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Notice

MESSAGE TO STUDENTS FROM NYFA'S PRESIDENT

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Dear Students,

     First, I hope that this email finds you all healthy and safe. This has been the primary concern of all of us at NYFA since the emergence of COVID-19. Let me say now that you have been amazing in the way you have adapted to the challenges of off campus learning, social distancing, and urgent health protocols. We are now in the midst of our second week of remote learning at all of NYFA’s campuses. What an extraordinary effort it has been for faculty, students and staff, and I am frankly astounded at how well it has gone so far. However, I understand that the current situation is full of uncertainty for many students and members of our community.

     I wish we could immediately answer the very reasonable questions you must have at this point about when we will reopen our campuses and all the things that depend on that timing. As we finish the second week of remote instruction, the answer to most of these questions is that we do not know yet. This is the unfortunate reality that NYFA and all schools are facing. In the meantime, we can and will do everything in our power to make this period as productive and supportive as possible. We also promise that as soon as we can make a projection for a return to campus activities, we will, but we will only return once we are assured that it will be absolutely safe for students, faculty, and staff. In any event we will be holding a summer semester for all students who are continuing their studies with us and we will endeavor to give all students opportunities to complete unfinished project work from this semester.

     All of our staff and faculty are working hard from their own homes to make sure you have every support we can provide and the most up to date information available about how to navigate life and learning in what amounts to a quarantine for all of us.

     For the most part we have received tremendously positive feedback on NYFA’s online instruction so far. One of the challenges is screen fatigue. As content creators, we may have more stamina than others for the long hours in front of computers and devices, but we have asked teachers to take regular breaks and use their discretion about how to budget the time in each session to include labs and time for one-on-one consultation when possible. I also understand that some projects- such as final film shoots and live performances - cannot be fully translated to the online environment. However, students need not worry because NYFA will make appropriate accommodations for any experiences that could not be completely realized when we return to on-campus learning. Again, it is too early now, and the situation too uncertain, to specify how these experiences will be offered, but once on-site learning resumes, please know that we will work collaboratively and individually with students to address all concerns. In our programs we have only one objective: to offer students the best possible visual and performing arts education. Whether on campus or in online classes, we will work with students, as we always have, to ensure that they have the opportunity to fulfill the goals of our programs.

     Many students have concerns about how this change in their studies may affect their status. Our international students, in particular, have concerns about maintaining their student visas and their ability to receive Optional Practical Training (OPT) when they graduate. I ask that you communicate with the relevant student services department around these and any other concerns you have (please use the resource directory at the end of this letter). It is my understanding that most of the problems that students have raised have been resolved by the respective agencies overseeing these students’ status.

     In each of our cities there has been increased guidance at the local level about social distancing, testing, and public activities. Our staff have been communicating with you regularly about local health updates and changes to campus plans which you can also find on the NYFA student hub. Our staff and I will continue to update you regularly on everything discussed above.

     Finally, we have heard from some of your parents that they would like to hear about how NYFA has adapted to off-campus instruction, stay at home directives, and our plans for the future. I ask that you share this email with parents, family, friends and any people in your lives who would like to know more about your studies with us.

I wish you and all in our community continued good health and comfort in this difficult period.

Sincerely,

Michael Young
President
New York Film Academy

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