Clark State planning for phased reopening of campus, in-person fall classes

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Preparations are underway to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to the Clark State Community College campus through a phased reopening plan beginning this summer.

“The safety and security of students and employees is at the forefront of everything we do,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “I remain optimistic that Clark State students, faculty and staff will be able to meet together in the fall in some face-to-face settings, with an emphasis on the safety and well-being of everyone, including physical distancing and revised classrooms set ups, enhanced and aggressive sanitation and cleaning techniques and other protocols recommended by the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as wearing masks and frequent hand washing. Of course, should anything change based on direction from the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health, we will keep our community informed and comply with all laws, regulations and directives.”

Dr. Matt Franz, vice president of information technology and emergency management at Clark State, feels that bringing students back to campus will involve a great deal of planning, commitment from everyone involved to follow safety and hygiene protocols, and patience, as Clark State phases in a return to full operations.

Staff will be available beginning July 6 to meet with students on campus.

Summer semester courses will continue remotely, but Clark State’s fall schedule reflects classes with face-to-face options in addition to online options.

Students are encouraged to reach out to their success coach for help creating a schedule that will work for them. They are also advised to begin this process early, as potentially reduced class sizes could limit options for some students.

“Classes will likely be smaller so enrolling early is important,” said Franz. “In order to protect the health of everyone on campus, we will very likely reduce the class sizes and layout. This may result in fewer people getting into a specific section, so early planning is important.”

Students will be asked to follow a “Return to Campus Daily Checklist” that reflects Ohio’s Responsible Restart Ohio plan.

Clark State preparations include:

  • Shifting staffing to ensure the College has staff available 24-hours a day to conduct deep cleaning and sanitization.
  • Purchasing new equipment to make environmental sanitization more efficient using hospital-grade tools and cleaning agents.
  • Continuous planning for health and safety for all those who come to campus.
  • Ramping up communication, developing new signage, establishing physical distancing requirements and redesigning classrooms to maximize distances and safety.

“Clark State continues, as always, to focus on ensuring every student, faculty, staff and community member has a safe environment when they are on campus,” said Franz. “Clark State is uniquely positioned to provide exceptional educational experiences both inside a classroom and remotely. Our faculty are highly trained and dedicated to providing the best possible experiences for our students. Our focus is on student success. It is our goal to ensure that not only the academic and classroom experiences are safe and productive but also all of our student support services as well.”

Registration for summer semester courses, beginning May 26 and June 8, and fall courses, beginning August 24, are now open. Click here for more information.

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