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Central Washington University plans an accelerated schedule for fall with classes starting Sept. 9.

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In a letter to the campus community, Central Washington University president Jim Gaudino outlined initial plans for the return of students to campus for fall quarter.

"The plan seeks to balance two critical goals: safeguarding the health and safety of our community and offering the high-quality learning, living, and working environments for which Central is so well known," Gaudino wrote. 

The quarter will feature an accelerated schedule, starting on Sept. 9 and ending on Nov. 24. The schedule has 51 days of instruction, with a day of for Veterans Day on Nov. 11, and a study day on Nov. 16. The goal, Gaudino writes, is to complete the quarter ahead of a forecasted increase in COVID-19 cases and to avoid the logistics of students leaving campus and returning after Thanksgiving.

Faculty will have the option to choose between teaching in-person, virtually, or combining the two modalities. 

"The goal is to find the modality that best balances the safety and quality of instruction," Gaudino wrote. "Deans and chairs have been working with faculty to record these choices so they can be presented to students when they register for classes. Our new and returning students will be encouraged to develop a schedule that conforms to their learning style and personal needs."

Staff will be encouraged to work remotely unless their job can only be performed in person. 

Physical distancing will be required, and will be baked in to learning spaces, gathering spaces movement on campus and services that involve face-to-face interactions. Masks will be required for all employees and students when physical distancing is not possible, except those who cannot wear masks for health reasons. Cloth masks will be provided to all students and employees. Students who enter classrooms or gathering places without masks will be asked to mask immediately or leave.

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