COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan

Academics and Classes

Reed’s academic plans for the 2020–21 academic year are informed by public health data and Oregon’s reopening plan and shaped to fit the operation of Reed as a small residential college. Course offerings remain largely unchanged in terms of course content. Faculty have designed their courses as in-person or online in order to best maintain the strong student-faculty and student-student academic interactions valued in a Reed education.

Within these broad categories, many of the in-person courses include a remote-access option to accommodate students who cannot return to campus. Similarly, many of the online courses include a local-access option to provide opportunities for smaller group discussion, studio time, and research projects for those students in the Portland area. Faculty in each department have worked to ensure that students can both make progress toward their major and access courses required for distribution credit regardless of physical location.

All in-person courses and local-access option components of online courses adhere to physical-distancing guidelines and use classroom spaces with calculated room capacities of at least 35 square feet per person. While Multnomah County is in Phase I, in-person classroom instruction is limited to 25 persons. In compliance with state guidance, in-person classroom instruction shall not exceed 50 persons, regardless of which phase the county is in. Faculty have implemented pedagogical tools and novel technology to retain the critical sense of connection.

Academic Calendar

The first day of classes for the spring semester is January 25. All in-person instruction will end on April 9, and spring break will be April 12–16. Classes will resume remotely on Monday, April 19, and conclude on Friday, April 30. The reading period and senior oral exams will be held May 3–9. Final exams will be held May 10–13. Seniors will be able to continue necessary thesis work on campus following spring break, and thesis orals may be held in person.


Registrar’s Office
Eliot Hall 311

Academic Support

Academic support will continue to offer all core services during the 2020–21 academic year.

  • Individual academic coaching is available by Zoom or phone. Academic support staff also offer daily drop-in office hours on Zoom.
  • Workshops to build academic and quantitative skills, including skills related to online learning, are offered on Zoom.
  • Both individual and drop-in peer tutoring is offered throughout the year on Zoom. Some in-person tutoring options may return as circumstances develop.
  • Academic support will continue to work closely with faculty to ensure that tutoring is responsive to changes in course-delivery formats.


David Gruber
Director of Office of Academic Support
Dorothy Johansen House

Attendance and Sick Leave Policies

Symptomatic students or those needing to isolate will not be expected to attend in-person classes, and their participation in online activities will be dictated by their specific situations. Reed has an emergency absence policy for students that provides a framework for sick leave. An emergency absence would be appropriate for a student who is severely symptomatic and cannot attend any classes. All Reed faculty were asked to offer a way for isolating or quarantining students to continue attending classes, so students who feel well enough should communicate with their faculty. Students can request a health status note from the HCC to share with faculty if necessary. Each course syllabus will contain details regarding access to missed material.


Student Life
Eliot 218

Deadlines and Policies Regarding Spring 2021 Courses

Deadlines for adding courses, dropping courses, and switching to the Credit / No Credit option are posted on the academic calendar.


Registrar's Office
Eliot Hall 311

Leave of Absence or Withdraw

Leaves of absence, for up to two semesters, can be processed before the start of a semester or during a semester before the Monday of week 10, according to the standard leave policy. The standard tuition refund policy remains in place with minor alterations due to the postponement of spring break, such that the week of March 22 is counted as week 9 rather than being frozen at week 8.


Student Life
Eliot Hall 218


The Committee for Academic Policy and Planning (CAPP) is responsible for any deviation from the standard procedure for the evaluation and grading of student academic work. For the spring 2021 semester, the college plans to use its standard procedures for the evaluation of students’ academic performance.


Kathy Oleson
Dean of the Faculty & Professor of Psychology
Eliot Hall 318

On-Campus Research

Academic departments have prepared plans to allow in-person research. Students involved in in-person research should consult directly with their home department. Students conducting thesis research will receive direction from their departments.

Physical Education and Community Engagement

Reed’s physical education (PE) program provides a combination of socially distanced in-person and online PE courses, following the requirements of Multnomah County and the state of Oregon. Virtual options that are both synchronous and asynchronous (streaming and recorded) are being offered, with enough options for everyone who wants or needs PE credit.


Michael Lombardo
Director of Athletics, Fitness, and Outdoor Programs
Sports Center

Reed’s community engagement (CE) program is available where remote work is possible and appropriate social-distancing measures can be maintained.


Madeline Harmon
SEEDS Program Director
Student Center 112

Travel and Study Abroad

See Visitors, Travel & In-Person Events.