Announcing Our Fall 2020 Plans

President: July 1, 2020

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Dear SUNY Brockport Community,

The Bringing Brockport Back committee has been hard at work developing scenarios and contingency plans for the fall 2020 semester. On June 19, we received re-opening guidance for higher education from Governor Cuomo. We quickly incorporated those guidelines into our plans and submitted them to SUNY.

On July 1, our plans to resume face-to-face instruction and the residential life experience in the fall 2020 semester were approved by SUNY.

We are coming back this fall! But coming back means we must commit to a series of changes designed to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19.

It is important to note that approval to move forward with this plan is contingent on a wide-range of factors, all related to the health and safety of the SUNY Brockport community and our surrounding communities. Should our area experience a surge of COVID-19 cases at any point of the semester that puts us at-risk, we will again transition to remote learning.  

We are hopeful that, if our Brockport community works together to keep each other safe, we can finish the fall 2020 semester as detailed in the plans below.  

New Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

We have modified our academic calendar to reduce risks associated with travel and flu season.

  • Our instruction start date (Aug. 31) remains unchanged but it is contingent on our area maintaining Phase Four status related to New York State’s re-opening.
  • Classes will be held on Labor Day (Sept. 7).
  • Mid-Semester Break is cancelled.
  • All instruction will move online after Thanksgiving recess, giving students an opportunity to move home and continue their studies remotely.
  • If needed, the extra instructional days (Labor Day and Mid-Semester Break) could be used as “pivot days.” In other words, if the COVID-19 pandemic resurges in our area, we may again need to again offer instruction and services remotely. Those extra days would be utilized as “non-instructional days” to provide our students an opportunity to move-out of campus housing and our faculty an opportunity to complete preparations for online teaching.
  • In the event those “pivot days” are not needed, Thanksgiving break will be extended to begin on Monday, Nov. 23.
  • The final day of instruction will be Friday, Dec. 11, just as it is currently planned.

The Four Pillars of Re-Opening

Our re-opening plans were built around New York State’s four pillars for re-opening. Below are some examples of how they have been integrated into our efforts:

  1. Social Distancing
    All students will have a minimum of six-foot clearance in every direction while seated in a classroom or other instructional spaces. As a result, maximum capacity in all such spaces has been reduced by two-thirds. Social distancing is required wherever possible in all areas of campus.
  2. Use of face masks/covers
    All individuals will wear adequate face coverings when on campus unless alone in an enclosed space or outdoors in an environment where proper social distancing is easily attainable. SUNY Brockport will provide two re-usable face coverings to all students, faculty, and staff. Re-usable face shields will be provided to faculty for use in instructional settings.
  3. Increased disinfectant cleaning
    The campus will be disinfected daily. Students, faculty, and staff will be asked to wipe their workspace prior to use with a disposable disinfectant wipe that has a one-minute kill claim for COVID-19. Faculty and staff will be provided with supplies to clean their own office space. Common spaces, and the frequently touched spaces within them, will be disinfected by our facilities team.
  4. Frequent hand washing/sanitizing
    Hand sanitizing stations will be widely available in common spaces across campus.

The Academic Experience

In order to implement our plan safely, we will need to alter our usual practices. For example, course instruction will be delivered in a variety of ways, including face-to-face, hybrid, and online:

  • If a particular learning space is unable to accommodate an entire section observing social distancing guidelines, A/B or A/B/C scheduling may be used. For example, half the class may be in-person on Tuesday and the other half may be in-person on Thursday.
  • Most large lectures will be moved online.
  • Asynchronous delivery will be utilized wherever possible.
  • Our physical space committee is actively seeking opportunities to convert large non-instructional spaces into instructional spaces.

In most cases, these changes were made to effectively lower classroom density in an effort to keep everyone safe. In some cases, entire course sections were moved online for pedagogical reasons or in order to protect at-risk faculty. We ask for your patience and understanding. If online learning presents a particular challenge for you, please reach out to your academic advisor, or email, to determine if other options are available. If you are a faculty member who wants more information about how to deliver courses safely, please reach out to your chair for further guidance.

What will life on campus be like?

As much as we look forward to our community returning to Brockport, it’s important to recognize that campus life will look and feel very different this fall. These changes will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mandatory COVID-19 daily health screening – a short questionnaire that is required of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Mandatory wearing of face coverings or masks.
  • No large gatherings or events.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols.
  • No unauthorized visitors.
  • Very limited travel.
  • More single rooms in residence halls.
  • One-way entry and exit points in some buildings. 

Both Student Affairs and Brockport Student Government are working hard to develop student programming that is both safe and engaging. Our Academic Success Center is being creative in how it plans to deliver support services. While life on campus will undoubtedly be different, it will also be vibrant.

The Bringing Brockport Back website is the home for information, resources, and frequently asked questions related to the fall 2020 semester. Please visit it at your convenience. Additional campus-wide and departmental communication will be forthcoming as it becomes available.  

Together, we can keep moving forward while still helping to stop the spread. I’m asking our entire community to join me in this promise: Protect the Nest: A Pledge to Keep Our Community Safe.

Thank you so much for your patience and cooperation. I look forward to us being together again on campus this fall — even though we will be six feet apart.


President Macpherson

Last Updated 10/27/20

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