Reedley College Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 18, 2020

Mar 18, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

We know you are following the fast-changing reports about the COVID-19 situation.  In the past couple of days, California implemented a number of new measures and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended halting all gatherings larger than 50 people for the next eight weeks. We are writing today to share some important new actions we are taking in response.

Social distancing and increased hygiene continue to be the best ways to reduce exposure and spread. To enforce social distancing, cities throughout California and beyond have closed schools, public events and places where people gather. Hospitals are increasing their capacity to help those in need.

In an effort to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, and per direction from the State Center Community College District Office of the Chancellor, effective Friday morning, March 20, campus offices that are not essential to direct student support will transition to working remotely, while virtual instruction is scheduled to begin. However, to ensure an orderly transition, we are implementing several changes to campus operations in an effort to ensure social distancing techniques are effectively implemented. The changes to campus operations as a result of the accelerated social distancing measures will be the following, effective immediately:

  1. Instruction: On-line instruction will begin this Friday, March 20 and remain in effect through at least April 27, 2020. This is subject to review and change. We will transition most face-to-face courses to virtual instruction.  
  2. Farm: Operations will continue on our farm with the exception of classes, and social distancing will be maintained in all mission-critical operations.
  3. Certificate and Degree Completion: Subject to the completion of all program and course requirements, unless otherwise notified, students who have registered to graduate will be eligible to do so.
  4. Commencement: There has not been a final determination on the status of our commencement ceremony, which is scheduled for May 22. We will keep you updated via the Reedley College website, reedleycollege.edu.
  5. Library: The library is closed until further notice. However, library support services are available on-line at reedleycollege.edu.
  6. Cafeteria: The cafeteria is closed until further notice, but will continue to serve meals to our Residence Hall and Herdsman House students Monday-Friday.
  7. Student Housing: The majority of our student residents have already returned home. Students who remain in the Residence Hall will be screened and a visitor policy will be enforced. Contact:  lisa.mcandrews@reedleycollege.edu .

STUDENT SERVICES

Please note that the following list includes most of the essential campus services that will remain in operation to empower student success. For general information on student services, visit the Student Services webpage.

  1. Academic and Tutorial Support: All academic support centers are now providing online services. Students should go to the Canvas shell for each of the centers to search for tutors.  Students who have been working with tutors in each of the centers should contact the tutors by Canvas Messaging to set up online tutoring appointments.  In addition to Reedley college tutors, students may also access online tutoring through SmarThinking 24 hours a day seven days a week.  SmarThinking can be accessed at each course Canvas site.
  2. Bookstore: The campus bookstore is open from 7:45am-3:30pm Monday-Friday (closed weekends). 
  3. Campus Events & Athletics: All activities and sporting events have been cancelled/postponed until further notice.
  4. Counseling & Advising: All scheduled appointments will now take place remotely using phone or internet-based resources.  For appointments scheduled prior to this transition, students will be contacted by phone and/or email regarding their options.  You can schedule an appointment by calling the Counseling Department at 559-638-0337 or by emailing counseling@reedleycollege.edu.  You will be asked to provide your student ID, the best phone number to reach you at and a brief description of how we can assist you.
  5. Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS): Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSP&S) is designed to provide specialized services and accommodations that assist students with documented disabilities to reach their maximum potential while achieving their educational goals. DSP&S staff interact with all areas of the campus to eliminate physical, academic and attitudinal barriers.  Students can contact DSPS at https://www.reedleycollege.edu/student-services/disabled-student-programs-and-services/index.html
  6. Financial Aid: Financial Aid assistance is available via e-mail at reedley.financialaid@reedleycollege.edu
  7. Food Pantry: The Tiger Pantry, located just south of the gym, is available Monday-Friday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for Reedley College students only.  Students can also access their local food distribution locations through the Central California Food Bank.  
  8. IT Support: The College has available laptops and accessories available to loan to students as needed on a limited basis. Please contact the technology department at 559-301-4005 to schedule an appointment. Students can access technology support services by contacting the student Help Desk:

https://www.reedleycollege.edu/campus-life/technology-help.html                         https://scccd.edusupportcenter.com/sims/helpcenter/common/layout/SelfHelpHome.seam?inst_name=scccd-hd

  1. WiFi Accessibility: Students who wish to access WiFi free of charge may park in Lot “B” to use it for virtual instruction and additional coursework. WiFi access is not to be used for anything other than coursework-related material.

 

AT&T

AT&T is providing free access to its WiFI hot spots throughout the country. 

Comcast

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering two months of free to Internet service through the Internet Essentials program.  This offer is available to new and existing customers. Additionally, Xfinity WiFi hotspots are now available free of charge to the public.

Charter

Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Additionally, all WiFi hotspots are now free of charge.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.

Verizon

Verizon is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers negatively impacted by the global crisis.

California Connects

California Community College students are eligible for this mobile hotspot service, powered by Sprint, which offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 WiFi enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge for only $19.99 a month.

Additionally, amidst the current pandemic, many phone and internet companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Spring, Verizon, and T-Mobile have taken part in the  Keep Americans Connected Pledge and will not disconnect any services or customers for the next 60 days regardless of payment status.

Even though we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Reedley College community at this time, there are two confirmed, travel-related cases in Fresno County, and additional confirmed cases in nearby counties. Thus, we each have a shared responsibility to do whatever we can now to slow the contagion of COVID-19 in an effort to keep our families, friends and neighbors as healthy as possible, and to minimize strain on our local hospitals and health care providers. In this, we face an unprecedented challenge: how to ensure the health and safety of our communities while maintaining the continuity of our academic mission: to motivate and inspire students to succeed. Therefore, we are committed to delivering virtual and online instruction until the semester ends.  

Additional Guidance for Students:

  1. Students should continue to prepare for virtual-instruction classes according to the procedures that faculty will have in place by Friday, March 20.
  2. Student workers will not be required to work on campus effective Friday, March 20. They should contact their supervisors for any specific direction.
  3. Herdsman House students will continue helping with agricultural operations, and social distancing will be maintained.

Additional Guidance for Faculty:

  1. We encourage faculty to continue planning for the transition to virtual instruction, which begins Friday, March 20.
  2. If they have not already done so, faculty members should reach out to every student in each of their classes by Friday, March 20 to communicate how the class will be conducted moving forward.
  3. No additional class days will be added as part of the current plan.
  4. All non-essential personnel are required to remain off campus during this period.

Guidance for Staff:

  1. Employees working remotely should submit the appropriate form to telecommute. The Remote Telecommuting Self-Service support page is available from MyPortal in the Resource Links area on the left-hand side of the page and located below the Office365 Toolbar. For those who cannot work remotely beginning Friday, March 20, contact your supervisor.
  2. Essential services will remain open with limited on-campus access throughout the semester.
  3. Additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Office of the President.


We know there will be additional questions, and we will continue sending regular updates to keep you informed. Please check your email and the college website regularly.

Always remember that our main focus is your health and safety, and our mission remains to educate and empower every student for success. Now, more than ever, our students will need our support during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jerry L. Buckley

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