April 8, 2021
As this spring semester continues, I find myself optimistic about the future. Our entire SRJC employee community has had the opportunity to receive vaccines if they chose to do so and vaccine availability has continued to increase statewide. Governor Gavin Newsom also recently announced his goal of moving beyond the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy by June 15, as long as the following criteria are met:
- If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated; and
- If hospitalization rates are stable and low
This progress brings us renewed hope and the promise of better days ahead, although it is no guarantee that our state and county will meet these criteria by that time. In order to provide some level of certainty, while prioritizing the health and safety of our entire college community, SRJC will continue to move forward cautiously as we consider a gradual and measured approach to reopening any on-site offerings and student services.
I am currently working with my leadership team on the creation of a transition plan, which will clearly outline a district plan for a safe, staged reopening for SRJC that closely follows Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education, which provides guidelines for reopening safely. The vice presidents will utilize the district’s plan to work with their teams to develop area-specific reopening plans. I hope to share that document soon, after our unions have had the opportunity to review the draft and negotiate any associated impacts/effects on working conditions.
At this time, we are planning to move forward in the following manner through the end of fall 2021. Please note that these decisions are being made at this early date in order to give appropriate time to plan the instructional schedule. While we know that conditions in our county may continue to change over the coming months, the district’s decision to operate the instructional program/activities as stated below is final and will not be changed even in the event that circumstances allow.
- SRJC will continue to operate the instructional program in a largely remote format in fall 2021, while also allowing an increase in the number of partially in-person courses and the addition of fully in-person courses as are safely possible given District constraints on human, financial and facilities resources.
- Student services will also continue to operate in a largely remote format in fall 2021, while allowing for partially or fully in-person services as are safely possible given District constraints on human, financial and facilities resources.
- It is the District’s intent to utilize the contingency planning process and criteria negotiated between AFA and the district for fall 2021 to develop a prioritized list of courses for fall 2021 requiring some in-person instruction/activities and fully in-person instruction/activities. All courses to be offered in fall 2021 with in-person instruction/activities will be presented to the County Department of Health for review. We will continue to work alongside faculty and staff in these areas utilizing SRJC’s negotiated social distancing and in-person instruction protocols to protect the health and safety of our college community.
- Until informed otherwise, all other non-instructional staff that are currently working remotely are asked to continue to do so. This is in line with the Cal/OSHA recommendations, which encourage continuing remote work where possible until conditions change.
- We will not hold any mass gatherings on campus during this time, in accordance with health department recommendations.
- Please feel free to continue to utilize the following webpages for additional information.
While I do not make these decisions lightly, it is clear to me that a gradual transition to reopening SRJC will allow us to begin to provide more on-site offerings without rushing to reopen too soon. The safety of our students, employees and community members remains the top priority at SRJC and while we look forward to the day when we can come together again, we will not risk the health and wellness of our community to do so.
Please know that I am endlessly appreciative of the dedication you have all shown to our students, while continuing to adapt to this new and ever-changing environment. Thank you for everything you are doing right now, and all that you do every day.
President Frank Chong