SUNY Canton Prepared for August 31 Start Date with Restart Plan


The plan allows for face-to-face classes and labs through testing, use of face-covers and social distancing in the classroom.

SUNY Canton has moved its start date to August 31 as it prepares for an in-person fall semester.

To maximize safety, the college will be systematically testing its on-campus population for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Restart logo

“Ever since we first asked students to stay home and complete their courses remotely in early March, the college has been planning for what will happen in the fall,” SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran said in a memo detailing plans to the campus. “I know that everyone has been eager to know what the ‘new normal’ will look like. I’m happy to be able to tell you that SUNY has approved our campus reopening plan and to share some of the key aspects of it today.”

The college’s plan for the Fall 2020 semester will allow students to return to campus from August 27 to 30. The first day of classes will be held on August 31, and all classes will be offered remotely at the onset.

The college is instructing students to self-quarantine at their homes for at least seven days prior to coming to campus. All students will briefly continue to quarantine as they move into the residence halls, to accommodate testing. Commuter students will need to undergo testing either through their own health provider or through testing that will be available on campus. Students will be released from quarantine after they test negative. Some classes will transition to face-to-face or hybrid (a combination of face-to-face and online) instruction once testing has been completed.

Classes will continue without any breaks until the Thanksgiving recess, held Nov. 21 to 29. The remainder of the semester, including final examinations, will be held remotely. Students will be strongly discouraged from leaving St. Lawrence County during the semester.

“Our plan was designed specifically to ensure everyone is able to remain healthy while they are on campus,” Szafran said. “By having students return home at Thanksgiving, we hope to avoid the onset of the traditional flu season.”

Social distancing (physical distancing) will be integral to campus life. Classes and hands-on labs that are offered in person will have fewer students in each section, so that students and faculty can socially distance. Students, faculty and staff will be provided with, and required to wear, face coverings when in the classroom or other public settings.

“While there are still many unknowns about the virus, we do know that masks help slow the spread of germs and increasing your distance from someone decreases the ability to spread the virus,” Szafran said. “We want to make sure that we do everything we can to protect our students, faculty, staff, and those around us.”

A substantial portion of student life and on-campus activities will be moved online, or offered remotely, as outlined in the new plan. The college has not announced any decisions about the fall athletic season, and administrators are seeking guidance on travel and competition from the NCAA, the North Atlantic Conference, and the state.

SUNY Canton received approval for its complete fall plan from the State University of New York on June 30. Decisions in the plan were made following consultation with area public health officials. All plans are subject to change due to new information, guidance and direction from the state, or by a decision from the Governor.

The college has launched a Restart webpage to include all the latest updates.

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.