AC NEWS


COVID-19 Updates

Amarillo College continues to follow the guidance of state and local lawmakers and respect the advice of our community healthcare providers. It is with those considerations in mind that we offer the following COVID-19 guidelines and procedures as we enter the Fall 2021 semester. 

Centers for Disease Control

Fall 2021 Courses

In-person classes are ongoing for Fall 2021! However, we will still be offering many online and tech-supported options for those who prefer remote classes. 

"Entirely online" means you will have designated due dates for assignments but you will not be required to log in at specific times each week. "Tech-supported" means you will have a live lecture with your instructor and other classmates using a technology-based system—at specific times each week.

Log in to AC Connect and check the "My Classes" section for a personalized breakdown listing the delivery method of each of your courses. 

Regardless of your course delivery method, all campuses will remain open and student services and facilities will continue to be available. 

Consult with your advisor to determine the availability of options for a particular class. Students who have already been cleared for registration ("greenlit") by their advisor can also make changes to their schedule online using the Student Planning Module.

COVID Info for Employees

Learn more below about Amarillo College's current policies regarding safe practices on campus, hiring/training, and health & wellness resources—as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covid Resources for Employees

 


Amarillo Area COVID-19 Status Level

RED

Following a meteoric increase in daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the City of Amarillo Public Health Department moved the Amarillo area to Level Red as of Aug. 12, 2021.

Amarillo College students, faculty, and staff will be expected but not required to follow Level Red guidelines. 

In Level Red, the City recommends the following safety measures: 

  • Practice strict social distancing 
  • Use face masks in public settings
  • Practice enhanced hygiene and cleaning routines
  • Avoid social gatherings
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Avoid non-essential interactions
COVID 19 Prevent Illness 2021

 


Vaccination

Since prevention is the best defense against COVID, the City, the College, and the Governor’s office also strongly recommend that all those eligible get vaccinated. 

Vaccine Pop-Up Clinics

The College continues to offer free vaccination clinics on campus whenever possible. 

View Upcoming Vaccine Pop-Up Clinics


Tracking Positive Cases

Amarillo College will continue tracking all positive COVID test results in students, faculty, and staff. It is mandatory that students/employees disclose any positive COVID test results or if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. If awaiting COVID test results or newly experiencing COVID symptoms, don’t come to campus.

You can find more information in the box below about how to report a positive test, pending test, or close contact.


Quarantine / Isolation Procedures

If you test positive for COVID you will be required to isolate for 10 days or until you receive a negative test result. If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you should quarantine for 14 days. Isolation/quarantine for positive test results and close contact are regardless of vaccination status. 

Classroom quarantines

If a student who was present in an on-campus class in the last 48 Hours tests positive for COVID, the entire class will be notified of the positive test result. Students who were in close contact with the positive individual will have the option to quarantine for up to 14 days from the date of exposure. During that time, the positive individual and those in quarantine will be provided a virtual method to access class materials and academic support. 

Students and faculty in the healthcare field may have slightly different quarantine standards.


Situation Monitoring

As we continue to monitor this situation very carefully, many considerations will be in place to keep classes running in their original modality. However, if, as a College, we experience a substantial number of positive COVID cases and quarantines, we will support continued learning while protecting the health and safety of our students and employees by moving all classes to a tech-supported virtual environment for a period of time.


COVID Reporting Requirements

You are required to report any of the following:

  • Pending COVID test
  • Positive COVID test
  • Close contact with someone who has tested positive

Close Contact

Close contact is defined as a cumulative 15 minutes less than six feet apart—with or without a mask—over the course of 24 hours. This even includes brief interactions if they add up to 15 minutes over the course of a day. 


Instructions for Student Reporting

Students– if you have a pending test, positive test, or close contact with a COVID positive individual, you should email each of your instructors immediately. Faculty will then report the following information to AC Student Health:

  • Student's name and ID#
  • Course name and section
  • Classroom and building
  • Date of last face-to-face attendance by the student

AC Student Health will contact you within 24 hours of notification. 


Instructions for Faculty/Staff Self-Reporting

Employees– Please email Employee Health the following information:

  • Your name and employee ID#
  • Your office and/or classroom and building
  • Your supervisor's name
  • Date of the last time you were on campus
  • Reason for reporting (pending test, positive, or close contact)

Employee Health will contact you within 24 hours of notification. You should stay home until contacted. 

For more Employee information see COVID Resources for Employees on the HR webpage


Health Guidance and Contacts

Please be aware that while our AC Student Health liaisons can offer guidance on quarantine and isolation procedures and guidelines, they are unable to offer medical advice and should not be contacted to answer those types of questions. If you need medical advice related to COVID, please direct those questions to a medical care facility or the City of Amarillo Health Department

Student Health Contact: Becky Burton
Student Health email: studenthealth@actx.edu


Action Plan Timeline

June 4, 2021 — Town Hall Live Stream
Update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

May 7, 2021 — Town Hall Live Stream
Update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

April 9, 2021 — Town Hall Live Stream
Update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

March 12, 2021 — Town Hall Live Stream
Update/Q&A to students, faculty, & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding updates to AC's mask policy and more.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

February 26, 2021 — Live Stream / AC Legacies
Update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart regarding bond construction project updates followed by the AC Legacies years of service ceremony. 
VIEW LIVE STEAM

November 13 — Live Stream
Update/Q&A to students, faculty, & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding urgent COVID updates and enrollment updates, and a guest presentation/Q&A from Dr. Paul Proffer, AC Regent, regarding the proposal to resume athletics at AC which is being considered by the Board of Regents.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

October 15 — Live Stream
Update/Q&A to students, faculty, & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding the shift to tech-supported lecture courses, new COVID reporting improvements, and a guest presentation on the city of Amarillo's Proposition A.  
VIEW LIVE STEAM

October 2 — AC Announces Shift to Tech-Supported Delivery for Most Lecture Courses
Beginning at the start of the second fall term (October 26), most in-class lecture courses will transition to a tech-supported remote learning format. Exceptions include: most labs, along with performing arts, healthcare, and technical education courses—which will all continue to be held on our campuses. Regardless of course delivery method, all campuses will remain open and student services and facilities will continue to be available. 
VIEW LIVE STEAM     Read More Here

September 5 — AC President Releases Address Regarding Successful Entry Into Fall I
Update to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart at the close of the second week of the fall semester. At the time of this message, there has been only one report of a COVID-positive student who had been on campus.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

August 17 — AC President Releases Address Regarding Fall I
Update to students from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding the return to in-person classes for the first fall term. In this address, Dr. Lowery-Hart addresses the availability of additional online course offerings, the plan to hold the initial meeting of each fall I class remotely, potential triggers for transitioning to remote learning, discount for online textbook ordering, extension of registration deadline, and safety protocol for the return to on-campus learning.  
VIEW LIVE STEAM

August 13 — Additional Class Sections Opened
In response to students' desire for additional online course sections to be made available, many new online core education classes were opened.    

July 6 — Employees Begin Returning to Campus / Summer II Begins
Beginning Monday, July 6, most Amarillo College employees will begin returning to work on-campus as we move into a 'controlled on-campus experience'. The Summer II term (which also begins July 6) will continue to offer primarily tech-supported learning with a few face-to-face experiences in select courses. Virtual services will continue to be offered for students with limited on-campus options for student support services. Face-masks will be required on campus. To view the Return to Campus Guidance for employees, supervisors, and faculty, go to www.actx.edu/hr/covid19. 
Face Mask Policy 2020     Return to Campus Guidance

June 23 — Board of Regents Passes Face-Mask Policy
On June 23, The Amarillo College Board of Regents unanimously approved a mandatory face-mask policy.
FACE MASK POLICY 2020

June 1 — Supervisor Rounding Meetings on Return-to-Campus Protocols
AC's Human Resources department begun a series of meetings with departmental supervisors to assess needs and discuss health & safety policies & procedures in preparation for the eventual return of employees to work on campus.

May 29 — Live Streamed Town Hall
update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding campus sustainability in response to COVID-19, return to work plans, and more. 
VIEW LIVE STEAM

May 25 — Summer Hours
Despite many other changes from the norm, AC will begin observing summer hours as usual. Beginning Monday, May 25, most employees will work Monday-Thursday from 7:30am-5pm, Friday from 7:30pm-noon. The Ware Student Commons and most on-campus services available to students will be available Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-5pm, Friday from 8:30am-noon. 

May 15 — Live Streamed Town Hall
Update/Q&A to students, faculty, & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding plans to begin the process of returning to campus, virtual graduation ceremony, and more.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

May 1 — Live Streamed Town Hall
Update/Q&A to students, faculty, & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding state & local guidelines, graduation, summer/fall registration, professional development opportunities, and more.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

April 29 — Continuing Education Suspension
Due to uncertainties related to COVID-19, all in-person Kids' College camps & classes and Community Enrichment classes will be suspended until further notice. This suspension will last at least through the summer.

April 17 — Live Stream
Update/Q&A to students, faculty, & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding graduation, summer/fall registration, public health projections, technology resources, mental health, and more.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

April 15 — Announcement Regarding Employee Access to Campus
Beginning April 17, faculty and staff who are working from home will be allowed momentary access to offices and campus facilities on Fridays from 9am to noon, contingent on supervisor approval and prior notification of ACPD.

April 6 — Communicated Current Plans for Summer Courses
With registration now open for summer and fall classes, please be aware that at this time, learning and working remotely continues to be necessary. Therefore, classes will continue to be delivered remotely in a tech-support learning environment for the first Summer term (May 26 - July 2).

Additionally, please note that registration is not currently available for most lab-based Health Sciences and Industry classes due to the hands-on nature of the required course work. On May 1, we will reassess opening registration for these courses—based on state & federal guidance regarding the safety of resuming in-person classes.   

March 31 — Entered Phase III
Beginning March 31, Amarillo College officially entered Phase III of our COVID-19 Action Plan. In compliance with the city of Amarillo's Red Level shelter-in-place order, we further constricted in-person services with the inaction of Phase III. The College, which is considered essential by the city, intends to remain open throughout this crisis—but with the bare minimum of on-campus staff members reporting physically to work. While this does not change students' remote learning plan and students are unlikely to notice a drastic change in in-person services offered, this transition is critical in elevating the health and safety of AC students & employees.

March 30 — Live Stream
Update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding Phase III
VIEW LIVE STEAM

March 20 — Address to Students
Update to students from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding Phase II.
VIEW LIVE STEAM

March 18 — Entered Phase II
This decision was based on President Trump’s request that gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people, and because AC’s minimum class size is 12. To conduct in-person classes became untenable. Additionally, cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Amarillo. Therefore, in keeping with our Phase II guidelines, Amarillo College paused classes for one week in order to make a successful migration to a remote delivery system—which moved the first class day of the 2nd 8-weeks of the spring semester to March 30. The spring semester will now end on May 22. 

Tech-supported learning entails a wide range of online and network technologies for learning and working remotely and ensuring your success through any necessary alternate means of communication. Instructions will vary depending on the classes being taken. Faculty will provide students with specific instructions on how to proceed. 

March 13 — Live Stream
Update/Q&A to faculty & staff from AC president, Russell Lowery-Hart — regarding Phase II. 
VIEW LIVE STEAM

March 12 — Communicated 3-Phase Action Plan & Existing Phase I Status
Phase I included continued emphasis on personal hygiene and increased institution-wide sanitization of communal areas. As this time, we also began aggressively preparing for the eventuality that tech-supported learning would become necessary. Additionally, all College travel outside our service area was canceled through the remainder of the spring semester.

The 3 phases are:

Phase I: Preparing for and preventing the spread of the COVID-19
Phase II: Reacting when the virus is officially diagnosed in our community
Phase III: Reacting if an AC student, faculty or staff member is diagnosed

Throughout each of these phases it is our steadfast intention that Amarillo College will remain in operation and that we will cling to our values!

We will continue to be informed by local, state, and national governmental and public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control.

Centers for Disease Control


Media Inquiries & Communications

All communications related to this situation should be coordinated through the Amarillo College Communications & Marketing Department.

Please contact:
Joe Wyatt or Sadie Newsome

 

AC EVENTS