William Jewell College’s Thanksgiving break will officially begin Monday, Nov. 23, and classes will resume again Monday, Nov. 30. Classes will be entirely virtual after the Thanksgiving break, which is in accordance with the schedule changes that Jewell announced on June 2.
Jewell is currently at threat level C in regards to its Operation Safe Campus plan and has approximately a six percent positivity rate among campus testing, according to the latest email update. Though classes will be virtual, students still have the option to return back to their dormitories and have access to on-campus services throughout the rest of the semester.
In response to questions about plans for students returning to campus, Ernie Stufflebean, associate dean of students and director of residence life, said that plans for a safe return to campus have not changed.
“Plans have not changed,” Stufflebean said. “While classes will occur remotely after Thanksgiving, the College is open, including campus housing.”
Students who met the following criteria were eligible to apply for housing during the Thanksgiving break: student-athletes participating in their sport, students participating in a College-sponsored activity or academic requirement with a permanent address outside of the Kansas City metropolitan area, international students with travel restrictions and students with high-risk family member(s) that live within their household. These criteria were specifically adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deadline to apply was Monday, Nov. 16.
Students who wished to return to campus following the Thanksgiving break were asked to fill out the Post-Thanksgiving Campus Housing Declaration Form. Campus housing will reopen at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29.
Upon returning to campus, students will have access to normal campus services, such as the dining hall and health services, even though classes will be virtual. There will be no change to dining hall hours for the remainder of the semester.
“All services will be offered through the end of the semester,” said Shelly King, dean of students. “Counseling Services has been providing tele-health sessions all fall semester and they will continue seeing students in this manner. Our Nurse Practitioner and RN will continue to see students in the Health Center in Browning Hall.”
Student activities will also be permitted after the break. However, the activities must abide by the Operation Safe Campus Strategic Framework. Since Jewell is in threat level C, all residence life events and programs will be virtual.
On Oct. 28, Dr. Anne Dema, provost, sent an email to the student body with post-Thanksgiving break information. The email outlines how athletic activities and music department events will proceed after the break.
“Countable Athletically Related Activities (CARA) will not be allowed after Nov. 20 for any teams, unless they are actively in their playing season with pending competition. To be clear, the in-season sports are Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Swimming, Women’s Swimming, Men’s Indoor Track, and Women’s Indoor Track,” stated Dema in the email.
The athletic training room will be open after the break and services for athletes will be available by appointment. For sports other than those in-season, there will be no required practices or activities after the break.
Students who are music majors or who are taking applied music lessons can still use the practice rooms in Pillsbury Music Center after the break. The check-out system for rooms used during the semester will continue to be used.
Most staff and faculty who are able to will work remotely during the week following Thanksgiving. All faculty are to be available virtually, and some in-person, to have appointments with students. Final exams will occur virtually in accordance with the schedule posted at the beginning of the semester.
All members of the Jewell community are encouraged to take COVID-19 precautions while on break to ensure a safe return to campus. Student life has provided the following COVID-19 wellness tips to follow during the Thanksgiving break: don’t go to restaurants or bars, stay home, avoid gatherings and large crowds, wear a mask around others (even family), and visit extended family and friends virtually.