Michigan State to Go Virtual for Spring Semester Begins


Michigan State University is going virtual for the start of the next semester.

MSU President Dr Samuel Stanley Jr. said most classes will be virtual only for at least the first three weeks of the semester. Some labs and other classes that need to meet in person always will. And Stanley says the dorms and mess halls will remain open for students who wish to return to campus.

“I realize that students prefer to be in person, and so do I,” Stanley wrote in a letter to students and staff on Friday. “But it’s important that we do it in a safe way. Starting the semester remotely and de-densifying the campus in the coming weeks may be a solution to slowing the spread of the virus. ”

Friday’s announcement came just two days after Stanley sent out a separate letter, confirming in-person classes for the spring semester. But since the release of that first letter, Stanley has noted that Michigan has set a new record for daily confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“Given this intense increase in the number of cases, we now believe that the best decision for our campus is to start classes primarily remotely on January 10 and for at least the first three weeks of the semester,” Stanley wrote on Friday.

He said MSU employees can also start the spring semester with remote work, if possible, and if approved by a supervisor.

Oakland University and Wayne State University also plan to start the next semester with virtual classes.

The Detroit Public School Community District superintendent announced Friday that there will be no online or in-person school Monday through Wednesday next week. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said it was because of the unprecedented 36% COVID test positivity rate.

Ann Arbor Public Schools also announced Friday that schools will switch to virtual learning when school returns next Wednesday. The school district said it expects a return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan.10.

This story has been updated with additional information on the changes announced Friday by Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

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