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Paul Smith’s will have in-person classes, move up semester schedule

Paul Smith's College sits on the shore of Lower St. Regis Lake. (Photo provided by Paul Smith's College)

PAUL SMITHS — Paul Smith’s College plans to hold in-person classes this fall semester with an adjusted academic schedule that includes an earlier start date and conclusion of on-campus learning prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

In addition to face-to-face work in and outside of the classroom, remote learning will be available to students in need of the added academic flexibility.

“Hands-on learning is a key component of the Paul Smith’s College experience, and we’re excited to be able to welcome students to campus this August,” President Cathy Dove said in a press release Friday. “Months of careful planning has gone into developing a way in which we can best balance our academic mission with the health and safety of our students, employees and neighbors in the region.”

Under the opening plan, the first day of classes will be Tuesday, Aug. 18, following several days of staggered move-in and new student welcome activities. Face-to-face classes will end on Friday, Nov. 20, with end-of-semester activities taking place remotely.

This modified schedule, similar to those adopted by colleges throughout the state, will reduce the number of times students typically travel to and from the region, as well as allow a return home prior to the flu season.

The college’s plan follows the guidance developed by the state for higher education as part of Forward New York.

On campus, physical spaces have been reconfigured to better accommodate social distancing practices. Upon arrival, students will be provided toolkits that include face masks and information about safety protocols adopted by the college. Paul Smith’s says it is is working closely with local health care organizations on testing and contact tracing procedures.

Although fall sports will forego a traditional preseason, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association is cautiously optimistic that competition will take place, and athletics staff are working closely with conference officials as they determine whether fall sports can safely resume.