Planning for Fall 2020

July 17, 2020

Dear Saint Mary’s Students,

As we approach the start of the fall semester, I would like to update you on our decisions and actions in response to the local and statewide conditions we have been regularly monitoring.

As you know, we have been preparing to move forward with our current plans to offer a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses, and to prepare to welcome students in our campus residences. We know you are currently registering for your fall classes and selecting the mode of instruction to best support your academic needs. You should continue to do so, and consult with your academic advisor if you need assistance.

We also know the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable; thus, as part of our contingency planning—involving faculty, staff, and students—we have established a number of important internal and external indicators and benchmarks to guide our decision about the best possible approach.

If these indicators suggest that it will not be safe to bring students back to campus, we will begin fall classes online while continuing to monitor these indicators about a possible return to a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses when it is safe to do so. Likewise with campus housing, if it is not possible to move students on campus on our scheduled dates, we will postpone the move-in dates until we are confident that students can safely reside on campus.

The indicators that we will use for this decision include external factors such as county and state infection data and projections, and rulings or guidance as they pertain to higher education. Internal indicators include testing capacity and the availability of appropriate housing, classroom, and work spaces needed for physical distancing and quarantine/isolation, among other things.

We are committed to providing students with a transformative educational experience. Whether in-person or online, a Saint Mary’s education is unmatched: Our faculty and student development professionals continue to keep students as their highest priority. We are also committed to protecting the health of students, faculty, staff, families, and other members of our community. A determination regarding the specifics of when and how we open for the fall semester will be announced the first week of August.

Thank you for your patience and resilience as we continue efforts to make fall reopening a reality. Everyday we are meeting the challenges we are facing, and I know that we will emerge stronger at Saint Mary’s because of these important endeavors.

In the spirit of De La Salle,
James A. Donahue

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