WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AUGUST 4, 2020)—Following extensive and thoughtful consideration of a wide range of factors, and with the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff always foremost, Salem Academy and College has decided not to offer residential education for fall 2020. Instead, Salem will operate remotely with online classes. The decision to pivot to full remote learning was made because of heightened concerns about the risks of exposure and transmission of the coronavirus in a residential school setting.
“Although we were fully prepared to offer in-person learning on Salem’s campus, the fluid and uncertain situation always meant that we might need to shift direction. Recent COVID-19 trends locally and nationally prompted us to make the difficult decision not to have students return to campus this fall,” Salem Academy and College Interim President Susan Henking said. “Salem Academy and College is fully equipped to provide a high-quality online education to our students. This fact enabled us to be confident in our decision about switching to remote learning for the fall.”
Henking pointed out that Bennett College in Greensboro, Queens University and Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, Rhodes College in Memphis, and Georgetown University in Washington, DC are among the growing number of schools that have announced that all classes will be online for the fall semester.
“Salem’s administration considered a number of scenarios, but, in the end, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our Salem community,” Dara Folan, chair of Salem’s Board of Trustees, said. “Salem has been at the forefront of education since our founding nearly 250 years ago, and we believe our decision to move to remote learning once again demonstrates our moral and educational leadership.”
“The physical and mental health of our students, faculty and staff is the most important thing to us,” Salem Academy’s Acting Head of School Kris Sorrells said. “We know the Salem Academy faculty can adapt to teach online because we very successfully did so last March. Many parents have sent notes thanking Salem Academy’s teachers for continuing the school’s rigorous education online last spring without missing a beat.”
Henking said Salem’s leadership and board of trustees will continue to closely monitor the pandemic’s trends before deciding about the spring semester.
“We look forward to being back on campus when it is safe to do so,” Henking said. “For now, this fall will be an opportunity for Salem students and the entire Salem community to shine as leaders and grow as individuals. We are Salem Strong!”
About Salem Academy and College
Salem Academy and College is the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. With more than 18,000 alumnae who serve as entrepreneurs, physicians, researchers, artists, lawyers, teachers, community volunteers, and corporate executives, Salem Academy and Salem College continues to educate the next generation of global leaders. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit salemacademy.com. For more information about Salem College, please visit salem.edu.