MANHATTAN—With the goal of mitigating the continued spread of COVID-19, Kansas State University will begin the first two weeks of the spring semester with remote learning classes. Most classes are scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 25, according to a media release.
The university plans to return to the hybrid and in-person teaching modalities used in the fall semester after the two-week period on Feb. 8.
“As we anticipate a surge in positive cases as people return to our campuses, this action will help us keep safety protocols in place,” said Richard Myers, university president. “Last August we saw a surge in the fall when students returned and we were able to manage it well. As anticipated, cases spiked again as we neared the holidays and people moved indoors. We appreciate the tremendous efforts by our faculty, staff and students to help keep our communities safer.”
Student services such as on-campus housing, libraries, recreation centers and Lafene Health Center will be operational on Monday, Jan. 25, following the same safety protocols as the fall semester. Move-in dates for spring 2021 on-campus housing will not change. Residents will receive an email on Monday, Jan. 11, with details regarding their return to the residence halls. Spring 2021 housing and dining charges and the campus privilege fee assessment will not be affected by this decision.
Research operations will proceed under current protocols and guidelines. As with the fall semester, once the two-week remote teaching period ends, faculty members will have the ability to temporarily adjust class modalities due to COVID-19 impacts on in-person class attendance or if the pandemic situation changes.
“Our experience in the fall semester taught us we can manage many of our venues through science-based mitigation methods,” Myers said. “This allows for a more nuanced approach than we had last spring when virtually all operations were reduced.”
The university has expanded symptomatic and asymptomatic testing available for students, faculty and staff members. Information about vaccines will be updated as available on the university website. The university has not been notified of any allocations of vaccines for students, faculty or staff other than essential medical personnel.
“We look forward to a much brighter future moving toward spring and summer as vaccines become more widespread,” Myers said. “We want to start safe and remain safe through this semester so we can come back in full strength in the fall.”