Fall 2021 Continuity of Teaching

TO: Islander Faculty
SUBJECT: Fall 2021 Continuity of Teaching

Dear Islander Faculty, 

The Fall 2021 semester is underway, and I want to thank you for your commitment as we navigate this new normal. While we are doing all we can to provide typical experiences for our students, we can choose to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, get vaccinated, and engage in healthy behaviors. We continue to monitor the number of positive COVID-19 cases daily, including if there are any clusters in particular classes. In addition to the University COVID-19 Campus Guide (https://www.tamucc.edu/campus-guide/index.php), please see the guidelines below for classroom instruction.

Conducting your Classes

  • We have three modes of delivery. Online courses that are approved through DLAI, blended courses that are a mix of online and in-person instruction, and in-person instruction.
  • Course delivery is intended to be in accordance with the information that is in the student registration system (S.A.I.L.).
  • Unless approval has been given by your dean, you may not unofficially or officially change the delivery mode.
  • The Registrar’s Office sends out notifications when a student or instructor in a class has tested positive for COVID-19. When a notification is received, instructors should not cancel class or move to remote instruction unless directed to do so by their dean. Instructors also should not change the mode of instruction for a segment of the class.
  • Individuals that have tested positive or come into close contact with someone that has tested positive will receive direct guidance on quarantining and self-isolating from the TAMU System contact tracing process.
  • If you teach in a classroom that does not allow for 3-ft of physical distancing, create an assigned seating chart, and submit it to schedule@tamucc.edu for contact tracing purposes. In these situations, the Registrar’s Office will notify the instructor and those individuals in class who were in close proximity to the person that tested positive for COVID-19. The TAMU System will continue to do further contact tracing.
  • Alternative delivery for in-person classes, such as WebEx or Zoom, is permitted in cases where the instructor is quarantining, in isolation, or experiencing illness. However, these arrangements are made in consultation with your department chair and dean.

Engaging with Students

  • You may directly ask students to wear face coverings, and you may wear a mask to lead by example. Explain that wearing a face covering will help maintain in-person classes, activities, and events throughout the semester. You cannot mandate face coverings or punish those who refuse to wear a face covering. If you must be in closer contact with students such as in laboratories or studios, consider using a KN95 mask.
  • You may hang a sign outside of your office requesting visitors to wear a face covering before entering. If visitors opt not to wear a face covering but want an in-person meeting, inform them that you will set up an appointment time where you can meet in a larger room for physical distancing.
  • Encourage students to get vaccinated and explain that vaccination will help the student avoid being quarantined if they are exposed to COVID-19.
  • Tell students not to attend class if they are sick or experiencing even mild symptoms of illness and to get a free COVID-19 test. Let students know that you will accommodate them to ensure they have access to classroom content and can continue learning.

Thank you for working together to make the fall semester as successful as possible for our students and university community. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Take care,

Clarenda M. Phillips, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs