the start of classes. The CDR will remain open and operate on its normal schedule, as will Dining Services overall. Thomas Library will also be open as will the Health, Wellness, and Athletics Complex. Student organizations can continue to meet as planned utilizing all prescribed health and safety protocols. Campus offices will continue to follow their current schedules.

As we made this decision to move temporarily to remote learning, we acknowledged that this decision places a heavy burden on our faculty especially, so we are asking all faculty members who feel that they need time to prepare for a two-week distance-learning model to use Monday, Sept. 7, for such preparation.

All the members of the COVID Response Team recognize that this decision may cause disruption and even some frustration, but what will never change is Wittenberg’s commitment to excellence in teaching and learning, as we challenge our students to lead personal, professional, and civic lives of creativity, service, compassion, and integrity.

We thank you in advance for your flexibility and understanding, and we ask that you continue to follow our established health protocols, which include always wearing your face covering (even outdoors), staying at least one Tiger apart (six-feet) from others at all times, engaging in good personal hygiene, monitoring your health daily, and limiting gatherings to 10 people or less.

The COVID Response Team is continuing to monitor our situation on campus and the situation in Clark County, in the State of Ohio, and beyond. As we learn more, we will likely have opportunities to improve our processes. One example of this is the expanded testing that began last week; we are now exploring other possibilities for expanded testing. We will also continue to communicate information to campus with regular updates.

Should you have any other questions, please reach out to your respective supervisor or email covid@wittenberg.edu.

Sincerely,

The COVID Response Team

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