June 29, 2020: Planning for Fall 2020
Dear Arcadia Community,
This is an unprecedented time in our University’s history as we prepare for welcoming students and community members this fall. I want to thank all of the faculty and staff who have organized and worked throughout the spring and summer to ensure the Arcadia experience is All-Modes Ready. As we finalize our plans, you will receive updates from campus departments, and we will centralize this information online at HealthyKnights.
On Friday, Montgomery County entered the green phase of Governor Wolf’s plan to reopen the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Arcadia will closely monitor health and safety guidelines and news for increased risk as we plan for fall. The status of opening campus to our community or visitors is as needed. We are asking anyone who needs to visit campus to practice safe social distancing and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect our community.
Employees will continue telework, as strongly encouraged by the Commonwealth, where possible. Employees will continue their unit plans of working remotely through the end of July, unless otherwise communicated by their supervisor.
Returning for the Fall Semester
We have been working to facilitate an environment and experience for you this fall that will enable students to connect with other students and the Arcadia community, given the new COVID-19 realities.
Our faculty and staff are preparing to deliver the Arcadia experience All-Modes Ready, which will facilitate an in-person, blended, and fully online fall semester. Currently, there are no plans to alter the academic calendar, with fall classes beginning as scheduled on August 31.
Our All-Modes Ready approach allows students and faculty the flexibility to mix and combine in-person, blended, and fully online learning in ways that conform to public health recommendations, respect the choices of those who want to minimize social contact, and deliver outstanding learning experiences. While more information about which courses will be offered in which modalities (in-person, blended, or fully online) is coming soon, any student who prefers to participate in classes 100 percent online and/or remotely will be able to do so, at any time during the semester.
Campus Health and Safety Guidelines
The University has prepared health and safety guidelines for reopening campus for the fall. Arcadia will adhere to our social distancing guidelines on campus and in classrooms by, for example, spacing out furniture, repurposing large indoor spaces, and creating more outdoor covered spaces. The University is setting a clear expectation that these health and safety protocols will be adhered to as an expression of care for all community members.
Residential Move-In and Orientation
Move-in days have been expanded this year to ensure social distancing and safety measures, and we have reconfigured our residence hall rooms to ensure beds and furniture are far enough apart to support social distancing in double-occupancy rooms. New resident move-in will occur between Aug. 14 and Aug. 26, by appointment only; returning resident student move-in will occur between Aug. 14 and Aug. 30, also by appointment only. Orientation will be offered in an All-Modes capacity to facilitate participation by students both remotely and in-person. All resident students will receive information about making a move-in appointment during the week of July 6.
Athletics is working in conjunction with the NCAA and Middle Atlantic Conference to develop guidance for fall sports. This information will be communicated to student-athletes and the University community when it becomes available. An update should be available in mid-July. In the interim, all Arcadia athletics facilities will remain closed through at least July 31.
Join Arcadia for an information session and an opportunity for our new and returning students and their families to ask questions, Returning to Campus This Fall: Keeping Healthy and Safe, on Thursday, July 9 from 6 to 7 p.m. The webinar will cover what All-Modes Ready means for you, our campus health and safety plan, and important information on housing and student services. Click here to register for the webinar.
I hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy throughout the summer. I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Ajay Nair, Ph.D.