President's Newsletter

August 2020

Dear neighbors,

Welcome to August and a new school year -- one unlike any other. I hope that you and your families have been safe and healthy. I can't thank you enough for the kind words, in email or in person, and for keeping campus alive and vibrant as it sometimes felt like I was the only person here. It was heartening to see families and children, joggers and walkers taking advantage of the unusually quiet grounds.

More than 100 people have been working tirelessly to create a health and safety plan for our students and employees. The foundation of our protocols have been in place since June 8, when we welcomed a portion of the workforce back to campus. More employees came back on August 3, with about 75 continuing to telecommute for the semester.

As we are poised to welcome students back to campus this week, I ask that you continue to follow signage and protocols, for your own safety and also to serve as role models for our students. Of significant note is wearing masks on campus, even when outside; social distancing will be harder as the population density increases. More information about our plan can be found below, with the entirety on our Welcome Home site.

We have canceled all on-campus events for the fall semester, including our annual neighbor's breakfast. We will instead have a virtual breakfast on Monday, Oct. 12 so I can update you on the College's year ahead and answer any questions you may have. We'll send a Zoom link as we get closer to that date. Until then, I can always be reached at

Stay safe and well. And see you around the neighborHood.


Andrea Chapdelaine, Ph.D.



COVID-19 Protocols

As students are preparing to return to campus, we have made changes not only to the rules, but also the physical plant. We've removed furniture, installed signage, changed traffic flow, and increased cleaning supplies in every building and every classroom.

We are also limiting access to facilities to reduce in-person interactions. Buildings will be limited to campus personnel or official meetings. Likewise, we are limiting residential halls to only those residents.

Social distancing is imperative, as is mask wearing, even outside as we have more and more people on campus. We ask that you follow that best practice, as well. With our Heart, Mind & Hands Pledge, we are empowering our community to remind others to comply.

Our campus community is also using the #CampusClear app daily to monitor symptoms.

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Move-In Schedule

Students were given the option to take classes online or in-person, and while the majority of our residential students want to come back to campus, we do have a number who will take classes virtually. For those returning, move-in starts on Thursday, with careful protocol. Students have to sign up, with limited numbers moving into the same floor and building at a time. They also are limited to the number of people who can help them move in. housekeeping will clean between moving shifts.

New first-year and transfer students

  • Thursday, Aug. 13, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Returning students

  • Saturday, Aug. 15, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 16, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Classes start on Monday, Aug. 17.

Testing Plan

Testing is crucial to help treat, isolate or provide medical care to those who are infected. As part of our comprehensive public health plan, the College has developed a COVID-19 testing plan that includes both surveillance testing and symptomatic testing.

Frederick Health will provide on-site clinical surveillance testing for Hood College students, faculty and staff who are asymptomatic. We will test approximately 10 percent of the on-campus population weekly through the end of the semester.

All residential students are tested upon arrival to campus. Additionally, students traveling from "hot spot" states have been arriving early so that they can be quarantined until test results come back.

More about our testing can be found here.

Academic Calendar

  • August 17 -- First day of classes
  • September 7 -- Labor Day, classes in session and offices open
  • October 10-14 -- Fall break canceled; classes in session
  • November 24 -- Last day of final exams
  • November 25 -- Residence halls close at noon until spring semester

We are currently working on the academic calendar for spring 2021.

By now, you've probably seen that the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) made the difficult decision to suspend all intercollegiate athletics competition through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our student-athletes, while understandably disappointed, will be able to practice and train together this fall.

More information about this decision can be found here.