April 30, 2020
Dear Knox Community,
It’s hard to believe it’s only been about a month since the College decided it would move to remote learning for the entirety of spring term. With midterms now completed, I continue to be impressed by how well our faculty, students, and staff have made the transition. I suspect many of us will look back upon spring term 2020 as one of the most valuable learning experiences of our lifetimes—if not one that we hope to repeat.
With that in mind, I want to update you on our current plans for fall term and the issues under consideration.
First of all, it is our expectation that Knox College will welcome students back for the start of in-person classes this fall. In planning for the fall term, we have looked to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, for guidance. Earlier this month, he predicted that the United States should be “in good shape” to reopen schools in the fall. But to do so, schools and colleges will need to have measures in place to control the spread of the pandemic, including expanded access to testing and contact tracing of people who test positive for COVID-19.
Second, I realize there is a possibility that a second wave of the virus could interfere with the College’s plans. In anticipation of such challenges, our senior administrators and faculty leadership are developing contingency plans to ensure the continuity of instruction, including a remote option for students who cannot be in a classroom due to health concerns or travel restrictions.
As we engage in additional preparations to ensure a successful fall term at Knox, you can be certain of the following:
One of the most valuable lessons the College has learned this spring is that our small size and our resourcefulness have been advantages in weathering this crisis. Going forward—and with the luxury of more than two weeks to plan—I am confident that the experience our students have this fall will be both personally and intellectually rewarding.
I look forward to seeing you again in Galesburg.
Teresa L. Amott