Fall 2020 Information
Coordinating Preparation and Response
Plymouth State has planned for a safe and productive Fall 2020 semester. This and related webpages include information for students and families, faculty and staff, and community members, and will be updated as issues arise and decisions are made.
The foundations of our approach include New Hampshire state guidelines for reopening, public health guidelines for supporting higher education on campus, and COVID-19 testing for the campus community. The health and safety of the campus community is our highest priority.
Fall 2020 Information
Fall 2020 athletics are restricted due to conference postponements and other factors beyond our control, but there may be individual team practices, scrimmages, or non-league games. Out of an abundance of caution, fans will not be allowed at any matches until further notice, but games will be broadcast online.
PSU is offering courses in three formats this fall: in-person, fully remote, and hi-flex, which is a hybrid combination of in-person and remote formats. It may be necessary for health and safety reasons to pivot from in-person and hi-flex to fully remote modality during the course of the semester.
Students who have already registered for courses can review this video to view course modalities.
Students who want to see the formats of courses that they haven’t already registered for can consult the “Type” column in the online Course Search.
Students should contact their advisors for more information.
Face coverings must be worn in all campus buildings, outdoors on campus when social distancing is not possible, and when in stores and buildings in Plymouth. PSU social distancing guidelines are three feet if masks are worn or six feet otherwise. Please note the town of Plymouth public ordinance below, which details requirements for face coverings while in downtown or greater Plymouth.
The additional scheduled days of learning, including starting earlier in August, not observing two holidays, and scheduling finals on weekend days, compensate for fewer days at the end of the semester. PSU will provide a full semester’s worth of learning and there will not be reductions in tuition or room and board fees. However, if PSU needs to shut down and students must leave campus, as happened in Spring 2020, appropriate prorated housing and dining reimbursements can be made. Students who do not plan to live on campus or take advantage of campus dining in Fall 2020 will not have to pay for these services if they notify the University before the semester begins.
PSU campus buildings are closed and off limits to anyone not actively teaching, studying, or working at PSU. Guests are not allowed in any campus buildings, including residence halls and student apartments, unless they have approved academic and/or professional reasons. Students residing on campus are only permitted in their assigned residence hall or building. Only faculty, staff, and students who have signed the Informed Consent Agreement and have active PSU identification cards are currently authorized to enter campus buildings. Affiliate faculty and emeriti do not need tests nor do they have campus building access, but the library will do curbside drop offs for emeriti with advance notice.
All students are required to review the Informed Consent Agreement regarding their return to campus. An electronic version of the agreement is available at go.plymouth.edu/informedconsent.
This agreement acknowledges the expectations we have that individuals will engage in the social and hygiene practices we have identified as important. An informed consent is not the same as a waiver of liability. It is a recognition that a student understands what is expected and that it is their individual responsibility to follow behavioral and safety practices that we hope will mitigate risks for students, faculty, and staff who return to our campuses.
The form has two options. Students must sign the agreement in order to be allowed on campus for classes or other activities. Students who plan to learn remotely and not go to campus should sign the remote option.
You must be an active student and 18 years of age or older to access the electronic agreement. If you are having issues accessing the page, please contact the PSU Help Desk.
Questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Due to a recent change in New Hampshire COVID-19 requirements, any student coming to our campus from outside of the New England states (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, or Connecticut) must quarantine at home for 14 days prior to their arrival in New Hampshire. Having done so must be attested in writing and students must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. (Note: A negative test does not eliminate the need to quarantine for 14 days.) Use of public transportation does not negate the 14-day quarantine. Guidance on how to quarantine is available from the NH Department of Health and Human Services.
- Move-in: Move-in times have been carefully assigned to limit the number of students and their guests in the residential communities during each time block. For this reason, changes are unable to be made except in extreme circumstance. We apologize for the inconvenience but hope you understand this is an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible. Students may have no more than two move-in helpers. Students and helpers must wear face coverings and observe social distancing. Helpers are not required to obtain a COVID-19 test.
- Housing Assignments: We continue to make and adjust assignments. If you do not currently have an assignment, check back to the status page of your housing application frequently for updates.
- Wait list: As preferred spaces become available, we are reaching out to individuals on the wait list. If you are not currently assigned, we may not contact you in advance of making an assignment based on your wait list preferences.
,However, if you ARE currently assigned, we will reach out due to potential fee differences. If you are seeking to change your assignment, please submit your request(s) to the Pre-Fall Wait List on our website.
- Meal Plan Additions/Changes: Students wishing to add or change to another eligible meal plan may do so by submitting this form.
We’ve worked closely with the New Hampshire state epidemiologist and the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and have put a robust plan
Testing has always been and continues to be a key part of the safe opening of the three USNH residential campuses. USNH has been working with the state of New Hampshire and external testing experts to implement effective testing protocols. During the week of August 16, media communications were shared that reflected that the three residential campuses of the University System of NH (University of New Hampshire, Keene State College, and Plymouth State University) were delivering a testing protocol by which students would be self-testing after arrival every four days. The coverage was not completely accurate.
All three campuses are requiring negative results from pre arrival tests for students who intend to be on campus.
At KSC and PSU, the entire campus populations will be tested within the first ten days of the start of classes and again 7–10 days later. Following the rounds of testing, PSU and KSC are working with Quest Diagnostics to provide weekly mass pool testing of each community.
Due to the size, complexity, and location of the UNH campus, it has built an internal laboratory that can deliver pooled test results with the expectation that mass testing of the community could occur as often as every four days. Students will be expected to self-test and drop results at specific collection sites.
Eventually, it is expected that the capabilities of the UNH laboratory will be robust enough to serve the testing needs of all three residential campuses.
PSU is also working to have our own testing laboratory online in the coming weeks.
Student Testing Process
We’re planning a three-stage process as follows, up through mid-September:
- All students must have a negative test result within seven days of their arrival on campus. We have contracted with Quest Diagnostics, which is setting aside testing materials and lab space for us. Most pre-testing will be via mail. If a student’s test result is positive, they can begin classes online at home while quarantining for 14 days, then come to campus after retesting negative.
- All students will be tested again within their first week on campus. We will have a testing center conveniently located on or near campus.
- All students will be tested again two weeks later. This will provide a true baseline of our community’s status. After that we’ll test certain campus populations throughout the semester to keep on top of the situation.