SaintsRiseUp Safe Return | Campus Updates

Safe Return Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about details and logistics of our Safe Return plan. We expect these to change as circumstances and plans evolve, so please check back for updates.

These FAQs address issues and actions related to:

  • Masks and Face Coverings
  • COVID-19 Testing, Screening and Surveillance
  • Facilities Considerations
  • Health Promotion and Risk Prevention
  • Teaching and Learning

If you have questions or concerns, please contact College Communications at collegecomm@css.edu. Our thanks to Syracuse University, whose FAQs served as a model for this document.

Q: What is the College's policy on face coverings? Will everybody have to wear a mask at all times?

A: The College requires face coverings (masks, shields, etc.) for all students, faculty, staff and visitors while on campus in Duluth and St. Cloud. This includes in the presence of others, and in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as when entering or exiting campus, lounges, hallways, restrooms, etc.

In addition, where workstations do not permit at least six feet between employees, employees must wear face coverings at all times. The use of face coverings is encouraged within office suites even if physical distancing measures can be practiced.

In some instances, there are legitimate medical reasons that an individual cannot wear a mask for an extended period. There also may be a limited number of unique situations where wearing a mask during certain activities is not possible, appropriate or even hazardous to those with certain pre-existing conditions. Students in need of accommodations should check with the Central for Equal Access or the Student Health Service. Employees should follow up with the Human Resources Department.

Employees may bring their own face coverings to work. If employees need cloth masks, the Safety and Security Manager has some available. St. Scholastica will provide all Duluth and St. Cloud on-ground students, faculty and staff with one CSS mask and one CSS buff/gaiter in their Saints Kits. Please note that buffs/gaiters should be double- or triple-layered for maximum effectiveness. Some courses may require face shields or other personal protective equipment in addition to a mask. Additional masks can be purchased through the Saints Shop.

Our embedded sites at Central Lakes, Inver Hills, Itasca and Riverland community colleges will follow safety protocols set for by the Minnesota State system.


Q: What's the right way to wear a mask?

A: Face masks are an essential building block of our campus community's health and safety. They must be worn properly, as demonstrated in this video from the Minnesota Department of Health,  in this message from the Centers for Disease Control and this infographic from Johns Hopkins Medicine.


Q: What are the campus policies for eating and drinking?

A: Eating and drinking are allowed only in designated, physically-distanced dining or study areas. No eating or drinking is allowed in classrooms except in the case of pre-approved students who have medical conditions.


Q: What is the security response to COVID-19 emergencies?

A: In response to emergencies, Campus Safety officers will arrive in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The response will vary depending on the location and type of emergency they are responding to. If the situation warrants, officers will have access to N-95 masks, gloves, disinfectant, and face coverings for those on scene.

Common areas will have a supply of disposable face coverings and disinfectant wipes. Face coverings will also be available in the security office for the general public when needed.


Q: Are visitors to campus required to wear masks?

A: Yes. Any individual accessing our campus – including visitors and contractors – is required to wear a face covering or mask while in the presence of others and in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. In addition, the College is limiting campus visitors during the fall semester.


Q: Who is responsible for ensuring students, faculty and staff follow the College's policy on wearing masks or face coverings? How is this being enforced?

A: This is a shared responsibility. We must all do our part to protect ourselves and each other. During the COVID-19 health emergency, wearing a mask is not only an action designed to protect you from exposure to the virus, but it is also a visible sign that all members of our campus community are doing their part to safeguard the health and wellness of others.

Faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to promptly report suspected violations of the reopening plan requirements to their supervisor, to their vice president, or to anyone in management one is comfortable approaching. The College also has a confidential, toll free hotline (1-800-477-6064) that can be used to report suspected violations. All reported violations will be researched by either HR or the Pandemic Coordinator and actions will be taken if it is determined a plan requirement was violated.

Students who are identified to have acted with flagrant disregard for their health and the health of those around them may be referred to the student judicial process for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

In some instances, there are legitimate medical reasons that an individual cannot wear a mask for an extended period. There also may be a limited number of unique situations where wearing a mask during certain activities is not possible, appropriate or even hazardous to those with certain pre-existing conditions. Accommodations are available. 


Q: How are testing and tracing for COVID-19 being performed?

A: The College is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and Essentia Health to coordinate our testing and tracing efforts. The Student Health Service coordinates testing for those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. A testing protocol has been established with the U of M and Mayo testing partnership.The College partners with the MDH on contact tracing. Additional testing protocols are in place for specific groups and circumstances that may trigger a need for testing. Asymptomatic testing is available at MDH testing sites throughout Minnesota.


Q: Do students who are only taking classes off-campus need to report quarantine or isolation?

A. Yes. They can use the COVID-19 reporting form.


Q: I wasn’t tested at the College and I need to report my test results. What do I do?

A: Students should complete the COVID-19 reporting form.

Employees should notify HR at hr@css.edu.


Q: How does the College conduct ongoing monitoring for instances of COVID-19?

A: All employees are required to complete a daily screening using an app- or computer-based self-checker. Employees are to follow the recommendations noted after the screening questions have been answered. The recommendations may include self-quarantine or a visit to your primary health provider. Employees should notify their supervisors if the recommendation is they should not report to work.

If the recommendations are not followed and the violation is reported, disciplinary action may be taken.

Duluth-based students are required to screen daily with honesty and forthrightness for symptoms of coronavirus by CSS email or on their phone through the MyHealth portal. Students are asked to complete the CSS COVID Report if they need isolation or quarantine. All students, regardless of campus, are expected to monitor their symptoms daily and report any concerns to their healthcare providers.


Q: What if a student tests positive for COVID-19? What will be the procedure to support that student and safeguard others on campus?

A: Most of our students do not live on campus, so most students who test positive will get their primary care and convalescence off campus. Students who test positive are asked to complete a short form that gives SHS and the Dean of Students Office the information they need. Students are required to work directly with their faculty, as in cases of other illness such as flu, to make arrangements to make up missed work. If the student's illness requires hospitalization, the Dean of Students will help manage the communication with faculty.

If a student who lives on campus tests positive, the College will deploy its response protocol, which prioritizes the health of the student as well as the safety and well-being of the community. The student can opt to return home or will be immediately moved to isolation housing that has been set up on campus. These rooms are physically separated from other residential student rooms, have a private bathroom, and are stocked with a thermometer, sanitizing wipes, tissues, soap, hand sanitizer and toiletries. Students with COVID-19 may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND, at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

While isolated, the student will be assigned a case manager to support all academic, health, housing and dining needs. Residential Life, Food Services, and Student Health Service will work together closely to support these students. The MDH will work with the SHS to facilitate the contract tracing of potential exposed CSS community members.

For students who are ill or asymptomatically positive, to the degree reasonably feasible, these isolated students will be encouraged to continue academic activities remotely or will work with their faculty to make arrangements for making up missed work.


Q: Are students and employees screened before entering campus buildings each day?

A: All students and employees and students are asked to self-monitor their symptoms on a daily basis. Duluth-based students will be required to screen daily with honesty and forthrightness for symptoms of coronavirus by CSS email or on their phone through the MyHealth portal. Students are asked to complete the CSS COVID Report if they need isolation or quarantine. All CSS students, regardless of campus, are expected to monitor their symptoms daily and report any concerns to their healthcare providers. Employees will self-monitor using a checklist and inform their supervisor if they are not feeling well, and check in with their primary medical provider.


Q: How is St. Scholastica addressing the need for contact tracing?

A: When a student tests positive for COVID-19 and the result is confirmed by SHS or the Minnesota Department of Health an internal team of contact tracers completes the contact tracing process. MDH also completes contact tracing. SHS is notified by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and testing centers throughout the state when a student tests positive for COVID-19. Students also have the option to self-report their positive COVID test results and/close contact situations via the COVID-19 self-reporting form which is monitored daily by SHS and referred for contact tracing internally to CSS contact tracing team.


Q: What if a student or employee is exposed to someone who has COVID-19? Will they have to be quarantined?

A: Employees and students are not allowed on campus if they have been in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19. Direct contact is defined as being with the person infected at a distance of 6 feet or less for 15 minutes or longer.

Employees should notify their supervisors, self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Students should notify their professors and the Dean of Students, and remain in one of the College's isolation rooms, or self-quarantining at home, while self-monitoring for symptoms for 14 days.

Students should work with the CSS contact tracing team and Quarantine/Isolation Coordinator to facilitate the quarantine and isolation process.


Q: How is St. Scholastica ensuring physical distancing in classrooms?

A: For courses that require in-person experience, the College determined guidelines and updated protocols in accordance with health and government officials. Space reconfigurations, signage, directional limitations and other considerations to maintain and ensure physical distancing have been implemented throughout campus. This includes evaluating classroom spaces, determining projected class sizes and — based on that data — creating a framework for how classes are assigned to spaces. 


Q: What is the right calculation for how many people can be in one room/place? What is the standard for classrooms?

A: For conference rooms, gathering spaces and classrooms, capacity will depend on the size of the room while following 6-foot physical distancing guidelines. Virtual meetings are expected.


Q: How has the College made changes to facilities and common spaces to enable public health practices and behaviors that reduce the risk of virus transmission?

A: We have undertaken multi-faceted efforts to configure facilities and spaces – to the maximum extent practical – to reduce the risk associated with virus transmission. Examples of these changes include, but are not limited to:

  • deploying new signage in all buildings to promote physical distancing;
  • moving and re-setting some furniture to ensure for proper physical distancing
  • placing appropriate wayfinding signage at building entrances to limit flow through constrained spaces;
  • configuring work and public spaces to allow for least 6 feet between individuals;
  • installing barriers in workspaces where people must face each other or are unable to be 6 feet apart;
  • removing chairs and desks to ensure proper physical distancing in conference and waiting rooms;
  • adding more outdoor furniture to our campuses to support studying and connecting outside.
  • limiting public access to academic and student-focused facilities;
  • staggering  arrival and departure times of faculty and staff to reduce congestion;
  • and limiting in-person meetings to no more than 50 percent of a room's capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of physical distancing.

Q: Is the College providing signage for spaces?

A: Yes. The College's Marketing Department has created graphics promoting safe and healthy behaviors for campus, reminding people to physically distance and wear face coverings, and designating campus spaces appropriately. Health and safety signage have been placed around campus buildings, and are available in facilities for departments that need them.


Q: What rules/regulations do campus guests need to follow?

A: Virtual meetings are preferred, but St. Scholastica is selectively allowing visitors on campus. Where business-critical, in-person visits must occur on campus, such as to allow equipment or facilities to remain operational, adherence to this plan is required.

All visitors are asked a series of health screening questions. The campus forbids visits from persons who have had known exposure to persons with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or who are exhibiting symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19.

College-sponsored guests are required to wear a face covering while on campus. If they do not have a face covering, one can be provided for them. They will be asked to maintain physical distancing.


Q: Does the College practice enhanced cleaning and sanitation of common areas, residence halls and other high-traffic spaces?

A: Yes. Since the earliest days of the COVID-19 health emergency, the College has implemented an enhanced cleaning and sanitation process. This covers classrooms, laboratories, performance venues, libraries, residence halls, dining halls, recreation spaces, gathering spaces and other high-traffic areas. The College utilizes disinfectants that have been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as appropriate to eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus (cause of COVID-19).

Routine cleaning and disinfecting practices have been enhanced for work surfaces, equipment, tools, and machinery, and other areas in the work environment. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in areas with highly touched surfaces such as door knobs and handles, classroom furniture, handrails, light switches, vending machines, elevators, and water fountains.

Facilities management also cleans public spaces such as building lobbies and restrooms at least once daily, and more frequently if deemed necessary.

Departments are being provided with sanitizing products for shared-use equipment so that they have the ability to disinfect areas after each use.

All custodial staff and their supervisors have been provided refresher training on proper cleaning techniques, as well as background information on COVID-19. If there is a confirmed positive case reported, the Facilities department will coordinate cleaning and disinfecting of that employee's work space and other places they have touched or used.

Employees are highly encouraged to clean personal work spaces on a daily basis.


Q: What are the guidelines for waiting rooms/spaces?

A: Physical distancing protocols of 6 feet between each person must be followed in waiting rooms. This might necessitate the relocation/removal of furniture, etc.


Q: If I believe that a classroom or office requires modifications to ensure physical distancing, what is the process to make a request for evaluation?

A: Contact Facilities at (218) 723-6106. Specific requests will be evaluated based on several criteria related to campus reopening plans and best available health guidance.


Q: Is the Mitchell Auditorium available for event rental?

A: The College is allowing plans for appropriate Mitchell Auditorium events to proceed with the understanding that the College reserves the right to cancel any event if circumstances require it. Decisions about rental events at the Mitchell Auditorium are being made on a case-by-base basis.  


Q: Will the College allow outside groups to reserve space on campus?

A: Facility Use Contractual Risk Mitigation Statement for outside groups

COVID-19 has proposed a unique challenge for our campus as we attempt to navigate current statues and guidance regarding facility use while slowing the spread of the virus. Using statutory as well as contractual risk mitigation is one way to limit our liability risk.

The College of St. Scholastica values the health and safety of its community. Your presence on campus is welcome. In order to protect you and the campus community, the college has established policies and community safety expectations. To protect the health and safety of our campus community, the College is requiring all visitors to wear a face-covering/mask at all times; maintain proper physical distancing from others (6 feet); maintain proper hand hygiene; and perform a self-health screening prior to coming on campus.

Please be advised that your event may be canceled or postponed based on the College’s current “Alert Level” at the time of your event. To review our current alert level and to review our current policies and expectations surrounding COVID-19, go to css.edu/SafeReturn.


Q: Are campus visits by prospective students still happening?

A: Limited individual campus visits are available. All visits are subject to change based on the COVID-19 situation. We have safety measures in place following national and state guidelines. Please note: all visitors must have a scheduled appointment; no walk-in visits are allowed at this time. Virtual campus visits are available as well. Visit css.edu/visit for more information.


Q: What’s happening with the Monastery and Benedictine Living Community?

A: The Benedictine Living Community of Duluth (BLCD) has strictly limited access. The St. Scholastica Monastery has limited their access as well. The Scholastica Monastery is no longer accessible through Tower Hall. Visitors must check in using the external entrance to the Monastery. Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel is open to Monastery members only.


Q: What will happen if there is a spike on COVID-19 cases?

A: We have drawn upon the best information available from the state, county, city and our community and are confident in our plan, however, it is contingent upon developments and could be changed if pandemic circumstances require it. The safety of our students, faculty and staff will remain our top priority. Refer to the Alert level matrix.


Q: How is the College encouraging healthy behaviors among members of our campus community?

A: Communications are going out frequently on social media and internal channels to remind students, faculty and staff of the importance of following health and safety guidelines for the betterment of the community.

Robust new signage promoting physical distancing and other public health measures has been added around campus. 

All members of the learning community have been encouraged to take the Community Pledge, which provides a framework for how our individual actions, guided by the Benedictine values, can assist with keeping the St. Scholastica  community safe and healthy. 


Q: Is Student Health Services open?

A: Student Health Services will perform telephone triage for appointments. No walk-ins are available. Contact SHS 218-723-6282 or studenthealthservice@css.edu.


Q: How are students being informed and educated about steps and behaviors most appropriate to mitigate the likelihood of exposure to the virus?

A: Students participated in an educational program prior to their return to campus focused on health and wellness issues and actions most appropriate during and beyond the COVID-19 health emergency. Further, all students, faculty and staff were asked to commit to a Community Pledge to follow health and safety guidelines. The Pledge spells out expectations related to behaviors and actions necessary to protect the health of all Saints learning community members.


Q: How is the College enforcing physical distancing and health/safety protocols?

A: It's important for all members of the Saints community to understand that enforcing physical distancing standards and other measures of prevention is everyone's responsibility. It is a shared expectation that all students, faculty and staff will not only themselves adhere to the directives and policies in place to safeguard public health – but also remind others to do the same when necessary.

As previously mentioned, students, faculty and staff took a Community Pledge that sets expectations related to behaviors and actions appropriate to protect their health and the health of those around them. Students who are identified to have acted with flagrant or repeated disregard for their health and the health of those around them will be referred to the student judicial process for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.


Q: How can I access the Student Health Service?

A: Access to SHS will be through phone triage first. There will be no walk-ins allowed. Priority will be to follow up with telehealth appointments as much as possible. When this is not feasible, visits will be an in-depth phone interview initially with remaining in-person visits to be focused and efficient, limiting everyone's exposure. Contact SHS at 218-723-6282 or studenthealthservice@css.edu. Drive up testing is also available.


Q: Do staff and faculty need to quarantine after travel (in-state, out-of-state, flights [domestic/international], driving)? Are students able to go home on the weekends?

A: College-sponsored international and domestic travel is suspended. In some exceptional cases, employees may be given permission to travel for critical purposes; however, they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.

We are strongly discouraging travel.


Q: What are the new safety protocols for our fleet vehicles?

A: The College's fleet vehicles have new capacity limits. The 15-passenger vans now can accommodate only five people including the driver. The seven-passenger vans now can accommodate only four people. Before you go, you must complete the travel request form and submit it to your Vice President or Dean for approval.


Q: Isn't it a risk to reopen in person? How does the College justify it?

A: Much has been learned about COVID-19 since last March. The College is basing its decision upon the best current information available from scientists, health authorities and our higher education peers. Much has been learned about COVID-19 since last March. The College is basing its decisions upon the best current information available from scientists, health authorities and our higher education peers. We continue to review new information and make adjustments to our plans as needed with the safety of our community at the forefront.


Q: The College was not able to hold an in-person Commencement for this spring’s graduates. Will it be doing so in the future?

A: We will hold our 2020 Fall Commencement on December 19, 2020, in a virtual format. All students who graduated in May 2020 and those who will graduate this December will be invited to participate in this ceremony. Due to the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases in many states, we know the safest way to celebrate your accomplishments is through a virtual ceremony. Any student who participates virtually is also welcome to attend and walk in an in-person ceremony as soon as we are able to offer one.

Our past May graduates and current graduating seniors will receive the first of a series of commencement newsletters which will contain information about signing up for the ceremony along with other important communications. If you have questions not covered in the newsletter please email commencement@css.edu.


Q: What is the status of College-related travel?

A: The College has suspended all international and domestic travel.


Q: How has St. Scholastica ensured that physical distancing is possible in classrooms where in-person learning is occurring?

A: The College determined guidelines and updated protocols in accordance with health and government officials. Space reconfigurations and other considerations to maintain and ensure physical distancing have been implemented throughout campus. This included inventorying and evaluating classroom spaces, determining projected class sizes and — based on that data — creating a framework for how classes are assigned to spaces.


Q: What about labs and other hands-on or experiential learning programs? Have they been canceled altogether?

A: No. Even as we move to a virtual format post-Thanksgiving, we will have limited in-person learning. We have studied the needs and requirements of all departments and programs to determine how to best facilitate labs, art and music studios and other hands-on or experiential learning programs. In some cases, it simply meant finding much larger spaces to conduct these types of experiential courses. In other cases, we have found creative ways to safely and meaningfully deliver classes while physically distancing.


Q: How do I interact with students in the lab?

A:

  • Remember to wear masks 
  • Look at the x’s on the floor stay outside this zone
  • Consider using a pointer so you don’t have to stand next to a student

Q: How should I prepare for online classes?

A: Communicate with your professors. Take advantage of student support services, such as academic support and counseling for emotional health. For technical questions, the Help Desk is open and operating.


Q: What should I do if I'm concerned about a student?

A: If you are worried about a student for any reason (other than Title IX-related) including COVID-19 illness, please email Dean of Students Megan Perry-Spears (mperryspears@css.edu). She will share, as appropriate, with the correct resources on the Student of Concern team. All COVID-19 related concerns will be shared by Megan Perry-Spears with CSS Health Services for follow up and management. If the concern is academic performance related, completing an Academic Progress Report (APR) may be more appropriate.


Q: If I am at increased risk for complications of COVID-19 or live with someone who is at risk, can I opt out of teaching or learning in person?

A: Your health and safety are our top priority. St. Scholastica will not ask you to do anything that will jeopardize your well-being or the well-being of an at-risk family member. Accommodations guidelines are in place; employees should contact Human Resources and students should contact the Dean of Students.


Q: If a student would prefer to take classes online and stay home, are they required to come to campus?

A: If a student prefers not to return to campus, for whatever reason, they have the option to continue academic progress toward a degree via an online semester. Faculty have created online course offerings that mirror those classes that will be offered in a residential format during the fall semester. For that reason, the option to participate remotely is possible.

However, if a student opts for an online semester and to remain in a location other than Duluth, MN, for public health reasons, their access to campus will be limited (given that those individuals would not be part of the ongoing testing and monitoring procedures in place for the residential student population).

Certain courses require in-person experiences to fulfill learning outcomes. Students will be able to drop and add courses to meet their individual situations.


Q: What is the College doing to provide mental and emotional support during this stressful time for students, faculty and staff?

A: Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of the College's mental health support resources if feeling anxious or stressed. Students can access information about services available by visiting College of St. Scholastica Counseling Services. Employees of the College can access mental health benefits available through the Employee Assistance Plan.

Counseling Services is using Telemental Health to provide mental health counseling services to students. Students can call 218-723-6085 to schedule a session with a Mental Health Therapist. There also may be times when a life crisis seems overwhelming. Anyone in need of crisis services can utilize the following after-hours crisis resources found on the Counseling Services web page at Student Mental Health Crisis Resources. The following includes a list of crisis resources:

Birch Tree Center: 24-hour regional crisis center for support: 218-623-1800
Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741.
If you are a person of color, please know you can access an additional resource: text STEVE to 741741 to meet with a trained counselor.
National Suicide Prevention Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 press 1, or text 838255
Call 911 in all locations in cases of emergency
The Trevor Project: crisis support for LGBTQ students. Call 1-866-488-7386 or text "START" to 678-678

Additionally, St. Scholastica Counseling Services will continue to offer campus mental health training programs including the QPR Suicide Prevention Program, Mental Health First Aid Training, and other mental health presentations in academic classes. For more information about mental health training opportunities available for students and employees of the College, contact Sarah Wells, LICSW at swells1@css.edu.

Access to the Student Health Service will be through phone triage first. Walk-ins will not be  allowed. Priority will be to follow up with telehealth appointments as much as possible. When this is not feasible, visits will be an in-depth phone interview initially with remaining in-person visits to be focused and efficient, limiting everyone's exposure.


Q: Is Campus Safety the right department to contact if we need to report violations or to access assistance in removing violators of the safety policy?

A: It is everyone's responsibility to take care of the community as a collective effort. If you witness someone who appears to be acting in a negligent manner with no regard for the community's standards for health and safety, feel free to approach them in a helpful manner to remind them of campus expectations for behavior. If that action doesn't resolve the situation satisfactorily, you may contact their supervisor, their vice president, Campus Safety, or anyone else you feel comfortable approaching.


Q: What do I do if a student reports to me that they need assistance with food or other necessities?

A: Refer them to the Saint Life Virtual Resources and Help website.


Q: What are the College's plans for Spring Semester?

A: We have made the decision to maintain the start and end dates on our academic calendar with a shift to our break dates. Spring semester will begin on January 19, Spring II will begin on March 22 and the last day of the semester will be May 13.

We will not be holding community day or spring break as currently scheduled. Rather, we will be having six days throughout the semester where we will not be holding classes, including Feb. 24 which was scheduled as community day. The additional dates will be shared with the community in the coming weeks after discussion with the Academic Council. Graduate and professional programs may have slightly different calendars based upon their specific requirements and needs. These programs will communicate modifications as necessary to faculty and students.

These dates are meant to provide the much needed respite that spring break typically offers students and faculty, while also working to minimize the impact travel would have on the spread of COVID. The College will be open for business on the days no classes are being held, similar to spring break in non-COVID years.


Q: What is the College doing for 2020 Fall Commencement?

A: We will hold our 2020 Fall Commencement on December 19, 2020, in a virtual format. All students who graduated in May 2020 and those who will graduate this December will be invited to participate in this ceremony. Due to the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases in many states, we know the safest way to celebrate your accomplishments is through a virtual ceremony. Any student who participates virtually is also welcome to attend and walk in an in-person ceremony as soon as we are able to offer one.

Our past May graduates and current graduating seniors will receive the first of a series of commencement newsletters which will contain information about signing up for the ceremony along with other important communications. If you have questions not covered in the newsletter please email commencement@css.edu.

Q: When it is stated that employees should work from home "unless it is necessary to be at campus", what exactly do we mean by "necessary"? Or is "necessary" to be interpreted at the discretion of the individual employee?

A: Please consult with your supervisor, department head or vice president on this question. Your health and safety are our top priority. St. Scholastica will not ask you to do anything that will jeopardize your well-being or the well-being of an at-risk family member.

For full details, please see our Employee Reopening Plan.


Q: This must be a financial disruption. Is the College receiving any help from federal funds?

A: The College successfully submitted a grant request for the first half of our CARES Act funding from the federal government. This installment is targeted for emergency funds for students. There were 2,141 CSS students who qualified for funding from the CARES Act.

The second half of the initial CARES Act Stabilization funds will partially offset operational expenses incurred due to COVID-19.


Alert Level

Current status:

Level 2: Medium

Learn more about the College's Alert Levels.

Recent Updates

The most recent updates to our Safe Return plan can be found on our News Center or under the “updates” section of css.edu/coronavirus.