When we last left school, many students, faculty, and staff were concerned about when we would return. With the rapid spread of the COVID-19, they pandemic were asked to leave the school and have a quick transition to an online based curriculum. This became a struggle for many students and teachers.
Now that students have returned to school, a survey was sent out to the faculty during the first full week of school. This survey allowed the faculty to express their opinions on the school’s communication, the policies put in place, and the decision to return to face -to-face classes.
The first question related the communication about the reopening schedule for the school. The responses for this answer consisted of mostly split views.
The second question was about the polices around COVID-19. Many of the faculty and staff stated the fact that this is no easy task. The school must listen to the University System of Georgia while ensuring the polices meet the local and institutional guidelines.
The most commented suggestion was more transparency from the administration in terms of active cases and amount of people in quarantine. A few of the responses requested clarification on certain parts of the polices but failed to mention which ones.
The third question asked about suggestions for changes to be made around the campus. The most common request was that there be a mandatory mask mandate. Also, respondents wanted daily or weekly updates on active cases and people awaiting results. Another response asked for more virtual learning options, as some students can’t run what is becoming vital software on their devices. However, some professors believe that the policies should “loosen up.”
At the abrupt closing of campus last semester, many students and staff had problems with the move to the virtual platform. When asked if prepared to make special accommodations for students who have limited access to internet and other vital technologies, most of the responses were yes. However, some of the faculty voiced opinions that if students are enrolled then they have the required items.
One response stated, “I do think access to the internet should be a standard utility much the same as water and electricity and it is shameful that we have such a lack of coverage in America”.
We have completed a semester of on campus and hybrid schooling. While things are still evolving the students and faculty seem to be acclimating well to the times.