Castleton cancels spring break, changes start for spring semester

CASTLETON — On Friday, Castleton University announced that its Spring 2021 semester will feature an adjusted schedule and more options for students to receive their courses.
To keep its community as safe as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the upcoming flu season, the university will adjust its academic calendar in the following ways:
1 – The spring semester will be delayed, with classes beginning on Feb. 1.
2 – Winter Break and Spring Break will be eliminated
3 – Refresh days for faculty and students will be built into the schedule to provide breaks
4 – Courses will be delivered in a mix of modalities, including in-person, online synchronous, and online asynchronous options
5 – The semester will end with commencement on May 15, as it was originally scheduled.
Faculty members will chose the modality for their courses for the spring semester. Roughly one-third of spring courses will be taught in-person, one-half will be taught online (most with scheduled meetings), and the rest will be hybrid (a combination of in-person and online).
“Allowing our professors to choose their method of delivery creates options for students who may have varying needs and gives our faculty the opportunity to deliver their courses in the way they are most comfortable,” said Jonathan Spiro, interim president.
Castleton’s announcement came a week after Middlebury College made known it’s plans for a spring semester that is a little earlier than usual.
Officials at Castleton said their plan offers the benefits of online and in-person instruction as well as a residential campus experience. Under the plan, any student who chooses to live in the residence halls or visit campus may do so by signing the Spartan Pledge, through which every member of our community agrees to protect themselves and others through robust social distancing and face-covering protocols.
The university will also follow the recommendations and guidelines put in place by Vermont Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arriving students will again be tested and follow state travel guidelines for quarantine before joining the campus community.
Residential students and commuters to campus will again have access to the offices, services, and resources the campus provides. Those who wish to remain off-campus can remotely access services such as the Academic Support Center, Wellness Center, and Career Services.
“I would like to thank our students, faculty, and staff for their diligence in following the Spartan Pledge and helping to keep our community as safe as possible,” Spiro said. “Our community’s dedication to preserving public health has allowed us to offer more options for the spring in the safest possible way.”

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