Dear Tabor Community,
The COVID pandemic has altered life as we know it in ways that we never imagined. Living together in community to fulfill our mission will bring new challenges and levels of commitment and sacrifice. Valuing, respecting, honoring, and helping each other will be required as we enter into the 2020-21 academic year. Tabor College is committed to providing a safe and reasonable learning environment for all employees and students. To that end, we are taking the following steps to live out our commitment to the health and wellness of the community.
- We have entered into a partnership with the Marion County Health Department, Hillsboro hospital, and Vivature to create a CLIA approved laboratory in the old Welcome Center for administering rapid antigen testing. Having a rapid results testing laboratory on campus provides us additional levels of safety by enabling us to respond quickly to positive tests.
- We have created a color-coded approach to determine how we live life together throughout the year. Green (low risk), Yellow (moderate risk), Orange (high risk), Red (close campus) will be determined by active cases and quarantine and isolation demands.
- Each of the functional areas of the college has detailed tactical plans that serve to implement the overall institutional plan.
- We are giving each student a bag chair encouraging them to use it outdoors, for meals, and other times for connecting in community.
- We have renovated the old Hillsboro hospital for isolation purposes. Together with the City of Hillsboro and the Mennonite Disaster Service, the facility will provide us a home for up to 18 students to isolate.
- Most importantly, many people are praying for Tabor during this unusual time. In the midst of all that is happening, please join us in presenting Tabor in prayer to the Lord asking for his safety, protection, and favor. Daily I am praying Psalm 91 for Tabor. I invite you to join me.
All this comes with a price tag. The incurred and anticipated costs for COVID testing on campus, student refunds, health protocols, and retrofitting facilities is estimated somewhere between $1 million-$1.5 million. Some of these costs have been covered by the CARES Act. We are applying for a SPARK grant, which is part of the CARES act, to cover some of the additional costs. We are also thankful for the generosity of our constituency and their increased support.
I am thankful for the Scenario Planning Team and their excellent work in preparing Tabor for the new academic year. My thanks to Rusty Allen, Rick Bartlett, Terry Ens, Mike James, Frank Johnson, Miriam Kliewer, Aleen Ratzlaff, Emir Ruiz-Esparza, Rob Scott, Tom Shaw, and Marty Ziesemer for all the time and energy they gave to creating a safe and reasonable learning environment for the Tabor community.
Jules Glanzer, President