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NY Campus Only: Updated Spring Semester Dates & Important Information

 
Dear Students and Parents,
The Word of Life Bible Institute Administrative Team and Health and Security Office have worked together in partnership with New York State Public Health to modify the Spring Semester academic calendar for the New York Campus.
 
The recently adjusted academic calendar includes several significant changes:

  • Students will return to campus after Christmas Break two weeks later than originally scheduled on the 2020-21 Academic Calendar (the old return date was January 11th; please see guidance below for new arrival dates).
  • The Spring Semester will be continuous, with no Spring Break. Students will remain on campus throughout. With the extended Christmas Break and an early ending date in May, this plan will be much more doable. Overall, students will be receiving more time off due to longer Christmas and Summer Breaks, while still receiving all the great courses, incredible content, discipleship, and ministry.
  • Updated Travel Guidelines from NY regarding non-contiguous states. (Please see below)
  • Students will complete the final course of the Fall Semester online. Previously, the course was scheduled for early January on campus. (Please see below)

 
There were numerous factors considered concerning these changes. We have had a wonderful Fall Semester studying God’s Word, and campus has been healthy overall! The only COVID cases that we experienced (3 total) were all in conjunction with students traveling over Thanksgiving Break, getting exposed, and then returning to campus. There was no community spread on campus, and we were able to manage it, by God’s grace. We are very proud of the students, faculty, and staff as they have been incredible with following the Protecting One Another by Preferring One Another guidance.
Lengthening Christmas Break by two weeks increases the period between holiday gatherings and students’ return to the Bible Institute. This will allow more time for situations of potential exposure to, symptoms of, and even confirmed cases of COVID to largely be resolved by the time students are expected to return to campus. The Adirondack Region has had a very low rate of infection, so the likelihood of exposure upon return to campus is very low. While we recognize that student breaks are important, we also know that they greatly increase the likelihood of student exposure to COVID. Cancelling Spring Break keeps most students on campus, mitigating the risk of further exposure to COVID and potential outbreaks that could occur as a result of that exposure.
As we seek to have a responsible and reasonable return to campus that provides a safe and healthy environment for all, please take into consideration the following information.
 
Final Class Online: Our original plan called for students to complete their last course of the fall semester in January upon their return. All students will now complete their final course online at their convenience over break. The freshman course for this final week is Romans 9-16 with Pastor Phil Moser. The sophomores will be taking Judaism with Mr. Tom Simcox. The course must be completed by January 15th. Our academics office will be providing information to the students directly concerning their course and assignments. The great news is, we will be releasing the courses early for students to complete at their own pace while on this extended break.
Travel Advisory States: Students traveling from a Travel Advisory State (see COVID-19 Travel Advisory | Department of Health (ny.gov)) will be required to come in a few days sooner than the rest of the student body to accommodate a precautionary quarantine. The date of return for all non-contiguous states is January 21st. Please see the additional information below.
14-Day Health Screening Prior to Return: All students will be asked to keep a health screening log daily for the 14 days before their return to campus. The link for this daily health screening is located at wol.to/c19nyss . Our Health Services team will be monitoring this regularly.
Travel Back to Campus: It is strongly advised that no students carpool back to campus with other students unless they are roommates or suitemates together. If they must travel with another student, who is not their roommate or suitemate, we ask that students wear masks and increase fresh air ventilation in the vehicle.
Break Recommendations: It is strongly recommended that students do their best to limit travel and gatherings starting 14 days before their return in order to limit exposure to COVID.
Stay Connected: Students should plan to check their Word of Life Bible Institute email account at least twice a week while on break. As we all understand, things change often in this current environment. We are committed to communicating with effectiveness and efficiency, but we want to make sure you get the information.
 
Non-Contiguous State Guidance: This includes all states except NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, and VT.
Pre-Testing Window – January 18-20
Students returning from outside NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, or VT who wish to test out of the 14-day quarantine will need to take a COVID test within 72 hours prior to their return. The test result must be negative. Please email proof of test results to safety@wol.org.
January 21: Return Date for Students Returning from Outside of NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, or VT
Students must ensure that self-health screening is completed daily 14 days prior to arrival on campus.
Students must fill out NY Travelers form: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Welcome-to-New-York-State-Traveler-Health-Form upon arrival in NY.
Students from Travel Advisory States must return to campus between 1-9 pm. Students needing to arrive early must make their own arrangements off property, and no one can arrive later than this date.
Health Screening will take place at the point of arrival.
All Travel Advisory students will begin a minimum 3-day NYS mandated quarantine. On the fourth day of quarantine, each student must obtain a COVID test and may be released from quarantine upon receipt of a second negative result (the first negative being the test taken prior to their return). Word of Life has worked with our local health services provider to provide testing on site free of charge to all students. If a student elects not to be tested, they must complete the full 14-day quarantine.
Word of Life will provide housing and delivery of meals, mail, and other essential services at no additional cost to the parent or student.
 
Contiguous State Guidance: This includes NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, and VT.
January 25: Return Date for Students Returning from NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, or VT
Students from Non-Travel Advisory States should return to campus between 1-9 pm.
Health Screening will take place at the point of arrival to campus.
Students must ensure that self-health screening is completed daily 14 days prior to arrival on campus.
 
Other Important Dates and Information
Soft Campus Reopening – We will use the same guidelines and protocols from our fall semester start in September. Those guidelines and protocols were extremely effective in a safe opening. For more information on our overall plan, please reference this site: New York Reopen – Word of Life Bible Institute
January 26 – Classes Begin
Classes begin for all students. Students with a positive COVID test will study remotely in quarantine on campus until cleared by our Health and Security Team.
May 7 – End of Semester
Final Exam (8 am) and end of Spring Semester – students may depart after 9 am, with permission from their Resident Director.
June 8 – Summer Ministry
Students return for Summer Ministry (NY Camps)
 
As always, it is a joy and privilege to serve you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to an incredible spring semester studying God’s Word and living in biblical community.
Serving those who serve,
Roger L. Peace, Jr.

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