Safety and Health
College of Education Reopening Plan
The College of Education has reviewed guidelines and requirements from Kansas State University and the state and county health officials to inform plans to re-open operations on campus in Bluemont Hall and in the Unger Complex. With summer 2020 courses being conducted online and limited operations across the university, there were fewer individuals needing access to the buildings, allowing time to develop safety measures and procedures to maintain social distancing. As the fall semester commences, the College continues our efforts to ensure that the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty are protected as expanded operations are resumed. Our work is grounded in the five guiding principles that have supported the university’s reawakening plans:
- Preserve the health and safety of K-State's university community and our host communities.
- Maintain and deliver our land-grant mission through teaching, research and extension/outreach.
- Preserve and maintain university operations necessary to support mission-critical activities during reduced operations status.
- Preserve the financial capacity of the university to deliver mission-critical activities for the long-term fiscal health of the university.
- Honor K-State's unique culture. Students, faculty and staff are at the heart of this university.
Below are some measures and guidelines in place for our college. For additional resources, the university’s Come Back, ‘Cats website provides guidance for a safe return to campus. Other updates can be found on the university's COVID-19 Summary of Updates website. Human Capital Services’ website has several FAQ sections that may also be helpful.
Primary Health and Safety Measures
Health and safety measures to be implemented throughout the reopening process and into the fall 2020 term include:
- Strict social distancing measures will be practiced within the College. Signs will be posted by every entry doorway to the buildings and in common gathering places (Bluemont – lobby, Catalyst, elevator door areas; Unger Complex – lobby, elevator door areas).
- Signs at the elevators will provide guidance on capacity, direct people where to stand and remind everyone to use hand sanitizer after touching buttons in the elevators.
- Bluemont will use floor stickers from Facilities to direct traffic within hallways.
- Bluemont will also guide traffic in the two stairwells on the south side of the building. The South East stairwell will be designated as “up” and the South West will be for “down” traffic.
- The main stairwell at the front of the building will be used for both up and down traffic, but Facilities will post signs directing use to minimize contact.
- As of August 3, 2020, Bluemont Hall will be open 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. The building will be locked on weekends.
- Per the university policy, all faculty, staff, advisors and students will wear face masks when social distancing is not possible and in all public areas (hallways, stairways, elevators, restrooms, etc.). It is recommended that masks be worn at all times in the building.
- Promote frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer. Notices regarding proper handwashing procedures will be placed in all restrooms and posted by all sinks. Soap is provided in all spaces and will be regularly checked for availability.
- Per university plans, hand sanitizer stations will be placed at the entrances to Bluemont Hall and Unger Complex. Hand sanitizer will also be available in the Dean’s office, all departmental and unit offices, as well as in small conference rooms and meeting spaces. The college will supply sanitizer for all units.
- A limited supply of masks will be available in the Dean’s office for emergency situations (ear strap breaks, masks tear, etc.).
- In an effort to prevent social gatherings in hallways in the building, benches located on the first floor of Bluemont will be temporarily removed.
- All employees who return to campus will need to complete the Environmental Health and Safety training. This training was updated on August 3; if you completed the previous training, we encourage you to take the new version as it provides additional guidance on returning to campus.
- Employees will be required to clean their work area at the beginning and the end of each workday.
- All high-touch surfaces, including desks, doorknobs, water fountains, handrails, etc. will be regularly disinfected. Cleaning supplies will be available in the Dean’s office.
- Employees that are able to work remotely will be encouraged to do so.
- No face-to-face meetings will have over 50 participants. Unless there are confidentiality issues, all meetings will be held over zoom or another technology platform (MS Teams).
- If an employee has any signs of illness, the employee is to stay home and not enter the building. All faculty and staff are asked to complete a brief self-assessment (4 questions) daily before coming to campus.
- If an employee is awaiting test results, the employee will remain in isolation.
- If the employee has been in contact with confirmed cases the employee will remain in quarantine for 14 days.
- If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the employee must remain in isolation for at least 10 days from symptom onset or 72 hours fever free, whichever is longer (or current public health official guidance).
For questions, please consult with your supervisor. The College of Education has developed a guidance document for returning to campus with additional FAQs for both supervisors and employees, available on the Faculty/Staff Handbooks and Policies web page.
General Building Occupancy Guidelines
Signage in Buildings: Facilities will develop messaging for signs that is consistent and efficiently messages best practices with respect to the use of: common areas in campus buildings, restrooms, water fountains, stairs, and elevators.
Using Restrooms: Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. Put lids down, if available, before flushing toilets to reduce the amount of water droplets in the air. Leave exhaust fans turned on throughout the day, if available.
Using Elevators: No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time, unless that individual is accompanied by a personal care attendant. If you are using the elevator, avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.
Using Stairways: Stairways will be designated for up or down traffic as building space allows. Stairways may be restricted to one-way traffic. Follow posted signage. Keep safe distance from others when navigating stairwells. Wash hands or uses hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon leaving stairwell. Never block or close off stairwells or paths that are evacuation routes.
General Building Preparations
Custodial Services: Custodial personnel have continued to clean buildings since March 13, ramping up to full staffing on May 1. Cleaning, touch-point disinfection, and project work (deep cleaning) are being performed in preparation for higher building occupancy rates. Our teams are identifying touch points and mapping efficient routes for daily disinfection by utilizing Electrostatic Disinfectant Spray Technology, which is the most effective and practical way to regularly disinfect on a large-scale like our campus environment. Large-volume hands-free, sanitizer dispensers are being planned for implementation in building entryways.
HVAC Systems: HVAC systems have continued in operation since March 13. Extensive energy savings measures have been implemented to reduce expenditures while meeting the needs of ongoing research and minimum building setback parameters. Maintenance technicians have continued to perform routine preventive maintenance on HVAC systems across campus, to include filter changes. Filters on all systems will be replaced before the start of the Fall 2020 semester and Facilities staff will ensure adequate air change rates are met during this process.
Domestic Water Systems: Water systems have been in operation. As a preventive measure, Facilities will begin flushing water systems to ensure potable water sources are safe, and free of buildup of bacteria. Facilities will work with Environmental Health & Safety to test, flush and/or treat water systems with chlorine. Drinking fountains will be disconnected and properly signed with preventive measures to mitigate possible community spread of COVID-19 and other harmful illnesses, except the bottle-filling function will be activated, where applicable. Facilities will also ensure that water heaters are being maintained at a temperature setpoint between 120-140 F.
Mail Services: Departments should continue to pick up their mail and drop off outgoing mail at Dykstra Hall between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central mail services will continue to ship out for USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL deliveries. Departments receiving shipments should continue making arrangements with the carrier as to how/when the delivery is made to their building. If a building is authorized to be open through the Reawakening Plans, mail will be delivered to the building at the usual route time of 9:00 a.m. Monday -Friday.
Environmental Health and Safety: Services provided by Environmental Health and Safety are fully operational. COVID-19 specific services include safety and health training, guidance with sanitation and safety, support conducting risk assessments and recommending safety controls (e.g., PPE and mask selection specific to work activities, barrier or shields, laboratory safety and ventilation), and respirator fit testing.
University Police: Campus Police continues to respond to calls for service, alarm activations and minor theft. When possible, the reports will be taken by phone to avoid as much person to person contact as safely possible. Campus security continues their rounds through buildings at night.
Parking Services: Parking Services plans to enforce parking regulations on the Manhattan campus beginning August 3.
Phase 1 and 2:
The buildings were restricted to those approved faculty and staff who required access to the facilities (list approved March 2020 and thereafter) throughout the summer. At the end of the spring term, faculty and staff had an opportunity to access the building for materials and resources needed for summer courses. As noted previously, Bluemont and Unger Complex opened August 3.
The majority of College of Education personnel will continue to work remotely in this phase. However, some individuals will need access to systems and IT on campus. The approved faculty, staff, advisors and graduate students returning to campus in Phase 3 will need to complete the EHS training.
The College re-opened departmental and unit offices on August 3, 2020. Due to ventilation issues on the second and third floors, three departments will share space, on a weekly rotation, in the Associate Dean’s office to maintain face-to-face operations. All offices and units will remain operational through the fall 2020 term.
Plastic shields have been installed in departmental and unit offices as needed to maintain social distancing and limit contact. Faculty and staff will wipe down their work areas at the beginning and end of each day. Due to the increased need to disinfect common areas and infected areas, custodial services will clean offices and non-teaching labs by request only. Office trash and recycling should be placed outside the office door on the day/time designated for pick-up by custodial services.
As part of the classroom assessment study, three rooms in Bluemont Hall (BH 118, 119 and 121) have been identified for use in the fall semester for face-to-face instruction. Facilities will be organizing the tables and chairs in these rooms to allow for the required social distancing. Each of these rooms have 2 doors, so one will be designated as an “entrance” and the other as the “exit.” Students will be guided to the appropriate door to minimize contact.
Faculty and instructors have worked with their respective chairs to identify the delivery mode for courses in the fall. Currently, the College will offer a combination of face-to-face, hybrid and hy-flex courses. For all classes meeting face-to-face for a minimum of 10% of the course, no online (Global Campus) fees will be assessed.
All classes meeting face-to-face will utilize seating charts to assist with contact tracing should that be necessary. Faculty and instructors will maintain the seating charts through the fall semester. As course schedules are finalized, the College will develop a master schedule of the classrooms.
Faculty and instructors will follow the cleaning and disinfecting guidance (PDF). If student workers are available, they may also assist the faculty and instructors in wiping down surfaces to ensure the room is clean for the incoming class period.
The Catalyst, in Bluemont Hall, provides technology support; digital media, copying, network and instructional services; and instructional materials and technology equipment for faculty, staff and students in the College of Education. As many of these services require face-to-face interaction, options for ensuring safety of the Catalyst staff and clients, including faculty, staff and students, continue to be reviewed. The unit has installed plastic shields at service counters, restricting access to common computer or other equipment, limiting space for group or collaborative work, etc. Solutions will be implemented as further details about the fall semester come available. Initially, table and workstations will be organized to allow for adequate spacing; only hard surface furnishings will be available as they can be regularly sanitized between uses.
Vending machines will be emptied as there is not an efficient way to keep the surfaces and equipment clean between uses. Water fountains will be turned off; however, as of August 3, the bottle fillers will be operational.
Phase Out and Normative Operations
As the State of Kansas continues to issues “safer at home” orders and cases in the local community are tracked, Phase out plans and a return to near normative operations will be paused as further information and guidance comes available.
Research Reopening Plans
Due to the nature of the educational research in the College, much of this work is able to continue remotely. For the faculty whose RSCA create no significant risks to others, the operational reopening plans for their respective units are sufficient to guide the reopening process. For projects requiring access to specific lab or research space, researchers were asked to review the “Framework Guiding a Phased Approach to Restarting Research Activity” provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), then complete a checklist and documentation. Official research reopening plans have been submitted to the Dean and ADR for review and approval.
Units represented in the overarching College of Education Reopening Plans:
- Office of the Dean
- Department of Curriculum and Instruction
- Department of Educational Leadership
- Department of Special Education, Counseling and Student Affairs
- Center for Student Success and Professional Services
- Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy
- Catalyst Technology and Media Services
- Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation
- NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
College of Education Safety Plan
The K-State College of Education safety plan is an ongoing work in progress in order to continuously review and update the most current safety measures for the environment. The prevailing rule in any safety or crisis situation is communication, to trust one's instincts, exercise sound judgment based on an analysis of the event to the best of one's ability, exercise common sense, and to remain calm in order to provide leadership for those we are responsible.
The current climate of safety at universities across the nation continues to cause concern for the safety of faculty, staff, and students as a result of injuries and fatalities through shootings, natural disasters, and other means. As such, it is imperative for the college to establish a working and living safety plan to protect the students, faculty, and staff of the college to the best of its ability, provide a safe and secure learning, teaching, and working environment, and to provide guidance and resources.
→ Bluemont Hall Evacuation Maps (PDF)
- K-State Here to Help Guide (PDF)
- K-State Safety and Health
- K-State Here to Help
- University Emergency Guide
- K-State Alerts
- K-State Police Department
- K-State Weapons Policy
- Office of Student Life
- Safe Zone
- Wildcat Walk
- Lafene Health Center
- Counseling Services
- Center for Advocacy, Response and Education
- Student Legal Services