MCCCD Phased Approach to Reopen On-Campus Operations

Published Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 3:01pm

Dear Colleagues,

You have demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability over the past two months, as the Maricopa Community Colleges have made momentous changes to the way we operate and deliver higher education. Although our new normal is sure to be different, there are signs that our on-campus operations may begin to reopen in the not too distant future.

On Monday, May 11, Governor Doug Ducey announced new guidelines toward managing the COVID-19 pandemic: “Today, our hospitals have the capacity to provide care to those who need it; our businesses are implementing and adapting to new physical distancing measures, and data shows Arizona is headed in the right direction. It is time to move forward with the next steps of Arizona’s economic recovery - while continuing to make health and safety our number one priority.”

Our guiding principle during this pandemic has been protecting the safety, health, and wellbeing of our employees and our students, and this principle will continue to guide us as we look to reopen our on-campus operations. As such, we will be implementing a phased approach that includes target dates to return to in-person operations and allows for safe instruction and academic continuity. We will provide a return-to-work guide as well as safety protocol training to help with the transition back. The following provides District guidelines for our phased approach. In addition, College Presidents will work with local teams to determine the specific dates departments and employees will return to their College locations.

PHASE I - Target Date: June 15, 2020

(Dependent upon the availability of PPE and supplies)

  • Only select CTE classes extended from Spring 2020 may return to campus for instruction. All students and employees must follow the classroom-to-car method, ensuring minimal physical proximity for student, faculty, and staff safety. Students, faculty, and staff will have limited access to predetermined areas on campus in order to complete required coursework.
  • All predetermined areas on campus will have heightened cleaning procedures before and after room use.
  • All other services will continue to support students remotely, including:
    • food services
    • student life and clubs that meet on campus
    • Student advising and services
  • Colleges will continue to communicate to students that they are providing services in a remote setting.
  • Any employee returning during Phase I must complete our safety protocol training before returning to work on campus. All employees will be required to follow safety protocols if on-campus or at District Offices.

PHASE II - Target Date: July 6, 2020

(Dependent upon the availability of PPE and supplies)

  • Any employee returning during Phase II must complete safety protocol training before returning to work on campus. All employees will be required to follow safety protocols if on-campus or at District Offices.
  • Employees will be brought back to campus slowly as PPE and sanitation supplies at each college permits. Employees may be scheduled in on-campus/remote rotations and remote work will still be encouraged where essential functions of a department can still be met remotely.
  • While employees will return to campus, Colleges will continue to primarily serve students through remote and online modalities. In very limited circumstances, Colleges may reopen limited areas on campus where safety protocols can be maintained.
  • Colleges will implement safety protocols in all spaces accessed by faculty, staff, and students, including 6-foot distance markings prevalent throughout all facilities, guidelines for common spaces, and guidelines for workplace temperature taking.

PHASE III - Target Date: August 3, 2020

(Dependent upon the availability of PPE and supplies)

  • All employees returning during Phase III must complete safety protocol training before returning to work on campus. All employees will be required to follow safety protocols if on-campus or at District Offices.
  • All employees will return to campus, though Colleges will have the discretion to determine if some tasks or positions may remain remote. Colleges may also continue to schedule employees in on-campus/remote rotations as needed.
  • Colleges will phase in on-campus services, prioritizing face-to-face services for students that directly support student enrollment and success. Some services may remain closed or continue to operate in a remote/online setting, including food services and the bookstore.
  • Colleges will maintain safety protocols in all spaces accessed by faculty, staff, and students, including 6-foot distance markings prevalent throughout all facilities, guidelines for common spaces, and guidelines for workplace temperature taking.

A select number of employees, due to working in essential service areas, will remain on-call as we transition through the summer. These individuals have been identified and will be notified by their direct supervisor if they need to physically report to a College or District Office to fulfill critical tasks.

There are still many unknowns linked to the future of the pandemic, and these target dates may shift as needed. Again, our progress in returning to on-campus operations will be led by our guiding principle focused on faculty, staff, and student safety. I am continually impressed with the strength and empathy our employees and students have shown to one another as we navigate changes to the way we live, work, and study. We have been able to adapt to the times and evolve into something I am genuinely proud of, and for that, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Steven