UNC-Chapel Hill delays start of spring semester, cancels traditional spring break

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Thursday, October 8, 2020
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The university will delay the start of the semester by almost two weeks, until Tuesday, January 19.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on Thursday announced a revised calendar for the spring 2021 semester and Winter Commencement.

The university will delay the start of the semester by almost two weeks, until Tuesday, January 19.

"This allows the largest implementation window for planning for the semester," an email from Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to students said.

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That move will delay spring 2021 Commencement for one week, to Sunday, May 16.

The last day of classes will be Wednesday, May 5, and exams will run Friday, May 7 until Friday, May 14.

Registration for the spring 2021 semester will start on November 30, 2020, shortly after fall final exams.

There will not be a traditional spring break during the semester.

UNC leadership said this is "in an effort to limit any potential spread of the virus caused by travel during an extended break.

"We have heard from many of you that we need to provide more breaks during the semester, so we will incorporate five days either individually or in combined clusters for that purpose," Guskiewicz said. "In addition, the schools and deans will make clear that these wellness days are intended as breaks from the semester--not for studying--so faculty will be instructed to avoid scheduling exams, quizzes and other major assignments on days following these breaks."

Guskiewicz's announcement said decisions still need to be made regarding how the university may use campus-wide COVID-19 surveillance testing, modes of instruction for spring courses, details about campus housing and plans for isolation and quarantine space, deadlines for spring registration, and expectations and guidelines for on-campus and off-campus activities.