May 13, 2020

Things are certainly different from the last time we were all in our building. Nobody knows for sure how things will change or what will happen (and when), but we do know this: classes at the Specs Howard School are enrolling for June and beyond. We would love to hold those classes in our building, but we are bound by state and federal guidelines, so we are relying on them for our timeline.

Once we do come back to our building, rest assured that we will be doing everything we possibly can to help keep everyone safe and healthy, including the use of masks and gloves when and where necessary, as well as working at a safe distance from each other. The school will be thoroughly cleaned before reopening, and it will be cleaned in the morning and afternoon of each school day.

We are developing new methods of teaching with your safety in mind – for example, holding groups to small numbers, and making wipes and hand sanitizer available for students and staff.

Students have been performing well in the 100% online-learning scenario, and, if we need to, we will continue that method of delivering your education to you. Things are evolving and changing quickly, but your health and welfare are our primary concerns, so your learning and education will continue to evolve with these changes. We want you to continue to join us during this new and different time. For 50 years, Specs Howard has evolved and changed with the times, and we have no intention of stopping now, so we’re hoping you’ll stay with us moving forward – whatever that may look like!

Martin Liebman
– The Specs Howard School

May 8, 2020

On May 7, 2020, Governor Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order until May 28, 2020. Although certain workers can resume work, the basic order still means that you can’t leave your home unless it’s for critical errands or safe outdoor activities. You are also required, if you can medically tolerate it, to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces (such as grocery stores).

While there are certain jobs (such as manufacturing, landscaping, etc.) that are reopening – with protections in place – we at the Specs Howard School will need to keep our building closed and our classes online at least until June 1, 2020.

Although more than 4000 people in Michigan have died as a result of COVID-19, medical experts do believe that staying at home has helped lessen the effects of the coronavirus and kept that number from being even higher. They also believe that extending the stay-at-home order can reduce the possibility of a second wave, which, if that happens, they believe could be worse than the first wave.

So, we are asking you all to do your part and stay home. We are here for you, for any questions or problems, but, as always, your health and safety are our primary concern and we, therefore, ask for your continued understanding as we work to get through this.

Thank you, and we’re still hoping to see you all soon!
– The Specs Howard School

April 27, 2020

As of today, April 27, 2020, there are over 38,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan, and over 3,400 deaths as a result. In order to try and continue slowing the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Whitmer has extended the stay-at-home order through Friday, May 15, 2020. As part of this new order, if they can medically tolerate it, people are now required (not simply encouraged) to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces.

Since May 15 is a Friday, the first day that the Specs Howard School would institute any changes would be Monday, May 18. But, keep in mind that this does not mean things will be back to normal at that point. We will continue to hold classes online until further notice, and we will let you know of any other possible changes.

Since things are constantly evolving – often very quickly – the May 15 date may not be final; if the governor changes that date, we will post updates here on our website.

As always, our first and foremost concern is the health and safety of our extended community, so please follow this new directive, and stay home and stay safe!

– The Specs Howard School

April 1, 2020

The White House has extended the coronavirus guidelines for the entire country through April 30. The Specs Howard School building will, therefore, remain closed through that date, and classes will continue online.

While a nationwide stay-at-home order has not been issued at this point, the guidelines have been extended, and we at the Specs Howard School believe that abiding by the CDC recommendations, which include social distancing, will help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Although, as of now, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has not extended her stay-at-home order, we still believe this is the best course of action for our students, our staff and our community at large.

Thank you for your understanding.

Stay healthy,

The Specs Howard School

March 23, 2020

Today, March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a statewide stay-at-home order effective at least through April 13, 2020. Included in that order is the extension of school closings through April 13. As of today, there are more that 1,200 known cases of COVID-19 in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer’s order takes effect at 12:01 AM, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and in line with this order, the Specs Howard School building will remain closed through April 13. Online classes will continue as scheduled.

We continue to monitor the situation and will post updates as necessary.

Please stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.

For more information, please visit

Thank you,
The Specs Howard School

March 16, 2020

In light of the spread of the coronavirus, and following Governor Whitmer’s guidelines, effective Monday, March 16th, 2020, Specs Howard School classes will be conducted online until further notice.

Although the physical building will be closed, the staff will be working remotely and all support services will be available.

All messages to and from students will be handled through Canvas. Please check Canvas for details regarding your specific classes.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but as the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, we feel that these changes are necessary. We are monitoring the situation daily and will follow up with updates as things change.

Thank you,
The Specs Howard School

March 15, 2020

To Specs Howard Students:

The leadership team at Specs Howard meets daily to stay on top of the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are formulating plans and actions to, most importantly, help keep you safe, and secondly, allow you to finish your classes so that you can graduate on time.

Listening to the advice of Governor Gretchen Whitmer to close Michigan K-12 schools and limit contact of large groups, the Specs Howard School will close to students the week of Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020. During this week, we’re working to move as many classes as possible to a distance learning format. Online assignments will remain open during the closure, and you are expected to continue working on those assignments.

Given the rapidly changing nature of the outbreak, Specs Howard will carefully reassess the situation daily and continue to share updates as they become available. Please remember:

• It’s imperative that you check your school email or Canvas regularly for updated information from your instructors on how your classes will continue. In addition, instructors teaching production or performance courses will be sending you information on how these classes will continue. Again, keep checking your email.
• Stay home if you are sick and notify your instructors or Student Success. Our institution and instructors will work with your specialized needs to help you stay on track by offering distance learning formats for classes and alternative formats for student services, such as online tutoring and academic advising by phone or Canvas conferences. We will help our community to continue to move forward as best as possible.

While the school is closed for resident classes during this week, please continue to work on your online assignments and continue to communicate with us via phone, Canvas, or email. The safety of students, visitors and staff is our top priority, and we will continue to monitor new developments closely. We will update you soon on our plan to resume classes in the coming days.

March 12, 2020

We would like to assure each of you that your health and safety remains a high priority in our commitment to providing you with a safe environment, allowing you to concentrate on your coursework. We are closely monitoring the progression of the Coronavirus as it has spread from state to state. Recently, it has been confirmed that two individuals in the State of Michigan have been infected with the virus. On Wednesday evening, March 11, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer asked that everyone limit large gatherings of over 100 individuals. Federal recommendations discourage multiple classrooms from mixing or sharing common gathering places for extended periods. Many large colleges and universities have responded by canceling resident classes for a short period due to the large number of students (in the thousands) attending and living in close proximity to each other in dormitories.

At this time, we will continue with classes as scheduled and follow the recommendations of federal, state and local officials in minimizing the spread and impact of the virus. 

The following are precautions we encourage, and will be following:

  • We will have hand sanitizer and disinfecting spray/wipes in each classroom and staffed area for use at regular intervals.
  • You will be encouraged to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds at the start of class and after you return from breaks.
  • Keyboards, mice, desktop surfaces and doorknobs will be wiped down before and in between classes. Students and staff will have access to disinfecting spray/wipes for personal use to wipe down personal spaces and devices, as needed.
  • Production gear will be disinfected before it goes out and when it is returned.  

We encourage good personal hygiene:

  • Continue greeting each other, but please don’t shake hands and refrain from other body contact.
  • Clean your hands at regular intervals with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Create habits and reminders to avoid touching your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue (which you should then immediately throw into the trash), or into the crook of your elbow.

Please stay home if you are feeling sick, have a sick family member in your home or believe you have come in contact with someone that has tested positive for the Coronavirus. 

Symptoms of the Coronavirus include:

• fever
• cough
• shortness of breath

Please note that some people have experienced other flu-like symptoms, as well, such as headache, chills, muscles aches, etc.

If there is reason for you to miss class, please notify your instructor and the Student Success Department via Canvas before the start of class. Someone from the Student Success Department will contact you to discuss your personal situation.

As we have done over the past 50 years, we will continue to look toward each other for support and encouragement. We will continue to track and monitor any new developments and recommendations as they are communicated by the local, state and federal authorities. Assessments will be based on those recommendations now and in the near future. We wish to maintain an open line of communication with each of you and will update you via Canvas messages as we continue to assess the situation.

You can visit the following websites for additional information:

Please continue to practice good hygiene, stay healthy, and we’ll keep you updated.

The Specs Howard School of Media Arts


Cares Act