September 11, 2020
Spring 2021 academic calendar adjustment and spring 2021 planning
Dear K-State community,
We are now in the fourth week of the fall semester and I want to thank all faculty, staff and students who have come together to make this a successful semester while reducing risk caused by COVID-19. The intensive planning for the fall semester is now moving to planning for academic instruction in the spring. The dynamic nature of the pandemic makes it impossible to predict the exact conditions we will experience in the spring, yet we know that we must not wait. I am writing to announce an adjustment to the spring 2021 academic calendar and status of planning for course modalities, classroom scheduling and enrollment. This information is an important foundation to support continued planning efforts and the decisions our students, faculty and staff are making in preparing for the next academic term.
Spring 2021 academic calendar
Earlier this week, an adjusted spring 2021 calendar as presented by the university calendar committee was approved by Faculty Senate. The adjusted calendar is now available online.
The spring 2021 academic calendar begins one week later on Jan. 25 and ends with previously scheduled commencement exercises on May 14-15. The altered spring schedule eliminates spring break. Other key dates in the spring schedule include final examinations on May 10-14.
Changes to the academic calendar are never taken lightly. We are making these adjustments to the spring 2021 academic calendar to reduce risks related to the global pandemic by minimizing mass travel to and from our K-State campuses during the spring semester. We recognize that the elimination of spring break presents a hardship for our students, faculty and staff.
In the coming weeks, I will be working with the Student Governing Association to identify two separate days to designate as well-being days when classes would not meet. These days will give students and faculty a brief respite from instruction to permit them to focus on their preparation and check their understanding of materials. Campuses will remain open and students will be expected to remain on campus. However, no classes — undergraduate, graduate, professional — will be in session.
Course modality and classroom scheduling
The spring semester is being planned as a residential semester similar to the fall semester with a focus on de-densification and offering multiple instructional modes. The Office of the Registrar has distributed planning documents to collect information about the teaching format for courses offered in the spring — in-person, online, or blended/hybrid. We will again make every effort to reduce the density of all classrooms and instructional spaces by continuing limits for in-person classes, offering online or blended/hybrid formats courses, and prioritizing in-person classes for those where face-to-face instruction is maximally effective such as labs, performance courses and clinical instruction.
Course information, including whether a course is in person, online, or blended/hybrid, will be posted in KSIS beginning on Sept. 28. Course modalities will be finalized on Oct. 5.
The Division of Facilities has established a plan to review and mitigate ventilation issues in classrooms that were previously taken offline for the fall semester. We will know more about which classrooms will be back in service this spring in the next two weeks.
To give students, faculty and staff adequate time to establish course modalities and review options, enrollment for spring will begin one week later on Nov. 2. Students may access the exact date and time for their enrollment assignment in the Student Center in KSIS.
I appreciate the thoughtful consideration and input of the many groups that helped shape our plan for the spring. Thank you for your continued willingness to adapt and be resilient as we work together to help protect our communities.
Please take care of yourself and each other.
Provost and executive vice president