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College Calendars in the Pandemic: No Fall Break and Home by Thanksgiving

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert 511 replies3054 threads CC Admissions Expert
"As colleges make plans to bring students back to campus, alongside discussions of mask requirements and half-empty classrooms, one common strategy is emerging: Forgoing fall break and getting students home before Thanksgiving.

The University of South Carolina, Notre Dame, Rice and Creighton are among the schools that have said they will find ways to shorten the fall semester, in an attempt to avoid a 'second wave' of coronavirus infections expected to emerge in late fall.

Built into their calculations, university officials say, are epidemiological assumptions that reducing travel will help students avoid contracting and spreading the virus, and that any easing of the pandemic this summer will end with the return of flu season." ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/us/coronavirus-college-fall-semester.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage
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Replies to: College Calendars in the Pandemic: No Fall Break and Home by Thanksgiving

  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 505 replies5 threads Member
    I’m writing this on the topic without having read the article because it’s behind a pay wall. I appreciate the posting and will look for other timely sources of info on this topic.

    “Fall break” is really just a longweekend, and some schools haven’t even been doing it in the past anyway. The real difference comes from starting 2 weeks early as Norte Dame is doing. Finishing before Thanksgiving as a result then eliminates the Thanksgiving break as well. Apparently some schools will also be doing open book exams at home as a way to avoid bringing students back after Thanksgiving.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1661 replies45 threads Senior Member
    If this is what seems to be the most promising case scenario, I wish the CT colleges would be allowed to start early. Our governor actually won't let them back until 9/1, later than usual.
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  • NJdad07090NJdad07090 613 replies8 threads Member
    I assume this model also means no parents weekend? Maybe not at big football schools but smaller schools may not want vistors on campus.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24827 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Has anyone seen the actual dates for ending? Many schools used to break for Thanksgiving the Saturday before but some still did a more traditional Tues or Wed before thanksgiving for a 4-5 day break. If EVERYONE closes up school on Tues or Wednesday, that travel is going to be a nightmare.
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  • Mom22CAMom22CA 4 replies2 threads New Member
    edited May 27
    My son's school has said this too. I'm glad at least they're not saying, now in May, that they're cancelling on-campus already.

    My question is, what about after that? Is the unspoken assumption that spring semester is remote?

    I mean, I work at a school, kids ALWAYS come back from every break bringing new travel germs and there's an illness going around within a week. So I think foregoing a "fall" break is a good idea, and not trying to come back between Thanksgiving and Christmas, also great. But, they have to go back at some point, right? And whenever that is, they'll be bringing the germs (if we don't have vaccine by then).

    I was also thinking no parents weekend. :( Also the note from son's school had some read-in-between-the-lines which made me think maybe no freshman parent events. I'll be super sad about this, but if it is what we have to forego for him to get to GO to college safely, then so be it.
    edited May 27
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  • SammoJSammoJ 230 replies2 threads Junior Member
    NJdad07090 wrote: »
    I assume this model also means no parents weekend? Maybe not at big football schools but smaller schools may not want vistors on campus.

    This is a great question. Uof SC is not starting early, but has eliminated fall break, will have classes (online) the two fall holidays (Labor Day and Election Day), and will finish up online after Thanksgiving.

    Parents weekend is a huge deal, although a good part centers around the game and tailgating. If spectators aren't allowed at the game (and with that, tailgates prohibited), many families wouldn't bother anyway. I would expect it to be cancelled.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2273 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Last year, Purdue had 5 days of classes and then finals after the return from Thanksgiving. Going this route, dropping the 2 day October “break” means a net loss of 3 days. And that pre-Finals week was “dead week” - no exams, mostly review/wrap-up.

    Other than the challenges of logistics and security for finals, this makes perfect sense.

    The President has said they will limit stadium attendance to 1/4 capacity, so I’m assuming Parents Weekend will not happen. But Purdue’s not exactly a football powerhouse with rabid fans and oversold games. It’s probably a bit different at Ohio State.
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