January 2021 News

Indiana Academy Return to School Date Change

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Dear Indiana Academy Community:

We are excited to see students return to classes virtually this week after the winter break. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to accelerate its pace in Indiana and across the nation, requiring us to continue to make decisions that keep the safety and welfare of our community at the forefront. Much of Indiana currently has a Weekly 2-Metric Score of “Red”, the highest COVID-19 advisory level. This means the number of positive COVID-19 cases and the test positivity rate are both very high.

The first extended weekend of the semester is two weeks after students are set to return to the residence hall. Given the high COVID-19 numbers and the necessity for all students to move out of the residence hall on an extended weekend, we have decided to extend virtual learning for two additional weeks. The extended weekend will remain on the calendar with no virtual classes scheduled on Monday, February 1, and Tuesday, February 2. Students will return to the residence hall on Tuesday, February 2.

The requirement to submit a COVID-19 test dated no more than 7 days before returning to campus remains in place. Reminders and instructions on submitting a COVID-19 test will be sent out the week of January 18-22. Move-in procedures will be sent out a week before February 2.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to evaluate the data and make decisions. We all want Academy students back and learning in-person, but the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our first priority. We will continue to communicate with our community any further pandemic issues or decisions that have implications for our students, faculty/staff, and families as they become available. For more information about COVID-19, please visit our website.

If you have any questions about academics, please contact Dr. Jeff Smith, Director of Academic Affairs at 765-285-4136 ().

If you have any questions about the residence hall, please contact Mr. Paul Douglas, Director of Residential and Student Affairs at 765-285-8127 ().

For all other questions, please contact Dr. Dain Kavars, Interim Executive Director at 765-285-8126 ().

Sincerely,

Dain Kavars
He/Him/His (What is This?)
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
765-285-8126


Indiana Academy Spring 2021 COVID-19 Update

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dear Indiana Academy Community:

Ball State University has implemented a new COVID-19 protocol requiring all students to submit a COVID-19 test before returning to campus for the start of the Spring 2021 semester. This applies to Indiana Academy students, including students who do not live in the residence hall but are attending in-person classes.

Requirements

Every student is required to:

  1. Submit a COVID-19 test result administered within seven (7) days before arriving on campus; and
  2. Self-quarantine between the date the test is administered and the return to campus.

Specific information about testing locations and the availability of free testing may be found here.

After obtaining test results, students must upload an image of the test result to the Indiana Academy. Upload instructions will be provided the week of January 4th–8th.

Negative Test Results

Students with a negative test result may return to campus on January 17, 2021 as scheduled.

Positive Test Results

Students with a positive test result cannot return to campus. Students must isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to campus. If asymptomatic, students must isolate for at least 10 days from the date of the COVID-19 test.

Exceptions to Pre-Arrival Protocol

A student is not required to submit a pre-arrival test result if one of the following applies:

  1. The student tested positive for COVID-19 in the 90-day period prior to returning to campus for Spring 2021, and the positive test result has been provided to the Indiana Academy.
  2. The student is enrolled entirely online for the Spring 2021 semester, is not residing in the residence hall, and will not be physically present on campus in the spring semester.

Compliance

Students are required to comply with this protocol unless the student meets the criteria for an exception. Students who fail to submit the test results will not be permitted to move-in to the residence hall, and will not be able to attend in-person classes until a test result is submitted.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we implement this new COVID-19 protocol. We will communicate with our community any further pandemic issues or decisions that have implications for our students, teachers, and families as they become available. For more information about COVID-19, please visit our website.

Sincerely,

Dain Kavars
He/Him/His (What is This?)
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
765-285-8126


Indiana Academy Spring 2021 Calendar Update

Friday, November 6, 2020

November 6, 2020

Dear Indiana Academy Community,

Indiana Academy students, faculty, and staff have taken great care in following physical distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and taking appropriate steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These efforts and efficient contact tracing have allowed us to keep the residence hall open and many classes in-person throughout the fall semester. As we approach the end of the fall semester, we are officially making a change to the Spring 2021 calendar to help ensure the safety of all.

The spring semester start date of Monday, January 4th remains unchanged, but all Indiana Academy classes will be virtual for the first two weeks. Residential students will move into the residence hall on Sunday, January 17th. The holidays are a time of increased travel and family gatherings. With rising COVID-19 cases in Indiana, and across the nation, returning students to the residence hall immediately following the winter break increases the risk of COVID-19 spread. Before returning to the residence hall on January 17th, all students will be asked to quarantine for 14 days and complete a self-certification form, similar to the form completed in early August.

The extended breaks, including Spring Break, will remain in place as previously scheduled on the website calendar. Students will be asked to follow appropriate safety guidelines to return to the residence hall following each extended break. This is intended to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread and keep the residence hall a safe place for all students.

I understand you may have several questions. In the coming days, additional information will come from Dr. Jeff Smith, Director of Academic Affairs, and Mr. Paul Douglas, Director of Residential Affairs.

I thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate and adapt to changing COVID-19 conditions.

Sincerely,

Dain Kavars
He/Him/His (What is This?)
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
765-285-8126


Procedures: Office of Mental Health and Support Services 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

From the Office of Mental Health and Support Services

The Office of Mental Health and Support Services (OMHSS) strives to provide students with the support and resources in order to help them achieve their personal and academic goals while at the Indiana Academy. Counseling services are provided by Dr. Mindy Wallpe and graduate students form the School and Counseling Doctoral programs at BSU. They include Steven Scally, M.A., Tauralee Tenn, M.A., Emily Boswell Strain, M.A., LMHCA, Kalyn Gebhardt, M.A., and Lizi Zhong, M.Ed., M.A. and are under the direct supervision of Dr. Wallpe.

We encourage you to reach out to our office for support regarding any mental health difficulty, stressor, and/or life challenge. We want to be both a support and resource to you during your time at the Indiana Academy. We are available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Given the guidelines in place from Ball State University and the Indiana Academy regarding COVID-19, counseling sessions will be done via teletherapy (online through WebEx) and not face to face. If you want to schedule an appointment with a counselor, please email Dr. Mindy at or call 765-285-5483.

What to expect once scheduled:

Once you are assigned a counselor you will be sent an email that has your counselors contact information, the date, time, and location for the appointment. You will be given an office room number in Elliott Hall basement and let into that office for privacy for your session. A link for your private teletherapy counseling appointment will be included.

Guidelines for session:

You will need to bring your laptop/tablet/phone and headphones/earbuds for your session. You will log on to the session in the privacy of the office and the counselor will return to their office and log on to begin the session.

Your video must remain on and showing your face during your session. Make sure you have the power cord for your phone/computer/tablet. At the end of the session the therapist will schedule you for your next session and send an email with the link that will be needed. The therapist will return to the office and sanitize the space.

For unscheduled appointments:

We are limiting in person contact, so if you need to talk to a counselor but do not have an appointment and you are not having thoughts of suicide, harming self, or others, please call Dr. Mindy at 765-285-5483 to address your current need over the phone.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, harming self, or others and unable to talk on the phone because of current distress, please walk down to Dr. Mindy’s office immediately and knock on the office door (WA160C located in guidance suite).

To utilize services in the OMHSS the consent to treatment must be on file. This includes the OMHSS Informed Consent 2020 and the Telehealth Indiana Academy Informed Consent 2020 forms. The forms were included in your registration materials. The form is attached if it has not been completed.

If you have been in counseling and are interested in utilizing services at the Academy please work with your current provider and sign a release of information so we can coordinate care.

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.


Interim Residential and Student Affairs COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

Monday, August 10, 2020

Academy Students and Families:

In our preparations for a safe return to campus, we have been required to make a number of interim changes to policies and procedures for students living in or entering Wagoner Hall. Please review the document linked below for some updates on what life in Wagoner Hall will look like to begin the 2020 Fall Semester. As we continue to navigate the challenges of 2020, we will keep you posted and regularly update this document. The latest version will always be available at https://academy.bsu.edu/covid19/.

Thanks,

Paul Douglas
Director of Residential and Student Affairs
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Office: 765-285-8127
Front Desk: 765-285-8125
Fax: 765-285-2778

Download Interim Residential and Student Affairs COVID-19 Policies and Procedures Document Revised 8-10-20


COVID-19 Information for Students

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Dear Indiana Academy Students and Families,

Please see the attached flier from our nursing staff regarding information and procedures related to COVID-19.

Download the flier

Thanks,

Paul Douglas
Director of Residential and Student Affairs
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Office: 765-285-8127
Front Desk: 765-285-8125
Fax: 765-285-2778


Important Self-Certification Requirement for Indiana Academy Students

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Dear Indiana Academy Students and Families,

On Monday of this week, President Mearns made an update about the University’s plan regarding COVID-19 procedures and safe return to campus. These plans include self-screening requirements for students moving in to University housing for the Fall 2020 semester. This is one more measure the University and the Indiana Academy has put in place in response to the pandemic in preparation to safely resume on-campus living this Fall. Below you will find instructions on how to comply with the University’s requirements for a smooth transition to living on campus.

PLEASE NOTE: You need to select and complete only one of the two options listed below:

Option A

You may submit a COVID-19 self-certification prior to arriving on campus. Access this through the Following Qualtrics link.

We must receive your self-certification prior to you moving in to the residence hall.

OR

Option B

You may also present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within seven days prior to arriving on campus. Your negative test results may be submitted via email to our school nurse Tina Brinkman at . We must receive your negative results prior to checking-in to the residence hall. We also strongly encourage you to bring a hard copy or electronic copy of your negative test when you check-in.

Stay home if you’re sick

As a reminder, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or you have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 you should not drop off your belongings, move in to the residence hall, or return to campus until you have a negative test or meet the 14-day quarantine requirement.

We encourage you to begin planning now for your return to the residence halls. We have adopted several safety measures, and this is one more. We look forward to your cooperation with these requirements and your return to campus.

If you have additional questions please reach out and we will do our best to answer your questions or guide them to those who can.

Sincerely,

Paul Douglas
Director of Residential and Student Affairs
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Office: 765-285-8127
Front Desk: 765-285-8125
Fax: 765-285-2778


Indiana Academy Return to School Plan Updates

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Dear Indiana Academy Parents, Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Indiana Academy and Ball State University care greatly about the well-being of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As we prepare to open the school, the safety of all in the Indiana Academy community is the guiding factor in our return-to-school plan. We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), and Ball State University. All of the safety protocols in place are based on science, and many of the safety protocols in place exceed the minimum standards set by the CDC, AAP, and IDOE.

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Ball State University Facilities and Management officials completed a thorough walk-through of Burris, where all Indiana Academy classes are held. They did an in-depth review to determine the maximum student capacity in each room to follow all CDC recommended physical distancing guidelines. This review determined that most Indiana Academy classrooms will have a maximum of 12-14 students. We have one larger classroom that can hold 16 students and three other classrooms that will have maximum class sizes below 12 students. Reducing the maximum class size in all classrooms will ensure that every student can physically distance in all directions.

The Indiana Academy is also taking the following steps, in addition to the steps outlined in the previously released return to school plan.

  • We have reduced the number of 8 AM classes to reduce foot traffic when the school day is starting for the Indiana Academy and Burris.
  • All class times will be shifted by five minutes so that Burris classes and Indiana Academy classes are not transitioning at the same time. For example, a 10 AM Indiana Academy class will start at 9:55 AM and end five minutes early. This will reduce the number of students in the hallways at any given time.
  • We have shifted some classes to the late afternoon and early evening to decrease traffic flow in Burris.
  • Masks are required for all students and teachers in all classes, hallways, and common areas.
  • Disinfectant sprays will be in every classroom, and table/desk surfaces will be cleaned before the start of each class.
  • All faculty will have the option of a hybrid model for their classes. The details will vary by class, but some classes will be taught entirely in-person, with some classes having approximately one day per week shifted to a virtual environment.
  • UV light cleaning devices will be used nightly in all classrooms.
  • Online learning options are available to students. For more information, please see the appropriate contact person below.
  • All students, faculty, and staff must complete a COVID-19 self-certification form before returning to campus. More information on completing this online form for students and parents will come out later today.
  • Faculty and staff with health concerns may work with Ball State University Human Resources who will in turn work with the Indiana Academy on appropriate accommodations.
  • Students and families with health concerns should contact the school nurse. All faculty and staff at the Indiana Academy will be trained on identifying COVID-19 symptoms and procedures to follow to minimize the risk of transmission.

We appreciate your patience in this continuously evolving situation. If you have questions, please contact:

  • Academics and Online Learning Options – Jeff Smith, Director of Academic Affairs –
  • IEP and 504 Plans – Dain Kavars, Interim Executive Director –
  • Student Life – Paul Douglas, Director of Residential and Student Affairs – and Bridger Fetters, Associate Director of Residential and Student Affairs –
  • Athletics – Chad Wlodarek, Athletic Director –
  • Financial Aid and Billing – Cary Witter, Budget and Administrative Coordinator –
  • Any other questions? Please contact Dain Kavas, Interim Executive Director –

As a reminder, we also continue to post updates regarding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic on our website at academy.bsu.edu/covid19.

I hope you continue to have a safe and enjoyable summer, and we look forward to seeing you in August!

Dain Kavars
He/Him/His (What is This?)
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
765-285-8126


Indiana Academy Return to School Update

Monday, July 27, 2020

Dear Indiana Academy Parents, Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As you know, information about COVID-19 and related issues is continuously evolving. This is a short update that we are collecting more information about current enrollment numbers and doing a walk-through of classrooms to determine capacity in conjunction with physical distancing requirements. That information will further inform our return-to-school planning. More definitive information/guidance will come by Thursday, if not sooner. Indiana Academy and Ball State administrators are working on addressing many of your questions. Please be assured that we have the best interest of our students, families, faculty, and staff at the center of our decision-making process.

Dain Kavars
Interim Executive Director


2020-21 Indiana Academy Return to School Plan & Guidelines

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Indiana Academy Students and Families:

At the bottom of this message you will find a link to the Indiana Academy’s return to school plan and guidelines for the 2020-21 school year. Please read through and familiarize yourself with the important information in this document.

More information regarding Welcome Week and our official move-in schedule is forthcoming, and you will be receiving an email soon with further details. We anticipate and respect that some families may want their residential student in a single room. The deadline for a single room request is Tuesday, July 21. To request a single room assignment, please email both Bridger Fetters at and Paul Douglas at .

If you have questions or concerns after reading through the document, here is a listing of areas to contact for further guidance and information:

  • Academics – Dr. Jeff Smith, Director of Academic Affairs –
  • IEP and 504 Plans – Dr. Dain Kavars, Interim Executive Director –
  • Student Life – Paul Douglas, Director of Residential and Student Affairs – and Bridger Fetters, Associate Director of Residential and Student Affairs –
  • Athletics – Chad Wlodarek, Athletic Director –
  • Financial Aid and Billing – Cary Witter, Budget and Administrative Coordinator –
  • Any other questions? Please contact Dr. Dain Kavas, Interim Executive Director –

As a reminder, we also continue to post updates regarding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic on our website at academy.bsu.edu/covid19.

I hope you continue to have a safe and enjoyable summer, and we look forward to seeing you in August!

Dain Kavars
Interim Executive Director
Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
765-285-7461

Download the Return to School Plan document