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It’s a question that many people have been asking: Will students return to campus this fall?

Safety plans for the fall
A student is typing on his laptop.
A student is typing on his laptop.(KOTA)
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 5:26 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Students at Western Dakota Tech will be heading back to campus on August 24, and safety precautions are already in place.

Students and employees will be required to wear a face mask, but that isn’t the only safety precaution the school is taking.

“We’re going to make sure that we do not have too many students in a classroom. So we’re going to organize classes so that students are going to be spread out, socially distanced in addition to having their face mask on,” says the president of WDT, Ann Bolman.

And if needed, Bolman says they’re going to make sure students can join their classes remotely.

When it comes to cleaning procedures, custodians will sanitize classrooms in between classes.

“Sanitizing equipment that we have purchased that allow custodian or maintenance person to go into a room and push a button and very quickly administer sanitizer material,” says Bolman.

And at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, first-year students will move in starting August 15.

“We’re reducing our housing capacity, so we’re not going to be near 100%. We’re allowing students to be in singles and doubles as we call it. So you know being spaced out a little bit more,” says the interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for SDSMT, Dr. Lance Roberts.

The school has also set aside a number of quarantine rooms for students who test positive for COVID-19.

As of right now, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the university among students, faculty, or staff.

When it comes to classrooms, seating has already been spaced out, significantly reducing the number of students they can put in a classroom at any given time.

“You know faculty are being creative in the way they will be offering their course. And so in some cases, they may have a third of the students meeting on a Monday and then another third on a Wednesday and then the final third on a Friday, while the other students that are not face-to-face are actually watching real-time via zoom or some other video platform,” says Roberts.

Both school’s top priority is safety for students and faculty.

Click here for more information about the plan for WDT.

Click here for more information about the plan for SDSMT.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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