Chestnut Hill College is preparing to open for Fall 2020 using a mixture of reduced density in-person instruction, hybrid class offerings, and fully online courses - what the Task Force has termed a “low-density hybrid model.” This approach will allow for maximum flexibility for the varied needs of all students and faculty. This model also prepares students and faculty for an immediate return to fully remote instruction, which may be required if prompted by local, state, and federal guidance related to COVID-19.
Classes will begin on August 31st and in-person instruction will end on Friday, November 20, 2020. There will be no holiday for Labor Day (classes will be held) and the traditional Fall Break has been eliminated. Eliminating Labor Day and the Fall Break reduces the likelihood that students, faculty, and staff will travel from campus and then return having been exposed to COVID-19. Similarly, ending in-person instruction prior to Thanksgiving allows for students to go home for the break and not return to campus at a time when seasonal flu is typically on the rise.
Classrooms will be arranged so that 6 feet of physical distancing exists between all students and the instructor. Additionally, classrooms will be capped at 25% of their capacity, even if they could accommodate more individuals based on physical distancing parameters. In order to comply with Philadelphia guidance of no more than 25 people gathering indoors, no classes will be held with more than 25 people (including the instructor), even if the room could hold more people at 25% capacity and support physical distancing. In order to accommodate these space needs, several non-traditional classroom spaces (i.e. East Parlor, Redmond Room, Sorgenti Arena, Gruber Theater) will be utilized for Fall 2020. Finally, masks or face masks will be worn in classrooms.
Upon redesign of classes to a combination of fully online, hybrid, split hybrid, and in-person, with nearly two-thirds of our fall sections being offered fully online, our classrooms will allow for at least 6 feet of distance between all individuals and will be operating at 25% of the maximum capacity. As a small college with an average class size of 12 students, very few of our classes are over 20 students in a typical year, so we are not in a position where we need to accommodate large lecture style classes.