Based on what we know today, JMU is planning to resume its on-campus, residential operations in the fall as scheduled, with classes begining on August 26. Our planning efforts are underway to ensure that upon students’ return to JMU, the university is prepared to be as proactive as possible in protecting our community’s health. A task force, including leadership from the University Health Center as well as representation from across all divisions, is working to address questions about what living, learning, and dining arrangements on campus may look like should public health guidance necessitate ongoing social distancing or other measures.

Fall Schedule 2.0 reflects a methodical approach to the traditional JMU schedule and ensures the safety and health of our faculty, staff, students and communities. Please note that these changes are to the class meeting schedule only; no changes have been made to the Academic Calendar for Fall 2020.

Guiding Principles

  • The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are top considerations.
  • The hallmark of a JMU educational experience is the interaction between our students and faculty in classrooms, studios and labs.
  • Maintaining the in-person classroom experience for our first-year students will be the primary consideration when academic units are evaluating their fall teaching schedule to make necessary modifications.
  • Maintaining in-person labs and other experiential classes will be prioritized when possible.
  • Ensuring that students in courses meeting face-to-face have in-person class with their instructor at least every other class period.

Any modifications to the class schedule will ensure that students’ schedules meet the requirements of making necessary progress towards graduation.


  • Providing as much in-person teaching as possible
  • Attending to health and safety guidance from the CDC, the VDH and the Governor
    • Considerations to allow for increased cleaning schedule during the day
    • Considerations to modify classroom capacity based on thorough analysis of classroom capacity
      • Access to eight larger spaces to be used in 2020-21 as classrooms
      • Requirement that all students and faculty will wear masks in classrooms
      • Provision of face shields for students and faculty who are in labs and studios or other experiential classes where physical distancing is not possible
      • Classes that are in lecture halls or classrooms where enrollment is greater than 50% of the classroom capacity will be divided by the instructor into two groups to direct students to attend face-to-face every other period while accessing the alternate period remotely.
      • Classrooms are being configured with necessary technology to make remote access possible.
    • Providing flexibility for students and faculty to ensure access to courses, while protecting those who have health concerns.
    • Attempting to find the least disruptive strategy that reflects the Guiding Principles and maximize effective use of our facilities.
    • Confirming the Office of Disability Services will work with instructors to discuss any necessary accommodations for students or faculty.

Class Meeting Times

This option allows us to keep the MWF/TT structure, but requires a shift in some of the time periods to insert two 60-minute cleaning blocks during the day.

 Grid of classes for fall 2020

  • Shifting current classes to larger spaces provides opportunities to maintain current class sizes while increasing physical distance between students:
    • Festival Ballroom (room max 1,000 = actual capacity 500) (either full space or separate sections)
    • Memorial Auditorium (room max 1,000 = actual capacity 500)
    • Madison Union Ballroom (room max 380 = actual capacity 190)
    • Madison Union (Warren Hall) Room 256 (room max 180 = actual capacity 90)
    • Grafton Stovall (room max 555 = actual capacity 275)
    • HBS 5040 (room max 90 = actual capacity 45)
    • SSC 4044 - still some availability in the schedule (room max 94 = actual capacity 47)
    • Wilson Auditorium (room max 1,000 = actual capacity 500)
  • There will be trickle-down options to shift other classes into spaces left open when the current large classes shift to newly available spaces.

Teaching Options

Courses during Fall 2020 will be taught either in person, online or in a hybrid format.

Changes for Enrolled Students

During the schedule modification process from June 10-July 21, class choices for current students who have already enrolled will not be modified. The days and times of some classes may change, but students’ class selections will be maintained as much as possible. If there is a scheduling conflict, academic units are aware and are working to solve the conflict. Students will also have the opportunity to make additional changes during the regular Drop/Add period  beginning July 21.

Process and Timeline

  • By June 8, the Registrar’s Office and IT will have mapped and migrated the current course schedule to the new time blocks. When the script is run in the production system, it will update the current Fall 2020 schedule of classes and all enrolled student schedules.
    • Addressed MWF and TT courses that meet the standard (current) schedule to the New time blocks above.
    • Addressed courses that don’t meet the standard schedule, but that either start or end at a standard time.
    • Addressed once-a-week courses according to either a standard start or standard end time to try to maintain a consistent start time with as little conflict as possible within the Fall 2.0 schedule.
    • Did not map once-week night classes that started at 6:30 or 6:50. Departments will need to review (majority are graduate level, so we hope there will be few conflicts).
    • Did not map labs or studio classes that did not begin at a standard start or end time.


June 8

Send communication to academic units so they can begin thinking about needed schedule changes including identifying classes to be taught online.

June 10

Office of the Registrar will roll current fall 2020 schedule to fall 2021 so academic units can see what the schedule looked like before it was changed to the new times. IT will then run the script to update the Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes which will also update all enrolled student schedules. Access to Fall Schedule 2.0 will be live for student view and for department view.

June 10-21

Academic units will:

  • Review for time/room conflicts that were inadvertently caused with the mapping process.

  • Update meeting patterns for any courses that weren’t mapped correctly during the migration to Fall 2.0 schedule.

  • Update schedule to indicate courses that will be taught fully online.

June 15-19

First-year students will enroll in Fall Schedule 2.0.

June 22-July 17

First year students will be participating in Summer Springboard Orientation.

  • Work with advisers to review schedule

  • Academic unit heads and academic unit schedulers will be available to modify course enrollments and make other changes to respond to unforeseen issues

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