Dear MICA Community,
As the beginning of the spring semester approaches and a new year begins, this memo serves as both a reminder of our previously-announced return-to-campus plans, as well as notification of some additional updates to those plans.
The College continues to monitor the developments of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. Our ongoing planning remains guided by our consulting epidemiologists, the most current science, and the latest data. While the rapid spread of this new variant is concerning, both the effective measures that were implemented in the fall and the high vaccination rate of our community allow us to maintain our plans for spring reopening with a few additional steps.
Summary of existing plans:
- MICA will be opening in Operational Mode 4 as previously announced with a continued commitment to in-person teaching and learning for the semester.
- Class teaching modalities as well as shop and studio access will be the same as they were in the fall, except…
- The first week of classes will be held virtually—Tuesday, January 18 through Friday, January 21—to allow time for student testing to be completed.
- Students will be required to be tested twice at MICA. Once upon return to campus and a second time a week later. (Read the full announcement)
- Faculty and staff are required to be tested at MICA upon return to campus or provide their own negative PCR test before returning. (Read the full announcement)
- Students are being asked to stagger their move-in dates to reduce the density during this typically crowded period. (Read the full announcement)
As mentioned previously, MICA is working closely with our consulting epidemiologists. Based on their guidance and the current science, the College will be implementing the following additional health and safety measures.
- MICA will be distributing two KN95 masks to all students, faculty, and staff. More details will be provided in a subsequent communication by the end of this week.
- COVID-19 booster vaccinations will be required for all eligible students and employees. This requirement will not be put into effect until after the start of the spring semester and is not a requirement to return to campus. Look for further information in a separate announcement by the end of January.
- Dining services will be grab-and-go only from Saturday, January 15 through Sunday, January 23.
- Shuttle services will be limited. More details will be provided in a separate communication by the end of this week.
Again, MICA’s top priority is to provide a healthy environment for our entire community—both physically and mentally. Many of us may still have questions and concerns that we would like to be addressed by our consulting epidemiologists. Therefore, discussion sessions with the epidemiologists are being scheduled and will be open to the entire community. A session will be held on Friday, January 14, from noon to 1 p.m. for faculty and staff. On the same day, another session will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for students and parents. More information about these sessions will follow in a separate announcement soon.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and support. It is only through the remarkable work, vigilance, and resilience of the entire MICA community that the College is able to continue to fulfill its educational mission even in these challenging times.
Please look for additional communications throughout January, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone on campus soon!