Lakeland Community College will start the spring semester one week later and cancel spring break to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 on campus. The decision comes as health officials predict a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases due to approaching cold weather and expected frequency of travel and indoor gatherings, which increase the risk of virus transmission.
Classes will begin Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, and take place through a number of formats including in-person, remote and blended teaching. The one-week delay allows more time between New Year’s Eve and the start of classes.
The cancellation of spring break, originally scheduled March 7-13, aims to reduce travel-related exposures.
“These changes to the academic calendar reduce the likelihood of an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus during spring semester, while still allowing the college to end the semester as planned,” said Lakeland President Dr. Morris Beverage Jr.
The semester will end as planned with final exam week scheduled for May 2-8. With the later start, students will have the same amount of days off throughout the spring semester.
Commencement is slated for Saturday, May 8, but the format is yet to be determined.
College administrators collaborated with Lakeland Faculty Association leadership on the solution to address the safe return of students and employees to campus following holidays and spring break. Lakeland’s board of trustees approved the academic calendar change Oct. 29.
Campus safety measures for spring will remain in place, including wearing face masks, physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and reporting any possible exposure.
Registration for the spring 2021 semester opens Nov. 9, 2020.