Initial Plans for Reopening

Dear Holy Family Community,

Among the core values of Holy Family are Family, Respect, Integrity, and Service and Responsibility.  We take them seriously and strive to ensure that everything we do remains true to them and all they represent. Within those values, it’s clear that the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount. Now, as the country begins to reopen, and with those values and our mission in mind, we want to share how we’re moving forward to reopen in the safest ways possible.

The University’s senior leadership has created small task forces dedicated to working independently - and together - to find ways to solve the challenges facing our University community and this week essential staff have begun to return to campus to support this effort.

Many questions abound, ranging from how to safely set-up classrooms and laboratories for in-person instruction, to how we can reopen food services, to best ways to enable our students to participate in various clubs, activities, and athletics. We’re also tackling questions surrounding how we can prepare for the return of all of our faculty and staff to their offices, and the many facets of how we will again welcome visitors to come see our campus this fall. 

Each day, there is new guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the City.  We are following the planning of local and regional colleges and universities as well. Recently we sent surveys to our students, parents, faculty, and staff, in an effort to garner input on all of these important matters.

Please be assured that we want to be open, we want to see you, we want you to be here to learn, and we are working tirelessly to identify ways to do this safely. 

As of this writing, our intention is to reopen campus on August 31, allowing students to attend classes in person. Smaller classes enrolling 24 or fewer students can be readily accommodated with appropriate social distancing.

Classes with higher enrollments will be offered in alternating week staggered sessions, with half the class reporting in-person one week while the other participates in a synchronous fashion online to once again ensure the proper social distancing.

Classes which were already scheduled to be online will continue in that fashion, and any blended courses will continue this way, unless the class size exceeds 24 students, in which case, a staggered approach will be followed.

To maintain the quality of our students’ educational experience, we are making a significant investment in classroom technology. This expenditure will not only allow us to provide a quality educational experience in the short term but will likewise facilitate uninterrupted synchronous instruction in the event of a mandated campus closure in the future due to a resurgence of infection. We continue looking closely at residence life to determine what will be required to allow students who choose to live on campus to do so safely.

I will continue to update you as information becomes available and anticipate sharing our complete campus-wide reopening plans by early July. Until then, I thank you for your patience as all of us navigate these changing times.


Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD
University President