Boise Bible and Fall 2020Updates
All decisions made about operations at Boise Bible College will be updated on this page so that our community will have access to new information quickly.
POSTED JULY 21ST
Staying the Course:
Our institution remains committed to holding in-person classroom instruction on our campus this Fall. Classes start on August 24, 2020. We are eager to be with our students again!
Idaho and Covid-19
Idaho ranks as one of the safer states during this Covid-19 pandemic.
- Currently, the fatality rate in Idaho for Covid-19 is six per 100,000 population. Only six states are doing better than Idaho is, and the worst-performing states, New Jersey and New York are running 175 and 167 per 100,000 (about 2900% higher than Idaho’s rate).
- Hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients across the state of Idaho numbered in the 30s in May and June. The numbers are currently rising and are above 150. However, available ICU beds in Idaho remain relatively flat at about 100 and is double the “Idaho Rebounds Healthcare Criteria” goal of maintaining a minimum count of 50 available ICU beds.
- Hospitalization of 18-49 year-olds with Covid-19 across the nation has been trending down since April (https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/COVIDNet/COVID19_5.html).
- What about students traveling to campus from a state outside Idaho?
- For students traveling to campus from an area with substantial community spread of Covid-19 or case rates higher than Idaho, we encourage you to self-quarantine at your home for 14 days prior to arriving on campus.
Abiding by State and Local Health Guidelines
The college continues to abide by guidelines put in place through local, county, and state officials, including guidance issued by public health organizations. Some restrictions issued for Ada County do impact our lifestyle on BBC’s campus. Ada County is presently in Stage 3 of the “Stay Healthy Guidelines” reopening plan, and Central District Health has mandated face masks for the county in all public places, especially where 6-feet physical distancing is not possible.
Data-based Decision Making
We are very closely monitoring developments on the pandemic front and adjusting our plans accordingly. In particular, we are tracking Idaho’s infection rates, hospitalizations, ICU bed capacities, and deaths (https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/). At the present time, all of the data suggests that it is possible for students to safely attend in-class sessions if proper cautions are taken and if the Zoom option is exercised for those who are particularly at risk.
Balancing Community and Safety
Having to balance community and safety means we won’t get everything we want, but here is our plan.
- Safety– We want to safeguard students, staff, and their families by upholding four health pillars for campus:
- Face coverings in public settings.
- Physical distancing – Classrooms will be set up to maintain physical distancing and the cafeteria will operate at 66% capacity.
- Hand and surface hygiene – We have heightened custodial practices and janitorial procedures and will increase the availability of sanitization chemicals and wipes throughout campus (classrooms, public spaces, and dorm suites).
- Monitoring symptoms – We will encourage self-reporting of Covid-19 symptoms and use contactless thermometers to monitor temperatures of students and staff.
- Campus Community – We prize our highly relational campus community and are working hard to make relationship-building safe.
- Student Events – The student life calendar, especially events during Discovery Week (student leadership retreat, move-in, registration, orientation, convocation), are being scrutinized for critical need and risk factors. Face coverings and physical distancing will be a new practice for campus events from the moment students arrive mid-August.
- Dorm Life – Move-in protocols have been modified to increase safety. All dorm residents will have their own bedroom. Several single rooms are being reserved to serve as isolation/quarantine rooms if necessary.
- Food Service – Central District Health has approved Chef Steve’s operational plan for foodservice and the dining room. Hand sanitizers have been installed. We will operate at reduced capacity with overflow in the gym.
- Classes – Insofar as it is possible to do so, we will deliver “in person” education. We will incorporate technological substitutes as a last resort. That said, it is likely that classes will be offered in dual format (live and via Zoom). Most students will attend classes in person, but those who are sick or quarantined will attend by Zoom. Physical distancing severely restricts the load capacity of our classrooms. Students in a couple of the larger classes will likely have to attend by Zoom on a rotating basis.
Dealing with Uncertainty
- Stepping Out – The global pandemic and racial unrest has left people confused and hurting, like the crowd Jesus described as “sheep without a shepherd.” Those who care for people in such unrest cannot wait until there is certain protection from every danger or answer to every uncertainty. As an institution, we feel compelled to keep moving forward with our mission and to heed the words of Jesus to “ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matt 9:36-38). An anxious and wandering world needs servant-leaders now and our gospel mission is as urgent as ever.
- Showing Consideration – The college’s guiding values include “humility” and “community.” More than ever, we need to live out those values through mutual submission and thinking of others as more important than ourselves.
- Demonstrating Flexibility and Grit – Let’s be gentle with each other, but fearless and agile as we confront potential defeat. If we demonstrate perseverance during these abnormal times, there is no reason why we (as individuals and as an institution) shouldn’t thrive.
So, as we return to campus in August, join me in praying about a few important things:
- Pray for incoming students. We expect God will continue to call students into Kingdom training for ministry. A solid recruiting class of freshmen combined with returning students will be a beautiful mosaic of the Christian community this Fall. Pray this year’s students to remain united in Christ. And, if you know of any potential students, pray for them…or better yet, connect them with our admissions office for a campus tour (firstname.lastname@example.org). Most of all, pray with us for the Lord to raise up more harvest workers.
- Pray for our Staff. Pray for our team’s strength in leading students with grace and truth for this upcoming academic year. And, pray the staff remains healthy to fulfill the college’s mission.
All BBC thanks you for your prayerful partnership as we equip servant-leaders for the church to advance the gospel worldwide!
POSTED JUNE 22nd
On Friday, June 12, Governor Brad Little allowed the State of Idaho to enter into Stage 4 of the “Stay Healthy Guidelines” reopening plan (http://rebound.idaho.gov).
The recommended sanitation and physical distancing protocols are in line with what we are currently practicing. Continuing with State and County health guidelines, we still believe we will open as planned for on-campus instruction on August 24.
If necessary, we will revisit all institutional residential protocols in the July 15th update.
POSTED MAY 21st
Dear Boise Bible College family,
We look forward to the fall semester with great optimism!
Classes will start Monday, August 24, 2020 as planned, and we eagerly anticipate having the entire BBC Family back on campus. And we’re not the only ones with an optimistic outlook. Did you happen to notice that Forbes magazine named Boise as one of the nation’s cities best positioned to recover from COVID-19?
Optimism is no substitute for appropriate caution, so to ensure that our campus, classrooms, café, and dorms will be as safe as possible, our cleaning and safety protocols will diligently follow the guidelines established by both the Idaho Governor’s staged re-opening plan and the recommendations of the Ada County Health Department.
Of course, there might be unforeseen setbacks and complications, so make sure you check regularly with our website for updated information about the Fall semester and any new responses to the developments in the COVID-19 situation. We plan to post updates in June and July, but additional updates will be posted as circumstances mandate.
We look forward to seeing you in person and on campus this August!
In His service together,
Derek Voorhees, President