manhattan skyline

The King’s College Preliminary Fall 2021 Reopening Plan

Members of the King’s community may email questions to reopening@tkc.edu.

Introduction

Last updated: July 15, 2021, at 3:00 p.m.

Effective: August 16, 2021

The King’s College prioritizes the health and safety of our community while providing students with an outstanding education delivered by world-class faculty. Learning from the city’s storied institutions and in-person debate and discussion between professors and students is irreplaceable. Driven by this value of in-person learning, we will reconvene in person for the fall semester with prudent precautions to safeguard our community’s health.

Along with the newly updated CDC guidance for higher education institutions, The King’s College COVID-19 Reopening Taskforce considered a number of data-driven factors to determine the Preliminary Fall 2021 Reopening Plan, which outlines the ways we are modifying the typical campus experience for fall 2021. The policies set forth in this plan were crafted to allow each individual in our community to responsibly self-govern while being mindful of the needs of others. While this plan will be finalized the week of August 2, it will remain subject to change throughout the fall semester. Plans for the spring 2022 semester will be released in winter 2021.

Rubric for Reopening

The King’s College outlines four metrics used to determine reopening policies as well as the trigger events that could require changes to be made throughout the semester.

Protection from COVID-19
  • Within New York State: Over 73% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose. This does not eliminate the risk of COVID-19 entirely, but a community of at least 70% vaccinated is one of the most protected communities from the virus because the virus has limited bounds within that group in which to spread. Due to this achievement, all New York state driven COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on June 15. The remaining federal mandates exist for public transportation, large-scale indoor events venues, pre-K to 12 schools, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings. Businesses and venues across New York may impose varying restrictions of their choosing – some strict and many others loose or nonexistent.
  • Within King’s on-campus community: With 86% of students, staff, and faculty reporting, 74% of our on-campus population is or will be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester and at least 2% have natural antibodies to COVID-19.
Active COVID-19 Cases
  • Within NYC: The King’s College tracks the percent positivity rate of COVID-19 infections within New York City.
  • Within King’s on-campus community: The King’s College will continue to track COVID-19 cases that arise in our on-campus population beginning August 16, which marks the start of fall semester activities.
Trigger Events

Before or after the start of the fall semester, if either NYC or campus infection rates rise above 5% within a 14-day period, or if calculations of vaccination rates for New York State or our on-campus community (when officially reported in the Fall 2021 COVID-19 Commitment) fall under 70%, we will evaluate the current reopening plan and consider making adjustments.

Health and Safety

We are glad to reconvene in-person for the fall semester with prudent precautions to safeguard our community’s health.

Personal Responsibility
  • Students, staff, and faculty are responsible to evaluate their own risk to COVID-19 and to be mindful of the risks to others. Where possible, campus activities, classes, and spaces will be set with enough space that those who elect to be socially distant may do so. Those who wish to do so may elect to wear masks in any setting.
  • On-campus staff, faculty, and students are expected to read the full reopening plan as well as read, sign, and abide by the Fall 2021 COVID-19 Commitment by August 16, 2021. Fully remote students or staff do not sign the commitment.
Masks and Social Distancing
  • Masks and social distancing policy on campus is reviewed regularly.
  • All members of the King’s community are encouraged to consider CDC guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVD-19.
  • Within King’s exclusive spaces (the Student Union, Lobby, 5th Floor, and 6th Floor at 56 Broadway as well as DeVos Hall), masks and social distancing are optional. However, masks and social distancing are still required by all individuals in 56 Broadway elevator banks until further notice.
  • When worn, appropriate masks are considered part of the business casual dress code on campus, and no written messaging, logos, etc. may be displayed. King’s-branded masks are permitted on campus upon approval.
    • Houses and Student Organizations wishing to design and distribute King’s-branded masks must complete the Merchandise Design Approval Form. Responses to the form will clarify whether or not a mask design is permitted for distribution and also whether or not that mask would be permitted on campus as part of the business casual dress code.
    • Individual students wishing to make their own King’s-branded mask may request approval for on-campus wear by texting 646-450-8930 with a photo of the mask.
Health Monitoring
  • The COVID-19 Information Hub houses all COVID-19-related policies, resources, and tools for the fall semester, including health training, monitoring rubric, case tracker, and more.
  • According to the CDC, vulnerable individuals are those with certain conditions, who may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection and severe symptoms. Students who fall in this category should consider requesting remote access for the entire semester or contacting studentsuccess@tkc.edu to discuss being on campus this fall. Faculty and staff who fall in this category should contact ggleason@tkc.edu.
  • Signage on campus will state “by entering this space, I affirm that I am not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, am not supposed to be quarantining, and have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past ten days.” Thermometers will remain at the lobby entrance of 56 Broadway for those wishing to utilize them.
  • Guests will be required to complete the COVID-19 Health Screening prior to entering campus.
  • The College Emergency Phone operates 24/7, and COVID-19 cases are tracked for students, staff, and faculty at tkc.edu/covid-19/.
Required COVID-19 Notification
  • Regardless of vaccination or prior infection, staff, faculty, or students who develop symptoms of, suspect exposure to, or test positive for COVID-19 must contact The King’s College Emergency Phone at 646-242-4411.
  • The COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric defines the conditions that apply when a member of the King’s community:
    • has been exposed to a person in quarantine
    • has been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19
    • displays new COVID-19 symptoms
    • tests positive for COVID-19
Campus Operations
  • HEPA filter air purifiers with UV light sanitizers are installed in classrooms to provide better air filtration.
  • Two stairwells will be open for moving between the 5th and 6th floors only. During busy hours, elevator lines may be long due to 56 Broadway social distancing requirements. Staff, faculty, and students should plan accordingly.
  • Facility workers use industrial disinfectants, and maintain increased campus cleaning rotations in highly trafficked areas. Classrooms are cleaned morning or evening by the facilities team.
  • Campus signage will set expectations, room occupancy limits, and health reminders around campus.
  • Wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers are located outside all kitchens, classrooms, restrooms, and common areas. A bottle of disinfectant and paper towels is installed in each classroom so students entering a class may wipe down their seat/desk.

Academics

The King’s College staff and faculty are glad to serve the mission of King’s by prioritizing the in-person experience while making a few exceptions for those with special COVID-19-related circumstances.

Classroom Setup

Regular classrooms on-campus will be arranged at the start of the day to provide 6 feet of distance between desks, with the exception of classrooms 626 and 628, which will be set with 3 feet of distance between desks. Desks may be moved by professors and students with the expected courtesy of returning them to their original position at the end of class.

Academic Modalities
  • Except in cases where professors have chosen to use a hybrid format for pedagogical reasons (see below), classes will be fully in-person, meeting twice per week for 80 minutes or once per week for 160 minutes. Students will continue to notice professors taking creative approaches to their classrooms to optimize the educational experience.
  • We will continue to offer fully remote access to classes for eligible students (i.e. those with special health or professional circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Within the Student Portal, classes utilizing a hybrid format will display an “H” in the course section. The designation “hybrid” covers any class that is not taught 160 minutes-in person each week or is not offered asynchronously online and therefore covers a wide range of class formats. Students may reach out to professors to find out the details of the hybrid approach of these courses.
  • After Monday, August 16, 2021, students will not be permitted to switch modalities for their fall semester courses. Students will be expected to attend classes either all in-person or all remotely based on their approved designation and abide by the College’s attendance policy for their classes.
Fully Remote Eligibility
  • Students with special health situations or exceptional professional circumstances related to COVID-19 may request to be fully remote. If approved, remote access will be applied to all of a students’ Fall 2021 courses.
  • If a course is available online (an asynchronous course designated with an “O” in the course section), a student who requests to be remote in that course will be placed in the online section.
  • Students wishing to request this accommodation must complete the Request for Remote Access form by Monday, August 16, 2021.
Temporary Remote Eligibility
  • Students in a College-mandated quarantine or isolation (as defined by the COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric) will be allowed to make up the work they miss, which, at their professors’ discretion, may involve remote access to class, a recorded lecture, or the like. Students will not be recorded as absent if they participate in the manner their professor provides.
  • Eligible students must first contact the Emergency Phone, then fill out the Request for Remote Access form.
  • Once approved, professors would get in touch with the student to communicate a makeup plan. Students who are not registered for a remote section of a given course should not attempt or ask to attend a meeting of that course remotely except as part of such a plan.
Remote Expectations
  • Students who are approved for fully remote (semester-long) access will attend synchronous classes virtually.
  • Remote attendance will be counted as dressing in business casual and having your camera on for the duration of class time.
  • Students should refrain from distracting or inappropriate behavior while on camera.
  • Students who are approved for fully remote access for the fall semester may not switch back to on-campus after the request is approved.

Campus & Housing

Attending school in New York City and living on campus with other members from the same House are core components of the student experience at King’s.

Campus Hours

Campus hours are under review and will be finalized the week of August 2.

Events
  • Fall events such as Statesmanship Summit, New Student Orientation, Convocation, Parents Weekend, and Homecoming will be held in-person for limited audiences, due to existing venue capacity restrictions at the time of the event.
  • Events such as the weekly Public Reading of Scripture will take place in-person as well as virtually to support the entire community.
  • All events (on or off campus) must adhere to campus or venue protocols.
  • Room capacities are subject to change based on the College’s reopening plans.
Event Services
  • Space reservations must comply with class occupancy limits, listed in the Space Reservation Request form. Event Registrations open the first week of August.
  • Event services will resume in the fall semester. Set Up, tear down, and a/v services as well as on-campus and online advertising requests can be completed using the Event Services and Announcement Request form.
  • Many classrooms are equipped with technology to allow for synchronous in-person and online meetings, (meaning any event taking place in-person in one of these classrooms has the capability to also include virtual attendance). Recording an event is also possible with this technology. Student organizations and Houses may request this technology using the Space Reservation Request form as long as the requestor reads and agrees to our good stewardship policy. Questions about the use and operation of this technology should be directed to helpdesk@tkc.edu.
Housing
  • Masks and social distancing are optional at both City Point and DeVos Hall.
  • Each resident will sign up for a designated move-in time. Sign up instructions will be sent to residents from the Housing team in early August, along with further details for move-in.
  • Apartments are viewed as shared residences similar to a family’s shared residence.
  • Any students wishing to have guests at their apartments must first receive approval from their roommates before allowing the guests into the apartment. Any guests must not have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days.
  • Regular and routine cleaning is expected by all roommates, especially on high touch surfaces: desks, countertops, doorknobs, sinks, etc.

Athletics

With the health and safety of student-athletes a top priority, the United States College Athletic Association (USCAA) as well as King’s local conference, the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC), plan to host fall sports in 2021. Fall 2021 athletes should report to campus as planned on Monday, August 23. Athletics living in campus housing move-in on Saturday, August 21.

Fall 2021 COVID-19 Commitment

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the fall semester begin?

The fall semester begins on Thursday, September 2 (using a Thursday schedule).

Do we have classes on Labor Day?

Yes, we will hold classes remotely on Labor Day, Monday, September 6 to avoid the challenges of holiday building closures and holiday commuting schedules.

Does King's plan to continue to offer remote access to classes during the spring semester and beyond?

From the time we decided to offer remote access last summer (2020) through all our subsequent conversations about remote access to date, it has been discussed as a COVID-19 accommodation rather than a permanent part of how we teach. The first question in determining whether we will offer remote access for the spring will be whether we believe it continues to be necessary for people in special COVID-19-related circumstances. As we plan for post-COVID-19 academic life, the faculty and academic administration will study whether (and, if so, how) remote access should be a permanent feature of our pedagogy.

Why is King’s reducing remote access in Fall 2021?

We believe that the best learning experience happens in the classroom and are eager to welcome students back to full time in-person instruction this fall. From the start, we offered remote access as a COVID-19 accommodation. The availability of remote access has followed our best assessment of how broadly or narrowly such accommodation was required by the circumstances. With the lifting of New York State’s COVID-19 restrictions, wide accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines, and the reduced circulation of the virus, we believe that remote access is necessary only for those with special COVID-19-related circumstances.

How can I tell whether a course is being offered in a traditional, (asynchronous) online, or hybrid format?

If you look at the course list in the student portal, you can tell the format of a class by the letter used to designate the class section. Traditional classes have section designations at the beginning of the alphabet (A, B, C). Online classes have the section designation “O.” As of July 15, courses offered in a hybrid format will have the section designation “H.” Please note that the designation “hybrid” covers any class that is not taught 160 minutes-in person each week or offered asynchronously online and therefore covers a wide range of class formats.

What financial assistance is available through HEERF III?

New financial assistance is now available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) to any student enrolled on or after March 13, 2020 until now. These funds are available to students who need assistance to pay emergency costs that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic including tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental healthcare), or childcare. All students are eligible and encouraged to apply. Details about further eligibility requirements can be found within the grant application. To be included in the first round of selection, please apply by Sunday, July 18.

When should I plan to move into campus housing?

Returning student move-in is Friday, August 27, and new student move-in is Saturday, August 28. Fall athletes move-in on Saturday, August 21.

What is King’s planning to do after Thanksgiving?

There is no change to academic modalities following the Thanksgiving break through the end of the fall semester.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate or am unvaccinated and exposed to a positive COVID-19 patient and need to quarantine? What academic or housing accommodations will King’s provide me and my roommates enrolled at King’s?

Please consult the COVID-19 Monitoring Rubric. If you test positive and need to isolate for 10 days, or are unvaccinated and exposed to a positive COVID-19 patient and need to quarantine for 10 days, call the Emergency Phone , then complete the Request for Remote Access Form and select that you need to take all classes for your specific isolation/quarantine days remotely.

If you live in campus housing, King’s staff will provide you with an isolation or quarantine location and work with you to ensure you have necessities such as groceries, hygiene products, and cleaning supplies for the duration of your isolation or quarantine. If you live off-campus, you may isolate or quarantine in your off-campus apartment. King’s students, staff, and faculty with whom you closely interacted 48 hours prior to the start of your symptoms or positive test result until the day you called the Emergency Phone will be required to self-quarantine (if unvaccinated).

Will there be specific resources to help students adjust to NYC?

Yes, we are excited to continue offering support to students in their thriving and success through King’s 101. Faculty and staff House advisors are always available for student support and encouragement.

Will there be ventilation/some type of air circulation in the classrooms?

HEPA filter air purifiers with UV light sanitizers are installed in classrooms to provide better air filtration.