Academy of Art University's Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated June 26, 2020

A Message to Students About Fall 2020 From President Stephens

Academy of Art University Fall 2020 Update

Academy of Art University will continue to offer its remote and virtual classes for the Fall 2020 semester. However, we will be opening our labs and workshops for studio course homework along with our residence halls and dorms.

The Academy is following guidance from local and state public health officials and incorporating strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is a significant step in getting back to a sense of normalcy. Social Distancing is a key feature to protecting your health and after much deliberation we decided that it would be best to limit onsite traffic in areas where technology can serve us best. Therefore, we will be taking precautions to protect our campus community by utilizing virtual classes for lecture, demo, and critique (which we feel is an unnecessary group risk to perform in person), and allow students to reserve facility time for onsite labs, studios, and workshops. Academy of Art University residential students should try to remain in on campus housing throughout the term. This best practice will help minimize travel and lower the risk of possibly spreading Coronavirus on our campus.

Please note online classes will continue to run as normal.

Every student choosing to attend this fall is fully expected to commit to health and safety guidelines, out of respect for our community. The success of the University’s plans will be largely dependent on everyone doing their part. While on campus, students, employees, and visitors are expected to wear face masks or coverings, practice social distancing, practice hand hygiene by frequently washing and sanitizing, follow protocols for covering coughs and sneezes, stay home if sick, and clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces. The University will employ enhanced cleaning and sanitation, hygiene stations, plexiglass, signage, and various other measures to provide for physical distancing and other health and safety needs.   

Lastly, detailed plans for intercollegiate athletics are being developed in accordance with NCAA. Further information, including report dates for fall preseason, will be sent directly to student-athletes by the Department of Athletics.

We all have a responsibility to protect each other. Our goal is to ensure Academy of Art University continues to be a place where arts and designers thrive. 

We are grateful to the Academy of Art University community for your patience, commitment, and trust as we navigate these uncharted waters. Academy of Art University’s comprehensive reopening campus plan is under development and will be released soon with additional details. 

Please continue to send us your questions:

Email: covid19info@academyart.edu

Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-412-2787

Stay safe.

Updated April 24, 2020

A Message to Parents and Guardians From President Stephens

Academy of Art University’s highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Due to this, the decision was made to continue all classes online and/or virtually through Zoom classes for the summer semester. Our leadership is committed to continuing all operations virtually during this time for the health and welfare of our community. Being the innovators we are, the Academy is developing an action plan that will ensure safe and successful return for the fall semester.

The Campus Safety Department will assist students and staff with removing items from their lockers, studios and offices. If you need assistance, please make an appointment with Campus Safety at 415-618-3911 and we will help you get your possessions.

Updated March 17, 2020

Dear Academy of Art University Students & Parents, Instructors & Staff,

Thank you for joining Academy of Art University and the larger San Francisco community in our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The world is joining together and you are a part of that effort during these unprecedented times.

Based on our assessment of current CDC recommendations, we are writing to let you know that our onsite classes will remain online through Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 8AM which is the end of the semester.

Academic buildings will remain offline until that time. Staff will continue to telecommute during this period.

Building Closures
Effective Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 all AAU Administrative buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • 180 New Montgomery
  • 79 New Montgomery
  • 150 Hayes

This is in response to Mayor London Breed’s request for all citizens in San Francisco to “Shelter In Place.”

AAU Residential and Dining Halls will remain open for students.

Classes
Your onsite classes will continue to meet online until Saturday, May 23rd.  Zoom log in instructions can be found here.

Students in certain departments will be allowed to check out equipment which is necessary to their education; students should contact their instructor or Department Director with equipment requests. We will follow up with department-specific instructions for your classes where this applies.

Housing
Campus housing and dining halls will remain open through Saturday, May 23rd. You can call the following number with questions about the Residential Halls: 415-618-6335. You can also email housing@academyart.edu

Bus Service
Limited bus service will be provided through Saturday, May 23rd. Schedules will be posted in the dorm lobbies as usual.

Students
During this time, it is your responsibility to attend your classes online (as instructed). Make sure your email and phone number are up to date in your LMS profile so that we have a way to reach you. Please check the LMS and your Academy of Art email for Announcements. We recommend that you subscribe to the Academy of Art text notification system. To enroll, text EZARTU to 313131.

Staff
All Academy employees whose functions can be performed remotely will telecommute through the end of the semester. Your direct supervisor will relay any updates. You can address your questions to them.

Event
We are happy to announce that our Fashion Show, Spring Show, NextUP and Animation Festivals will occur in a digital medium in lieu of an onsite format.

Athletics
The PacWest Conference has cancelled all athletics events and activities for the remainder of the semester.

Medical
Please follow guidelines about handwashing and social distancing to keep yourself and others safe and well. In the event that you are not feeling well, please take time off from your studies. Your absence will be excused (no doctor’s note necessary).

If you have any questions, you can contact us on our Hotline: 877-412-2787 or email us at covid19info@academyart.edu

The following public health resources may be useful to you and answer many frequently asked questions:

CDC website

San Francisco Department of Public Health

We will continue to communicate with you as we learn more. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Sue Rowley, Chief Academic Officer

Updated March 10, 2020

Health updates and campus response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Academy of Art University is actively monitoring the local and global health situation around COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As a precaution, effective Wednesday, March 11th, the Academy is temporarily moving all our onsite classes online as a preventative measure in response to our monitoring of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. This applies for a 2-week period ending after Spring Break (Monday, March 30th). Our university community is joining the larger San Francisco community in doing what we can to contribute to sensible public health precautions. We are following mandates from San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California Governor Gavin Newsom. Please know that the university is committed to making your educational experience this semester as seamless as possible.

Classes
We are shifting all academic and administrative operations online as of Wednesday, March 11th. Beginning on Wednesday, March 11th, please do not come to campus for classes. You will find step by step instructions on how to log into your onsite classes, which will be live by 6PM today, Monday March 9th. Courses will follow emergency protocols and will continue virtually.

Housing
Campus housing and dining halls will remain open as usual. You can call the following number with questions about the Residential Halls: 415-618-6335. You can also email housing@academyart.edu

Bus Service
Limited bus service will be provided. Schedules will be posted in the dorm lobbies as usual.

Events
Campus events are being suspended until after Spring Break.

Athletics
We are continuing our NCAA Division II athletic events, which will be live-streamed. As a precaution, fans will not be allowed to attend the games in person during this period.

We want you to feel confident in your classrooms and residence halls. As a result, we have enhanced some of our cleaning procedures in the interest of our students’ and staff’s health and safety. Here are some of the steps that Academy of Art University has taken in the meantime:

  • Cleaning of academic buildings and residence halls: We spend between 8-16 hours cleaning each building every night, and, as of last Monday, March 2, 2020, we have intensified our cleaning procedures.
  • In addition to the standard degreasers and glass cleaners we typically use, we will now be using Clorox disinfectant throughout each building, focusing on common areas and high-traffic frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, and elevator push buttons and hand rails.
  • Our daily services include the emptying, cleaning, and disinfecting of wastepaper receptacles, sanitary napkin containers, mirrors, dispensers, toilets and and wash basins.
  • This high-level of sanitation is also in effect on all shuttle buses, cafes, and gymnasiums which are cleaned nightly.
  • During the upcoming Spring Break period, we will conduct a deep-clean in all buildings. This will also occur in the event that the campus is closed and classes are moved to an online-only status.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommend the following to prevent further infection: regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Dedicated Email and Phone Number for Questions on Coronavirus:

Email: covid19info@academyart.edu
Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-412-2787
Phone Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days per week

State and Local Info

Text COVID19SF to the shortcode 888-777 to get the latest updates about San Francisco health concerns.

The following public health resources may be useful to you and answer many frequently asked questions:

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