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Published 6/30/20: Fall 2020 Academic Calendar Update

Dear Curry Students and Families,

As promised in my communication to you a few weeks ago, I am writing with additional announcements pertaining to decisions that Curry College has made for Fall 2020. We are committed to updating you as frequently as possible, and will continue to provide information as our plans continue to evolve. Please continue to check your Curry email and Curry.edu/returntocampus for updates.

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar
In the interest of safeguarding against possible adverse future public health developments, as well as meeting learning requirements and ensuring that our students receive a full and unique Curry educational experience this fall, the College has adopted emerging best practices and made the following changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar:

  • A staggered move-in to residence halls will begin on Monday, August 10.
  • Fall semester classes will begin Monday, August 17 for traditional undergraduate students.
  • The normally observed College holiday on Monday, October 12 will be cancelled. Classes will be held and offices will be open.
  • The last day of classes will be Tuesday, November 24. This will conclude all traditional undergraduate in-person and online classes for the Fall semester.
  • Residence halls will close on Wednesday, November 25.
  • Online exams will be scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving, with the semester formally ending on or about Friday, December 4.

*Note that the Continuing Education/Graduate semester will conform to the previously published Calendar for Continuing Education and Graduate Studies. Full semester (e.g. ACCEL) and Term I CE/Grad courses will begin Monday, August 31 and Term II will begin Monday, October 26. Full semester and Term II CE/Grad courses will be offered fully online in the post -Thanksgiving period ending as scheduled on Saturday, December 19.*

We understand that this abbreviated timeframe may present challenges for students and families, including the completion of health forms and other documentation to prepare for the start of the semester, and we will be flexible and work with individuals to accommodate these needs. *Please note that any financial aid for which you are determined to be eligible will not be negatively impacted by the earlier start date.*

Health and Safety
Based on current public health and scientific guidelines, Curry College understands testing, contact tracing and isolation to be three key elements of a health and safety protocol designed to help keep our community safe. With that in mind, we have established the following:

Testing: The College is partnering with the Broad Institute to facilitate testing throughout the semester for all students, faculty and staff. All faculty, staff and visitors will also be required to self-monitor and faculty and staff will receive a daily email reminder to submit a required health check via Qualtrics.

Contact tracing: The College continues to explore options to establish and maintain contact tracing for the campus community, including working with the School of Nursing and the Broad Institute.

Isolation: As previously noted, several residence hall spaces will be reserved should isolation/quarantine housing become necessary at any time due to the COVID outbreak. In this event, the College is prepared to follow the Infectious Disease Preparedness & Response Plan developed by the College’s Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Residence Life and Campus Life
As previously communicated, the College will offer only single and double occupancy bedrooms for the 2020-2021 academic year. In order to further ensure health and safety in the residence halls, several protocols (to which additions may be made) will be in place:

  • Students can expect to receive communication from the Office of Residence Life & Housing in the coming weeks regarding the details of the staggered move-in plan for August.
  • We are asking all resident students to have a personal departure plan in the event that they either display symptoms or are identified in contact tracing; details will be forthcoming from Residence Life & Housing. Students who live less than 200 miles away from Curry College should plan to self-isolate and quarantine at their homes in this case.
  • Kitchen spaces will be locked, with exceptions for specific individual dietary needs.
  • Overnight guests will not be allowed on campus this semester, with exceptions for personal care attendants or disability needs.

As always, our first priority is keeping our entire community, especially our students, safe. As plans are developed and further information becomes available in the coming weeks, we will continue to communicate with you frequently.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy July 4th holiday,

Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr.
President
Curry College

Return to Campus Updates:

Dear Curry Students and Families,

As the reopening of businesses and public spaces from the coronavirus pandemic continues across our country, I hope that you and your families are well and (safely) enjoying the start of summer.

I write to update you on the progress that our College has made on various initiatives pertaining to the Fall semester and our developing plans for your return to campus. The Return to Campus Institutional Committee (RTCC) and subgroups have worked diligently on recommendations and plans for all areas of campus life. I am deeply grateful to all who participated for their time, energy, and exceptional service to our College in moving us forward.

What follows is an outline of our initial conclusions and plans, which have been developed with three major considerations at the forefront:

  • Safeguarding the health and safety of the entire Curry community;
  • Providing the distinctive in-person and on-campus living and learning experience that is a hallmark of our College and deeply valued by our community;
  • Understanding the need to provide options and flexible learning modalities and virtual experiences in the current environment to ensure continued student success under any circumstances.

Please note that additional communication with more detailed information will follow on many of these matters as our plans evolve this summer, from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Athletics, and others. Please continue to check your Curry email and curry.edu/returntocampus for updates. We appreciate your patience as we work towards a successful and safe Fall semester on campus for our students!

Academics and Fall Calendar

At this time, the College is considering moving the start of the Fall semester up two weeks, to begin classes on August 17. We anticipate making this decision before June 30 and will be communicating further detailed information about the Academic Calendar to students and families immediately. The last day of in-person classes will be November 24, with residence halls closing November 25. Online exams will be scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving, with the semester formally ending on or about December 4.

Prior to November 25, for both traditional and continuing education and graduate courses, we will be incorporating a mix of face-to-face (FTF), hybrid flexible (Hyflex) and, to a limited extent, online courses in our offerings. The Hyflex model for coursework, which will include both online and FTF components for a given course, is designed to reduce contact intensity and frequency. The in-person experience for classrooms, labs and studios will be designed consistent with social distance standards as well as health and safety protocols. Please note that every effort will be made to provide first-year students with a fuller FTF experience as they begin their Curry journey.

Curry College offers an online certification process through the Faculty Center, which all faculty members will be encouraged and supported in completing before the Fall semester. Thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, and the willingness of our students to adapt admirably to a new and unfamiliar environment, our experience this spring has helped us understand better how to navigate the challenges and benefits of online teaching and learning. We will continue to improve, to evolve, and, most importantly, to safeguard our promise to deliver on a uniquely Curry educational experience.

We will also be splitting lab sections and expanding our classroom inventory to provide social distancing. Gaps between scheduled classes and labs will be expanded, as feasible, to support cleaning and disinfecting on a regular basis, and directional signage will prevent massing at points of ingress and egress. Where appropriate we will also be lowering course size caps consistent with space and facility limitations.

Further details on academic schedules and classroom safety protocols will be forthcoming. Please note that all of our Academic Support Service offices will remain staffed during normal business hours, regardless of whether study is online or on campus. We also encourage you to visit our Remote Academic Resources webpage for much more information about the many resources (technological and otherwise) that are currently available to you.

Facilities, Health and Safety

A number of safety measures will be instituted throughout all campus facilities. The following is not exhaustive, and additional measures may be implemented following federal, state, and local guidance. Signage will be posted throughout campus to support hygiene, disinfection, and wayfinding for social distancing.

  • An aggressive twice-daily cleaning and high-touch disinfection protocol for classroom and common spaces (including restrooms) will be enacted throughout campus, including in residence halls. Should a member of the campus community test positive for COVID at any time, heightened cleaning protocols, including electrostatic sprayers, will be enacted.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be provided in common areas throughout campus.
  • All HVAC systems are currently being evaluated for air cleaning capacity.
  • Plexiglass or other clear dividers will be installed in open public spaces throughout campus to protect employees and student interactions.
  • The College has sourced PPE, including reusable cloth masks and level 3 surgical masks, which will be provided to employees (including student employees).
  • All students will be provided with masks and required to wear them in public spaces (with exceptions for dining).

We realize that appropriate and effective testing and monitoring is vital to community health and safety, and that these practices and standards are evolving rapidly. The College is continuing to monitor and develop options for partnerships and other means to implement a testing program for students, faculty and staff informed by current scientific best practices. All students, faculty, staff and visitors will also be required to self-monitor and submit a daily health check. In addition, several residence hall spaces will be reserved should isolation/quarantine housing become necessary at any time due to the COVID outbreak. In this case, the College will follow the Infectious Disease Preparedness & Response Plan developed by the College’s Emergency Preparedness Committee. More information on testing and self-screening will be forthcoming.

Athletics

As we consider what our Division III Varsity, Club, and Intramural athletics, as well as general fitness activity, may look like at Curry this fall, we are following guidance from the NCAA and Commonwealth Coast Conference, which will continue to evolve.

The College is preparing to enact a number of protocols for the safety of both student-athletes and the entire community engaged in athletic or fitness activity, including addressing issues of personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, visiting team access, screening, sanitary and disinfection processes, safe and appropriate care of student-athlete injuries, amongst others.

Athletics will also build in sufficient time for the medical clearance process, anticipating delays for student-athlete access to physicians and other medical personnel, as well as for distribution of sports equipment (allowing for social distancing, sanitizing and use of protective equipment). Further guidance and information on Athletics and fitness protocols will be forthcoming.

Residence Life and Campus Life

To support social distancing, the College has decided to only offer double and single occupancy rooms for the 2020-2021 academic year. Additionally, we have increased the number of single rooms available on campus, and rooms that previously accommodated three or four residents will be occupied as doubles for the coming year (eliminating all triples and quads). Additional information and details about move-in in August and other protective protocols in residence halls will be forthcoming.

We will be reducing the seating capacity for the Student Center and providing wayfinding signage to direct the flow of traffic. We are also working with Sodexo to establish criteria to provide quality dining in the safest way possible, which may include grab-and-go, take-out, delivery, reservations, and an increase of venue options throughout campus.

We realize that these precautions will represent a somewhat different and unfamiliar campus experience for our students; however, we are committed to providing the opportunities for engagement and involvement, as well as the wholehearted support, which have always been hallmarks of the Curry experience. Further information about events, as well as other campus involvement and engagement initiatives (virtual and face to face) will be forthcoming.

Our first priority is keeping our entire community, especially our students, safe. We recognize that the many precautions we, along with other colleges and universities nation-wide, will be taking for the health and well-being of our campus will represent changes for us all in how we live, learn and work at Curry, and require a great deal of flexibility. We also know that there are many factors at work that are beyond our ultimate control, and that our plans may need to be altered, should the need arise.

However, please know that the enduring mission and heart of our College, to ensure the achievement of our students in every way possible and to provide a meaningful and transformational academic and life experience, will never change. As we continue to lay the groundwork for a successful Fall semester on campus amid many challenges, I am grateful for all of the ways our community has continued to come together in that spirit.

I look forward to sharing further information and plans as they come to fruition in the coming weeks, and to welcoming you all back to our beautiful campus soon.

In the meantime, my best wishes to all for the health and safety of you and your families,

Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr.
President
Curry College

Dear Members of the Curry College Community,

As you are likely aware, as the stay at home order for the state of Massachusetts expired on May 18, Governor Baker instituted a “safer at home advisory” and rolled out a 4-phase plan for reopening. This plan did not explicitly include guidance for institutions of higher education; however, we expect that further guidance will follow in the coming weeks as phase 1 unfolds.

Please note that although the Governor’s plan includes provision for offices to reopen on May 25, Curry College will NOT be asking employees to return to campus at that time. All employees not designated otherwise should continue to work from home. You will be notified when we are ready to begin to transition employees safely back to campus.

Campus is at this time still closed to students, faculty and staff. If you need to retrieve work materials or personal belongings, please communicate with your Senior Staff member for approval. Please be sure to bring your Curry College ID card, your keys and a mask with you. You will be asked to identify yourself to gain access.

In accordance with the general Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards included in the reopening plan, the Return to Campus Institutional Committee (RTCC) and subgroups are working hard on recommendations for precautions to ensure your safety and security upon returning to campus, and to prepare for that transition. These include social distancing office protocols, hygiene protocols, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, PPE, and staffing and operations guidelines, amongst other considerations. That work is currently ongoing.

We realize that many questions remain, and the RTCC is working to develop answers as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please be assured that we will be proceeding with adherence to all state guidance, as well as to Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines, and with the utmost concern for the health and safety of our entire community. Further information about campus safety protocols and precautions will be forthcoming.

Best wishes to all for the health and safety of you and your families,

Mirlen Mal
Vice President of Human Resources
Chair, Return to Campus Institutional Committee

Realizing that the public health situation may develop in a number of ways over the coming months, Curry College is actively planning to resume campus operations and for a return to campus in the fall. With this in mind, the College has convened a Return to Campus Institutional Committee (RTCC) chaired by Mirlen Mal, Vice President of Human Resources, with members:

Sarah Augusto, Associate Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice
Maryellen Kiley, Vice President of Student Affairs
Michael Loconto, College Counsel
William Nancarrow, Professor, Politics and History
Robert O’Connell, AVP of Buildings and Grounds        
Michelle Adams O’Regan, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
David Rosati, Vice President of Finance and CFO
Erin Simmons, Director of Health Services
Patricia Stephens, Professor, Writing Program
David Szczerbacki, Provost
Diane Webber, Faculty Chair and Professor, PAL

The Committee’s charge is to prepare for faculty, staff, and students to return under several possible scenarios, in accordance with public health recommendations and federal and state government mandates and guidelines.

The RTCC has already begun its work, initiating subgroups comprised of faculty and staff members ( a complete list may be found here) , who will make recommendations and develop plans regarding:

Academic Affairs
Residential and Campus Life
Technology
Facilities (including campus access and housekeeping)
Athletics
Business Offices

These recommendations will be made to the Institutional Committee, with the goal of ensuring the safety and security of our campus and our community this summer and in the fall. To inform these, we will be proceeding in compliance with all further recommendations and guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as with adherence to all Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines.

Whatever the future holds, we look forward to continued success for Curry College. Thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, and the willingness of our students to adapt admirably to a new and unfamiliar environment, which are testaments to the strength of our Curry community, our experience this spring has prepared us to navigate the challenges that lie ahead of us together. We will continue to improve, to evolve, and most importantly, to safeguard our community and our promise to deliver on a uniquely Curry educational experience.

As decisions are made, we will be communicating them to the entire Curry community, realizing that they will impact us all as we move forward.