George Washington University plans to welcome students back to campus this fall, with some significant changes to the academic calendar.
The university submitted its reopening plan to D.C. at the start of July and is awaiting final approval.
As part of the plan, in-person classes for the fall semester would begin Aug. 31 and end when students leave for Thanksgiving break. Students would then transition to virtual instruction for two more weeks after Thanksgiving.
“That way, we don’t have students traveling home and coming back and possibly bringing a recurrence of the virus back to campus,” GWU President Thomas LeBlanc said.
Classes would also be held Labor Day, and the fall break plans to be canceled, reducing travel to and from campus and maximizing in-person instruction time.
According to the plan, the university would require everyone on campus to wear a cloth mask when in public areas and practice social distancing.
GWU would also implement widespread testing for students and require seasonal flu vaccines for students, faculty and staff.
The full 33-page plan submitted to D.C. includes additional safety measures and details of how classes and schedules would be rearranged to allow for social distancing.
“We’re kind of learning as we go. Our GW community has been remarkably resilient,” LeBlanc said.
“Given the emergency nature of this and the speed with which it all took effect, it’s been remarkable how well our community has responded to this.”
The university announced alternative schedules that meet professional accreditation requirements will be in place for the School of Nursing, College of Professional Studies, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and GW Law.
GW also said it’s making accommodations for at-risk students and faculty, and expanding online options.
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