Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is updating and changing its plan for in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester. The college has sent all students an email outlining new protocols and guidelines for how and when students will return.
“We want our students and families to know that their health and safety as well as their academic, athletic and co-curricular experiences are at the forefront of our minds as we continue to plan for what the fall will look like at The Woods,” said Janet Clark, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and student life. “We are following ever emerging best practices for colleges and universities across the state and nation during the COVID-19 pandemic as we seek to reopen responsibly and with intentionality.”
New students will move in on August 14 and the majority of others will arrive on August 16. Student athletes, international students and resident assistants will move in at separate times, with all protocols designed to minimize interaction and provide for proper social distancing.
The fall calendar will be changed as well, with in-person classes on August 18 and continue through November 20 when students will return home. A week long Thanksgiving break is planned, with students finishing the last two weeks of the semester remotely. There is no fall break scheduled.
The college is planning on using new spaces for classes to allow for proper social distancing, and time to clean and sanitize rooms between classes. O’Shaughnessy, The Woods Cafe and The OSC dining halls are being reengineered to meet safety standards and students will either be served or carryout options will be available.
College administration is recommending everyone to wear a mask in public space and common areas, with masks to be provided for all students, faculty and staff. Using masks in classrooms will be determined on a department-wide basis. Women’s and men’s soccer and women’s and men’s cross country and volleyball players will move in August 10, with all athletes being required to follow NAIA and USCAA health and safety guidelines. The fall schedule of sports have yet to be determined.
Clark says contingency plans are also in place.
“We realize plenty of unanswered questions remain, but please know our faculty and staff are focusing on finalizing the details for Fall 2020 to allow for a safe and healthy experience,” said Clark.
The college’s plans for reopening are outlined here.