Roanoke College announces plans for spring 2021 semester, including more in-person classes

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SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — On Monday, Roanoke College President Michael Maxey released a statement announcing the college’s plans for spring 2021, including class formats, key dates, and housing arrangements.

According to Maxey’s letter from Monday, Oct. 12, during the spring semester, students will be allowed to either live on campus or take classes remotely. In addition, while the format for classes in spring 2021 will be the same as fall 2020, school officials say they will offer more in-person classes and make a mixture of instructional formats available.

When registering for spring semester classes, the college says students will be able to see which of the following formats applies to their selected class:

  • Entirely online, either in asynchronous or synchronous format
  • Flex, where some students attend class online while other students attend in-person — with social distancing and other health protocols in place — or in a hybrid mix of in-person and online
  • Entirely in-person, with social distancing and other health protocols in place

Students can expect an email from the Registrar’s Office with details about registration — which begins on Nov. 9 — and their designated registration time. However, school officials say all students are required to schedule meetings with their academic advisors before they register for classes.

Additional key dates provided by the college for the spring semester are listed below:

  • Jan. 11-17, 2021: Move-in and testing protocols for all students
  • Jan. 16-17, 2021: Welcome Back Orientation for returning first-year students
  • Jan. 18, 2021: Events to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Jan. 19, 2021: First day of classes
  • May 1, 2021: Class of 2020 Commencement
  • May 8, 2021: Class of 2021 Commencement

In an effort to reduce travel and prevent potential spread of the coronavirus, Roanoke College says there will be no spring break, but the spring calendar has been revised to include days where faculty can give students breaks from classes throughout the semester.

As for on-campus housing and health services, Maxey explained the plans for the spring semester in the section of the letter included below:

Residence Life & Housing will email ALL students the first week of November with details on room assignments for spring semester, information about returning to campus housing, and move-in dates for all returning students. Students will need to respond to this email with their housing preference and then room assignments for those returning to campus will be made before the end of the fall semester. 

For those students who are currently at home, we are excited to welcome you back to campus if that’s what you choose. We encourage you to return to campus this spring in order to take advantage of the activities, resources and support available. It’s the personal connections, even at 6-feet apart, that make Roanoke College a vibrant and impactful place to learn and grow. You have the option, and we certainly hope you choose to be here. We want to welcome you.

Thanks to the hard work and careful actions of so many; currently, there are zero active student cases and one staff case of COVID-19. We will continue to do everything we can to maintain our low level of positive cases next semester. Of course, we are monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 and other factors that could affect our plans for the spring.

We will extend all health and safety protocols in place now to the spring semester, and we plan to conduct more testing as well. One change for the spring is that students will be required to take a pre-arrival test within five days of returning to campus in January. Students will be required to submit those results to Student Health and Counseling Services. 

As noted above, in the coming weeks, we will send additional details about move-in and pre-arrival testing for the spring semester. 

Please note, students will have until January 13, 2021 to change their decision about living on campus next semester. No refunds will be available for housing and meal plans after that time, unless the College has to send all students home, due to COVID-19, which we sincerely hope does not happen.

My thanks to everyone who worked diligently to determine the final Spring 2021 calendar and format. 

We will continue to send you regular updates as we complete the fall semester, and I look forward to seeing even more of you on campus this spring!

Michael C. Maxey, President of Roanoke College

For more information on Roanoke College’s plans for spring 2021, click here.

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