Fall Semester (COVID-19) Updates

 

Case Tracker

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

Positive cases reported: 1

*Positive cases are reported for students, staff, or faculty who become infected while in-person during the fall 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.

Fall 2020 Reopening Communication

October 14 Update from President Gibson: "Fully Isolated Case of COVID-19"

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,

This morning, the COVID-19 Taskforce identified the first positive case of COVID-19 within the King’s community. I am grateful to share that the individual who tested positive is only experiencing mild symptoms and has not had any exposure to students, staff, or faculty, nor have they been on campus during their infectious period (48 hours prior to symptom development). The individual remains fully isolated, and I encourage you to join me in praying for a timely and complete recovery.

Over the past six weeks, our COVID-19 Taskforce has been responding to possible COVID-19 cases with speed and clarity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the King’s community. It is an extraordinary testament to your adherence to the COVID-19 Commitment that this news comes so late into the semester.

Should additional COVID-19 cases arise within our community, two things will happen:
1) We will update our COVID-19 Case Tracker.
2) Our COVID-19 Taskforce will continue to monitor the community, quarantining those who display symptoms or have exposure, and isolating those who test positive.

As a reminder, please continue to monitor for symptoms or exposure. If symptoms develop, or you suspect exposure to COVID-19, students call the emergency phone at 646-242-4411. Faculty notify Provost Hijleh, and staff notify Grace Gleason.

In the meantime, we can have sincere faith in God’s provision and protection. Stay the course.

Yours In Service,
Tim Gibson
President

October 13 Update from Megan Dishman: "Travel Quarantine Reminder"

Dear students,

Welcome back from fall break. However you spent the time, I hope it was restful and enjoyable. As we resume classes tomorrow, I want to remind you of the City’s quarantine policies. If you traveled to a high-risk state on New York’s travel advisory list, or if you are the roommate of a student who did, please read the guidance below.

If you traveled to a high-risk state (including states added today: Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia), you fall in the quarantine category on King’s COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric. Key Takeaways:

  • You are required to quarantine in your on or off-campus apartment (not leaving or accepting visitors) for 14 days upon your return to NYC.
  • Complete the Request for Remote Access form to take classes remotely.
  • Talk with your roommates (i.e. family unit) to come up with a quarantine plan that allows you to abide by state quarantine guidance.
  • If you develop symptoms, call the emergency phone at 646-242-4411, and follow COVID-19 Testing Procedures.

If you are the roommate of a student who traveled to a high-risk state, you fall in the monitoring category on >King’s COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric. Key Takeaways:

  • Remain vigilant in your personal hygiene, take extra precautions while on or off campus, and reduce in-person social activity.
  • Continue to attend classes in-person.
  • If you develop symptoms, call the emergency phone at 646-242-4411, and follow COVID-19 Testing Procedures.

I know you’re all familiar with the difficulty of quarantine at this point, but I commend each of you for doing your part to keep our community safe.

Gratefully,

Megan Dishman

Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications

P.S. For those who like to cook, here are some easy fall recipes you could try during quarantine.

October 8 Update from President Gibson: "Planning for the Spring Semester"

Dear students,

We are approaching the end of our fourth in-person week of classes and activities. Well done. It is not lost on me that just a few months ago each of you stepped forward with The King’s College into the unknown that was this fall and trusted us with your education. I remain grateful for the ways each of you are displaying your commitment to keeping one another safe.

On that note, I encourage each of you to consider New York’s travel advisory ahead of our long weekend. Please be mindful that if you choose to travel to a restricted state, you will be responsible to quarantine for 14 days upon your return.

While we continue to navigate the realities of the current semester, we look ahead to the spring semester with optimism. Here is what we know so far:

1. The Preliminary Spring 2021 Reopening Plan will be released the second week of November 9, one week prior to spring class registration.

Just as we did this fall, the Preliminary Spring 2021 Reopening Plan will include modifications to normal campus operations for the spring semester in response to COVID-19. Working from the Fall Reopening Plan in conjunction with the most up-to-date information, we will continue to operate out of an abundance of caution.

2. The King’s College plans to continue offering in-person and remote access to all synchronous courses during the spring semester, along with our usual selection of fully online (asynchronous) courses.

Because COVID-19 is likely to remain a threat in the new year, we plan to continue offering flexible learning options in the spring. Based on the early success we’re seeing in our current semester, we have reason to be optimistic about in-person and remote offerings for the spring, subject to state and local guidelines. Whether that be returning to a 160 minutes of in-person instruction per course or maintaining 80 minutes of in-person with 80 minutes of remote instruction per week per class, we do not yet know, but we are eager to continue pursuing our mission together, nonetheless.

3. I invite your input, hopes, and concerns regarding the spring semester so we know best how to serve you.

What concerns do you have? What positive experiences have you encountered this semester? How can we help you make the most of the spring? This survey is exclusively for students and is optional.

I, along with your staff and faculty, are committed to continually innovating and reimagining how we deliver a world-class education in this unique environment, while keeping your health and safety at the forefront. Please be on the lookout for our Spring 2021 Preliminary Reopening Plan in the second week of November.

Yours in Service,

Tim Gibson

President

October 1 Update from President Gibson: "To Protect Each Other, Continued Diligence is Warranted"

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

I write to expand on my reasoning for maintaining certain COVID-19 policies, which I announced on Monday. Having reviewed a number of state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19, as well as testing results across the City, I reached two conclusions. First, there will be a time when we will be able to prudently relax the constraints our community has collectively agreed to. Second, we aren’t at that point yet.

I am deeply grateful that the Lord has watched over and protected our community. As of this writing, we still have no confirmed cases of COVID-19. We certainly have had members of our community experience symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, but in every case, laboratory testing has come back negative.

I have confidence that your willingness to adhere to the “core four” practices of staying home when feeling ill, social distancing, donning masks, and hand washing have played a positive role in that outcome, and I commend you. Beyond that, expanded cleaning routines, air purifiers in classrooms, daily health screenings, and limiting congestion while transiting between campus locations all play some part in protecting each other. As I said at the beginning of the semester, our community can do this well and you’ve proven that to be true.

That said, New York City has experienced upticks in positive cases in a number of zip codes over the last few days, and continued diligence is warranted. While we can have sincere faith in God’s provision and protection, the precautions we’ve been taking have played a role as well. Stay the course.

Yours in Service,

Tim Gibson

President

September 28 Update from President Gibson: "Updates to Campus COVID-19 Policies"

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Thank you for the ways each of you are adhering to the King’s COVID-19 commitment with understanding and care. Watching as our community has more than risen to the challenge of an in-person semester is not a surprise to me, but I am no less grateful to witness it.

Thanks to your efforts, I am pleased to share that as of today, there are still 0 COVID-19 cases within the King’s community. This accomplishment belongs to each of you, but above all, we thank God for His protection of our community. That said, now is not the time to drop our guards. Now is the time to stay vigilant regarding our personal health and the protection of others. If the next few months look like the last two weeks, we will succeed in learning and growing in-person, together.

Our COVID-19 Taskforce has carefully monitored the policies on campus over the last two weeks. Based on their observations and in conjunction with information from New York State and health authorities, I adjusted a few of our policies below. We will continue to adapt throughout the semester as information or COVID-19 realities change in NYC. I appreciate your patience as we consider the safest and wisest guidelines for our community.

Masks

Masks must stay on at all times while on campus (even among family units). At this time, we do not have enough information to support the idea that removing masks inside classrooms or large gathering areas will continue to provide the safest environment for students and faculty.

  1. Exception 1 (Eating and Drinking): Masks may be removed when eating or drinking outside of class and when socially distant from others.
  2. Exception 2 (Faculty and Staff Offices): Masks may be removed by staff, faculty, or student workers when working in their own offices or work stations (not conference rooms). Those in shared offices must be socially distant and agree with their colleague’s comfortability level in order to remove masks. When visiting staff or faculty members in their offices, visitors may only remove masks if the faculty or staff members permit the visitors to do so, and if all parties stay socially distant.

Social Distancing

  • To further support health and safety on campus, furniture may not be moved. For example, chairs in the lobby and Fish Bowl are set to allow for appropriate seating arrangements. Do not move seating in lounge areas or desks in quiet study classrooms.
  • When gathering between classes, remember that exposure to COVID-19 can happen after 10 minutes within 6 feet of another person, even with a mask on. I encourage you to minimize even your in-passing interactions.

Health Screening

  • We updated our system to provide your health screening confirmation message directly on your browser, as well as in email, to make the process smoother.

As a last reminder, students should call the Emergency Phone at 646-242-4411 if they feel unwell or suspect exposure to COVID-19. Faculty should contact Mark Hijleh, and staff should contact Grace Gleason. Our team is trained to walk through your situation and advise on next steps.

Thank you for abiding by these updated guidelines as we continue in this in-person endeavor together. We stand ready to respond to your questions via the reopening@tkc.edu email. Have a great third week on campus.

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson
President

September 11 Update from Megan Dishman: "Campus Health Screening Instructions"

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Nearly six months after we preemptively closed campus due to COVID-19, we are delighted to reopen campus tomorrow. We have eagerly awaited your return and look forward to seeing your many new and returning faces in-person next week! Your flexibility and understanding has made abiding by New York State requirements a smooth transition. Thank you.

When you return to campus in-person, you will participate in one of those State requirements: the COVID-19 health screening. Please expect to wait in line during busy hours and plan to arrive early. Read below for specifics, and follow the instructions to complete the health screening prior to arriving on campus.

During the first few weeks, our COVID-19 Taskforce will observe the entry process and make adjustments. We appreciate your patience as we consider the safest and most efficient form of entry and will communicate with you if there are any changes to the following:

Health Screening

  1. Complete the daily health screening (also linked from the tkc.edu homepage) prior to arriving at The King’s College, 56 Broadway. Once submitted, you will receive a “Daily COVID-19 Screening Confirmation” email, indicating whether or not you are permitted on campus that day.
  2. Enter one of two screening lines at 56 Broadway to ease busy entry hours. Both lines lead to a single elevator line:
    1. Students use the revolving door and line up eastbound down Exchange Place.
    2. Faculty and staff use the right door and line up southbound down Broadway.
  3. Get your temperature checked. Those who display a temperature of 100.4 or above will not be permitted on campus that day, so we recommend you check your temperature at home prior to leaving for campus.
  4. Present your “Daily COVID-19 Screening Confirmation” email to security. (If you do not have a smart device to display your confirmation email, you may either print it before arriving or request an available device from security.)

Note: Only one screening needs to be completed per day. For example, the screening confirmation email you present at 56 Broadway is the same email you present at the Student Union or DeVos Hall (excluding residents) on that same day.

Note: If you exit campus and wish to re-enter on the same day, you will need to re-enter the health screening line with that day’s confirmation email. Therefore, we highly discourage students from leaving campus between classes.

Campus Operations

  1. Once you clear security, abide by social distancing decals while in line for the elevator bank. This will ensure that anyone exiting the campus has space to walk on the other side of the lobby area.
  2. When at the front of the elevator line, you may enter the elevator bank similar to merging cars on a road. For example, UFT and King’s members will alternate approaching open elevators from their socially distant elevator lines.
  3. Expect lines to be longest on Tuesdays and Thursdays and all weekdays 8:00-9:00 AM, 9:00-10:30 AM, 12:30-1:30 PM.
  4. Stairwells will be open for transitioning between the 5th and 6th floors Monday through Friday but will be closed on Saturdays.
  5. Entry via the rear lobby door and New Street elevators is not permitted. However, you are permitted to exit through the rear lobby doors and New Street elevators.
  6. Lastly, follow COVID-19 guidelines:

Stay home and call the emergency phone if sick.

Wear a mask.

Wash your hands frequently.

Remain socially distant.

Thank you again for all of the ways you are doing your part to keep our community safe. We are eager to face these challenges with you, together.

Sincerely,

Megan Dishman

Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications

September 10 Update from Dean Leedy: "On and Off-Campus Gathering Expectations"

Dear students,

As we approach the end of our community quarantine and the beginning of our in-person semester, I commend all of you for your adaptability these past several days. The majority of you – all on-campus students as well as many off-campus students – have been subject to the quarantine. You have been champions; I truly admire your tenacity and positivity.

I know all of you – and especially those in quarantine – are eager to spend time with one another. It is critical that we do not let our guards down and inadvertently jeopardize our ability to remain in-person this semester. If we experience an outbreak that infects 5% of our population, New York State will mandate that we go remote for at least two weeks. We all want to avoid that.

To that end, I want to remind you of expectations in place to protect our community. The “Core Four” are essential practices we all committed to in the King’s COVID-19 Commitment: wash your hands often, wear a mask, socially distance, stay home when sick.

Over the weekend, it was evident that there remains some confusion about what is permissible for off-campus gatherings (as evidenced in social media images some of you brought to our attention). To minimize confusion, I want to provide clear guidelines based on New York State requirements for social gatherings for the fall semester:

  1. Always wear a mask when you are not able to remain socially distant. Out of an abundance of caution, face coverings may not be removed at any time for any reason (unless eating or drinking outside of class while socially distant) for at least the first two weeks of in-person class.
  2. Those in a “family unit” (i.e. roommates) do not need to wear masks or remain socially distant when with one another off campus or in their campus apartment.
  3. When gathering with anyone outside your “family unit,” please follow these guidelines:
    • When gathering outside, you may remove your masks if you are socially distant. If you are not socially distant, wear masks. Outdoor locations provide the safest place to gather with friends, as there is less risk of COVID-19 transmission. (E.g. You can gather for a picnic in a park, or get together for an outdoor study session, and take your masks off if you are six feet apart. If you are sitting closer than six-feet, leave your masks on.)
    • When gathering in on-campus apartments, groups are limited to double the residential occupancy of apartments (eight people in a four-person unit, four in a two-person unit, etc.). If you are able to remain socially distant, you may remove your masks. (E.g. If you plan to do a movie night at a friend’s apartment, but will sit closer than six feet, keep your masks on. If you sit six or more feet apart, you may remove them.)
    • When gathering in off-campus apartments, limit groups to allow for social distancing, typically 10 or fewer people for a New York apartment. If the space you are gathering in does not allow for social distancing, wear masks or consider having fewer guests.
    • When gathering on campus (Union, Lobby, classrooms, etc.), groups are limited to the posted occupancy of each space. Social distancing and masks are required at all times.
    • When gathering in off-campus indoor locations, always maintain social distancing and mask protocols. Follow guidelines posted in the MET, subway, restaurants, etc.

This fall, it is a good idea to keep your face-to-face social circles smaller than normal. Think of this semester as an opportunity to build deeper friendships with a select few rather than having a large social circle.

By way of reminder, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, please call the emergency phone at 646-242-4411 to consult with a staff member about next steps.

If we follow these guidelines together, I am confident we will have a successful semester in-person. Thank you all for doing your part to keep our entire community healthy, vibrant, and together.

Sincerely,

David K. Leedy
Dean of Students

August 27 Update from President Gibson: "Virtual Student Center and COVID-19 Health Training"

Dear students,

I am glad to welcome you back to New York City this weekend. To those of you who have been here, I look forward to seeing you on campus or in virtual Zoom rooms in the coming weeks. As we kick off the semester, I want to share with you a few helpful resources to help you succeed and stay safe:

Virtual Student Center: Student Success and Student Services teamed up to create a Virtual Student Center (VSC), which will serve as an online hub for current students. In part, the VSC will supplement The King’s Weekly email newsletter by highlighting featured events and lectionary reflections. It will also be the new home to the academic wellbeing and career advice hosted on King’s 101. As you explore the Virtual Student Center, reach out to Student Services at studentservices@tkc.edu with any questions.

Student Life During Quarantine: We look forward to walking alongside you through the 14-day quarantine (mandatory for students coming from high risk locations and for all students living on campus). Sign up for sessions that are both fun and educational and led by staff and faculty, from devotionals and workout sessions to urban gardening and cooking classes. Also, if you haven’t looked through the King’s Guide to Quarantining, it explains the quarantine requirements for on-campus housing as well as tips for those quarantining off campus.

New Student Orientation: In light of the quarantine mandate, New Student Orientation will take place virtually this year. If you’re new to King’s, take a minute to review the schedule.

COVID-19 Health Training: The King’s College is entering a fall semester like no other, but as a good, brave, and ready community, we look with hope and optimism toward our new school year together. The COVID-19 Health Training serves a guide to help you protect yourself and others while on campus, at home, and around New York City this fall.

Reopening Plan Videos: To ensure our whole community is informed about our reopening plan, our production team put together a video series starring Brittin Ward, Educational Ventures Administrator. Watch the series below.

YouTube

Ongoing Reminders

  • At King’s, we believe in loving our neighbors as ourselves. As we return to campus, we face an unprecedented semester during which every member of our community must take extraordinary steps to stay healthy and set aside our own convenience/preference for the well-being of one another. Sign the King’s COVID-19 Commitment by tomorrow, August 28.
  • Please continue to email questions to reopening@tkc.edu.

We stand ready to welcome you to campus and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I am joined by all our staff and faculty in saying that we are praying for your safe travel and health as many of you make your way to New York City this weekend.

Yours in Service,

Tim Gibson
President

August 20 Update from President Gibson: "Your Role in Reopening this Fall"

Dear students,

I enjoyed speaking with many of you during our recent reopening town halls, and for those who will be joining us in person this fall, I’m excited to welcome you to campus soon. As we continue to plan for the start of the semester, I want to share a few updates to our reopening plan as well as some pertinent reminders.

Foremost, I want to encourage you to remain vigilant regarding your own personal health. As you may have seen in the news, some schools across the country that opened in person for the fall semester were forced to return to remote learning due to members not abiding by health recommendations while in off-campus environments. Let me state clearly that our successful reopening relies on our entire community’s commitment to stop the spread of COVID-19. As our community quarantine lifts, it’s important to remain vigilant in monitoring our own health, hand-washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing. We are in this, together. If you’ve not done so already, please sign the King’s COVID-19 Commitment today.

That said, we stand ready to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when positive cases arise in our community. We’ve learned a lot from our experience in New York City as it relates to responding to this disease and are prepared to follow best practices.

Other common illnesses due to travel and transition, such as the flu, common cold, or even allergies, are fairly normal at the start of each semester. I encourage each of you to pack a thermometer, necessary allergy medication, tea and honey, or daily vitamins as you prepare for your move to New York City. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms prior to moving into campus, contact your housing director at housing@tkc.edu to delay your move-in.

Here are a few reminders and recent updates to the reopening plan:

  • All students will participate in classes and events remotely from September 3 to September 11, with students working from their on or off campus apartments alongside their roommates. Access to campus will be permitted beginning September 12, and in-person classes begin on September 14.
  • Starting September 12, students, staff, faculty, and visitors must complete a daily health screening to enter campus, and temperature checks will be conducted at campus entry points. Those who fail a health screening will not be permitted on campus that day.
  • Limited bicycle storage will be available in the Student Union. See updates in the Health & Safety section of the reopening plan under “Campus Operations” for more information.
  • HEPA filter air purifiers with UV light sanitizers are being installed in classrooms to provide better air filtration.
  • Campus hours have been amended to accommodate increased campus cleaning and sanitizing on Sundays:
    • Main Campus: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    • Main Campus: Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    • Main Campus: Sunday: CLOSED
    • Student Union: Monday – Saturday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    • Student Union: Sunday: CLOSED

Ongoing Reminders

  • Students who are not comfortable attending in-person classes or returning to New York City may request remote access for any or all of their fall courses by providing rationale/documentation for their request on the Request for Remote Access Form. If you are requesting remote access for the entire semester, please complete this form by this Friday, August 21.
  • At King’s, we believe in loving our neighbors as ourselves. As we return to campus, we face an unprecedented semester during which every member of our community must take extraordinary steps to stay healthy and set aside our own convenience/preference for the well-being of one another. Sign the King’s COVID-19 Commitment by next Friday, August 28.
  • Please continue to email questions to reopening@tkc.edu. We recently updated our FAQs with some of the content that we shared during our reopening town halls.

I’m grateful for your care and investment in the King’s community, and I look forward to having you in our classrooms (and Zoom rooms). Stay tuned next week for a few exciting announcements to improve your experience at King’s. In the meantime, I know I am joined by many who are praying for traveling mercies and health as our community comes together over the next few weeks.

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson
President

August 4 Update from President Gibson: "Official Fall 2020 Reopening Plan"

Dear students,

I am so proud of you for persevering through the summer as we continue to confront this pandemic. 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. Thank you for trusting us with your education.

In all of our planning this summer, my first priority has been our community’s health and safety as you pursue your education with our outstanding faculty. The flexible and remote components of the fall reopening plan mean that you can look forward to enriching debate and discussion with professors and fellow students from wherever you are studying this fall. For those of you choosing to return to campus, you’ll also be able to learn from New York City’s storied institutions as the City reopens.

Today, I want to share our official Fall 2020 Reopening Plan. You’ve already seen a forecast of these details in the preliminary reopening plan and in my most recent email laying out possible scenarios regarding the 14-day quarantine. I’m grateful to now be able to solidify the plan and provide more clarity on what this fall will hold. The full Fall 2020 Reopening Plan is updated on our website and should be referred to as the definitive guide. Please note a few items in particular:

  • Community Quarantine

As I mentioned on July 24, due to Governor Cuomo’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for high risk travelers, The King’s College needs to quarantine all students who are staying in King’s housing from August 27-29 through September 11. Residence Life will email on-campus students later this week with details and move-in day sign-ups. Classes will meet remotely from September 3 to September 11, with all students participating from their apartment alongside their roommates. Read full details in the Community Quarantine section of the reopening plan.

We know this is a challenging requirement, and we are committed to walking alongside you through the quarantine process. In the next few weeks, we will provide you with a King’s Guide to Quarantining that explains the quarantine requirements for on-campus housing as well as tips for those quarantining off campus. Additionally, the Quarantine Creative Committee (QCC) is working to craft virtual community activities and programming in support of all students during the 14-day quarantine period. Programming will feature your outstanding professors, staff, and fellow students. Stay tuned for more information as the semester nears.

  • Masks

Out of an abundance of caution, face coverings may not be removed at any time for any reason (unless eating or drinking outside of class while socially distant) during the first two weeks of in-person class. Appropriate face coverings are considered part of the business casual dress code on campus, and no written messaging, logos, etc. may be displayed. However, King’s-branded masks are permitted on campus upon approval. Read full details in the Health and Safety section of the reopening plan.

  • Sign the COVID-19 Commitment

At King’s, we believe in loving our neighbors as ourselves. As we return to campus, we face an unprecedented semester during which every member of our community must take extraordinary steps to stay healthy and set aside our own convenience for the well-being of one another. Sign the King’s COVID-19 Commitment by August 27.

  • Answering Your Questions

I anticipate that you will have questions about how this reopening plan will work in practice. I and my colleagues will be available during two upcoming town halls to answer your questions. Please register below and submit your questions in advance.

Students: Thursday, August 6 at 8:00 PM EDT. RSVP here.
Parents: Monday, August 10 at 8:00 PM EDT. RSVP here.

Ongoing Reminders

  • Students who are not comfortable attending in-person classes or returning to New York City may request remote access for any or all of their fall courses by providing rationale/documentation for their request on the Request for Remote Access Form. If you are requesting remote access for the entire semester, please complete this form by Friday, August 21.
  • If you have unanswered questions, please email reopening@tkc.edu so our reopening taskforce can address them.

Once again, I’m grateful for your part in this community, and we look forward to having you in our classrooms (and Zoom rooms) very soon.

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson
President

July 24 Update from President Gibson: "High-Risk Travel and Quarantine Update"

Dear students,

Let me start by saying how impressed I am with you, the students of The King’s College. Despite the unforeseen challenges we face, your intrepid spirit is evident time and again. We may well look back in a few years’ time and find this season’s student body to be some of the most determined and resilient graduates King’s has produced. I’m eager to watch that become a reality.

Many of you are wondering about Governor Cuomo’s 14-day quarantine mandate for travelers from high-risk states and how it might affect the fall semester. As of today, this mandate includes 31 states, encompassing over 60% of our student body. As you can imagine, this impacts how we approach our academic year and requires us to handle the quarantine mandate collectively. New York City has made great progress containing COVID-19, and The King’s College is committed to playing its part to protect our community and our City from further spread of the virus.

It is always my goal to communicate with the best information available at any given time, and with that in mind, I share this update to give you a better idea of how the College is approaching this issue. The information below is sent with the assumption that the 14-day quarantine mandate will remain in effect as we start our semester. That said, should the Governor’s office change the policy, we will adapt our plans as necessary. For now, here are three important takeaways:

  1. A final version of the reopening plan including the official announcement on quarantines and move-in sign ups will be released the first week of August.
  2. Student move-in days will be August 27 and 28 for returning students and August 29 for new students, with flexibility for eligible students who request an earlier or later date as outlined below.
  3. Since Statesmanship Summit (student leader training) begins August 18, we need to commit to a course of action now rather than wait for possible changes to the quarantine guidelines listed below. Therefore, to allow student leaders time to plan ahead, Summit will be held virtually. We know this is a disappointment, but we are confident we can deliver a quality Statesmanship program virtually and then augment it with in person events once we’re on campus this fall.

Possible Exceptions for New York College Students
The Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, of which The King’s College is a member, is currently lobbying the Governor’s office to allow students to fulfill their 14-day quarantine prior to traveling to New York. If adopted, this proposal would allow our semester to begin in person as normal. More information may be available by the end of July and we’ll update you accordingly.

If No Exception is Granted
If the Governor does not allow flexibility for college students, we will need to quarantine all students who are staying in King’s housing from August 27-29 through September 11. This means classes will meet remotely from September 3 to September 11, with students working from their apartment alongside their roommates. More specifically:

Students from High-Risk States

  • On-campus students traveling from high-risk states will move into campus housing on August 27 or 28 (for returning students) and August 29 (for new students) and quarantine with your roommates for 14 days.
  • Staff and student leaders will be available to assist students from high-risk states with their move-ins. Unfortunately, guests or family members are not permitted under the 14-day quarantine specifications.
  • Off-campus students traveling from high-risk states will be required to quarantine in their off campus apartments for 14 days.
  • All students will participate in classes and events remotely from September 3 to 11 and begin in person classes on September 14. Access to campus will be permitted beginning September 12.

Travelers from Non-High-Risk States

  • On-campus students traveling from non-high-risk states can choose one of the following options:
    1. Move into campus housing on August 27 or 28 (for returning students) and August 29 (for new students) and quarantine with your roommates for 14 days.
    2. Delay your arrival in New York and move into campus housing on September 12, taking classes remotely from your current location. If you fall in this category, you will need to pay close attention to the spread of COVID-19 in your state. If your location is added to the high-risk list prior to September 11, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days off campus at your own expense.
  • Off-campus students traveling from non-high risk states should quarantine if any of their roommates come from high-risk locations.
  • All students will participate in classes and events remotely from September 3 to 11 and begin in person classes on September 14. Access to campus will be permitted beginning September 12.

Community and Pre-Semester Events in Quarantine

The College’s most creative minds are working to craft roommate and virtual community activities and programming in support of all students during the 14-day quarantine period. We eagerly approach this challenge with the same innovation and passion as we did our spring semester. For example, events such as Statesmanship Summit, New Student Orientation, and Convocation will switch from in-person to virtual formats to accommodate the mandatory quarantine.

Student Leader Move-In

  • House Executive Teams and King’s Council Cabinet members (Statesmanship) living on campus will move in on August 27 or 28 with other returning students.
  • On-campus Statesmanship members who wish to move in on their originally scheduled move-in day (August 17) may do so and may participate in the virtual Statesmanship Summit from their campus apartment. Those traveling from high-risk locations will need to quarantine from August 17 through September 11 with all other on-campus students. Those traveling from non-high-risk states will only need to quarantine from August 27 or 28 through September 11.

Ongoing Reminders

  • Students who are not comfortable attending in-person classes or returning to New York City may request remote access for any or all of their fall courses by providing rationale/documentation for their request on the Request for Remote Access Form. If you are requesting remote access for the entire semester, please complete this form by Friday, August 21.
  • If you have unanswered questions, please email reopening@tkc.edu so our reopening task force can address them.

Thank you for trusting The King’s College with your education. This is a unique season, and like you, the faculty and staff are facing its challenges with truth, integrity, and perseverance. God willing, we’ll see many of you on campus very soon.

Yours in Service,

Tim Gibson
President

July 14 Update from President Gibson: "Answering Your Questions about the Preliminary Reopening Plan"

Dear students,

Thank you for the thoughtful questions you’ve emailed since I shared our Fall 2020 Preliminary Reopening Plan at the beginning of this month. The Fall 2020 Preliminary Reopening Plan webpage is now updated with answers to your frequently asked questions.

Some of you are wondering about the status of health and safety here in New York City. I’m very encouraged by the progress our city has made in containing COVID-19. The MTA, our transit authority, cleans trains and buses every 24 hours; there are pedestrian traffic zones in the Financial District to make it easy to social distance. Around NYC, people are wearing masks and keeping safe distances, and this Saturday the city logged zero COVID-related deaths. The neighborhoods where most students live—the Financial District and Brooklyn—are peaceful. While it’s true that crime levels have returned to normal (compared to the quieter-than-usual NYC of April and May), as New York City begins to reopen it remains one of the safest large cities in the world.

A few additional reminders:

  • If you applied to live on campus, your housing contract becomes binding tomorrow, July 15. After that point, you will be responsible for the full fall housing charges. If you are no longer planning to stay in campus housing this fall, email housing@tkc.edu by 11:59pm Eastern time today, July 14, to notify us that you are withdrawing from housing.
  • As I shared in my last update, students who are not comfortable attending in-person classes or returning to New York City may request remote access for one, more, or all of their fall courses by providing rationale/documentation for their request on the Request for Remote Access Form. If you are requesting remote access for the entire semester, complete this form by Friday, August 21.
  • If you have unanswered questions, please email reopening@tkc.edu so our reopening task team can see them and address them.
  • Finally, as a reminder, our plans are subject to the evolving health and safety guidelines from state and local authorities. You can expect a confirmed version of the reopening plan in the first week of August.

Thank you for trusting The King’s College with your education. I look forward to seeing many of you on campus soon.

Yours in Service,

Tim Gibson

President

July 1 Update from President Gibson: "Fall 2020 Preliminary Reopening Plan"

Dear students,

I write today with on-going concern related to the continuing impacts of COVID-19. While New York City is recovering from our peak of the virus, and is seeing great progress containing COVID-19, our scattered King’s community remains in my prayers. Thank you for your patience as we adapt your fall semester to protect the health and safety of the community.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 thus far, I am pleased that the majority of our student body plans to return this fall. This is a testament to your courage and perseverance, and I believe it speaks to the exceptional learning experience that our faculty provide, even during a pandemic.

Much of New York state will begin the final phase of reopening, Phase Four, this coming Monday, July 6. This is a particularly important milestone, as this phase includes higher education. We anticipate New York City to enter Phase Four on or soon after Monday, July 20. This gives us confidence to continue to plan to deliver courses in-person this fall. Despite some required adaptations, we look forward to welcoming students back to campus for a socially-distanced Kingsian experience.

Today, I am pleased to share with you The King’s College Fall 2020 Preliminary Reopening Plan to give you an inside look at what this coming semester will bring. Please note that we will continue to modify this plan as COVID-19 realities change in New York City.

The plan is fairly extensive, so I want to highlight a few items in particular:

  1. If you applied to live on campus, your housing contract would typically become binding on June 1, which this year we extended to July 1. We are extending this date once more to July 15 to allow you and your families more time to plan. On July 15, the contract goes into effect and students are responsible for the fall housing charges.
  2. Students who are not comfortable attending in-person classes or returning to New York City may request remote access for one, more, or all of their fall courses by providing rationale/documentation for their request on the Request for Remote Access Form. Students requesting remote access for the entire semester should complete this form by Friday, August 21.
  3. We are closely monitoring Governor Cuomo’s 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers coming from high-risk states. We are prepared to support all students as needed should the quarantine affect one or many.
  4. Before you return to campus, I am asking that each member of our community signs a pledge committing to the inconvenience and sacrifice it will take to safeguard one another: “Upon my honor and in service to our community, I pledge to take responsibility for my own health, the protection of others, and to help keep the King’s community safe from the spread of COVID-19.” Read the full commitment below.

It is for such a time as this that the King’s community can demonstrate good, brave, and ready in action. I look forward to pursuing those ends with you.

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson
President

Preliminary Reopening Plan

June 18 Update from President Gibson: "Prioritizing Face to Face Learning"

Dear Students,

Thank you to those who already filled out the student survey. I appreciate the time you took to share your concerns, questions, and ideas. In this update, I’ll speak to what we know so far on the topics you raised. First, though, I’ll mention the following resources that you may find helpful:

  • COVID-19 Emergency Funds. We still have $95,000 in CARES Act funding reserved for students who faced additional expenses for reasons related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. This could include costs of storage, transportation, housing, etc. If this applies to you, please consider applying to the King’s Community Fund, which administers from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
  • Free Digital Marketing Bootcamp. Alex Andreyev, VP of Advisory Services at Cadreon and a King’s alumnus, is teaching a free course on digital marketing exclusive to King’s students. The course runs July 6-31, 2020, and covers the language, macro level, and key players of the digital marketing industry to give students the confidence to apply for internships in the digital marketing space. Read more and sign up here.

Why We Prioritize Face to Face Learning

In the survey results, many of you wrote that you are looking forward to being together in person again. So are we! There’s something irreplaceable about face to face learning and in-person debate and discussion with your professors and fellow students that creates the greatest opportunity for academic and intellectual growth. According to a recent College Reaction/Axios survey, we know this preference is shared by roughly 77% of college students. This is why we are putting forth the effort to operate safely in person with new limitations this fall. The value of in-person learning (this Inside Higher Education article echoes many of the thoughts you shared) is simply too important not to deliver.

Therefore, we are working hard to provide face to face learning this fall, while adapting our operations for health and safety. Here are additional details about what that could look like:

  • We are working to reduce traffic and reorganize areas of campus (the lobby, classrooms, the library) so you have space to study and gather while being socially distanced, and we are increasing facility cleanings.
  • Face masks will be required in most areas of campus, as well as when in elevators in student housing, but not when within your own apartment with your roommates.
  • We are still awaiting guidance from local authorities about athletics. We know this is a high priority for many of you and we are eager to provide more information when we can.

Despite the inevitable inconvenience involved in these precautions, we know that the in-person experience is worth fighting for. What King’s offers is the experience of learning from the city’s storied institutions and from your fellow students in and outside of class time. That simply can’t be replicated by a fully online experience. However, we also understand that some students may not be comfortable attending in-person classes. For those individuals, we are planning for remote access to in-person class sessions through a forthcoming approval process.

I look forward to writing again in two weeks with a more substantial update. If you have yet to fill out the survey, we would appreciate hearing your input, hopes, and questions regarding the fall semester. Please consider filling out the student survey by June 26.

June 4 Update from President Gibson: "Fall Semester Update"

Dear students,

As I wrote on Monday, the last few weeks have been very heavy: not only with tragic instances of racial injustice, but with the ongoing devastation of COVID-19. While we are still navigating those issues, we must also look ahead toward the fall semester.

1. The King’s College plans to operate in-person in the fall. Like other colleges, we expect the ways in which we gather, teach, and learn are going to look different. Here’s what we know so far:

New York State issued a checklist of key metrics that New York regions must meet to safely re-open. New York City enters phase one of reopening on June 8, which gives us reason to be optimistic that we will be able to hold in-person classes this fall, subject to state and local guidelines, which we expect will be published on June 8. We are also in regular contact with other schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and with members of the Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities to glean best practices.

However, since there is no vaccine yet for the novel coronavirus, it’s wise to prepare for other possible scenarios to allow for social distancing within our gatherings. Here are a few examples of what that might look like (these are not confirmed plans, but rather, scenarios being considered):

  • Students may not all move on the same day, but be assigned a window of time in order to limit crowding. This means move in may be spread over multiple days. (We are grateful that our housing facilities provide safe and contained living environments and do not require excessive modifications.)
  • Classes may receive a combination of face-to-face instruction as well as remote learning elements in the same week.
  • Some campus events that would exceed social distancing protocols may be held virtually, or augmented with virtual participation options.

As we plan for various scenarios, we are preserving the quality of instruction at the academic standard you expect. Drawing from examples like Oxford-style group tutorials (in which smaller groups of students engage in intensive discussion on their reading and writing with the professor and each other), we plan to adapt to the new reality with smaller class sizes and different modalities of learning that are proven to yield exceptional learning outcomes. We are eager to hear from you as we make these decisions. Students may complete the optional survey at the bottom of this email to share ideas, concerns, and questions.

2. Based on previous feedback, we are slightly modifying the fall academic calendar to make the first few weeks of the semester less confusing and improve the student experience.

In past years, the first day of the fall semester was a Wednesday that operated on a Monday schedule. Based on student and faculty feedback, in order to minimize confusion and allow students to build weekly routines more quickly, you’ll see the following changes:

  • Instead of beginning the semester on Wednesday, September 2 (which typically runs on a Monday schedule), the semester will begin on Thursday, September 3 using a Thursday schedule.
  • We will hold classes on Labor Day, September 7. Labor Day classes will take place remotely as an inclement weather rehearsal and to avoid the challenges of holiday building closures and holiday commuting schedules.

3. I invite your input, hopes, and concerns regarding the fall semester so we know best how to serve you.

What concerns do you have? How can we help you make the most of the summer? This survey is exclusively for students and is optional.

Thank you for stepping forward with The King’s College this fall and for trusting us with your education. I am committed to continuing to innovate and reimagine how we deliver a world-class education in this new environment, while keeping your health and safety at the forefront. I will send another update with more specific plans at the end of the month.

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson
President

Take Survey

May 15 Update from President Gibson: "Where One Season Ends, Another Begins"

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Congratulations to all of you for reaching the end of the semester! I hope you take some time to rest and reflect on the hard work you’ve put in this year. Reaching the finish line during this pandemic is a feat in itself. Students, you persevered and focused on your studies even when routine went out the window. Faculty, I applaud you for faithfully adapting courses that were not designed for an online format. Staff, thank you for innovating new systems to support our community’s unique needs. I am proud of all of you.

My special congratulations to the Class of 2020. I wish we could have celebrated you together in person last weekend. Still, it was a joy to reflect on your accomplishments at the 4th Annual Award Ceremony and during the 72nd Annual Commencement Exercises.

As I mentioned in last week’s Community Update, we are cautiously optimistic about teaching in-person during the upcoming fall semester and are preparing to abide by state health and safety procedures once they are finalized. We are proactively planning for various learning formats and are committed to keeping you updated along the way. Our aim remains to provide students with an outstanding education delivered by our world-class faculty, with all the best practices available to us, while meeting students and families where they are. To that end, we will provide consistent updates this summer regarding the fall semester; you can expect the next one from me the first week of June.

Students, thanks to the generous support of the King’s community as well as additional funds provided by the CARES Act, the King’s Community Fund is available to offset financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus. I encourage you to request funds today should you find the need to do so.

Thank you for being part of this community and for your diligent pursuit of what is good, brave, and ready. Stay safe and healthy this summer. I pray the benediction from Hebrews 13:20-21 for you:

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson

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.

Care Act HEERF Institutional Portion Quarterly Reports