COVID-19 weekly update from App State’s Project Management Implementation Team (PMIT) week of July 6 - 12

Posted 07/10/20 at 4:20 p.m.

App State’s Project Management and Implementation Team provides a weekly progress report to campus from the teams across campus preparing for resuming daily operations, the start of the fall 2020 semester and beyond.

Note: Each update reflects the latest guidance as of that date and time stamp. Please note this continues to be a developing situation. Links provided direct to the latest information available. Note that printed information may be out of date, and always defer to communications with the most recent time and date stamp.

Preparing for fall 2020: Answers to trending questions

We acknowledge that there are many questions about returning to campus for the fall semester and what this looks like, as well as about the possibility of shifting to online instruction should we see a progression of the virus. President Roper announced UNC System institutions would return to on-campus instruction in the fall and Appalachian is preparing, in accordance with UNC System expectations and our educational mission, to return our students, faculty and staff to campus.

  • Fall 2020 schedule: On May 22, we shared that the fall semester will begin on Aug. 17 as planned, with one adjustment to the calendar: The two-day Fall Break will be eliminated in order to hold our last day of classes on Nov. 24. The final exam period will remain unchanged. Read the message containing the Academic Calendar Update here.

  • Course delivery and class schedules: The Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes is being updated to reflect adjustments to room assignments, class times and class delivery methods. The new schedule will be updated by July 20 and will offer a variety of course types to allow greater physical distancing in classrooms and flexibility for faculty and student needs. These are main-campus courses, and students who take these courses pay the associated tuition and fees. 

    • Students will be notified once the schedule is finalized and those who wish to change sections of a course may make those changes online via their AppalNET accounts. Students who feel the need to change courses rather than just sections may wish to check with their academic advisor to understand the effect this change may have on their academic plan.

    • View the Course Delivery webpage for details on delivery methods and scheduling, classroom configuration and related information. 

  • Housing assignments and move-in: University Housing will notify on-campus, residential students about room assignments and move-in times by mid to late July and will continue to communicate with students who will be living in residence halls throughout the summer. Student move-in will be by appointment and access to residence halls will be limited. Read the latest information on University Housing’s website, including guidance for new and returning students.

    If you are a student living off campus, Student Affairs maintains two helpful websites: 

  • Fall 2020 tuition bills: Fall 2020 bills are scheduled to begin posting to student accounts. Regardless of delivery method campus services such as tutoring, advising, writing center, peer academic coaching, counseling, student health services, and many more will be available to students. When necessary this may be in a remote format. Representatives in Student Accounts and the Office of Financial Aid are ready to answer questions, but please note that both areas are currently experiencing a high call volume and will respond to all voicemails and emails as quickly as possible. 

The UNC System has shared that in the event institutions are able to offer financial relief to students — in the form of refunds or other measures — they would certainly like to do so. This will be a System decision and we await further guidance. 

We understand that this information may not fully answer your questions. We will provide further information and guidance as soon as we know more.

High-risk identification form update:

As previously reported, Human Resources, using UNC System guidance, developed a centralized process for review of high-risk factors and other individual circumstances that may impact employees' safe return to on-campus work. On July 6, Human Resources added a High Risk Consideration FAQs PDF to its website to answer questions about the process and the form. 

On July 7, Academic Affairs shared an update on the High-Risk Identification Form and process with faculty. Please note, only those faculty and staff who choose to request a workplace accommodation or adjustment need to complete the form.

Communications and updates:

  • App State’s Coronavirus Information website includes the latest updates from Chancellor Everts along with other updates related to returning to campus, COVID-19 operations and response. Read the latest updates and additional information here.

  • On July 2, Chancellor Everts and Interim Provost Norris shared an open letter to faculty to answer COVID-19 questions. Read the open letter here.

  • On July 6, Human Resources shared details about the university’s COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank which is now operational and accepting donations. All leave-earning employees may voluntarily elect to donate leave to the shared leave bank, and eligible employees can request donated leave from the bank to help supplement their partial paid leaves. Read the update here and access the COVID-19 Shared Leave Donation Form.

  • On July 7, Parking and Transportation communicated with students about parking permit registration for the 2020-21 school year. Student parking permit sales are based on credit hour seniority with sales beginning July 14. Students who purchase permits may surrender their parking permits any time before March 31, 2021, to receive a prorated refund. Read more about student parking here
  • Facilities Operations is installing health and safety signs across campus and departments and units on campus will be provided signage for use in office areas at no charge. View the signage inventory and information on ordering and distribution here.

  • Last week, we shared information on updated CDC testing guidance, coping during COVID-19, and campus health and safety signage. Read last week’s message here.

  • The university’s coronavirus website includes a positive case dashboard with COVID-19 test results, the number of positive COVID-19 cases and information related to testing sites. The dashboard shows a breakdown of active cases as well as cumulative cases.
  • If you have questions, comments and suggestions, submit these to the PMIT via the “Submit a question” form on the Continuity in the time of COVID-19 site

Information coming soon:

  • Campus building operations for fall semester.

  • Broad-based educational programming regarding public health, COVID-19 safety and community expectations.

  • Student computing information and software access. 

  • Campus isolation and quarantine procedures and how App State partners with public health officials. 

  • University events and venues that invite public participation.

  • Additional answers to trending questions, comments and suggestions submitted via the “Submit a question” form on the Continuity in the time of COVID-19 site