October 30, 2020

Dear students and families,

I am writing with an update about spring term 2021. For students, there will be an open forum on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. when this information will be reviewed and questions will be answered. Please watch your email for the Zoom link. Though we have worked with state agencies on the plans below, it is critical that students continue to check their email over break for any potential updates or changes due to COVID-19 and guidance from the State of New Hampshire or the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Return Dates, Testing and Quarantine

Move-in dates for the spring semester will be Jan. 15, 16, 17 and 18. Residential Education will have more information closer to those dates on how to sign up for a return time. Students who live outside of New England will need to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 to 7 days of their move-in slot with them.

Once here on campus, students will need to quarantine in their rooms for seven days. After that time, those who have tested negative will be able to leave their rooms but will be confined to campus for an additional seven days. A number of activities are being planned for that second week – both educational and social – to help students occupy that time. Our hope with this two-week phased-in model is to establish a safe zone after students return from their various locations.

Academic Calendar

Spring classes will begin Monday, Feb. 1 and continue through Tuesday, April 27. Final exams will be in-person on campus April 29 and 30, and May 2 and 3. We will not have spring break; however, due to feedback from the fall semester, we will have two “breather days” on which there will not be any classes or clinicals scheduled. Those dates are Thursday, March 4 and Wednesday, April 7. A link to the full spring calendar may be found here.

Classes

Classes will return to their regular length (as opposed to the longer sessions required to get all the content in during fall semester). For classes that are too large to meet in one classroom, a few will still utilize the two-classroom model, but most will have project work to complete outside of class instead. Professors will continue to meet in-person with their classes at least once a week.

Commencement

Commencement remains scheduled for Saturday, May 8. We will work with senior class officers on various scenarios to hopefully hold this event as planned.

Athletics

Due to COVID-19 concerns, Colby-Sawyer will not be participating in winter sport competition. Winter student-athletes will have the opportunity to work-out with their teams, following a three-phased approach that is designed to ensure a safe environment amid the pandemic. This approach includes strength and conditioning, small group activity and then full-team workouts. No decision on spring sports has been made at this time.

We believe this approach to spring term gives us the best chance to create a safe environment in which students may learn in the face-to-face model.

Again, I cannot stress enough how important monitoring your email over break will be for further updates on move-in procedures as well as any modifications mandated by external agencies. The college’s COVID-19 website is another resource to check frequently.

Finally, I would like to thank the campus community for all of its efforts in making the fall term a reality. Students, faculty and staff alike have each contributed to Colby-Sawyer’s ability to deliver our courses in-person and everyone’s adherence to policies and protocols have been critical to our ability to be here together. I appreciate everyone’s efforts very much and am proud of our community.

Best regards,

Susan D. Stuebner, Ed.D.
President and Professor of Social Sciences and Education