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Spring 2021
Welcome Back Initiative



March 5, 2021

Dear LeTourneau faculty, staff and students, 

As we approach the midway point of the semester, we want to thank each member of our community for your continued commitment to a healthy and successful year of living and learning on campus. This communication includes several updates regarding our Welcome Back Initiative and changes to the academic calendar for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters. 

Due to the successes of last fall, we are once again adjusting the traditional calendar to end by Thanksgiving. The first day of classes for the traditional Fall semester will be Monday, August 16th. The semester will end Tuesday, November 23rd and include a short fall break in October. The nontraditional Fall calendar will not change. Module 1 and full semester courses will begin on Monday, August 23rd, and the last day of the term is December 12th. 

The Summer 2021 term will now end on August 15th for both traditional and nontraditional courses. Summer courses that were scheduled to end on August 22nd have been adjusted accordingly. The updated academic calendar will be available soon at the following link: https://www.letu.edu/academics/academic-calendar.html

As we stated earlier this week, Governor Abbott recently announced several changes to the COVID-19 statewide mandates and that we would take this announcement under advisement. Following several thorough discussions and consultation with key partners, the Welcome Back Initiative Team has decided to continue with the university’s current COVID-19 policies and protocols for the time being. We realize this decision is a relief to some on campus and a disappointment for others, but we continue to seek the best approach in considering the needs of our entire campus. We have also received questions regarding policies specific to athletic events and activities in the Belcher Center. At this time, the protocols for these venues will remain the same through the end of the semester. We trust there will be substantive changes to our policies moving into Summer and Fall as we process local, state and national health guidance. We will continue to remain in communication as these decisions are made. We are thankful to God that we have achieved something special this year—almost a full academic year of safely living and learning on campus. 

The Welcome Back Initiative Team continues to work together to identify ways to meet the needs of our entire campus community. We appreciate the on-going commitment and flexibility from our students, faculty and staff and encourage each of you to finish strong as we approach the end of the semester. We ask that you continue to pray for the health and safety of our campus community and a successful conclusion to the Spring semester. 

Welcome Back Initiative Team



March 2, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

This afternoon Governor Abbott issued a statement related to upcoming changes to several COVID-19 statewide mandates. LeTourneau University and the Welcome Back Initiative team are taking today’s announcement under advisement, but all University COVID-19 policies and protocols remain in place.

We appreciate everyone’s continued patience and flexibility as we navigate our ongoing response to COVID-19. 

Sincerely,

Welcome Back Initiative Team



February 4, 2021

Hello LeTourneau Community!

The spring semester is off to a great start! We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of some of the wonderful changes that have been made since the Fall semester.

  • In-person chapel is back! For the Spring semester, students have been divided into two groups to accommodate spacing protocols in the Belcher Center. For more information regarding Chapel schedule and Spiritual Formation Credits, please visit letu.edu/chapel.
  • LETU Athletics are back in action! Our athletic venues are limited to 100 spectators and will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines. Information on athletic policies and event livestreams can be found at letuathletics.com.
  • Student and Employee COVID-19 Guides are updated and include the most recent guidance from the Welcome Back Initiative Task Force. These guides are linked on this page and will be updated throughout the semester as necessary.
  • A COVID dashboard has been included in the right sidebar of this page. The dashboard will be updated each Monday morning throughout the Spring semester to reflect current active cases and isolations among employees and students.
Please continue to refer to the WBI page for updates throughout the semester. Thank you for your commitment to living and learning safely in community.


December 22, 2020

Hello LETU Students,

I hope you are feeling rested and are enjoying a break from classes as you prepare to celebrate Christmas. At LETU, we have been working on plans for the Spring 2021 semester and are excited for your return to classes on January 20th. We have also been reviewing our campus efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and monitoring infection rates locally and around the country to help us determine our plans for the Spring semester. This email provides a lot of information and may require some action on your part, so please review it carefully. 

Due to the continued high rates of infection and the predictions that rates will likely still be high in January, we are again requiring that all students who will be attending classes in person on the Longview campus receive COVID testing prior to the start of the semester. Student Athletes will be returning earlier than the majority of the student body students and will be tested with their teams at that time. Students moving into residence halls are expected to to test the day of their arrival on campus. To accommodate the numbers of students who will need to test upon return, Residence Life is extending the timeframe for on-campus students to return to campus. Commuter students may test during any of the testing dates prior to the start of the semester, which will be provided later in this email. 

LETU will be using the same testing method that was used in August 2020, which is a nasopharyngeal swab PCR test. The tests are run in a laboratory in Tyler, TX, which typically delivers results to LETU within 24 hours. We will ask that all students remain distanced from others and self-quarantined in on- or off-campus housing until test results are reported back and students are cleared to participate in campus activities. This will help reduce the number of people who may have to isolate due to exposure to a positive COVID-19 test result. 

In August, we provided the option of obtaining PCR testing on your own prior to return to campus. At that time, test results were running 2-3 days for results locally and in other parts of the country. Now we are finding that test results are running 5-10 days in many places. Taking a test more than a week before returning to campus makes it difficult to get a helpful assessment of whether a student is positive for COVID-19 when they arrive. For this reason, and because we have an excellent testing program with approximately 24 hour results that will be provided at no cost to students, we are asking that all students be tested on campus upon arrival to campus. Should there be an extenuating circumstance, please email healthservices@letu.edu for further consideration.

It is likely that some of you have been or will be diagnosed with COVID-19 over the break from school. Any student who tests positive (whether on campus or off campus for break) is asked to complete LETU’s COVID-19 Student Reporting Form. Students who have been infected with COVID-19 up to 90 days prior to the start of the Spring 2021 semester are asked to provide documentation of their positive test result and documentation of when symptoms were resolved to Health Services. This can be done by emailing healthservices@letu.edu. Health Services will evaluate this information and determine whether you would be required to isolate should you test positive again within 90 days of a previous positive test result. Any student who tested positive for  COVID-19 more than 90 days prior to their on-campus test at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester and who tests positive again at this screening would be considered to be re-infected with COVID-19 per current CDC guidance. 

The PCR tests conducted on campus are provided at no cost to students and will be required to be allowed to attend classes. Testing will be offered in front of Belcher Center on the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, January 16, 2021 2-5pm
  • Sunday, January 17, 2021, 2-5pm
  • Monday, January 18, 2021, 2-5pm

Limited testing will be available Tuesday, January 19th for those students who cannot arrive sooner. We ask that students make all efforts to arrive earlier than Tuesday so that they can be tested, have results back, and be released to attend the first day of classes on Wednesday, January 20th. We realize this may require changing some plans, which is why we wanted to provide enough time to be able to work out those changes. 

Students living on campus will receive email communication from Ryan Hawkins, Housing Coordinator, with further information on return dates and times for on-campus students. You will be asked to sign up for a slot to return so that staff can prepare accordingly for your return. 

We are grateful to have completed the full fall semester on ground and in person, and know that diligent health and safety measures on the part of students, faculty, and staff helped to make that possible. As we look forward to the Spring, we trust that you will continue to join us in keeping LETU healthy, safe, and in-person! Our prayers are with you over this extended break and we appreciate your prayers for continued safety and protection of the LETU community. 

All the Best,

Kristy Morgan, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs   



November 23, 2020



University President Dr. Dale Lunsford gives an update to the LETU family about living and learning for the Spring 2021 semester.



November 18, 2020

Dear LeTourneau University family,

We did it! We are only a couple of days away from completing our Fall academic semester. Throughout the past several months, the LETU community has worked diligently to ensure a successful semester of in-person living and learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By the grace of God, we were able to gather together and celebrate all of the wonderful attributes and experiences that make LETU special. We are so thankful for our students, faculty and staff and grateful for the committed and united effort in responding to these unusual circumstances. Our successful semester is a result of God’s protection and the daily efforts of our community. Thank you!

This upcoming break is well-deserved and very timely. All of us have worked hard to ensure a successful semester. As we enter the last few days of the academic semester, the COVID-19 number of active cases among students is 4 and 1 employee. Again, these low numbers have been consistent throughout the semester and is a testament to everyone’s commitment to the health and safety of one another.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas break for students is longer than usual. Our prayer for our students, faculty and staff is that this break will be a time of rest and rejuvenation. We also recognize that communication over the next several weeks is critical to keeping our community informed about the Spring 2021 semester. Communication will take several forms over the next several weeks and include email, website, the Buzz app, and social media. Most importantly, please continue to monitor the WBI webpage for the most recent campus updates regarding the Spring semester. The WBI webpage is www.letu.edu/wbi. As a reminder, here are a few important points about the academic calendar for Spring 2021.

  • For residential students, classes for the Spring 2021 semester will begin Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
  • There are no changes to the Spring 2021 schedule for our non-trad students.
  • The Spring 2021 semester will conclude with finals week which will begin Monday, May 3, 2021.
  • Due to the slightly later start to the semester, there will be no spring break. We know that this is disappointing to some, but this decision will ensure adequate time for instruction.
  • The remainder of the academic calendar remains the same. This includes all other holidays, President’s Day and Good Friday. In addition, we added a day of rest on Thursday, March 11, 2021.
  • Homecoming remains the same.
  • Finals week and May Commencement remain the same.

More information about the Spring 2021 semester coming soon.

Blessings,
Welcome Back Initiative Team

COVID-19 Statistics

as of April 5, 2021

  • 0 active student cases
  • 3 additional students in quarantine/isolation
  • 0 active faculty/staff cases
  • 1 additional faculty/staff in quarantine/isolation

Key Dates

  • January 11: First day of nontraditional spring semester
  • January 17: Residence halls open for NEW traditional students
  • January 16-19: Residence halls open for RETURNING traditional students
  • January 20: First day of traditional spring semester
  • February 15: President's Day - NO CLASSES
  • March 11: Break Day - NO CLASSES
  • April 2: Good Friday - NO CLASSES
  • May 3-6: Final Exams (traditional programs)
  • May 7: Residence Halls close for non-graduating students 5 PM
  • May 8: Commencement

Additional Resources