Le Fer Hall in the summer
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June 3, 2020: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 | 06.03.2020

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

As I think about how well our College has navigated recent challenges, I am filled with gratitude. You’ve truly managed a global pandemic the Woods Way – living out the values that are ingrained in everything that we do.

Over the course of the last few months, the SMWC COVID-19 Task Force has been thoughtfully and carefully building our plan, The Avenue to Reopening Plan to ensure the safety and success of our Woods community, and as such, SMWC will return to in-person instruction this fall.

We are adjusting our environments and activities to promote social distancing and protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and communities, while still working to make things as normal as possible for everyone. Our planning takes into consideration measures to:

  • Address classroom sizes and locations to allow for social distancing
  • Offer a staggered orientation and move-in schedule for residential students
  • Implement plans to address student population density including protocols for resident room setup
  • Offer special accommodations for athletic, academic and co-curricular events
  • Implement new infectious disease protocols for the campus which call for the continued practice of social distancing and wearing of masks when social distancing is not possible
  • Ensure special protocols for dining
  • Implement a one-to-one technology initiative for students
  • Implement special protocols for cleaning and sanitizing classrooms, offices and student areas throughout campus including new procedures for self-sanitizing of shared equipment and spaces
  • Make provisions to adjust the academic schedule if needed
  • Suspend school sponsored international travel indefinitely

As we continue to follow the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMWC will remain vigilant, and we will be ready to adapt and evolve – something we’ve known how to do for 180 years. At the same time, everyone must be prepared for adjustments if changes in conditions require us to do so.

Should there be a necessity to once again shelter in place, the College will be prepared for that reality too. With a 46-year history of distance education, no school could be better prepared for remote learning.

As I look to the summer implementation of these new procedures and the finalizing of our COVID-19 planning, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, “Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us.”

Stay safe and healthy,
Janet R. Clark, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs