October 13 Update on the COVID-19 Coronavirus

13 Oct 2020

October 13, 2020

Today, President Moulton sent an official statement about the college’s plans for the spring semester academic calendar:

Many of you are asking about plans for the Spring semester. To communicate as early as possible to enable planning for our students, faculty and staff, I am sharing the colleges plan for the Spring 2021 semester.

As we all well know, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. The first in over 100 years.  This calls for different behavior, special planning and making very difficult choices and decisions about what is best for ourselves and our communities.

Governor Scott has issued guidance affirming colleges and universities in Vermont “shall not” have a traditional spring break and instead seek solutions which discourage travel by students and employees beyond Vermont. ALL other colleges and universities in Vermont will not be having a traditional spring break. It appears no colleges or universities in New England are planning a traditional spring break.

I have heard from students, faculty and staff on this, loud and clear.  I appreciate that input very much. I know the modality of delivery, the lack of traditional face to face learning and a lack of a break are very stressful for many.

All students and employees will be asked to remain in Vermont during any breaks in areas with fewer than 400 cases per million or equivalent as reported on the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development restricted travel map.

Due to COVID, we will deliver classes in the same “hybrid” model we are using this fall semester. Classes will start on February 1 with remote delivery of lectures the first two weeks enabling time for residential students to quarantine on our campuses.  We will schedule lab weeks staggered throughout the semester. Faculty will communicate to students which weeks are lab weeks for their programs.

The calendar laid out below will be different for our allied health occupations, veterinary technology and professional pilots given the need for clinical and flight time. The spring schedule is now posted for most students and PN students. I very much appreciate the work this will require for faculty and staff to enable this schedule. Due to COVID, all mask, social distancing and testing protocols will be the same as the fall semester. Details on COVID protocols, move in dates, and more will be communicated to you as soon as possible.

Spring 2021 Calendar

  • Classes will start February 1, 2021 remotely. The Governor has finalized guidance indicating no colleges may commence classes prior to February 1.
  • There will be a one week vacation starting Monday, April 19, 2021. Students will be able to return home and stay home after classes end on Friday, April 16, 2021.
  • Classes resume remotely on Monday, April 26, 2021. The balance of the semester will be delivered remotely.
  • Classes will end on Friday, May 14, 2021.
  • Final exams and presentations will begin remotely Monday, May 17, 2021 and end Friday, May 21.
  • Commencement is scheduled for the weekend of May 22 and 23. There is no final decision about how Commencement will be conducted.  Much of that will be governed by the COVID virus and state regulations in place at that time.

This schedule enables a one week break for faculty and students as we heard loud and clear while also eliminating the need for a second week of quarantine.

This is a public health decision and in the best interest of our communities, geographic and otherwise.  This is NOT ideal nor the easiest nor preferred for any of us. It is however, the right thing to do under the circumstances.  Pandemics require tough decisions, altered schedules and choices we would prefer not to make. It is my sincere hope this is temporary for all of us and we will return to normal delivery soon.

Vermont and all of us at Vermont Tech have done very well thus far this semester.  We hope that too will continue in to the spring.  We truly ARE all in this together. Working together, we will get through this successfully.

I thank you for your commitment to Vermont Tech and to staying safe and healthy.