By: David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Staff Writer

St. Mary’s City, MD- In a letter to staff, parents and students, St. Mary’s College of Maryland President Tuajuanda C. Jordan, Ph.D., informed them that following Spring Break, classes would be transitioning to online only for a period of two weeks.

” While these may seem like distressing times, we have been advised by the health department not to panic but rather, to be as prepared as possible. The College continues to err on the side of abundant caution by putting measures in place to prevent the spread of illness, says President Jordan, We understand these measures have caused disruptions but at this time we believe the risk justifies these disruptions. “

St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Spring break runs from March 16-20, 2020. The plan at this time is to have students take their classes online from March 23-April 3, 2020. In addition to that, students are required to leave the campus by 5 pm Friday, March 13, 2020, and be prepared to stay off-campus until April 3, 2020.

St. Mary’s College will remain open throughout this period and engage in business as usual. Thus, faculty and staff should report to the College for their normal work schedules. If during the online/remote period of instruction (March 23 – April 3, 2020), a faculty member decides not to work on campus, they must get approval from the Provost. All staff requests should be in accordance with the College’s telework policy, which requires direct supervisor involvement.

All large (> 100 anticipated attendees) non-essential on-campus events scheduled for the period of March 16 – April 3 are to be canceled or postponed. This includes the Presidential Lecture Series and the Mark Twain Lecture. Admitted Seahawk Day, originally scheduled for April 4, has been tentatively rescheduled for Sunday, April 19. At this time, the Open House will continue as planned on Saturday, April 18. We are encouraging organizers for scheduled, mid-size (25 – 99 anticipated attendees) non-essential events occurring on campus from March 16 – April 3 to immediately evaluate whether these events must continue.

All home games, matches, and regatta,s will proceed as planned without spectators and only Athletes and essential personnel will be on hand. All out of state games, matches and regattas are canceled.

The college also canceled the following events:

  • March 12, 2020(TODAY)- The Maryland Election Administration Forum
  • March 26, 2020- Office of the Presidents presentation with Jay Williams
  • March 28, 2020- The Annual Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture presentation of “An Evening with Janelle James

We will update the days, times and events if necessary during this time. If you have any questions you can contact:

  • Faculty wanting information about the online/remote platforms and/or best teaching practices related to online/remote instruction should contact the Director of the Center for Inclusive Teaching & Learning Samantha Elliott at 240-895-4101 or at slelliott@smcm.edu
  • For specific training on Blackboard or Go-To-Meeting, contact Senior Instructional Technologist Jennifer Falkowski at 240-895-3141 or jafalkowski@smcm.edu
  • Students having questions regarding accommodations or accessibility during this period should contact OAS at adasupport@smcm.edu
  • Students who may have questions about continuing counseling or health appointments are encouraged to contact The Wellness Center at 240-895-4289. The 24/7 Counseling Help Line for SMCM students will remain available to students at 240-895-4200.
  • Students having questions regarding accommodations or accessibility during this period should contact OAS at adasupport@smcm.edu.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...