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‘It’s better to be safe than sorry’: Fresno City College, SCCCD to suspend in-person classes starting Monday

Coronavirus

Campuses will remain open; online classes unaffected

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — State Center Community College District, the district that operates Fresno City College and other campuses around the Valley, announced Friday it was suspending in-person, on-campus classes starting Monday amid a steady stream of closures, cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19 fears.

The district said the suspension is planned through Thursday and then will resume using an “alternate online delivery method.”

“During these four days all faculty, staff, and administrators will use this time for further preparation to move toward online instruction.”

State Center Community College District

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There will be some courses that the district said cannot migrate — those include labs, Career Technical Education courses, nursing and child development practicum classes.

“The goal of this planning effort is to allow for greater social distance, as recommended. Students should check with their instructors if they are unsure if their course falls in one of these categories. Online classes, Design Science and Reedley Middle College High School will also continue without interruption,” SCCCD said.

Classes will resume on March 20 using an alternate online delivery method when it’s possible — in person when necessary, the district said.

Fresno City College student Daniel Ramos first didn’t understand the need for the changes, however, after looking into the virus — he’s happy with the move.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

Student Cori Wright, meanwhile, wasn’t a fan. She feels school districts with younger students should’ve closed first before any changes happened with the area’s community colleges.

“[Kids] touch stuff and they don’t care about washing hands, their immune system is so weak,” Wright said. “[Adults] hear about it, we do something. We’re going to keep hand sanitizer and things like that.”

One things Ramos and Wright agree on — keeping the campuses open. The district will remain open and allow students to come to school for use of WiFi. Child Development Centers, food pantries and limited student services will also remain open.

The district said they anticipate the conclusion of alternative delivery of instruction and resumption of regular operations on April 27, but that may change depending upon the status of the situation and recommendations of health agencies.

SCCCD operates Fresno City College, Reedley College, Clovis Community College, Madera Community College Center, and Oakhurst Community College Center.

COVID-19 resource links:

Fresno City College President Carole Goldsmith wrote a letter to the campus about the changes.

Many of you have seen the Fresno State announcement and that SCCCD is following the Fresno State Model. The question you may have is “Are we closing?”

NO, we are not. Neither is Fresno State.

We are Temporarily Suspending Many In-Person Classes – The College REMAINS OPEN – Normal Essential Operations Continue

At this time, we are planning to keep the college open and will continue to provide essential services in keeping with CDPH guidelines and the Governor’s Executive Order.

The College will be temporarily suspending in-person, on-campus classes between Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19. During these four days all faculty, staff, and administrators will use this time for further preparation to move towards virtual remote delivery. The goal of this planning effort is to allow for greater social distance, as recommended. The migration of multiple face to face classes will occur on Friday, March 20, 2020

However, there will be some courses that we know cannot migrate that will be meeting March 16 – March 19. Those include labs, Career Technical Education courses, allied health, nursing and child development practicum classes, dual enrollment and Design Science High School will remain operational. The goal of this planning effort is to allow for greater social distance, as recommended.

At this time, we are delaying the beginning of the second 9-week short-term classes by one week. The second 9-week short-term classes will begin March 23.

Essential On Campus services will remain open

Please note that the following, in keeping with CDPH guidelines and the Governor’s Executive Order, Fresno City College will be keeping the following essential services open during the March 16 – 19 class suspension:

Ram Pantry, Child Care Facilities, Financial Aid, Student Services, Library, Health Center, Psych Services

What about events?

The College has decided to cancel or postpone the following FCC events in March 2020 based on guidance received from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to enable greater social distance and protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19:

Events Canceled or Postponed
• Canceled – All FCC Sporting events per CCCAA and CDPH guidance
• Canceled – Give us our Peace Choral Concert, March 13
• Canceled – Send Silence Packing, March 16
• Canceled – Fresno Storytelling Festival, March 18
• Canceled FCC/FCOE Career Skills Challenge- March 19 (will not be rescheduled due to short time left in semester)
• Postponed, Student Equity Symposium March 18
• Postponed, Pat Elder on Environmental issues March 18
• Postponed RenFeast Gala – Saturday, March 21, 2020

Future Events

We will reevaluate events planned for April and May as new information becomes available.

Students on Rotations

As we have seen hospitals having to increase efforts to combat COVID-19, we have made a number of proactive decision about our students. All of the Allied Health, RN Director and faculty are closely monitoring the situation and may remove our students from the sites. At this time we have no plans to disrupt any future rotations, unless we receive additional information. All programs have increased the use of simulation as much as possible. Please contact the specific department if you have any questions.

Travel Advisory

As previously communicated on March 9, we strongly suggest that students, faculty, and staff avoid all non-essential travel to states/regions with known cases of COVID-19 and countries designated with a CDC Warning-Level 3. Additionally, local travel is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is important to note, that non-essential travel will likely be postponed and/or cancelled at this time.

Questions

Please refer to our webpage for updates. www.fresnocitycollege.edu/covid-19

Dr. Carole Goldsmith, Fresno City College president

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