AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Class will soon be back in session. From kindergarteners to higher education, the time has come for students to return to the classroom.
Amarillo College will officially begin its 2021 Fall Semester classes on August 23rd, according to their website.
As for West Texas A&M University, their classes will also kick off on August 23rd. For a full look at WTAMU’s Academic Calendar, click here.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make its’ mark within another school year, there are some common factors and some changes that can be expected at both colleges.
Vice President for Philanthropy and External Relations at West Texas A&M University, Todd Rasberry, stated, “While we will continue to monitor very closely, the evolving situations and the potential for being having to pivot at any moment, right now.. It looks like that, we’re going to be able to continue to move forward with something that people would be much more familiar with.”
That familiarity includes both WTAMU and Amarillo College students being able to return to the classroom for in-person classes and events on campus.
On the subject of the students’ return, Media Director at Amarillo College, Sadie Newsome, stated, “Due to the pandemic, we had more students online and in tech-supported classes than we do traditionally. And we’re really excited to have students back in person in class on campus.”
However, there are a great amount of safety protocols that will not be going anywhere.
Newsome explained that especially this summer, Amarillo College has “really ramped up efforts to sanitize common spaces and surfaces.” She continued, “So we’re doing our part to make sure that people are safe and protected here on campus.”
As for WTAMU, Rasberry explained there will be many safety protocols staying in place.
“We will continue the increased cleaning that we have been doing on our campus that we did all last year. We’ll continue that, this year in our buildings. In our residence halls, on our campus, here, and on the Amarillo campus. We’ll also continue to use the copper clean door hardware that was developed by one of our faculty, in the engineering college here at WT. We’ll also continue our contact-tracing protocols for our WT community. We’re doing that on our campus, we have been and we will continue to do that. We’ll also continue to offer the vaccine, as well as COVID-19 testing for anybody who wants it here on campus,” said Rasberry.
During the interview, Rasberry explained the university’s stance on masks and vaccines. He explained, “We’re not mandating it, but we certainly- if they want to wear them, we want them to. We’ll also encourage them to be vaccinated if they feel comfortable doing that. We encourage persons who are feeling ill to stay at home, whether that’s a student or staff or faculty. We, also, are providing a quarantine residence hall like we have this last year. We’ll continue to do that for students, although students are always welcome to go home if they have to quarantine.”
As for Amarillo College, Newsome shared, “Amarillo College encourages mask use on campus, but it is not required. We also encourage students and employees to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. We have offered several free vaccine clinics on campus for the convenience of our students, employees, and community members. In fact, we are partnering with the City of Amarillo to host another pop-up vaccine clinic on campus on Thursday, August 19.”