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WVU Potomac State College Sets Its Sights on Spring 2021 Semester, Return to Campus Info Provided

Now that the Fall 2020 semester is completed, PSC is setting its sights on the Spring 2021 semester. Academic instruction begins Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The following information will help students prepare and understand what’s required as they either continue or embark on their college careers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

IN THIS MESSAGE:

/ Academics
/ COVID-19 Testing
    • Who is required to test?
    • Register for Testing
/ Residence Hall Move-In
/ Student Life

/ Academics

PSC will continue the fall strategy of reducing classroom capacity and moving some classes online to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continually monitor the local public health situation and adjust as necessary.

According to Gregory Ochoa, Dean of Academic Affairs, instruction will resemble the fall semester with 70 percent face-to-face or hybrid classes and 30 percent online classes. These options will include:

  • Synchronous online classes: Students log-in at scheduled times with the instructor.
  • Asynchronous online classes: Students are not required to log-in at the same time
  • Hybrid courses: Students attend both face-to-face and online.
  • Classrooms and labs will continue to look different from pre-COVID classroom set-up. Seating will be blocked off to allow for physical distancing and plexiglass shields installed in the front of each room for lecturers to stand behind. All students will be required to wear masks. All face-to-face classes will have assigned seating for the purpose of contact tracing.

    The Mary F. Shipper Library will be open and serving students with physically distanced study spaces. Tutoring will be provided at the Academic Success Center by appointment with limited staff and students present. Tutoring will also be provided by Zoom virtual sessions.

    There will not be a spring break next semester, but there will be the following non-instructional days:

    • Thursday, February 11
    • Tuesday, March 2
    • Wednesday, March 3
    • Monday, May 3
    Final exams will now start a day later on Tuesday, May 4 and end on Friday, May 7.

    / COVID-19 Testing
    Health experts believe the environment relating to COVID-19 for the spring semester will generally be like it was in the fall, since it is unlikely that a vaccine will be available to the general population in large quantities until later in 2021. Therefore, all safety protocols and precautionary measures implemented in the fall semester will continue throughout the spring semester.

    As part of our continuing efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community, all faculty, staff and students who will be on campus this spring are required to undergo COVID-19 testing. Testing information regarding patients is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA) guidelines and will be kept confidential.

    Also, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all testing sites will be accessible. Please call the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-788-7405 to make any necessary accommodations.


    Who is required to test?
    • Employees who are designated hybrid are required to be tested.
    • Employees who are designated remote are not required to be tested.
    • Adjunct faculty who will be on the Potomac State College campus this spring are required to be tested.
    • Adjunct faculty who will not be on the Potomac State College campus this spring are not required to be tested.
    • Students taking all online courses are not required to be tested.
    • Students taking in-person courses are required to be tested.
    • Students utilizing any on-campus resources such as the library or dining services are required to be tested.
    • High School ACCESS students who will be taking classes off site and not on the Potomac State College campus are not required to be tested.

    All testing will be done from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the J. Edward Kelley Complex Recreation Center at WVU Potomac State College (number 34 on the campus map). The testing schedule is as follows:

    • Monday, Jan 11: Resident Assistants (RAs)
    • Monday to Wednesday, Jan 11, 12, and 13: Faculty, Staff, and Commuter Students
    • Thursday, Jan 14: Residence hall students with even room numbers
    • Friday, Jan 15: Residence hall students with odd room numbers

      Register for Testing
    1. As part of the registration process, everyone will be required to consent to a COVID-19 testing program terms of services, HIPAA waiver, and complete an online pre-test questionnaire. For individuals under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian will need to assist with completing this step.
    2. Faculty, staff and students, both residential and commuters, must complete the registration process listed above and register for a preferred testing date/time via StarRez, WVU’s housing portal at myhousing.wvu.edu. View detailed instructions on the registration process.
    3. Once in StarRez, click the login button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. (WVU login credentials and a WVUID number are required to register for testing. You can claim your account, reset your password, or find your WVUID number at login.wvu.edu.)
    4. After registering, an email confirmation of testing date and time will be sent. It’s recommended to take a screenshot of the confirmation webpage for proof of registration. 
    5. Remember to add testing date and time to your calendar. 
    6. If a different appointment time is needed, use the original registration link and directions outlined in #2 and #3.
    7. Any student who is unable to attend COVID-19 testing due to extenuating circumstances must seek an exception by sending an email to pscstudentexperience@mail.wvu.edu. If an exception is granted, PSC will accept test results dated after Monday, January 4 from other West Virginia State supported community testing sites in lieu of campus COVID-19 testing. Results from out-of-state testing centers will not be accepted. The process for submitting results will be provided when the exception is granted. 
    8. If faculty and staff have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from completing testing during the times available to them, contact Ashley Morgan, HR Partner, at ashley.morgan3@mail.wvu.edu for further guidance. 

    Masks must be worn to appointments. Arrive on time to the designated testing location. Upon arrival, a PSC ID and/or the 800-student number or employee number must be provided. Please have either readily available.

    Test results should be available within three-to-five days. Fully maintain physical distancing and avoid large gatherings as much as possible until test results are available
    • Students may leave their residence hall rooms but are required to wear a mask or face covering and stay physically distant as much as possible.
    • Students will be able to eat in the dining halls but must wear a mask or face covering and physically distance while traveling to the dining hall and when they are not eating.
    • Faculty and staff may leave their offices or workspaces but must wear a mask or face covering and stay physically distant as much as possible.
    Students, faculty, and staff are required to report if they test positive for COVID-19 (even those who test positive outside of WVU’s testing process) or are self-quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19. Students should notify the PSC CARE Team and employees should notify WVU Medical Management.

    For students, failure to take a COVID-19 test by Saturday, January 16, will result in a $250 fee being added to the student's account. The student also will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for follow-up.

    Employees who fail to take a COVID-19 test by Saturday, January 16, will be subject to employee disciplinary actions until they take the test. These actions include, but are not limited to, being placed on administrative leave without pay and/or being placed on administrative leave while using the employee’s annual leave.

    Weekly surveillance testing of 10% of the campus population will continue through the spring semester. Randomly selected faculty, staff and students will be notified by email of their need to complete testing.

    / Residence Hall Move-In
    When moving in, spring semester residents may only have two helpers accompany them into their residence hall to minimize the number of people in each building. Everyone must wear a mask or face covering and practice physical distancing from others.

    Upon arrival to campus, all student residents are to check-in at the RA Desk in University Place. Move-in hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Move-in assignments are as follows:
    • Wednesday, Jan 13: Residence hall students with even room numbers
    • Thursday, Jan 14: Residence hall students with odd room numbers
    Residence hall students with questions or extenuating circumstances related to move-in, should contact Mike Lynch in the Housing Office at 304-788-7406 or email mlynch7@mail.wvu.edu. Exceptions will be granted based upon the circumstances and the availability of time slots.

    / Student Life
    All new students MUST submit a photo online in order to get their student IDs. Students can submit their photos online. Be sure to follow all guidelines. Students can pick up their IDs in the Student Experience Office, Room 104, in the Administration Building when they return to campus. Any questions? Email pscstudentexperience@mail.wvu.edu.

    All incoming new students for the spring semester will be required to take a COVID-19 education module by Saturday, January 16. More information will be sent in early January.

    All general COVID-19 protocols from the fall semester will remain in place for the spring. Protocols, include but are not limited to, those outlined for campus visitors, classroom safety, cleaning, dining, residence hall policies (including visitors to the residence halls),  and student organizations.

    WVU has recently updated its travel policy to align with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. All those who travel outside of the state— including out of the country— are required to quarantine for five days upon return to the state. Previously, international travelers had to quarantine for 14 days upon return.

    The Student Recreation Center will continue to be closed to start the spring semester. However, the situation on and off campus will be monitored daily and the Student Recreation Center will open as soon as possible.

    / Tuition and Fees
    Spring semester charges for enrolled students are available in STAR via the WVU Portal. Other institutional charges such as meal plans or on-campus housing are available on STAR as well. Parents with proxy access to billing information will be able to view charges via the WVU Parent and Guest Portal.

    Students who owe a balance received an eBill through their MIX email in early December. Balances are due by Monday, January 4. For more information on payment methods, payment plans, and more, visit the billing webpage. The earliest refunds will be available Tuesday, January 19 for those who are signed up for direct deposit.

    The College will provide final reminders for the spring semester during the weeks of January 4 and January 11. If you have questions prior to those reminders, please email pscstudentexperience@mail.wvu.edu.

    / In Closing

    It is very important to remember the COVID-19 situation is constantly changing. Therefore, plans are also subject to change. Thanks for being patient as each of us navigates our way through the pandemic.

    We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus this spring in as safe a manner as possible. In the meantime, visit the Return to Campus website for the latest COVID-19 information and updates. Contact Ashley Morgan at  ashley.morgan3@mail.wvu.edu or pscstudentexperience@mail.wvu.edu with any questions.