Dear Deree Students,
Congratulations on completion of the spring semester!
When the semester began on January 13, 2020, none of us could have foreseen the circumstances about to unfold. Although the COVID-19 challenge arrived unexpectedly, the ACG community rallied to meet it, striving to protect our community and to support our students’ academic progress. Mindful of the ongoing struggles for many individuals and families, I am nevertheless enormously proud of and grateful for the resiliency demonstrated by the ACG community.
I am writing today to inform you about our plans for the near-term and the next academic year. Needless to say, there is still considerable uncertainty about the future impact of COVID-19, and our plans will be subject to ongoing revision. But, as of this moment, I can share the following:
Ongoing Safety Provisions and Protocols. ACG is following and implementing the guidelines issued by the Hellenic National Public Health Organization, the Hellenic Ministries of Health, Education and Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Labor as well as best practices advocated by WHO, CDC and ECDC for workplaces, schools and colleges. As the campus moves to gradual opening to staff, faculty and students, the Campus Response Committee has developed specific measures to assure as safe an environment as possible (see Attachment). We will be following the updates from public authorities and will share with you any further measures to keep the College a healthy and safe place to work and study. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the ACG Health and Wellness Center.
Commencement. Current Greek government regulations do not allow for large crowd events. Therefore, we regrettably must postpone the Deree Commencement scheduled for June 27, 2020. While the Commencement will not occur on schedule, we will award the Deree undergraduate and graduate degrees on time so that students can proceed with their post-graduation plans. The Registrar’s Office will announce when students can receive their diplomas – in-person or by mail. We are exploring two options for rescheduling the 2020 Deree Commencement: August 29, 2020 or June 2021 (combined with the 2021 Class). We expect to make this decision by August 1 based on the government policies and circumstances at that time.
Summer Session Two. Recently announced government guidelines dictate that Summer Session Two will follow the same delivery format as Summer Session One – synchronous online instruction. Certain labs and group exercises on campus will be permitted and will be incorporated selectively into the schedule.
Fall Semester. For the fall semester, assuming government parameters as currently expected, we are planning the following:
- Starting the fall semester as originally scheduled (first day of classes, September 14, 2020)
- Pushing back the Fall Intensive by two weeks (first day of classes, October 23, 2020) and reformatting the class schedule to meet (300 minutes per week) on either MWF for 2 hours or TR for 2.5 hours.
- Utilizing both the Main Campus and the Downtown Campus to allow for reduced class sizes to accommodate social distancing.
- Offering most classes in a modified traditional classroom format: face-to-face class meetings and, where required, alternating class attendance (e.g. one week in-class, one-week online).
- Offering some fully on-line classes for those students who prefer that modality until a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 is implemented.
We believe this approach is optimal for the short-term and adaptable should circumstances change during the course of the semester. Stay well; we look forward to seeing you soon!
David G. Horner
The American College of Greece
USEFUL TIPS ABOUT YOUR RETURN ON CAMPUS
ACG’s Safety Engineer has examined and recommended the appropriate social distances for all spaces on campus when/as students are allowed to return to campus. Technical plans have been drawn up for classrooms and labs to reflect and apply the directions set forth for 1.5 meters between all individuals (students, faculty and staff) and no more than 1 person per 10 square meters. Appropriate distancing for larger spaces – theater, amphitheater will be applied once they are in use.
Currently, the athletic facilities, cafeteria, food vendors, theater, amphitheater, library and student lounge will not be open. In outdoor areas the proper distance is 1.5-2 meters between individuals. Plexiglass shields have been installed where appropriate in offices/spaces where there is high traffic such as reception desks in Athletics facilities, Deree Student Success Center, Office of Student Affairs, and Cashiers Office.
USE OF ELEVATORS
As directed by public authorities, the use of elevators is limited to individuals who are unable to use the stairs (physically handicapped/health condition) and at 40% capacity or for the transportation of supplies that cannot be carried upstairs.
USE OF WATER FOUNTAINS
Drinking from the water fountains is not permitted.
The regimen for cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and toilets throughout the College’s sites has been revisited and frequency of cleaning and disinfection has been increased according to ISO Protocols and instructions set forth by the public health authorities.
Frequent and proper hand washing with soap and water is the most effective method of removing viral particles. However, when that is not possible, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used. As such, hand sanitizer will be made available in every office and classroom.
USE OF MASKS
The use of cloth masks is strongly recommended in closed spaces, offices with more than one person, classrooms, labs and buses. In elevators and infirmaries, the use of masks is required by everyone.
PERSONAL HYGIENE MEASURES
The importance of personal hygiene by each person cannot be overstated. The virus is spread from person-to-person, mainly between people who are in close contact with one another, through respiratory droplets spread on surfaces and in the air when someone coughs, sneezes or even talks. Wearing masks, washing hands, coughing and sneezing into our elbows or tissues, refraining from shaking hands when we greet, and remaining home when we are sick or have come in close contact with someone who is sick are the critical behaviors within the control of each of us.
PROTOCOLS FOR INDIVIDUALS ON CAMPUS WHO HAVE SYMPTOMS OR WHO MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS
Please monitor your health every day. If you develop symptoms or are diagnosed with the COVID- 19 virus, or if you have been exposed to the virus through a close contact who has symptoms or has been diagnosed, consult your physician. ACG has developed protocols for the Main Campus and the Downtown Campus and designated isolation rooms and individuals responsible for enacting the protocols. All patients will be screened before entering the infirmaries, asked to wear masks and may be directed to an isolation room if indicated. Nurses will be dressed in appropriate personal protective wear and will assist patients to further care as necessary. To avoid waiting and possible exposure to other sick individuals, call the infirmary before visiting and arrange for an appointment if necessary.