2020 Trinidad State News

Trinidad State plans face-to-face reopening on August 17

Trinidad & Valley Campus / July 15, 2020 / By Greg Boyce

Trinidad State photo After months of planning, Trinidad State has announced a plan to reopen its Trinidad and Alamosa Campuses with face-to-face instruction for the fall semester.

“Face-to-face instruction provides the best learning opportunities for our students,” said Trinidad State President Dr. Rhonda M. Epper. “We believe we can balance student and staff health needs with a great learning experience if we are diligent in our efforts. Our plan makes many changes to our normal operations, though if necessary, we will adjust as the health environment dictates.”

  • Both the Trinidad and Valley campuses will be open for face-to-face instruction as scheduled on August 17. In addition, we will continue to offer our students the opportunity to attend classes in hybrid and online formats for those who prefer those methods due to the current health climate.
  • Students, faculty and staff will be asked to self-monitor and report any COVID-19 symptoms. This will be facilitated through a symptom self-report entered via a web form. Athletes will be monitored daily by coaching and athletics staff.
  • Symptom checklists and instructions on the proper course of action when indicators are present will be available to students and employees. A training video will be posted.
  • Thermometers will be made available to members of our campus community to test for the presence of fever and to monitor personal temperatures.
  • Student seating in classrooms will follow a plan that adheres to six-foot social distancing and seating limited to 50 percent of the room’s occupancy limit.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings when attending classes and in public spaces, and will be notified that failure to comply with social distancing and/or face covering requirements will result in a conduct violation.
  • Faculty will wear either a clear face shield or mask when teaching unless there is a distance of 25 feet or greater.
  • Sharing of equipment and other resources will be limited wherever possible.
  • Group gatherings outside of class, social or otherwise, will be restricted unless pre­approved.
  • Heightened cleaning and disinfecting of our facilities will be implemented. (Seats, handrails, doors, doorknobs, and door handles in each room sanitized before and after each class. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected every two hours.)
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed at the entry of all buildings.
  • Sanitization supplies for cleaning will be available in classrooms for students and faculty to use as needed.
  • Student and staff interaction in common spaces (e.g., hallways) will be limited as much as possible.
  • Ventilation of classroom and office spaces will follow OSHA guidance.
  • Signs will be placed at the entry point of all buildings to remind students and employees of the mask, self-symptom check, and social distancing requirements, as well as a reminder not to enter the building if exhibiting any symptoms of illness.
  • All face-to-face and hybrid classes will move to online instruction following Thanksgiving Break. Students will attend classes following a regular schedule through Wednesday, November 25 with the remainder of the semester being delivered virtually for most classes. Certain Career and Technical (hands-on) classes may require students to return to campus after the break, but every effort will be made to minimize this necessity.
  • Residence halls will be single occupant only this fall. All residence hall students will adhere to a pre-arrival quarantine and be tested for COVID-19 prior to check-in.
  • Trinidad State is following just-released guidelines from the National Junior College Athletic Association. The NJCAA has decided to postpone fall sports contests that put athletes in close proximity to one another. At Trinidad State these sports include soccer, volleyball and basketball. Cross Country will compete, though with various health protocols in place. The teams that cannot compete will spend the semester in practice and scrimmage sessions. Teams will be considered a “family unit” and will not have to wear face masks while near each other.
  • Trinidad State plans to isolate sick individuals from our general population and to direct them to appropriate medical personnel. Symptomatic students will be isolated and employees will be directed to remain at home until advised by a medical professional that it is safe to return to campus.
  • Trinidad State has published a quarantine/isolation plan should any students or employees test positive for COVID-19 during the course of the fall semester.
These policies may be adjusted as conditions change.

The college has outlined many other scenarios and these plans have been approved by the appropriate health officials in Trinidad and the San Luis Valley.

“We have tried to foresee issues students and staff may face and we’re confident we can adjust as the need arises,” said Epper.

The entire plan can be seen at trinidadstate.edu/alert.

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