Campus Updates for Spring Semester

Information for Thanksgiving and winter breaks, return to campus in January
Student ambassadors preparing to welcome students back to campus

UMKC plans to continue most of the current pandemic-related health and safety practices and return to a mix of in-person, online and hybrid classes in the next semester, while standing ready to make changes in response to the evolving situation and any new mandates from authorities.

Campus officials said the current practices for masking, distancing, reporting and overall hygiene are working well. A move to mostly online instruction after the Thanksgiving break was based on the risks of holiday-season travel, rather than on-campus conditions. Some modifications for spring semester are under consideration because winter weather will limit opportunities for safer outdoor interaction; any changes will be communicated to the campus community.

“You have our deepest appreciation for adapting and thriving this semester, learning and working while keeping everyone safe,” Chancellor Mauli Agrawal and Provost Jenny Lundgren wrote in a recent letter to students, faculty and staff. They noted that the rolling 7-day-average of on-campus positive COVID-19 cases has stayed low, consistently between 1 and 2 per day. 

Following is a breakdown of what to expect.

Return to campus Spring 2021 

Coursework next semester will be conducted similar to the fall. UMKC plans to have 50% of courses online and the other 50% in a face-to-face or hybrid format, with an emphasis on providing a larger percentage of lower division and professional program courses face-to-face. Factors such as enrollment, class registration patterns, classroom and faculty availability and public health recommendations will all impact the final breakdown.

Existing health and safety guidelines and policies are expected to continue in the spring as well, including mask guidelines. Residential Life housing students will be required to show negative COVID test results upon return in January as they did in August. Those who have left the U.S. will be required to quarantine for 14 days before classes begin Jan. 19. More details, including testing options, will come to those students in the upcoming weeks.

Study abroad programs will not be available this spring or summer, due to ongoing COVID concerns in the United States and globally.

Thanksgiving and winter breaks

Classes will not be in session the week of Nov. 23, and most employees won’t be working Thursday and Friday that week. Residential Life housing will be available to the students who live there and want to remain on campus through the break at no cost to students. 

The university will transition from in-person classes to online beginning Nov. 30 for the remainder of the semester, including final exams. Exceptions will be any clinicals, labs or other experiential classes that have been in-person. They will remain in-person through semester’s end.

Students in on-campus housing who need to remain on campus during winter break will have that option this year for an additional cost. Residential life will contact those students with information on how to sign up for this option.

Health and safety on and off campus

Because colder weather and time away from campus are coming, it’s vitally important to continue best practices for health and hygiene such as wearing masks, physically distancing and avoiding gatherings, small and large.

Students, faculty and staff are urged to visit the UMKC COVID-19 website for up-to-date information on confirmed cases and health and safety best practices. Per notification protocols for students and employees, please remember that all members of the UMKC community are required to report a positive COVID-19 test within four hours of receiving it, whether you are on or off campus. During business hours, students should call the UMKC HelpLine at 816-235-2222; employees should contact their supervisor. After hours and on weekends, all should report by calling 816-235-COVI.
Published: Oct 30, 2020

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