Millard Dority, College of the Atlantic’s director of campus planning, buildings and public safety, addresses an all-college meeting Friday, March 13, the last day of the school’s winter term, before most students left campus. PHOTO COURTESY OF COA

COA assesses next steps

BAR HARBOR — Like most colleges and universities, College of the Atlantic has cancelled in-person instruction in response to the spread of the coronavirus and associated disease. All classes for the spring term, which begins March 30, will be held in online formats. 

The campus, including its library and museum, as well as Peggy Rockefeller Farm are Beech Hill Farm are closed to visitors. 

Friday, March 13, was the last day of the schools’ winter term, and most students left town for spring break with the intention of staying home for the coming months. 

“COA is an innovative school — we began as such and have doggedly held onto that approach,” President Darron Collins said in an email to the college community March 12. “It is this spirit that will carry us through these challenging times. 

We are a community that comes together for one another, that supports each other, and that learns, grows, and evolves together,” he continuedDoing so at a distance this spring will be challenging, yes, but I’m also excited in many ways, and hope you will be too. If we all continue to work together, we can not only accomplish what we need to this term, but accomplish it really well. 

At a final all-college meeting March 13, many students also expressed a desire to find ways to help the Mount Desert Island community during the pandemic emergency, according to college spokesperson Rob Levin. 

Some students who live off campus are choosing to remain in Bar Harbor, and about a dozen students will continue to live on campus through the spring term. 

All employees whose jobs allow them to work from home are doing so, Levin said, and the college is committed to maintaining full employment. 

“Some staff may have to shift roles,” he said. 

Millard Dority, the school’s director of campus planning, buildings and public safety, is working on a protocol for staff, including work-study students who remain, to get necessary spring work done on the buildings and grounds while meeting social distancing guidelines. 

The college has not finalized plans for graduation or summer programs. 

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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