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RISD pivots to online start for Wintersession classes

In-person classes to resume Jan. 14 with restrictions

RISD’s online start comes in tandem with universities nationwide choosing to delay a return to in-person learning due to the recent surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant.
RISD’s online start comes in tandem with universities nationwide choosing to delay a return to in-person learning due to the recent surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant.

The Rhode Island School of Design announced Tuesday that its Wintersession courses will begin remotely from Jan. 6 to 13, RISD Spokesperson Jaime Marland wrote in an email to The Herald. Currently, RISD plans on resuming in-person Wintersession classes Jan. 14. The condensed winter semester that is required for almost all RISD students will end Feb. 9, before the start of the school’s spring semester.

RISD’s online start comes in tandem with universities nationwide choosing to delay a return to in-person learning due to the recent surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant. Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island both announced Wednesday that the first few weeks of classes will be held remotely.

Brown expects to begin the spring semester with in-person classes on Jan. 26, according to a Dec. 21 email from President Christina Paxson P’19.

RISD’s updated Wintersession 2022 Protocol encourages students to delay returning to campus until in-person classes resume. Students unable to change their travel plans may still come to campus but must participate in pre-travel testing within the 72 hours before departure in addition to testing within 72 hours of their return.

“We anticipate that this extended arrival window will provide for a safe and manageable re-entry to campus for our students,” Marland wrote.

To accommodate students during this period of restrictions and changes, all RISD Wintersession classes will follow a Pass/No credit grading system instead of the usual letter-based grading system, according to RISD’s Wintersession 2022 Protocol.

Marland noted that RISD’s in-person Wintersession classes will follow the school’s original COVID-19 Protocol, which includes a ban on indoor events and gatherings, a regular weekly or bi-weekly testing regime, indoor mask-wearing requirements and limited seating in dining halls.

RISD also requires students to receive a COVID-19 booster shot by Feb. 1 or within two weeks of becoming eligible, similar to Brown’s requirement announced Dec. 14 that all students, faculty and staff must receive a booster before the first day of the spring semester or within 30 days of eligibility.

Unlike last year, in which Brown students were unable to enroll in courses at RISD for Wintersession due to Brown’s adoption of a three-term academic calendar, this year Brown students are eligible to participate in the school’s Wintersession, despite public health challenges and the overlap in RISD’s Wintersession with the start of the Brown’s spring semester.

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Currently, Brown’s Wintersession is being held entirely online, running from Dec. 21 to Jan. 21.



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