University System of Maryland said remote learning and in-person classes to return in fall

The University System of Maryland, which oversees schools such as the University of Maryland College Park, is giving you a glimpse at how things will change the system’s “new normal” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our universities are committed to offering the best academic experience possible for our students, while maintaining health and well-being throughout the system,” said USM Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden.

Remote learning isn’t going anywhere come fall as the system said its 12 institutions will provide a hybrid of both online learning and in-person classes.

On the list for in-person learning are studio, laboratory and clinical classes but other courses that can be taught entirely online most likely will be.

Also, some classes may include a mix of students in a classroom and others watching online.

All study abroad classes have been called off for the fall term throughout the system.

Social distancing will also be enforced in classrooms, residence halls and dining halls, according to the system.

Cleaning and disinfecting the campus will be done more frequently.

School start times are also expected to change.

Some students in certain health professions could start classes in early July, and others enrolled at residential universities will begin classes in mid-to-late August according to the system.

In person instruction will end by Thanksgiving for some institutions.

Some of the big questions that remain: How many students will take classes online versus those who will live on campus?

Also, when can athletic programs resume?

The schools will also look at student housing and ways to reduce density at dorm buildings.

This includes limiting the number of students in a room and by limiting the use of community areas.

Schools will need to have a coronavirus monitoring plan in place, which can assess potential cases and provide testing.

For positive tests, those individuals who stay on campus should be able to isolate themselves and receive treatment.

People who had contact with them should be quarantined.

The system said it will operate off the guidance of local, state and federal officials and health experts in making its decisions.

With guidance changing frequently, it said campus plans will need to be flexible.

The system has formed a Return to Campus Advisory Group made up of federal, state and local public health experts and plans to release an overview of its initial reopening plan over the next two weeks.

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