MCC Update on Covid-19 and Extension of Spring Break

Published Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 2:19pm

MCC Faculty and Staff:

We hope that you are enjoying the rainy spring break weather. Several recent updates have been sent out from the Chancellor regarding COVID-19.

Mesa Community College is actively monitoring the situation to ensure that we are providing a safe learning environment for MCC students, faculty and staff.

This morning, the MCCCD Chancellor sent out an email extending Spring Break for students (cancelling face-to-face classes) through Friday, March 20th. (A copy of the notice students received is attached). Maricopa faculty, staff and administration have been asked to report back to work on Monday, March 16th and use the week to prepare for academic continuity should the District remain closed for up to 2 weeks, or possibly longer.

We are receiving a lot of questions and we are working to get answers. In order to streamline communication, please submit any questions that you have about business operations using this google form.

Patrice has shared the following recommendations for faculty:

  • Plan for how you will accommodate students who are on 14 day quarantine due to risk of contamination, actual or suspected contamination. Relaxing absence policies, offering alternative or make up assignments, exams, class or group assignments/activities, labs, hands on learning, lectures are some examples where possible alternatives and accommodations might be needed.

  • Faculty, including adjuncts, should be encouraged to stay home if they are sick or at risk for having been exposed.

  • Check Maricopa email frequently and sign up to receive RAVE alerts. Department Chairs should be in regular communication with their adjunct faculty

In addition, some other steps that can be taken to prepare are:

  • Publish all courses in canvas in order to allow easier communication with students

  • The CTL put up a webpage for Continuity of Instruction support options if you need assistance with Canvas basics or other methods of alternative content delivery.

  • In the event that in-person classes are suspended for longer than several weeks, have a contingency plan to prioritize learning activities requiring access to labs, studios, or activity spaces when classes resume.

Student Support Services are encouraged to develop a plan for offering services to students utilizing email, phone, chat, video-conferencing or other virtual options.

In order to help prevent the spread of the virus, the Chancellor has temporarily suspended all non-essential business travel to any location with active transmission of COVID-19. Bradley Kendrix, Interim VPAS, is working to get additional clarification of this travel suspension and will send out additional communication and instructions for those that may be impacted. If you are scheduled to travel to a conference or event, please check with the hosting organization, as many conferences are being cancelled.

If you have questions or concerns about the health of a student, or how to best serve a student who may be ill, please contact Tanya Smith in the president’s office, tanya.smith@mesacc.edu or 480-461-7746. She will collect your information so Carmen Newland may provide assistance.

If you have questions about the health of a faculty or staff member, including yourself, please reach out to Garrett Smith, MCC Human Resources Director, garrett.smith@mesacc.edu or 480-461-7211.

Because the COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly and is without contemporary precedent, we should all review official college and district communication carefully and be patient as additional questions and concerns are presented.

Thank you to all of you for your dedication to students and your patience as we work to get the answers to your questions.

Sent by Carmen Newland, on behalf of Carmen Newland and Patrice Nango