Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates

University Updates, Alerts, and News

This webpage will serve as a continuation of the university’s Pandemic Response Team’s effort to keep the entire Fontbonne community apprised of the situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak and our university’s response.

Update from President Nancy Blattner, 7/1/2020

It is both an honor and a pleasure to join you today as the president of Fontbonne University.  So much has transpired since I interviewed on campus in late August and accepted the position as Fontbonne’s next president in September. During the past academic year, the university community has faced significant challenges and met each one while continuing to offer an academically excellent education to our students and living out the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.  

It is appropriate that I begin this message by acknowledging the outstanding work of the leadership team which I am privileged to join.  During the past months as I have met with its members in person and then later through Zoom and regularly scheduled phone calls, they have demonstrated their tireless commitment to Fontbonne University, to its mission and to its people—the students, the faculty and the staff.  

Nothing, however, could have prepared any of us in higher education for the challenges raised by COVID-19.  Like all institutions of higher education, Fontbonne University moved to remote methods of instruction in mid-March.  Despite the toll it took on the faculty to convert their classes with very little notice, on the staff to transition to working remotely, and on the students to adjust to a different method of instruction, the semester was able to successfully conclude as the pandemic raged.  This is a testament to the resilience and dedication of the Fontbonnefaculty, staff, and students to work together for the common good.  I am blessed to be joining such a community.

Now, like other institutions of higher education, Fontbonne University must prepare for the fall semester while there are still questions to be answered and issues to be addressed.  After lengthy deliberation and with input from representative members of the campus community, the decision has been made to provide a significant on-campus presence during the fall semester.  At this time, that means that there will be many classes offered in a face-to-face format while others will be offered remotely or via hybrid methods.  Students will live in our residence halls, and our athletic teams will compete.  

The leadership team is aware that some faculty, staff and students have concerns about returning to on-campus learning, teaching and work.  We are continuing to develop processes around protecting members of our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable Essential to the plan for Fontbonne to resume an on-campus presence in the fall is the implementation of policies and procedures that limit the possible transmission of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, social distancing, personal protective gear such as face coverings, capacity restrictionsin classrooms and gathering spaces, and cleaning regimens. Like other institutions, Fontbonne is developing robust and thoughtful plans for restarting operations that mitigate risk by taking into account concerns for public health based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More details will be forthcoming about these plans in the near future.

This is an uncertain time filled with challenges, and our plans for the fall semester are subject to change depending upon local, state and federal regulations.  I am confident, however, that by working together, we can continue to offer the Fontbonne experience to our students in an environment that provides reasonable precautions for our safety. We appreciate your patience as the logistics of many aspects of the fall semester are finalized in the coming days and weeks.

As I close my first message to the Fontbonne community, let me reiterate how excited I am to be re-joining an institution that I cherished when I served here as the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty more than a decade ago.  I look forward to seeing all of you back on campus—hopefully one day in the not too distant future.  Until then, I pray that God may bless all members of our Fontbonne community.  I hope you are able to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation during the remaining days of summer.  

Best regards,

Nancy H. Blattner

CARES Act

Updated information regarding CARES Act Funds and other aid, 5/30/20

If you have not already done so, please complete the request for the CARES Act Emergency Aid found hereThis request form will be available until August 28, or until funds are depleted — whichever comes first.

To apply for possible additional emergency funds, whether or not you are eligible for the CARES Act funds, please complete the application here.

The Fontbonne Emergency Fund team will follow-up with you about your application within 72 hours of receipt.

Various organizations in the St. Louis region are also providing additional support resources that might be of assistance to you. They can be found here (please note – this website works best with a Google browser).

Information regarding CARES Act Funds, 5/14/20

Federal Aid Opportunities for Students in Need

Through the Federal CARES Act, Fontbonne has received emergency grant funding to assist students who have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19.

Students are eligible for CARES Act funds if they have filed a 2019-20 FAFSA and have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19. Federal guidelines prohibit the University from distributing CARES Act funds to international, undocumented or DACA students, or those who were already enrolled exclusively in online instruction. Please contact the Financial Aid Office (finaid@fontbonne.edu) if you have questions about your eligibility or need assistance filing a FAFSA.

Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for CARES Act funds and are in need of financial assistance are still encouraged to fill out the request form because there may be alternative funding sources available.

Students who either did not incur additional expenses or do not need financial assistance should indicate they decline CARES Act assistance so the University can reallocate those funds to assist other students in need.

Complete the CARES Act Request Form here.

These funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis while the funds are available therefore we encourage you to respond as soon as you are able.  The University will disburse funds directly to the bank account on record for direct deposit.  If you need to set up your account for direct deposit or update the bank account on file, please contact the Business Office (busoffice@fontbonne.edu) for assistance. Students not enrolled in direct deposit will receive a check mailed to the address listed on file. Please note that mailed checks may delay how quickly a student receives their funds.

It is important your address and contact information is current to avoid delays in processing fund distribution and to assist us in contacting you if needed.  To update your contact information, log into GriffinNet with your username and password, select Edit Address on the top left, and update your local address to let us know where you are currently residing.

Fontbonne faculty, staff and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet always hold our students and their families in our hearts.  Our focus on Serving the Dear Neighbor is heightened now while so many in our community are hurting as they cope with the uncertainty of this pandemic situation.  Please know we continue to hold you in prayer for your safety and well-being.  We look forward to your return to campus-we miss seeing you!

Disclaimer: At this time, federal guidance requires that this grant aid be reported on your 2020 1098-T form but the funds are not considered taxable income to you.

Education and Prevention

Symptoms of the coronavirus illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Based on current information, symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after initial exposure to the disease and can be transmitted from inhaling or touching infected droplets – usually through a cough or sneeze – from an infected person. It is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick. The risk of catching the coronavirus from someone with no symptoms appears to be low; people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic, or the sickest. While the virus can be serious, most people who contract this illness will experience mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms and fully recover. 

Some on campus may be more vulnerable and at great risk of serious illness. Regardless, we would ask all employees to do all they can to educate and prevent the spread of the virus and to support those who are feeling especially anxious due to the current situation. Please encourage students with anxiety/concern because of the coronavirus to contact Counseling and Wellness or the Campus Nurse by contacting the Student Affairs Office at (314) 889-1411 and asking for either office. For faculty/staff, Fontbonne’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is available….please contact Linda Pipitone in Human Resources at (314) 889-1493.

Everyone should stay informed about the elements of the coronavirus, how it is spread, and how to best prevent spreading of the virus.  Recommended websites are listed below:

While each day brings news of more countries and cities where cases are being detected, including St. Louis County, there are actions each of us can take to prevent its spread. We hope you follow the following guidelines from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) in order to prevent the spread of this virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The environmental services department on campus has ramped up their normal cleaning and disinfecting protocols to help reduce the spread of germs and to disinfect areas on a regular basis. We are making hand sanitizer and disinfected wipes readily available. Employees should, when possible, add to the efforts of the environmental services staff by using the provided wipes (coming soon!) to repeatedly wipe down counters and service areas of their office space. Please contact Fred Reed, Director of Environmental Services, at freed@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 719-3659 if you need added materials or have any questions on the cleaning routine provided in your office area.

Communication Log

Letter from President Nancy Blattner, 7/1/2020

Members of the Fontbonne University Community:

It is both an honor and a pleasure to join you today as the president of Fontbonne University.  So much has transpired since I interviewed on campus in late August and accepted the position as Fontbonne’s next president in September. During the past academic year, the university community has faced significant challenges and met each one while continuing to offer an academically excellent education to our students and living out the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.  

It is appropriate that I begin this message by acknowledging the outstanding work of the leadership team which I am privileged to join.  During the past months as I have met with its members in person and then later through Zoom and regularly scheduled phone calls, they have demonstrated their tireless commitment to Fontbonne University, to its mission and to its people—the students, the faculty and the staff.  

Nothing, however, could have prepared any of us in higher education for the challenges raised by COVID-19.  Like all institutions of higher education, Fontbonne University moved to remote methods of instruction in mid-March.  Despite the toll it took on the faculty to convert their classes with very little notice, on the staff to transition to working remotely, and on the students to adjust to a different method of instruction, the semester was able to successfully conclude as the pandemic raged.  This is a testament to the resilience and dedication of the Fontbonnefaculty, staff, and students to work together for the common good.  I am blessed to be joining such a community.

Now, like other institutions of higher education, Fontbonne University must prepare for the fall semester while there are still questions to be answered and issues to be addressed.  After lengthy deliberation and with input from representative members of the campus community, the decision has been made to provide a significant on-campus presence during the fall semester.  At this time, that means that there will be many classes offered in a face-to-face format while others will be offered remotely or via hybrid methods.  Students will live in our residence halls, and our athletic teams will compete.  

The leadership team is aware that some faculty, staff and students have concerns about returning to on-campus learning, teaching and work.  We are continuing to develop processes around protecting members of our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable Essential to the plan for Fontbonne to resume an on-campus presence in the fall is the implementation of policies and procedures that limit the possible transmission of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, social distancing, personal protective gear such as face coverings, capacity restrictionsin classrooms and gathering spaces, and cleaning regimens. Like other institutions, Fontbonne is developing robust and thoughtful plans for restarting operations that mitigate risk by taking into account concerns for public health based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More details will be forthcoming about these plans in the near future.

This is an uncertain time filled with challenges, and our plans for the fall semester are subject to change depending upon local, state and federal regulations.  I am confident, however, that by working together, we can continue to offer the Fontbonne experience to our students in an environment that provides reasonable precautions for our safety. We appreciate your patience as the logistics of many aspects of the fall semester are finalized in the coming days and weeks.

As I close my first message to the Fontbonne community, let me reiterate how excited I am to be re-joining an institution that I cherished when I served here as the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty more than a decade ago.  I look forward to seeing all of you back on campus—hopefully one day in the not too distant future.  Until then, I pray that God may bless all members of our Fontbonne community.  I hope you are able to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation during the remaining days of summer.  

Best regards,

Nancy H. Blattner

Letter to Students, 6/17/2020

University Update, 6/17/20

I hope you remain safe and healthy as we all continue to manage through a difficult summer. You remain in our prayers and we are working hard to prepare for the fall semester, in whatever format that may occur. As further government and public health guidelines are better defined, additional information concerning fall semester classes will be communicated in early July. For now, allow me to update you on a few key items.

Summer Office Schedule

Due to the Covid-19 situation, there have been very limited personnel on campus this summer. We have been operating under the following status:

May 26 – June 26

  • Physical plant and Environmental Services, if not already on campus, will return to work during this timeframe.
  • Volunteer faculty/staff and perhaps a select few other employees may return to work based on need and desire, although under health and safety restrictions.
  • Offices remain closed to students and the general public.

We had been ramping up to a June 29th reopening of the offices on campus in order to align with the beginning of the second 4-week and 8-week class summer sessions. As it now appears, only a limited number of classes and students in the Fine Arts program will need to be on site for these summer sessions. A majority of classes remain online. Faculty will communicate with students if their class will be on campus. After June 29th, the number of students on campus will continue to be very limited and the need for offices to be open during this time has been re-evaluated.

Therefore, we will extend the end date of the above operating status until July 31, 2020 and will continue to operate under the same format as currently in existence. Offices will remain closed to students and the general public for on-site use, but will be available through remote access via email and phone. Students should consult the Fontbonne web site for contact information for all offices.

We will re-open all offices by August 3, 2020. By August 3rd, various social distancing and other mitigation protocols will be implemented and full instructions will be provided to the campus community.

President Dr. Nancy Blattner’s Arrival

We remain in close contact with Dr. Nancy Blatter as she prepares to transition to St. Louis from Caldwell, New Jersey. Dr. Blatter continues to serve out her final days as President of Caldwell University until June 30, 2020. Her tenure as President of Fontbonne University will officially begin on July 1, 2020. She and her husband Tim will be moving into the Wydown House on the campus of Fontbonne at the end of June 2020.

A Reminder: Health and Safety Guidelines While on Campus

In accordance with the St. Louis County requirements for the reopening of office spaces and in accordance with our own university guidelines designed to protect our campus community, everyone on campus must adhere to the following items:

  • Face coverings. All students, employees, visitors and volunteers on campus must wear cloth or surgical masks unless they are alone in an enclosed space or outside alone at a socially safe distance from others. Even those who are well and asymptomatic can unknowingly put those around them at risk, so wearing masks is necessary to protect others who must share space with you. Please note that these masks are to prevent spread and protect others, they are not the type of masks (N95 or respirators) that would protect you from sick people. Wearing a facemask is your duty to protect others. Facemasks are one way to protect others from the spread of coronavirus, but they are only effective when worn properly. Please be sure your mask covers your nose and mouth.

  • Social Distancing. For now, certain employees, as directed by their supervisor, may be coming to campus on scheduled days and times, allowing for work alone in a space or in a density that allows for maximizing the distance between coworkers. At least 6 feet is recommended, and if two people are together in an enclosed space, masks must be worn. Office spaces will be evaluated, measured and configured so that this recommendation can be met. Social distancing should also be practiced in all places on campus, including hallways, elevators, lavatories, and stairwells. As the number of individuals on campus increase, we will implement and communicate additional measures regarding restrooms and the flow of people on campus.

  • Limited access to spaces. While on campus, please limit your travels to only those locations necessary to do your job. Employees should limit travels to their office, the nearest restroom, and only those other offices deemed necessary for work.

  • Other infection-control behaviors are encouraged. Follow these guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of this virus:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • If you are sick, stay home. If a student, report your illness to the campus nurse. If an employee, report your illness to your supervisor and to Human Resources.

    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Thank you for your attention to the many elements within this notice. We will continue to communicate on further developments or decisions on the status of classes or campus operations. Please continue to watch for further communications via email or the FBU Covid- 19 Website. As always, let us keep supporting each other and praying for each other’s health and well-being. Stay safe.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton
Interim Chief Operating Officer & Vice President for Student Affairs

CARES Act Information, 5/30/20

Updated information regarding CARES Act Funds and other aid, 5/30/20

If you have not already done so, please complete the request for the CARES Act Emergency Aid found here.

To apply for possible additional emergency funds, whether or not you are eligible for the CARES Act funds, please complete the application here.

The Fontbonne Emergency Fund team will follow-up with you about your application within 72 hours of receipt.

Various organizations in the St. Louis region are also providing additional support resources that might be of assistance to you. They can be found here (please note – this website works best with a Google browser).

Letter to Students, Faculty and Staff, 5/20/20

University Update, 5/20/20

Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty and Staff:

Thank you for your continued efforts as you adjust to the challenges brought forth by the Covid-19 crisis.  As we continue to move forward in managing this new normal, I want to communicate our plans for the remainder of the summer and the options under consideration for the fall semester.  In making these decisions, we are committed to doing our best to protect the health and well-being of our individual community members and the Fontbonne community as a whole.   We have and will continue to rely on everyone’s collaboration and dedication to enhance the safety of our campus community.  We know there will be challenges ahead and we will adjust accordingly, as the circumstances dictate. 

As most of you know, this week marks the beginning of a phased reopening of St. Louis City and County businesses and a relaxing of the stay-at-home order. Fortunately, Fontbonne can operate on a more gradual timeline since we have already moved summer classes online through June 26 and have successfully transitioned most employees to work at home for the time being.  The Fontbonne Planning and Coordination Team (“PACT”) is relying heavily on guidance provided by the St. Louis County and St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the American College Health Association to develop a phased strategy for safely reopening offices and spaces on campus over the next few months. University response teams are examining different facets of university operations that must now be adjusted to meet the needs of the current situation. We will implement a gradual approach for bringing employees back to the campus and ultimately decide when onsite instruction for students can resume.  Our campus will look and function differently for a while and I appreciate your patience and participation in these efforts.  The following decisions and timeline are now in effect:

Academic Classes

As you are aware, summer classes are occurring online through to June 26.  In regards to the second half of summer:

  • Classes that started prior to June 16 will continue online through to their completion in July.
  • All remaining summer 2020 instruction will occur online except for a limited number of experiential courses in the fine arts and the dietary manager program.  These experiential courses are scheduled to start no earlier than June 29. In those limited cases, faculty and administration will inform students of the steps being taken to ensure safe distancing and cleaning procedures.  Faculty will communicate with students if their class will be on campus.
  • No decision has yet been made on the format of fall semester classes. A number of options are being examined by a response team that will make a recommendation to campus administration in the upcoming weeks. A final decision will rest with the President and her leadership team. Various modalities of instruction are being considered, which can range from on-site to online, with a mixture or blending of both being possible. As further government and public health/safety guidelines are better defined, additional information concerning fall semester classes will be communicated by July 1, 2020. Planning during such a time of uncertainty is difficult, but we will do our best to adjust to the evolving situation and to make decisions as quickly as planning allows.   
  • Regardless of modality of instruction, online or on-site, we expect the scheduled fall start date of August 24, 2020 to remain unchanged. 
  • Students should not be on campus for any reason until offices partially reopen on June 29, as described later in this notice.   A limited number of exempted students, as explained below, have permission to be in one residence hall.
  • Please continue to monitor your Fontbonne email and the Fontbonne website for future communications.

Residence Life

The residence halls and food service are closed for the remainder of the summer. There are a few exceptions to this policy but only for a very limited number of students with extraordinary circumstances. We continue to accept housing contracts from both returning and new students for the fall semester, although housing occupancy may be limited this year due to social distancing requirements. Students should contact the Director of Residence Life, AJ Friedhoff, at afriedhoff@fontbonne.edu if you have any questions.  A letter from Residential Life will be coming out this week regarding housing contracts for the fall semester.

Employees working on campus

Fontbonne University’s existing work-from-home guidance expires next week on May 25, but we see no reason to rush to bring all employees back to campus at this time. We are sensitive to employees with health needs or individual characteristics that may make them more susceptible to the Covid-19 virus.  We are trying to develop a plan to allow those who desire to stay at home to have the ability to work at home or to have other appropriate accommodations available.  Obviously, these requests will be considered on a case-by-case manner so that individual circumstances can be weighed.  The health and safety of our employees and our students is critical to us.

  • Certain essential employees that need to be on campus to perform their jobs either have been brought back to campus already or will be brought back shortly. Please look to communication from your supervisor concerning these issues.
  • Certain staff or faculty who feel that they can be more productive on campus may be allowed to come back on a volunteer basis, as long as social distancing and density protocols can be maintained.  Please check with your immediate supervisor.
  • Others may be brought back to work gradually in order to ramp up office staffing for a partial or full opening later in the summer, per the below schedule.

Such reopening of offices and classes will vary by activity and space, so individual plans will need to be developed. Short, approved visits to campus by employees will still be allowed and everyone who comes to campus will need to continue to fill out the “presence on campus form” available through a link provided by your supervisor. The following schedule, which mirrors the summer academic calendar, outlines steps through July 31. Employees should not be on campus except as explained in the below schedule and per the instructions/authorization of their direct supervisor.   A decision on work schedules beyond July 31 will be communicated at a later date.

May 26 – June 26

    • Physical plant and Environmental Services, if not already on campus, will return to work during this timeframe.
    • Volunteer faculty/staff and perhaps a select few other employees may return to work based on need and desire, although under health and safety restrictions. 
    • Offices remain closed to students and the general public.

June 29 – July 31

    • Offices will be open but will function with a minimal amount of staff depending on the needs of the particular office and various health/safety parameters.  Employees will receive direct communication from their supervisor regarding scheduling during this period.
    • Scheduled office hours may be varied depending on need and/or office density requirements.
    • Offices will be open to students and the general public.

Health and Safety Guidelines While on Campus

In accordance with the St. Louis County requirements for the reopening of office spaces and our own university guidelines designed to protect our campus community, everyone on campus must adhere to the following items:

  • Face coverings.  All students, employees, visitors and volunteers on campus must wear cloth or surgical masks unless they are alone in an enclosed space or outside alone at a socially safe distance from others.  Even those who are well and asymptomatic can unknowingly put those around them at risk, so wearing masks is necessary to protect students, coworkers and visitors who must share space with you.  Please note that these masks are to prevent spread and protect others, they are not the type of masks (N95 or respirators) that would protect you from sick people.  Wearing a facemask is your duty to protect others.  Facemasks are one way to protect others from the spread of coronavirus, but they are only effective when worn properly. Therefore, when you put one on, make sure it covers the most vulnerable spots on your face: the nose and mouth. 
  • Social Distancing.  For now, certain employees, as directed by their supervisor, may be coming to campus on scheduled days and times, allowing for work alone in a space or in a density that allows for maximizing the distance between coworkers.  At least 6 feet is recommended, and if two people are together in an enclosed space, masks must be worn.  Office spaces will be evaluated, measured and configured so that this recommendation can be met.  Social distancing should also be practiced in all places on campus, including  hallways, elevators, lavatories, and stairwells.  As the number of individuals on campus increase, we will implement and communicate additional measures regarding restrooms and the flow of people on campus.
  • Limited access to spaces.  While on campus, please limit your travels to only those locations necessary to do your job.  Employees should limit travels to their office, the nearest restroom, and only those other offices deemed necessary for work.   
  • Other infection-control behaviors are encouraged.  Follow these guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in order to prevent the spread of this virus:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If you are sick, stay home.  If a student, report your illness to the campus nurse.  If an employee, report your illness to your supervisor and to Human Resources.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Athletics, Campus Activities, Events, and Rentals

In general, all campus activities, events and rentals have been suspended throughout the summer until August 1, 2020.  Exceptions have been rarely made and only on a case-by-case analysis.  As the decision on fall classes is made, further guidance on these items will also be defined.   The summer Griffin 101’s have been shifted to a remote format and will not occur physically on campus.   No decision has been made regarding NCAA athletic competition or participation for the fall academic semester.  Any announcement about fall athletics will be communicated as soon as possible. Conversations are occurring within the SLIAC Athletic Conference regarding alternative plans, if needed, for all sports to be able to compete in the 2020-21 academic year.

Commencement for the Class of 2020

Based on a survey of the graduating seniors of the Class of 2020, there was a strong preference to hold a live commencement event at a future date, when deemed safe.   Considering the uncertainty of the summer months and based on the preferences indicated in the survey, we have decided to tentatively reschedule commencement for December 14, 2020.  Chaifetz Arena, the site of our commencement activities, has tentatively agreed to this date and we are awaiting final confirmation.  We will announce this confirmation as soon as it is received.   

We know that there are many questions about the rest of summer and fall.  We are doing our best to develop a plan that provides the best educational environment while prioritizing the safety of all Fontbonne University students, staff and faculty.    We will continue to communicate on further developments or decisions on the status of classes or campus operations.  Please continue to watch for further communications via email or the FBU Covid-19 Website.  Please continue to pray and support each other during this difficult time.   Stay safe and stay healthy.

CARES Act Information, 5/14/20

Information regarding CARES Act Funds, 5/14/20

Federal Aid Opportunities for Students in Need

Through the Federal CARES Act, Fontbonne has received emergency grant funding to assist students who have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19.

Students are eligible for CARES Act funds if they have filed a 2019-20 FAFSA and have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19. Federal guidelines prohibit the University from distributing CARES Act funds to international, undocumented or DACA students, or those who were already enrolled exclusively in online instruction. Please contact the Financial Aid Office (finaid@fontbonne.edu) if you have questions about your eligibility or need assistance filing a FAFSA.

Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for CARES Act funds and are in need of financial assistance are still encouraged to fill out the request form because there may be alternative funding sources available.

Students who either did not incur additional expenses or do not need financial assistance should indicate they decline CARES Act assistance so the University can reallocate those funds to assist other students in need.

Complete the Cares Act Request Form here.

These funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis while the funds are available therefore we encourage you to respond as soon as you are able.  The University will disburse funds directly to the bank account on record for direct deposit.  If you need to set up your account for direct deposit or update the bank account on file, please contact the Business Office (busoffice@fontbonne.edu) for assistance. Students not enrolled in direct deposit will receive a check mailed to the address listed on file. Please note that mailed checks may delay how quickly a student receives their funds.

It is important your address and contact information is current to avoid delays in processing fund distribution and to assist us in contacting you if needed.  To update your contact information, log into GriffinNet with your username and password, select Edit Address on the top left, and update your local address to let us know where you are currently residing.

Fontbonne faculty, staff and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet always hold our students and their families in our hearts.  Our focus on Serving the Dear Neighbor is heightened now while so many in our community are hurting as they cope with the uncertainty of this pandemic situation.  Please know we continue to hold you in prayer for your safety and well-being.  We look forward to your return to campus-we miss seeing you!

Disclaimer: At this time, federal guidance requires that this grant aid be reported on your 2020 1098-T form but the funds are not considered taxable income to you.

Letter to Faculty and Staff, 4/20/20

Dear Fontbonne Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to follow the Stay at Home order of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health originally set to run from March 23 to April 22, the period of that order has recently been extended indefinitely, with a re-evaluation set to occur by St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page in mid-May.   Therefore, our employees will continue to function as is – unless you are contacted by your vice president or direct supervisor about altering that course of action.  A limited number of employees have been functioning on campus due to the nature of their role and allowed under the county order. For now, almost all campus buildings remain permanently locked and access is extremely limited to those with authorization from their vice president.  We plan on operating essentially as is through to May 25, Memorial Day, with any change in operation being communicated well before that date.

We have already stated in previous notices that all summer classes beginning on or before the week of June, 1, 2020 will only be offered in a fully online format.   A decision on courses starting June 29, 2020 or later will be made by June 1, 2020. 

Please remember that if you believe you need to come to campus for any reason, first contact the vice president of your division and seek authorization to be on campus. This is for your well-being and the well-being of Fontbonne and the local community.   Public Safety is constantly updated on who has authorization to be on campus.  Please continue to report any illness on your part to your supervisor or department chair, and also to Linda Pipitone, Director of Human Resources, at LPipitone@fontbonne.eduor at (314) 889-1493.

Thank you for your ongoing attention to these items and all others previously disseminated.  The university website can be consulted for past notices and is updated with all current information. 

I hope you remain healthy and safe as we continue to monitor the situation and make decisions for future classes or events on campus.

 

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

Letter from the Chancellor, 3/23/2020

Dearest Fontbonne alumni, parents, and friends,

Over the past two weeks, our community has been transformed from a vibrant campus anticipating spring to a strategic planning zone focused on making difficult decisions that are changing life as we’ve known it. 

All Fontbonne classes have been moved to an online format, challenging both teachers and students to interact in a virtual classroom for perhaps the first time. I’ve been amazed at how everyone has rallied with support to adapt face-to-face classroom projects and discussions to online activities. Our IT department has been stellar as they prepared staff members to work from home. They’ve developed a series of instruction sheets for how to hold virtual meetings and share documents with colleagues and students who usually see one another daily – all things defining our new normal away from the office. Students have steadily been reminded that resources are in place to support them mentally, physically, and spiritually.

We realize all of these changes, and the uncertainty of the spread of COVID-19, has heightened anxiety for many. We are mindful that many basic needs of our students will be challenged as well and regret that our Griffin Market (food pantry) has had to close under the new “stay at home” mandate. To ensure our students can continue to request some assistance, our Serving the Dear Griffin program, an online referral program that offers emergency financial support, is continuing to accept requests.  Several of you have asked how you can assist during these trying times. Supporting this fund is one way to help.

For updated information on how we’re responding to this situation, please visit www.fontbonne.edu.

March 19 was the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Joseph displayed extraordinary strength and faith when his family was in a desperate situation. I hope we can draw inspiration from him right now. I urge you to trust in the unifying love of our Creator as we move through each day, looking for creative ways to support each other, the dear neighbors. Know that we are thinking of all of you and holding you in daily prayer.

Below is a lovely poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar. My hope is it provides come comfort and a pause for reflection during the uncertain days ahead.

Blessings on all of you,

Barbara Jennings, CSJ

Sr. Barbara Jennings, CSJ,

Chancellor of Fontbonne University

Pandemic.

A poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar.

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life. 
Center down.

And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands. 
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands. 
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly, 
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love– 
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Letter to Students, Faculty, and Staff, 3/21/2020

Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty, and Staff:

The pandemic virus situation continues to evolve today, March 21, 2020 as new directives have been issued from state, county and city offices.  There remain no known cases of COVID-19 on Fontbonne’s campus, but we obviously must continue to follow the directives from local and regional government bodies and the advice of the applicable health organizations. Today’s county order, effective at 12:01 AM on Monday, March 23, 2020, further restricts who can be on campus. Please read the following decisions necessary to follow this order and to continue to keep our community safe. Significant changes from yesterday’s notice are indicated as bolded items.

Access to Campus

  • Students – Since St. Louis County government is instructing individuals to stay at home, except for a limited number of employee exceptions, the only students who are allowed on campus are those who have been granted permission to live in the residence halls during this time.  Students needing materials to complete their courses may visit campus through 4:30pm on March 23, 2020.
  • Employees – Only employees contacted by their vice president or direct supervisors should physically report to work on campus on Monday, March 23, 2020, and continue to report to campus as needed. These employees are exempt from the county order and are necessary for critical minimum business operations of the institution as defined in the executive order. I am grateful to all of our employees who continue to work so hard to serve our students. I am especially grateful for those employees whose work requires them to come to campus — they are making a special sacrifice to leave their families to continue to serve our campus.   We simply could not continue to function without these individuals and we are so appreciative.
    • There is a small window of opportunity for remaining employees not referred to above to come to campus. This may be done only on Monday, March 23, 2020, to acquire materials that they may need to continue to function remotely. The Information Technology Department (8 – 4:30 PM) and the Library (8 – Noon) will be open for a few hours this coming Monday so that employees have a last chance to acquire any needed resources.  Beyond this date, only employees contacted by the vice president or supervisor should come to campus on a regular basis. If an employee needs to come to campus beyond March 23, they must contact their appropriate vice president for authorization.
  • Vendors – Food Service employees and approved vendors may come to campus to provide critical services.  No events or unscheduled visits to campus by third party guests will be permitted.  

Academic Classes

  • As announced yesterday, we will continue to extend the teaching of classes in an online format through the entire spring semester, which ends April 30, 2020. Decisions about summer or fall classes will be made at a later date once more information is available.
  • There will be no more exceptions for on-site classes and therefore all classes, effective March 23, 2019, will occur in an online format. No on-site classes will be offered for the rest of the spring semester. 

Library

  • The library will be open on Monday, March 23, 2020 from 8 to Noon and will be closed thereafter. This allows community members to acquire any final physical resources from the library. Contact information and library resources are available at http://library.fontbonne.edu.

Thank you for your attention to this updated information. We continue to do our best to make decisions in the best interest of our community and to keep everyone as safe as possible. Let us continue to pray and support each other during these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

Letter to Students, Faculty, and Staff, 3/20/2020

Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We continue to monitor the pandemic situation on a daily basis. There remain no known cases of COVID-19 on Fontbonne’s campus, but out of an abundance of caution we are going to take further steps to protect our community. While we realize that this may be a burden on some of you, these are unique times and we are committed to the safety and well-being of the entire Fontbonne community. 

The following decisions will be in effect per the timeline indicated below:

Academic Classes

  • We are extending the teaching of classes in an online format through the entire spring semester, which ends April 30, 2020. Decisions about summer or fall classes will be made at a later date once more information is available.
  • All classes, effective March 27, 2020, including the very few art studio classes that were still happening on site, will be shifted to an online format. No on-site classes will be offered for the rest of the spring semester beyond the March 27, 2020 date. Faculty will notify students in studio classes about changes for the week of March 23, 2020.

Library

  • The library will close effective Friday, March 27, 2020 at 4:30 PM.  
  • Since classes are being taught online and the majority of our offices are functioning remotely, we are going to allow library employees to also work from home for their safety and the safety of our community.  As you know, social distancing is important to controlling the spread of the virus and this will now be an additional effort in that regard.   Contact information and library resources are available at http://library.fontbonne.edu.

Residential Life

  • Residence hall move-out will officially begin on Saturday, March 21, 2020.  We encourage residents to move out as soon as possible in an orderly system that will be announced to residents today.  Neighboring states have enacted a shelter in place order.  If that were put into effect in Missouri in the near future, the opportunity to collect your belongings may be limited by your ability to return to the hall. Residential Life will be communicating with resident students today explaining how move out will occur. The residence halls will be closed effective 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020.
  • There will be a process by which to apply for an exemption to the above mandate if you have exceptional circumstances that require you to remain in university housing.  You will need to apply for an exemption using a form that will be emailed to all current residents.  Students with exceptional circumstances who are unable to return home must request an exception to remain on campus by Monday, March 23.  Such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure individuals remaining on campus have the necessary support and accommodations.  A final decision regarding requests will be made by Wednesday, March 25th.   Contact AJ Friedhoff at afriedhoff@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 889-1429 if you have any questions on residential life.
  • A refund policy is currently being formulated and will be communicated to resident students by the end of the semester. 

Commencement

  • I am extremely disappointed to announce that this year’s commencement ceremony scheduled for May 4, 2020 at Chaifetz Arena must be postponed due to the current restrictions on events and social gatherings in the St. Louis region.  We will work diligently to find an alternative date to hold commencement, or, at a minimum, we will find an alternative way to celebrate your accomplishments.  Please give us time to see what is possible and we will communicate as soon as circumstances allow us to plan for this important celebration.
  • Commencement represents an important celebration of our graduates’ academic journey and accomplishments. We know that this decision is very disappointing for our graduates and their families.  Our students work incredibly hard to reach this milestone and deserve to be celebrated; however, the health and well-being of our Fontbonne community is our highest priority.  Additionally, we are working to find suitable alternatives for the many other events that surround commencement.
  • For those students who are finishing their degree requirements in Spring 2020, their degree will be officially conferred and dated May 1, 2020 on their transcripts, subject to the satisfactory completion of those requirements.  Transcripts will be available as soon as degree requirements are verified.  Diplomas (the recognition on paper of the degree) are expected to be printed and available for mailing approximately 6-8 weeks after the conferral of the degree.  For questions, contact registraroffice@fontbonne.edu.

Access to Campus

  • Since all classes and student services on campus will be occurring in an online format, access to campus will be limited to only employees of the institution, contracted vendors, and to those who have an appointment to meet directly with a Fontbonne employee.  No events and unscheduled visits to campus by third party guests will be permitted.   Resident students who have permission to stay in the halls may be on campus in the residence hall and may pick up food at the Ryan dining hall. 

Thank you for your attention to this updated information.  We continue to do our best to make decisions in the best interest of our community and to keep everyone as safe as possible. Let us continue to pray and support each other during these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

Letter to Students, Faculty, and Staff, 3/18/2020

Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As always, we continue to monitor the constantly evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation. There remain no known cases of COVID-19 on Fontbonne’s campus, but we continue to prepare for this and any other contingency.

Previous Status

  • As you know, we have shifted to offering almost all of our classes in an online format, effective today, March 18, 2020.
    • All practicums and off-campus placements will continue per the directive of the local placement.
    • Lab and art studios may continue to be offered on a case by case basis. If labs or studios meet in person, a low classroom density will be maintained by modifying times and other requirements. Students should contact their instructor for details. All such arrangements must be approved in advance by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and are subject to change.
  • Online instruction will continue in this manner through Monday, April 13, 2020 (the end of our Easter Break).
    • We will reassess the situation in early April and make a decision regarding the remainder of the spring semester.
  • Athletic events were suspended indefinitely with the possibility to reassess in April. We NOW know that our athletic conference has canceled the spring and championship season for all members of the conference. Athletic practices and competitions are terminated for this academic year.

Updated Status as of today, March 18, 2020, effective at Noon

  • The institution will remain open, as previously announced, but will allow as many of our employees to work from home while continuing to serve our students remotely. Fontbonne faculty and staff are committed to providing excellent, personal service during this challenging time.
    • Some offices may exclusively function in a remote format, being available via phone, email, and/or various forms of communication.
    • Some offices may function in a combination of remote work from home and with a skeleton staff still on campus. This will allow for occasional face-to-face interactions. Most offices will require visitors to call prior to the visit to set an appointment and determine whether a face-to-face is needed. This is in line with current social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

View this page for detailed information on the status of campus offices and the appropriate contact information.

  • Residential Life
    • The Residence Halls will remain open but under strict guidelines as communicated to the resident students from the Director of Residence Life.
    • Resident students have the option to return to their homes if so desired or to remain in the halls.  Social distancing and tighter visitation policies will be enforced.
  • Food Service
    • Will continue to be open during the regular hours but, as of Friday, March 20, only carryout meals will be served in the Ryan Dining Hall. The Griffin Grill will be closed.
  • Dunham Student Activity Center
    • We acknowledge the need to remain active; however, to comply with recommendations set by the NCAA and the CDC, the DSAC will be completely closed. We will reassess in early April whether it will be open after April 13, the end of Easter Break.
  • Admissions Office
    • Will function remotely but will be available for campus tours for prospective students with a prior appointment. These visits and tours will be conducted in a safe and appropriate manner under current circumstances.
  • Public Safety
    • Will continue to be a presence on campus 24 hours a day, every day. Call (314) 599-2947 for direct access to the officer on duty.
  • Campus Events
    • From now through April 13, there will be no campus events unless a special exemption is given, in writing, by the Chief Operating Officer. Please contact Yvonne Farmer at yfarmer@fontbonne.edu to submit a request.
  • Education, Prevention, and Wellness
    • Please continue to take precautionary actions to stay healthy.
    • Faculty and Staff – We are tracking the spread of this disease in our community. Therefore, if you are ill, please remain at home, contact your supervisor and also notify Linda Pipitone, Director of Human Resources at lpipitone@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 889-1493. This applies even if you are working remotely.
    • Students – If you are ill, please remain at home or in your residence hall room and report your illness to Carla Hagan, Campus Nurse, at chagan@fontbonne.edu at (314) 889-4784.
    • Counseling Services remains open on campus and can be reached at tjacques@fontbonne.edu or by calling (314) 889-1434.
    • Continue to check the Fontbonne website under the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 banner for more information on precautionary actions and FAQs.

As the situation continues to evolve, it is critical that you monitor your Fontbonne email and the Fontbonne University website. Located on the website is a Coronavirus/COVID-19 banner that links to announcements and information. For any other question, comment, or concern related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, please email coronavirus@fontbonne.edu.

Please continue to engage with us and let us offer whatever support we can. Phone calls should occur during business hours, but feel free to leave a message during off hours and we will quickly return your call. Call Public Safety for any emergency situations. Residents should contact their Residence Hall staff.

Thank you for your attention to this most recent update. As always, continue to take care of yourself, your fellow Griffin, your family and the dear neighbor. Let us continue to pray for all those affected directly and indirectly by this illness.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

Letter to Faculty, Staff, and Students, 3/14/2020

Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We continue to monitor the constantly evolving coronavirus situation. New factors continue to weigh on our decision. Both the State of Missouri and the State of Illinois have declared a state of emergency. The State of Illinois has closed K-12 schools for two weeks, which we know may affect many of you with children in those schools.  On Friday, St. Louis County announced that gatherings over 250 persons are unlawful. A second presumed positive case has been announced in St. Louis County and we know, as many of you have communicated to us, there could be many more cases that simply have gone uncounted due to lack of testing or lack of symptoms. 

We do appreciate the concern and the input many of you have given to those of us making this decision.  It will continue to be difficult to maintain academic excellence when functioning both online and in a face-to-face setting. We have been following the advice of local public health officials and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but we now have come to the conclusion that we need to move to an online format with or without their guidance. Moving all of our classes online now is the best alternative for the largest part of our campus community, both for educational and public health reasons. 

The following decision for Fontbonne University is effective today, March 14, 2020:

  • On Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17, 2020, we will suspend face-to-face instruction in 16-week courses to allow faculty time to finalize plans to move courses online. Courses that began the semester online will continue as scheduled. Students in eight-week face-to-face courses should contact their instructor for more information.
  • Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all instruction will be accomplished online, with the following exceptions:
    • All practicums and off-campus placements will continue per the directive of the local placement
    • Labs and art studios may continue to be offered on a case by case basis. If labs or studios meet in person, a low classroom density will be maintained by modifying times and other requirements.  Students should contact their instructor for details. 
  • On-line instruction will continue in this manner until Monday, April 13, 2020 (the end of our Easter Break).
  • We will re-assess the situation in April and make another decision regarding the remainder of the spring semester.
  • Athletic events will be suspended indefinitely and we will reassess the situation in early April.
  • On Campus Operations
    • The campus will remain open. This includes all campus offices, residence halls, food service, library, Kinkel Center, etc.  Computer labs in the library will continue to be available for your use.  The Admissions Office will remain open and visits from prospective students will continue in a safe and appropriate manner.
    • Campus events will be restricted to small gatherings of fewer than 50 people and mitigation/preventive measures will be taken to lessen the risk of transmission.
    • Facility rentals and/or events from third-party organizations will be postponed or canceled until after April 13.
    • All non-faculty employees will report to work as normal. If you are ill, please remain at home, contact your supervisor and also notify Linda Pipitone, Director of Human Resources at lpipitone@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 889-1493. 
    • We are working on the possibility for some employees to telecommute. Those options and guidelines will be communicated by the end of the business day on Tuesday, March 17.
  • Residential Life and Food Service
    • The Residence Halls and Food Service will remain open.
    • Further operating guidelines will be announced in the coming week.
    • Resident students have the option to return to their homes, if desired, until in-person classes are resumed. Resident students should monitor their email for regular updates and additional instructions. 
    • Ill students should report their illness to Carla Hagan, Campus Nurse, at chagan@fontbonne.edu at (314) 889-4784.
  • Additional Information – We acknowledge that there will be ongoing questions that you will have and that we may or may not have answered in this notice. The following resources can be used to answer your questions or at least allow us to respond to you with as much information as we have at this time.  Please continue to engage with us and let us offer whatever support we can.  Phone calls should occur during business hours but feel free to leave us a message during off hours and we will quickly return your call when we return to the office.  
    • As the situation continues to evolve, we encourage all of you to continue to monitor your Fontbonne email and the Fontbonne University website. Located on the website is a Coronavirus/Covid-19 banner that links to announcements and information. 
    • For questions on classes or academic support, please call the Kinkel Center at (314) 719-4355.
    • For questions on student life or personal issues for our students, please call the Student Affairs Office at (314) 889-1411.
    • For questions on Information Technology issues, please call (314) 719-8095.
    • For any other question, comment, or concern related to the coronavirus situation, please email coronavirus@fontbonne.edu.

This is a stressful time, but we know we can count on the Fontbonne community to support each other and to continue to help this situation be as manageable as possible. Continue to pray for all those affected directly and indirectly by this illness.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton 

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

jdeighton@fontbonne.edu

Letter to Faculty, Staff, and Students, 3/13/2020

Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Excuse the length of this email, but this is a serious issue and I want to dedicate the appropriate attention to it.  We at Fontbonne continue to wrestle with the decision on how to respond to the coronavirus situation. We meet daily to review advice from the Center from Disease Control and Prevention and the St. Louis County Health Department.  A Fontbonne “Response Team” of professionals are working on response protocols for a variety of areas on campus, knowing that the situation may worsen.   We do not have an active case of COVID-19 on our campus, but certainly there is plenty to continue to monitor on campus and in the local community as the situation evolves daily.  Any guidance we have received from local health officials is being followed rigorously, including our efforts to reduce large gatherings and to follow appropriate preventative measures.   We have also increased greatly our cleaning protocols and other efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.  We truly appreciate your assistance with these initiatives in the spirit of supporting each other during difficult times.

Faculty have been asked to make plans to teach courses online, if the need arises, or if we are ordered to do so by local health officials.  We are preparing for that possibility and a variety of other contingencies, knowing that while taking classes online may be possible, there are also other considerations.  To this date, there has been no request from health officials to stop offering on site classes on our campus.  We are trying not to make any decision out of panic or simply because other institutions are making a different decision. We are working on objective, measurable, and reasonable guidelines to best determine a time when to go to an online format, if that is necessary. We do not feel that time is now.  Our goal is to make the best decision for Fontbonne considering all the data possible, all the advice from the health experts, and with a deep concern about the safety and well-being of our campus.

As you know, Fontbonne is not similarly situated to some of the schools that are now offering classes remotely.  What is right for those schools is not necessarily right for us.  We are a smaller institution with the ability to keep classes smaller, to keep gatherings smaller, and to better protect our students on campus than moving classes online.  We are committed to delivering to students, as long as possible, the education they expect to receive, which in many cases is in person with a faculty member.  There are other services and supports that our students need on campus and we are dedicated to keeping those as normal as possible until we feel that we need to make a different decision.  We also need to consider the needs of students whose safest living arrangement is here – on our campus.  Certainly, as the situation evolves, this thinking may change, but for now, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff appears no worse on campus than off.    

Obviously, some will disagree with this decision.  For students who are anxious about being on campus or in a high risk category, we are allowing those students to make other arrangements in collaboration with their particular faculty member who is being encouraged to be as flexible as possible.  We are also allowing faculty in high risk categories for the virus to move their classes on line. We are also willing to be flexible with staff members in high risk categories to work remotely.  These accommodations, we think, allow us to continue to offer classes on site, at least until the situation calls for a different action. 

In conclusion, we will continue to stay the course and hold classes on site.   We will continue to monitor the situation and retain the ability to alter this decision at any given time.  We will continue to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  Please continue to follow the precautionary measures we have communicated in the past and that are posted around campus.  Please continue to follow your email and the Fontbonne website for further updates as we will communicate regularly on this situation.

Thank you for your attention to this notice and your continued efforts to support each other.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

jdeighton@fontbonne.edu

Letter to Students, 3/11/2020

Dear Fontbonne Students,

This email is a continuation of the Fontbonne Pandemic Response Team’s effort to keep you apprised of the situation regarding the coronavirus and our university’s response. I am writing to update you since my last letter on Friday, March 6, 2020. As mentioned in this past Friday’s notice to the community, we have been updating and developing operational plans to respond to a variety of issues arising from the spread of this virus.  In light of the identification of a presumptive case of coronavirus in St. Louis County this past weekend, we are touching base with you again to inform you of some steps that will be taken in the next several days. We continue to review the St. Louis County Health Department and Center for Disease Control guidelines and monitor events on the ground. The safety and well-being of you, our students, is our highest priority.

We are committed to continuing instruction.  If conditions warrant, we will move to an on-line format.  At this time, based on current guidance, we are continuing to hold classes on campus. We have asked faculty to accommodate, to the greatest reasonable extent, affected students and students whose families are affected. Please communicate clearly and frequently with your faculty.

Below are items of which every student should be aware. Please read this carefully and know that additional notifications may occur as the situation continues to evolve. If you have any internet access problems, remember that the library is open for your use.

Student Absenteeism and Illness

Faculty will be tracking student absenteeism in their classrooms on a daily basis so that we can use this information to monitor the health of students.  Students who are ill should report their illness and absenteeism to Carla Hagan, the Campus Nurse, at chagan@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 889-4784. The Campus Nurse will be asking you questions about whether your absenteeism is related to certain symptoms that you or your family members are experiencing. The Campus Nurse will guide you to appropriate medical options depending on your symptoms.

Travel or Exposure to a Person with Coronavirus

The university has not restricted travel, although we encourage you to monitor the CDC website for travel precautions and general preparedness information. Anyone who chooses to travel or has traveled to countries identified as CDC Warning Level 3 due to Coronavirus (see website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html) must inform the Campus Nurse, Carla Hagan, and self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus. Any individual who has been in contact with someone who has been infected by the coronavirus or who exhibits symptoms consistent with the coronavirus should also self-isolate and contact Carla Hagan, Campus Nurse.

Resident Student Considerations

If the virus spreads to Fontbonne University resident students, the campus will work with local health officials to determine the best course of action on a case-by-case basis. If students remain in the halls, the University will take all possible steps to ensure that students that remain on campus will be provided food, shelter, custodial services and security services while on campus. 

University Events

At this time, the university is not imposing specific restrictions for university events held on campus.  However, the Response Team continues to monitor the situation and will make decisions accordingly.

Education and Prevention

Symptoms of the coronavirus illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Based on current information, symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after initial exposure to the disease and can be transmitted from inhaling or touching infected droplets – usually through a cough or sneeze – from an infected person. It is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick. The risk of catching the coronavirus from someone with no symptoms appears to be low; people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic, or the sickest. While the virus can be serious, most people who contract this illness will experience mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms and fully recover.

Some people are more vulnerable and at greater risk of serious illness. All students should educate themselves to prevent the spread of the virus and to support those who are feeling especially anxious due to the current situation. Students with anxiety or concern because of the coronavirus should contact Counseling and Wellness or the Campus Nurse by contacting the Student Affairs Office at (314) 889-1411 and asking for either office.

There are actions each of us can take to prevent its spread. Follow these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to prevent the spread of this virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The environmental services department (custodial/housekeeping) on campus has increased their normal cleaning and disinfecting protocols. We are making hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes readily available to individuals and offices on campus.

Additional information about coronavirus is available at:

Thank you for your patience with this extensive notice and know that we are trying our best to navigate this ever changing landscape. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me directly, or, for medical questions, contact our Campus Nurse, Carla Hagan. Thank you for all you are doing to support each other during this trying time.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs

jdeighton@fontbonne.edu

(314) 889-1411

Letter to Faculty and Staff, 3/6/2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

This email is a continuation of the university’s Pandemic Response Team’s effort to keep you apprised of the situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak and our university’s response.   As mentioned in this past Friday’s notice to the community, we have been updating and developing operational plans to respond to a variety of issues arising from the spread of this virus.  This weekend’s events increased our urgency to enact some of these plans now that a member of the local St. Louis County community has tested presumptively positive for the virus.   We continue to monitor the St. Louis County Health Department and Center for Disease Control guidelines closely regarding this occurrence.   The safety and well-being of you, our employees, and the safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority. 

A secondary priority is to continue instruction in the safest way possible, moving to on-line format when deemed appropriate.  Faculty are receiving a separate email from Adam Weyhaupt, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, regarding preparations to move courses online, if that should be necessary. Faculty should look for this email and contact the Academic Affairs office if you have not received it.

Below are items for which every employee should be aware.   Please read this carefully and know that more frequent notifications will be occurring as the situation continues to evolve.

Employee Illness and Absenteeism

We obviously do not want ill employees coming to campus, both for their own sake and the sake of our community.  If you are ill, stay at home.

  • Faculty should notify their department chair and also notify Linda Pipitone, Director of Human Resources, at LPipitone@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 889-1493.
  • Staff should notify their immediate supervisor and also notify Linda Pipitone using the above contact information.

Linda is keeping central information about absences to inform our response.  She will ask you whether or not your absenteeism is related to certain symptoms that you or your family members are experiencing. 

Student Absenteeism

We are asking faculty and staff to accommodate, to the greatest reasonable extent, affected students and students whose families are affected.  Faculty will be tracking student absenteeism in their classrooms on a daily basis so that we can use this information to inform our response.  Students who are ill are being asked to report their illness and absenteeism to Carla Hagan, the campus nurse, at chagan@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 889-4784.  Carla will be asking our students similar questions to what Linda Pipitone is asking ill employees.    Carla will guide students to appropriate medical options depending on their symptoms.  

Employee Preparation to Provide Services Remotely

While we continue to teach classes and provide services on campus, we should all definitely be preparing to offer these items on line or through alternative methods.   Faculty should read the email from Adam Weyhaupt for further information on planning to teach classes on line.  Staff should contact their supervisor and begin to plan in case it is necessary to deliver services remotely.  We realize that some positions would not lend themselves to these methods but still talk to your supervisor about how your work may change if classes are not offered on campus.   Examples of providing services via remote methods include:

  • Video and teleconferencing using Skype, Zoom, or other teleconference/web conference program
  • Cloud file sharing using Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive
  • Remote desktop access or VPN to access essential folders, files and program.  Vice Presidents are creating priority lists of employees who may need such access and providing these lists to the IT department for priority installation of such access.  Please consult with your supervisor if you will need such access to perform your work at home.
  • Remote access to voicemail using Office 365 or voicemail forwarding

Education and Prevention

Symptoms of the coronavirus illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.  Based on current information, symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after initial exposure to the disease and can be transmitted from inhaling or touching infected droplets – usually through a cough or sneeze – from an infected person. It is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick.  The risk of catching the coronavirus from someone with no symptoms appears to be low; people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic, or the sickest.  While the virus can be serious, most people who contract this illness will experience mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms and fully recover. 

Some on campus may be more vulnerable and at great risk of serious illness.  Regardless, we would ask all employees to do all they can to educate and prevent the spread of the virus and to support those who are feeling especially anxious due to the current situation.  Please encourage students with anxiety/concern because of the coronavirus to contact Counseling and Wellness or the Campus Nurse by contacting the Student Affairs Office at (314) 889-1411 and asking for either office.  For faculty/staff, Fontbonne’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is available….please contact Linda Pipitone in Human Resources at (314) 889-1493.

Everyone should stay informed about the elements of the coronavirus, how it is spread, and how to best prevent spreading of the virus.  Recommended websites are listed below:

While each day brings news of more countries and cities where cases are being detected, including St. Louis County, there are actions each of us can take to prevent its spread.  We hope you follow the following guidelines from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) in order to prevent the spread of this virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The environmental services department on campus has ramped up their normal cleaning and disinfecting protocols to help reduce the spread of germs and to disinfect areas on a regular basis.  We are making hand sanitizer and disinfected wipes readily available.  Employees should, when possible, add to the efforts of the environmental services staff by using the provided wipes (coming soon!) to repeatedly wipe down counters and service areas of their office space.   Please contact Fred Reed, Director of Environmental Services, at freed@fontbonne.edu or at (314) 719-3659 if you need added materials or have any questions on the cleaning routine provided in your office area.

Travel or exposure to a person with coronavirus

The university has not restricted travel, although we encourage you to monitor the CDC website for travel precautions and general preparedness information.  Anyone who chooses to travel or has traveled to countries identified as CDC Warning Level 3 due to Coronavirus (see website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html) must inform the campus nurse, Carla Hagan, and self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus.  Any individual who has been in contact with someone who has been infected by the coronavirus or who exhibits symptoms consistent with the coronavirus should also self-isolate and contact Carla Hagan, Campus Nurse.

University Events

At this time, the university is not imposing specific restrictions for university events held on campus.  However, the Response Team continues to monitor the situation and will make decisions accordingly.

Thank you for your patience with this extensive notice and know that we are trying our best to navigate this ever changing landscape.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me directly or Carla Hagan.   Thank you for all you are doing to provide services to our students and to support each other during this trying time.

Sincerely,

Joe Deighton

Interim Chief Operating Officer &

Vice President for Student Affairs.

jdeighton@fontbonne.edu

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