For Parents & Families / Health & Safety Updates

March 25, 2020

Dear Parents,

I have an important update for you regarding the remainder of this Spring semester at Shepherds College. The ever-evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has led many states to issue lockdowns, restrict people’s movement, close numerous businesses, and limit gatherings of people.  Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order, closing all non-essential businesses and ordering people to stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible. This took effect this morning and continues through April 24.  Governor Evers’ order provides us with some clear direction regarding our plans to resume our school year.

As we look out for the best interests of the health and well-being of our students and staff, respond to the impact of COVID-19, and follow the orders of our state and national leaders, our primary objectives are to:

  1. Complete the 2019-2020 school year by meeting the clock hour requirements for this spring semester.
  2. See all students return to SC to complete this semester.
  3. Hold a commencement ceremony to honor our 2020 graduates.

Here are the particulars of our updated plan:

  • Spring break is again extended through Friday, May 1, with Saturday, May 2 set as the new travel day – the day that all students should return to campus. 
  • Classes will resume on Monday, May 4 and continue through Thursday, June 18.
  • Two graduation-related events will be scheduled for Friday, June 19– a Baccalaureate service in the morning and a commencement celebration dinner that evening.
  • Graduation will be held on Saturday, June 20 at 1:00 pm.
  • SC instructors will put together virtual lessons and subsequent assignments for students to complete prior to their return to SC on May 2.
    • Approximately 50 hours of school work will be made up during the month of April.  The first set of lessons will be available no later than Monday, April 6.
    • Lessons will be distributed to both students and parents.  Instructions regarding the delivery methods of virtual classes will be shared with you by Friday, April 3.
    • SC instructors and paraprofessionals will be available to answer questions from students/parents.
    • Students will need to have access to the their SC email account.
    • Student will need to have access to a computer and the internet.  If a student does not have access to the internet, check with local providers to see if they are running specials during the COVID-19 event.  In our area, Spectrum is offering free internet services to new customers where a student is part of the household.  If the student has access to the internet, but does not have access to a computer, we can mail him/her their Chromebook from here at SC  – just let their advisor know.
    • One extra hour of instruction will be added to each class day on campus during May and June.
  • The end-of-semester travel day for students traveling home by air, train, or bus will be Sunday, June 21.  Those traveling home by car can check out of their student life areas on Saturday, June 20, following the commencement ceremony.

As with previous Shepherds College plans in response to COVID-19, this one is also subject to change if developments in the days and weeks ahead so dictate. Our COVID-19 related communications can be found at:  https://www.shepherdscollege.edu/parents-and-families/for-parents-and-families/health-and-safety-updates/

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work through all of this together.  Your support, encouragement and prayers for us through this time are appreciated.

Tracy N. Terrill             
President

March 16, 2020

Dear Parents, 

I have another important update for you regarding Shepherds College’s response to COVID-19.  On Friday, my email update encouraged you to pick up your student or reschedule their air, train or bus travel home and do so over the weekend and through today.  Around the same time that I sent that email on Friday, the Governor of Wisconsin decided that all K-12 schools should be closed starting this week.  

Our plan was to continue to offer classes with whatever students remained on campus this week.  However, given the closing of all K-12 schools in the state, other closures related to the virus, and the emphasis on “social distancing,” we have decided to take further action as follows: 

  • Classes will be cancelled following the academic training today at 3:00 pm. and
  • Campus will close to students tomorrow at Noon. 

So if you have not yet picked up your student, we are asking that you do so either tonight between 4:00 and 8:00 pm or tomorrow between 8:00 am and Noon.  If you will be picking up your student today or tomorrow morning, please email Belinda Lunt and Lori Konopasek and let them know when you plan to arrive on campus. 

Our plans, as announced last week, to extend Spring Break by two weeks and to delay graduation and the end of the school year one week to June 13 have not changed.  If it becomes necessary to change those plans, we will communicate to you as soon as those decisions are made.

Tracy N. Terrill
President

March 13, 2020

Dear Parents,

It’s incredible how much has changed since yesterday morning with information pertaining to Shepherds College’s response to the COVID-19 virus. Yesterday, the Governor of Wisconsin declared a State of Emergency in our state and, as of today, we now have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Racine County where SC is located. 

In an effort to look out for the best interest of our students and staff, and in consideration that there is a possibility that domestic air travel is grounded, we have determined the following plan of action for this rapidly evolving situation:

  • We are extending Spring Break by two additional weeks, meaning the travel day for students to return to campus will now be Monday, April 13. As we reschedule this return travel date, please understand that this date is also subject to change depending on future developments related to COVID-19. Updated travel plans for students’ return to campus on Monday, April 13 will need to be communicated to Belinda Lunt in the SC office.
  • The extended Spring Break and the loss of two weeks of class time has caused us to delay the date for our graduation and the end of the school year by one week, to Saturday, June 13.  That extra week will help us make up class time, and we will extend instruction time on other days by 45 minutes so that we make up for the lost time.
  • If your student is traveling home for Spring Break by airplane, train, or bus, we are strongly encouraging you to move up those travel plans and have your student travel home as soon as possible. Our preference would be that all of this type of travel be completed by Monday, March 16.  We will make staff available to transport students to the airport, bus or train station starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 14. If driving here and picking up your student is within reason, you may want to consider that alternative in an effort to avoid the elevated risk of an airport or other means of public transportation. Please communicate the changes of these travels plans to both Belinda Lunt in the SC office and Lori Konopasek.  Please be sure to schedule travel departures between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. and notify Belinda and Lori at least 24 hours in advance of your student’s travel departure.
  • If you plan to pick up your student from campus for Spring Break, you are welcome to come pick them up starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 14 at 9:00 am.  If you intend to pick up your student early, please communicate your plans to both Belinda Lunt in the SC office and Lori Konopasek. When you arrive on campus, please connect with the Student Life staff in your student’s residential area and check out with that staff member.    
  • We will be sending all medications that are on campus with students when they depart.  Student Life staff will help students pack one week’s worth of items for all students.  If you need additional items packed, please include that information in your e-mail to Belinda Lunt and Lori Konopasek.  We would like to be prepared in advance in order to minimize the time that families are on campus to reduce exposure.  If your student receives their medications from Lakeview pharmacy, please contact Lakeview to get the next month’s medication.  The current medications finish on April 6.  Lakeview will require 6 business days to fill the medications and mail them.  
  • If you have a time-sensitive need to connect with a staff member about any of this, please call the SC Charge Number at (262)-994-8670.

We fully recognize that each of these changes poses significant challenges for all of us, and that the weeks ahead will require us all to be extremely flexible. We will continue to monitor the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for further developments that will serve to guide our future response to this pandemic. Our COVID-19 related communications can be found at:  https://www.shepherdscollege.edu/parents-and-families/for-parents-and-families/health-and-safety-updates/ .  We are committed to communicating with you in a timely manner as Shepherds College’s decisions and action plans in response to COVID-19 are determined.

Thank you for your prayers and support as we navigate all of this.

Tracy N. Terrill
President

March 12, 2020

Dear Parents, 

As concern for the spread of the Coronavirus continues, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS), under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has stated that the health risk to the general public remains relatively low, both in Wisconsin and in the United States. We have reached out to WDPH and look forward to their assistance in keeping our students and staff well. We continue our regular cleaning, but also have increased our disinfection of objects, surfaces and equipment in all areas.  

With Spring break upon us in a week, we are cancelling both off campus activities and visitors coming to our campus through March 30.  Consideration will be given into extending these restrictions as we learn more about this pandemic in the days ahead. These restrictions include:

  • 3rd year students will not go off campus for their Field Experience assignments,
  • Students will not be taken off campus for grocery or personal shopping,
  • No off-campus activities (we will offer additional on-campus activities),
  • No off-campus church attendance (we will hold services on campus),
  • No visitors will be allowed on campus, including prospective students, volunteers, etc., and
  • Air travel for members of our advancement team has been suspended.   

As of Wednesday, March 11, WDHS has now seen three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.  Note: We have no known cases or any reason to be concerned about our staff or students at this point. We are resolved to encouraged students and staff to help to contain the virus by following these basic hygiene practices which we employ every day at Shepherds College, and recognize are even more vital at this time:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands,
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with tissue, (not hands) then throwing the tissue in the trash,
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas, surfaces and objects in dorms, halls, apartments, etc.,
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and
  • When feeling ill, students will be seen by our nursing team for evaluation and staff encouraged to stay home when sick.

Please know our Leadership Team will be monitoring the actions and recommendations of the CDC and the Division of Public Health regarding the outbreak of COVID-19. The safety of our staff and students is paramount and will guide our response to this matter. 

We will continue to aggressively follow all recommendations and will provide additional communications on a regular basis.  

Please check below for helpful links to both the WDHS and CDC coronavirus page for specific information.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you for your prayers, support and understanding as we all navigate this rapidly evolving situation.

 

Tracy N. Terrill
President

 

Helpful Links:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

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