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Falcon Forward!

Parents and Families

Spring 2021 Information

This spring, the University of Montevallo will continue to follow the same protocols as outlined in the Falcon Forward plan developed and distributed last summer, with minor changes related to academics, re-entry testing and more. Details about the University’s spring plans are below.

RE-ENTRY TESTING
In light of the University’s decision to conduct classes virtually for the first two weeks of the spring semester, please take a moment to review the process for completing and submitting your self-administered COVID-19 re-entry test.

Re-entry testing is a requirement for students who will be on campus during the spring semester. Students who choose to be completely online and who will not be living on campus or using campus facilities (dining, recreation, library, etc.) will not be tested.

You should follow these instructions to self-administer the test, which will then need to be shipped to a certified lab through the method indicated 7 days PRIOR to your intended date of return to campus for the spring semester. Tests MUST be taken on a weekday and shipped on the same day.

For example, if you are returning to your UM residence hall on Friday, Jan. 8, you can take and ship your re-entry test now. If you will not be coming to campus until in-person classes resume on Monday, Jan. 25, do not take and ship your results until Monday, Jan. 18 or later.

All returning students who are attending in-person classes or using campus facilities and have not submitted test results must participate in COVID-19 testing upon their return to campus. Re-entry tests will be distributed Jan. 11-15 and Jan. 19-22 in Farmer Hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

If you have tested positive or have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive over the break, do not come to campus. Quarantine or isolate as directed by UM Health Services. Students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 over the break should send a notification email to covid@montevallo.edu. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 over the break should complete a report at Montevallo.edu/reportcovid.

Questions about testing should be sent to covid@montevallo.edu.

SENTINEL TESTING

To support a safe and healthy environment at UM, the University will implement weekly sentinel testing across campus, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 26, and will continue through the end of the spring semester in the Farmer Hall meeting room. Sentinel testing is a random sampling of all asymptomatic students, faculty and staff to understand the underlying prevalence of infection on campus so we can respond promptly to any outbreaks or increases in infection rates. Every week, we intend to randomly test at least 3-5 percent of our on-campus population. All members of the University community are expected to participate in this important preventive measure.

If you have not already done so, please visit healthy.verily.com to set up an account to be included in sentinel testing. Use your UM email address to create your account. You will answer some basic questions and verify your email. Once your account is created, you are all done for now.

As the semester progresses, you may be selected for testing. If you are selected for a random test, you will receive an email from Team Healthy (healthy@verily.com) with the subject line “Please schedule a COVID-19 test.” Some of these emails have been found in spam/clutter folders, so be sure to check those as well. This email will include further details for scheduling an appointment in Farmer Hall. Students will receive a voucher for a free meal for participating.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks, please do not retest at this time. If you are having symptoms or have a recent exposure, follow the UM Falcon Forward plan and do not participate in sentinel testing. The Falcon Forward plan can be found here: montevallo.edu/falconforward.

For additional information on sentinel testing, you may visit GuideSafe.org.

STAY SAFE AT HOME
Before returning to campus, students should minimize their risk of potentially spreading COVID-19 by completing a 10-day quarantine at home, if possible.

FACE COVERINGS
Face coverings are required in all public areas on campus. Appropriate face masks include a cloth face covering or appropriate paper mask that covers both the nose and mouth. University-provided face masks will be available for pickup at the Student Life office. There are no exceptions to the face mask requirement. Individuals refusing to wear a face mask will be subject to progressive discipline through the student conduct process.

SOCIAL DISTANCING
Campus will operate under a 6-foot social distancing model between individuals at all times. Traffic flow patterns and floor markers for physical distancing across campus will remain in place. All students, faculty and staff must take personal responsibility for maintaining 6 feet of social distancing while on the UM campus.

EDUCATION
To help new students better understand the University guidelines that will be in place on campus this spring, we have developed a basic safety and awareness course in Canvas to complete before they return to campus. The course covers many of the basic safeguards to keep students, their colleagues and our community safe and healthy this semester. After reviewing the course presentation, new students will be asked to complete a brief assessment to demonstrate understanding of the topics covered. The deadline for new students to complete the course is Friday, Jan. 29. Students can access this educational module by logging into Canvas with their UM credentials. To access the Canvas course, visit this link: montevallo.instructure.com.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Everyone at UM should know their own risks, such as underlying health conditions, and should understand how their actions could put others at risk. Everyone on campus must take responsibility for knowing how to protect themselves and others. Students should practice good hygiene, wear face coverings on and off campus and should bring a thermometer with them when they return to campus to regularly monitor for fever. If a student is feeling ill, they should refrain from coming to campus or remain in their residence hall room. For more information, see this video from Student Health Services.

REPORTING
Students who test positive for COVID-19 should report it to the University by visiting the UM COVID-19 reporting page at Montevallo.edu/reportcovid.

QUARANTINE
Students who come into close contact with an individual who is positive for COVID-19 will enter an immediate 10-day quarantine unless otherwise indicated by a medical professional. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an individual who is positive for COVID-19 for 15 or more consecutive minutes. Students are encouraged to quarantine at home. Self-monitoring will be required and testing may be necessary. Active monitoring and medical provider attestation will be required to return to campus.

ISOLATION
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will enter an immediate 10-day isolation unless otherwise indicated by a medical professional. Only residential students who are unable to isolate at home will be assisted with campus accommodations. Families should develop a home isolation plan for their student prior to coming to campus, which should include a plan to retrieve their student in the event of a positive test. Self-monitoring will be required and additional testing may be necessary. Active monitoring, campus contact tracing and medical provider attestation will be required to return to campus.

ACADEMICS
For spring 2021, students, including those living on campus, have the option of choosing the remote/online modality for one course, multiple courses or all of them. If a student makes this decision in advance, then that modality will need to be consistent for the entire spring term unless a situation arises preventing them from doing so.

After registering for spring 2021 classes, students should submit the Remote Instruction Request Form located at montevallo.edu/spring-2021-remote-option to notify their professors and the Registrar’s Office of any courses they are choosing to take remotely.

The deadline for students to choose an all-remote option for the spring semester has been extended to Friday, Jan. 15. 

Student-athletes who choose to take all online courses should take care to ensure they continue to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. International students and those using VA educational benefits should check to ensure they remain in compliance.

If a student chooses the in-person/hybrid option but at some point during the semester develops COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test or is exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the student will be required to move to the remote option until they have clearance from Health Services or the Dean of Students Office.

Students planning to take all online classes for the spring semester and no longer planning to live on campus should cancel their housing reservations by calling 205-665-6235.

The alternative grading option will not be extended into the spring 2021 semester. For more information about academic options, view this information from the Provost’s Office.

GRADUATE STUDENTS
Students enrolled in a graduate program with a log-in/drop-in or asynchronous, online format will see no changes. Due to COVID-19, UM is extending flexibility to its undergraduate students with a remote learning option. This has always been the case with the log-in/drop-in graduate programs such as the MBA or the Instructional Leadership Masters and RHO. The Professional Educators Masters as well as all Educational Specialist programs remain 100 percent online.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS
The University will follow current processes for students with disabilities who request accommodations. Students who would like to request accommodations should contact Disability Support Services at dss@montevallo.edu or 205-665-6250.

For answers to any additional questions regarding plans for spring 2021, please review the University’s Falcon Forward webpage.