ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nazareth College has shifted the beginning of the upcoming spring semester to February 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter sent to students and families, Nazareth College President Beth Paul said the move will allow the college to “offer the full Nazareth student experience while also protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and local community.”
The semester is now scheduled to end on May 12. Students may begin moving into their on-campus housing on January 30.
The full letter to students and families is posted below:
Dear students and families,
As promised, we continue to vigilantly monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, including trends in active cases and hospitalizations in our surrounding area, the ever-evolving scientific expertise about the disease, and the professional guidance and requirements of county, state, and federal public health leaders. We have seen multiple surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our area and across the country after the winter holidays and New Year’s Eve, a concerning positivity level that will likely persist into January.
To fulfill our steadfast commitment to offer the full Nazareth student experience while also protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and local community, we have made the decision to shift the start of the spring semester to February 1.
On February 1, we will resume our engaged learning experience for a full semester (with the same number of instructional days as usual), to conclude on May 12. We will continue with vigilant COVID-19 safety protocols so as to protect our in-person learning and on-campus experiences for our students. And we will continue to prepare proactively for engaging in the COVID-19 vaccination effort and emerging from the pandemic.
Toward that goal:
Pre-semester COVID-19 testing (near your home) is required for students, on a specific timeline; students must share test result documentation with Nazareth before returning to campus. Details are on Nazareth’s Testing webpage.
Ongoing COVID-19 surveillance testing will be provided on campus for students, faculty, and staff beginning the first week of classes and continuing through the semester. Details will be communicated closer to the start of the semester.
The effective protocols and measures put in place in the Fall 2020 semester will continue, including daily online screenings and kiosk self-check-ins for everyone on campus, and health, wellness, and prevention practices such as mask wearing and physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, one-way doorways and staircases, and reminders about hygiene, including hand washing.
Spring semester schedule details:
Orientation for first-year and transfer students who will begin at Nazareth in the spring 2021 term (both commuters and those who will live on campus) will be January 15, online. Welcome!
If you are registered for hybrid courses, please watch for an email from your instructors on how the shift in start date will impact planned in-person meeting dates.
All clinical and school placements will start as originally planned (not affected by the semester shift).
Residence halls open at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 30.
New first-year and transfer students will go to the Office of Residential Life between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day to get your key, information, and be greeted by the Res Life team.
Returning students can go directly to your campus housing.
Exception: For students who need to return to campus housing earlier because they are required to be in the Rochester area for an academic requirement (student teaching, internships, field work, practicum experiences), or have a demonstrated housing insecurity, arrangements will be made through Residential Life. Fill out this Early Arrival Request Form, which will be reviewed by Residential Life staff. The same pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements apply, and surveillance testing starts when you return.
On-campus dining service resumes on January 30. (The Dining Commons is available starting at breakfast January 29 for students approved to return early.)
The semester will include two reading days. It will not include a spring break or other days off.
Commencement 2021 dates are to be determined.
While we wait for your return to campus, we want to stay in touch during January! We want to hear how you are doing, and we have a wide variety of opportunities for you to engage in:
Our virtual MLK celebration on Monday, January 18, continues as planned, centering around Mobilizing The Mind: Advocacy, Activism, & Antiracism. Please join the morning celebration, the evening talk, and make plans now to participate in our January 23 MLK Day of Advocacy.
Our staff are offering a robust schedule of virtual student workshops and activities — and will continue to add more through the month. This week’s naz.edu/winterbreak events include the racial equity challenge, social innovation design workshop, cultivating a growth mindset, core conditioning yoga, chaplain chats, a FlyerConnect workshop to help you break the ice and connect with Naz alumni, using mindfulness to build resilience, Zumba, Disney trivia, finding joy in uncertainty, learning to use our Makerspace Cricut maker and laser cutter, intro to drawdown (reversing global warming), and how to get going in 2021 (starting the semester with clear goals).
The campus and its administrative offices are open, with health and safety protocols in place. See Golisano Training Center, library hours, and building hours for more details.
We will continue to keep you updated. If you have a question that isn’t answered on our COVID-19 Resources pages, you can send it in via the form on any of those pages.
This is a time to draw on the flexibility and resilience skills we strengthened during 2020, to reach out for support as needed, and to remember that we’re all in this together, working hard for a brighter future and ready to fly on February 1!
Beth Paul, Ph.D.
President, Nazareth College