The University of Lethbridge says it’s in an effort to address student mental health concerns and enhance public health and safety following the holiday season.

The local post-secondary announced on Thursday it would be extending its holiday break and pushing back the start of Spring 2021 semester classes.

The start of Spring 2021 semester classes has been pushed to January 9, 2021 from its previous scheduled start of January 6. University officials says the move, while giving students much-needed additional time with family and friends over the holiday period, will extend the semester by just one day and still satisfy all class contact hours.

“The health of our entire community is paramount and we will continue to strive to provide the support our students, faculty and staff need and deserve,” U of L President Mike Mahon.

“We really felt this was a necessary adjustment we could make to help our students,” says U of L President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon. “Like many of us, some of our students have experienced considerable stress as they work toward their academic goals throughout the pandemic. This move gives them a little extra time to decompress over the break, to spend some safe, quality time with their support systems and get a leg up heading into the spring semester.”

While some administrative in-semester dates and deadlines have been shifted to accommodate the adjustment, many will remain unchanged, such as reading week (February 13-19, 2021) and Easter break (April 2-5, 2021).

The start of the final exam period will be moved one day later and start on April 16, 2021 and conclude on April 23, 2021 (unchanged). Spring convocation will run as scheduled, June 3-4, 2021.

The University is also implementing measures to support a healthy workplace for its employees. Some of these are targeted to the time around Christmas with further initiatives being implemented as employees return to work on January 4, 2021. These measures have been directly communicated to the campus community.

(From U of L News Release)