Archive for the ‘Community Messages’ Category.

In-person Learning Delayed Until Feb. 15, 2021

Dear Students and Families,

Given the continuing spread of COVID-19 and the presence of the new, more infectious strain in our region, we have decided to delay LVC’s in-person return to campus until Monday, Feb. 15. I’m sorry we can’t proceed as planned, but the good news is that our partners at Penn State Health, who advised us on this decision, have told us there is light at the end of the tunnel as caseloads are projected to decline and vaccinations become more available. I know we all miss being together on our beautiful campus, but we need to wait just a little while longer to protect our community and increase our chances of having the rest of the semester in-person.

You can hear updates and ask questions at a virtual information session for students and their families on Wednesday, Jan.20, at 7 p.m. (Password: GoValley)

 A few key points:

  • Classes will still begin Feb. 1, but they will be delivered online only until Feb. 15. The academic calendar remains unchanged.
  • Residential students will move back to campus Feb. 12–14 unless they have otherwise been authorized to return earlier. On Feb. 1, Caitlin Lenker will send a Sign-up Genius link for students to select a move-in slot.
  • We have adjusted the entry testing timeline to account for the delayed return. If you have not already taken an entry test, you will receive an email on Monday, Feb. 1, with instructions for requesting a test kit and setting up an account with Quest Diagnostics. Students who have already taken an entry test and received negative results may return to campus early according to your approved arrival date.
  • If you need to return to campus before Feb. 12, please complete this request form by Sunday, Jan. 17, at midnight. If you are approved to return to campus early and haven’t already completed your entry test, you will receive an email on Tuesday, Jan. 19, with instructions on requesting an entry test and creating a Quest account.
  • Student-athletes will be notified by their coaches when to report to campus.
  • Student accounts will be credited room and board for the time students are not authorized to live in campus residential facilities or use dining services. We will distribute refunds of any remaining credit balances after the close of the semester.
  • The College continues to monitor the vaccine distribution process. We hope to learn soon about resources available to students. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated now, please do so. Keep your vaccination records on-hand. We’re setting up a secure reporting database.
  • As we have in the past, we ask that you quarantine at home 14 days before returning to campus, if possible.

You can find more information on the LVC Forward blog. Please email information@lvc.edu if you have any questions.

As always, wear a mask, stay distanced, avoid gatherings, and wash your hands often. The eventual end of this pandemic lies not only with vaccine distribution but with our continuing vigilance.

For ourselves. For each other.

All my best,

President MacLaren

Spring 2021 Return-to-campus Plan [Updated Jan. 15, 2021]

Census Testing for Spring 2021

LVC will conduct weekly COVID-19 test sampling of students and employees during in-person learning and continue doing so until data indicates that testing is no longer warranted. Additionally, LVC will test student-athletes regularly according to Middle Atlantic Conference and NCAA guidelines, which vary by sport. Testing rates will be scientifically based and informed by our healthcare partners and public health guidance.

Students who do not participate in testing will not be permitted on campus and must take classes remotely.

Spring 2021 Calendar

Dear Campus Community,

We continue to work through the details of our return to in-person learning and residence for the spring semester. Our healthcare partners advise us that COVID-19 cases will likely continue to rise, peaking in mid-January just before we planned to re-open campus. Therefore, we have adjusted the Spring 2021 academic calendar and pushed back the opening by one week.

Classes will now begin Monday, Feb. 1. An outline of the calendar is below. Commencement and summer session dates have not changed. Over the break, we’ll send details about move-in to residential students and other information as we prepare for the start of the semester.

My best wishes to you and yours this holiday season. 

President MacLaren

Revised Spring 2021 Calendar

Monday, Feb. 1: Classes Begin 

Thursday, April 1: Classes End 5 p.m. for Easter Break

Tuesday, April 6: Classes Resume 

Friday, May 14: Semester Classes End 

Monday, May 17–Friday, May 21: Final Exams 

Sunday, May 23: Commencement 

7-Week Term Session/Graduate & Professional Studies Calendar

Spring I: Feb. 1–March 21

Spring II: March 29–May 16

Summer I: May 24–July 11

Summer II: July 12–Aug 29

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

All students and employees should follow the LVC Community Covenant to protect themselves and their peers, colleagues, professors, and loved ones.

It is a privilege to be a member of the Lebanon Valley College community of learners. I recognize that we are only as good as the sum of our parts. For this reason, I embrace my responsibility to support, assist, and hold my fellow community members accountable. I am committed to participating in a safe, healthy, and high-quality educational environment and will uphold the policies, procedures, and mitigation strategies the College sets forth.

I promise to:

  • Self-monitor for symptoms. 
  • Refrain from behaviors that will compromise my health and the health of others within our community, including adhering to traffic flow guidelines, guest and visitation policies, any directives to self-isolate or quarantine as determined by College medical personnel
  • Limit my exposure to others who choose to do otherwise. 
  • Adhere to safe practices such as wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, employing good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing, and greeting others without shaking hands. 
  • Respond promptly and honestly to contact tracers. 
  • 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 physician (employees), and report all health-related issues as instructed by College policy. 
  • Hold others accountable to these standards.
  • 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 public health 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.