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Academic Affairs Spring Update

Students, staff, and faculty have done an amazing job of keeping the campus community healthy throughout the pandemic while sustaining the academic enterprise. We should all be very proud of the commitment and personal responsibility evident in our students’ conduct. Without that, we would not have been able to avoid the campus closures and worrisome infection rates that so many other college campuses across the country have experienced.

Given our record of no documented cases of classroom transmission, the university would like to offer the option of in-person instruction after spring break, which takes place the week of April 12-16. Around 40% of our faculty who are teaching in-person intend to offer students this option.

All faculty members currently teaching classes with an in-person component have communicated their post-spring break plans both to the university (for cleaning protocols) and to their students. Please know that returning to campus for the final two weeks of classroom instruction is strictly optional, both for faculty and for students. Any student who is unable or unwilling to attend a class for which the in-person option is available will be accommodated through synchronous remote instruction and remote assessment, consistent with the original plan for the end of the semester. For those students, the semester will wrap up as they had envisioned from the start.

Campus-resident students will be required to test for COVID April 19-23 (temporary testing exemptions may be granted in certain circumstances). Students living off-campus will not be required to be tested prior to returning to the classroom, due to the demonstrated lack of classroom spread.

Looking ahead to Fall 2021, we will be returning to 80% capacity for in-person instruction, compared to the 50% of capacity that’s been in place for the 2020-21 academic year. While the vaccine roll-out is inspiring a higher degree of confidence in a return to some form of normalcy in the months to come, the university will retain the flexibility necessary to decompress classrooms in the event of any resurgence of community spread. We strongly encourage all students to be vaccinated at their earliest opportunity.

For classes that don’t have an in-person learning component, greater emphasis will be placed on synchronous teaching and learning. We heard from students that they prefer the structured schedule that regular class meeting times provide and the real-time interaction provided by synchronous remote classes, and we are responding to that feedback.

Thank you for supporting our students through this truly unprecedented time and for being a strong partner to Boise State.