Keep on Teaching

You may have a lot of questions about classes this semester with the current status of COVID-19 around the country.

UM has great resources to keep you informed. Please continuously review COVID-19 Information and encourage students to remain vigilant outside the classroom in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

2021 - SAFETY MESSAGING FOR IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION AND SYLLABI LANGUAGE

In an effort to communicate expectations and important messages to students returning to physical classrooms, the following information should be communicated to in-person students on the first day of class. This information can also be included in course syllabi:

  • Mask use is required within the classroom or laboratory.
  • If you feel sick and/or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, please don’t come to class and contact the Curry Health Center at (406) 243-4330.
  • If you are required to isolate or quarantine, you will receive support in the class to ensure continued academic progress. (add specific information about how you, as the instructor, will continue providing course materials to students in quarantine or isolation.)
  • If you are comfortable doing so, recommend students get the COVID-19 vaccine and/or recommend they reach out to Curry Health Center with concerns/questions.
  • Where social distancing (maintaining consistent 6 feet between individuals) is not possible, specific seating arrangements will be used to support contact tracing efforts.
  • Class attendance and seating will be recorded to support contact tracing efforts.
  • Drinking liquids and eating food is discouraged within the classroom.
  • (If applicable) Mask use is required in vehicles when traveling to field sites as part of class/fieldwork.
  • (If applicable) Please note this class is being recorded. Notifying students is a requirement if this is the case.

How to enforce the mask requirement in instructional spaces

To ensure mask compliance in your classes, please use the following procedures: 

  1. Highlight on your syllabus that wearing a mask is required, and emphasize this verbally on the first day of class. 
  2. Have a number of disposable masks at the front of the classroom to share with students. You can get masks for free at many offices across campus, including Student Success (UH022), College Deans' Offices, and in the Griz Card Center within the University Center. 
  3. If a student(s) is not wearing a mask, ask them to put one on.
  4. If a student(s) is unwilling to wear a mask, politely ask them to leave the classroom.
  5. If a student(s) is unwilling to leave the classroom, you have the discretion to cancel the class for that day. 
  6. Next, please consult with their chair and/or dean to address the situation with the student. 
  7. the chair/dean should report any incidents of students who are not willing to wear a mask to the Office of the Provost and the Community Standards Office. These cases may take a few weeks to be processed. 
  8. If students continue coming to class and refusing to wear masks, and the instructor doesn't wish to cancel the class, please contact the Office of the Provost and Community Standards Office again to request assistance. 

Please do all you can to de-escalate tension around this requirement, and thank you in advance for being an active participant in that effort. If a student is unable to wear a mask, they should contact their academic advisor or the Office of Disability Equity (if appropriate) to discuss alternative options immediately. Again, students who fail to wear masks should be dismissed from the class that day, and if they are unwilling to leave, they may face a disciplinary hearing through the Office of Community Standards. 

What to do when a student in your class self-reports COVID

1. Make sure the seating chart you developed for your classes is up to date and that you've shared it with your department's administrative associate or chair/director to place in the box folder the Registrar's Office has shared with them. 

2. If you wish, you may inform those in class who could potentially be determined to be a close contact. in order to maintain privacy, do not disclose the name/identity of the person who tested positive. This notification of students can be done via email with a message such as follows: 

"Based on seating assignments in my [course name] class, I believe you have been within six feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, therefore making you a close contact of that COVID-postive individual. The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) may contact you and provide instructions for quarantine and testing. until you hear from them, please do what you can to minimize potential exposure to others. Wear your mask, wash your hands and watch your distance. Please do not come to class, lab, or participate in other group activities if you are not feeling well. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact Curry Health Center or MCCHD for testing. Additional information regarding close contacts is available at the Missoula Information page."

3. Please note only MCCHD officials can issue quarantine or isolation orders. No UM official can issue an order, nor can you deny a student access to the class even if you suspect they are a close contact. This is because you do not know their case, vaccine status, whether they've been tested, etc.

4. Don't be surprised if the students you notified as possible close contacts continue coming to class. Even if a contact tracer gets in touch with them, they may not be considered close contacts per current CDC guidelines if they are vaccinated and don't have symptoms, for example. 

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS

If a student requires a COVID-related accommodation in order to safely attend, they should be referred to the Office of Disability Equity (ODE) (formerly Disability Services for Students). ODE will work with the student and their advisor on a case-by-case basis.

Supporting Students in Quarantine or Isolation

If you have students who have been ordered by MCCHD to isolate (positive case) or quarantine (close contact), please consider the following guidance:

  1. Students are encouraged to return home if they can safely do so to complete quarantine or isolation, as long as they have access to technology to continue with coursework as they are able. UM will work with students on a case-by-case basis to respond to quarantine and isolation orders.
  2. Please help students obtain class materials and complete coursework; the goal is to be flexible while at the same time maintaining academic standards.
  3. The Office for Disability Equity (ODE) can provide additional services to students if their quarantine is extended.
  4. For mid-term exams or other planned in-class assessments, instructors should anticipate and make plans to provide for a remote option for students who are in quarantine or isolation. For exceptional cases, you can also contact ODE to determine whether other options may be available.
  5. Instructors should not ask students for documentation of their need to not come to class due to COVID-19. Similar to last year, instructors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible so that individuals who might be ill or otherwise contagious do not come to campus. Therefore, at this time, you should not ask for documentation.
  6. If possible, please check your UM email during the weekend in order to be aware of any COVID-19 related queries that arise from students or MCCHD.
  7. If you have questions about how to best respond to a situation in your class, please contact your chair/director and/or dean for support.
  8. Please encourage students to reach out to you and their advisors for resources or assistance while in quarantine or isolation. These can be stressful situations and staying connected with both instructors and advisors helps ensure students have the support they need.

In what modality will you be teaching this semester?

In regards to the fees for various modalities, the University of Montana Fee schedules may be found here: Mandatory Fees and Non-Mandatory Fees. Also, for all classes employing face-to-face or hybrid modalities, instructors are encouraged to prepare several online modules that would allow the class to continue remotely or online in the event of a change to university operations.

Students and faculty work together in a scheduled, in-person instructional space (Section numbers will be 01-25.)

Students and faculty work together synchronously through web-based communication technology. There is not additional course fee for these classes. Selecting the remote option means that mid-term and final exams will be conducted remotely. (Section numbers will begin with the letter R followed by a number 01-25. For example, a remote section of WRIT 101 will appear as WRIT 101.R01.).

In-person and some virtual or online elements are combined, either synchronously or asynchronously. Students enrolled in hybrid/blended classes will pay an additional fee as approved by the Board of Regents. Section numbers for Hybrid will begin with the letter X followed by a number 01-25. For example, a hybrid section of WRIT 101 will appear as WRIT 101.X01. Section numbers for Blended will begin with the letter B followed by a number 01-25. For example, a blended section of WRIT 101 will appear as WRIT 101.B01. There are also video conferencing classes that will be indicated by the letter V. Blended/Hybrid courses are usually developed with support from UMOnline. 

  • Blended Option A: Room holds entire class when meeting in person for “seat time.”
  • Blended Option B: Hybrid -- Entire class meets synchronously for “seat time” with some meeting in-person and some via Zoom. Please establish how many will meet in the room and how many will meet via ZOOM with students. (Note, this is the responsibility of the instructor to communicate this.)
  • Blended Option C: Room will hold x number of students out of the maximum enrollment cap (e.g., room will hold 15 out of 30 students). Groups alternate for their in-person “seat time” meetings.
  • If an option isn't specified, the Registrar's Office will assume 50% or less of the class will meet at a time.

Learning and engagement does not require any in-person meetings and are asynchronous (with a possibility of a few select synchronous events) to allow students flexibility to access learning, all within the due dates established by the instructor.

  • Students enrolled in online classes will pay an online course fee as approved by the Board of Regents. (Section numbers will be 50-65.) Online courses are usually developed with support from UMOnline. Instructors new to teaching online or developing new online courses should contact the UMOnlineIDs@umontana.edu for support at least a semester before the course start date.

General Information

In regards to the fees for various modalities, the University of Montana Fee schedules may be found here: Mandatory Fees and Non-Mandatory Fees. Also, for all classes employing face-to-face or hybrid modalities, instructors are encouraged to prepare several online modules that would allow the class to continue remotely or online in the event of a change to university operations.

Students and faculty work together in a scheduled, in-person instructional space (Section numbers will be 01-25.)

Students and faculty work together synchronously through web-based communication technology. There is not additional course fee for these classes. Selecting the remote option means that mid-term and final exams will be conducted remotely. (Section numbers will begin with the letter R followed by a number 01-25. For example, a remote section of WRIT 101 will appear as WRIT 101.R01.).

In-person and some virtual or online elements are combined, either synchronously or asynchronously. Students enrolled in hybrid/blended classes will pay an additional fee as approved by the Board of Regents. Section numbers for Hybrid will begin with the letter X followed by a number 01-25. For example, a hybrid section of WRIT 101 will appear as WRIT 101.X01. Section numbers for Blended will begin with the letter B followed by a number 01-25. For example, a blended section of WRIT 101 will appear as WRIT 101.B01. There are also video conferencing classes that will be indicated by the letter V. Blended/Hybrid courses are usually developed with support from UMOnline. 

  • Blended Option A: Room holds entire class when meeting in person for “seat time.”
  • Blended Option B: Hybrid -- Entire class meets synchronously for “seat time” with some meeting in-person and some via Zoom. Please establish how many will meet in the room and how many will meet via ZOOM with students. (Note, this is the responsibility of the instructor to communicate this.)
  • Blended Option C: Room will hold x number of students out of the maximum enrollment cap (e.g., room will hold 15 out of 30 students). Groups alternate for their in-person “seat time” meetings.
  • If an option isn't specified, the Registrar's Office will assume 50% or less of the class will meet at a time.

Learning and engagement does not require any in-person meetings and are asynchronous (with a possibility of a few select synchronous events) to allow students flexibility to access learning, all within the due dates established by the instructor.

  • Students enrolled in online classes will pay an online course fee as approved by the Board of Regents. (Section numbers will be 50-65.) Online courses are usually developed with support from UMOnline. Instructors new to teaching online or developing new online courses should contact the UMOnlineIDs@umontana.edu for support at least a semester before the course start date.

TELECOMMUTING AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR FACULTY

All telecommuting agreements (including those not related to or resulting from COVID-19) must be updated using a new form available on the HRS website that requires annual evaluation and renewal. Employees must work with their supervisor to complete a new form if their work location will continue to include a remote location. Requests or questions regarding reasonable accommodations should be directed to Human Resource Services.