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The University Of Kentucky’s Coronavirus Reopening Plan For Fall 2020

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Reopening Plan UK Fall 2020 University College

The University Of Kentucky’s Coronavirus Reopening Plan For Fall 2020

by Terry Heick

The Coronavirus has changed so much in such a short amount of time that it’s sometimes difficult for me to remember what things were like ‘before.’

And while there’s a long road ahead to recovery as a nation and planet, if you’re like me, you’re curious what the near-future holds for in-person education at K-12 and university levels.

Of course, this is a broad question with many layers–not the least of which include the possibility of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter–we’ve got to start somewhere. And much like unit and lesson planning, that means we need ideas and planning, then data to refine those plans as we go.

In a letter to students titled, ‘How We Reinvent Normal for Our Campus,’ University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto outlined his plan to re-open school for the fall 2020 semester and I thought it might be informative for administrators at related planners to see what are others are doing. There are undoubtedly hundreds and thousands of these sorts of plans; this, however, is the first clear plan I’ve seen for a major public university committing to opening this fall.

The emphases in bold are my own.

One University’s Reopening Plan During The Coronavirus: One Example

Dear Campus Community,

It’s a question that confronts us every day: How do we return to the vibrant and safe campus we are committed to when so much around us still seems so uncertain and there is still so much we don’t know?

You start with a goal.

You create a thoughtful, flexible plan to achieve it.

Our goal: 

We plan to open in August for our Fall semester. 

The distinctive residential educational experience we provide at UK has attracted thousands of students from across Kentucky, the country and the globe. That experience is critical for the future. This differentiated education will be more necessary than ever to help us and our students meet the ongoing and daunting new challenges our world must now confront.

Our plan: 

To reach our goal, we must act quickly over the next month-and-half to reinvent or reimagine what is normal in the wake of this public health crisis. To that end, we want to share with you the process we will undertake and the guiding principles to be followed: 

  • Three broad-based planning teams will work quickly to think about the most important questions that must be addressed to re-start campus.
  • At the same time, an additional team is being created to develop strategies for screening, testing, tracing and treating on our campus to help ensure health and safety as part of our reinvented normal operations. Such strategies may also, potentially, assist the broader community and state we serve. 
  • The best ideas from that process will be handed off to our existing COVID-19 workstreams – 19 teams that have, for months, been addressing implementation issues related to the coronavirus.
  • That collective work will form the basis of a campus operational plan that will be prepared and communicated by mid-June.

As always, we start with guiding principles:

  • We will plan for a reinvented sense of normal operations on the first day of classes.
  • We will, in everything that we do, work to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone in our community.
  • We will incorporate other mission-critical areas into our overall plan. Health care, research and facilities management are working through detailed re-start plans. Athletics also is working on an operations plan in coordination with the Southeastern Conference.
  • We will think through issues that may alter our plans, create planning scenarios and communicate clearly at each step.

Here are the details of this process:

  • Three teams led by Associate Dean Anna Bosch (College of Arts and Sciences), Assistant Provost Katie Cardarelli (Office of Faculty Advancement), and Associate Provost Sue Roberts (UK International Center) and comprised of students, faculty and staff from across the campus will think through issues and make initial reports by mid-May. We’ve asked these three groups to work independently from each other to encourage creative thinking and distinct ideas. The teams already have begun meeting and brainstorming.

There are four major sets of questions the planning teams will address:

  1. How do we return to in-class instruction that now must be complemented by – and enhanced with – digital instruction for faculty and students living on or off campus? And, how do we do that within a reinvented normal, fully prepared to prevent, detect, manage, treat and contain COVID-19? How do we make possible learning, healing and service for our entire community, including those who are at risk for serious illness?
  2. What if we have to delay the start of the semester? What does that look like, and how do we shift those dates?
  3. What would a hybrid approach look like, in which we are online for part of the semester and in class for another part, if there is a re-emergence of the virus.
  4. What if events make a fully online approach to instruction necessary again? How would that transition take place, and what do we do with a campus that is about to begin operations or is already open?
  • College of Medicine Dean Robert DiPaola is creating a team – Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart and Transition (START) – that is exploring a process for increased screening, testing and tracing across our campus community. The team will work on strategies for screening and testing that will complement each of the contingencies for which we are preparing in our plans to re-start the campus. We also recognize the potential to scale these strategies, down the line, for the broader community and industry in our state.
  • Existing Emergency Operation Workstreams will take ideas and convert them into operating realities:
  • Our senior leadership team will take the best ideas and provide them to the 19 workstreams already in place across campus.
  • Final operational plans from those workstreams will be completed by the end of May. The workstreams – which cover issues such as academic course delivery, student success, dining, housing, facilities and faculty affairs, among others – have been continuously working for more than two months in response to COVID-19 issues. 
  • We will have a final campus plan in place in mid-June, keeping in mind that we will continue to be flexible as health conditions, as well as state and federal guidance related to the virus, evolve.

All of this information can be found at uky.edu/coronavirus. Importantly, we encourage you to provide input. Email us at [email protected] with feedback.

In an uncertain world, we must think about new challenges that we’ve never before confronted. And, we do so as the world seems to shift daily under our feet. You’ve handled every stress and strain with the grace and grit that defines this place. 

You make us the University of, for and with Kentucky.

Thank you.

Eli Capilouto

You can see the original version/outline of the plan here.

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Education

What Is Edcamp? An Overview For Teachers

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What Is Edcamp? An Overview For Teachers

by TeachThought Staff

What is Edcamp? In summary, Edcamp is a low-cost, ‘bottom-up’ approach to teacher improvement where ‘conference’ participants gather, decide what’s going to be learned, then set out to teach one another in a laid-back, communal approach of sessions.

Obviously, the big idea is in the contrast to large conferences or formal professional development (which we also offer and believe has a role in education improvement) that is more ‘top down’ and pre-determined–that is, where a few people come and deliver content to a lot of people about a topic more or less out of their control. Edcamps are often called ‘unconferences’ and the video below explains why.

According to edcampnepa.org, in an Edcamp event, educators simply gather to learn:

EdCamps are ‘unconference’ events with a focus on education and learning. Most professional learning is done where participants listen to one person who shares their presentation with the audience. EdCamps on the other hand are meant to encourage conversation and participation among the attendees. Participants determine the topics for the day and take an active role in setting the direction of the conference. In the first hour of EdCamp NEPA, attendees will meet and interact over coffee and a light breakfast. An empty session board will be available for everyone to post session titles. From that, a session board will be constructed that will provide the schedule for the day.

Common Elements Of ‘An Edcamp’

A session board for day-of session planning

Participant-driven ‘PD’

Teacher collaboration

Food and ‘swag’

Sponsors (cheap doesn’t mean zero-cost)

Short 30-60 minute sessions

Use of social media to share learning and connect with teachers inside and beyond the Edcamp event using twitter and hashtags like #edcamp and #edcampusa, for example

Teacher-driven ‘promotion’ of Edcamp event that often includes blogs, digital/social ‘groups,’ and larger sign-up tools like Eventbrite

Why Edcamp?

In a previous post on TeachThought from 2014, Dawn Casey-Rowe offered her view on Edcamp:

EdCamp is the essence of collaboration–melding and sharing of ideas in the spirit of excitement. How many school professional development days have seen faculty disappointed that there wasn’t enough slots to do all the interesting professional development?

Now, imagine this. Imagine that your faculty meeting had no agenda. Imagine that there was simply a grid in the front of the room with a certain amount of empty spaces with corresponding rooms and participants could put “I’m going to present this!” Some rooms might have (academic) standards, others might have co-teaching, still others could have “physical fitness and student/teacher wellness.” It could be anything. People vote with their feet–the sessions that were the most helpful for people would be the ones that fill up. It might be that there were a couple of mandatory sessions. It might be the entire day could be up to the participants. But to really do it right, you’d have a nice table full of coffee and treats, and just let the day flow.

Consider having an Edcamp or Edcamp-style PD event at your school and getting your rock star faculty to take ownership of the subject material. You’ll save money, give respect to your on-staff experts, and have a day full of community building and interesting collaboration. Set up a twitter board and tweet between sessions. I give a guarantee this will be a PD format you’ll want to continue.

The Background Of Edcamp

According to their About Us, the story of how Edcamp got started is fairly simple: Educators got together to improve independent of a conference, local requirement, or large-scale training. They just gathered and grew.

The first Edcamp was organized in 2010 by a group of teachers in Philadelphia who met up for a computer science “un-conference.” At BarCamp, they collaborated with others to create discussion sessions based on the interests of the people in the room. There was no presenter; no boring slideshow. The entire day was personalized and learner driven with those in the room sharing their experience and expertise. At the end of the day, the teachers decided this model was too good to contain! They exchanged contact information, and within the next few months they used the “unconference” model of BarCamp to target educators.

We’ll have more on Edcamps soon. In the meantime, if you want to search for Edcamps near you, here you go.

If you’d like to see what they look like ‘ in real life,’ here are some pictures of previous Edcamps shared by participants.

What Is Edcamp? An Overview For Teachers

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Education

Actors Theater Announces New Voices Young Playwrights Festival For Students

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From a press release

LOUISVILLE, KYActors Theatre of Louisville is proud to announce the return of the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival. This year’s lineup will feature eight new plays by local high school students. The 15th annual festival will be sponsored by the LG&E and KU Energy Foundation. The New Voices Festival will run from April 27-29, 2020.

This year, 833 students submitted plays in consideration for the New Voices Festival. This includes students from 31 schools in 6 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. Selected plays for the festival were chosen by a group of 37 readers, made up of Actors Theatre staff and volunteers. The winning playwrights represent seven different high schools.

This year’s festival marks the first time a winner has been chosen from Central High School.

The festival is produced by the Learning & Creative Engagement team at Actors Theatre. Each piece is assigned a director, dramaturg, design team, and group of actors from the Professional Training Company (PTC), who work in conjunction with the playwrights to bring these pieces to life. Together, each team participates in workshops, production meetings, and a full rehearsal process before the festival in April. Each year, the plays produced in the festival are also published in the New Voices Young Playwrights Anthology.

To reserve tickets to review, to request images or for any other press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Director of Communications, [email protected].

Actors Theatre’s Professional Training Company is generously supported by a significant grant from The Roy Cockrum Foundation. The $1.2 million award supports grants over a ten-year period for each apprentice during the nine-month program, and enables year-round employment for the program’s leadership. Founded by Roy Cockrum, the Foundation supports world-class performing arts projects in not-for-profit professional theatres throughout the United States. The Foundation considers grants by invitation only and is dedicated to helping non-profit theatres reach beyond their normal scope of activities and undertake ambitious and creative productions. 


The selections for this year’s 15th Annual New Voices Young Playwrights Festival

Once Upon a Breakroom
by Alexandra Rapp (Mercy High School)

The Bow and Its Arrow
by Jocelynn Pry (Brown High School)

Posthumous Mishaps
by J.C. Hyde (Floyd Central High School)

His Lesson
by Lita Van (Atherton High School)

Sister Shook
by Skylar Wooden (Central High School)

Waffle Angel
by Aiden Kash (St. Francis High School)

Immaculata
by Katie Dobson (Ballard High School)

Postmodern Dad
by Ethan Bower (Salem High School)

Honorable Mentions:
A Bite of Strange Fruit
by Olivia Benford (Moore High School)

Primaries
by Islan F (Brooklawn)    


Listing Information

Advertisement

15th New Voices Young Playwrights Festival
An Evening of New Work
Written by local high school students
Sponsored by the LG&E and KU Energy Foundation.
Actors Theatre of Louisville
316 W. Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Bingham Theatre

Press Opening
Tuesday, April 27
7:00 p.m.
Bingham Theatre

April 27, 28, 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $5.
Tickets will be available starting in April.

Call the Box Office at 502.584.1205 or visit ActorsTheatre.org.

To reserve tickets to review, to request images or for any other press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Director of Communications, [email protected]About Learning & Creative Engagement at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Erica Denise, Director of Learning & Creative Engagement
Janelle Renee Dunn, Learning & Creative Engagement Associate 
Abigail Miskowiec, Learning & Creative Engagement Associate

As the home of the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theatre of Louisville is world-renowned for developing new work by playwrights with varying styles, interests, opinions and innovative approaches to making plays. Learning & Creative Engagement shares this energy and passion for playmaking by venturing into classrooms and teaching the art and craft of playwriting in fun, collaborative and differentiated ways.

By harnessing the wildly creative resources under its roof, the Learning & Creative Engagement department at Actors Theatre of Louisville aims to create outstanding artistic and learning experiences, where young people of all backgrounds, from elementary school to college, are invited to see plays and make theatre happen.

About the New Voices Playwriting Residency

Since its inception in 2003, the New Voices Playwriting Residency has introduced thousands of students from around the region to the basics of playwriting. Over the course of nine sessions, character development, conflict, dramatic structure and stakes are explored, as every student completes a ten-minute play. The Residency has inspired an annual New Voices Play Contest, a New Voices Young Playwrights Festival—fully produced by Learning & Creative Engagement and the Professional Training Company—and published New Voices anthologies of student-written work.

About the Professional Training Company
Jonathan Ruiz, Professional Training Company Producer

Now in its 48thyear, the Professional Training Company (PTC) is the cornerstone of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s commitment to education. One of the nation’s oldest pre-professional training programs, the PTC is a one-of-a-kind immersive program designed to elevate early-career practitioners in the American theatre industry by teaching the business and art of being a theatre professional. Members of the Company work directly with Actors Theatre artistic, administrative and production staff leaders as well as visiting guest artists, to receive hands-on training in their respective fields. The PTC is a diverse ensemble comprised of 39 talented individuals who are the next generation of American theatre. 

About Actors Theatre of Louisville
Robert Barry Fleming, Artistic Director

Now in its 56th Season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, is the flagship arts organization in the Louisville community. Actors Theatre serves to unlock human potential, build community, and enrich quality of life by engaging people in theatre that reflects the wonder and complexity of our time.

Actors Theatre presents almost 350 performances annually and delivers a broad range of programming, including classics and contemporary work through the Brown-Forman Series, holiday plays, a series of theatrical events produced by the Professional Training Company, and the Humana Festival of New American Plays—the premier new play festival in the nation, which has introduced more than 450 plays into the American theatre repertoire over the past 43 years. In addition, Actors Theatre provides over 15,000 arts experiences each year to students across the region through its Learning & Creative Engagement Department, and boasts one of the nation’s most prestigious continuing pre-professional resident training companies, now in its 48th year.

Over the past half-century, Actors Theatre has also emerged as one of America’s most consistently innovative professional theatre companies, with an annual attendance of 140,000. Actors Theatre has been the recipient of some of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre, including a Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre has toured to 29 cities and 15 countries worldwide, totaling more than 1,400 appearances internationally.

Currently, there are more than 50 published books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in circulation—including anthologies of Humana Festival plays, volumes of ten-minute plays, monologues, essays, scripts, and lectures from the Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival. Numerous plays first produced at Actors Theatre have also been published as individual acting editions, and have been printed in many other anthologies, magazines, and journals—making an enduring contribution to American dramatic literature.

You can find more information at ActorsTheatre.org.

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Education

Survey: High School Students Are Tired, Bored, And Stressed

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image attribution flickr user Tulane Public Relations

by TeachThought Staff

Researchers from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the Yale Child Study Center surveyed 21,678 American high school students and found that nearly 75% of the students’ emotions about school were negative.

Yale News published recently the results from the survey–with co-author and research scientist Zorana Ivcevic admitting that the percentage was surprising.

“It was higher than we expected,” Ivcevic explained. “We know from talking to students that they are feeling tired, stressed, and bored, but were surprised by how overwhelming it was.”

The article continued to break down the gist: High school students are tried–and not just tired, but stressed and bored:

“They are on the positive side of zero,” Ivcevic said, “but they are not energized or enthusiastic.” Feeling “interested” or “curious,” she noted, would reveal a high level of engagement that is predictive of deeper and more enduring learning.”

It continued, “In the open-ended responses, the most common emotion students reported was tired (58%). The next most-reported emotions — all just under 50% — were stressed, bored, calm, and happy. The ratings scale supported the findings, with students reporting feeling stressed (79.83%) and bored (69.51%) the most. When those feelings are examined with more granularity, said Ivcevic, they reveal something interesting. The most-cited positive descriptions–calm and happy–are vague.”

We investigated students’ feelings at high school in a nation-wide survey of 21,678 US students (study 1), and in a four-week study using experience sampling methodology (ESM) with 472 students across 5 high schools (study 2).

Abstract Excerpt

Study Highlights

75% of all feelings students reported in their open-ended responses were negative.

Feeling tired was the most prominent feeling, across measures and samples.

Negative feelings about school prevailed across all demographic groups.

Survey Takeaways

We’ve explored emotion as a cause and effect of learning for years–even going as far as to suggest that emotion is more important than understanding. when Terry Heick explained, “While you look for your students’ attention and try to cause engagement, it’s their emotion you need to skillfully identify, navigate and masterfully manipulate.”

In general, the survey is data that reports what most teachers already know: Students are tired and, mostly, bored. And stressed. The conclusions we take away from this data are more critical–and we might consider answering some of the following questions:

Why exactly are students bored? Content? Learning models? Pacing? Their expectations? Pressure? Agency and ownership (or lack thereof)? The survey looked at demographic data. Are there any co-relations with learning models, teacher experience, content areas, letter grades, and said boredom/tiredness/stress?

What are the primary causes of the ‘tiredness’? Mental health? Engagemet? Sleep quality? Sleep duration? (The former could be psychological while the latter more behaviorial.)

What is the impact of negative emotions not just on academic performance but the long-term quality of life for ‘students’ (i.e., young human beings)?

And maybe most critically and broadly, in the face of this data, how should we respond?

Abstract

“We investigated students’ feelings at high school in a nation-wide survey of 21,678 US students (study 1), and in a four-week study using experience sampling methodology (ESM) with 472 students across 5 high schools (study 2). Both studies combined mixed methods, including open-ended questions and rating scales (e.g., PANAS). In study 1, seventy-five percent of the feelings students reported in their responses to open-ended questions were negative. The three most frequently mentioned feelings were tired, stressed, and bored. Similar findings emerged with rated items, The prevalence of negative feelings was largely similar across demographic groups. Study 2 largely corroborated the findings from study 1. Although the retrospective measures showed similar results to study 1, the in-the-moment measures also showed frequent positive feelings. We discuss the findings in light of the ‘sleep deprivation epidemic,’ the achievement motivation literature, and implications for the validity of state- and trait measures of academic emotions.”

To analyze the data and methodology, you can download the full survey results here.

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