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March 5 Message from President Liz Maw

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing as a follow-up to our February 29 message regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Since the weekend, Washington (where many of our students are based) and California, along with local communities, have declared new measures to prepare for and contain the spread on COV-19. Today, health officials in San Francisco announced two positive tests with no known source of contact with COVID-19. State and local officials have indicated that they suspect increased community transmission of COVID-19 and that they anticipate the number of people testing positive will increase. All of the recent announcements point to the increased risk associated with air travel and in-person meetings.

After careful deliberation, we have decided to move our Residency classes online, using the Zoom webinar platform, for Residency 3, March 19-22.  We also considered facilitating simultaneous online and in-person attendance from Learnit. We determined that we are unable to offer a top-quality learning experience with some students choosing to participate online, and others gathering at Learnit. Our faculty indicated they are better equipped to deliver quality classwork with a move to purely online classes and that with two weeks notice, they would be prepared.

Provost, Dariush Rafinejad, will follow up in a few days with more information on what to expect from your online experience March 19-22 after working with the faculty for individualized course planning for the Residency. Students should be prepared for class-as-usual, just online. Instructors need some time to work with Dariush, so please delay reaching out for a few days. Contact Diana Asaad if you face accessibility challenges participating online.

All official social/extracurricular events attached to Residency will be postponed or canceled. Our Student Experience Team will work with event organizers on potential next steps.

We know how important the in-person gatherings at Residency are for our community (for us too!). We are equally disappointed that we will not see you all live and in-person, but for the sake of good health, optimized learning, and reasonable notice, we decided to make and announce this decision today.



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