GW Provides Guidance on Courses, Campus Operations in Wake of COVID-19

Students are encouraged to go home for spring break if they are able to do so.

March 11, 2020

The George Washington University has encouraged students who are able to do so to go home for spring break and to take with them any essential items needed to carry on their academic coursework remotely following spring break.

The university announced Tuesday evening that after the break, beginning Monday, March 23, most GW classes will move online for an instructional continuity period, and they will remain online through at least April 5. The university will remain open and operational during this period, and all faculty and staff should maintain their regular work schedules.

University leaders will update the GW community by March 27 if remote classes will continue beyond April 5.

[Update on March 16: GW will extend the virtual learning period through the end of the spring semester, cancel all on-campus events.]

The university continues to monitor the increase in COVID-19 cases, said GW President Thomas LeBlanc. GW health care and safety professionals have been working around the clock to ensure the university community’s safety and provide the most up-to-date information.

“Uncertainty and impacts of this public health situation can be stressful. These decisions are not being taken lightly,” he said. “Ensuring the safety of the university community is at the core of every conversation about our next steps.”

Residence halls will remain open as previously scheduled for students planning to remain during the spring break period. After spring break, all residential students are expected to no longer be living in student housing as of March 21 until the end of the instructional continuity period.

Students who wish to remain on campus must apply to remain in their on-campus housing during the instructional continuity period. Current on-campus residents will receive an application via email from Campus Living and Residential Education on March 11 and must submit their application for continuous stay by March 18.

Students who do not apply to remain on campus will not have access to the residence halls after 5 p.m. on March 20. Residential students will receive a credit to their student account at the nightly rate of their unit type during the period they are not occupying their on-campus residential assignment until residence halls reopen.

Students are not required to move all their belongings out of the residence halls as they prepare to leave for spring break, so bring any essential items you may need for the next three weeks. The university intends to resume operations as normal following April 5, however, it is possible that students will continue to have restricted access to the residence halls after that time.

Students should plan to take all items that are essential to carry on their academic coursework remotely following spring break--such as laptops, textbooks, notebooks, essential papers. In addition, students should pack personal necessities—medications, travel documents, clothing—in the event that they do not or are unable to return to campus for a substantial period of time.

Classes that can move online will. Students should contact their instructors for details. Each professor may use different methods for instruction during instructional continuity. Some laboratory and studio classes may postpone activities. There may be some instances in which specific schools’ instructions regarding research and laboratory activities will vary from the guidance provided here, the university announced.

Faculty researchers have been asked to develop plans for instructional continuity and school deans are expected to reach out to students with any variations in the instructional continuity plans. Students are being asked to follow specific guidance from their school or research leaders and contact them should additional accommodations be necessary.

Starting Monday, March 23, and through the duration of instructional continuity, all in-person, student organization activities and events are suspended. Student organization advisers and Student Life staff will work with student organizations that need support canceling or rescheduling events.

Information for Faculty and Staff

In certain instances, an employee may need to work remotely. Staff should complete the “Telecommuting Assessment and Agreement for COVID-19” form and submit it to their managers.

The libraries will maintain their regular hours this week and their spring break hours the following week. They will also remain open during this period of instructional continuity.

Faculty and staff should only engage in essential gatherings related to academic and professional pursuits during the period of instructional continuity. We expect that faculty and staff will exercise good judgment to maintain the health and safety of our GW community.

The GW community is encouraged to continue to reference reliable sources for updates as our knowledge about COVID-19 develops. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on travel and the virus’s spread. The GW COVID-19 website is also being updated regularly to include evolving guidance for the university community.

University News

COVID-19 Information

GW is monitoring this rapidly-evolving situation. Visit Campus Advisories for all of our updates.

Latest COVID-19 article from GW Today:

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