Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
May 11, 2020
A message from President Kurt Landgraf
I hope that you are well. I am writing to provide an update on our planning process for the fall semester and to give you a sense of how we will be making and communicating decisions.
Our faculty, staff, and students worked extraordinarily hard over the past two months to deliver the Washington College experience through online classes and conversations. We are bringing the community together, recruiting students, teaching classes, and completing office work, all in a virtual environment. We are making the most of a challenging situation. Our strengths before the pandemic—a tight-knit, caring community, dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes—have enabled us to continue to deliver the same quality academic experience online.
Even as we finish the spring semester, we have been thinking carefully about what comes next—in particular, what the fall semester at Washington College will look like. I have convened a Contingency Planning Group to prepare us for the fall. They are considering various scenarios and ensuring that we will be ready for them all. This group will give regular updates on their progress and invite members of the campus community to share ideas and concerns. All decision-making will be guided by Governor Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery.
I would like to state very clearly my view on our starting point. It is our intention to return to campus in the fall semester, with the precautions, protocols, and new daily routines needed to stay safe.
We are especially advantaged in some ways. We have a spacious campus, and we offer small class sizes. We have the ability to limit vehicle access to campus. These are real advantages in our effort to maintain everyone’s health and safety.
While we are prepared to deliver our academic program remotely for the fall, as of right now, the start date of August 31 is our goal for returning to in-person classes. We will give you updates as our planning work proceeds and as we learn more about the way that the pandemic is unfolding.
This is a remarkable community that has come together to face a challenge. You know what my priorities are—a return to campus as soon and as safely as possible. At this moment, we cannot make definitive statements about the future, but I can say that we will be straightforward and considerate in our approach and will communicate decisions as soon as they are finalized. I ask for your patience and understanding.
With warm regards,
May 5, 2020
CARES Act Funds:
Washington College did receive funding for students impacted by COVID-19. Students received an email on May 5 with a link for them to fill out requesting funds for their need.
Qualifications for CARES Act Funds:
The Department of Education has placed restrictions on the CARES Act Relief Funds. In order to receive these funds, students must be eligible to receive Title IV aid. This means that students must have a valid FAFSA on file and must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students will be reviewed for eligibility upon receipt of the application. If you are not sure if you meet these criteria, we encourage you to fill out the application regardless. Washington College Emergency Funds are available to all enrolled Washington College students and can be used for those not eligible for the CARES Act funds.
What if you don’t qualify for CARES Act funds?
Still fill out the form that was in the May 5th email. Washington College has raised money to support our students and we are dedicated to helping our students get through this difficult time.
Please allow 10-14 business days for us to process your request and get funds into your bank account. If you have not yet setup direct deposit, you are encouraged to do so on Student Self Service as soon as possible. Students without direct deposit will have a check mailed, which will delay the receipt of the funds. Grants will be automatically awarded to students regardless of any existing credit or balance owed.
Where is the link to apply?
The link has been sent to every student. Please check your Washington College email address. If you have specific questions please email email@example.com
April 17, 2020
Kindness, generosity, and compassion are on display every day as we work through this public health crisis. Staff members on campus need vinyl gloves? Kent County’s Office of Emergency Services can deliver. Short on hand sanitizer? LaMotte Chemical Company recently whipped up a batch according to CDC protocols. What about face masks, now required when we’re out and about in public? Members of the local community responding to the Face Mask Challenge spend their evenings at their sewing machines, and Ben Qi Wang, an international student remaining on campus, generously donated a shipment of 700 surgical masks his parents sent to him from home. He wanted to make sure that everyone working and living on campus is protected. Washington College’s classrooms and residence halls may be dark, but the heart of Washington College beats on.
In Kent County, where there are now 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, College officials are making plans for what comes next. President Kurt Landgraf has formed a Contingency Planning Group to consider various scenarios for safely reopening campus this fall. All decisions will adhere to Centers for Disease Control guidelines and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s emergency orders, which now require all individuals to wear cloth face coverings while visiting retail outlets or riding public transportation. This includes students picking up food in Hodson Hall, all campus visitors, and staffers greeting visitors at the campus gatehouse.
We know that many of our students took only the most important personal items with them when they left campus but, given the Governor’s stay-at-home orders, we are taking a cautious approach to vacating campus housing. We hope that those orders will be lifted by the end of May.
Many students and parents have asked about room and board refunds. We expect to have the mechanics in place on our website by next Friday, April 24, for you to choose a refund or credit, or to donate your credit back to Washington College. Eligible student accounts will be credited by May 1. You can expect a letter outlining options and instructions next Friday.
Until then, be safe.