It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we made the difficult decision to shift to remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. And while it has been challenging, your efforts have helped our community be able to live and learn together during this pandemic. Now we are in the home stretch ─ just 57 days from the end of the academic year ─ and planning for all students, faculty, and staff to return to in-person status this fall.
This is no small victory, nor is it a happy accident; getting to this point has required careful planning, as guided by science and data, as we always will be. It has also required your diligence, endurance, and patience. What’s more, our progress demonstrates that when the WPI community works together, we can and do successfully address great challenges. You are to be congratulated, and I want you to know how proud I am of you. Thank you for getting us here.
While this is most certainly a moment of pride and hope, it is also a time of caution. This week brings a convergence of events: the start of Daylight Savings time, St. Patrick’s Day, the conclusion of C-Term classes, the start of a well-deserved break, and the official beginning of spring. Please take the opportunity to refresh and recharge, but also remember that the pandemic does not have a calendar, and it will not relent—even if we’re desperate for a break.
We all want D-Term to start (and finish) successfully, so we cannot allow our mitigation efforts to slip. If we want to keep WPI in the fully green TechFlex on Campus status, we all must continue making safe choices and taking extra precautions to prevent a spike in cases and a need to increase restrictions. A true “All for one, and one for all…” moment.
Safety first: stay in Worcester during break
Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I ask that you not travel during the break. As required, keep your testing cadence and continue to use the Symptom Tracker daily. Enjoy Worcester and the region without having to worry about classes or homework. Get some fresh air and see some local sights —wearing a mask and socially distanced, of course.
If you do need to leave, please let WPI’s Health Team know in advance via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; you’ll be required to follow all Massachusetts travel guidelines. Then, upon your return to campus, help keep your university friends and community safe by testing immediately upon your return and quarantining until you get your negative test results back.
There is light on the horizon, but we aren’t fully out of the dark yet. Let’s keep working together on our journey to a brighter spring, summer, and fall. We can do this. Please continue to watch email for important messages and check the We Are WPI website regularly.
Wishing you all good health and much happiness.