Get the latest on our spring planning.
St. John’s College, Santa Fe hopes to welcome students back to campus this spring, and into a limited number of in-person and hybrid classes, when our public health conditions allow. To understand the broad contours of our spring plan, read President Roosevelt’s letter, which lays out our vision for the spring and explains our process for determining when we are likely to begin hosting students on campus again. Understand the metrics and guidelines that will guide our decision-making at our Santa Fe dashboard, which is in the sidebar of this page. Go deep into the details of our full plan by visiting the links below.
I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during these challenging times, in which it seems that the whole world is experiencing our worst COVID-19 surge yet. Here in New Mexico, we are experiencing a new state-mandated shutdown, which is intended to get our dramatically rising cases and new hospital capacity issues down to a manageable level. Here at St. John’s, we think this is the right thing to do, and we are hopeful that our community will hear this message of caution and respond accordingly
In the midst of this surge, it may be unexpected that I have some hopeful news to share with you. Because we know from our recent survey that many of you desire a return to an on-campus community, I have asked our staff and faculty to plan ahead for several possible spring scenarios: from ones in which our state is experiencing improving public health outlooks, to stabilizing health outlooks, to worsening health outlooks. And they have delivered.
I write today to say we are planning for a modest spring reopening, one that can unfold on a rolling schedule that is tied to the rolling tides of our public health conditions. If I have given you hope, but also tempered that hope, then I have struck the right balance.
This letter aims to step you through our vision for a spring reopening, and to ask you to submit your spring semester plans, including requests for on-campus housing and in-person/hybrid classes, by December 1. Undergraduate students: please do so using this Spring 2021 Student Intent Form. Graduate students: please do so using this Spring 2021 Student Intent Form.
Below are many additional details, so please read this letter thoroughly in order to make the most informed decision that you can. You can also find our full spring semester plan on our website. It includes complete details on:
But first, I am sure many of you are wondering why we would be considering increasing on-campus options for students at this particular time. This is a fair question considering the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases across New Mexico and the country. Please know that we do not believe that this will be easy, nor is it guaranteed. But we have learned much over the last few months that has helped us lay the groundwork for how, and when, to do this well.
Perhaps most importantly, we have learned from all of you. We have learned how deep your desire is to be physically present with each other, with your tutors, and with the college campus. We have also learned from other small private colleges who have been successful at hosting students on campus. We have learned from hosting our own small group of international students on campus this fall. And we have watched as the reliability of and access to testing, screening, and contact tracing support through private providers has grown.
In short, we have determined that it is time for the college to take thoughtful steps forward in reopening while balancing the sober reality that we are in the middle of the biggest surge thus far in the pandemic. The importance of getting this balancing act right cannot be overstated, especially when so many of our faculty and staff fall into age and health brackets that put them at increased risk.
And so, as the college looks ahead to the spring, we strive to get this balance right by providing a rigorous and transparent physical reopening plan alongside health metrics and guidelines that must continually be met. Seeing and understanding these metrics and guidelines, and where the college is in relation to them, will be part of our regular practice as a community. These metrics are available for all of you to follow at our new COVID-19 dashboard. Please bookmark this link, familiarize yourself with the metrics, and check in on them every time you wonder what might be ahead.
I know you would like more information, so keep reading below to find more details on everything from housing and academic offerings to student life and health and safety guidelines. If you are a graduate student, please note that class offerings may very well remain unchanged for you—be sure to read the academics calendar section below as well as our academics web page to understand Graduate Institute nuances. Once you’ve read this letter fully and have carefully read information at the links we provide, please complete the college’s Spring 2021 Student Intent Form no later than Tuesday, December 1.
And if you still have questions, the college will be hosting a virtual town hall with students and families on November 30, at 1:15 p.m. MT. An invitation will be forthcoming, and you can also save the Zoom link now; the passcode is 135645 and the webinar ID number is 864 4034 7339.
We hope that you will join us.
President, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
The college’s ability to provide in-person options is dependent upon our region’s public health outlook, our requirement to follow New Mexico’s strict public health guidelines, and our own logistics and internal metrics that include things like testing availability, turnaround times, and employee health. The college will use all of these metrics as guidelines to determine if and when the time is right to begin reopening our campus and residence halls. Please familiarize yourselves with them.
Once the college reopens at reduced capacity, all students, staff, and faculty who are on campus must use a mobile app for daily screenings, be tested weekly, and adhere to all public safety protocols. All will be required to wear masks at all times except when alone in one’s room or office with the door closed. All will be expected to maintain six feet of social distance from others, whether indoors or outdoors. And all students who choose to live on campus or to engage in in-person offerings need to understand that there will be periods of openness, as well as periods in which we must all pull back to varying degrees—always with the goal of improving our health and safety on campus and our ability to increase our levels of openness.
While our shared compliance with health and safety protocols will help reduce the risk of infection, there is no way to eliminate the risk entirely, and there will be COVID-19 cases among our community members in the coming semester. Students returning to live and attend classes on campus will be required to review and agree to an assumption of risk form, which acknowledges one’s understanding of the risks posed by returning to campus.
Understanding these things before choosing to live on campus or to request in-person offerings is essential.
To understand our full prevention plan in detail, visit the new prevention page on our website and review the Culture of Care Agreement that you will be expected to sign.
For students who are approved to live on campus, you will be assigned an arrival date and time. If our public health conditions are good, all students will be assigned an arrival date between January 13 and 15. If our public health guidelines are not met, classes will still begin on time but arrival dates will be delayed, and the Student Life Office will be in touch with updated information. Our first update regarding campus arrivals will be communicated to all students no later than December 18; this update will let students know if we are on track to keep our original opening date or if public health conditions are making a delay likely.
We are looking forward to having students back on campus once we have met our health and safety reopening guidelines. This letter summarizes our approach to housing, which includes the prorating of room and board to ensure that students are only paying for the weeks that they are actually living on campus. Full details are on our housing web page and should be read fully.
Once approved for housing, you will be assigned an arrival date. Upon arrival, you will be tested and go into quarantine in your residential room, which will be a single room. During your quarantine, the college will provide online classes, three meals daily, and staff-directed health outings. Once you receive two negative tests and complete the 14-day quarantine, you will be able to engage in on-campus experiences.
The number of housing assignments available are based on our own capacity to responsibly serve the students who are on campus, including providing adequate isolation units for students who may need them. While we can’t guarantee housing for all who request it, our housing availability closely aligns with the level of housing interest expressed by students who filled out our fall survey. Our hope is that we will be able to meet all requests. Should demand rise above what the fall survey numbers projected, we will prioritize housing for freshmen, seniors, international students, and students who are most in need of the resources that the campus can provide.
Students will be assigned to a residence hall, within which non-quarantining students may socialize while wearing masks and maintaining distance. Students will not be allowed to visit other residence halls, so one’s hallmates will serve as one’s social pod for the semester.
To learn more about housing, visit our spring planning web pages and read them fully before completing our Spring 2021 Student Intent Form, which is due December 1. And please join us for a virtual town hall with school leaders on November 30, at 1:15 p.m. MT. The passcode is 135645 and the webinar ID is 864 4034 7339.
Learn more about housing deadlines, requirements, assignments, and more.
Following your initial quarantine, you’ll participate in regular testing on a weekly basis. You will live in residence halls, and your hallmates will serve as your on-campus pods. Here, you can visit with your podmates in one another’s rooms and in the hallways so long as gathering size limits, masking, and social distancing requirements are met. Your travel to other halls and your hosting of visitors from other halls will be prohibited. In short, your hallmates will be your on-campus social family this spring.
Gatherings outside of your residence hall cannot exceed state gathering limits (currently five), and all individuals must wear masks and socially distance. We expect you to care for your community by reporting any possible exposure to COVID-19. All students, both on- and off-campus residents, are expected to sign the college’s Culture of Care Agreement and must do so before being allowed on campus in the spring.
During periods of moderate to good public health conditions, services will include reduced capacity access to dining hall and coffee shop services, the Student Activities Center (by appointment), outdoor program rentals, and library and bookstore access. At all times, the college will provide daily health screenings through our partnership with CastleBranch, weekly testing services, contact tracing services, isolation units, and support for any students who test positive. All access to facilities will begin at a reduced capacity of 25 percent, and access will increase or decrease depending upon the public health outlook. During periods in which health conditions are poor, dining operations will likely shift to include grab-and-go options and deliveries.
Student clubs and activities will conduct most of their activities virtually. Students wishing to hold in-person events are invited to submit written requests, including detailed plans for COVID-19 precautions, to Malcom Morgan at mmorgan(at)sjc.edu.
Learn more about student life on campus during the spring semester.
Regardless of whether you are on campus or off campus, online or in in-person/hybrid classes, the spring semester for both undergraduate and graduate students will begin and end per the published academic calendar, with first regular classes on January 18 and ending with commencement on May 22. If the public health conditions cause us to delay our on-campus reopening, the academic calendar will continue online as scheduled with possible minor adjustments.
Our regular spring break schedule will be amended. Instead of a two-week spring break, those 10 open days will be redistributed over the course of the semester, likely into two added long weekends and several “open” days for rest, refreshment, and study. Travel will be prohibited during the brief breaks, since the need for post-travel quarantine would disrupt the academic schedule.
For undergraduate students who request in-person classes, your classes will likely be a mix of online classes, in-person classes, and hybrid classes in which some students are in person and others are online. Your mix of class modalities may change throughout the semester as the college responds to changing health conditions. In short, there are likely to be periods in which the mix of online, in-person, and hybrid classes are occurring regularly, and periods in which most, if not all, classes move to the online environment. Various factors may limit the number of in-person classes available.
The class modality requests of students who are living off campus will be treated the same as the requests of students who are living on campus; however, if worsening conditions or changes in state regulations require limiting access to campus, it is possible that in-person options for off-campus students could be dialed back for a time.
For Graduate Institute students, most, if not all, classes in both degree programs will remain online. If the distribution of student and faculty requests, as well as other conditions, permit it, some classes may be in person; Liberal Arts tutorials are the most likely candidates for this. We will also consider hybrid classes if the graduate student survey results and student requests indicate an interest in that modality. Graduate Institute preceptorials will be conducted exclusively online, so that all preceptorials will be available to all graduate students. Given current projections, Eastern Classics students should expect classes to remain online. The associate dean will consider all student and tutor input, together with all other comprehensive factors and conditions governing our spring opening.
All students who prefer online classes should be confident in knowing that the college will continue to deliver a full academic schedule online for all students who prefer it.
Visit our academics page to learn more about our spring academic offerings, including experiences outside of the classroom and the factors that may influence the availability and regularity of in-person options.
Public health circumstances and officials at the federal, state, or local level may mandate a variety of health restrictions impacting the college’s plans. These changes may range from relatively minor (such as scheduled changes or extended breaks) to significant (such as suspension of in-person classes or residential living). We hope that all members of the community understand the need to be flexible, to have patience with each other, and to remain ready to pivot as necessary to ensure a successful spring semester, whether in person or remote.
If the college is unable to offer an on-campus experience in the spring, or if on-campus living is suspended during and for the remainder of the semester, students who have paid for spring room and board can expect a prorated refund based on the number of weeks in the term that are not spent in campus housing. Regardless of whether students are on campus or taking classes remotely, though, the tuition rate will remain the same, as tuition payments are in exchange for learning/academic programming that will be provided regardless of whether a student is learning on campus or entirely remotely. Unfortunately, due to increased technology and other related costs, remote learning does not result in savings to the college.
There are many people with whom you can talk about your decision, and they are listed below. The college will also host a virtual town hall with college leaders on November 30, at 1:15 p.m. MT. The passcode is 135645 and the webinar ID is 864 4034 7339. In the meantime, here are a few people you might consider reaching out to:
For questions about the undergraduate academic calendar and classes:
Contact Dean Walter Sterling and the Dean’s Office: santafe.deansoffice(at)sjc.edu
Assistant Dean Michael Golluber: michael.golluber(at)sjc.edu
For all Graduate Institute questions:
Contact the Graduate Institute Office.
For January Freshmen questions:
Contact your admissions counselor or email admissions(at)sjc.edu.
For international student questions:
Contact Executive Director of Campus Health and Wellness Christine Guevara: christine.guevara(at)sjc.edu
For health and safety questions, including testing and risk mitigation strategies:
Contact Executive Director of Campus Health and Wellness Christine Guevara: christine.guevara(at)sjc.edu
For campus life and the culture of care agreement questions:
Contact Director of Student Life Cesar Cervantes: cesar.cervantes(at)sjc.edu
For specific housing questions:
Contact Housing Coordinator Sarah Reeve: sarah.reeve(at)sjc.edu