Howard University School of Law announced today that it is changing its course on the road to reopening to reflect a remote instruction only model. Dean Holley-Walker sent the following message this morning to the Howard Law community:
Howard Law Community,
As President Frederick indicated in his communication to the Howard University Community on August 1, 2020, the University is still awaiting formal approval from the District regarding our re-opening plan. This has been further exacerbated by the District’s new requirement that anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District (https://coronavirus.dc.gov/phasetwo).
In consideration of the impact on students, faculty and staff, today, we have made the difficult decision to change our mode of course instruction and provide all classes via remote instruction only for Fall 2020. This is a decision only for Fall 2020. As we further assessed the District of Columbia’s increased quarantine and Covid-19 testing requirements, it is apparent that meeting all those requirements would likely cause significant lost instructional time at the beginning of the semester. Given these new facts, this change is the most carefully evaluated way to ensure a safe and efficient semester.
We will have a robust fall semester even through these challenges. The semester will begin on Monday, August 17th. All class days/times remain the same.
The law school campus will be open as a space for students who need quiet instructional and study space. Any student who will be on campus will need to meet all safety requirements, including testing, social distancing, and wearing a face covering at all times.
The law school library will be open from Monday through Friday from 9 am-5pm. We will also have a few designated classrooms open for Zoom instruction. We will publish a schedule of available spaces. Later in the semester, if public health protocols allow, we plan to have some small group gatherings outside, following all physical distancing protocols to allow students to interact with each other and faculty and staff. Although students will continue to reach law school staff, faculty and administrators as outlined in the attached FAQ document (i.e., over email, phone and Zoom), a team of staff, administrators and faculty will be in the office, too.
The revised attendance policy will apply as published. As previously announced, the law school will also return to our numerical grading system.
This has been a very difficult decision to make. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and patience as we plan for a safe and productive semester. Please let me know if you have questions. Our first community meeting for Fall 2020 is still scheduled for Sunday, August 9th at 6 p.m. I look forward to meeting with you.