College Announces Adjustments to Spring Semester Schedule
Important Information About Spring Semester
We hope the holiday break afforded you some time to rest and to enjoy being with your families. We want to provide an update regarding the start of the Spring semester.
We need and appreciate your help in returning for the spring semester in the safest manner possible.
The COVID team has closely followed developments around Omicron. We know from public health reports and, as you likely do, from the experience of family and friends that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than its predecessors. Given what we’re learning (and we learn more each day), we will delay arrival on campus until January 28 – 30 for all students who are not already authorized to return early.
The first day of in person instruction will be January 31st. At that time all classes will meet in person.
The semester will begin one week earlier, on January 24th. That first week will be a form of reading week, with asynchronous work assigned by your professors. Faculty members already are developing a variety of options for those days, from reading assignments to introductory videos to preparing materials for the first in person day.
The add/drop deadline will be pushed back to February 4.
The dates of spring break and Commencement remain unchanged and will happen as originally scheduled.
An updated academic calendar will be posted shortly.
We know this delay causes inconvenience, travel problems and stress for many families. We’re making this move because it gives us the best shot at having a successful semester as a residential liberal arts college. The strength of our face to face community grounds learning in and out of the classroom. That distinctive learning experience and our aspirational mission are what brought students, faculty and staff alike to Davidson. Our mission is best achieved—some would say can only be fully achieved—when we are together here on campus.
Why We’re Pushing Back The Start of The Semester
What we know about Omicron gives us hope that it will dissipate more quickly than its predecessors. Every day gives us more information and better traction to keep it in check on campus.
We have some data based on experience with students who are here now. First, the overall incidence of COVID upon return is higher than in previous semesters. Second, the limited data we have from our student population suggest that booster shots and pre-arrival tests do make a difference. Extra time before move-in gives all students the chance to get a timely booster shot and to schedule a timely pre-arrival test.
Here Are The Other Ways We Seek Your Help
- Get boosted – Students are required to get a COVID booster shot if eligible by January 20th to return to campus. If not eligible for a booster by Jan 20th, you must be boosted no later than two weeks from the date you are eligible. You are eligible for a booster if it has been greater than six months from your second Pfizer or Moderna shot or greater than 2 months from the J&J shot. If you had a recent COVID infection, you can get your booster 14 days after your symptoms started or you had a positive test. Please upload your booster shot information through the student health portal.
- Schedule a test now – Students must have a negative antigen test within 48 hours of returning to campus. Testing outlets, such as chain drugs stores, have wait times of several days right now. Please go online and schedule your test now based on your return date. We will provide information soon on how to upload test results. At-home tests and PCR tests will not be accepted.
- Mask up – Our mask protocols will remain in place in the spring semester and may be more stringent in the first weeks.
- Snap a photo or carry your card – Proof of vaccination will be required to attend women’s and men’s basketball games for all fans ages 5 and up. Current Davidson students, faculty and staff may show their CatCard as proof of vaccination. (Athletics will provide further details in advance of Saturday’s men’s game. If you have questions, please call the Athletics ticket office at 800-768-2287.)
You will have questions, and we ask for your patience as we provide more information in the coming days.
Thank you for your help and your commitment to protect and support each other.