BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) — University of Colorado Boulder officials have announced their plan to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester. The plan has classes beginning as scheduled on Aug. 24 and finishing the fall semester remotely after Thanksgiving break. There will be no tuition increase for all undergraduate students.
Everyone on campus will be required to wear masks, complete pre-arrival COVID-19 trainings, and commit to health and safety protocols throughout the semester.
Freshman students will be placed in groups of about 20 that live and go to class together. They will not be limited on social contacts.
Officials say the Road Map to Fall 2020 provides for environmental safety in classrooms and on campus through physical distancing, class schedule adjustments and other administrative controls.
The plan includes:
- Implementing a first-year academic experience for all first-year students, including housing assignments and enrolling first-year students in classes with small cohort groups.
- Reducing the density of students in classrooms through a suite of methods that includes splitting single classes into multiple sessions and utilizing larger spaces.
- Extending class scheduling to use the entire day, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., to decrease student density on campus.
- Offering courses that provide classes in a variety of in-person, distance and hybrid formats.
- In-person classes through Wednesday, Nov. 25, with remote teaching after Thanksgiving to allow students to travel home and remain there until the spring semester begins (with exceptions available based on specific needs to remain on campus).
“Acknowledging that there will be some risk involved in any model the campus adopts, CU Boulder’s plan aims to mitigate the COVID-19 risks for the community and provide flexibility for the university’s most vulnerable, at-risk populations by scaling testing, infection notification and containment capacity to meet public health guidelines,” university officials stated.
Among the mitigation measures outlined in CU Boulder’s plan are:
- On-campus capability for COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff, both to continuously monitor for potential spread and to test individuals with symptoms.
- Campus-based rapid response teams for tracking, notification and isolation of infected individuals.
- Mandatory safety training for on-campus faculty and staff–as well as all students–that includes instruction on physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, hand hygiene and sanitation, and following public health orders on events and public gatherings.
- A robust public health awareness and outreach program in collaboration with the Boulder Police Department, Boulder County Public Health and student leadership.
- Updated conduct code and related policies to include compliance with COVID-19 public health requirements.
- Reduce each person’s potential for infectious contacts by at least 55 percent by:
- Requiring masks for all students and employees.
- Reducing density of people from normal operations.
- Facilitating small cohorts of students.
- Implementing building control measures, such as physical distancing in all campus classrooms and learning spaces.
- Implementing an increase in sanitization measures, including ensuring surface hygiene.
- Reserving residence hall space for quarantining and isolation.
“This is a moment in our history in which our imperatives to lead, innovate and impact humanity are coming together for the future of our university,” Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano wrote in his letter to all students, faculty and staff. “Our vision to be a leader in the humanitarian, social and technological challenges of the 21st century is embodied by all of us right now. Our success is dependent on all of us working together.”