Dear Curry Students and Families,

As the reopening of businesses and public spaces from the coronavirus pandemic continues across our country, I hope that you and your families are well and (safely) enjoying the start of summer.

I write to update you on the progress that our College has made on various initiatives pertaining to the Fall semester and our developing plans for your return to campus . The Return to Campus Institutional Committee (RTCC) and subgroups  have worked diligently on recommendations and plans for all areas of campus life. I am deeply grateful to all who participated for their time, energy, and exceptional service to our College in moving us forward.

What follows is an outline of our initial conclusions and plans, which have been developed with three major considerations at the forefront:

  • Safeguarding the health and safety of the entire Curry community;
  • Providing the distinctive in-person and on-campus living and learning experience that is a hallmark of our College and deeply valued by our community;
  • Understanding the need to provide options and flexible learning modalities and virtual experiences in the current environment to ensure continued student success under any circumstances.

Please note that additional communication with more detailed information will follow on many of these matters as our plans evolve this summer, from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Athletics, and others. Please continue to check your Curry email and for updates. We appreciate your patience as we work towards a successful and safe Fall semester on campus for our students!
Academics and Fall Calendar
At this time, the College is considering moving the start of the Fall semester up two weeks, to begin classes on August 17. We anticipate making this decision before June 30 and will be communicating further detailed information about the Academic Calendar to students and families immediately. The last day of in-person classes will be November 24, with residence halls closing November 25. Online exams will be scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving, with the semester formally ending on or about December 4.

Prior to November 25, for both traditional and continuing education and graduate courses, we will be incorporating a mix of face-to-face (FTF), hybrid flexible (Hyflex) and, to a limited extent, online courses in our offerings. The Hyflex model for coursework, which will include both online and FTF components for a given course, is designed to reduce contact intensity and frequency. The in-person experience for classrooms, labs and studios will be designed consistent with social distance standards as well as health and safety protocols. Please note that every effort will be made to provide first-year students with a fuller FTF experience as they begin their Curry journey.

Curry College offers an online certification process through the Faculty Center, which all faculty members will be encouraged and supported in completing before the Fall semester. Thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, and the willingness of our students to adapt admirably to a new and unfamiliar environment, our experience this spring has helped us understand better how to navigate the challenges and benefits of online teaching and learning. We will continue to improve, to evolve, and, most importantly, to safeguard our promise to deliver on a uniquely Curry educational experience.

We will also be splitting lab sections and expanding our classroom inventory to provide social distancing. Gaps between scheduled classes and labs will be expanded, as feasible, to support cleaning and disinfecting on a regular basis, and directional signage will prevent massing at points of ingress and egress. Where appropriate we will also be lowering course size caps consistent with space and facility limitations.

Further details on academic schedules and classroom safety protocols will be forthcoming. Please note that all of our Academic Support Service offices will remain staffed during normal business hours, regardless of whether study is online or on campus. We also encourage you to visit our Remote Academic Resources webpage for much more information about the many resources (technological and otherwise) that are currently available to you.

Facilities, Health and Safety
A number of safety measures will be instituted throughout all campus facilities. The following is not exhaustive, and additional measures may be implemented following federal, state, and local guidance. Signage will be posted throughout campus to support hygiene, disinfection, and wayfinding for social distancing.

  • An aggressive twice-daily cleaning and high-touch disinfection protocol for classroom and common spaces (including restrooms) will be enacted throughout campus, including in residence halls. Should a member of the campus community test positive for COVID at any time, heightened cleaning protocols, including electrostatic sprayers, will be enacted.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be provided in common areas throughout campus.
  • All HVAC systems are currently being evaluated for air cleaning capacity.
  • Plexiglass or other clear dividers will be installed in open public spaces throughout campus to protect employees and student interactions.
  • The College has sourced PPE, including reusable cloth masks and level 3 surgical masks, which will be provided to employees (including student employees).
  • All students will be provided with masks and required to wear them in public spaces (with exceptions for dining).

We realize that appropriate and effective testing and monitoring is vital to community health and safety, and that these practices and standards are evolving rapidly. The College is continuing to monitor and develop options for partnerships and other means to implement a testing program for students, faculty and staff informed by current scientific best practices. All students, faculty, staff and visitors will also be required to self-monitor and submit a daily health check. In addition, several residence hall spaces will be reserved should isolation/quarantine housing become necessary at any time due to the COVID outbreak. In this case, the College will follow the Infectious Disease Preparedness & Response Plan developed by the College’s Emergency Preparedness Committee. More information on testing and self-screening will be forthcoming.

As we consider what our Division III Varsity, Club, and Intramural athletics, as well as general fitness activity, may look like at Curry this fall, we are following guidance from the NCAA and Commonwealth Coast Conference, which will continue to evolve.

The College is preparing to enact a number of protocols for the safety of both student-athletes and the entire community engaged in athletic or fitness activity, including addressing issues of personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, visiting team access, screening, sanitary and disinfection processes, safe and appropriate care of student-athlete injuries, amongst others.

Athletics will also build in sufficient time for the medical clearance process, anticipating delays for student-athlete access to physicians and other medical personnel, as well as for distribution of sports equipment (allowing for social distancing, sanitizing and use of protective equipment). Further guidance and information on Athletics and fitness protocols will be forthcoming.

Residence Life and Campus Life
To support social distancing, the College has decided to only offer double and single occupancy rooms for the 2020-2021 academic year. Additionally, we have increased the number of single rooms available on campus, and rooms that previously accommodated three or four residents will be occupied as doubles for the coming year (eliminating all triples and quads). Additional information and details about move-in in August and other protective protocols in residence halls will be forthcoming.

We will be reducing the seating capacity for the Student Center and providing wayfinding signage to direct the flow of traffic. We are also working with Sodexo to establish criteria to provide quality dining in the safest way possible, which may include grab-and-go, take-out, delivery, reservations, and an increase of venue options throughout campus.

We realize that these precautions will represent a somewhat different and unfamiliar campus experience for our students; however, we are committed to providing the opportunities for engagement and involvement, as well as the wholehearted support, which have always been hallmarks of the Curry experience. Further information about events, as well as other campus involvement and engagement initiatives (virtual and face to face) will be forthcoming.
Our first priority is keeping our entire community, especially our students, safe. We recognize that the many precautions we, along with other colleges and universities nation-wide, will be taking for the health and well-being of our campus will represent changes for us all in how we live, learn and work at Curry, and require a great deal of flexibility. We also know that there are many factors at work that are beyond our ultimate control, and that our plans may need to be altered, should the need arise.

However, please know that the enduring mission and heart of our College, to ensure the achievement of our students in every way possible and to provide a meaningful and transformational academic and life experience, will never change. As we continue to lay the groundwork for a successful Fall semester on campus amid many challenges, I am grateful for all of the ways our community has continued to come together in that spirit.

I look forward to sharing further information and plans as they come to fruition in the coming weeks, and to welcoming you all back to our beautiful campus soon.

In the meantime, my best wishes to all for the health and safety of you and your families,
Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr.
Curry College