With COVID-19 changing the way classes are attended, the services offered to students have changed, too. Though some will be remote only, like counseling services, there will be limited in-person contact with others who aren’t attending virtually. These include advising, financial aid, and career services. Additionally, students in need of assistance will have to register in advance on the school’s website.
For those who are still attending in-person classes, the cafeteria will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. with limited food options. Chicken tenders will not be on the menu, but there will be prepared lunch options, including bento boxes, salads, and wraps; paninis are also an option for $5.99.
When it comes to health students with insufficient time to run across the street, the health building will also be available. If in need of a coffee fill, Starbucks will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Many health and safety precautions are in place. “I’m taking this as [seriously] as possible… we’re going beyond what the FDA asks of us,” stated Food Services Manager Jason Walker.
Not only will the cafeteria staff wear masks, gloves and face shields, but every microwave will be cleaned after every use and plexiglass will be placed in front of cashiers and the panini station. Only a small number of students will be allowed in the cafeteria at a time.
Students who need books, masks, and other supplies for class can still order online on the bookstore website and get items delivered to their homes. However, there will not only be curbside pickup,
but shortened in-store access via the kiosk at the bookstore entrance. Those who have evening classes can head to the bookstore on Wednesdays between 3-7 p.m. Otherwise, the store will be open Monday through Thursday with varying 9-5 hours. According to Scott Heiman, the bookstore’s manager, by the middle of the semester, there will be a few brand new smart lockers on the exterior of the building. He also stated that anyone with questions can email the bookstore.
For students with children ages 2-5, the childcare center will still be operating with limited openings and extensive precautions. Unlike last year, in order to minimize the number of people in the space, parents will not be allowed into the building. Instead, they will have to call when they have arrived to pick up or drop off their child. Each child will have their temperature checked before entering and will have an extra pair of shoes to wear while in the building. Staff and children will be washing their hands and using hand sanitizer regularly; additionally, masks will be worn at all times.
Some activities and shared play equipment, like water tables and Play-Doh, will not be in use this semester. Likewise, if a toy has been in a mouth or sneezed on, it will go into a bucket to be sanitized; the playground will also be thoroughly cleaned after each classroom recess.
“We are already really fanatical about keeping things clean and disinfected in those rooms,” laughs Child and Family Center Director Donna Jost. “Now, we’re just sort of upping our expectations for what teachers are doing.”
Childcare opens August 31; parents who are interested in using the service for even one day per week can fill out a childcare interest form or contact Donna Jost before the capacity is reached.
The gym, fitness center, and locker rooms will be closed to everyone except for Madison College athletes and physical education students.
People who plan to be inside the school must wear a mask and follow all of the Madison College protocols, including filling out the daily survey.