Drury Announces “Panther Plan” for Return to In-Person Classes

Drury University has announced their plans for returning to in-person classes for the Fall 2020 session.

The school is calling their actions the “Panther Plan” and have posted it online for incoming students and their parents. The plan will be updated as situations change, so the school is urging anyone connected to the school to bookmark the site and watch for changes.

“For weeks now, we have worked on a daily basis to create a thoughtful plan that protects the health and safety of our entire campus community while allowing Drury to continue in-person teaching and learning this fall,” David Hinson, executive vice president, chief operations officer and chief of staff, said in a statement. “All of our planning has been done with faculty, staff, students and local public health officials at the table.”

The plan includes moving important dates and changes to housing such as:

  • Adjusting the academic calendar by moving up the semester start date to Thursday, Aug. 20 instead of Monday, Aug. 24. Fall break and Thanksgiving break will each be shortened by one day. The fall semester will end one week earlier than originally planned. Drury intends to hold seated classes for the entirety of the fall semester, but this change provides a greater opportunity to maximize in-person learning in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19.
  • Requiring all students, staff and faculty to wear a face covering while in public spaces on campus, including during classes, to help protect the health of every community member.
  • Placing all residential students in single occupancy rooms at no additional cost.
  • Providing coronavirus testing as needed for all students, staff and faculty in partnership with CoxHealth’s on-campus Panther Clinic and through the local public health system.
  • Rigorous sanitization and cleaning protocols and social distancing, which are already in place as Drury welcomes visitors back for campus tours starting this week.

Drury noted that as of the release of the Panther Plan, no Drury staff or others on the campus have tested positive for COVID-19.

Athletics will take place during the fall according to GLVC and NCAA instructions. The athletic department is working to make conditions safe for both athletes and spectators.

The school is also working with Burrell Behavioral Health to provide services for students who may be having mental health issues related to COVID-19 or the lockdown associated with the pandemic.

“Drury’s small size, large physical campus, and sense of caring for one another make it possible to carry out this plan,” Hinson says. “As we move forward, the Panther Plan will continue to be informed by current data and scientific guidance from local and national officials.”

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