We are all adjusting these days. While I don’t want to use the already tired phrase “new normal”, it is clear that some of the adjustments we are making will remain with us for some time to come. And the adjustment process is still – well, adjusting. We at Adult Learners Institute of Chelsea (ALI) have been discussing and adjusting to make sure we can continue to offer quality lifelong learning opportunities for adults in the Chelsea area and beyond. While online learning isn’t the same experience as in-person classes, it actually offers some new opportunities for service, such as offering classes for shut-ins and evening classes for those who can’t drive at night.

Even the experts can’t tell us what the long-term outlook is, but we can adjust for the reality of the day. So for the 2020 Fall semester, the ALI Board has decided to offer three in-person classes (with social distancing) and three online classes on ZOOM. In addition, for the first time in twelve years, we will not be holding a kick-off meeting for the semester. The classes will require a small non-refundable registration fee, but the classes themselves will be offered at no additional charge. Watch for more detail in the next few weeks.

The registration fee, as always, helps us to offset the cost of preparing, printing, and mailing the brochure, as well as advertising and administrative costs. While some of these costs have been reduced, we also have some new costs such as ZOOM software licensing, and a new camera and other equipment for online classes.  Registration fees alone do not replace the revenue lost from class fees. Many of you generously donated back the class fees from the Spring semester cancellations, and we thank you for that. We also hope that you will consider a donation to help us maintain our programming into the future.

We also hope you will be generous with your ideas and suggestions as we try new things to adjust to our current reality. What works and doesn’t work with our online classes? Are there other needs out there we can respond to? Working together, we can make the adjustments necessary to serve your lifelong learning needs now, and remain viable for the long-term, no matter what the “future normal” becomes.

Steve Daut,  President, ALI