Dear Randolph Community,
I hope you are enjoying the autumn weather. Our campus is beautiful right now, and all of us miss our students greatly. I am once again writing on behalf of the COVID-19 Task Force. The group continues to meet daily as we work to finalize plans for the spring semester.
I realize that each of you probably wants to know only one thing from me at this point: an answer to whether we are returning to campus for the spring semester. I can confidently say that the members of the task force are doing everything they can to get the answer to this as soon as we possibly can. While it is our hope and desire that we will be able to return students to campus next semester, we are still grappling with solutions to the issues that we have shared in the past, such as testing and quarantine space. The task force is currently in the process of updating our plan and developing the procedures required by the state for having students on campus. We will have a decision about next semester’s plans by Thanksgiving.
As part of the decision-making process, we have made changes to the spring semester calendar that I would like to share with you for planning purposes. Because health officials predict a rougher flu season than normal due to COVID-19, we (like numerous other schools around Virginia) have decided to adjust the dates for beginning and ending the semester. The new start date for classes will be Feb. 1. Classes will end May 7, and exams will end May 14. In order to curb travel within our community, as recommended by medical professionals, spring break will also be cancelled. A decision on a Commencement date will be made later in the year.
I would like to thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we work to find the best solutions for the College during these challenging times, and I would also like to thank the members of the COVID-19 Task Force for their diligence and commitment. This group has been meeting nearly daily since March and is committed to finding viable solutions to help us return to campus safely. This is not an easy process, and I am grateful for their expertise and devotion to Randolph.
The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted us all, and I continue to be proud of our community’s resilience and determination to make the best of a difficult situation. Please stay safe and healthy. I look forward to bringing you news about the spring semester in the coming weeks.
Bradley W. Bateman