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Northwest College announces fall 2020 reopening plan

POWELL, Wyo. ─ After receiving approval July 6 by the Board of Trustees, Northwest College has released a reopening plan for fall 2020, which includes precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and a mixture of flexible in-person and online course options for students. The approach aims to be as disruption-resistant to student learning as possible.

“While our goal is for students to have a normal, uninterrupted semester, we also want to keep them safe,” NWC President Stefani Hicswa said. “This plan puts us on the right path toward reducing the spread of COVID-19 while remaining student centered and focused on delivering high-quality education.”

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required. All employees and students will be required to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing practices and limit in-person gatherings. Members of the public who visit campus are required to do the same.

“We’re excited to welcome students back in the fall, but it’s important to note that our priority is to keep students safe and support them in completing fall semester successfully.” Hicswa said. “Students should be assured that if they begin the semester online or in-person, we will have resources available to help them finish the term successfully, even if we are directed to reclose campus by county or state health officials.”

Increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces are also part of the plan. In addition, students who choose to live on campus will live in a single room for a reduced rate, and work is underway to modify dining services to maintain social distancing.

There are six designated objectives that guide NWC’s strategy for responding to COVID-19, which include the following: protect employees’ and students’ health and safety; communicate regularly and clearly; maintain continuity and integrity of services, when/where possible; limit or reduce financial or legal impacts, when/where possible; establish and maintain contacts and connections with federal/state or local officials; and restore regular college operations partially or entirely, when/where possible.

The plan is designed to be adaptable to allow for up-to-date information and changing conditions. Full implementation of the plan is contingent on NWC receiving federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Students can expect to receive further communications via their NWC email accounts as plans continue to unfold.

“As we move forward with implementing our plan to reopen campus, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and employees,” Hicswa said.

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