Haverford College Plan for Fall Semester 2020
A message from President Wendy Raymond.
We are experiencing a year of unprecedented change here at Haverford as we prepare to resume on-campus learning for fall semester 2020-21. This summary and overview of what to expect is derived from a comprehensive set of guidelines prepared by the Dean's Office, the registrar, and the provost. Though written with students in mind, faculty, staff, and families will also need this information. Additional detail can be found on the College website's Coronavirus Hub. Going forward, the Hub, rather than email, will be our principal source for information about academic procedures and campus operations.
Summary of Guiding Principles
Students, faculty, and staff have shown great flexibility, innovative spirit, and determination in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spring semester and a summer spent planning for the upcoming academic year indicate that we are successfully meeting this challenge.
While a return to campus is most welcome, we will not be returning to the Haverford experience as we knew it prior to the arrival of COVID-19. Much has changed—and will continue to change going forward—and it's up to each of us to own our role in doing all we can to preserve the health and well-being of everyone in and around Haverford, as we find ways to thrive in spite of these and emerging circumstances.
Haverford College's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been crafted in consultation with students, faculty, and staff, is guided by four overarching principles:
- We will provide an excellent liberal arts education
- We will support the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff
- We will contribute to the greater good
- We will steward Haverford as a perpetual institution
I am struck by how these principles also apply to how we steward the College even when we are not in the midst of a pandemic. They reflect a shared commitment to sustaining our program—and one another—that dates to the College's founding. Each of us, then, is living a history even as we make history. And as I have mentioned multiple times already—and will continue to stress in the future!—all of us as individuals have the power to support the well-being of everyone else in our campus community and all the communities we touch. Our consideration and respect for others will make all the difference for us this fall.
We are asking all students to complete an enrollment survey to let us know whether they plan to return to campus or learn remotely. This survey will be emailed to you separately and must be completed by July 10. It is very important that students respond to the enrollment survey so the college can plan appropriately for the fall semester. The responses will be used to confirm housing selections for the '20-'21 school year. We will not be able to guarantee housing for any student who misses this deadline.
Classes commence Tuesday, September 8. There will be no fall break, and instead students will have a week-long Thanksgiving holiday—beginning after the last day of on-campus classes, Friday, November 20. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving but instead will finish the semester via remote learning and with final exams administered at a distance. Calendar details are now available in the new "Campus Life Health & Safety Protocols" document, and are reproduced on the Coronavirus Hub. But I would like to call out two important points regarding the calendar at this earliest stage.
First, as we have throughout this COVID-19 upheaval, we will endeavor to accommodate students who are unable to leave campus during and following the Thanksgiving holiday. As I write, nearly one hundred Fords remain on campus from the spring 2020 semester, and we will do all we can to continue to support those students who need it and gain the Dean of the College’s approval. This process will be coordinated during the fall semester.
Second, for those students who leave Haverford as of the Thanksgiving holiday, which we expect will be nearly all on-campus students, the College will provide a credit for 25% of the fall semester room and board charges. Specific billing and accounting details will be available in the coming weeks.
WHAT STUDENTS CAN EXPECT UPON ARRIVAL
- Move-in dates
August 16th - On-Hall Customs Folks & International Student Resource People (ISRPs)
August 18th - August 19th - First-Year students participating in International Student Orientation (both U.S. citizens and F1 visa holders)
August 22nd - Horizons Student Resource People (SRPs)
August 24th -August 25th - Returning F-1 students and students residing abroad
*Per CDC guidelines, all students traveling from residences abroad will need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus and will need to quarantine and symptom self-monitor for 14 days. Guidance regarding quarantine will be provided closer to the date of arrival. These arrival dates have been selected so that students will be finished with quarantine by the start of classes, barring any complications.
August 25th - Horizons First-Year participants
August 29th - Fall Pre-season athletes (pending a Centennial Conference decision; if there will be no fall sports competition, then pre-season athletes will join the schedule below for First-Year and Returning Student move-in)
August 30th - Residential Student Liaisons and Off-Hall Customs Folks
First-Year (FY) Student Move-In:
Aug 30th - Sept 2nd - All First-Years not arriving for a pre-orientation / pre-season program (on a staggered basis, dates to be assigned)
Returning Student Move-In:
Sept 2nd - Sept 7th - All Upperclass students not returning for a pre-orientation / pre-season program (on a staggered basis, dates to be assigned)
- PLEASE NOTE: All students living in College housing will be assigned a specific move-in date. Please do not plan travel arrangements until you hear from Residential Life!
- COVID-19 Screening Tests: Students who will be returning to campus must take and pass a COVID-19 diagnostic test no more than 7 days prior to arrival to campus. Details about specific testing options for students will be made available in coming weeks. Students must upload negative test results for COVID-19 to the HaverHealth Portal in order to be cleared to receive their room key. Students who test positively for COVID-19 will need to delay their return to campus until they have quarantined and are able to travel safely.
In addition, all students will be screened upon arriving on campus. If unusual circumstances arise so that a student arrives on campus without a prior COVID-19 result, they will be screened on site and quarantined for 48-72 hours until the test results are available.
COVID-19 surveillance testing of the student body will continue throughout the fall semester.
We are asking all faculty and staff who return to work on campus to be screened.
- Flu Vaccines: All students are required to receive a flu vaccination for the 2020-2021 season. Students are encouraged to receive their flu vaccine prior to arriving on campus and upload this information into their HaverHealth portal for monitoring by Health Services. The College will assist students in obtaining the vaccine if they are not able to do so before arriving on campus.
- Move-In Process: The move-in process will be staggered to help keep students and those on campus safe; time slots will be capped. Dates and details will be communicated via Residential Life in the coming weeks.
- Housing: Haverford is fortunate to have a very high percentage of singles in its residence halls, and we are working to add enough additional single rooms to accommodate all students who wish to return to campus. In the unlikely event that the number of on-campus students were to exceed the number of singles in the fall, a small number of students would voluntarily live in doubles, each as a “pod” and without needing to mask in their room, much like a family unit at home. Students who wish to live off campus may do so and would accept the additional responsibilities borne by commuting employees to maintain health and safety as they travel to and from campus.
- Social Distancing Guidelines: All students will be required to follow CDC and state guidelines regarding 6-foot social distancing, frequent hand washing, and face coverings in all campus spaces, except in your own dorm room.
- Students Residing Abroad: Per CDC recommendations, all students residing abroad will need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus and will be quarantined until their results are available.
- Visitor/Guest Policies: Guests to campus will be limited and will require pre-registration. Further details about this policy will be provided closer to the start of the semester.
- Dorm & Building Access: Students will have access to only their individual dorm, via the OneCard system. Students will need to utilize their OneCard to access administrative and academic buildings.
- Cleaning Protocols: Students will be responsible for cleaning their individual rooms and apartments. Facilities will be instituting enhanced and frequent cleaning of hallways, common spaces, and community bathrooms per CDC and Pennsylvania guidelines.
- Residential Agreement: All students residing on-campus for the Fall ’20 semester will be required to sign a residential agreement, outlining that they have read—and agree to—the College’s health and safety protocols.
Any enrolled student who chooses not to return to campus is welcome to learn remotely during the fall semester of 2020. No scheduled classes will be off-limits to remote learners simply because they are remote. Please note that some classes—such as those that are studio-based—will of necessity include equivalent assignments designed to accommodate remote learners. The class schedule has been expanded, and a small number of courses may occur during the weekend. Registration information will be available in Dean Bylander’s follow-up message.
Students should expect a mix of remote and in-person learning strategies this fall. Some faculty are teaching remotely because of underlying conditions; others are doing so because they judged that this was the best way to teach that particular course to an audience that will have in-person and remote students. For other courses, the faculty member will teach in-person (with some students being online), in some cases because of the hands-on nature of the discipline (e.g., labs and arts), or in other cases because they deem their personal presence to best suit that course. Overall, about half of all courses will be offered remote-only and the other half offered with in-person meetings that will also accommodate remote students. A list of all fall courses and their teaching modalities and revised meeting times will be available before registration begins.
Building small-group experiences is a key focus for the fall. This is equally true for both online and in-person classes. Many large classes have been subdivided into smaller sections, to avoid large Zoom sessions (for remote) or to fit into physically-distanced classrooms (for in-person). Many classes will deploy some sort of “flipped” experience in which the lectures will be recorded and posted to allow for asynchronous viewing, with in-class time (whether remote or in-person) focusing on active-learning and discussion. Examples: Bio 200 will have nine small-group discussions each week, and eight in-person lab sections; Math 118 will be flipped with seven sections (five in-person and two remote).
Some courses have been creatively restructured to meet the challenges of the moment, such as room capacities or learning remotely. Examples: Physics 213 is developing a remote option for their electronics lab that could involve shipping electronics kits to remote students; ENVS 201 will be sending remote students a field kit of scientific tools and sampling equipment to enable everyone, on or off campus, to investigate and analyze their local environment; Chamber Singers will be collaborating with several other regional liberal arts colleges in commissioning and premiering a new piece of music composed specifically to be taught and performed online.
Consortial learning. Our plan has been developed in partnership with our counterparts at Bryn Mawr College, with tight coordination and alignment wherever possible; students will be allowed to travel to BMC to take face-to-face courses, and vice-versa. Students planning to take courses at Swarthmore or the University of Pennsylvania should consult their dean about those institutions’ still-developing plans.
First week of classes. We recognize that the traditional course “shopping” experience won’t happen this fall. Instead, we’re making every effort to ensure you are able to browse course information and are given ample opportunity to adjust your schedule this summer, before the start of the semester. You may still change your course selections during the first week of the semester as you navigate the curriculum in this new way, but as you work with your advisors, we will encourage you to try to finalize your schedule by the first day of class.
Safe learning spaces are essential to our success. As noted above, we plan to reimagine and reconfigure a number of classes in order to conform to best practices for health and wellness. You can expect the following cleaning protocols:
- Classrooms will be sanitized twice daily with social-distancing seating already in place.
- Occupancy limits and cleaning schedules will be posted.
- Labs, studios, and other hands-on classes will observe strict protocols, and supplies will be provided to sanitize instruments, equipment, and devices. Social distancing with respect to occupancy will be posted.
- Libraries will be open with seating configured to support appropriate distancing. Supplies will be provided for students to sanitize high-touch areas such as computer keyboards and mice, scanners, self-checkout machines, and Jamboards.
Academic travel. All first-semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities have been cancelled. All other academic travel will be deferred or replaced with virtual experiences, unless it is essential to curricular goals and meets stringent health and safety guidelines.
Focusing on Health and Safety
All our decisions are guided by our four principles, and when it comes to our residential community, health and safety are paramount. Extensive signage across campus will remind us to observe safe practices at all times. Hand sanitizer will be readily available at entrances to buildings, while sanitizing wipes will be available in restrooms, common/break rooms and public computing areas.
As noted above, the College will be strictly limiting guests to campus. This includes residential, academic, administrative, and outdoor spaces as well as student events. Related, students are expected to limit their off-campus activity. Trips to Philly...shopping in Ardmore...every off-campus engagement puts you and others at risk.
Any one of us can only be as safe as every one of us. Here's what the College expects of anyone living or working on campus:
- Universal face covering. Until there's a vaccine, face coverings are an essential way to limit transmission and are a sign of care and respect for those around us.
- Self-monitoring for symptoms. Daily temperature and other symptom checks will be an effective way to identify the onset of illness.
- Physical distancing while socially connecting. As we’re all doing at home, we will adapt to new ways of being together with peers.
- Hand washing. As our friend the Black Squirrel will be reminding us via signage, effective hand-washing is a cornerstone of healthy living.
- Ongoing COVID-19 screening. The College will provide surveillance screening throughout the semester at no cost.
- Contact journaling. Students will be expected to keep track of your contacts throughout each day.
If a Student Contracts COVID-19
The Health Center is staffed with healthcare professionals who have the ability to test any student who is suspected of COVID-19 or is symptomatic. A student who is tested, if stable, will be relocated to a designated quarantine space on campus and monitored via daily telehealth visits while awaiting test results. If a student tests positive, they will remain in quarantine where they will have daily contact with health services to monitor their symptoms and medical needs. They will also have access to academic support, counseling, and meal service. If an illness is too severe to manage on campus, Haverford has a partnership with Bryn Mawr Hospital, to which students may be transported via ambulance at any time of the day or night. If a family member or caretaker wishes to pick up an ill student from campus, the Health Center will facilitate that process. Per CDC guidelines, students with COVID-19 may not travel on public transportation.
The Health Center will follow Pennsylvania Department of Health contact tracing protocols and will have access to the Pennsylvania State database to monitor contacts. Students in close contact (less than 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes) of a confirmed case would also be placed in quarantine. The Health Center is happy to answer any questions and can be contacted at 610-896-1089 or at HC-Healthservices@haverford.edu.
Students are well-positioned to make a critical difference in maintaining everyone's health and well-being.
- Dining Center (DC) Capacity: The DC will be open for students only, with capacity limited to approximately 100 students at one time. Seating capacity in the East and West Wings will be reduced by 70% and tables will accommodate one person each. Locations will be made available for students to eat outside, weather permitting. Some DC meeting rooms will be used as classrooms for social distancing purposes.
- Dining Center Operations: Grab-n-Go (prepared and packaged foods) will be expanded and available for pick-up in the DC Lower Level, Coop, and Library Cafe. All Grab-n-Go locations will have the same meal offerings, and students can pay for Grab-n-Go options with their meal swipes at all dining locations. The DC is exploring options for having a mobile ordering process.
- Food Allergies & Dietary Restrictions: All dietary requests and accommodations will follow the procedures previously put in place by the College. Students who have food allergies or dietary restrictions can get their meals via the Grab-n-Go and Take-Out options as well. Students with nutritional requests or questions should contact Natalie Zaparzynski (firstname.lastname@example.org), the College’s dietician.
- Meal Plan Equivalencies (MPEs): Dining Services is working to make MPEs available at all of the College’s dining locations -- DC, Coop, & Library Cafe.
Social Life and Gatherings
In the COVID-19 era we are learning new ways to connect with the people around us that minimize health risks. Our ability to hold an in-person fall semester rests on each of us acting out of trust, concern, and respect in order to reduce the chances of viral transmission. Deans and student leaders have begun the work of adapting some of our structures for next year. Gatherings will be limited to 25 or fewer students, and the availability and configuration of indoor spaces is being adjusted accordingly. We will also be adding temporary outdoor spaces in the form of one or more large tents to provide additional flexibility and opportunities for students to gather in physical community while adhering to our health and safety protocols.
Including Club Sports, Physical Education Classes & the Gardner Integrated Athletic Center (GIAC)
With approximately 30% of students participating in team sports, athletics is an integral part of the Haverford experience. The Centennial Conference expects to be making a decision about competition during the Fall '20 season by July 8, and the College will follow up with student-athletes shortly thereafter with more information.
We know how important exercise and physical fitness can be to social and psychological well-being. Guidelines for the controlled and safe use of outdoor and indoor athletic facilities are being developed by our colleagues in athletics in consultation with health professionals and consistent with public health guidance. All varsity sports, club sports, physical education classes, and other recreational activities will follow these guidelines.
We are compiling this and other details on the College’s Coronavirus Hub, where you can always find the most up-to-date information. Stay tuned for an invitation to an online town hall on July 7, with Dean Bylander, other colleagues, and me where you can ask questions. On July 8, Dean Bylander and I will also offer a town hall for family members.
My great appreciation goes out to the faculty, staff, and students who have been working tirelessly to adapt the Haverford experience to the COVID world so that students can keep their educations on track—we are all in this together.
A final reminder to students: you will be asked via email to provide your enrollment response by July 10. We will use your response to confirm housing selections for the '20-'21 school year and will not be able to guarantee housing for any student who misses this deadline.
I look forward to welcoming everyone back for the fall semester!
All the best,