Employee Update #10 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
Last week, Governor Hogan increased the number of people who can congregate indoors to 15. That change offers us an opportunity to begin offering classes on campus. Given this announcement and our planning that was already ongoing for on-campus coursework in the fall, we have established July 6th
as the “Return to Campus” date for the new-normal operations. The underlying guiding principle for all of our reopening decisions is an emphasis on the health and safety of our students and employees.
Within that context, not everyone will be returning to campus. Many will continue to telecommute. It will depend on your job and if there is anything for you to do on campus at this time. Supervisors will be contacting staff to discuss their schedules. Remember, we need to continue to social distance even in the offices as we return. Due to space constraints we will not be able to bring everyone back at the same time.
Whether you are returning to campus immediately or not, all employees will be required to complete Returning To Work
training through SafeColleges prior to July 6, 2020 and quarterly thereafter until further notice. You will be receiving an email notification from SafeColleges when it becomes available.
Beginning July 6th
, anyone coming to campus (employees, students and visitors) will need to go through screening before entering the buildings. We will have two screening sites. Walk-up screening will be conducted in front of Brunkhorst Hall main entrance. The second screening will be conducted while you are still in your car. You will need to circle around campus to the North Parking lot under the Solar Panel Canopy where you will be greeted by our outstanding Public Safety staff who will take your temperature and review your health self-assessment. The health assessment is a self-reporting questionnaire where you will be asked questions about any COVID-19 symptoms you may be experiencing and your interactions with someone who has tested positive. We hope to have this available on an App by July 6th
, but if not, we will have a paper version, which will also be available for any first-time visitors. This will become part of your daily routine. A copy of the Health Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Buildings will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and as needed for evening courses.
As we become busier, we will stagger start-times to try to reduce the waiting period that could occur at peak arrival times. All employees, students and visitors will be required to wear face coverings when inside buildings and while interacting with others.
Continuing Education will be allowed to begin offering classes on July 15th
. New courses for our nursing and other health professions disciplines are returning to campus as well. Students who need to interact with staff in-person for onboarding and course scheduling will also be invited to campus by appointment. With all this activity we will obviously need a campus presence beginning in July.
The details of what you should expect and will experience are outlined in the attachment titled “Returning to Work: A Guide for Employees
.” Please take some time to review the entire document. It provides detailed information and guidance on our workplace expectations. It isn’t stated anywhere, but as we reopen, everyone should realize that we are returning to our practice of workplace appropriate attire (slippers, robes, tee shirt and pjs may be fine at home, but while interacting with students and one another on campus there is an expectation of a higher level of grooming and dress than what has been observed in some Zoom and Team meetings).
With a limited on-campus presence, the Jordan Center and the Café will not be operating this summer. Additionally, in order to ensure appropriate social distancing, we will be using the Hazel Center for the in-person meetings with students in July and much of August. You should not plan to eat your lunch in the cafeteria. More detailed information can be found in the guide.
As we prepare for the fall, credit faculty have developed a COVID-19 revised schedule for fall coursework. There will be six course delivery methods to ensure that students have options. We surveyed our students to learn how we can make them feel comfortable, secure and confident so that they will be successful this year. There was an interesting division in their choices with 37% choosing face-to-face instruction with social distancing; 33% selecting online; and, the remaining 30% choosing hybrid or virtual classes. Clearly, we need to offer options and the faculty responded.
The challenge is making the changes to the existing schedule, informing students and explaining what the changes mean. During the week of June 29th
through July 2nd
, staff will be making the changes to the fall class schedule. On July 6th
, pre-registered students will be contacted to advise them of the changes and informing them that the fall payment deadline will be July 22nd
. We expect some drop/add activity after students learn of their schedule changes and see the new options. We also hope that once undecided students who are sitting on the sideline waiting to see what’s going to happen learn about our schedule and processes, then they make the leap and come in and get registered. Next week, a video outlining what fall will look like at Wor-Wic will be filmed and will be sent to students, posted on our website and on social media on July 6th
With limited campus activity this summer, we continue to be in a position where not everyone has work that can be performed. While the Board of Trustees committed to keeping everyone on the payroll through June 30, 2020, as we begin the new fiscal year the Emergency Closure Pay will end. A number of positions are scheduled for full or partial furlough until we resume normal operations in the fall. Affected staff have been notified. If circumstances change and we have work for everyone and can bring people back earlier, we will take advantage of that opportunity.
I know that everyone has been enduring a great deal of stress during this unprecedented period and we hope that our return to work goes smoothly and we can find some sense of normalcy this fall. I think that we all know that the likelihood of a second wave of the virus is high. However, we must plan for a number of eventualities, including restarting in the fall. If we have to pivot, I think that we are better prepared than we were this past spring.And, we did a pretty good job making that adjustment. Thank you for all that you have done to keep the college moving forward and keeping our students on track to achieve their goals. This coming year will continue to bring challenges, but if I have learned anything from the experience that we have been through over the past 4 months, it is that we are stronger than the challenges that we face and we’ll find ways to fulfill our Mission and support our students and one another.