Gear Up FLC - Fall 2020

June 17, 2020

Dear FLC students and families,

Our fall semester is just around the corner and I can’t wait to welcome everyone back to campus. While things won’t be exactly like last fall, with guidance from our public health officials and the leadership of our amazing Skyhawk community, I fully expect to provide you with an exceptional educational and co-curricular experience.

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

The first update I’d like to share is our academic calendar for Fall 2020. Our first day of classes will be Monday, August 24, one week earlier than originally scheduled. The last day of classes will be the Wednesday of Fall Break, November 25. We will not return for in-person classes after Fall Break, instead connecting once again virtually for online final exams. December 4 will be our last day of the semester.

  • August 16-23, Staggered move-in to campus housing
  • August 23, New Student Orientation 
  • August 24, Classes begin (one week earlier than originally scheduled)
  • October 26, Spring and Summer registration begins for continuing students
  • November 23, Spring and Summer registration begins for new students
  • November 25, Last day of classes (online instructional day)
  • November 26-27, Fall Break 
  • November 30, Course Review Day
  • December 1-4, Final exams online 
  • December 5, Residence halls close
  • TBD, Commencement

The new calendar is one of many ways we’ll be adapting this fall as a community to these COVID-19 times. We’ve had planning teams working incredibly hard behind the scenes to establish how we’ll safely return for in-person instruction. We have also been collaborating with officials at our public health department and hospital on monitoring for COVID-19 and their recommendations for keeping our community safe. Cases in our community have remained low because of our continued philosophy of caring for others during a pandemic: wear face coverings, wash hands frequently, and keep physical distance. These successful measures will remain for the fall.

Get ready to Gear Up, FLC

On the Gear Up FLC webpage, you’ll find everything you need know to prepare for the fall semester. To help you understand our fall plans, we’ve launched three areas of information: Campus Life, Learning, and Campus Health. You’ll see that we’ve covered everything from activities and events, to classroom spaces and mask protocols. This webpage is your primary source of information for the fall. Keep checking back for updates as we continue to share more.

As we learned this spring, we have to be ready to adapt to changing conditions and guidelines from local and state officials. We have carefully considered as many aspects of our fall return as possible but we remain flexible and can modify them quickly. Thank you for your responsiveness and preparedness for the many scenarios that could arise.

The Skyhawk community cares

In so many ways, the world looks and feels different today than it did on March 13 when we left campus for spring break. The mental and physical health challenges of dealing with a global pandemic are part of our daily reality in ways that would have seemed unimaginable just a few months ago. To navigate this health crisis, we’ll need to maintain a collective and unwavering commitment to adhere to the guidelines we’ve established to keep our community safe. We will need to be diligent in following the parameters established for campus. We are all accountable to one another and together we can work to keep each other safe.

One of the reasons I came to Fort Lewis College is because the incredible diversity of our student’s population, as well as our historic and current commitment to serving Native American and Alaska Native peoples. As I’ve come to know our community, I feel so fortunate to have the honor to work with all of our students who bring a broad range of experiences and insights to our campus. It is not lost on me that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Indigenous, Black, and Latinx communities. This health crisis has unfolded during a crucial inflection point for our nation; something that communities of color have long known – racial injustice and inequity are far too pervasive in our society. As the leader of FLC, I feel a distinct obligation to ensure that this conversation and corresponding action are front and center, and our response to COVID-19 will follow alongside the greater call to end police brutality, racism, and injustice.

These issues are complex, important, and central to the health of our democracy and lives. There is no place better than a college campus to explore, understand, and act upon them. I am confident that you, as future leaders of tomorrow, can guide us. While we’ve made some progress in our strive to be an equity seeking institution, we have more to do.

Having you back on campus inspires me ​and I hope you’re ready to return. I’ve seen how powerful and empowering it is when our FLC community comes together, and that’s what we need now. These COVID​-19 distancing circumstances will make it harder for our community to be physically close, but now, more than ever, it’s critical that we come together. I can’t wait to do that in person in August.

Please join me for town hall to learn more about the Fall. We’ll be meeting virtually on Friday, June 26 at 3:30 p.m. and will be taking your questions live.

If you have any questions or concerns before then, email covid19-info@fortlewis.edu or 970-247-7301.

Best, Tom