It has been a few weeks since I have been in touch regarding COVID-19 and our institutional response to the challenges presented over the past several months. In light of recent developments, I do want to provide you with a couple of important updates.
Yesterday, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley issued an executive order mandating that facemasks be worn in all businesses and entities open to the public. Consistent with our ongoing contact with local governmental and healthcare officials throughout this pandemic, we have been in specific conversations over the past 24 hours and have been legally advised that this order does not apply to Southwestern Seminary as we are not open to the public. We are, however, cognizant of the recent spike in cases in Texas and do want to take all prudent measures to do our part in ensuring the health and safety of all Southwesterners. With that in mind, we are recommending that facemasks be worn when in common areas or in other settings where people are gathered. We continue to urge compliance with CDC recommendations on social distancing and best practices for personal hygiene.
I also want to briefly address our plans as we move towards the fall semester. We are working hard to get the campus ready to be fully open for classes this fall. Right now, we are working on the residences halls and other campus buildings to make critical improvements to the condition of the facilities and to deep clean the entirety of the campus. In the coming days, we will be releasing more details about classroom procedures and specific guidance for implementation of best practices on campus. I want to assure you that we are doing as much as we can to make the reopening of campus this fall as safe as possible.
Many of you have asked what classes will look like this fall. While more details will be coming soon, I can tell you that we have not changed our previously announced intention to resume in-person, on-campus classes this fall, in addition to expanding our online course offerings. Online options will include live online classes, where students will join a class taking place on campus through videoconferencing technology, as well as our new 8-week online course format. For classes meeting on-campus, we are implementing various procedures by which social distancing can be observed while still receiving the highest quality educational experience in the classroom. In some cases this will include limiting the size of classes; in others this may include having a single course meet in multiple locations. Due to the fact that on-campus course enrollments may be limited, I want to encourage you to register as soon as possible to secure your spot in the courses you need this fall.
As always, if there is anything I can do to serve you, please let me know. Even in the midst of this disruptive season, I am thankful for every member of the Southwestern Seminary and Scarborough College community. I pray that you are able to make the most of the time with your families this summer as we all prepare to be back on campus in August.
Adam W. Greenway