COVID-19 Update on August intensives and fall classes

Dear ULS staff, faculty and students:

This update is being sent on behalf of the ULS Adverse Scenario Task Force, currently addressing the many issues that have, and will continue, to impact the seminary as a result of COVID-19.

As of May 8, 24 Pennsylvania counties will move from the red phase into the yellow phase of Governor Wolf’s time line to reopen the state. Neither Adams or Philadelphia County are on this list, and there is currently no indication of when this will happen. More information from the Governor’s Office can be found here.
ULS campuses continue to be closed with faculty and staff working remotely through May 15 as previously communicated. Further information for staff and faculty beyond the May 15 deadline will be forthcoming by May 11.

We realize many of you have questions and concerns about August intensives and fall classes. Below is some important information as we look forward to the next several months.

  1. By June 15, we will announce whether or not August intensives will be held in person or online.
  2. Also by June 15, we will announce the date a decision will be made regarding fall classes. There are several different scenarios for which students, faculty and staff should be prepared as contingency plans regarding fall classes. They are:
    a. Classes will take place in person with both campuses open.
    b. Classes will take place in person on one campus and not the other. This would happen if  one county enters the yellow/green phase before the other, allowing one campus to open and mandating the other campus remain closed.
    c. There will be a hybrid of in-person and online classes.
    d. One or both campuses open with classes in person, and then there’s a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases/hospitalization in one or both counties, causing one or both campuses to close again with classes going online.
    e. Classes will be 100% online for the fall semester.

Please note there are other scenarios being considered by colleges, universities and fellow seminaries around the county. However, these are the ones that best pertain to ULS. The June 15 deadline gives us time to continue to monitor the data coming from the state as well as those decisions set forth by other educational institutions.

Thank you for your continued patience, and for following best practices by wearing a face mask when leaving home and following social distancing guidelines of 6 feet.

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