CALDWELL, Idaho — In-person classes and residency for the fall semester at the College of Idaho will happen with the appropriate health and safety measures. On May 1, co-presidents Doug Brigham and Jim Everett said “with a careful eye to the evolving COVID-19 landscape, we wish to announce our intent to open The College of Idaho for in-person classes and on-campus living for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester.”
“Our greatest concern is for the safety of our students, faculty and staff on-campus,” said Co-President Doug Brigham, “which is why we closed our campus even before the stay-at-home order was issued by the state. Based on our ongoing consultation with the local healthcare community, our senior administration and trustees, we feel that as long as people adhere to appropriate guidelines, the systems in place can safely handle the cases we experience here in southwest Idaho.”
The college is appointing task forces to work on the changes necessary to be ready to open campus in the fall. Areas of focus include student life, academics, athletics/activities and facilities. Each task force is developing contingency plans and timelines.
“Our plan is to share more specific details with our extended Yote family by the end of May,” the Co-Presidents stated in their letter to the community. “But we feel it is critical that we communicate now our continuing commitment to in-person classes, on-campus living, and a timely start to the Fall semester.”
The College of Idaho is the first in the state to announce to shift to online-only classes for the spring semester on March 13. 185 students remained on campus for various reasons, including difficulties returning to international homes or domestic situations. Those students are housed with appropriate physical distancing and maintained food service without any coronavirus outbreaks.
“We have been grateful to our frontline staff and our students who have helped us maintain a safe campus community for our students who have no other place to be during these times,” said Co-President Jim Everett. “While we still have much to learn, we have gained some experience in meal delivery, cleaning practices and de-densification of living spaces. None of this is possible without the cooperation of our students and that will continue to be an important component as we move to the fall.”