Spring semester to begin Jan. 25


Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photo

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Spring classes will begin on Jan. 25, 2021 and end April 28, as previously announced, FAS Edgerley Family Dean Claudine Gay confirmed today in a message to faculty and staff. But spring break will be reimagined in a continued effort to minimize student travel off campus to help control COVID-19. It will be replaced, instead, with five separate days off on a biweekly basis.

“(W)e anticipate that public health considerations will require us to minimize travel for our community in residence in order to manage the transmission of the virus on campus and protect our academic enterprise from disruption. This schedule supports that approach, while still recognizing the need for downtime (and time away from a screen) during the term,” Gay said.

Plans about which cohort(s) of undergraduate students will be invited to campus for the spring semester will be announced in early December when additional information about move-in and -out options will also be shared. Gay also acknowledged that departments are scenario planning for disruptions to lab research should the pandemic continue to surge in Massachusetts.

“Our spring decision must include robust contingency planning that enables us to respond quickly to changing conditions in order to protect the health and safety of our community and limit disruption to our academic activities,” Gay said.