Dear Parents and Guardians,
Over the past few months, we have copied you on many messages sent to your student, but tonight we are writing to you alone. First, we want to thank you for all you have done to get your student ready for the start of this unusual fall semester. And we want to ask for your continued help as your student begins the term either remotely from home or here on campus.
As we have said in previous communications, our faculty and staff, using the knowledge gained from last spring, committed the summer to making the best possible experience for your students this fall. Faculty redesigned courses and staff redesigned many programs and operations to ensure the safest possible conditions on campus. They also worked hard to make sure students who are not here can engage virtually in many meaningful ways.
If your student is studying remotely, please remind them to avail themselves of all the virtual support programs we are offering. Encourage them to take advantage of special programs that our Academic Resource Center has developed for this challenging time. The Hale Center for Career Development will be holding remote one-on-one appointments and offering a full menu of virtual career conversations and recruitment events. The class deans are available for remote appointments to advise students on academic or personal needs. Staff and student leaders in the division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion will continue providing identity-based student advising, programming, and services. And a number of departments in Student Life, including Athletics, the Office of Student Engagement and New Student Programs, Wellness and Health Promotion, as well as clubs and organizations, will be arranging all kinds of virtual ways to connect with people on and off campus.
If your student is returning to campus, please know that all the virtual resources listed above will be available to them as well, along with opportunities, of course, to meet with staff and faculty mentors face-to-face. In addition, they will find new classroom configurations, new places to pick up food, new signage, and new protocols, all of which place the health and safety of the community above all else. Finally, and most importantly, they will have the opportunity to participate in one of the most rigorous COVID-19 testing programs in the country.
All our plans have been guided by the expert advice of talented alumni medical professionals (including two at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and our partners at Hartford HealthCare. But the success of the semester ultimately depends on everyone’s compliance with the expectations we have put in place. This is where you can help.
As parents, you are the most influential people in our students’ lives. We believe you understand what we are trying to do and what is at stake. We hope you will share that perspective and encourage your student to see the larger vision of what we are all trying to accomplish for their benefit. Our single most important goal, as you know, is to maintain the health and safety of both our campus and the region. Connecticut College is a deeply caring community. If we all share a collective goal of responsible behavior and adherence to the protocols, we believe we can be successful this fall.
In closing, we want to give you access to a few resources that we think you will find helpful as you advise your student:
First, we want to introduce you to Keith Grant. Keith is the senior system director for infection prevention at Hartford HealthCare. He has been by our side for the past two months helping us develop and test our plans. Here are three videos that we will be showing to your students as part of their COVID-19 orientation:
Second, we want you to have a copy of a training document called Opening Conn Safely: A Guide for Students that CC Curtiss, our director of wellbeing and health promotion, will present to students as part of the COVID-19 orientation.
Third, we want you to have our Camels Care Pledge, which outlines our health and safety expectations. If you have not yet looked at this pledge and accompanying materials, we think you will find it a particularly helpful resource.
To be sure, adjusting the way we live and work to cope with the reality of COVID-19 is not going to be easy. But we believe our students can rise to the occasion and demonstrate to each other—and to you—the special place that Conn is and has always been. It will require diligence, patience and accountability on everyone’s part. You have our word that we will do everything we can to make this a memorable semester for all.
Thank you again for all that you have done to support your student through the past several months and thank you, in advance, for communicating, advising, and supporting your student as we embark on this unique moment in the history of Connecticut College.
Dean of Students
Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion
Dean of the College