Instructor information and resources

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Spring 2021 term information

The recent surge in COVID cases in Ontario makes it clear that the virus and our collective efforts to stop the spread need our continued attention posing ongoing difficulties in planning for in-person learning.

With this in mind, our plans for the spring term will be in keeping with our current approach. This means that we must prepare for instruction to continue primarily online and in-person in limited situations as the regulations allow.

Spring term will start one week later than planned 

We recognize that instructors and students need more time to transition between terms than the current academic calendar allows. To create more time between terms, the Senate has agreed that spring term dates will be revised as follows:

  • Spring term will now start a week later on Monday, May 10
  • Classes will end on Thursday, August 5
  • Exams will begin on Saturday, August 7 and end by Monday, August 16 (the original last day of exams). 

More details on the revised academic dates for the term are available below: 

Please be assured that we are continuing to revise our plans for a safe and staged return to in-person activities as soon as the conditions allow.  
Your health and wellbeing  is  our  priority. Please remember to take care of yourselves and each other. Information about supports for students and employees can be found on the COVID-19 Information home page.

Winter 2021 term information

Waterloo is preparing winter term for you! As recently announced, winter term delivery will be primarily online to continue to protect public health, and we have begun preparing the course selection process.

For courses delivered online, some may have real-time activities like online meetings and lectures. If these elements are part of your course, we ask instructors to make sure that no students in the class are disadvantaged if they are unable to participate synchronously.

Schedule changes

After consulting with student leaders and other campus groups, we have decided to make some updates to the winter 2021 term schedule:

  • We will be delaying the start of winter term classes until January 11. All other winter term activities (such as co-op work terms) will begin as usual on January 4.
  • Classes will be cancelled on Monday, March 15 and Tuesday, March 16 to create a four-day weekend from March 13 to 16.
  • Reading week will continue as planned February 13 to 21.

Maintaining accommodations and accessibility

While offering online courses or facilitating remote graduate milestones, instructors and faculty are required to accommodate students with disabilities.

While the AccessAbility Services (AAS) and the Exam Centre are temporary closed, AAS will continue to facilitate alternate format production for course materials as required, as well as ensure students have access to course notes, assistive technology, learning strategy support, and accommodation consulting to ensure they are supported in the online space.

New tools and resources for instructors

  • Updated Faculty Notification Letter (FNL)
    • The FNL includes updated descriptin for each accommodation that articulate roles and responsibilities for facilitating accommodation in the online environment.
  • Faculty Module in AAS’s Online System ‑ Instructors can log into AAS’ online system to:
    • view a dashbard of the students and their accommodations for each of your courses,
    • exprt a list of students by accommodation,
    • receive real-time updates t accommodation plans,
    • navigate between sectins and courses, and
    • submit and make changes t your Alternative Testing agreement.
  • Updated faculty and staff resources on AAS website
  • 1:1 Consulting
    • Speak directly with AAS staff abut a student’s accommodation plan or confirm that your online course is meeting the specific disability-based needs of students.

AAS is here to help

Support is also available to help instructors in using technology that will enable their online course or remote milestone (e.g., remote defenses and proposals) to meet the accommodation needs of students with disabilities. Please contact AccessAbility Services at to be directed to the student's Accommodation Consultant or Adaptive Technologist.

Stay well, stay home and watch for more information

This continues to be an exceptional time. We know we need to keep taking action that will slow the spread of COVID-19. We also know we have an important job that we must keep doing.

There are people across the University community who are available to support our students along the way. We know we can’t provide you with answers to all your questions at this time, but there are people working tirelessly to make sure we can answer those questions soon.