Fall 2020 Plan: Back to Brooklyn

Miguel Martinez-Saenz


Dear St. Francis College community -

Earlier this month, I let you know that our St. Francis College Committee for Reopening was developing our phased return-to-campus plan for fall 2020, called Back to Brooklyn.

I am happy to let you know that our plan is now available on our new Back to Brooklyn web page.

You'll see that it thoughtfully covers all aspects of what you can expect come September, from the health and safety measures in place on campus to how our classes will work.

I encourage you to visit the page regularly, as we'll post updates there as they develop.

Two core principles guide Back to Brooklyn planning:

  • Optimizing our community's well-being by mitigating COVID-19 transmission.
  • Delivering a stellar Franciscan education aimed at student success and achievement.

With those principles in mind, some of the main changes you'll see in fall 2020 are:

Courses will be instructed partially or completely online, in one of three modalities:

  • Blended Hybrid
    • On-campus instruction at scheduled times during the week (generally once per week)
    • Some sections will have live online course meetings during the week (synchronous)
    • Some sections have self-paced online meetings using Canvas and other platforms (asynchronous)
    • Online live office hours for students to engage with professors
  • Online: Set-time (synchronous)
    • Live online instruction at scheduled times during the week
    • Online learning using Canvas and other platforms
    • Online live office hours for students to engage with professors
  • Online: Self-Paced (asynchronous)
    • Online learning with no scheduled course meeting time
    • Online learning using Canvas and other platforms
    • Online live office hours for students to engage with professors.

Any student unable or unwilling to come to campus can complete a Blended Hybrid course entirely remotely if he or she chooses. We will always provide an online alternative to any in-person instruction scheduled.

Many College offices will continue to operate remotely, although some administrative staff will return to on-campus work. Anyone needing administrative services should email the office first before planning to visit in person.

Campus will be subject to rigorous new protocols and physical modifications that ensure we comply with local, state and federal health and safety guidelines. These include mandatory social distancing, face-mask wearing, temperature checks upon arrival, and completion of health questionnaires before visiting campus, among many other measures. To keep to a minimum the numbers of people on campus at one time, entry into our buildings will be limited to students who need to be there for classes, labs or other approved purposes; certain faculty and staff; and others who have received appropriate advance approval.

We will ask our community members to take a Terrier Pledge before the academic year, affirming their commitment to following the rules in effect and thus doing their part to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Our students are at the heart of everything we do at St. Francis College. We will not compromise on the outstanding education each of them deserves, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Our faculty is trained to deliver state-of-the-art education online. We began an online teaching certification program last year, and most of our faculty will have completed it by fall. They are ready and eager to be back in the classroom, whether that's in a traditional or online format. I share their enthusiasm wholeheartedly.

Next Thursday, August 6th from 5 to 6 pm EDT, I will take part in an online Town Hall to answer questions from students and their families about fall 2020. I hope you join me and other SFC leaders there. Keep an eye on your email for an invitation.

I hope you and your family are healthy and safe this summer. You will continue to hear from us regularly as we gear up to go Back to Brooklyn.


In Peace & Friendship,
Miguel Martinez-Saenz