Dear students, parents, and families:

On May 29, I shared initial information for students about our academic calendar. I let you know we’d begin classes on September 2 and outlined our modular approach. Today, I want to share additional details about the fall calendar and adjusted deadlines for requesting a deferral or leave of absence.

Fall Academic Calendar

Following is a more detailed look at our fall calendar, including the timing of breaks, deadlines, and exams. When we pivoted to a fully remote format last spring, the faculty made several temporary changes to the policies regarding grading options (S/SD/NC) and withdrawal deadlines, primarily to give students extra flexibility in face of the sudden changes. Beginning with the first module of the fall semester, the temporary policies will revert back to the college standard, with the deadlines adjusted for the compressed schedule of the modules.

In the interest of public health, if we are on campus in the fall, we will strongly discourage travel during the fall semester. We understand that emergencies will arise. If you should have to leave the Twin Cities at any point during the fall, the college will expect students who travel for non-Macalester related reasons to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the Twin Cities. We are especially concerned about travel during fall break and Thanksgiving. While we prefer that students do not travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, we suggest that those who do consider completing the last two weeks of Module 2 remotely. We recommend all community members avoid U.S. hotspots identified by the CDC and global hotspots identified by the WHO, and generally minimize their interactions with others outside of their intimate or household contacts.

We will share detail on the spring schedule, as well as our fifth “summer module,” which will follow commencement, later in the fall.

Adjusted Student Deferral/Leave of Absence Deadlines

Previously we had asked first-year students to share with us whether they plan to defer by July 1. We will announce whether we plan to be on campus or remote on June 30, and realize students and families will want more time to make a deferral decision. In addition, we’d asked current students to share with us their plans to take a leave of absence by the first day of class. Under the current circumstances, this does not give the college enough time to plan for the fall. We are now asking first-year students to request a deferral by July 15.  If returning students plan to request a leave of absence in the fall, in order to help us with our planning, we strongly encourage them to submit those requests by July 15. If you have questions, first-year students should contact admissions@macalester.edu. Returning students should follow this guidance.

Mode of Delivery

At the end of June, we plan to make an announcement about the mode of delivery, specifically whether we’ll plan to begin the academic year in person or remotely. That communication also will include detail on re-registration, physical space planning including student housing, and public health practices and protocols. In addition, we are awaiting guidance from the MIAC and the Minnesota Department of Health on fall athletics. We thank you for your patience as we know that it has been difficult to plan without all the information you need to make decisions.

Please continue to use our COVID-19 website as a resource, and if you have questions that aren’t answered on the site, share them at healthresponse@macalester.edu.

Sincerely,

Karine Moe
Provost and Dean of the Faculty


Fall 2020 – September 2 Start, Module 1

September 2

Wednesday

Classes Begin/Validation (Module 1)

September 7

Monday

Labor Day – No Class

September 9

Wednesday

Last Day to Register/Validate

September 9

Wednesday

Last Day to Add/Drop/Audit a Class

October 2

Friday

Mid-Term Grades Due

October 5

Monday

First Day to Designate Grading Option

October 9

Friday

Last Day to Designate Grading Option

October 9

Friday

Last Day to Withdraw from a Class

October 20

Tuesday

Last Day of Class (Module 1)

October 21

Wednesday

Study Day

October 22 – 23

Thursday – Friday

Final Examination Period (Module 1)

October 24 – 27

Sunday – Tuesday

Fall Break

Fall 2020 – September 2 Start, Module 2

October 28

Wednesday

First day of Class (Module 2)

November 3

Tuesday

Last Day to Add/Drop/Audit a Class

November 16 – 24

Monday – Tuesday

Spring 2021 Registration

November 26 – 29

Thursday – Sunday

Thanksgiving Break

November 25

Wednesday

Mid-Term Grades Due

November 30

Monday

First Day to Designate Grading Option

December 4

Friday

Last Day to Designate Grading Option

December 4

Friday

Last Day to Withdraw from a Class

December 15

Tuesday

Classes End (Module 2)

December 16

Wednesday

Study Day

December 17 – 18

Thursday – Friday

Final Examination Period (Module 2)

December 30

Wednesday

Final Grades Due from Faculty

January 4

Monday

Final Grades Available to Students

Published: 6/22/2020