UVM will offer in-person and at-home learning for the spring semester


Alek Fleury

In the second week of the fall 2020 semester, students trickle into the Davis Center for their mandatory weekly COVID-19 test.

UVM will again offer both at-home and in-person learning options for spring 2021, and will continue to require regular COVID testing throughout the semester. 

UVM Provost Patricia Prelock announced the plans and changes for the spring semester in an Oct. 8 email to students. 

“Your hard work and dedication have resulted in weekly test results running at a more than 99.99% negativity rate,” she stated. “Despite these great numbers, an on-campus experience may not be right for everyone, and we will continue to offer two learning options.”

Although only in-person students were expected to sign the Green and Gold Promise for the fall semester, UVM will now require at-home students to sign it as well.

Additionally, upperclassmen can now live locally off-campus if they choose, while at-home first-years and sophomores must live at their permanent residence, Prelock stated. 

This differs from the fall semester rules, where all at-home students were “expected to live at home in order to de-densify the local community, and not return to campus until spring 2021,” according to a July 2 email from Prelock.

The Oct. 8 email also noted that students will need to carefully follow quarantining requirements upon their return to Burlington.

The Vermont Department of Health currently requires anyone coming from outside the Northeast to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

Additionally, anyone coming from a county within the Northeast with more than 400 cases per 1 million people must also quarantine. 

In-person students will still be able to take in-person, mixed, remote and online classes, and can access some University facilities. At-home students can take mixed and remote classes with no access to physical campus for any reason.

Although at-home upperclassmen may live off-campus in Burlington, the email stated at-home students will not participate in COVID-19 testing on campus.

There will be no change in the cost of tuition or comprehensive fees for at-home students, according to the email, despite student demand for housing and tuition reimbursement last spring

At-home students for the spring 2021 semester will also no longer be offered a free summer 2021 course, the email stated. 

The free summer course “was only available in fall 2020 as an acknowledgement of students having to make a decision about their learning option under tight timing,” according to the email. 

The at-home learning option form will open Oct. 26, and students must make a final decision by Nov. 13, according to the email. 

The final version of the spring 2021 schedule of courses will be available Nov. 7 and course registration will begin nine days later Nov. 16.