Community Update #44 - Update and Support for Fall Term Planning

Community Update #44 - Update and Support for Fall Term Planning

With a return to more in-person learning planned for the fall, there are understandably questions about how planning is progressing. In this update, I will focus on in-person teaching, but please also rest assured that the COVID-19 Planning and Response (CPR) team continues to work on a range of processes and initiatives to protect health and safety on our campuses for all returning this fall.

The province is set to enter into Step 2 of its Roadmap to Reopen on June 30. Our review of the regulations for Step 2 indicate that there are no changes to our Summer 2021 term. We continue to await guidance from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) on what will and will not be permitted for the Fall 2021 term and anticipate that this information will be shared with Ontario’s post-secondary sector in early July.

This guidance will be instrumental for our planning efforts, as we anticipate decisions will be made on physical distancing, capacity limits and potential travel restrictions for international students. In the meantime, we continue to observe all current public health guidelines in our planning efforts.

As students have registered in undergraduate and graduate courses that have been marked for in-person, online or remote delivery, we have received many questions about what is required of instructors to support students who cannot attend in-person courses.    I would like to share some information with you now to support your planning:

  • For courses or meets marked for in-person delivery, room numbers will be assigned by no later than July 30.  
  • Where possible, instructors are encouraged to make course materials available through eClass, as recent student survey results indicate this is very helpful for students, regardless of the course delivery format. 
  • Students who wish to change courses or sections due to a change in circumstances related to COVID-19, will be able to do so without penalty within course enrolment timelines.
  • Normal policies for accommodating student absences will apply in situations where a student is unable to attend classes in-person due to a change in their circumstances, once the deadline to switch courses has passed.
  • Even if the public health situation improves further over the summer months as anticipated, the University will not seek to convert courses or meets that have been marked for remote or online delivery, to in-person delivery.

Details on the many ways in which York is planning to welcome the community back safely are available here along with information on return to campus planning, improvements made to ventilation and air filtration and FAQs. Please be assured that we are planning for multiple public health scenarios and that the health and safety of the community continues to come first.

As we eagerly await guidance from the province by early July on how the postsecondary sector can prepare for the fall, please know that when this information is available, I will be sure to update you on any impacts this may pose for the York community. In the meantime, please continue to visit Better Together for the latest updates.


Lisa Philipps
Provost & Vice-President Academic