Kennesaw State University will welcome students back to campus for class beginning on Aug. 17, with the final weeks of the fall semester to wrap up virtually, according to university President Pamela Whitten.

Whitten penned the outline of the plan for a return to campus on her blog and a message sent to the campus community on Tuesday.

The president said a seven-team task force is continuing to gather information “to help us attain our goal of a return to campus with a focus on the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

Planning is still in progress, she said, but she provided some highlights.

The fall calendar will remain as planned for the start of the semester, but after Thanksgiving break, all classes will go virtual for a final “wrap-up week of instruction,” Whitten said. Final exams, projects and papers will be conducted virtually as well, she said.

Here’s the schedule:

♦ Aug. 17: First day of classes

♦ Sept. 7: Labor Day holiday

♦ Nov. 23-29: Thanksgiving break

♦ Nov. 30 — Dec. 7: Final wrap-up week of classes (virtual)

♦ Dec. 7 — Dec. 14: Final exams/projects (virtual)

♦ Dec. 15-16: Graduation ceremonies

University officials say KSU has established a “rigorous” safety protocol for classrooms, labs, food service, residence halls and office buildings, which follow guidelines from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention and use disinfectants OK’d by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Most areas of campus will be cleaned multiple times per day. Faculty, staff and students will be provided with supplies to clean their desks and workstations in between use,” the return plan says.

Custodial, dining, housing and athletics staff have also been trained accordingly, the document says.

The university will also provide “KSU-branded” cloth masks to every student, faculty and staff member on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, Whitten said.

The university reports it has also partnered with Wellstar Health System to provide COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff. Testing for the fall semester will be available on both campuses.

Additionally, Wellstar will provide a help line that students, faculty and staff can call seven days per week to ask questions about symptoms related to the virus.

“I am so proud of how the Owl Family has come together to support our students and each other. Your dedication and ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape is an ongoing bright spot during this most unusual and challenging time,” Whitten ended her letter. “While there is still work to be done, we have made immense progress. I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus in August.”

For more a more detailed summary of the university’s planned return to class, visit coronavirus.kennesaw.edu/docs/fall-2020-return-to-campus.pdf.

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