Covid-19 Campus News
COVID-19 Safeguarding Strategies:
As we prepare for fall semester, many have wondered what our COVID policies will look like. The following is based on the current CDC guidelines. Recognizing that this may change over the next few months, in the event of a surge in cases, this is what we can anticipate if things stay the same.
- Fully vaccinated individuals will be able to go maskless.
- Unvaccinated individuals should plan to continue to wear masks.
- Classrooms will be arranged with chairs 3 feet apart. Dean Waldman will be working with the select handful of instructors whose class capacities may not allow for this seating space. Further academic protocols will be forthcoming as new information becomes available.
- Unvaccinated individuals who come within close contact of infected individuals will be required to quarantine for 10 days. Proof of full vaccination two weeks prior to such contact will be necessary to avoid quarantine.
- We are working on an incentive to encourage students to get vaccinated and to document that vaccination with the institution before returning to school this fall. The incentive and the process for providing proof of documentation are still under consideration. Recommendations on incentive ideas are welcome!
We are cautiously hopeful that the worst days of COVID are behind us. Thanks to everyone for your roles in helping to keep the campus safe!
COVID-19 Response Services:
- The new PC Student Telehealth Clinic is open onsite, staffed with a telehealth doctor and MSN student nurses not only for COVID testing (which are then processed offsite) but also for a number of other minor medical concerns. presentation.edu/telehealth
- Avera Health Care is offering the community access to testing via a number of different avenues. Individuals can call the COVID Hotline, during business hours, at 1-877-AT-AVERA or can access an online screening tool, anytime, day or night, and receive a call back to set up an appointment to receive testing, if necessary. Alternatively, people can also seek testing from any health care provider of their choice.
- Students are encouraged to download the contact tracing app, Campus Clear, which maintains a log of all other individuals who have the app who may have come within 6 feet of them for 15+ minutes within a 24-hour period, over the past 14 days.
- PC has established protocols for resident students in isolation (awaiting test results or having tested positive) and in quarantine (who have been in close contact with someone awaiting test results or having tested positive). Resident students in isolation will have their meals from the dining hall delivered to them. Those in quarantine will pick up boxed meals at the designated distribution site. Both groups of students will continue to have access to classes online.
- PC Covid-19 Update 1 | 3.13.2020
- PC Covid-19 Update 2 | 3.17.2020
- PC Covid-19 Update 3 | 3.20.2020
- PC Covid-19 Update 4 | 3.25.2020
- PC Covid-19 Update 5 | 8.24.2020
- Spring 2021 Semester Welcome
The modified academic calendar is as follows:
March 16-27: Presentation classes will be held online or via other flexible modalities to address course objectives. Such distance delivery will continue for two weeks, through March 27, at which time the situation will be reassessed.
Campus will remain open. We will ensure that all students who choose to do so will be able to stay on campus. The college will continue to provide basic services, such as housing, food, and access to campus services. Students should monitor their emails to access information from faculty on distance course delivery. At this time, we anticipate that in-person classes will resume on Monday, March 30, pending any new developments.
Resident Students -- You may choose to either stay on campus or leave. If you leave campus, please take any materials you will need to complete your regularly scheduled academic work this semester. For those students who stay on campus, the residence halls and campus dining services will remain open, with a modified schedule (see below). The College is committed to supporting you during this time, and I encourage you to reach out to the Director of Student Life, DJ Mounga, if you have questions. As you consider your plans for the next two weeks, I strongly urge you to limit your travel to assist with the national curtailing of any potential spread of the virus. Moving back and forth between campus and off-campus locations could unintentionally contribute to spreading the illness. Please continue to check your email regularly for updates on the campus situation.
Cafeteria Hours: M-F: Breakfast: 8-10am.; Lunch: 11a-1pm.; Dinner: 5-7 pm
Java City/C-Store: M-F 8 am-4:30pm
Weekend hours remain unchanged.
Clinicals/Practicums - Off-campus clinical sites that serve PC students have suspended their clinical and practicum operations for students for 30 days (through April 13). Program Directors will be contacting students to make arrangement for alternate instruction (i.e. virtual simulations, case studies, etc.). Students, please work with your Program Directors to complete your required hours.
Travel/Service Learning – As mentioned in a previous email, all domestic and international College-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice. Students, faculty, and staff should not attend conferences or meetings or take part in service learning activities in order to limit person-to-person contact.
Campus Events/Facilities/Services/Athletics -- Beginning on Saturday, March 14, all on-campus events are postponed or canceled until in-person course instruction resumes. This includes institutional and student-led events. The Campus Library will remain open, and Dining Service will continue to be available, at the hours listed above. The Wein Gallery will be closed to the public.
Per the NSAA, all athletic contests and official practices are cancelled through March 29. Over the next two weeks, conference officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and work with the NAIA office and health officials to make a determination on the remainder of the Spring Season.
During this time, the Dome will be closed to the public and all external groups. Athletic teams and on campus students, however, are allowed to have open gym/dome times and will be able to use the Wellness Center. Use of the athletic facilities will be closely monitored by the athletic training staff and the PC coaching staff. Continuing to exercise caution, the College will limit the number of students/athletes in these facilities at any given time, as well as will be performing routine cleaning and disinfecting of equipment during the open hours. Participation in open gym/dome time is optional, and students/athletes who are under the weather, or have other health concerns, should visit with the athletic training staff or DJ Mounga in Student Life.
Faculty Members -- You will receive further information about technology sessions and other resources from Educational Technologist, Stephanie Hanson. Faculty members will be communicating with students via email regarding class plans and online learning expectations.
All Employees -- Because the campus will remain open, employees are expected to work as usual on Monday, March 16 and throughout the two-week period to support ongoing operations. If you are concerned that you may have special circumstances that may impact your ability to be present on campus, please contact Dr. Jason Pettigrew in the Office of Human Resources.
We remind everyone, whether on campus or elsewhere, of health guidelines available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The most important of these are effective hand-washing and social distancing.
Saints, I know that this is a time of uncertainty and there are many questions about what will happen in the coming days. With you, I feel the sadness and anxiety of this moment. These decisions have not been made lightly. We believe that at this juncture we must think beyond ourselves and take action to care for each other in the larger world. Because this situation is evolving rapidly, we will continue to stay in contact via email and update our website in the days and weeks ahead. Please know that I am grateful for each of you and the important social justice and service mission that guides our institution, serving as our guiding light. I thank you all for your partnership in this process and with one another as we make our way through these extraordinary historical circumstances.
Dear College Community,
We continue to monitor the events surrounding the national and global COVID-19 “Coronavirus” situation.
At this time, the Presentation College administration wishes to communicate the following with our broader constituents:
Please know that the college leadership is continuing to monitor this situation and are committed to following the very latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the South Dakota Department of Health.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this unprecedented time.
Dr. Paula Langteau, President
Dear College Community,
PC Covid-19 Update 3 | 3.20.2020
While Presentation College continues to have no COVID-19 diagnoses, in light of the fast-developing situation nationwide, Presentation College has made the difficult decision to extend online delivery of all instruction through the end of the spring semester. Faculty will be providing further guidance in each Moodle class.
For students who are majoring in programs requiring clinicals or internships, you will hear from Program Directors within the next week, providing information on what will be required to complete your required hours. As we support the health and well-being of our students and communities through social distancing, all courses with an embedded service-learning component will be moved to a virtual service-learning. The needs of our neighbors and communities grow in times of crisis, and we remain committed to helping meet those needs while taking the appropriate precautions to keep people safe. Your faculty members will be reaching out to you regarding the specifics of how your service-learning will be completed.
Staying: Because we know that for some students, staying on campus may remain their safest option, campus housing, dining, security, and library services will remain open. Students who choose to stay are asked to contact Director of Housing, Semisi Malolo, to ensure we are aware of all those needing continued campus services. We will also continue to have Dr. Simon (DNP) available to assess anyone who experiences any symptoms of illness and to refer, if necessary, for follow-up medical care.
Leaving: Students who decide to leave Aberdeen should prepare to fully pack up and move from campus housing. Restricting travel back and forth from campus is the best way to protect students who stay, mitigating the risk of introducing illness on campus. We appreciate your understanding.
Per SEVP, given that all classes are now migrated to online, you are welcome to remain in the States or return to your home country at this time to complete coursework. Make sure you are communicating with your professors about completing all necessary coursework requirements. Your current SEVIS status will remain Active as long as your complete coursework, whether you stay in the US or return home.
If you decide to return home, please make sure your I-20 was signed in the past 6 months. If you’ve had a new I-20 in the last 5 months, or it’s been signed in the last 5 months, then you are good to travel. India Klipfel will be in her office this afternoon from 2-5 pm to sign I-20s. If that time doesn’t work, please contact India at email@example.com, and she will arrange a time to come to campus at any point this weekend to sign I-20s.
Please let India know of your plans either way so she can update your current address in SEVIS. Any residency changes have to updated in SEVIS within 10 days. Remember that you are absolutely welcome to stay on campus; the suites will remain open as well as the cafeteria.
The cafeteria will remain open for the remainder of the semester with the following hours each day: Brunch: 11:00 am-1:00 pm
Dinner: 5:00 pm-6:30 pm
Java City/C-Store will be open
Monday-Friday from 10:00 am-1:00 pm and closed on the weekends.
The Dome, Strode Center, and Wellness Center will remain open using the current hours of operation. The staff will continue to monitor usage and limit the number of students to remain consistent with current CDC guidelines.
Given our early May commencement schedule, we will not be able to gather as a college community in the traditional sense for commencement exercises this year. We ARE working, however, to provide our graduates and their families with a virtual experience to celebrate our graduating seniors’ accomplishments. Although this is not the sendoff we had planned for you and your families, we are doing all we can to make your graduation experience a special occasion. You have worked hard to earn your degree from PC, and we are excited to welcome you to the family of Presentation College Alumni. The virtual ceremony will be available on the Presentation College website on May 2 and will be able to be enjoyed (and later downloaded) from anywhere in the world.
Preparing for the Virtual Ceremony
As part of this virtual commencement celebration, we are asking our graduates to please send us a photo that can be used as part of this celebration. This can be a professional headshot, a personal headshot, or a picture that you take in your academic regalia, which can be purchased here. Since graduation robes, mortarboards, and tassels are usually ordered by the school and covered in the graduation fee, PC is waiving the graduation fee ($140) for all May 2020 graduates. All accounts charged with the fee will be updated. Students with a credit balance will receive a refund via check or electronic transfer. Please make sure your mailing address is correct. If you need to update your mailing address, please contact the Registrar’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure prompt delivery. Please note, for the photo that students upload, graduation regalia purchase is optional. It is not necessary for your picture to be included in the virtual ceremony.
For those students graduating with honors, we will send your honors chords by April 1 and invite you to wear them proudly in your picture. For our Nursing and Rad Tech students, we will send your well-deserved and hard-earned pins in the mail.
We ask that you please submit your graduation information and photos to: https://www.presentation.edu/student-life/current-students/virtual-graduation-form.
All submissions are due by April 17 to be included in the virtual commencement.
All PC summer classes are already scheduled to take place online. If you have not already done so, please use the portal to schedule your summer coursework.
Saints, our number one priority remains your health and safety. Please let us know what we can do to accommodate your decision over the next few days. If going home is right for you, we hope to see you back on campus again in the very near future when this situation passes.
Dr. Paula Langteau,
President Presentation College
Over the past few weeks, our PC community, our nation, and the world have witnessed rapidly changing guidelines and expectations for addressing the spread of COVID-19. Daily, we are learning lessons as other states in our country manage escalating caseloads. Currently, South Dakota is fortunate to have fewer confirmed COVID-19 cases than many other states. This provides us the opportunity to learn lessons from those other states to inform the actions we take to prevent the further spread of the virus. This is especially relevant now that Brown County, the county in which our campus is situated, has at least two confirmed cases. We at PC continue to monitor and share national health information to inform our campus community so that you and your families can make the best choices to protect your health and safety.
“Sheltering in Place” Practices
What we are learning from other states is the critical importance of voluntary social distancing, including “sheltering in place.” While we recognize this is challenging while we are feeling healthy, we also recognize that COVID-19 can spread before symptoms emerge, and that spread can be life-threatening for certain vulnerable populations. This is the reason, for example, that the convent closed to the public until further notice. At this time, we are also similarly closing the campus to outside visitors—other than registered students, faculty and staff. As Saints, we know the importance of thinking of how our actions can protect not just ourselves but also all others with whom we live and work in the larger community.
In some states, where voluntary measures have proven insufficient to slow the spread of the virus, those states have enacted state-wide restrictions on non-essential services, closing shopping centers, restaurants, banks, medical offices, and other service centers to the public. State lock-downs have also required residents to “shelter in place,” limiting travel outside the home for essential needs only, such as weekly grocery shopping and urgent medical care. Just this week, Michigan and Wisconsin have moved into lock-down status, providing approximately 24-48 hours of notice to their residents before enacting these measures. If current national health projections on the spread rate of the virus prove accurate, states not currently locked down may be facing that decision in the coming weeks. At the moment, we are in the fortunate position to have some time to plan for that possibility here.
How Can I Prepare?
We believe it is important for students and their families to determine the safest course of action for their individual circumstances. And we are here to support and help our students implement those actions. We have students, for example, whose home states (or home countries) have already locked down. We, at Presentation College, are committed to helping those students shelter in place on our campus through the duration of this pandemic, which, according to Governor Noem, could be months. This commitment is a direct result of our mission to serve not just educational needs but the needs of the whole person. You are a valued member of our PC family.
For those students whose travel is not currently restricted by their home locations, we urge you to plan ahead now to ensure you are where you need and want to be (i.e. with family) if and when a “shelter in place” order is received. Depending on the distance you may need to travel or the length of notice provided prior to the enacting of state “shelter in place” decisions, there could be a narrow window for making and carrying out travel. Knowing this, we want all students and their families to know that we are ready to support and assist you in your decisions now. If you need transportation to airports, storage options for personal items, or other assistance with travel, please contact Director of Housing, Semisi Malolo, for help. Our goal is to help all those moving from the campus to get safely to your destinations in a timely fashion.
Classes Continue Online
We want to assure you classes will continue at Presentation College, online. Our faculty and staff have done a great job moving all face-to-face learning online so you can complete the Spring 2020 semester. We are blessed to have faculty who understand and can assist in adapting learning strategies to these challenging circumstances. For Summer 2020, PC offers a full complement of classes. All classes, per usual summer practice, will be online. Our clinicals will be offered, though the mechanism for delivery will be dependent on future directives from our health care provider partners. PC will follow their lead, as well as the lead of professional licensing agencies associated with our programs. We have been experts in online education for years, and we will continue to be expert at online delivery. If you haven’t registered for Summer 2020 classes, please do so as soon as possible.
Saints, we are here for you and your decision-making during this unprecedented time in our world. The PC community is strong, diligent, and resilient. We WILL get through this and be stronger on the other side. In the meantime, please do what you can to remain healthy and know that both the Sisters and the PC leadership team are holding you and your families in our daily prayers as we weather this war on COVID19.
Dr. Paula Langteau,
President Presentation College
We have been notified that one residential and four non-residential PC students have tested positive for COVID-19. Due to privacy laws, we are unable to share the identity of the individuals, however Presentation College is following guidelines provided by the Department of Health to address the matter. PC is working directly with the impacted students, as well as any close contacts to those students.
These individuals spent time in the Strode Activity Center as well as limited time in the main building on campus. The Strode Activity Center and those impacted portions of the main building have been professionally cleaned and disinfected since any activity by these individuals. This was also prior to any events that took place today. Presentation College is also conducting contract tracing and has informed individuals who were in close contact with those that have tested positive. Members of the PC community who had direct contact with these individuals have been notified and are being asked to self-quarantine. These measures are helping to contain this incidence.
The college is monitoring the student’s health and assisting as needed.
Moving forward, we require that all employees and students continue to wear masks when around any other individuals on campus, in addition to maintaining social distancing and following PC’s COVID safeguarding strategies.
If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, please immediately quarantine yourself, contact your supervisor, and seek medical advice, either through the Avera Hotline (1-877-282-8372) or through your personal health care provider. You may also contact PC’s Employee Assistance Program, Northern Plains Psychological Association, (605-225-3622) or Northeast Mental Health Center, (605-225-1010). Students may contact Rebecca Christiansen, Campus Counselor (605-229-8524; Rebecca.Christiansen@presentation.edu) for help managing the uncertainty around this ongoing pandemic.
Our campus community is dependent upon all of us doing the right thing and looking out for one another. We are truly in this together.
Blessing to you all,
Marcus Garstecki, Ph.D
Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Welcome back Saints Family!
As we prepare for fantastic Spring semester, we hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful break. It may not have been the normal holiday season with COVID-19 still at large, but things seem to be shaping up as the U.S. continues to distribute the vaccine and hopefully soon things can return to normal. As a college we will continue to resume all COVID-19 safeguard protocols that were in effect for the Fall semester. This includes all guidelines listed in the recent ‘winter break letter’ that was sent out before the holidays (it is also attached in this email). In addition to the COVID-19 response services that are provided on campus, we are excited to announce that the South Dakota Department of Health is sponsoring free on campus COVID-19 tests for all students, faculty, and staff returning for the spring semester. The Presentation College nursing staff will be helping administer the self-test in the Simulation Center located in the Southeast building on the following dates:
- Monday, January 11th | 1 pm – 4pm | Athletes
- Wednesday, January 13th | 1pm - 5pm | Resident
- Thursday, January 14th | 8am – 12pm | Non-Resident
If we all take these tests before the start of the spring semester, our community can be confident that we are doing what we can to keep each other safe and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Therefore, we are strongly encouraging all students to get tested during the testing times noted above. We also encourage all faculty and staff to be tested during any one of the three time slots. Once you arrive at the Simulation Center you will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 test form, trained staff will then walk you through the sample collection procedure step-by-step. After you collect your own sample it will be signed and sent to a laboratory for medical analysis. Within 48-72 hours you will be notified if your COVID-19 test results are positive.
Even if you have tested negative in the past, you are still strongly encouraged to get tested during these testing times on campus. Students who tested positive within the past 30 days may test positive again. Dr. Simon will contact you to discuss your test results and visit with you regarding your previous positive.
If you do not attend face-to-face classes at any PC site, you are excused from the on-campus mass testing. However, you do have the option to take a COVID-19 test via a mail-in system. Please respond to Amber.Coleman@presentation.edu to indicate that all your courses are online and you would like the directions for the mail-in COVID-19 test.
We anticipate that most students will test negative. Those who test positive will be asked by the Department of Health to remain in isolation for 10 days. By taking the test at the beginning of the semester, you can better ensure that you are able to complete your isolation period before too much class time has passed.
One of the best ways we can protect one another is by doing everything we can to stay healthy and avoid spreading COVID-19 on PC’s campus. Wear your mask (required throughout campus). Maintain a 6 foot distance. Avoid crowds when possible. By taking these simple precautions, as well as the test, you can do your part to protect the Saints.
Please contact Melissa.Skinner@presenation.edu if you have any questions about the testing process.
Presentation College COVID-19 Task Force
- University Operations
- Athletics and Events
- Cafeteria Hours
- Dome Hours
- Library/CLC Hours
- Wellness Center
- Group Gathering Limitations
- CDC Health Guidelines
- Resident Students
- International Students
- HEERF Cares Act Acknowledgement
Presentation College resumed Fall 2020 classes with typical delivery methods. However, the academic calendar was adjusted for the Fall 2020 semester.
The calendar can be found at the following link:
Campus services, including dining, the library, CLC, and recreational facilities remain open to on-campus students and employees. However, hours may be further limited and will be communicated accordingly. Several preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have been implemented, which include health screenings and the use of facial coverings that are required to be worn in public spaces throughout campus. Regular sanitization procedures have been implemented across campus and for all classroom spaces. Please do not enter spaces with signage indicating that they have been cleaned and locked.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national office announced that the remainder of the 2020 spring sports season is cancelled, effective immediately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.
Beginning on Saturday, March 14, all on-campus events are postponed or canceled until in-person course instruction resumes. This includes institutional and student-led events. The Campus Library will remain open, and Dining Service will continue to be available, at the hours listed above. The Wein Gallery will be closed to the public.
For students who are majoring in programs requiring clinicals, practicums, or internships, placement and COVID guidelines will be determined by each facility. All students are expected to abide by these guidelines. Students are expected to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and complete a program approved screening form prior to each clinical. Clinical facilities may require additional documentation. In some instances, virtual experiences may be utilized to supplement experiences. Please reach out to your Program Director for specific questions regarding your program’s requirements.
As we support the health and well-being of our students and communities through social distancing, all courses with an embedded service-learning component will be moved to a virtual service-learning. The needs of our neighbors and communities grow in times of crisis, and we remain committed to helping meet those needs while taking the appropriate precautions to keep people safe. Your faculty members will be reaching out to you regarding the specifics of how your service-learning will be completed.
Based on updated interim guidelines from the CDC, all university-sponsored or university-hosted events of 10 or more people are postponed or canceled. Furthermore, we are requesting that in-person meetings or gatherings held on campus be limited to 10 persons, maximum. We encourage all faculty, staff, and students to practice social distancing. Whenever possible, meetings should be conducted virtually. Furthermore, individuals who are at greater risk should not attend in-person meetings.
We remind everyone, whether on campus or elsewhere, of health guidelines available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The most important of these are effective hand-washing and social distancing.
Housing provides continual guidance for students through the pandemic and has developed procedures for student safety. Housing staff work closely with Aramark to provide meals for students who are isolated or quarantined. If a student has to isolate or quarantine, faculty are informed so that students can work remotely. We appreciate those in the PC community who are always willing to give a helping hand. Cleanliness and sanitation are strongly encouraged for all students and to follow the guidelines given from medical professionals and the CDC. Weekly, Housing provides disinfectant for students to clean personal and public spaces to contain the spread of the virus. Masks are required to be worn in all public spaces and whenever guests are visiting a suite. Housing understands that this academic year poses unforeseen challenges to the student experience, but are excited to have students back on campus!
Whether you are in the states or studying from home, make sure to continue engaging in your coursework and communicating with your professors. Students who are studying from their home country may need to remind professors of the time difference.
If your status changes please communicate with India Klipfel, SEVIS Designated School Official at email@example.com any residency changes must be updated in SEVIS within 10 days.
For any questions on your status, I-20, or VISA, please reach out to India and she will be happy to assist.