An update from the Dean of Students, June 17, 2020
To: Castleton Community
RE: Update on COVID 19
DT: June 17, 2020
I want to give you this brief update on our work to return to normal operations and preparation for the fall semester. We are pleased to say that we are bringing employees back to work on campus while following state guidelines for a safe work environment. While our buildings remain closed to the public at this time, we are making significant strides in reopening campus. Our 16 subcommittees of the Enhanced Emergency Management Team remain focused on the task at hand. Here are some updates from their work.
- The Academic Delivery Committee recommended an adjusted academic calendar with classes starting on August 18, with face-to-face instruction ending on Tuesday, November 24 and a week of finals delivered the following week remotely. We are offering training to all faculty to help deepen the online experience. Classroom capacity with appropriate social distancing is being evaluated.
- New dates for early arrivals (such as fall athletes, Community Advisor Staff, Marching Band), New Student Orientation, and new student and returner residential move-in will be published ASAP.
- The Public Health Committee is working on any and all testing requirements that may be mandated by the state. A subgroup on Mental Health Awareness has been formed to consider adjustments to our services for the fall and to evaluate the unique needs in the era of COVID-19 for the entire Castleton Community.
- New cleaning protocols are being considered in respect to state and CDC guidelines for the immediate needs of the limited number of employees and students on campus this summer and in anticipation of a full campus this fall.
- The unique needs of our programs not on the main campus are being addressed. Properties in Bennington, Killington, and Rutland are all under review for both this summer and for full participation in the fall.
- While all buildings are closed to the public, we are considering what it will mean to begin opening them up in the coming weeks. The Facilities Department has identified and purchased new tools to reduce the time it takes to sanitize spaces to compensate for the increase in the frequency of cleaning that the presence of COVID-19 demands. Additional PPE, such as plexiglass barriers, is being designed and installed in those places where social distancing cannot be accomplished.
- We are working with our partner Sodexo on new mandated safety protocols in Huden, Coffee Cottage, and Fireside. All three are planned to operate in the fall, with adjustments. Consideration for extended hours, new seating and traffic patterns, and more are being negotiated and planned.
All of our sub-committees remain hard at work to ensure that we are prepared for fall. We are excited for everyone to return to campus and look forward to a great fall semester.
Dean of Students