Greetings Saints Community,
We are now weeks away from welcoming our students back. I would like to thank the faculty who are preparing for the hybrid format we are delivering this fall. Much work has gone into preparations which has also included the migration to the new LMS Brightspace. I want to thank Neil Witikko and his team for the extensive professional development that has been offered over the summer and the IT support teams that have assisted the faculty.
Our teaching and learning spaces have been prepared to meet MDH requirements and plans are in place for systematic cleaning. Our student affairs and student life staff have also been very busy preparing for a different environment where physical distancing and face coverings protocols mean modifying the ways in which we offer co-curricular activities.
On the Duluth campus you will see additional outdoor seating where students, faculty and staff can safely socialize. As we welcome each other and our students back, please remember that we are all in this together. As the MDH commented this week, the number one thing that will help Minnesota in the long run is for people to follow COVID19 behavior protocols: wearing face coverings, practicing social/physical distancing and washing hands frequently.
A few updates for you:
Governor's Announcement on K-12: The Governor's Office announced plans for K-12 return yesterday. It appears that decisions on modality of return will rest at the county/local level and guided by MDH recommendations. The Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year, which outlines the approach Minnesota plans to take, can be found at the state Department of Education website.
Faculty Staff Institute Save the Date: Faculty Staff Institute Week will begin with New Faculty Orientation on Monday, August 24th and Faculty Staff Institute on Wednesday, August 26th. All FSI Week events will be held virtually. The Faculty Staff Institute committee is working on the final details and schedule for the entire week, including the Academic Development Workshop, Faculty Assembly, Staff Council, School meetings, and Department Chairs' Workshop, and will be sending out more information on the events of that week soon.
Facilities: Security takes on a new name and will now be referred to as the Campus Safety Department. In addition to the name change, we have relocated their office to the 2nd floor of Tower Hall 2617 within the Facilities office area. As always, you can still reach them at the same phone number 723-5937 for non-emergencies and 723-6175 for emergencies. Thank you to Tom Brekke, Mike Turner, and Zach Babcock and his team for making this a smooth transition.
Parking Passes: Due to the hybrid course offerings this fall, the 2020-21 parking permit cost will be reduced to $50.00. Daily parking permits will no longer be available and there will be no changes to visitor parking. The Campus Safety Department will be enforcing required parking permits. Please register for your parking pass at css.edu/parking
Saints Shop: Effective immediately, the Saints Shop will only be accepting debit/credit card payments; cash and checks will no longer be accepted. Please check out the Saints Shop website for updated store hours and your Saints gear at shop.css.edu
Extended Sites COVID Preparedness: One of the SRU subcommittees is focused on ensuring our extended sites are ready for the fall semester and that students, faculty and staff are supported. Our St. Cloud site will be staffed on a daily basis by enrollment staff beginning August 10 and nursing faculty will be in person when needed for teaching. All classrooms and offices have been reviewed for new occupancy numbers and our new space is allowing for nursing classes to continue in person. Plexiglass shields, hand sanitizers, and other cleaning supplies have all been ordered for the building. We are also working closely with our landlord on building protocols and following Main Campus guidelines where applicable. We do not have any in-person classes at our St. Paul location this fall. Faculty and staff who currently office on that campus are in the process of relocating over the fall semester. Our embedded sites at Central Lakes, Inver Hills, Itasca and Riverland will all be following safety protocols set forth by the Minnesota State system.
Our Guiding Principles: Previously we unveiled the Community Pledge. This week we are sharing Our Guiding Principles, which can also be found on the css.edu/safereturn page. Associate Vice President for Mission Integration Sister Kathleen Del Monte has directed the development of this document. Relying on our core values as our foundation, it is a guide for our decision making as we plan for our Fall 2020 semester. Our Guiding Principles complements the Community Pledge and aids us in determining the best paths forward for our community during these times. Please read it and refer to it as needed when you are making decisions.
Enjoy the weekend, stay safe and well!