• Beth & Tim Manners

Fall Semester or Still Sequestered?

The Washington Post: "In a different year, incoming freshmen would already have in hand a tightly choreographed schedule for late summer and early fall: the move-in date, the orientation and, finally, the first day of classes. But on the coronavirus pandemic calendar, there are no dates yet for the next academic year. Just scenarios ... The possibilities range from a return to normalcy, which few higher education insiders believe at this point, to a fall semester with dorms shuttered and students taking classes from home until at least January." "U-Va. could start classes on Aug. 25 as scheduled, with students in Charlottesville but under new social distancing restrictions to guard public health. It could delay the semester and plan to open in person some weeks later. Or it could launch the school year without students on campus and teach remotely until circumstances allow a return. Schools everywhere face variations of these choices. All carry a degree of risk. Opening campuses, whether sooner or later, will require a plan for what to do when someone is found to be a carrier or falls ill with covid-19." "The most immediate question is how long higher education leaders can wait to make a decision. Several estimated they have until mid-June. Yale University President Peter Salovey said the school will make the call by early July ... Boston University, a private school with 34,000 students, made waves recently when it floated the possibility of opening campus in January. School officials emphasize they are focused on bringing students back in fall ... BU is consumed with planning to reopen research laboratories, clean dorm rooms, “de-densify” lecture halls and other steps."

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