LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Sunday morning, Randolph College announced its decision to implement online courses for at least two weeks once students return from spring break.
Randolph College announced on Tuesday, March 10 that students would not resume classes on Monday, March 16 and that spring break would be extended an extra week. In addition, school officials promised to make a decision about switching to online classes by Thursday, March 19.
However, in the words of Randolph College President Bradley Bateman, “Since that time, the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has only accelerated, and all public health officials are recommending that social contacts be limited to help keep the pandemic from spreading even more rapidly. These factors have led me to decide that the only responsible action for us at this current time is to transition to online courses, at least temporarily.”
From Monday, March 23 until Friday, April 3, students will engage in online learning, according to Randolph College. Depending on how the coronavirus situation progresses, school officials say they will decide whether or not to extend this remote instruction period by Tuesday, March 31.
While home is the safest place for most students, the college says that some students face extenuating circumstances that make it difficult to return home. Therefore, students who want to remain on campus during the initial period of online learning can fill out the COVID-19 Special Accommodations Request Form.
Since the point of remote instruction is to maintain a physical distance from others, Randolph College has canceled all campus events and banned any kind of gatherings during this time. According to school officials, any students permitted to stay on campus are required to sign an agreement to follow these rules or face immediate removal from campus.
School officials created a COVID-19-focused website and an FAQ to help provide resources and answers to any questions from students or parents. During this period of online instruction, the college strongly encourages that students check their email on a daily basis for information from faculty and staff.
“This is new territory for all of us, but the entire College community is working together to create the best possible experience for our students given these difficult circumstances. We appreciate your goodwill and patience as we all adapt to this temporary new normal,” says Bateman. “If we were not in the midst of a global pandemic, we would not ask this of you. But we are in the midst of a pandemic, and we must do our part to help fight its spread and protect the health of our community.”
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