Idaho State announces fall reopening plan

Idaho State University plans to reopen for face-to-face classes on Aug. 17, but shift to online final exams after Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday, Idaho State laid out its plans to reopen for fall semester — and allow students back on campus, five months after the coronavirus pandemic forced Idaho higher education to shift all coursework online.

Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee

“Idaho State has plans in place to protect our campus community while, at the same time, fulfilling our core mission of education,” President Kevin Satterlee said in a news release. 

Idaho State’s reopening plans have been in the works for several weeks. In many ways, they mirror reopening strategies at Boise State University and the University of Idaho. Idaho State will move classes into larger meeting spaces, to allow for social distancing. Some classes will shift to online or online-classroom hybrid models. University housing will reopen, according to the news release, “setting aside adequate space for self-quarantine if needed.”

The Aug, 17 starting date is not new. But the modified fall schedule closes the campus after Thanksgiving. Some health officials warn of a potential second wave of coronavirus in late fall, coinciding with the start of flu season.

Here’s the fall timetable:

  • Monday, Aug. 17: Classes begin.
  • Monday, Oct. 5-Friday, Oct. 9: Midterms.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: Face-to-face instruction concludes.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25-Friday, Nov. 27: Thanksgiving break.
  • Monday, Nov. 30-Friday, Dec. 4: Online final exams.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 15: Fall grades due.

And there’s a backup plan, Satterlee said. If coronavirus infection rates surge, Idaho State is prepared to shift back to remote learning.

“Things might be slightly different than what we are used to,” he said, “but we will persevere and continue our mission and accept these challenges.”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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