St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf sets plans for fall opening

Oles will soon be welcomed back to the Hill for in-person classes.

St. Olaf College will begin fall semester on August 20, three weeks earlier than originally scheduled, President David R. Anderson ’74 announced in a message to the campus community.

The semester will conclude the day before Thanksgiving, and students will have an extended holiday break from November 25 through January 3. There will be no fall break.

Starting early provides the best opportunity to have a full semester of in-person classes before a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, should that occur in late fall. It also provides an opportunity to conclude the semester before flu season, which will help avoid confusion caused by flu symptoms spreading at the same time as the campus community is carefully monitoring COVID-19 symptoms.

“Our top priority will be to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible when we reopen the campus and live out our new reality,” President Anderson says. “Looking out for one another, and prioritizing the welfare of our community, is what Oles do. We will all be called upon to live out those values this fall.”

St. Olaf has developed a set of Community Standards that provide detailed guidance on the measures that all students, faculty, and staff are expected to observe to minimize the incidence and spread of COVID-19 on campus. These measures include conducting daily health screenings, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, and adhering to illness, isolation, and quarantine protocols. All members of the campus community need to read the Community Standards.

To ensure that these standards are followed, St. Olaf has also developed a Community Pledge that every student, faculty and staff member must sign before being allowed to begin or rejoin campus life.

The new Oles Care. Together. page outlines the college’s plans for a fall reopening, includes a full reopening schedule, provides information on resources for students, faculty, and staff, and answers many frequently asked questions. Anyone with additional questions may submit them to the St. Olaf Reopening Team here. More information will be added to the FAQs on the site in response to those questions.