Tag: Students

Ludington offers Up North vacation fun as remote learning for students

LUDINGTON, MI – Vacations to West Michigan beach towns like Ludington are always full of fun things to see, from lighthouses and beaches to maritime history and walking tours.

With more students – and grown-ups – doing their work remotely these days, some of Ludington’s favorite tourist spots have pulled together a large lineup of remote learning and entertainment options. This includes things like lesson plans oriented around Michigan’s lighthouses, at-home craft projects, history-based scavenger hunts and even remote music concerts.

“Our Ludington community has created a variety of remote educational opportunities, plus put together some fun virtual events for plenty of family-friendly options to experience Ludington from home,” said Brandy Miller, executive director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to share more about our beautiful lakeshore community even when people aren’t visiting in person.”

Here’s the information being shared by the Visitors Bureau and these popular tourist sites, broken out into easily-searchable topics:

Educational Resources / Lesson Plans / Home Projects

  • Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) lighthouse education – SPLKA’s education committee of two former university professors, one former school superintendent and six teachers assembled a variety of educational resources that meet 2020 Michigan Educational Standards, including: Big Sable Lighthouse Educational Packet (30 pages of fun activities for grade school children to learn about Big Sable), The Properties of the Light (Lesson Plans on the Fresnel Lens), Lighthouse presentation plus related handout, video of author Pamela Cameron reading her book “Sport Ship Dog of the Great Lakes,” virtual tour of Big Sable Point Light, and Big Sable Point Lighthouse Virtual Escape Room. For more information, go to splka.org/education.html
  • Mason County Historical Society virtual experiences – The Mason County Historical Society, which manages Historic White Pine Village and the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, provides a bevy of online resources and interactive experiences on its virtual education page, including Historical Photo Detective (answer questions while viewing historic photos), Mason Memories Essay (discover the past as you read memories and write an essay on what you learned), Virtual History Hunts (learn about the exhibits at each museum and how early settlers lived and worked), Outdoor Scavenger Hunts (look for trees, flowers, and insects in your backyard or at a park), and Journaling Ideas (keep a diary and record what it is like to live through these times). For more information, check out masoncountyhistoricalsociety.com/online-programming
  • Sandcastles Children’s Museum at home – From do-at-home craft projects and Wacky Wednesday Science, to virtual puppet shows and concerts, Sandcastles offers online activities to keep kids busy at home. Check the Sandcastles Facebook page for free weekly events. The museum also has a YouTube channel; subscribe and get instant access to tutorials and musical performances. For more details, check out sandcastleschildrensmuseum.com/have-fun-at-home
  • Mason County District Library – The library offers a variety of virtual stories through its Facebook page, such as Babytime Mondays at 10 a.m. with songs and rhyme reading, and Storytime Tuesdays through Thursdays at 10 a.m. with music, rhythm,
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Columbia University bans 70 MBA students from classes after COVID-19 travel violation

The MBA students who traveled to Turks and Caicos are banned until Dec. 1.

The group of 70 MBA students had traveled to the island of Turks and Caicos on a trip that was not school-sponsored. None of the students have been suspended.

In its COVID-19 travel restrictions listed for the fall 2020 semester, the Columbia University website states, “All academic or work-related travel, domestic or international, is suspended.”

“Columbia faculty, staff and students are required to follow local, state and federal travel restrictions, and should consult with CDC guidance,” the website states.

PHOTO: In this file photo, a woman wearing a protective mask walks on the Columbia University campus on March 9, 2020 in New York.

On Sept. 29, the CDC released a report revealing there was an increase in COVID-19 infections from August to September among people ages 18 to 22 as some colleges and universities reopened in the United States. According to a recent New York Times survey of more than 1,700 American colleges and universities, there have been more than 320,000 cases and at least 80 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Cases across the U.S. now top more than 12 million, and more than 68,000 cases have been reported at colleges since early November, according to The Times tracker.

PHOTO: Maggie Martino helps prepare supplies as workers help build a medical facility for New York-Presbyterian at Columbia University's Baker Field on April 11, 2020, in New York.

In the state of New York, there have been more than 596,000 cases and at least 34,319 deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus.

Columbia’s MBA students who violated the international travel suspension are banned from campus until Dec. 1. They must fulfill their academic obligations by taking their courses remotely.

With Thanksgiving approaching, colleges and universities are strategizing game plans to minimize the spread of the virus if students travel home.

Dr. Anita Barkin, co-chair of the American College Health Association COVID-19 Task Force, spoke with “Good Morning America” as health experts urge students to either remain on campus or follow specific protocols in an attempt to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus.

“We would encourage students not to go home, and the reason is that we know with travel comes risk of exposure,” Barkin said. “So we would prefer students stay on campus and do a virtual Thanksgiving with their family.”


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Columbia University temporarily bans 70 MBA students from campus

Columbia University bans 70 MBA students from campus for two weeks after they traveled to Turks and Caicos for a vacation in violation of the school’s COVID policy

  • Columbia University temporarily banned 70 MBA students for violating its travel policies amid the pandemic
  • The students took a recreational trip to Turks and Caicos 
  • They will not be allowed on campus until December 1 and must attend all classes virtually
  • The CDC has recommended Americans don’t travel during the holiday season
  • Some areas in New York City have been declared clusters by officials 

Columbia University temporarily banned at least 70 MBA students from campus after they took a group trip to Turks and Caicos amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The vacation was in violation of Columbia University’s coronavirus travel policy, which suspended all domestic and international organized travel until further notice.

‘All academic- or work-related travel, domestic or international, is suspended,’ the university’s website states.  

Columbia University spokesman Christopher Cashman reiterated that point, telling CNN: ‘The Turks & Caicos trip was a group event that violated this policy and thus was met with disciplinary action.’

Officials at Columbia University (pictured) said at least 70 MBA students have been temporarily banned from campus after violating its travel policies

Officials at Columbia University (pictured) said at least 70 MBA students have been temporarily banned from campus after violating its travel policies

It’s unclear when the vacation took place or when students returned to the US. 

Columbia University follows New York state travel restrictions, which required individuals arriving to New York from outside the country to quarantine for 14 days.

From November 9-15, Columbia University recorded two positive coronavirus cases among students and five among university faculty after 3,784 people were tested.     

The week before that saw seven student cases and three faculty cases out of 3,230 people tested. 

CNN reports that the 70 MBA students are barred from campus until December 1 and must attend all classes virtually. 

The 70 MBA students will not be allowed on Columbia University campus (pictured) until December 1 and must do remote learning in the meantime 

‘All of this is being done to protect the broader health of our community and, thankfully, to date our positive case rate remains low,’ Cashman told CNN.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans should avoid travel during this holiday season. 

But those who do travel were advised to follow health guidelines like wearing a face mask and  only participating in small gatherings. 

In New York City, several areas have experienced an uptick in cases and been declared a cluster by city officials.

New York City has recorded 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic this year. Pictured: A COVID-19 related instructional 'attention' sign is seen on Columbia University's campus

New York City has recorded 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic this year. Pictured: A COVID-19 related instructional ‘attention’ sign is seen on Columbia University’s campus 

As of Sunday, there have been 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths.

Staten Island led the pack, as of Thursday, with a positivity rate of 4.75 per cent followed by the Bronx at 3.82 per cent and Queens

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NSW calls for third of Covid-19 hotel spots to go to international students to boost economy | 1 NEWS

Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham is sympathetic to NSW’s call to be able to open up a third of the states’ hotel quarantine capability to international students to boost the economy.

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It’s the only Australian territory without restrictions on travellers from within the country and New Zealand.

Source: Breakfast

But he insists the priority has to remain on returning Australians.

“Getting those Australians, particularly those who might be in challenging or distressed circumstances home is a genuine priority,” he told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“But if we can see fast enough movement in terms of the bringing down of that list of returning Australians then I would like nothing more than to see international students able to safely come through proven processes.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian understands the federal government’s position, but points out her state welcomes back 3000 Australians every week and more than all the other states combined.

“So all I’m suggesting is next year after Christmas and New Year’s, let’s consider … having a proportion out of that 3000 to international students,” she told reporters in Albury.

“A lot of our universities will actually have to axe jobs if we don’t, especially regional universities. I don’t want to see that happen.”

She said since the pandemic started, NSW has seen in excess of 100,000 Australians returned, whereas other states combined have only done a small fraction of that.

More broadly, Senator Birmingham says it’s “not impossible” that international travel could be back on the cards next year, but to do it in the first half of 2021 would be challenging.

Such travel will depend on the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.

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South Australia virus cluster raises questions over allowing quarantine workers to have second jobs

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been logging into the virtual G20 Leaders Summit while in isolation in The Lodge after his trip to Japan last week.

There was some optimism among the leaders of the world’s biggest economies about vaccines given the encouraging results of some candidates.

But the leaders also said a vaccine and treatment had to be safe, affordable and available to all, especially in developing countries, saying “no one is safe until we are all safe”.

Meanwhile, South Australians are enjoying easier restrictions earlier than initially envisaged after a pizza shop worker was found to have lied about how he contacted the virus.

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The police commissioner said the state wouldn’t have gone into lockdown if a pizza bar worker had been honest.
Source: 1 NEWS

Even so, SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said she had no regrets about ordering the the lockdown after modelling showed her state had a 99 per cent chance of enduring a “significant wave”.

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews announced compulsory face mask-wearing will come to an end for Melbourne along with a further easing of other restrictions.

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Columbia University bans 70 students for Covid-19 travel violations

Columbia University says it has temporarily banned at least 70 students for violating the New York City school’s Covid-19 travel policy.

a group of people walking in front of a building: MBA students from Columbia University in New York City traveled to Turks and Caicos.

© Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
MBA students from Columbia University in New York City traveled to Turks and Caicos.

The MBA students traveled to Turks and Caicos, according to Columbia University spokesman Christopher Cashman.

That violated the school’s Covid-19 health compact, a protocol which restricts any official or organized group travel until further notice, Cashman said.

“The Turks & Caicos trip was a group event that violated this policy and thus was met with disciplinary action,” Cashman said.

Coronavirus case counts are surging, with 2.7 million new infections since the beginning of November. Friday alone saw more than 195,500, the most in a single day yet. More than 250,000 Americans have died from Covid-19.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that Americans should not travel for Thanksgiving, and has posted updated guidelines for safely celebrating the holiday.

Cashman said the students can’t enter campus until December 1. They must complete their academic obligations by attending class virtually.

If the students violate the policy again, they are subject to harsher discipline, Cashman said.

“All of this is being done to protect the broader health of our community and, thankfully, to date our positive case rate remains low,” Cashman said.

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CDC discourages travel; Thanksgiving parades go virtual; universities urge students not to go home for holiday

The U.S. death toll from coronavirus has surpassed 250,000, including 1,700 reported Wednesday alone. Hospitalizations across the nation have exploded, with almost 80,000 Americans now receiving inpatient treatment.

COVID-19 has now killed a quarter of a million Americans



Happy Thanksgiving? Not so much.

New York canceled its massive Thanksgiving Day parade weeks ago. Houston followed suit and Detroit is planning a virtual event as well.

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Many universities are urging students not to go home for the holidays, concerned about igniting a nationwide burst of new cases. Some schools are suggesting that students that do go home not come back, fearing an outbreak of infections on campus.

a person sitting in a chair: Holidays are usually for gatherings, but many get-togethers are complicated or canceled because of COVID-19.

© Provided by USA TODAY
Holidays are usually for gatherings, but many get-togethers are complicated or canceled because of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chimed in Thursday, recommending Americans simply not travel for the holiday. 

“The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members is coming to this family gathering and they could end up severely ill, hospitalized or dying,” said Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager. “We don’t want that to happen.”

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 11.5 million cases and more than 250,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 56.4 million cases and 1.35 million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

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Here’s what the CDC and Massachusetts colleges are saying about students who plan to travel for Thanksgiving

With COVID-19 cases surging across the country and Thanksgiving approaching, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging those who plan to travel to take precautions, and Massachusetts colleges are issuing their own guidance for students.

The safest way to celebrate this year is to hold virtual gatherings or spend it with people you live with, officials say. If college students decide to travel home to spend Thanksgiving with their families, it can pose varying levels of risk.

College students returning home for Thanksgiving should be considered part of a separate household, the CDC says, and there are a number of factors that contribute to the risk of spreading COVID-19 at an in-person gathering with people from different households. Among the considerations that should be weighed are the following:

  • Levels of COVID-19 where the gathering is taking place and levels of COVID-19 at the college or community the student is coming from
  • The potential for exposure to the virus in airports, bus stations, train stations, and gas stations
  • Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose greater risk than outdoor gatherings
  • Events that last longer pose greater risk than shorter events
  • Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people
  • The behavior of people who are attending before the gathering and during the gathering. People who social distance, wash their hands often, and wear masks pose less of a risk than those who don’t

Colleges in Massachusetts are also issuing their own advice and requirements for students who decide to travel for Thanksgiving and then return to campus to complete the semester.

Boston University is suggesting students stay on campus for Thanksgiving and host “Friendsgivings.” If they travel home, they should finish out the semester remotely, according to BU Today, the university’s online publication.

For BU students who opt to travel home and then return to campus, they’ll need to isolate for a week and test negative for COVID-19 three times before they can leave their rooms, the post said.

“This means remaining in your room, attending courses remotely, and exiting the building only for medical appointments or meals,” Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore wrote in an email to students who have indicated they plan to go home for Thanksgiving and return to campus after, according to BU Today. “Violations of this advisory may result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension.”

Northeastern University is also asking students who travel for Thanksgiving to consider finishing the semester remotely, according to an email sent to students and staff.

For students who decide to return to campus, they will need to take a COVID-19 test and quarantine. Four days after they return, they’ll take another test. They can return to in-person classes and other activities after that test comes back negative, the email says.

Amanda Kaufman can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.

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University students in Wales offered rapid Covid testing before Christmas travel


Students at Welsh universities will be asked to undergo rapid coronavirus testing before returning home for Christmas, the Welsh Government has said.

Universities will also end the majority of “in person” lessons in the week ending December 8, allowing time for students who test positive to isolate for 14 days before reuniting with their families.

Students will also be asked to minimise their social contact with others in the run up to the end of term and told to sign up for the new Lateral Flow Test pilot from their university if they plan on travelling home.

PA infographic showing daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)

The self-administered test delivers results in 30 minutes and uses a nose and throat swab.

The test should be taken within 24 hours of a student’s intended travel date, with testing facilities set to become available at participating universities within the next few weeks.

Travel should be planned for no later than December 9, the Welsh Government said, allowing time to rearrange plans in case students need to self-isolate.

Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said each of the UK’s four governments had worked together on university Christmas travel but would announce their own plans separately.

Ms Williams said: “We have been working with the other nations to ensure that all students, no matter where they live or study, are treated fairly and can travel home as safely as possible.

“We are also working with our universities to roll out the asymptomatic mass testing pilot before the end of term.

“I would encourage students to sign up for the testing pilot to make returning home at the end of term easier.

“I have been determined that students here in Wales are able to spend the holidays where they most want to, in a safe way, and these arrangements will allow that to happen.”

The Welsh Government will also communicate directly with Welsh students at universities elsewhere in the UK.

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Coronavirus: NI students in England can travel home for Christmas

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Thousands of Northern Ireland students at English universities can travel home for Christmas in early December.

That is according to newly published guidance from the UK government.

A “student travel window” will be in place from Thursday 3 to Wednesday 9 December.

According to the most recent statistics from the Department for the Economy there are more than 12,500 students from Northern Ireland at English universities.

However, as those figures date from prior to the coronavirus pandemic some Northern Irish students may already be studying remotely at home.

Mass testing

Those currently living in England have now been told they can travel home to spend Christmas with their families after the current lockdown in England ends on Tuesday 2 December.

Until then, they must stay at their term-time address.

All English universities are expected to offer online teaching by 9 December so students can continue study at home if necessary.

 ”From 3 December to 9 December, which will be known as the ‘student travel window’, students will be allowed to travel home on staggered departure dates set by universities,” the new UK government guidance states.

“The student travel window will mean students can travel having just completed the four-week period of national restrictions, reducing the risk of transmission to family and friends at home.”

The UK government has also confirmed it is planning to carry out mass testing of students for Covid.

“Tests will be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home for Christmas, with universities in areas of high prevalence prioritised,” the UK government guidance states.

“This will provide further reassurance that where students test negative, they can return home safely and minimise the risk of passing coronavirus on to their loved ones.

“If a student tests positive before their departure they will need to remain in self-isolation for the required period of 10 days.

“Moving all learning online by 9 December gives enough time for students to complete the isolation period and return home for Christmas.

“The  guidance delivers on the government’s pledge to ensure students can be with their families at Christmas while limiting transmission of the virus.”

Image caption

Mass testing at Northern Ireland universities has not been announced

It is not yet clear if mass testing will also be in operation before Christmas at Northern Ireland universities.

However, the Universities Minister in England, Michelle Donelan, said she was working with the devolved governments to ensure that all students could travel home as safely as possible.

English students at universities in Northern Ireland have been told to follow the restrictions put in place by the Northern Ireland Executive before they travel home.

The executive has yet to announce guidance for students in Northern Ireland on returning home at Christmas.

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Army Corps of Engineers supports temporarily expanding Every Kid Outdoors recreation pass to include 5th grade students

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today it will temporarily expand the Every Kid Outdoors recreation pass to include 5th grade students for the 2020-2021 academic year. This change will ensure that 5th grade students who may not have been able to make full use of the Every Kid Outdoors Annual 4th Grade Pass during the 2019-2020 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have a chance to do so during the current academic year through Aug. 31, 2021.

Fifth grade students (including home-schooled and free-choice learners) can visit the National Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/kids/fifthgrade.htm to obtain and print a paper voucher. Students should present the paper voucher at federal locations that charge a per-person entrance fee, a standard amenity fee, or day use recreation fee. The voucher admits the student, as well as traveling companions who are occupants of a single, private non-commercial vehicle or the student and three persons (16 and older) where per person fees are charged. Electronic versions of paper vouchers will not be accepted. The paper voucher cannot be exchanged for the physical Every Kid Outdoors Annual 4th Grade Pass. The voucher does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities (group picnic shelters) and events. Facilities and activities on federal recreation lands managed by private concessionaires are also not covered by the voucher.

“Today, I directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement the Interagency Pass Program at USACE-managed recreation areas to provide free access to 5th graders. We fully support the decision to expand free access in this manner to ensure that the intent of the Every Kid Outdoors program is met. USACE participation will provide an opportunity for 5th graders to take advantage of the program when they may not have been able to enjoy the use of USACE recreation areas as a result of the pandemic,” said The Honorable R. D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

A primary goal of the Every Kid Outdoors program is to bridge the growing disconnect between the next generation and the great outdoors, and to inspire children to become future stewards of our nation’s natural and historic treasures. For more information, please visit https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm.

USACE is a leading federal provider of outdoor recreation with more than 400 lakes and river projects located in 43 states. To find the USACE recreation site near you, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.


                                                                                                                    – 30 –                                    

Release no. 20-200

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