This message was sent by Kim Cassidy, president of Bryn Mawr College, and Wendy Raymond, president of Haverford College, on Sept. 29, 2020.
To the Bi-College Community:
We write today to thank you all for a strong start to the fall semester and to share our academic calendar for the spring.
Because of your care for our shared community, Bryn Mawr and Haverford have been able to offer the option of residential education during this extraordinary fall. That is no small accomplishment: many of our students feel better served by the space and supports of a residential experience, and many of our faculty chose in-person pedagogical components for students able to be on campus. Thank you for the concern you are showing one another, which makes this possible.
We know that you need to begin planning for spring 2021. Today, we can share a broad-stroke timeline for the spring semester, to be followed soon by more details. The Bi-Co Continuity Planning Group, a working group that includes faculty and staff from both institutions, has reviewed feedback from both campuses, and each college’s faculty discussed draft calendar proposals at their September meetings. To continue to follow current public health guidelines, which seem likely to be in effect this spring, the Group approved an extension of the Bi-College’s current educational approach along with the following key dates:
- Friday, January 29: First Day of Class
- Friday, January 29-Sunday, February 14: All Classes Remote
- Thursday, April 29: Last Day of Class
- Friday, April 30-Saturday, May 8: Reading Days and Finals
- Saturday, May 15: Commencement
To allow for a controlled return and any necessary quarantines, we will stagger student move-in as we did this fall. To reduce travel during the semester, we will not have spring break this year, but we will encourage faculty to coordinate efforts to offer a lighter workload at some point during the semester. While there may not be a traditional spring break, there can be a moment for rest and restoration. In accordance with current guidelines, all final exams will be remote, and residential students who are not seniors will leave campus housing by Sunday, May 9. Due dates for submitting grades remain unchanged.
This plan depends on the continued effectiveness of our preventive measures — checking symptoms, wearing masks, maintaining at least six feet of distance, washing hands and surfaces frequently, and taking note of any close contacts. We continue to monitor these as well as our symptomatic and asymptomatic test results, the positive test rates of our local environment, and available isolation space; evidence that we are protecting our shared community’s health continues to be a prerequisite for in-person classes and on-campus residency.
Additional details will be shared in the weeks ahead, and we encourage you to contact your supervisor, dean, or provost with questions and concerns that may help everyone to plan more efficiently and effectively. We are aware that departments have their own rhythms and that students will need to know specific move-in dates. These and other details will be coming soon, as we tailor this general timeline to meet individual and collective needs.
Again, we thank you for your excellent work and care for each other. We are very grateful to be part of this thoughtful and committed BiCo community.