Spring 2021 Semester (COVID-19) Updates

 

Case Tracker

Data on COVID-19 in The King’s College community*

Positive cases reported: 4

*Positive cases are reported for in-person students, staff, or faculty who become infected within 14 days of being on-campus during the spring 2021 semester.

Status of COVID-19 in New York City

The King’s College COVID-19 Taskforce is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus), both nationally and within New York. The health and safety of our community remain our highest priority, and we are committed to providing updates regarding our remote operations. Prayers for our community and those affected by the virus are greatly appreciated during this time.

Spring 2021 Reopening Communication

January 14, 2021 Update from President Gibson: "Rest and Repeat"

Dear students,

I hope you are enjoying your much-deserved time off. Nancy and I found great joy this season, focusing on the hope we have in the coming of our Savior in this new year. I pray the same was and is true for you.

In the meantime, while we approach the start of the spring semester, I’m reminded of your endurance. Not only did you stick it out through the challenges of the fall semester, but you remain committed to your education. As of today, 95% of students who registered in the fall are enrolled for the spring, which is the highest rate we’ve seen in the past several years. That is remarkable! To say we are “together” in this endeavour has never been more true.

But togetherness requires great responsibility. New York’s percent positivity in the last week stands at 8.53%. While we are prepared to control the spread of COVID-19 within the King’s community, we confront a more challenging task due to the increasing spread within New York City. Your commitment to look after the wellbeing of others in the King’s community is what allows us to conduct in-person courses. I implore each of you: heed the New York Travel Advisory as you return to the City, and rigorously abide by campus policies, specifically social distancing and wearing masks on campus at all times and in your off campus interactions with those outside your family unit.

We will succeed as we did in the fall if each of us follows through on our responsibility. To that end, please familiarize yourself with the following reminders and updates from our Spring 2021 Reopening Plan:

All students:
In-person students are required to complete the Return to Campus Survey by next Tuesday, January 19. Whether you have been in New York for the duration of the Christmas break or are returning from another state, please take a moment to complete the survey now. If you’re an on-campus student and any of the following apply to you, contact your housing director at housing@tkc.edu to delay your return:

  • You are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • You are currently completing a quarantine from exposure to COVID-19
  • You are completing an isolation after testing positive to COVID-19

Participate in classes and events remotely from January 20 to 22. Check your King’s email and Schoology for instructions from professors about how to engage in classes during those days. Campus opens January 23, and in-person classes begin on January 25 for those out of quarantine.

In-person students traveling from outside New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont:

Return to on or off campus housing by Tuesday, January 19 at the latest. Students are encouraged to make a plan with their roommates regarding how and when each student in a family unit plans to return.
If desired and able to do so, utilize the “test-out” of quarantine option by following New York State quarantine requirements:

  • Obtain a negative COVID-19 test in the state you are traveling from within three days of departing that state.
  • Quarantine in your on or off-campus apartment (not leaving or accepting visitors) for 3 days upon your return to NYC.
  • Complete the Request for Remote Access Form for necessary remote class days.
  • On day 4 of quarantine, obtain a second negative COVID-19 test in NYC, then exit quarantine on the day you receive the second negative test result.
  • Students who successfully “test out” prior to completion of their 10 day travel quarantine do not need to notify academic affairs of the completion of their remote access request and may simply return to in-person classes upon receipt of their second negative test, no earlier than Monday, January 25.

  • Students who test positive must contact the Emergency Phone at 646-242-4411 and isolate immediately. The Emergency Phone resumes operation on Monday, January 18.

If not wanting or able to utilize the “test-out” option, quarantine for 10 days and complete the Request for Remote Access form for necessary remote class days, beginning in-person classes no later than Monday, February 1.

In-person students returning from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont:
Return to campus by the day of your first in-person class, the week of January 25. Students are encouraged to make plans with their roommates regarding how and when each student in a family unit plans to return.

Additional Reminders and Updates
Please be aware that remote access requests are not granted for the purpose of optimizing student schedules to accommodate work or for other elective reasons like voluntary travel. Remote access is designed to enable students to prioritize safety and the logistics of COVID-19-related matters. Thank you for your mindfulness of these guidelines as you submit requests to access classes remotely.
In line with the CDC, NYC updated their quarantine requirements from 14 days to 10 days. This applies to those in travel quarantines as well as those who must quarantine due to exposure or symptoms. For full details, please take 3 minutes to familiarize yourself with our King’s COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric.
Those attending in-person classes for the first time in the spring will be required to sign the King’s COVID-19 Commitment by January 19. Signed commitments from the fall semester will automatically transfer to the spring semester.
If you have unanswered questions, please email reopening@tkc.edu so our reopening taskforce can address them.

Thank you for playing an integral role in our mission. I remain confident that we will succeed in the task set before us, together. I look forward to seeing you on campus next week and serving our City with you on Saturday, January 30 during our in-person Day of Service.

Yours In Service,
Tim Gibson
President

December 15, 2020 Update from President Gibson: "A Time to Rest"

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

In our pursuit to be good, brave, and ready, we began the academic year with a charge to wrestle, reconcile, and rise together. This week, I’ve been reflecting on the ways your perseverance demonstrated these themes throughout the fall semester. As you wrap up your work or assignments, I encourage you to take time to reflect on your own experience over the past four months.

Fall 2020
To students who took the semester remotely: thank you for choosing to study with us in a mode that works for you. I’m grateful for your contributions in and out of class, and for your adaptability.

To our on-campus community: thank you for your efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. You rose to beat the odds, finishing the fall semester with only four confirmed COVID-19 cases on-campus. You quarantined, many of you more than once, and oftentimes while also finding ways to grow as a community even from your homes. Your diligence allowed us to stay focused on our mission without undue risk to health and safety. Well done!

I am grateful we were able to be in-person in NYC this fall to experience wonderful moments of connection and insight in the time spent together. Even while adjusting their class content to accommodate an innovative hybrid teaching model, faculty published a statement on academic freedom, led conversations about the enduring value of the Liberal Arts, and launched the Center for the Study of Christianity and the Black Experience. Staff coordinated over 50 optional activities during our community quarantine to foster relationships amidst isolation. The Houses of SBA, Reagan, and The Table led us in a discussion on what it means to wrestle through our disagreements with civility. During Interregnum, students began breaking down the idea of reconciliation in the midst of division and conflict, pushing against quick-and-easy solutions at the expense of true unity and peace.

Spring 2021
You can count on the same mission, people, and intellectual curiosity to be alive and well at King’s this spring, even as policies and procedures in our Spring Reopening Plan look very similar to the ones this fall. You can expect information related to students returning to campus in January to be communicated the week of January 11.

In the meantime, I look forward to weekly Public Reading of Scripture events, the annual Day of Service, Black History Month events and discussions, the student government elections, Drama Competition, the next installation of Interregnum events, an in-person Commencement, and our annual Awards Ceremony. Between these semester milestones will be continued debate and conversation among students, staff, and faculty near and far as we prepare to influence society for good.

Though there are still many unknowns, the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival gives us hope that we’ll be able to return to normal operations by the Fall 2021, God willing. As we await a hoped return to normalcy, I’m confident we will look back on the 20-21 academic year as one of challenge and success. Together, and with God’s provision, we will have made good out of difficulty.

To close out 2020, I leave you with this reflection:

In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul writes, “You are a letter from Christ delivered by us,” observing how his readers are bearing witness to the goodness of God through their very lives. You, too, are such a letter. The successes we experienced this semester are thanks to all of you seeking to be more like Jesus Christ and devoting yourselves to learning and loving. May you rest in this encouragement over the much-earned Christmas break.

May God bless you all, and have a very merry Christmas.

Yours In Service,
Tim Gibson
President

November 9, 2020 Update from President Gibson: "Spring 2021 Preliminary Reopening Plan"

Dear students,

We are over half-way through the fall semester, and I remain grateful for the ways each of you are displaying your commitment to the King’s mission. I’m also proud of your faculty and staff, who have worked hard to give you the best Fall 2020 semester possible, given the circumstances. While we continue to navigate the realities of the current semester, we look ahead to the spring semester with optimism.

In planning for the spring, our community’s health and safety remains my top priority with consideration for student and faculty preference and the operational limitations of our campus. To that end, you’ll notice that while much of the spring may look like the current semester, where possible, we adapted specific policies to improve the in-person student experience. The flexible and remote components of our current operations will remain to provide enriching debate and discussion with professors and fellow students from across the country.

The full Spring 2021 Preliminary Reopening Plan is updated on our website and should be referred to as the definitive guide. As has been the case, we will continue to adapt this plan as COVID-19 realities change. You can expect any changes to this plan to be communicated the week of December 14 and January 11. At present, please note a few items in particular and refer to the website for full details:

  • Academics

We are pleased to offer a limited number of in-person block classes (meeting for 160 minutes once per week) in the spring 2021 schedule. These classes are listed on the Course Offering for SP-21 as meeting for 160 minutes once per week and were based on faculty preference and space availability within the schedule. Students may register to attend these courses fully remotely as well. Aside from these block classes, courses will continue to meet in-person for 80 minutes once per week, for each class, while also engaging in other course content virtually for the remainder of the week’s class time. Additionally, fully remote access to all synchronous courses, along with our usual selection of fully online (asynchronous) courses, remains available upon request.

  • Spring Semester Return

Due to Governor Cuomo’s mandatory 14-day quarantine with “test-out” option for those traveling out of state, all in-person students traveling from outside New York or its bordered states should return to New York for the spring semester by Tuesday, January 19 at the latest. Those traveling from New York or its bordered states should return by the day of their first in-person class. All students will participate in classes and events remotely from January 20 to 22. Campus opens January 23, and in-person classes begin on January 25 for those out of quarantine. The comprehensive calendar dates remain unchanged for the spring semester.

  • Masks

Mask policy on campus is reviewed regularly. Aside from New York State guidelines, prudent safety measures are weighed with prioritization given to the student experience at King’s, while considering the constraints of COVID-19 within the King’s community and in New York City, for the overall good and furtherance of the College’s mission. At this time, our policy remains that face coverings may not be removed at any time for any reason (unless eating or drinking outside of class while socially distant).

  • Commencement

While much is still unknown regarding restrictions on gatherings in the spring, The King’s College will continue planning throughout the spring. At present, the 2021 Commencement Ceremony will take place in-person on Saturday, May 8. Details such as location, time, and attendance capacity are yet to be determined.

  • Athletics

The United States College Athletic Association (USCAA) as well as King’s local conference, the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC), are continuing to evaluate options for all sports to resume competitions in the spring semester. While the final decision is forthcoming, King’s Athletic Department is creating plans for all five sports. Student athletes may contact their coaches or Athletic Director Bryan Finley at bfinley@tkc.edu with questions in the meantime.

  • COVID-19 Commitment

At King’s, we believe in loving our neighbors as ourselves. As we face another unprecedented semester, we set aside our own convenience for the well-being of one another. Those attending in-person classes for the first time in the spring will be required to sign the King’s COVID-19 Commitment by January 19. Signed commitments from the fall semester will automatically transfer to the spring semester.

Ongoing Reminders

  • Students traveling for Thanksgiving and/or wishing to request remote access for the semester following Thanksgiving should do so by this Friday, November 13.
  • If you have unanswered questions, please email reopening@tkc.edu so our reopening taskforce can address them.

Once again, thank you for trusting us with your education and investing in the King’s community and mission. Stay the course.

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson
President

Fulfilling the Mission

As colleges around the world respond to the widespread economic impacts of COVID-19, The King’s College is profoundly grateful to the Board of Trustees for their fierce devotion to the College’s mission and financial stability. Throughout our history, God’s faithfulness is evident.

Delivering on the mission of The King’s College is not inexpensive. Being a Christian presence in the heart of New York City, offering excellent housing options, and maintaining a low faculty-to-student ratio with renowned professors, who support our core curriculum of politics, philosophy, and economics, are a few commitments that make The King’s College education so valuable. Since our founding in 1938, we have relied on the generous support of charitable foundations and donors who partner with us in our mission. As a non-profit without a large endowment, philanthropic support makes King’s financially accessible to students, the majority of whom receive some form of institutional aid.

Beyond that, diversifying revenue streams is a key part of the next evolution of the College. One of the first steps on that journey was the 2018 purchase of DeVos Hall, a residential property within easy walking distance of our Financial District campus. Through a diligent, multi-year capital campaign we were blessed to acquire the property without a mortgage, allowing the College to maintain zero debt. God’s provision enhances the school’s financial health and sustains our ability to serve students and families well.

This unprecedented season will be no different. We trust God will continue to provide and we are excited to see how He leads our community in this time.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Community Fund

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide emergency funding to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

As of September 4, 2020 all HEERF aid provided to The King’s College by the Department of Education has been distributed.

Information for Prospective Students

The admissions office seeks to serve those affected by travel interruptions, standardized test cancellations, or other complications resulting from COVID-19. We are able to extend deadlines, make accommodations, and offer alternatives for completion of applications. Please contact your admissions counselor for additional information.

Get to know The King’s College at our Virtual Visit page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact with questions?
What is The King’s College doing to minimize the community’s exposure to COVID-19?
  • Read our Fall 2020 Reopening Plan for details.
  • The COVID-19 Taskforce meets regularly regarding COVID-19, and our emergency notification system is prepared with student contact information.
  • Student Development members, who hold the emergency phone, are equipped to respond, should students call with COVID-19 symptoms or concerns.
  • The Emergency Operations Team is in consistent contact with the New York State and New York City Departments of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and New York City Emergency Management for the latest information and advice.
Is mental health counseling available remotely?

Yes, our licensed Counseling Services staff are offering virtual (video) counseling for King’s students via VSee. Please be advised that counselors will need to verify with a student’s state (other than New York) whether or not out-of-state counselors are permitted to provide telehealth services. Though many states are relaxing regulations regarding out-of-state providers, there are a few that only permit their state providers to utilize virtual counseling. Counselor Services will continue monitoring the situation as some states have advised that regulations may change given the impact of COVID-19.

King’s Care also provides 24/7 mental health counseling for King’s students, all in their respective states. If students just want to talk with a staff member about how they are being affected by the Coronavirus situation, they can reach out to their House Advisor or Housing Director.

View more counseling resources.

What should students, staff, or faculty do if they experience symptoms of COVID-19?

Call The King’s College emergency phone at 646-242-4411 to receive advice about what to do and to keep us updated on your situation. The King’s emergency phone is manned 24/7 by staff trained to assist in the event of an emergency.

For more detailed information, review the COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric and follow COVID-19 Testing Procedures if directed to do so.

What flexibility do F-1 Visa students have due to COVID-19?

The current temporary adaptation is that F-1 students who depart from the U.S. to continue their studies online in their home country will remain in “Active” status in SEVIS. This means that international students will be able to maintain their visa status if they choose to complete their studies online at home. To speak directly to a SEVIS Representative, international students may call the SEVIS Help Desk at 1-800-892-4829 or visit Study in the States. 

  • Currently, there is a strict rule that if an F-1 student is out of the country for more than 5 months their I-20 record is terminated. However, SEVIS will be handling these situations on a case-by-case basis. International students may want to consider returning to the U.S. within the 5-month time-frame so as not to risk needing to reapply for an I-20 (and potentially an F-1 visa). 
  • Maintain international student status and follow regular rules as far as class attendance, no working off-campus in the U.S., full-course load, and all King’s-specific course expectations. International students should keep the DSO team informed of any changes to academics, address, etc.
  • We cannot guarantee what travel will look like over the summer- stay safe and informed. Continue to watch announcements from Study in the States, the CDC, State Department, and The King’s College. 
Do faculty and staff need permission to work from home?

Employees should work with their department heads to determine what days they will be needed on campus this fall.

CARES Act HEERF Allocation

On April 28, 2020, King’s received access to almost $200,000 in CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) earmarked for student aid. We immediately began publicizing to students that these funds would supplement the College’s Community Fund we had already established. Through the HEERF funds, eligible full-time students began cash grants up to $1,000 to offset financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Disclosure Information

1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The King’s College has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement required under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

$198,371 received on April 28, 2020

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

The full allocation of $198,371 has been awarded as of September 4, 2020.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

479

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

185

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Students were required to complete an application. Each application was reviewed by a committee of staff members using the following guidelines:

  • Students must experience financial hardship due to circumstances linked to COVID-19 to be eligible.
  • Funds granted are for expenses deemed essential (groceries, housing, etc.).
  • Students must fill out an online request form and verify any grant they receive will exclusively be used for COVID-19 related relief.
  • $1000 limit per request
  • Only one request per student will be considered every 30 days.
  • The aggregate amount a student is eligible to receive will be determined by the Total Income recorded on the 2019-20 FAFSA.
  • Students must be Title IV eligible to receive these funds, therefore the 2019-20 FAFSA is required.
  • Awards will continue to be granted until fund is depleted.
  • Students not enrolled for Fall 2020 must submit requests by July 15, 2020.

7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Students received the following information through our regular King’s Weekly email. The information was also communicated through weekly, virtual community updates provided by the Dean of Students.

As part of the CARES Act, the College received funds to be dispensed to students facing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.If you are having trouble paying rent, affording groceries or covering other essential needs, please fill out a request form to be considered for disbursement. You will need to verify that any received funds will be used only for expenses deemed essential. This fund will remain open to students throughout the summer so please inquire if you have need.

CARES Act HEERF Institutional Portion Quarterly Reports