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MSU, OTC announce return to campus plans for fall

Submitted to Branson Globe

SPRINGFIELD — Missouri State University announced its campus will full reopen on Aug. 9, Dorms will be ready for students to move in.

“Our faculty members will still offer classes that will educate and challenge students. Our staff members will still do everything they can to help students be successful,” President Clif Smart said. “We’ll still have fun events, interesting lectures and inspiring performances.”

The university will continue to follow local, state and federal safety guidelines to make campus as safe as it can be.

To prepare for the fall reopening, Missouri State has published a Return to Campus Guide. It outlines plans for a smooth and safe return to campus.

“I hope this guide will answer many of the questions our students, their parents and others have about what’s going to happen,” Smart said.

The guide highlights:

Decision-making principles.

Health and safety measures.

Key information for staff and faculty.

Plans for academics and student success.

Plans for housing, dining and campus life.

Policies for events and gatherings, including athletic events.

Missouri State will release specific information about face coverings and testing (in early August) later in the summer.

Ozarks Technical Community College is coping by adjusting its calendar for the fall semester.

The college will begin the semester as originally planned on Aug. 24, and the last day of final exams will be Dec. 18. However, the following changes have been made to the academic calendar:

Fall Break, scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13, is canceled. Classes will be in session those days.

Thanksgiving Break is extended from Sunday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Nov. 29. Classes scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21 will be held as scheduled.

“These adjustments to the calendar will allow the college to maximize in-person class time before a possible surge in COVID-19 infections could force the college to adjust class offerings late in the semester,” said Hal Higdon, OTC chancellor.

Masks or face coverings will be required for all students, employees and visitors when they are in any common area of the college. Common areas include, but are not limited to: classrooms, laboratories, libraries and large public gathering spaces (for example, the atrium at the Springfield campus). Masks may be removed in private offices, office clusters or outside. The college expects students to provide their own masks. If a student does not have a mask, they will be provided with a disposable one.

The college will also employ enhanced cleaning protocols, including the use of unique disinfectants that continue to disinfect for several hours, even after contact by multiple people. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available in every classroom for students and employees.

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