Skip to main content

Spring 2021 FAQs-Students

Student Information 

Classes will begin on January 19 and end on May 5, with a reading day on May 6. Final exams will conclude on May 11 for seniors and  May 12 for all others. Commencement for the class of 2021 will remain on May 15.

An abbreviated spring break will be March 15-16.

Students approved for spring housing have received detailed move-in information, including an appointment link for move-in, a pre-arrival checklist and COVID-19 wellness information.

Dining services will be operating, with modifications in, payment, guest flow and seating. See more information in “health and prevention” below

If students have health insurance that meets the requirements, they do not need any additional insurance to live on campus. 

Students will need to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 7 days prior to returning to campus. Those who develop symptoms during this time will not be permitted to return to campus, and should seek the guidance of a healthcare provider. All students arriving on campus must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 7 days. Upon arrival, all residential students will be tested again at the Wellness Center in order to access their room. Students will be asked to remain in their rooms until their COVID-19 test results are received (typically, within 72 hours). Students living on campus will be required to sign the “Be Well” pledge to uphold the community standards and guidelines issued by the college regarding COVID-19.

Commuter students coming to campus will also need to participate in the daily screening process. Testing is required for any student to have access to any on-campus activity, service or program. So, you must be tested in order to utilize the library or the computer lab, for example. Commuter students must show a negative covid test the first time they access campus and then again every two weeks (see also “What ongoing steps will students need to take”.)

Students living in residence halls and/or requesting access to on-campus activities/services will be required to complete COVID-19 testing through the Wellness Center every two weeks. The testing will take place outdoors, next to the Wellness Center.

Students will not be prohibited from leaving campus, however, they will be encouraged to continue the safety protocols of mask-wearing, handwashing, and social distancing. 

Health & Prevention 

All residential students will receive a COVID Kit that includes a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometer, and contactless door opener. Sanitizing stations will be located in all buildings on campus (residential, academic and non academic).

If you are exhibiting symptoms, you should immediately isolate yourself in your room and call the Wellness Center to report your symptoms. Avoid contact with others and be sure to wear a mask at all times. It is especially important that you avoid anyone who is immune-compromised. Student Health Services and our student support team will be in contact to provide you with information as to next steps. Commuter students who exhibit symptoms are not allowed to access campus and must isolate at home.

No student will be charged for this testing. The lab cost itself is billed to the student’s insurance. If the student does not have insurance, the cost will be billed to the COVID-19 federal test fund. 

 

Any positive tests and/or potential exposure to COVID-19 will be reported to the DeKalb County Board of Health and will be traced by trained public health contact tracers from public health agencies and/or from our campus. Immediate actions to isolate reported infected or exposed individuals will be implemented. 

Visitors, vendors and contractors (such as construction workers) are allowed on campus and must abide by all campus and building-specific protocols. All outside contractors performing services on campus must wear appropriate personal protective equipment if their work brings them into contact with students, faculty, staff or campus visitors. Residential and commuter students will NOT be permitted to bring guests on campus. 

Residential and commuter students will complete daily symptom screenings through the Medicat portal.

Students will be required to wear masks or face coverings at all times on campus indoors and outdoors (except when alone in private spaces such as their residence room) and must practice physical distancing of at least six feet apart. Elevator use will be limited to two individuals at a time, with priority given to those with mobility issues. The use of restrooms should be limited based on their size to ensure proper social distancing. 

Classrooms and common areas will be set up with directional signage for physical distancing. Multiple daily cleaning protocols will be implemented and hand sanitizer stations will be provided in all buildings. All public restrooms will be sanitized twice per day. We will be testing all buildings for adequate ventilation, and mitigation will be performed where necessary.

Classrooms have been arranged to create adequate distancing between students and between students and professors. Seating capacity will be at 50 percent or less in each room. For dual mode courses (a hybrid of online and in-person), instructors will monitor capacity and make adjustments as needed to maintain safe distances. Computer labs will be sanitized twice daily by custodial staff and will be equipped with sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer. Keyboard covers are being placed on all classroom and computer lab computers to make cleaning easier.

Open seating restrictions, proper physical distancing and other health guidelines will be required in dining spaces, with no more than 50 percent normal occupancy seating. All Dining Services employees will wear personal protective equipment and follow physical distancing protocols in the kitchen, serving and dining areas at all times. All high-contact surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized regularly, and tables will be disinfected between diners. Hand-sanitizing stations will be provided at the entrance to all dining facilities.

Face shields are inadequate to control the spread of Covid. Anyone who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons will not be allowed on campus unless they are able to remain completely isolated at all times. Students requiring medical exemptions should contact the Office of Accessible Education to assistance.

Academic Continuity 

Yes – students may choose to take all of their classes remotely.

The daily schedule of classes will follow the same model used this fall, with longer than usual periods between class meetings to allow for sanitization and physically distanced movement around the campus. Courses, including those in physical education, will be offered via dual mode (a mixture of in-person and remote learning) or entirely remote.

Students who live nearby may come to campus for dual-mode classes, to use our designated areas as study halls and to meet with others—following our screening, mask and physical distancing requirements at all times. The library and learning centers will be accessible to these, and all students.  Commuter students coming to campus will also need to participate in the daily screening process. Testing is required for any student to have access to any on-campus activity, service or program, which includes the library and computer labs

Yes, the SCALE course will take place during Peak Week (March 8-13). Students who register for SCALE will be required to also participate in the Office of Internship and Career Development's Career Summit in January. Instruction will be in dual-mode or remotely, all community engagements with off-campus partners will be conducted remotely.

 

All academic support services will be available to students, both on and off-campus. Academic Advising, the Office of Accessible Education, the Resource Center for Math and Science, the Center for Writing and Speaking and the Center for Digital and Visual Literacy will continue to offer support to all students.

The library will be open with limited capacity. Students who are living off campus must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before gaining access to the library. 

Yes. Students may take up to two courses on a pass/fail basis during the Spring 2021 semester."

Individual and faculty-led study abroad for the Spring 2021 semester has been suspended. Summer 2021 study abroad applications will be accepted on a preliminary basis with final decisions made later in the Spring semester. Applications for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 study abroad will be accepted on a preliminary basis

Students will be able to engage in virtual internships. If in-person internships become available, the decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

Campus Safety 

Yes – this is one of the protocols that will be covered in student orientation.

An Agnes Scott ID card is necessary to enter campus buildings. If someone has a red or orange COVID Colorado test their ID card will be disabled and they will be denied access to the buildings.

No. The exceptions are campus visitors through the Admissions Office and contractors doing official work for the college. Also, Evans Dining Hall will be restricted to students only – no faculty or staff – or visitors – may eat meals there. 

We assume all employees will make common-sense decisions. For employees working in an office with a door, we strongly encourage them to close their doors. But given the different office configurations and workflows, there will be no mandate. 

Dr. Robert Sparks has developed a full compliance procedure to guide the community on how to respond to an individual not wearing a mask. That document will be re-sent. Keep in mind, it is a requirement to wear a mask on campus – it is not optional. If you see a faculty or staff member not wearing a mask, you can report it to their direct supervisor, or reach out to People and Culture. 

Reach out to Facilities to report this. It is a requirement and they work for us. We will be happy to remind them or remove them from campus. 

There are signs around campus stating that masks are required. When students return to campus, public safety officers will be monitoring and reminding community members of this. 

There is ample exterior air re-circulating in the building, and they are currently sourcing the additional filters, and it is adequate for current CDC guidelines.  

Ionizers have been placed in Alston and Evans and are fully operational. 

No. The exceptions are campus visitors through the Admissions Office and contractors doing official work for the college. Evans Dining Hall will be restricted to students only – no faculty, staff or visitors may eat meals there. 

Facilities 

Classroom buildings will be unlocked during the day (just like a normal year), but administrative buildings will be locked and only accessible by staff.

No. Only students living in Campbell will have access to the building after hours. 

Yes. There will be a limited capacity of 3 students in the Commuter Student Lounge on the first floor and a limited capacity of 1 student in the Commuter Lounge on the ground floor in Alston. Other spaces within the Library and Lower Evans will be reserved for commuters. 

Yes. Students will have access to the workout space in Alston with a limited capacity of 1 student and a limited time of 45 minutes. The space will be monitored on an hourly basis. Commuters will NOT be able to use lockers in the space for the Spring 2021 semester. 

Students assigned to Winship Hall will have 24/7 access, however during regular hours of operation access will be available to visit the Office of Residence Life.

Student Campus Life

Yes. All undergraduate students, new and returning, will participate in a “Return to Campus Virtual Orientation” on January 15 to inform Scotties of the policies and procedures in place as it relates to COVID-19. New undergraduate students must complete the virtual platform www.Go2Orientation.com/agnesscott before January 15. All residential students for the Spring 2021 semester are required to attend virtual orientation. 

Campus programs will be offered in larger spaces that will allow for physical distancing. Streaming options will be available to account for capacity concerns and for individuals who are remote. We will not hold off-campus community engagement activities until it is deemed safe to do so. However, the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) will be working closely with community partners to identify remote opportunities. The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) will share an Event Planning Guide with all student organizations upon arrival to campus. 

Use of athletic facilities will be restricted to designated times. A weekly schedule will be posted in The Irvine. Prior to using the facilities, all users will be required to take a health screening. The number of users will be limited to allow for physical distancing.

Students will be living in Campbell, Rebekah, Walters and Winship Halls, as well as Avery Glen. Avery will be a designated isolation space.

Financial Support for Students

Employee Guidance

All offices will have sufficient hand sanitizer, soap, disinfecting wipes and other sanitizing products, along with masks and a supply of rubber gloves. Faculty will also have access to disposable sanitizing wipes in each classroom. Hand sanitizing stations will be located in key areas within all campus buildings. 

Staff who fall into one of the CDC High Risk Conditions for COVID-19 should contact the Office of People and Culture to request accommodations under the ADA.  

You must be tested 7-10 days prior to returning to work on campus. If you travel or attend an event with more than 10 people, you must be tested 3-5 days prior to returning to campus.  Please affirm that you have been tested using the COVID-19 Testing Attestation.

To keep everyone safe and healthy, all asymptomatic faculty and staff working on campus are required to have a COVID-19 test every two weeks. You will be notified by email when and where to be tested.

Employees who are asymptomatic but who may have been exposed to COVID-19 (spending at least 15 minutes sustained time within six feet of a person with COVID-19) — or have a family member at home who has tested positive for COVID-19 — should refrain from working on campus. You should notify your supervisor and consult with your health care provider for guidance on testing, self-isolation and safe-return protocols. You should report your exposure on the Employee Covid-19 Self-Report Form.

Employees who exhibit symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19 should follow the guidance of their health care provider and local public health department regarding treatment and self-isolation. You should notify your supervisor and not return to campus until you have clearance from a health care provider. You should also report your exposure or diagnosis here Employee Covid-19 Self-Report Form

Those whose accrued leave is exhausted due to COVID-19 related illness should contact the Office of People and Culture and may be eligible to apply for donated sick leave.

Refer to the college’s policy on Telework and Leave Guidelines.  Employees may take leave to care for a family member.  They should apply for FMLA leave and use their accrued sick, personal or vacation time.

Yes. All work-related travel is generally suspended. Please contact your supervisor for specific information.

We are aware of the rising cases and for that reason, the first two weeks of classes will be 100% virtual.  The Task Force will continue to monitor these numbers, and we will make further recommendations to extend online learning and encourage virtual appointments if necessary. If it looks like it will not be safe to return to campus, we are prepared to pivot as we have done throughout this pandemic. 
No. Because we are trying to protect students who are living on campus, anyone who comes to campus must provide a negative PCR test. 

Yes, health insurance covers the cost of COVID testing with a provider’s order. For testing performed on campus, there will be no cost.

Each department or division will be making this determination based on the work performed by employees in their area.  Generally speaking, service departments and employee-facing departments will have some employees on campus on a rotating basis.

 

Faculty indicated their intention for their spring semester courses prior to course registration in November (dual-mode or remote).  The mode of instruction for courses may be adjusted prior to or during the semester as the pandemic impacts students and faculty, however, no course will require in-person participation from students.

 

Each office or department will be making these decisions on an individual basis.  Every precaution will be taken to ensure employees who work in close contact with each other are able to separate.

 

An employee who contracts Covid-19 on campus would report this as a Worker’s Compensation case.  As such, their role on campus should not be impacted. They will be required to provide a physician’s approval to return to campus.

College faculty and staff are considered in the 1B group for vaccinations. The college has completed the paperwork and submitted it to the Georgia Department of Public Health to be considered as a vaccination site. We are waiting to hear if we will be selected. 

Miscellaneous 

The budget was built around 425 residential students, and we only have about 300. That has a financial impact of about $800,000, which can be absorbed through the operational budget. There is also a second round of higher education relief funding that can be used to offset revenue losses as well as to help us prepare for a return to campus (facility and classroom upgrades and testing and safety measures).
If needed, we will solicit donations for the sick leave bank.  However, it currently has plenty of hours, so that probably won’t be necessary.