Montclair State University has made changes to its spring 2021 calendar in response to the second wave of the pandemic.
The changes include moving the spring semester’s start date to February 8 — three weeks later than the original start date; eliminating Spring Break; and ending the semester the week of May 24.
By starting the spring semester after what is expected to be the height of the winter pandemic surge, The University will be able make additional safety improvements to facilities. Eliminating spring break will also reduce the risk of spreading of the virus through spring break travel.
“I know that all of us look forward to the time, hopefully for the fall 2021 term, when the University will be able to return to our normal modes of operation,” wrote President Susan A. Cole in an email to the University community. “Unfortunately, we are not there yet. The spring term will still be governed by the demands of life in the midst of the pandemic, but we have learned a great deal about how to manage the challenges we have been given.
Students in Montclair State’s residence halls will also be required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than three days before returning in the spring.
The University is also requiring students to live on campus for the spring semester and leave only for essential reasons, in order to reduce the risk of importing the virus from off campus.
Montclair State will continue to offer both remote instruction and on-campus instruction will be offered in the spring.
“The safety protocols for the fall semester worked well for both instruction and work on campus, and that experience has provided valuable insight into how we can continue to improve on our planning,” wrote Cole. “The major elements of the plan for the spring term will incorporate all the current health and safety protocols, and will continue a balance of on-campus and remote work and study.” says Cole.
As of November 26, Montclair State University has reported a total of 134 confirmed COVID-19 cases during the fall semester; 126 students and eight employees.