Archive for the ‘Community Messages’ Category.

Important Update on the Fall Semester and Move-out Timing

Dear Students,

We have been fortunate to have continued in-person learning so far this semester, but the worsening county, state, and campus data trends are concerning. There has been an increase in the number of tests administered to campus community members and some recent positive results. There has also been an uptick in the number of students in isolation and quarantine, with growing numbers of individuals identified as close contacts. While there is no crystal ball to project the future, there is significant evidence that we should manage the situation before an outbreak occurs on campus. 

Therefore, with unanimous support from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, the College has made the difficult decision to end in-person classes and on-campus residency next Saturday, Nov. 7, by 4 p.m. All classes will be delivered entirely online starting Monday, Nov. 9. Only pre-approved students can remain on campus after Nov. 7.

Please review these FAQs, which will be updated as questions arise. Contact information@lvc.edu or call 717-867-6555 if you have a question that has not been addressed. We will hold a virtual town hall for students and families Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. | Join at this link. (password: GoValley)

A few key points:

  • This coming week, you can choose to take your classes either online or in-person. You do not need to make a formal request to the registrar but should make your professors aware of your plans.
  • Continue to complete the daily symptom tracker for 14 days after you leave campus. If you receive a Red X at any point in these 14 days, contact student health services at healthservices@lvc.edu or 717-867-6232. 
  • Keep following the Community Covenant. Vigilantly wash your hands and practice physical distancing. Do not attend parties, participate in gatherings, or travel with others in cars.
  • If your academic program necessitates you to be on-campus, even if you are commuting, continue to fill out the daily symptom tracker. Please check this blog for open hours.
  • Academic affairs is working with faculty to ensure students fulfill their graduation requirements.

Residential Students:

  • This evening, residence life will place sign-out sheets with instructions on your door. Notify your RA and sign the sheet when you leave campus. Up to two family members can come to campus to assist you with moving out. They must be masked. Residence life will inspect your room upon your departure.
  • If you feel you need to remain living in campus housing, please complete this request form by Monday, Nov. 2., at noon. Those who have clinicals or student teaching requirements and those who need access to technology, housing, food, or other in-person services will be considered. Students who remain on campus must continue to use the daily symptom tracker.
  • Take all your belongings with you. Contact Res-Life@lvc.edu with questions. 
  • Self-quarantine at home for two weeks to protect family members.
  • The College will credit your student account at the end of the semester with pro-rated room and board fees for Nov. 8 through Nov. 25, unless you are approved to remain on campus. We will carry these credits over to your spring semester bill. December graduates will receive a refund check via mail.

Though I wish we could have made it to the Thanksgiving break, winding down now—just two weeks ahead of schedule—is the most prudent thing to do. LVC’s faculty and staff have prepared well for this pivot. Campus resources such as the Breen Center for Graduate Success, the Center for Academic Success, tutoring, accessibility services, and counseling services will remain available remotely.

We are grateful for your patience and resilience in weathering this turn of events and appreciate how careful you have been in continuing to practice physical distancing, frequent handwashing, symptom tracking, and mask-wearing to keep yourself and each other safe. Please continue to follow these vital guidelines even after you return home. We are working hard to plan for the spring semester and will communicate updates soon about the 2021 return to campus plans.

Be safe and be well.

Dr. MacLaren

It’s Time for Your Flu Shot

Dear Campus Community,

The signs of fall are all around us. The days are cooling off, pumpkin spice latte is back, and Halloween is just around the corner—all indicators that it’s time for your flu shot!

This year it’s more important than ever to roll up your sleeve and get your annual flu vaccination. I know that only about 50 percent of adults get a flu shot in Pennsylvania each year, and I am confident that our LVC community can improve that percentage.

There are many good reasons to get a flu shot. It protects you and the people around you, and during the coronavirus pandemic, fewer people with the flu will reduce the strain on our already overburdened healthcare system. Make no mistake, seasonal flu is a dangerous illness. 

Every year medical experts develop a vaccine specific to the expected flu strains that will get people sick in the current year. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies protect against infection through the viruses used to make the vaccine.

It’s best to get inoculated before the flu gets a foothold in our community.

LVC is holding flu shot clinics for students and employees. Check your email for details.

If, like me, you’ve ever had a nasty case of the flu, you’ll do almost anything to avoid an encore of that experience. I’m going to schedule my flu shot. I hope you will do the same.

James

Updated Return to Campus Plan [Aug. 26, 2020]

LVC’s plan for returning to campus was most recently updated Aug. 26, 2020.

COVIDCampusSafetyPlan-2_20

Partnership with Penn State Health

Dear Campus Community,

I am happy to report that Lebanon Valley College has established a partnership with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center as part of our fall return-to-campus preparations. Through its Department of Family and Community Medicine, the medical center will provide LVC with a medical director with direct experience treating college-aged students, additional clinical health center staffing, guidance on responding to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, referrals for testing, and contact tracing support.

On- and off-campus clinical care for students will be significantly expanded. The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has hired Dr. Levelle Drose-Bigatel, a family practice physician who will serve as medical director of LVC’s Shroyer Health Center. In addition to her general directorship duties, she will advise College staff regarding the care of students with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, refer students for COVID-19 testing, and provide guidance to the College on public health and infectious disease plans and protocols, drawing on expertise from Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

An advanced care practitioner (nurse practitioner or physician assistant) from Penn State Health will provide on-campus care alongside Shroyer Health Center staff and allow us to expand health center hours. Students will also have 24/7 access to Penn State Health’s on-demand virtual services, as well as in-person and on-call care at Penn State Health Medical Group—Palmyra.

Crucial to our reopening is the College’s ability to conduct thorough contact tracing, which requires substantial training and staff resources. Through this partnership, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will provide a licensed practical nurse to guide us in the process and to conduct tracing as needed. Eighteen LVC staff members have completed contact tracing training through an online course provided by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am extremely grateful that they have signed up for such an important role.

Please continue to practice physical distancing, limit your interactions with others, wash your hands often, complete the daily symptom tracker, and wear a mask.

Sincerely,
President James MacLaren

Community Covenant

It is a privilege to be a member of the Lebanon Valley College community of learners. The foundation of our community rests upon the principle that we are only as good as the sum of our parts. For this reason, we embrace our responsibilities to support, assist, challenge, and hold each other to account. As we prepare for a new academic year during this pandemic, let us reaffirm our beliefs and values, both personal and communal, to foster a safe, healthy, and high-quality educational environment. By engaging as a member of the College community, each of us commits to uphold the policies, procedures, and mitigation strategies set forth by Lebanon Valley College:

  • Self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Refrain from behaviors that will compromise my health and the health of others within our community to include adhering to traffic flow guidelines, guest and visitation policies, any directives to self-isolate as appropriate, and limit my exposure to others who choose to do otherwise.
  • Adhere to safe practices such as wearing face coverings, practice physical distancing, employ good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, and greet others without shaking hands.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect my personal space and items.
  • Prioritize virtual or outdoor meetings with physical distancing.
  • Communicate potential health concerns, including COVID-19 symptoms, to appropriate personnel in Shroyer Health Center (students) or my personal physician (employees), and to report all health-related issues as instructed by College policy.
  • Hold others accountable to uphold these standards as members of the LVC community.
  • Demonstrate care and concern for others.

Those who do not follow the College’s employee and COVID-19 policies or the Student Conduct Code will be prohibited from campus property. LVC policies and protocols may be stricter than county color-status guidelines.

Important Update—Fall 2020 Return to Campus

Dear Campus Community,

I hope this update finds you and your family safe and well. I write to share some key updates on Lebanon Valley College’s planning for an in-person, on-time start to the Fall 2020 semester. I am closely coordinating with President-elect James MacLaren, the president’s staff, the Critical Incident and Emergency Management Team, and several Provost-led faculty task forces to develop a playbook to guide our efforts.

I’ve noted in the past that the successful and rapid pivot this spring demonstrated LVC at its best. The same is true of the planning underway. Administrators and faculty are working very hard researching, developing, and crystalizing complex plans that have many intertwined consequences that must be thought through.

We are basing our plans on a defined set of guiding principles and gating conditions placing the well-being of our campus community as the highest priority and emphasizing academic quality, equity, financial sustainability, and compliance with federal and state guidelines. We are closely following guidance from the PA Department of Education to build the playbook.

Fall Calendar and Academic Experience
The academic calendar will be adjusted to limit the number of times large numbers of students travel to and from campus. The semester will start one week early, with undergraduate and graduate classes beginning Monday, Aug. 24. There will be no Fall Break. On-campus learning will end by Thanksgiving break and instruction will continue online through Dec. 4. Finals are Dec. 7–11. Class times, locations, and schedules will be adjusted to allow for physical distancing. These changes will be communicated when finalized. We plan to accommodate students who may need to remain on campus after Thanksgiving for clinicals or athletics.

All classes will be delivered in-person and online at the same time to accommodate students with underlying conditions or those who become ill. Faculty are developing online learning components so they can give students support and attention. Clear course outcomes will be articulated, and support services will be emphasized perhaps now more than ever. Additionally, faculty will use Canvas and other LVC-supported technology whenever possible to streamline electronic course delivery.

Residential Life
We will decrease the density in our residential facilities for the fall. Currently, we plan on double occupancy with strict hygiene and physical distancing practices in place. The College has temporarily extended the Housing Exemption process to allow current residential students the opportunity to live off-campus in the local community and expanded the commuting radius to allow current residential students who live beyond 30 miles of campus the opportunity to commute for the 2020–21 academic year. A staggered move-in and modified orientation schedule will be developed. Plans for these will be communicated soon.

Health Protocols
The College is identifying a healthcare partner or partners who can advise and assist us with temperature-taking, testing, tracing, and managing suspected or confirmed cases should they occur on campus. More information will be shared when the partnership has been finalized. Protocols for dining, masking, physical distancing, and pedestrian flow are being developed, and there will be an educational campaign to promote these habits and hygiene practices. Learning spaces will be reconfigured so that desks and podiums can be organized to support physical distancing. Facility services already uses the proper cleaning products to disinfect spaces and is acquiring hand sanitizer stations to place throughout campus. We are bringing employees back to campus to prepare for the return of students through a phased process guided by new pandemic and employee policies that employees can find in ADP.

If there are any positive COVID-19 cases in the campus community, an alert will be issued to employees and students via email and text through the College’s emergency alert system (Omnilert) and posted to the LVC website and social media. Even in instances when the risk is low, we want to ensure all members of our community have the information they need to make decisions about their well-being.

Future Communications
Virtual town halls will be held throughout the summer for returning and new students, faculty, staff, trustees, leadership council members, and prospective students to hear directly from campus leadership and have their questions answered.

Additionally, faculty, staff, students, families, and trustees will regularly receive an LVC Forward e-newsletter with information about the latest decisions and developments. All updates and alerts will be posted to a new LVC Forward blog on the LVC website as well. This searchable space will serve as a hub for all information related to our return to campus and strategic initiatives that unfold as part of the process.

The College will continue to adapt and add detail to the plans as we receive additional guidance from the federal government, the PA Department of Health and Department of Education, the NCAA and MAC Conference, and any healthcare partners. The remaining unknowns and uncertainties require us all to remain flexible and agile so that we can quickly adjust to new circumstances as needed.

My tenure at the College concludes at the end of this month. Dorry and I are so grateful to have been a part of this community, which delivers one of the finest educational experiences in the nation. You can be confident that LVC is welcoming a leader who has proven experience in managing a crisis. Dr. MacLaren was instrumental in Tulane University’s recovery after Hurricane Katrina. He and his wife, Gina, will arrive in Annville very soon. With his leadership and the enduring dedication and resilience of all, LVC will emerge from this global crisis stronger than ever.

Warmly, 
President Thayne 

Food Resources

Please contact Jen Liedtka (liedtka@lvc.edu) or Renata Willilams (rwilliam@lvc.edu) if you are having difficulty accessing food. Connect with us, and we’ll help you find local resources.

Planning for an In-person Fall 2020 Start

May 6, 2020

Dear LVC Community,

As this historic Spring 2020 semester draws to a close, I am inspired by the accomplishments and agility of our students, their families, faculty, and staff. You have overcome challenges and adapted to often daily changes requiring strength of mind, body, emotion, and spirit. It has been an honor to lead the College for eight years and to once again see LVC at its best

Now the College has begun in earnest to prepare for what comes next. I am happy to report that the College is deep into planning for an in-person start of the fall 2020 semester. The College’s senior leadership and Critical Incident & Emergency Management Team are developing several scenarios for opening up LVC gradually over the summer. These plans will be based on guidance the Pennsylvania Department of Health expects to release May 15, as well as recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are also vetting potential partners to advise and assist with any needed mitigation strategies.

The team is working closely with incoming president Dr. James MacLaren to define the next eight weeks, and he will take the lead on planning for the next academic year. His experience as part of the team that led Tulane University Katrina-recovery efforts will be invaluable to this process.

The scenarios we are outlining will be flexible. Scheduling may change to reduce density in classrooms and labs. Residence halls may hold fewer students, and there might temporarily be more commuters. Even though the way students learn in the fall will likely be different from how it has been in the past, rest assured that Lebanon Valley College is committed to maintaining the same level of personalized attention it has always given to students. Student affairs will develop co-curricular programming to maintain the community connectedness that makes LVC so special. Learning outcomes will not change, and students will be on the same path to graduate on-time and fully prepared for their careers or post-graduate studies.

There are still many unknowns, including questions related to athletics, student worker opportunities for fall, move-in and Orientation, dining services, and the status of the virus and its spread. As conditions change, LVC will keep you informed.

Please continue to practice physical distancing, and encourage each other—remotely—as we show the world what it means to be #LVCStrong.

Warmest Regards,

President Lewis E. Thayne