Task Force Message: Maintaining safety as Spring 2021 term begins
January 02, 2021
As we begin the new year together in our efforts to bring education to our community during the pandemic, we hope you have enjoyed the holiday season and have already started a better new year. We appreciate how our community pulled together during all of the challenges of 2020. Our community’s care and concern for each other has kept us safe and able to provide what students needed without interruption since last March, enabling thousands of students to complete their degrees and certificates, and for others to stay on track to achieve their educational goals. The resilience we have shown has proved it will carry us forward in challenging circumstances while we hope for a better year in 2021.
As the winter break quickly comes to an end, we are writing to you today to encourage you to continue taking the safety precautions we know make a difference. We are sharing important reminders about safety, health, and logistics, as our community continues to successfully weather the pandemic.
We hope you have enjoyed the break while following safe health guidelines as outlined by the CDC or public health authorities in your country. Following these health guidelines prior to your return to campus not only keeps you safe but will be essential in keeping our community safe.
We want to remind the community that we will begin Spring 2021 classes according to the dates outlined in the 2020-2021 academic calendar (the U.S. version can be found here). Be aware that some international campuses and specialized programs have slightly different start and end dates, but most students will follow that schedule. Generally, graduate classes will resume on Jan. 4, and undergraduate classes will resume on Jan. 11. Residential students at the main campus in Webster Groves will be able to return to their campus residences as of Jan. 9.
Students and faculty will return to classes in a variety of modalities, including in-person instruction, as outlined in the Spring course schedule. The University continues working in consultation with base commands at extended campus military sites in the U.S. and with public health officials in all of our locations worldwide as decisions are made about health and safe course delivery options for our community.
Following the guidance of public health officials and base commands at all of our locations, the Task Force on Transition and Adaptability and other key personnel will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments during the new semester. If any modifications to Spring plans are necessary, the Task Force will notify the community as soon as possible through our email system.
Because of the cooperation of students, staff and faculty, our community successfully navigated the Fall semester. We are grateful for that and thank each of you. We hope to replicate that experience in the new semester. Continued adherence to the University’s COVID-19 protocols will be essential to that success; now is not the time to relax our safeguards. These protocols include: completing a daily health assessment; wearing a mask in public spaces; and maintaining social distancing; along with other details that can be found on the University’s COVID-19 resource pages. Once again on the main campus, building assistants will be stationed at entryways to monitor health assessments and temperatures.
We look forward to welcoming you back to campus in a few short days. We will have another successful semester as we all work together to keep our community healthy and safe while advancing our educational mission. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
The Task Force on Transition and Adaptability