Elms College announces reopening plan for fall semester

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Elms College in Chicopee has announced a plan to reopen campus for the fall 2020 semester.

According to a news release sent to 22News, the fall semester will start on September 2 and end on December 11. From November 30 through to the end of the semester, all classes will move to online instruction and final exams will be held in an online or alternative format.

“Planning to reopen our campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic is an incredibly complex task and I want to thank all the staff and faculty members who continue to be deeply involved in the planning process,” said Harry E. Dumay Ph.D., MBA, president of Elms College. “Though the situation is still evolving and there are many unknowns, the Elms College family will join together to take on this challenge and make the fall semester a safe one for our students, faculty and staff,” said Dumay.

The release states that classes will be taught in a hybrid flexible model that gives students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, online, or both. In this model, students can choose between the options based on their personal preferences and international and non-local students will be able to continue their coursework.

“First of all, it’s like can you do it and can you do it safely? Because that’s the biggest concern is everybody’s safety and we came up with a plan that we thought was doable, especially since we’re a small college and we always had small class sizes,” said Melinda Rose, Director of Communications at Elms College.

During the fall semester the three residence halls on campus, Devine Hall, O’Leary Hall, and Rose William Hall, will be open and all rooms will be single-room assignments. First-year undergraduate students will reside in one residence hall while returning undergraduates, graduate, and postbaccalaureate students will receive room assignments in the two other residence halls.

First-year students will move in during the weekend of August 28-30 and returning students will move in between August 30 and September 1. Specific move-in times will be assigned and residential students will have the option to drop off their belongings in advance between August 15 and August 24.

Before the start of the semester, all students will also have to complete a COVID-19 checklist and students living on campus will have to complete a health screening prior to moving into the residence halls.

All students are expected to monitor and record any symptoms they might have and any positive symptoms must be reported to the Health Center. The college will have a separate living space for any student in need of quarantine.

Elms College is also implementing the follow protocols based on CDC guidelines:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting the campus
  • Students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks on the premises or in close proximity to others
  • Social distancing
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at entrances to all buildings, classrooms, and the dining hall
  • Disinfecting wipes will be available in all bathrooms, classrooms, and other shared facilities

Physical distancing policies will limit the number of individuals allowed in classrooms, lab spaces, public restrooms, residence halls, the dining hall, and other common areas at any one time. Plexi-glass will also be installed in all restrooms, in the dining hall, and in any common area.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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