To comply with best practices as outlined by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) to accommodate six-foot distancing and 50% occupancy, all classroom and event spaces were carefully examined, and modifications were put in place. Furniture has been decommissioned or moved, signage and tape direct students and faculty to social distancing, and classrooms are equipped with supplies to support personal disinfection.
An initial assessment of our classrooms was completed to identify the range of seating capacities we plan to use across all campus classrooms. This assessment resulted in a determination of average capacity of 33% of seats available for fall in order to remain compliant with CDHE and using six-foot “bubbles” around each student seat, thus identifying a capacity based on room size and presumed seat type.
Scheduling Updates and Space Configurations
The current factors considered in scheduling Fall 2020 courses into DU classrooms include six-foot distancing and <50% occupancy calculated. The calculations are set also up to use only 50% capacity as restrictions on space ease in the future. This allows the Registrar to analyze a variety of scenarios of class size relating to space availability, and to consider traditionally non-classroom spaces that can be used as classrooms.
The classroom assessment process evaluated classroom occupancy during class, and reviewed options to de-densify the remainder of the building during passing periods. The following factors were considered: staggering class schedules to offset start and stop times, extending the passing period, one-way hallways and stairwells, and designated building entry and exit points. After careful review of these options, the Fall Logistics Task Force determined that the existing Fall 2020 schedule could largely be retained. Continuous movement of masked people not in contact with each other for more than a few minutes presents minimal risk according to current understanding. Explicit policies will prevent before or after class informal office hours and—combined with signage and education—will encourage continuous movement through buildings, rather than congregation.
We have also developed a plan for alternative spaces for students to wait in between classes. It incorporates outdoor areas, with modified seating options and planned signage directing students and others to go outside in between classes if they are able.
The realigned Fall 2020 course schedule went live on July 15, 2020. Classroom assignments will be made later in the summer to allow for appropriate updates as new classroom locations are identified and reconfigured, and room capacities are updated.
Each classroom will be modified to reflect current social distancing guidelines, resulting in de-densified classrooms. This is being accomplished in the following ways:
Rearrange seating, when able, to be positioned six feet from the next seat on all sides. The pictures above reflect distancing approaches in two different classroom types—one with movable desk-seats, and one with bolted tables and movable chairs.
Where rearrangement is not feasible, such as rooms with fixed seating or desks, signage shall be posted on the seat or table indicating that this location is unavailable.
All rooms shall have a “Max Room Capacity” sign posted to indicate how many people are allowed in the space to be in accordance with social distancing and the DU Phase requirement. This will be for any space where it is needed, such as classrooms, study rooms, break rooms, conference rooms, restrooms, and common areas.
Appropriate, ADA-compliant signage will be placed throughout the buildings to support re-occupancy.
Coordinate all classroom spaces with AV/IT to confirm that the room configuration can support the AV type, which is all coordinated with the class modality.
- All classrooms will have rules posted to inform both faculty and students of some key guidance.
- Wipe down your area with a disinfectant wipe (provided) before being seated.
- Arrive on time and do not linger in the classroom or building between classes.
- When arriving at your class, you should choose an open seat closest to the front in order to minimize walking past people in close proximity.
- Remain seated for the duration of the class wherever possible.
- Face coverings are required throughout the duration of the class.
- No eating or drinking during class, except via a straw.
- Faculty are encouraged to remain at the front of the class and minimize use of equipment elsewhere in the room.
- When in the building hallways and common areas, keep moving.
- While on campus during the day between classes, find a location with available room capacity, return to the residence hall, or find a space outside.
The classroom re-configuration team will be closely coordinating with Facilities Operations and Custodial to set up hand sanitizer and wipe stations in every building. At each station, there will be a sign similar to the following: