Spring 2021–Return to Campus Details for Faculty & Staff

Dear Champlain colleagues,

As we transition into 2021 and the spring semester, I want to provide a few updates as it relates to our COVID-19 risk mitigation efforts and plans to ensure the health and safety of our students, employees, and our surrounding community in the months ahead.

We continue to monitor the national and local landscape of COVID-19. We are encouraged by the roll-out of the vaccine here in Vermont, and yet we are concerned about the recent post-holiday surge in cases and the new variant of the virus. Our approach to our return-to-campus this spring is informed by the learnings we had from our successful fall return-to-campus, as well as the latest guidance from the state of Vermont. Our current plans remain consistent with what we shared in October, with the understanding that we are monitoring local and regional conditions on a daily basis and these plans are subject to change based on city and state guidance.

We sent our students an email today with information about what to expect for spring semester, including important dates for move-in and the start of spring semester, testing and health screening protocols, the revised Community Health Pledge, status of campus services, and class schedules. Key dates are as follows:

  • Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24: Move-in for residential students quarantining on campus.
  • Monday, January 25: Spring semester classes begin virtually.
  • Thursday, February 4 and Friday, February 5. Move-in for residential students quarantining prior to arrival.
  • Monday, February 8: In-person instruction begins for courses with a classroom-based course design.
  • Friday, May 7: Spring semester ends.

In order to protect the safety of our entire community—we will begin with a fairly restricted campus experience and ideally move to one that allows for more freedoms over the course of the semester. This phased approach will allow us to establish a healthy community while following state guidelines. These restrictions will be different than what students experienced this fall.  

At the beginning of the semester, until a healthy community is established, no guests of any kind will be permitted in residence hall rooms (including those living in the same residence hall).  Residential students are not permitted to visit students or family members living off-campus in their homes. Similarly, off-campus students should not be visiting family or other students in their off-campus homes. Throughout the semester, we will continue to evaluate our community and the state guidance and ideally phase in guest privileges.

In the earliest phases of the semester, the College definition of ‘household’ is restricted to those students you share a room or suite with. As the semester progresses, we will expand this definition to allow for larger groups of students to gather. 

Phases 1–2 are briefly outlined below. Additional phases will be established and communicated over the course of the semester. The dates provided below are preliminary and subject to change.

Our approach to campus life is reflective of current restrictions in the state of Vermont and also specific guidance provided to colleges by the Governor’s office. 

Phase 1: Campus Quarantine

This spring, we will be taking a phased approach to the campus reopening with restrictions to allow us to protect the health and safety of our community in alignment with state guidelines. Phases 1–2 are briefly outlined below. Changes to these phases will be communicated to students and published on The View over the course of the semester. The dates provided below are preliminary and subject to change. 

Phase 1a: Campus Quarantine (January 23–at least February 3)
During this phase, our physical campus will be closed to visitors and Champlain College students living off-campus. Faculty and staff who may be accessing campus resources during campus quarantine are not permitted to interact with any student in quarantine. During this Phase, residence hall common areas are closed and students should remain masked even in their apartment common space (194 St. Paul Street). Our goal during Phase 1 is to limit in-person interactions while we transition residential students and employees back to campus and re-establish our surveillance testing program. During this Phase, residence hall common areas are closed and students should remain masked even in their apartments.  

Campus services will be available as follows during Phase 1. Please see the Campus Operations FAQ on The View for specific facility hours:

  • Campus Store: The Campus Store will be open for contactless book pickup, but not for casual browsing. Commuter students are encouraged to pick up orders prior to January 23 to avoid contact with students quarantining on campus.
  • Dining: The dining hall will be closed with the exception of offering take away meals for residential students who are in campus quarantine. 
  • Engagement Activities: Outdoor on-campus, socially distanced engagement activities will be planned and posted on the View events calendar.
  • Library: Contactless pick up service will be available, but the physical space will not be available. 
  • Labs: All campus labs will be closed.
  • Shuttle: The shuttle will be available on move-in days to allow students to drop their vehicles at Lakeside, and during the week for the purpose of transporting students residing at 194 St. Paul Street to and from testing only.

Phase 1b: Transition Out of Campus Quarantine (appx. February 3–7)
Phase 1b will begin when Day 7 tests for all quarantined students have been returned. Students who quarantined at home, or who were not required to quarantine, will return to campus. Students who quarantined on campus will be allowed to leave campus to travel downtown, to the grocery store, etc. Campus services will remain available as described above. 

Phase 2: Post-Campus Quarantine (no earlier than February 8–TBD)
In-person instruction is permitted to begin for those sections with a classroom-based component to the course design. Faculty can and will make the determination for when in-person instruction will begin for each of their courses; students should communicate with their faculty for each course plan.  

Students are no longer required to wear masks in their apartments. Common areas in residence halls and campus buildings will reopen. Students will be permitted to gather in public common areas while maintaining a distance of at least 6’ and while wearing masks. Students of the same residence hall are permitted to gather in their hall’s common space; visitors from other residence halls and off-campus students are not permitted. 

Weekly surveillance testing for off-campus students will resume as part of Phase 2. Campus services will be expanded to include dine-in service at the dining hall, and the Campus Store, library and labs will be open with COVID precautions in place. Both in-person and virtual social programs/events will be offered. 

As the semester progresses, we will continue to evaluate opportunities to allow for increased opportunities for interaction between students and will develop additional phases reflective of current conditions.

Weekly Surveillance Testing & Health Monitoring

Employees who are not required to return to campus should continue working from home and will not participate in weekly surveillance testing. Weekly surveillance testing for faculty and staff who are working on campus will continue through the spring semester. Faculty teaching on campus and staff working on campus are welcome to enter the testing pool again the week of January 25, but testing is not required until the week of February 1. Faculty teaching in the classroom must have a negative COVID test date within 7 days prior to their first in-person class.  Please plan accordingly to ensure you have your test results prior to your first in-person class. Surveillance testing will take place in Perry Hall, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM.  Any employee who will have difficulty accommodating this testing schedule should get in touch with Danelle Berube (dberube@champlain.edu) and we can discuss next steps.

In addition, all employees visiting campus must participate in the Champlain’s mandatory health monitoring which includes: 

Health Pledge

The Champlain Community Health Pledge has been updated for the spring semester. The Health Pledge describes the College’s expectations of one another as we work together to establish and maintain the health of our campus community and our Burlington home this spring. All employees who are working on campus are required to meet the expectations and commitments as outlined in the Pledge. The People Center will contact you directly should you need to sign the Community Health Pledge for the spring semester. 

We will keep the community informed of any updates or changes. As a reminder, all of our COVID-related updates are included on our website, including FAQs, communications, and our testing dashboard. We will continue to update this resource as information becomes available. Questions can be emailed to feedback@champlain.edu. Please continue to check your email and the Academic Affairs and People Center newsletters to ensure you have the latest information regarding plans for the spring semester.  

Stay well,

Jennifer Archambault
Vice President, Human Resources

Leslie Averill
Chief Operating Officer & Vice President, Academic Affairs

Danelle Berube
Vice President of Student Affairs & Crisis Management