Fontbonne University has announced plans to fully resume in-person classes, on-campus events and activities, and athletic competitions for the fall 2021 semester scheduled to begin Aug. 23.
The decision comes after Fontbonne’s Pandemic Planning and Coordinating Team (PACT), university leadership and key faculty and staff members made numerous adjustments to the school’s operating policies and procedures in an effort to protect the health and well-being of the Fontbonne community at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Approximately 75 percent of classes that were offered in-person switched to a remote or hybrid form of instruction, residence hall capacity was reduced by 10 percent, most events took place virtually, and fall 2020 athletic competitions were postponed to spring 2021.
“The entire Fontbonne community has come together to support one another during a difficult and unusual year,” said Joe Deighton, vice president for student affairs. “It was an all hands-on-deck endeavor across campus to implement the plans developed by PACT. We are so grateful for the team effort to quickly move to remote learning and implement wide-ranging mitigation efforts that allowed us to keep outbreak incidents to a minimal and manageable quantity.”
Declining infection rates, the continuing rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and Fontbonne’s successful mitigation and containment strategies contributed to the university’s decision to bring all in-person activity back to campus while continuing to monitor Covid-19 developments and align with public health guidance.
This fall, nearly all of the classes that were being taught remotely over the last year will meet face-to-face again. Student organizations that were unable to gather on campus will have the opportunity to congregate and hold in-person events. Fontbonne’s residence halls and dining facilities will return to normal operations and capacity, and all 20 of the university’s NCAA Division III athletic programs will hold regular practices and resume a normal competition schedule.
“The Fontbonne community, like many universities throughout the nation and world, has endured extreme challenges and circumstances through this pandemic,” said Dr. Nancy H. Blattner, Fontbonne president. “Despite these challenges, I’ve seen shining examples of the grit, resilience and altruism that have been a part of Fontbonne’s foundation from the beginning. With brighter days ahead, I look forward to responsibly returning to a more normal schedule of campus activities and classroom engagement. The fall will be an exciting time for our returning students and a warm welcome to the incoming new students who will call Fontbonne home.”