ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The U.S. Naval Academy has announced that they will be bringing the Brigade of Midshipmen back to Annapolis for the fall semester for a combination of in-person and virtual learning.
According to the USNA, the decision includes limiting the school’s dormitory accommodations to about 90% capacity, with approximately 4,100 of the 4,600 midshipmen residing in Bancroft Hall.
There are several alternatives being explored for the remaining midshipmen.
“While not optimal, a significant portion of academic learning may be achieved in an online forum. I am a firm believer, however, that leadership development requires hands-on learning, and training future leaders is the primary mission of this institution,” said Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck. “Having the Brigade of Midshipmen back in one central location is critical to our mission accomplishment.”
The return of the Brigade began mid-July and will continue to be staggered through early-September.
The Naval Academy will continue to maintain increased cleaning protocols across the Yard and in order to maintain appropriate social distancing during meals, the Brigade will be fed in waves.
Faculty, staff, and coaches will also conduct daily self-monitoring for flu-like illness or COVID-like illness. There will be flexible personnel policies implemented to support physical distancing requirements and work spaces will be re-cnfigured to ensure social distancing.
Academic instruction will be conducted in a hybrid format, partly in-person and partly online, at approximately half capacity.
Masks will be worn by all midshipmen and a minimum of six feet will be maintained between each student in the classroom. Faculty will be masked whenever within 10 feet of students.
Midshipmen who will begin the fall semester remotely will have textbooks mailed directly to where they are currently residing.
There will also be random COVID-19 testing of the Naval Academy general population. This will be implemented beginning August 24.