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Foster announces tentative plan for spring ‘Flex’ semester

By Camille Furst

The spring 2021 semester is tentatively scheduled to be a hybrid form of both on-campus and remote learning, College President Kathryn Foster announced in a campus-wide email on Thursday, Oct. 29. 

This comes after a fully remote fall semester due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has made unprecedented changes to daily college life for many.

Over the summer, Foster also announced a similar plan for reopening the campus in the fall, but a subsequent spike in New Jersey’s case numbers led Gov. Murphy to withhold the state from entering into Phase 3, made administrators forego the tentative plan and remain online.

The tentative plan for a spring ‘Flex’ semester includes safety protocols, including face coverings, regular tests and social distancing (Lara Becker / Managing Editor).

“Plans work only when the community makes them work,” Foster said in the statement to the campus community. “All members of our community must take to heart and act accordingly given to truisms — that we are near-certain to have cases of Covid-19 on campus in spring, and that we can minimize the number, spread and implications of these cases by following the protocol and policies that TCNJ has put into place.”

What will the spring look like?

Members of the campus community are required to participate in virtual Covid-19 training modules if not already completed. Safety protocols of face coverings, social distancing, daily self-health checks and “weekly rapid” testing will be enforced, according to Foster, who stated that “presence on campus this spring will be a privilege and not a right.”

The spring semester is tentatively scheduled to begin one week later than usual, on Feb. 1, with exams ending as regularly scheduled, on May 18. Spring break will tentatively be shorter than usual. Foster also said that plans for the Class of 2021’s commencement will be announced in the coming months.

Details for the upcoming semester’s plans can be found on the College’s “Spring Flex” webpage.

“What a disconcerting time we are in that I write of rules and constraints rather than freedoms and wants. I join you in yearning for a time before long when we can gather again as a community beyond Zoom,” Foster said. “The coming three months will no doubt bring more issues and ideas to which we will respond. Thank you in the meantime and once again for your input, understanding and commitment to TCNJ. These mean so much to me and all, and I look forward to joining many of you on campus this coming spring.”



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