Return planning

To plan for the fall 2020 semester, Temple has convened a Return Team, which is made up of representatives from every area of our campus. This group is meeting daily to build out scenarios and plan for what campus life could look like over the next several months. Each member of this team is committed to maximizing safety while ensuring that quality teaching, education and research can continue to take place.

As part of the return planning process, the university is surveying staff about their perspectives and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. A link to the survey will be sent to your Temple email address. Results of the survey, in addition to government mandates and public health guidelines, will be used in the Return Team’s planning.

Information for managers

As Temple plans for a safe return to on-campus operations, it is important that you have the information you need to prepare your teams and workspaces. Download the Return to Campus guide for managers and department heads.

Fall 2020 scenarios

Scenarios under consideration explore a range of possibilities, from a slightly modified traditional semester, to a blend of smaller classes, continued online teaching and gatherings that are limited in size, or anticipate greater use of online options. Details of the four scenarios follow.

  • Reasonably normal, which will allow for in-person learning and on-campus residence, but require students, faculty and staff to wear face coverings. Mass gatherings will not be allowed and large lecture-style classes will be reduced. Recreational facilities will be available with extra cleaning. NCAA activities will resume.
  • Restricted semester, which allows for some in-person learning but limits gatherings to 25 to 50 people. Restrictions will be placed on housing and sports and recreation. Campus dining will provide take-out meals only. NCAA activities will resume with restrictions.
  • Essentials only, which allows for heavily restricted in-person instruction and housing. Gatherings will be limited to fewer than 25 people. No sports and recreation will be allowed. Campus dining will provide take-out meals only. NCAA activities will remain suspended.
  • Comprehensive remote, which minimizes in-person learning by restricting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Essential employees will return or remain on campus. Research operations will be prioritized. Student, faculty and staff support measures will be enhanced for remote learning and working environments.

We’re carefully monitoring and responding to new information about COVID-19 and its impacts. In developing the four return scenarios, our plans must be flexible and include contingencies for changing conditions over time. We are prepared to deviate from outlined plans in order to take swift actions to keep our community safe, which is always our top priority.

We will continue to follow the guidelines and restrictions put in place through local, state, and federal governments, as well as guidance issued by public health organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, we’ll continue to provide updates as frequently as possible, so please check your Temple email often and follow Temple’s social media accounts for the most up-to-date information.

Emphasis on public health

Any successful return to campus scenario depends on a commitment to the four pillars of public health by the entire Temple community. It will take each of us doing our part to keep our campuses safe by adhering to the behaviors outlined below, which are essential until a vaccine is available.

  • Use of facial coverings
  • Adherence to social distancing protocols
  • Regular hand washing and hygiene
  • Routine health monitoring

See 10 tips for staying healthy from the CDC.

Considerations for Temple’s campuses

On May 19, 2020, the CDC issued Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education to use to protect students and employees and slow the spread of COVID-19. The considerations include guidance and perceived risk for different approaches to classroom learning and on-campus housing, as well as how to best maintain healthy environments and operations.

Classroom learning

  • Lowest risk: Faculty and students engage in virtual-only learning options, activities and events.
  • More risk: Small in-person classes, activities, and events. Individuals remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (may require hybrid virtual and in-person class structures or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).
  • Highest risk: Full-sized in-person classes, activities and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.

Campus housing

  • Lowest risk: Residence halls are closed, where feasible.
  • More risk: Residence halls are open at lower capacity and shared spaces, such as kitchens and common areas, are closed.
  • Highest risk: Residence halls are open at full capacity including shared spaces, such as kitchens and common areas.