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Novel Coronavirus COVID–19 (March 11, 2020)

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are writing today to share with you the difficult decision to suspend classes at CCA, effective 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 12 through Sunday, March 29, the final day of spring break. At this time, we have not yet determined if classes will resume in person or in alternative formats, and are committed to finding the best option for completing courses this semester. While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID–19 within the CCA community, we believe this is the correct action to take to ensure the successful completion of our spring term. We will continue to work closely with health officials and organizations to determine next steps and make informed decisions as this rapidly changing situation evolves. 

As a school that puts making, critique, and discourse at the center of our curriculum, we did not make this decision lightly. After carefully considering the full impact on our students’ educational experience, our community’s safety, and our shared values as an institution, we have determined that this is the appropriate response to these extraordinary circumstances.

We will provide additional details and updates over the coming days and weeks via email and the COVID–19 information and resource page on Portal. You may also receive important information from your instructors, programs, and supervisors. Please monitor your email and the Portal page closely, as this situation is evolving quickly.

  • Classes are suspended for all students from Thursday, March 12 through March 29, the final day of spring break. Faculty and staff will use the time from now until spring break to develop alternative methods for delivering curriculum and managing operations.  
  • In consultation with local health officials, we will determine whether classes may resume in person after spring break (which is March 21–29), or whether alternative modalities, such as online classes, will be implemented instead. We will communicate this decision as soon as possible. Please continue to closely monitor your email and the Portal page for updates.
  • In recognition of the disruption caused by these unusual circumstances, students have the option of receiving a “pass/fail” rather than a letter grade for any spring 2020 classes. Students who choose the “pass/fail” option will receive full credit for the class, and it will not affect their GPA. Students who prefer a letter grade will still have that option. Our goal is that your academic work is fairly recognized, and your progress toward your degree is not impacted by this unusual situation. Academic Affairs will follow up soon with faculty with information on this option.
  • Shops, studios, libraries, computer labs, administrative offices, and student services will remain open during this period. While it is our goal to avoid interruptions to services, please understand that hours may be impacted and check before you go. All CCA buildings and residence halls will remain open as usual and the intercampus shuttle will maintain its normal schedule. Our intention is that students who are comfortable continuing their work in the studios have the opportunity to do so, while students who prefer not to be on campus will not be penalized for that choice.
  • Faculty will use the time from March 12–20 to prepare alternative methods of delivering curriculum. 
  • Staff, including TAs and student workers, should maintain regular work hours during this period. 
  • Any student, faculty member, or staff member who is sick should not come to campus. 
  • The San Francisco Department of Public Health recommends that members of vulnerable populations, such as those with underlying health concerns, limit outings. Concerned employees in this situation should discuss alternative work options with their supervisor in consultation with HR.
  • All CCA residence halls will remain open with no change in services. 

We understand that this message may raise as many questions as it answers, and ask that you bear with us as we navigate this complex and unprecedented situation together. We are an exceptionally creative and resilient community, and we will bring our collective skills, talents, and solutions to take us through this difficult period. In its 113-year history, CCA has weathered many unexpected circumstances, and we will make it through this one, too, as we support one another—and those in our broader community—with kindness, empathy, and understanding. 

We will be in touch in the coming days with more information and details, and encourage you to reach out to your instructors, chair, dean, or supervisor with any questions or concerns. You will also continue to find support, information, and resources on the COVID–19 Portal page


Stephen Beal, President
Tammy Rae Carland, Provost