UW-Green Bay Fall 2020 Classroom Guidelines for faculty and staff

The following are Classroom Guidelines for UW-Green Bay faculty and staff:

The Board of Regents passed the following two guidelines at their July meeting, which have informed these revised classroom guidelines. UW campus leaders shall prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities in their decision making. UW campuses shall adopt policies or protocols to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, considering public health recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state/county health departments, to include the following, at a minimum:

  1. Face coverings shall be required in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms, and strongly encouraged outside when physical distancing is not possible;
  2. Physical distancing of at least six feet when feasible in all classrooms, and where possible in labs, specialized learning environments, public spaces and in workspaces;
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water, or the use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not readily available; and
  4. Self-monitoring by members of the campus community daily for
    symptoms of COVID-19, and if symptoms exist, follow the direction provided by campus or public health officials.

Face covering policy: Instructors and students will be required to wear face masks/coverings within the classroom. We will be asking instructors to include a common syllabus statement on face coverings (included later in this document), which they would be able to reference if there were concerns about students not following this requirement. If a person arrives at a classroom without a mask, they will be provided a disposable mask. If a reminder is not sufficient, it is recommended that instructors take a brief break from classroom instruction to allow the situation to cool down. The Dean of Students will handle the reporting of non-compliant students.

Face shields are not an acceptable replacement for masks since they do not provide adequate protection. Disability Services will be issuing masks that have a clear portion over the mouth to in- person instructors. These masks should aid communication by allowing students to view expressions and read lips. We will also have microphones available in larger classrooms to aid instructors to make it easier to communicate. However, it should be noted that it will also be more difficult to hear students talking with masks.

Classroom safety: Classroom capacities will reflect a maximum limit of 51 individuals (including the instructor) with six-feet of physical distancing per individual. Facilities will place dots on the desks to indicate where students should sit. Instructors will need to develop seating charts for their classes and take attendance to assist with contact tracing. In the event that someone in the class tests positive, individuals who have been determined at risk of exposure will be notified by a designee of the County Health Department and provide further instruction. With the classroom requirements including face covering, physical distancing and routine cleaning, the risk of infection would be substantially mitigated. Only those who have been determined to be at risk of infection based on exposure would be required to isolate as instructed. 

Instructors should plan to maintain physical distancing within the classroom setting and should minimize their contact with students. For example, instructors will need to be mindful where they walk during class time, how students receive and turn in materials, and what sorts of in-class activities are able to be conducted to limit close contact among students. We recommend that instructors utilize Canvas or email for students to receive and turn in materials to minimize contact. If you do need to pass out materials in class, consider placing them in a central location in the front of the class six feet from you and all others and next to hand sanitizer. Ask students to come up one at a time from row to row to pick up the material. If you need to collect the material, follow the same process in reverse, with students putting their work in a folder, box, or another receptacle.

Instructors should plan on dismissing their class 5 minutes early to allow for greater opportunity to physically distance and to conduct any wiping down of surfaces. This loss of in-person instruction time should be accounted for via alternative delivery means. Instructors should dismiss their students 10 at a time or 50% of the class, whichever is lower, to minimize the number of people clustered together at once, starting from the front to the back of the classroom. If there are two doors to a classroom, one should be labeled as the entry door and the other should be labeled as the exit door to also mitigate interaction.

In classrooms, there will be a clean and dirty bucket for dry erase markers. Instructors can place “used” markers in this dirty bucket. Instructors would be able to wipe down the marker or plastic holder of the eraser before use if needed. Cloth chairs will need to be covered in plastic or switched out with hard surface chairs instead to facilitate cleaning. For classes with microphones, we are working to determine how best to sanitize these, likely utilizing microphone covers.

There will be hand sanitizing stations at the main entries to buildings, which instructors and students will be encouraged to use. Each floor of academic buildings will have cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer available. Incoming instructors should plan to clean touch points (computers, clickers, etc.) prior to the beginning of each class. Incoming students should wipe down their space before class starts. Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized at least once per day. Specialized art and lab courses will develop cleaning protocols in Academic Affairs for how equipment will be cleaned between uses.

Specific Class Considerations
Classes will be taught in a variety of modalities in the fall semester. Music classes and ensembles for voice and instruments requiring voice have an approved safety plan to be offered in-person allowing for 12 feet or more of physical distancing using small groups of students in sizable spaces (e.g., Cofrin Family Hall in Weidner Center).

Classroom Technology
We are utilizing CARES Act funding to be able to outfit the following 20 classrooms with recording equipment so that instructors would be able to stream or record their lectures while lecturing. However, it is important to note that students would need sufficient Internet access to be able to live stream a course and this transmission would only be occurring one-way. We have prioritized larger classrooms to account for limited class capacities with physical distancing.
ES: 114
MAC Hall: 103, 204, 206, 208, 210
Rose Hall: 250
Studio Arts: 350
Wood Hall: 114, 117, 118, 201, 205, 213, 215, 216, 303
Marinette: M117
Manitowoc: H102
Sheboygan: 1203

CATL has created a resource to help you envision what your courses may look like this fall. Their advanced training course will help you build that vision in partnership with a cohort of colleagues. Sections of the course will run two-weeks, with new sections starting each week until the end of August.

Campus Calendar Adjustments: Several institutions are adopting a model whereby they move classes online at Thanksgiving (e.g., Madison, Eau Claire, St. Norbert’s). However, this is not a good fit for our institution since our students are more likely to be commuter students (i.e., most students go home every weekend rather than just for Thanksgiving) than these other institutions. We will need to be prepared to pivot to the online/alternative learning environment at any point in the fall semester, depending on recommendations from local health authorities.

Accommodating students: We will be requiring students to perform a daily self-assessment and advising that they should not come to campus if they are feeling sick, specifically if they are symptomatic. Instructors are not to require documentation of illness for students so that healthcare facilities will not be further burdened. Accommodations will depend upon the class, but instructors will need to be flexible in their approach, in addressing students who cannot attend class on a specific day due to being symptomatic. Those students who are required to isolate for up to 14 days based on being infected or exposed will need academic accommodations. The instructor will be noticed of the need for the student to isolate and can work with the Dean of Students to facilitate continued education. We recommend the use of an asynchronous online core as a way for instructors to accommodate students and prepare for a possible online transition.

Students with disabilities or documented health conditions will be encouraged to work with Disability Services if they need any classroom accommodations. If students become sick or need to self- quarantine, they should work with the Dean of Students office. For students who are uncomfortable coming to campus, but do not have a documented health condition, we encourage instructors to work with these students. For example, instructors could ask the student what they were thinking of to see if it could be reasonably accommodated (e.g., sharing slides on Canvas). If instructors feel like they would not be able to accommodate the request, they should refer the student to the Dean of Students Office. They will then talk to the student to see if there are other options for accommodations or taking other courses, and can reach out to the instructor or the chair if it seems like there could be some possible alternative options.

Office hours policy: Instructors are encouraged to utilize virtual office hours using the TEAMS platform. We will be providing standardized language for instructors to incorporate into their syllabus on this. If students need to meet face-to-face, they should set up an appointment with the instructor ahead of time so the instructor can find a room that would accommodate physical distancing (e.g., department conference room). Consistent with the campus policy, both instructor and student would need to wear a face covering during this in-person meeting. Students would be encouraged to use the virtual office hour platform or scheduled physically distanced meeting, rather than trying to talk after class when instructors and students are trying to clean and move out of the classroom maintaining physical distance.

COVID-19 Syllabus Statements

Required Statements:

Statement on Face Covering

In response to COVID-19, and in alignment with the UW Green Bay Building Access Policy OP 15-17-01- c, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and the established requirements of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System; face coverings are required at all times while on campus. This includes the classroom, laboratory, studio, creative space, or any type of in-person instructional activity, and public spaces.”

Face coverings shall satisfy the stated recommendation is the Phoenix Forward: Return to Campus Plan pages 8 & 9.

Students that cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability, or who are unable to remove a mask without assistance may seek an accommodation through the Office of COVID-19 Response.

Statement on Social Distancing

As instructors, we cherish our interactions with students. As citizens in these peculiar times we must acknowledge that face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Students shall observe current social distancing guidelines where possible in accordance while in the classroom, laboratory, studio, creative space (hereafter referred to as instructional space) setting and in public spaces. Students should avoid congregating around instructional space entrances before or after class sessions. If the instructional space has designated entrance and exit doors students are required to use them. Students should exit the instructional space immediately after the end of instruction to help ensure social distancing and allow for the persons attending the next scheduled class session to enter.

Recommended Statement:

In accordance with UWS 17 and UWS 21 Wis.Admin.Code a student may be subject to disciplinary sanctions for failure to comply with policy, including this syllabus, for failure to comply with the directions of a University Official, for disruptive behavior in the classroom, or any other prohibited action. This prohibited behavior includes but not limited to failure to follow course, laboratory, or safety rules, or endangering the health of others. A student may be dropped from class at any time for misconduct or disruptive behavior in the classroom upon recommendation of the instructor and subject to the procedure established in UWS 17. A student may also receive disciplinary sanctions through the Office of Judicial Conduct for misconduct or disruptive behavior, including endangering the health of others, in the classroom.

COVID-19 Resources

Consider including links to one or more of the following: