COVID-19 UpdateJuly 21, 2020 2020-08-27 11:28
August 21, 2020
To the Eston College Family,
We are so thankful for your consistent support, encouragement and prayers over the past few months as we have been navigating how to run an academic institution in the midst of a global health pandemic. You may have some questions about what we have been doing to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and what we are planning for the future. We have answered some FAQ’s below. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Is the campus opening in the Fall?
Yes, we will be open and running! The dorms will open on September 7 for orientation and opening services, Mini A begins on September 14th, and regular classes commence on September 21st.
Will the semester run as normal?
Things will look a little different to begin with. After Mini A, our semester will be broken into two smaller blocks, with students completing two full courses within that time. You’ll have a week off in between the 5-week blocks to rest. This hybrid schedule structure will allow us greater flexibility to make sure that you get an excellent education and we can keep up with whatever guidelines/restrictions may come up in the future.
Will the students need to quarantine when they arrive?
Our students will be restricted to our campus for the first two weeks from the date they arrive. All meals will be provided for them, as usual. Our staff and off campus students will be physical distancing during this period.
What will you be doing to keep the students safe on campus?
As per health guidelines, we will be enforcing a physical distancing policy and increasing our daily cleaning protocols. Sanitizer will be easily accessible, and all people on site will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently. Staff will be sanitizing high-touch areas frequently. Masks will be worn when people cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from one another. Visitors to the site will be required to sanitize their hands, sign in at the front office, and may be asked to wear a mask, depending on the purpose of their visit.
Students will have their own dorms and will be required to keep their areas clean. The cafeteria will switch from buffet style to served meals for the foreseeable future.
Have you been seeking health advice in your planning?
Absolutely. We have made our decision to re-open the College in consultation with the Ministry of Health and in conjunction with our local health inspector and insurance adjuster. We will be following all public health guidelines during the semester and will expect any visitors to the site to do also.
Will there be any conferences this year?
For now we have postponed Behold, which was scheduled for October, 2020. We are waiting to make decisions about second semester conferences (Refresh, Sr High & Jr High Encounter) until we know more about what restrictions will be in place in the new year.
Will students still go on contact trips this year?
We haven’t made a final decision on this yet, but we hope so. If contact trips do run, we’ll be making sure that all the public health guidelines are still being followed on the road, and the communities we send our students to are comfortable and willing for us to come.
What about WAT?
This is completely dependent on international border closures and travel restrictions. We love sending World Action Teams to go and spread the love of Jesus across the globe, but for now, the best way to spread that love may be to stay home. Stay posted for more updates on this as the year continues.
When can we expect to know more?
We will continue to update you on this page with any information we have. If you do have specific questions about these topic (or anything else, for the matter) please send us a message through the contact form below. Above all else, remember that Jesus is in control and He is the provider of all wisdom. You can ask Him too.
Got More Questions?
WE HAVE ANSWERS
Previous Update: April 24, 2020
Is the College currently open?
Yes, Eston College has continued operations behind the scenes and will continue to do so into the future. To help flatten the curve, our doors have been closed to the public for several weeks. Many staff have been working from home to ensure the continued provision of high-quality, personal education and support for students and their families.
Will classes run in September?
Yes! For now, we are planning on business as usual to return for our upcoming Fall semester. We expect student residences to open in early September, with our regular commencement week to follow. Of course, we are constantly checking in with health and government officials to ensure we are following the guidelines they set.
When do applications open, and will enrollment be flexible due to COVID-19?
Enrollment for 2020-21 is open now. You can read our student catalogue here. We will monitor all government health recommendations and contact our students and community as the situation evolves.
How can I learn more about the College if I can’t come see the campus?
Our staff are available via phone and email to answer any questions you might have about coming to Eston College and would love to hear from you. We also have a variety of virtual events coming up, through Facebook and Zoom.
Previous Update: March 16, 2020
Amid concerns regarding the Corona Virus, and given Saskatchewan’s proactive stance to prevent its possible spread, we have decided to end the in-residence portion of our academic year as of this Friday. Classes will proceed as per our regular schedule this week and students will head home this weekend. The following will address a few questions you may have:
Will students be able to finish their courses?
Yes! We will provide online learning on a class by class basis to ensure students finish up their courses.
Will students get some money back because the term is ending early?
Absolutely, students will be refunded their room and board on a pro-rated basis.
How long can students stay at the college? The Eston College dormitories and the cafeteria will be closed after supper on Saturday, March 21st.
Will grad still happen this year?
Although our graduation celebration has been postponed until a later date, we will do our best to end the school year well and plan to use this week to celebrate the good things God has done this year.
Is Encounter still happening?
No, at this point we have no plans to host an online event or a postponed version of Encounter 2020.
Has anyone at Eston College been exposed to the Corona Virus?
In case you are wondering, we are not responding reactively. As far as we know, no one in our community has been exposed to or tested for, the Corona Virus. Given our rural context and the residential nature of our college, we believe this decision is the best choice for the season we are walking through.
Thank you for your prayers during this challenging season. We know God has good things in store for Eston College and our students, and we believe he will give us His grace to get through whatever trials today may bring.
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