COVID-19 Campus Response

Author: Boise Bible College
Published on: March 12, 2020

Boise Bible College is closely following the public health situation regarding an outbreak of pneumonia caused by a novel (new) strain of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The safety and health of BBC’s students, faculty and staff are the top concern for all of the College’s leadership. BBC’s president and administrators are closely monitoring the reports and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and the Idaho Central District Health to ensure they are responding appropriately to accurate and timely information. Students, staff, and faculty are asked to closely monitor their BBC email accounts and regularly visit this website for updates regarding possible adjustments to the College’s operation.

Resources: For additional situational information and guidance, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.

 

MAY 13, 2020 – Graduation 2020

 

Regretfully, due to Covid-19 updates and phases of Idaho State openings, this is a closed event to family and friends, and only open to Boise Bible College administration, faculty/staff, degree recipients (BA/BS/AS/Bible Certificate) and spouses of degree recipients.

However, graduation 2020 will take place via YouTube Live on June 13, 2020, at 4:00 pm from the Boise Bible College chapel.

Idaho’s four-phase plan for opening up the state has several elements that impact our planning. The 14-day quarantines currently imposed on out-of-state guests is set to expire on May 30. On June 1, limits on the size of gatherings increases from 10 to 50. Delaying graduation until June 13 gives us a bit of breathing room in case timetables on lifting quarantines and increasing sizes of groups get delayed a bit.

By keeping the numbers below 50 and spreading out in the chapel, we believe we can safely hold this event without requiring masks. A very small group spread out in a fairly large space should allow us to do that with minimal risks if the current trends continue. If inclined, wear a mask but not requried for this event.

Spikes in Coronavirus cases in the state or changes in Idaho’s guidelines may disrupt these plans, but we feel pretty confident that our plans would survive minor changes in official timetables and policies. We will keep you updated. 

 

MARCH 25, 2020

 

FROM PRESIDENT VOORHEES: IMPORTANT COLLEGE UPDATE REGARDING IDAHO GOVERNOR’S PROCLAMATION

Please know that it is with a heavy heart and prayers for your protection that the college is obligated to the Governor’s response. Therefore, we want to help our staff and students make this next transition as smooth and quickly as possible with the following communication.

Governmental Guidelines

  • Today at 1:30pm, Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued an immediate stay-at-home order for all Idaho that is to be in effect for 21 days. This proclamation comes after confirmed community transmission of COVID19 in Ada County. This governmental proclamation has triggered the next tiered response in Boise Bible College’s (BBC) COVID19 response plan, scaling down operations to critical services only.

The following is an updated response from the previous updates.

Campus Life

  • Housing: This necessitates that ALL STUDENTS are to move out of residential housing by noon, Saturday, March 28 (sooner is better). The housing team will facilitate the check-out process.  Residential students need to schedule a check out appointment with their Residential Assistant (RA) at their earliest convenience.

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for those students who may be facing one of the following: homelessness, visa restrictions, unsafe living conditions, health concerns that prohibit moving, and/or working in healthcare. If a student believes he or she qualifies for an extension for on-campus housing due to one of these reasons, he or she can request the form to be sent to him or her.

  • Food Service: Food service will be closed after brunch on Thursday (03/26/20) for the rest of the spring semester.
  • Financial Matters: Students will be issued a prorated credit for the unused portion of the room and board charges. Should this result in a credit balance, the balance can remain on account for use during the Fall 2020 semester. If you have any questions, contact the Business Office.

Academics

  • Classes: In light of our previous communications, classes will continue after Spring Break through the Zoom platform. Be sure to look for communication from your professor if anything changes.
  • Library usage: The library will be closed for at least the next three weeks. Look for communication from your professor regarding acceptable online resources for your classes that require research.
  • Pre-Registration for Fall2020: Look for communication from Mr. Knudsen in the upcoming weeks.

Over the past few weeks the college administration has been strategizing the best way to care for the BBC community and, at the same time, sustain excellent academic standards. First, rest assured…our professors will continue to offer the very best educational experience for you through the Zoom platform. It will feel a little different, but the caliber of instruction and access to your professor will be preserved. Second, our decision for an early departure from the dorms has been thought about through a lens of what would be best for you and the college community. Those have not been easy decisions, but necessary ones.

We realize that this epidemic is very disruptive, but we appreciate the flexibility and care demonstrated by you all in this time of crisis. We commit to do our best to reply to your questions regarding these recent developments. As always, extending mutual thoughtfulness through hygiene practices and prayers for each other will help us move forward together.

Grace & Peace,

Derek Voorhees

 

March 18, 2020

FROM PRESIDENT VOORHEES: IMPORTANT COLLEGE UPDATE REGARDING GOVERNMENTAL CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES

Please understand our grief; the adjustments you are about to read have been made with a heavy heart because they impact our value of community at every level.

These fluid days are forcing each of us to be nimble on many issues. Boise Bible College (BBC) is having to make necessary adjustments, even since previous communications. Just know that as the Administrators and I work on this communication, the following points are being expressed with a sense of shared-sorrow along with the entire BBC family. Many hours of preparation within our community toward planned events are now needing to be cancelled.

Governmental Guidelines — Yesterday, governmental guidelines were issued to take in consideration the surface contact of the virus(SARS-CoV-2) and the ensuing coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

  • White House: President Trump has issued guidelines for all American citizens for the next 15 days through March 31, 2020including the following.
    • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
    • Avoid eating or drinking at restaurants and food courts; use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.
    • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • State of Idaho: The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recommends canceling mass gatherings and public events that will consist of 50 people or more for the next eight (8) weeks [through May 18, 2020].

Campus Life — With a heavy heart, campus events will be canceled for the rest of the spring semester starting immediately.  This includes chapel, student devotions, class meetings, preview, senior skip day, junior banquet, and day at the dunes.

  • This Week: Thursday (03/19/20) chapel is cancelled.  We will be extending an invitation for seniors scheduled to speak in chapel to speak during the fall.  Class meetings (03/19/20) are cancelled; we will be conducting the class leadership virtually.  Thursday night student led devotions (03/19/20) are cancelled.
  • Spring Break: The campus will operate as “closed” from March 21 through March 29, 2020 in order to comply with the presidential guidelines.  We will be shutting down campus and isolating as much as possible for those 10 days.  Due to the Administration Building being closed, mail delivery will be intermittent at best.
    • On-campus students- please avoid any groups larger than 10 people.
    • Off-campus students- please refrain from campus usage and avoid any groups larger than 10 people.
    • Staffing- please work with your supervisor to limit campus usage.

After Spring Break — The campus will operate in a limited fashion with virtual academics and as needed campus resources, such as the library.  Increased sanitization practices and social distancing will be encouraged throughout campus until the end of the spring semester.

  • Classes: All classes will continue as scheduled via the Zoom video conferencing and ASLAN platforms.  Please remember, gathering as a group in a physical classroom to do class on Zoom goes against the protective guidelines we are putting in place.
  • Library: All students will have access to use the Library starting Monday, March 30, at 8:00 a.m.  Both on-campus and off-campus students can utilize the Library for assignments and research necessary for their spring courses. Outside guests will not be allowed to use the Library for the rest of the spring semester.  Faculty, staff, and students using the Library during this restricted period must adhere to the strict policies of social distance, one patron per table, cleaning the whole area used when leaving, and making sure to practice good hand washing practices while using the Library. Books will be checked out for 10 days, instead of the regular 14, to allow for a 4 day book quarantine.  Research has shown that this time period will be appropriate for reducing the chance of contamination.  If a student desires to renew the item they may for a one week extension. Please do not come to the Library if you are showing any signs of illness, and understand that the Library can refuse services to anyone it believes to be endangering the health of others.
  • Lion’s Den: Will remain closed after Spring Break.
  • Food service: Normal food service and hours will resume starting Monday, March 30.  Increased seating options will help to have smaller groups eating together.
  • Student Center (SUB): Faculty, staff, and students using the SUB during this restricted period must adhere to the strict policies of social distance, cleaning the whole area used when leaving, and making sure to practice good hand washing practices while using the SUB. Please do not come to the SUB if you are showing any signs of illness.
  • Facility Usage/Events: All outside facility usage has been suspended for the rest of the spring semester.
  • Financial Matters: Students who decide to vacate the dorms by March 20, in response to the College’s plans to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, will be issued a pro-rated credit for the unused portion of the room and board charges. Should this result in a credit balance, the balance will remain on account for use during the Fall 2020 semester.  If you have any questions, see the Business Office.

May Events –

  • Alumni Gathering: With a heavy heart, cancelled. This is a big loss as it is the first time our current graduates will not be introduced to their alumni family the week they graduate. We will introduce and celebrate these new alumni through BBC’s Alumni Facebook page.  This banquet is also one of the most important connection points for BBC alumni during the year, therefore it is important for everyone to keep up to date on the life of our alumni through our Facebook page.
  • Spring Conference: In light of President Trump’s 15-day restriction and the ID Dept. of Health & Welfare’s 8-week restriction, this year’s Spring Conference and activities will unfortunately be cancelled.
  • Graduation: Since graduation falls within the 8-week restriction time-frame, it will likely be cancelled, but it might be closed to faculty/staff and graduates and 1-2 local guests per graduate. More info on a decision asap.

As with all pieces of communication during this uncharted season, your grace and patience are appreciated as we remain agile. The Administrators and I, alongside our Staff & Students, view BBC as a family. These necessary adjustments are being made with a heavy heart because they impact our value of community at every level.

Our graduating seniors are experiencing a sense of loss with cancelled senior chapel messages, skip day, senior wills, faculty-senior breakfast and graduation. March, April and May are usually a time for BBC to rally together and experience the common bond of enthusiasm, of espirit de corps. Yet, while temporarily interrupted, our spiritual proximity and shared fellowship can actually thrive as we pray for one another.

Grace & Peace,

Derek Voorhees

 

March 13, 2020 UPDATE

FROM PRESIDENT VOORHEES: IMPORTANT BOISE BIBLE COLLEGE INFORMATION REGARDING PLANS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS

In an effort to protect our Boise Bible College (BBC) family and community the Administrators and I have spent time today discussing, praying, and crafting the following communication. We have been closely following the public health situation regarding an outbreak of pneumonia caused by the Coronavirus. The safety and health of the BBC family on campus (students, faculty, and staff) are the top concern for all of the College’s leadership.

With the increase of confirmed cases in neighboring states and the necessity of protecting the campus, BBC is putting into place the following action plan. Please be aware that as more information arises we will send updates. Our goal is to be proactive to ensure the safety of our college family and to continue our educational mission in the most effective way possible.

In broad terms, we plan to operate normally through Friday, March 20. We will then enter into Spring Break. When we reconvene on the Monday following Spring Break (March 30), we will do so in a synchronous online format utilizing Zoom software. This means that classes will meet at normal time slots, in Zoom “classrooms.” Making these adjustments will impact staff, faculty, and students in different ways, and we will try to address the key issues for each group below.

Entire Campus Community

  • Communication: It is imperative that you monitor your BBC email account for updates. Things are changing rapidly.
  • Disease Prevention: You are highly encouraged to be vigilant about protecting yourself and others from viruses and other communicable diseases. If you feel unwell, please avoid contact with other people. You are encouraged to maintain a “safe social distance” (remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible).
  • Travel Restrictions
    • Faculty and staff are expected to avoid traveling outside the state of Idaho. If out-of-state travel is truly required, you are asked to discuss this with your administrator.
    • Students are welcome to travel out of state to return home, but will not be allowed to return to campus for the remainder of this semester. (See details below)
  • Campus — BBC’s campus will not be entirely shut down.
    • Dorms — The dorm will remain open for those who can’t return home. (Students, see details below)
    • Food Service — Limited food service will continue. (See details below)
    • Offices — The offices will remain open in some capacity.
  • Staffing — Until further notice, all staff should maintain their normal schedules. See your supervisor for additional guidance.
  • Facility Usage/Events — All outside facility usage and campus events have been suspended for the next 30 days. Preview HS Conference (April 16-18) will be rescheduled for April 2021.

Faculty — You will have the next two weeks to make the adjustments required to convene classes through Zoom and ASLAN. You are encouraged to do a live dry run with the Zoom software in one of your class sessions next week. Additional guidance will be provided by email on Monday.

Students — We are doing the best we can under these unusual circumstances to keep you safe and provide you the highest quality of education possible.

  • Classes — Students should plan to attend face-to-face classes (unless sick) until Spring Break. You will be working with your professors to understand the Zoom software and make changes to existing course assignments and expectations.
  • Library — If you have not yet requested a library card from the Garden City Library, you should do so immediately so that you have access to their online and digital resources. We haven’t yet determined the degree to which BBC’s library resources will remain available. Faculty have been notified that there may need to be some adjustments to assignment requirements.
  • Housing — Students will need to make a decision as to residence for the rest of the semester during Spring Break. Two options exist: current on-campus housing or permanent residence. In order to limit exposure of our campus to the coronavirus, the residential decision will be made as an “either-or”.
    • If a student’s permanent residence is in a high exposure area and there is a desire to stay on campus for personal safety and to limit exposure, the student will stay in state for spring break and the rest of the academic year.
    • If a student’s permanent residence offers a better option for care with family, the student will move out of the dorms during Spring Break and not return to campus for the rest of the academic year (as indicated above, students will still have access to classes via ASLAN and Zoom).
  • Food Service — Food service will run as normal through March 20. During the weekdays of Spring Break, limited food service will be available (brunch and evening meals) for those students choosing to stay on-campus. Normal food service and hours will resume for students choosing to stay on-campus on Monday, March 30.
  • Financial Matters — Students who will be vacating the dorms will be issued a pro-rated credit for the unused portion of the room and board charges. Cash refunds will be limited to students who are currently on the official roster to graduate at the end of this semester. For those not graduating, credit will remain on account for next year.
  • On-Campus Students Mandatory Housing Meeting — The housing meeting on Monday night (March 16) will be an opportunity to answer specific questions with on-campus students.

We recognize that these are extraordinary measures. We are certainly aware that the steps we are outlining are highly disruptive, and we take them only because we believe these steps to be prudent. In times of crisis, wise planning is a biblical response. “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their way” (Prov. 14:8).

Selfishness and self-preservation are not biblical responses. You see evidence of those responses through the hoarding of supplies with no regard to the needs of others. Apostle Paul advises to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).

Fear is also not a biblical response. In this season of extenuating circumstances, worry can set in, but take to heart this promise:“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

Grace & Peace,

President Derek Voorhees

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