College Announces Plans for Fall 2020

June 9, 2020

By Paul Pronovost '91

Saint Anselm College President Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D., announces that on-campus classes will resume on Aug. 19 with an adjusted academic calendar for the fall semester.

The college intends to bring students back in a phased-in manner approximately 10 days before the first day of classes, with an extensive health and safety protocol to be followed by all members of the campus community.

“Our goal is to resume the many on-campus curricular and co-curricular experiences that make Saint Anselm College the special place that it is,” Dr. Favazza said. “At the same time, we will embark on a school year unlike any other in the history of the Hilltop.”

In a letter to the Saint Anselm community, Dr. Favazza detailed a school calendar that would include beginning classes two weeks earlier than normal. In-person instruction will conclude on Nov. 20 when students depart for Thanksgiving break; classes will resume from home on Nov. 30 followed by review sessions, reading days, and final exams conducted virtually.

Plans are underway for a more robust winter session, which usually occurs during winter break, and the spring semester. It is likely we will have an expanded J-term and begin the on-ground spring semester later than usual. More details will be coming later this summer.

“While impossible to predict, as many variables can affect modeling, our Scenario Task Force focused on identifying a calendar that would meet our objective of returning to campus while maintaining the health and well-being of our community,” Dr. Favazza said.

With federal and state guidance as a baseline, the task force began assembling best practices and examples of what other colleges and universities were considering. A total of eight scenarios were reviewed over four weeks, with all but one centered on bringing students back to campus in the fall. The Board of Trustees voted on the recommendation to begin a phased-in return during the board meeting on June 8.

A number of health and safety protocols will be implemented to minimize and contain the risk, including:

  • The use of masks, social distancing and other practical measures.
  • Implementing a testing program.
  • Applying a tracing protocol to assist in limiting the spread of coronavirus.
  • Establishing a clear process for isolating students who test positive.

College leaders also are working through a number of considerations and logistics to prepare for a return to campus, including the appropriate density for housing and classroom space; cleaning and distancing protocols for athletics and other events; and health checks for those on campus, and those coming and going from campus, including faculty and staff.

Emphasizing that the health and well-being of the community is paramount, Dr. Favazza said the college will remain vigilant about COVID-19 and will make decisions throughout the year based on the spread of the disease.

“Our incredible faculty demonstrated how innovative and flexible they can be when called to pivot quickly,” Dr. Favazza said. “As we did in March when faced with this unprecedented pandemic, we will be guided by what is right for our community.

“But the Hilltop is our home. It is where we belong. Therefore, we are committed to safely bringing campus life back to Saint Anselm.”

Additional details will be available forthcoming. Current students should watch for communication from student affairs, academic affairs, and others with the details on scheduling and protocols.

For more information about the college’s plans, visit: www.anselm.edu/covid.

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