November is upon us and as we know, many of you are preparing for end of term exams, papers, activities and move-out plans for our students. Thank you, once again, for your dedication to our unusual fall term. The ways in which we have pivoted our experience from the traditional to the virtual and novel is truly remarkable. I am always thankful for the contributions each and every one of you make to our community, but this year I am deeply moved by the ways in which our colleagues have come together—while staying apart—to keep our community safe.
I have been thinking about our winter break. While many of us will have important work to do during these six weeks, I want to ensure that you are able to take time to recharge during our exceptionally challenging year.
Extended winter recess
In recognition of all you have been doing over the past several months and all you are doing to prepare for winter term, the College will extend our traditional winter recess. We will be providing three additional days of closure from Monday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Dec 23. We will be closed from Saturday, Dec. 19 – Sunday, Jan. 3 to allow a much deserved extended recess. These additional three days of paid time off will provide you with a full two weeks to recharge. We will put a notice on our website and social media channels letting our community know that our offices will be closed for this period of time.
If you were already scheduled to use paid time off for any of these days, Payroll staff will make the adjustment to your time to ensure you do not have to use a vacation day.
If you are in an essential position that prevents you from taking these days off, please work with your supervisor to use your time on alternative dates by Dec. 31, 2021.
With our population of students significantly reduced (even more so than our average winter break), anyone able to work from home during our winter break, should do so. Please speak with your supervisor or department chair about how frequently and in what capacity you may need to be on campus.
Last day of fall-term COVID-19 testing - Monday, Nov. 23
To ensure that our Testing Center colleagues have the Thanksgiving holiday off, the last day of fall-term testing will be Monday, Nov. 23. The Testing Center will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 24 through Monday, Nov. 30. If you are scheduled to be tested on Tuesday, Nov. 24 or Wednesday, Nov. 25, please plan to be tested no later than Monday, Nov. 23. Note: If you are not scheduled to be on campus Thanksgiving week, you should not come in for testing.
We will be in touch with additional information about testing plans for the winter break later this month.
As we shared in the Oct. 19 communication to campus, we will be hosting a webinar for faculty and staff on Nov. 12 from 1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. to provide a forum in which we can answer your questions about winter break and winter and spring terms. Please register for this webinar and submit your questions in advance.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our community.
David R. Harris