Dear Members of the King’s College Community,

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, our region, like most of the United States and much of the world, is experiencing a significant increase in new cases. The national and local acceleration in transmission of the virus is of concern to all of us. Other recent news shows that we may be moving quickly towards a time at which vaccines can protect the population from infection. Increased vigilance and caution now serve as an important bridge to safer times.

We have been carefully and constantly monitoring our own data here at King’s College, and while the number of confirmed cases at King’s College has been extremely low for most of the Fall 2020 semester, we have observed an increase in cases over the past week. In our weekly reporting, we identified 42 cases of COVID-19 among our students for the period from November 2 through November 8. The number of cases here at the College is not declining dramatically during the current week.

Mitigating health and safety risks to the King’s College Community remains a key priority, and as a result, the College has made the difficult decision to suspend in-person classes for the fall semester at the end of the day on Friday, November 13. Classes will be held in-person as scheduled for the rest of today (Thursday, November 12) and on Friday, November 13. Additionally, in-person co-curricular activities, including NCAA athletics and intramurals, are also suspended for the fall semester effective Friday, November 13. In-person classes (both hybrid and traditional formats) will resume through distance learning on Tuesday, November 17 and end as scheduled on Wednesday, November 25. Courses that are currently conducted online will continue as scheduled, including Monday, November 16.

The day without in-person classes (Monday, November 16) can be used by faculty to prepare for—and communicate with students about—transitioning their courses to distance learning. The Office of Academic Affairs will provide faculty with additional guidance and support regarding this transition to distance learning. The final exam period will be held virtually, as was previously planned and scheduled, from Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 4.

The College will remain open, and while in-person programming for students is suspended, offices can continue to operate as they have throughout the Fall semester. Faculty may continue to use their offices and on-campus facilities to provide instruction through distance modalities. It should also be noted that the Library will remain open and continue to operate. More details will be provided by the Library.

Some students are currently participating in clinicals or other in-person experiential learning. These will continue for as long as the host institutions remain in operation. Additionally, some students are taking courses through collaborative arrangements with other institutions. These also continue according to the schedules of—and through the modalities utilized by—the host institutions.

For resident students preparing to leave campus and return home for the winter break, the College has developed a departure process. The revised details of this process will soon be communicated by the Office of Residence Life. However, a few aspects of this process warrant special emphasis. Students are not required to leave campus at this time. While departures may begin as of Friday, November 13, students have the option of remaining on campus through Wednesday, November 25. There will also be a process in place for students who justifiably need on-campus housing after November 25.

Additionally, students who wish to be tested for Covid-19 prior to returning home can be tested. This is not available immediately, but a process is being put in place, and details will soon be communicated by the Student Health Center. Please do not contact the Student Health Center directly about this matter at this time, but instead wait for their directions to be communicated.

Please know that this has been a difficult decision. As the pandemic continues, so does our uncertainty. In such moments, circumstances sometimes necessitate swift changes. With this change, we ask for your understanding and collaboration. Along the way, additional information will be forthcoming from campus leaders.

To summarize:

  • In-person classes are suspended effective at the end of the day on Friday, November 13.
  • In-person co-curricular activities, including NCAA athletics and intramurals, are also suspended effective Friday, November 13.
  • Classes currently online continue as scheduled.
  • In-person classes will resume through distance education on Tuesday, November 17. Faculty will be in touch with students with information about how their individual classes will operate.
  • Classes will end on Wednesday, November 25 as scheduled.
  • Final exams will be held remotely, as scheduled, from Monday November 30 through Friday, December 4.
  • Offices will continue to operate through December 4 as they have during the fall semester.
  • The Library will continue to operate. More details may be communicated by the Library.
  • Clinicals and for-credit experiential learning continue as long as the associated institutions are operating.
  • Resident students are not required to leave campus. They may begin to depart campus as of Friday, November 13, or they may stay on campus until Wednesday, November 25. Revised details of the process for moving out will be communicated by the Office of Residence Life. There will also be a process in place for students who justifiably need on-campus housing after November 25.
  • Students can be tested for Covid-19 though the Student Health Center prior to returning home. This is not available immediately, but a process is being put in place and will be announced by the Student Health Center. Please do not contact the Student Health Center directly, but instead wait for their directions.
  • Updated statements from college leadership will be forthcoming as needed.
  • Students are to check their course Moodle sites and email regularly for updates from instructors and from the College.

Thank you again and know of my prayers for you, your families, and our community during this challenging time.

Sincerely,
Fr. Jack Ryan, CSC