A Message to Penn Undergraduates
December 2, 2020
We hope that all of you enjoyed your holiday last week, even in the face of current circumstances. It is invaluable to take time off to recharge, maintain our wellness, and do our best work at Penn. In that context, we have heard your concerns about creating a shorter Spring Break in 2021 due to the pandemic. We are grateful for all the constructive engagement that has helped us find a better way forward for the spring semester.
We are very pleased to let you know that, working closely with our deans and student leaders, we will now plan three additional days with no classes in the spring semester: Friday, February 12; Tuesday, March 30; and Monday, April 12. These three days also will have neither course assessments nor asynchronous classes. They will offer self-directed activities that advance our community, both to engage with Philadelphia for our Year of Civic Engagement and to explore opportunities and faculty expertise at Penn, including asynchronous preceptorials and other events with campus organizations.
This schedule – including the two days of Spring Break on Wednesday, March 10 and Thursday, March 11 – preserves five weekdays off in the spring semester, while spreading them across the term to provide consistent breaks and still discourage travel during the pandemic. This also will help us reaffirm our Penn and Philadelphia communities at a time when we need these connections more than ever. In the new semester, we will follow up with more details about these activities and initiatives.
We look forward to coming together in January for a better year ahead, and we wish you all the best for the closing weeks of the fall semester.
Amy Gutmann, President
Wendell Pritchett, Provost