June 24, 2020
SUNY Potsdam is hard at work preparing to welcome students, faculty and staff back for the Fall 2020 semester. Like all higher education institutions across New York State, we are anxiously awaiting final approval for our Restart Plan from the Governor’s Office and SUNY System Administration. Our final plan meets all of the Reopening New York higher education guidelines, and has been developed in consultation with public health officials and community leaders.
SUNY Potsdam’s Restart Plan reflects the utmost care and concern for our campus community. We developed the plan in keeping with all New York Forward regulations and SUNY requirements, with everyone’s health and well-being at the forefront.
While we await final approval, I wanted to share the highlights with you, so that you and your family can begin to think ahead.
Classes are now scheduled to begin on Monday, August 31, with students arriving on campus 7 to 10 days prior, based on plan approval. The academic calendar will be compressed, so that fall break is canceled. Students will return home at Thanksgiving break, at which point all remaining instruction and finals will be virtual. We are actively planning a mix of in-person, virtual and hybrid learning experiences for the fall.
We are prepared to house all students who wish to live on campus. Move-in times will be staggered over several days to ensure proper social distancing and hygiene. Students with health concerns will be supported to complete their studies virtually or to receive accommodations through the medical housing process.
Public health & safety measures
We have put together strong protocols for testing, tracing, daily health screenings, personal protective equipment, social distancing, and hygiene and disinfection standards. We also have plans in place to support students who need to self-quarantine or complete an isolation period, whether due to testing positive or having been exposed to someone with COVID-19. SUNY Potsdam is in constant contact with our partners at St. Lawrence Health Systems and Canton-Potsdam Hospital, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and the Board of Health about all of these measures.
As soon as we receive final guidance and approval to move forward, we will share that information with you, as well as detailed information on all topics related to reopening.
Again, our highest priority is to uphold the health and safety of our campus and community, while continuing to provide the high-quality educational experience that SUNY Potsdam is known for—and we look forward to doing just that.
I hope that you are enjoying the summer sunshine, and wish you and your families the best of health.
Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.