Parent and Family Newsletter

Parents and families are a vital part of the Albion College community. They play an important role in the success of our student body and we want to ensure that families stay informed and connected to the College.

Our parent and family newsletter allows us to share regular updates on campus news, activities, events and initiatives. Use the form to sign up for regular email updates, or browse previous updates below.

Albion also manages a Facebook group for parents of current Albion College students. We use this group to share news with families along with providing a space for parents, guardians and caregivers to connect, share resources and build community with one another. Join the parent's group on Facebook and explore our social media directory to stay connected to Albion.

We are grateful for the ongoing engagement and support of parents and families.

Together Safely: Move-In Details

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Dear Albion Parents and Families,

As we approach move-in weekend, our staff and faculty are looking forward to having students back on campus and are working hard to ensure a smooth transition.

Today, we are sharing reminders about the move-in process, along with some information about health monitoring, break days and residential expectations. Next week, we will share a communication about new improvements to the student dining experience.

Move-in Process

All residential students and non-residential students taking in-person classes on campus are required to complete a centralized check-in process. Check-in will take place at the Dow Center between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, and Sunday, January 24. Students have received instructions on how to sign up for a check-in time via their email.

When students arrive on campus, they should follow directions to the Dow Center Fieldhouse. Students must go to the Dow Center Fieldhouse immediately upon arriving and before proceeding to their residential assignment. Students will enter the Dow Fieldhouse from the parking lot next to the Dow Center to check in.

Check-in time slots are in one-hour time blocks to ensure a safe and efficient process. The check-in process will include a screening to ensure students have received or were provided with an exemption for the flu shot and have submitted documentation for a negative COVID-19 test on or after January 16. Students will also take a rapid test that will be administered by a member of our COVID-19 team and will receive their results before they leave the Dow Center. Students who test positive will have the option of returning home to complete the isolation period or moving into isolation housing on campus.

Students will be issued a new Albion1Card (student ID) during the check-in process. By providing documentation of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving on campus and being tested on arrival, there will be no need for students to quarantine in their rooms after they move into their spring housing.

Move-In Helpers

During their scheduled move-in time slot, students will be allowed up to two helpers who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, have not been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the past 14 days, and are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Move-in helpers are not permitted to participate in the check-in process at the Dow Center and should stay in their vehicles for the duration of check in.

Health Monitoring

We know that the first two weeks will be the most critical period for ensuring the safe and effective management of COVID-19 cases on campus. This semester, in order to be as responsive as possible, students will be required to contact our COVID-19 team directly should they experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Through regular symptom monitoring and responsiveness, we know we will be able to manage the spread of COVID-19 effectively.

Students should perform a daily self-check every morning for the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If students experience any of these symptoms between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, they should call Albion’s COVID-19 team at (517) 629-0220 or email . If they experience any of these symptoms after hours or on weekends, students should call Campus Safety at (517) 629-1234.

Signage will be in place at the entrance of each building to remind students of symptoms and contact information.

Testing Schedule

Following entry testing, students will be tested on January 28-29 and February 11-12. Sign up links for testing slots will be emailed to students closer to these dates. Following our initial three rounds of testing, we will communicate with students in February about future testing schedules. Student-athletes will be on a different testing schedule and will receive information from their athletic trainer and coach at the start of spring practice. For the spring semester, we will continue to report testing data on our website.

Wellness Days

In response to student feedback, the College has added four wellness days during the Spring semester. Wellness Days will take place on February 10, March 16 and April 7. In addition, a Reading Day is scheduled for May 4. We know that last semester was challenging for students and faculty in many ways and our hope is that regularly scheduled wellness days will offer a period of rest as the semester goes on.

Residential Expectations

For the time being, students are not permitted to visit other residential buildings. As the semester continues and we are able to assess compliance as well as case numbers on campus, locally and regionally, we will review whether students can safely move between residential buildings.

Expanded Dining Options

In response to student feedback, we have worked with Metz Culinary Management, our dining vendor, to implement several improvements to our student dining experience. These include additions to the menu in Baldwin and the Eat Shop, as well as an improved system for delivering food to students in quarantine or isolation.

Our dining staff has undergone training to ensure we are poised to respond to CDC guidelines as necessary, and our dining rooms are ready to allow for safe indoor seating once the state of Michigan allows it. Like all employees, our dining staff will be required to follow Albion College’s testing and health monitoring protocols. We will share a dedicated communication with details of student dining improvements early next week.

As always, copies of the parent and family newsletter will be added to our website and information regarding our COVID-19 policies and protocols for spring 2021 will be added to Together Safely as it is released.

We look forward to having students back living and learning at Albion.

Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College

Together Safely: Off-Campus Travel and On-Campus Visitors

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dear Albion Parents and Families,

We are looking forward to having students back on campus soon. As we continue to make plans for a healthy spring semester, we are sharing details about how we will keep our on-campus and local communities safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Today, we shared a communication with students regarding Albion’s policies for off-campus work and travel and on-campus visitors, and I am summarizing the contents of this email below. Please note that all of the forms referenced in this email are accessible to students using their Albion login credentials, and should be filled out by students, rather than parents and guardians.

Our policies for off-campus work and travel and on-campus visitors are designed to give as much flexibility as possible while reducing risk of infection entering from outside or infection on campus spreading to the community. While our off-campus travel and on-campus visitor policies remain similar to those of fall 2020, we continue to work to expand these opportunities for students, particularly as the COVID-19 vaccination becomes available later in the semester. We will review policies and protocols on a continuous basis to determine if restrictions can be adjusted based on compliance and case numbers on campus, locally and regionally.

Off-Campus Work

Albion is continuing to work to make off-campus employment as accessible as possible while reducing risk to our campus community. As in the fall, students may work in an off-campus job if:

  1. The employer is located within 25 miles of campus and has all employees participating in Albion College’s testing protocol; or
  2. Students have an approved residency requirement waiver, live in non-college owned housing and agree to take their classes only online.

Students who wish to work off-campus should fill out the Spring Off-Campus Work Request form. If students have already received both doses of the vaccine, they can submit their off-campus work request through this form to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

As the vaccine becomes more readily available, we will share an updated policy regarding working off campus after receiving the vaccine, along with a process for verifying that both doses have been received.

Off-Campus Travel

As in the fall, students must submit the Off-Campus Travel Request form for all travel that is not directly College-sponsored. Students should continue to submit the Off-Campus Travel Request form for medical appointments and grocery shopping so we have a record of these trips, but these cases will be pre-approved. If a student has a family emergency that requires them to leave campus, they do not need to fill out the form.

All other requests, including for family events, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Requesting permission involves a brief conversation with a College administrator to understand and evaluate the risk of exposure.

Grocery Shopping

For the spring semester, students can access any grocery store with curbside pickup in Jackson. The College is also offering a limited number of grocery pickups per week at Meijer and Kroger for students who do not have vehicles. You can learn more about current curbside offerings and grocery pickups on our website.

Visiting Local Businesses

In order to protect both our campus and our local community, Albion has partnered with a number of local businesses that have agreed to participate in full testing of all employees. The list of our Together Safely Business Partners is available on our website. Students do not need to use the off-campus travel form in order to leave campus to visit these businesses, and we encourage students and visiting families to patronize them.

On-Campus Visitors

In keeping with our public health and safety protocols, we have developed a process to facilitate student requests to receive visitors. All parents, guardians and families are permitted to visit outdoor spaces on campus, as well as visit businesses that are part of the Together Safely partnership with students. In order to have a visitor in outside spaces on campus, students must register their visitors so we are aware of the number of visitors on campus at any given time. This allows us to mitigate risk and ensure our whole community is protected.

The College is hoping to expand testing later in the semester in order to increase opportunities for on-campus visitors. We will share more information in the coming months.

As always, copies of the parent and family newsletter will be added to our website and information regarding our COVID-19 policies and protocols for spring 2021 will be added to Together Safely as it is released. This Thursday, January 21, we will share a second email focused on detailed move-in protocols.

We are looking forward to seeing you and your students on campus this weekend!

Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College

Parent and Family Newsletter - Spring 2021 Testing Protocols

Friday, January 15, 2021

Dear Albion Parents and Families,

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus on January 23-24. Our faculty and staff have been working hard over the break to develop protocols that will keep our whole community safe and healthy as we live and learn together. We have made several adjustments to our COVID-19 response based on student feedback, and continue to work with the COVID-19 Student Accountability Committee to ensure our protocols and policies are developed and implemented thoughtfully, thoroughly and with input from student leaders.

Today, we shared a communication with students that detailed Albion’s testing plans for the coming weeks along with some reminders about the move-in process, and I am summarizing the contents of this email below. Next week, we will share a second communication with students and parents with policies regarding off-campus travel and on-campus visitors and a third communication before move in with detailed information on what students should expect when they arrive on campus. As always, copies of the parent and family newsletter will be added to our website.

Testing Before Move In

As we shared in our last newsletter, students must submit documentation of a negative COVID-19 test that was completed on or after January 16, 2021, to before returning to campus to proceed with their scheduled move in. After receiving a negative test, students must continue to check for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. If students develop symptoms after taking their test, they must contact for consultation regarding their return to campus.

If students receive a positive test on or after January 16, 2021, and before returning to campus, they will need to isolate at home but may begin the semester online. If you are having challenges locating a test, email .

In line with CDC guidelines on retesting, students who have tested positive are exempt from testing for the 90 days following this result. If students tested positive on October 23, 2020, or later, they are exempt from testing during move in. If the test was provided by Albion, they will automatically be added to our exemption list. If the test was administered off campus, students should email to be added to the exemption list.

Flu Shots

Students who did not receive the flu shot on campus in the fall must submit documentation of their immunization to , or have a waiver approved, to return to campus for the spring semester. If students received the flu shot during the fall at one of the clinics provided on campus, they do not need to submit documentation.

Entry Testing

Students will receive a rapid COVID-19 test on entry as part of their check-in process during move in. By both performing entry testing and requiring documentation of a negative test from students before they return to campus, we are able to forgo the three-day quarantine period that was required in the fall.

Once students receive a negative result from their rapid test (or verify that they are exempt from testing), they will receive their new ID and may proceed with move in. If students test positive on site, they will be strongly encouraged to return home for the duration of their isolation if it is feasible and take their classes online during this period. If returning home is not an option, students may begin the semester isolating on campus in one of the isolation houses with support from the College COVID-19 team.

January and February Testing Schedule

Albion will continue to provide extensive testing for our entire community, including students, staff and faculty, in spring 2021.

We have student testing scheduled on the following dates:

  • First round: January 23-24 during move in
  • Second round: January 28-29
  • Third round: February 11-12

Students will receive instructions via email on how to sign up for testing slots. Following these three rounds of testing, we will communicate with students in February about future testing schedules.

Wastewater Testing

Throughout the spring semester, Albion College will continue to perform wastewater testing for COVID-19 in many of our larger residence halls including Seaton, Wesley, Mitchell Towers and the fraternities. If positive cases are identified via wastewater testing, we may quarantine students in these residence halls and perform individual testing to isolate potential cases.

Health Monitoring

Students, faculty and staff will continue to be required to participate in daily health monitoring this spring. We will be introducing a new system to support this and will share details in our communication next week.

As in the fall, a successful semester relies on every member of our community living the Albion Community Commitment that we made. Students will continue to be required to wear a mask inside, and outside when a distance of six feet cannot be maintained, maintain at least six feet of physical distance between themselves and others, monitor their health and practice good personal hygiene, including regularly washing their hands and staying home when sick.

Over the coming days, we will continue to share updates regarding our COVID-19 policies and protocols for spring 2021. This information will also be available on Together Safely.

Thank you for all you are doing to prepare our community for a safe and healthy spring semester. We look forward to welcoming students back to campus next week.

Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College

Parent and Family Newsletter - Move-In Timeline

Friday, December 18, 2020

Dear Albion Parents,

I hope you and your families are enjoying a safe and restful start to the holiday break. As we look ahead to the Spring semester, we have been preparing diligently to welcome students back to campus.

Today, students received a detailed email regarding move in from our Vice President for Student Development, Dean Wright. In addition, student athletes received a message from the Athletics Department regarding early move in. Below, I have summarized the key points. Please ask your students to refer to their email for detailed instructions.

Spring Timeline

Spring semester classes for Module C begin on January 25, 2021. The majority of students living on campus for the spring semester will move back on either Saturday, January 23 or Sunday, January 24. The time block for each day is between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Students who are living in non-college housing will also need to check-in for the Spring Semester on either Saturday, January 23 or Sunday, January 24. This check-in process is very important for all students to complete as it confirms they are enrolling and following the expectations for a safe in-person spring semester.

As in August, students will need to reserve an arrival time through the Office of Residential Life to complete their spring semester check in. We will open the reservation sign up process on Monday, January 11, and students will receive instructions on how to reserve a time.

Winter Athletes

Albion has established protocols to allow winter athletes to move in earlier than the rest of the student body. As of now, move in dates and times are as follows:

  • Men’s and Women’s Swimming - January 8, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball - January 8, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball - January 8, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Track & Field - January 15, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter athletes have received a separate communication with additional details regarding the early move in process.

It is possible that these move in dates and times may change in response to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services emergency orders. If these dates do need to be adjusted, students will be notified by the Athletics department as soon as possible.

Students Returning to Campus from Outside the United States

Students returning to Albion from outside the U.S. should notify the Center for International Education (CIE) by emailing . CIE will communicate additional instructions and guidelines regarding student’s return to campus and health requirements.

Check-In

Upon arriving to campus, students will be directed to report to the Dow Center Field House to complete their check-in process before proceeding to their assigned residential space. Additional details about the check in process will be communicated when the reservation sign-up process opens in January 2021.

Preparing for a Healthy Return to Campus

Expectations and protocols for the safety of our community will continue to be in place for Albion College students, faculty and staff. In order for us to have a safe start to the spring semester, students must complete the following requirements before moving back to campus:

  • Self-Quarantine: Students should self-quarantine for one week prior to returning to campus. This includes staying away from large gatherings, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing (at least six feet) when around others, and only leaving their homes for groceries, medical appointments or to exercise alone.
  • Flu Shots: Flu shots are required for all students. Students must submit documentation that they have received a flu shot to by January 4, 2021. Students will not be permitted to return to campus if they have not taken this step. Students who wish to be exempt from the flu shot requirement for medical or religious reasons should contact to request a waiver application form. This requirement has been put in place to aid in the reduction of flu cases on campus that are typically high during the Winter season.
  • COVID-19 Test: Prior to returning to campus, students must submit documentation of a negative COVID-19 test that was completed on or after January 16, 2021. The documentation must be submitted to . If your student is having difficulty locating a COVID-19 test site in Michigan, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136. If your student needs assistance in locating a testing site in other states, email .This requirement has been put in place to eliminate the need for students to self-quarantine on campus after moving in, as was the case at the beginning of the fall semester.

Questions or concerns about any of these health requirements should be directed to .

Looking Ahead

We know that students and families have many questions about the requirements and protocols that were in place during the fall semester, and whether these will be changing. We are continuing to work on improving the student experience during the spring semester while prioritizing the safety of everyone in our community. Additional details about these topics will be communicated throughout January 2021.

It is important to remember that during the spring semester, we will continue to be in an environment where things could change quickly on campus due to new local, state or federal orders and requirements that may be put in place due to COVID-19, and our community must be prepared to adjust accordingly.

We look forward to welcoming your students back to campus in January.

Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College

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