Trinity Announces Fall 2021 Plans

Trinity Announces Fall 2021 Plans

March 12, 2021:  Trinity President Pat McGuire announced plans for reopening for the Fall 2021 semester, which will occur in phases, with the goals of safety and good health for all as the top priorities, along with the need to ensure instructional integrity. Detailed planning is underway and must conform to D.C. requirements, and be approved by D.C. health authorities. Highlights of the fall plan include:

  • Daytime undergraduate classes in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Nursing and Health Professions will return to campus in Fall 2021. Possibly a few will remain in hybrid or online formats as Trinity develops the plan.
  • Some evening/weekend undergraduate courses in the School of Professional Studies may be on campus in the fall.
  • Graduate courses will remain online in Fall 2021, except for those with laboratory components.
  • All classes in Summer 2021 sessions will remain online.

Contact for Media Inquiries: Ann Pauley, pauleya@trinitydc.edu

Message from President McGuire, March 12, 2021

After a full year of mostly remote teaching and learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Trinity Washington University is pleased to announce reopening plans for the Fall 2021 semester. Detailed planning is underway and must conform to D.C. requirements, and be approved by D.C. health authorities. Hence, this announcement provides the general outline of the plans even as specific details await continuing development. We are inviting students, faculty and staff to provide input on the plans as we develop them.

The plan addresses the Fall 2021 semester, beginning on or about August 15, 2021. Prior to that time, Trinity continues with mostly remote instruction and services. All Summer 2021 classes continue online.

The Fall 2021 reopening will occur in phases, with the goals of safety and good health for all as the top priorities, along with the need to ensure instructional integrity. We are evaluating the capacity of our staff to manage face-to-face activities safely, as well as the capacity of our facilities to permit continuing social distancing throughout.

The plan will incorporate ongoing public health rules and directives from D.C. about wearing masks, social distancing, hygiene and sanitation of facilities, density of groups, and all related topics to ensure health and safety.

The plan assumes that most members of the campus community will get the vaccine by the fall. While we understand that some individuals within the community will choose not to get vaccinated, most will; we urge everyone to do so.

With those parameters and assumptions, our planning right now focuses on these key points:

  • Daytime undergraduate classes in the College of Arts & Sciences and School of Nursing and Health Professions will return to campus in Fall 2021. Possibly a few will remain in hybrid or online formats as we develop the plan, but our goal is to have the majority of CAS and NHP undergraduate courses in-person in the fall semester. Classes on campus will be low density according to the rules the city establishes. Masks and sanitation protocols will be enforced.
  • Some evening/weekend undergraduate courses in the School of Professional Studies may be on campus in the fall. We are evaluating the courses and schedules to determine when and how this might work. Some SPS courses will continue online during the fall semester. We also need to evaluate the status of classes at THEARC and whether/when we can resume in that location.
  • Graduate courses will remain online in Fall 2021, except for those with laboratory components. We are evaluating which graduate programs are likely to remain online permanently.
  • All classes in Summer 2021 sessions will remain online.
  • Residence halls will continue to house one student per room.
  • We are considering whether and how athletics may resume; the plan for sports has many dimensions that we must consider for safety, so this will continue to evolve.
  • Large group activities are uncertain at this time (e.g., in-person orientations, convocation, etc.) and will depend on the city’s rules about size limits for gatherings.
  • Staff will continue in blended schedules of rotational days on campus and some days online, with the goal of having all offices open each day but also allowing staff greater flexibility for their hours on campus or online. This will require a great deal of cooperation among staff and supervisors to work out the right plan to ensure continuing service to students and faculty while also respecting the value of some flexibility in the staffing patterns.
  • We will work out a protocol for students, faculty and staff who are unable to return to campus. This year we have left it wide open according to each individual’s choice. To make it work for a real reopening of the campus, we will need to move from personal preference to a protocol that evaluates the need for a reasonable accommodation.
  • We will need to evaluate the circumstances of internships and whether in-person internships have sufficient safety to permit our students to participate. Programs that have clinical requirements are already engaged with this issue.

We know that there are many other issues that will surface as we engage this process. We will be surveying campus constituents for input, and all are welcome to send email to president@trinitydc.edu with comments and suggestions as well.

We are aware that members of the Trinity family have lost loved ones this year to Covid-19, and others have been ill. We remember all of them in our prayers, and we strive to be sure that as we reopen, we remember all of those who are gone, and we also remember the lessons learned in the pandemic. As we move forward, we do so with thanks to all those who have been on the front lines of healthcare and science, doing so much to conquer this disease and to help our global village return to life in community.

President Pat McGuire

March 12, 2021

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