The Bible directs our priorities, and while the Bible encourages us not to take needless risks with our physical health, it also highlights the priority of spiritual health over physical health and well-being.
2. We must have an eternal outlook.
Our IBCS team believes that the work we are doing is of eternal weight and consequence. The world’s urgent need for Jesus has not been paused. We must stay engaged in the great task remaining before us.
3. We must exercise careful discernment
There is much information and misinformation. We want to respect the guidance of public health and government officials while operating in a way that displays Biblical wisdom.
4. We value personal mentoring
If we were concerned only with content delivery, we could move to the online environment, but at IBCS we are deeply committed to personal mentoring. This simply does not work as well through an online portal.
IBCS will be opening the fall semester on the announced schedule by…
Offering our full undergraduate programs with in-person instruction.
Opening the residence halls for residents.
Restoring business as close to normal as possible.
IBCS will be implementing reasonable measures to mitigate the risk of infection by…
Practicing heightened hygiene procedures.
Encouraging spatial distancing.
Respecting group gathering guidelines.
Establishing protocols for additional measures, if needed.
We are able to do this because of our size.
We can gather as normally without violating any of the guidelines given to us by both the state of Arizona and the CDC.
We believe that this is a wise decision.
We do not believe that opening the campus presents an unreasonable risk to the health of our students.
We have plans in place to adjust should we need to do so.
We have thought carefully, sought counsel, and prayed, but ultimately we are trusting the Lord.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are you working with health officials?
We are seeking to abide by the directives of all federal, state, and local officials regarding our campus operations and protocols while still accomplishing our spiritual and educational mission. Moreover, we have compiled a list of accessible medical locations and resources that students can utilize in any health-related situation.
Are you encouraging social distancing?
At IBCS, we are encouraging spatial distancing but not social distancing! Mentoring is essential to who we are, so we will continue to encourage social and spiritual fellowship while discouraging crowded spaces. We have evaluated our facilities and have determined that students will have ample space to meet the spatial distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC in our classrooms, library, and common areas (at least 6 feet away from another individual or closer than 6 feet for no more than 10 minutes).
What if students have to miss class for illness or self-isolation? Every class (both graduate and undergraduate) will have an associated Zoom account. Any students who are ill and unable to come to class will be permitted to Zoom into the class for synchronous instruction. Students who are present via Zoom will not be counted absent. Our absence policy allows students to miss up to a week of classes (for illness, etc.), without penalty. Additional absences may be excused with medical documentation and a written request to the Chief Academic Officer. Professors, in consultation with the CAO, will have the liberty to assist students in making up missed class assignments and classroom instruction time.
How are you protecting residence hall students? Limiting guests:
Per standard policy, no one is permitted to visit the residence halls without obtaining permission from the residence hall supervisor.
We know that residence hall move-in is a special time for new students and their families, and we want to encourage families to make the most of this time! This semester, however, we are going to ask students to stagger their move-in times to limit interactions between residence hall guests.
Designating isolation spaces:
We intentionally leave certain bedrooms empty of residents so that they can be used as isolation areas if a student presents influenza- or COVID-like symptoms.
If a student is asked to self-isolate, he or she may continue to attend classes virtually via Zoom. Boxed meals may also be provided by IBCS foodservice and delivered by residence hall
Providing additional sanitation supplies:
Students are always welcome to provide their own sanitation helps (e.g., close-lidded trash cans, disinfectant wipes, cloth masks).
We are working to provide residence hall spaces with
Antibacterial hand soap
Extra spray bottles for general cleaning and sanitation
Disposable masks (for limited use by those in recovery rooms)
Are you making any adjustments to your food services? We will continue all the sanitation procedures that we implemented in the spring semester along with additional precautions.
We will provide more food items and condiments in single-serve containers (e.g., we will replace the open salad bar with premade salads).
We will continue to provide self-serve drinks, but students are to bring their own beverage containers.
IBCS students will continue to eat in a space [A-130] separate from others who use our dining facilities (e.g., Tri-City Christian Academy).
Students will use disposable plasticware, and reusable plates are thoroughly washed and sanitized between uses.
We will strictly limit access to food preparation facilities to food service workers only.
What other measures have you taken? Improving facilities:
We are installing additional motion-activated water bottle refill stations around the campus to minimize the use of water fountains.
We can act only upon the information we have. Therefore, we are urging students to alert residence hall staff immediately if they have any influenza- or COVID-like symptoms.
We are regularly monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Maricopa County and Chandler specifically, and we will adjust our responses accordingly.
We desire to honor the medical privacy of our students and constituents. We will, however, keep our IBCS family apprised of any potential threats while maintaining compliance with FERPA guidelines.
How can I be best prepared?
Students are strongly encouraged to obtain and maintain health insurance, either on their parents’ plan or through a personal insurance plan.
COVID-19 has statistically not presented a major health threat to the age group represented by most college students. The illness can be more uncomfortable, however, for those with preexisting health conditions. If you believe that you are at-risk, please contact the IBCS office to let us know.
Fatigue and stress can contribute to the severity of any illness. We will work with students to encourage good sleep and study habits and spiritual disciplines. If these habits are not already well-established in your life, start exercising the self-discipline now to spend daily time with the Lord and to get sufficient rest.
Pray! Pray that the Lord would protect our campus so that we can press forward in the work of the Lord. Pray that God would guard our thoughts and dispositions so that we can live wisely in confident faith rather than in fear. Pray that God will grant wisdom for the IBCS administration, faculty, staff, and students.