Published: December 3, 2020
To the Thomas College Community,
It is hard to believe that the fall semester—indeed, the calendar year—is almost over. Our many months of planning and preparation combined with the determination and perseverance from each member of our community has brought us to the finish line for fall 2020: Successfully creating a safe and healthy environment to live, learn, and work on campus.
Before finals begin on December 14th, I want to begin to communicate our plans for returning to campus for the spring semester. This will be the first of several communications on this topic. Like our fall return to campus plans, as we move into late-December and early January, I, along with the Office of Student Affairs, will provide more specific and individualized details via email. Our goal is to again provide a safe campus environment for all students, faculty, and staff; and safely reopen for in-person learning for the spring 2021 semester.
The College will again take many steps to ensure the safest possible return. These include:
- Limiting campus traffic to reduce congestion and staggering our return
- Ensuring all safety protocols before and after arrival for in-state and out-of-state community members are followed
- Remaining flexible to follow any new or interim safety measures that need to be taken to ensure safety
- Communicating our robust return-to-campus COVID testing plan and schedule
Here are some of the key dates to add to your calendars for our spring semester:
- Week of January 4, 2021 – Testing for spring begins for those on campus
- Monday, January 11, 2021 – First day of online/evening graduate classes
- Monday-Friday, January 11-15, 2021 – All faculty/staff and commuter students MUST test. There are no exceptions so please plan accordingly
- Saturday, January 16, 2021 – Scheduled resident students begin to return and test upon arrival
- Sunday, January 17, 2021 – Scheduled resident students continue the return to campus and test upon arrival
- Monday, January 18, 2021 – Final scheduled resident students complete the return to campus
- Tuesday, January 19, 2021 – First day of undergraduate classes
A few additional notes for our new and returning resident students:
- Student Affairs will email a link to register for their specific return-to-campus time slot
- Social distancing and face mask protocols will be strictly enforced throughout the arrival process
- Upon arrival, all residents will be screened in the gym lobby and proceed to testing
- After testing, residents can proceed to the lobby of their residence building to check-in. Note that only residents are permitted inside and any persons traveling with the student must remain with their vehicle
While we cannot eliminate all risk, we are committed to continuing to our risk reduction approach that always prioritizes the health and safety of our Thomas College community.
In June, I remarked that the Thomas College community is both strong and resilient. We have all lived true to that ideal this fall, and I have no doubt that our amazing community will live true to that this spring.
Good luck on your final exams! Please do not forget that our Office of Student Success has many resources to help you succeed on your exams and finish the semester strong.
Please do not forget that the best gift you can give your families and communities is a negative COVID test when you return at the end of the semester. Please make sure to obtain your negative result before you return home.
For the most recent updates from the Thomas College community, please visit our COVID-19 web page at https://wwwold.thomas.edu/coronavirus. You can find more information about the Thomas College Return to Campus Safely Plan at https://wwwold.thomas.edu/coronavirus/return-to-campus. If you have questions related to COVID-19, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With deep respect,
Laurie G. Lachance
P.S. Another great holiday gift to yourself and your family is to get a flu shot