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VMI moving cadets to fully-online education until at least January

(WDBJ7)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 3:49 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ/VMI Release) - Because of COVID-19 concerns, cadets at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington will be removed from the university in favor of online education temporarily.

The decision was announced in an online message to the VMI community from the superintendent, US Army General (Ret.) JH Binford Peay III.

The letter indicates the staff has been assessing the health of the Corps, plus local and regional trends related to COVID-19, and has decided to make the switch to virtual learning, “rather than have the Corps come and go from post further exposing cadets and families to additional virus and to limit the overlap of the pandemic and cold and flu season with the academic instruction.”

The need for families to make Thanksgiving travel arrangements also played into the decision.

Cadets will move to an online environment beginning Monday, Nov. 23. The Corps of Cadets will be furloughed from post in a phased approach beginning Friday, Nov. 20, 2020:

  • Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, CAD: 1st class cadets and Rats as well as cadets being transported by 1st class cadets
  • Saturday morning, Nov. 21, 2020: 3rd class cadets
  • Saturday afternoon, Nov. 21, 2020: 2nd class cadets

The message says, “Cadets are to take all books, computers, and other necessary supplies to complete their academic coursework in an online environment for the remainder of the semester. All travel must be completed in time so that cadets are able to participate remotely in classes on Monday, Nov. 23.”

Cadets with siblings in different classes will be allowed to stay in barracks until their siblings' classes are authorized to leave. Any cadet who is staying is asked to notify the Commandant’s staff of such an arrangement.

Barracks and cadet support services will remain open through the end of the fall semester for cadets who have extenuating circumstances, such as at-risk family members at home or those with internet connectivity issues.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, COVID-19 testing will be available at VMI for cadet who wants to be tested before leaving. Any cadet who tests positive will be isolated on post in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Cadets will return to post for the spring semester Jan. 17 - 18 to begin academic classes Jan. 21, 2021.

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