Stanford University is getting creative as it prepares to welcome students back for the new school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like the University of California system, most classes will be online as students alternate semesters depending on their class. Stanford will welcome back freshmen and sophomores for the fall quarter and the summer quarter next year, and juniors and seniors will come to campus in the winter and spring. Students can take all classes remotely if they choose.
"I do appreciate the fact that there is a lot of creativity out there and that people are sincerely trying to do the right thing by students," former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin said.
Eastin, who was among the first to go to college in her family, told KCBS Radio there is more to education including learning to be independent.
"I really do believe that part of the experience is that inter-connection with other people," Eastin said.
At Stanford, while most classes will be online, campus events and parties are unlikely. Masks will be required.
Stanford Provost Persis Drell wrote in a message to students that coronavirus testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation will become a regular part of life. Alternate housing is being made available for those who test positive while at Stanford.
"We can all anticipate that the year ahead of us will be like no other we have experienced," Drell wrote in the note. "I deeply appreciate your collective hope and courage as we face these unusual circumstances."
The school is encouraging students to only bring essential items - things they can carry on their own if the need arises - likely encouraging readiness for any changes with COVID-19.