Update on Return to Work Plan

Published Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 4:25pm

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you again for your patience and flexibility as we continue to assess plans for the safe return to our District Offices, Colleges, and campus locations. As I have stated before, our highest priority remains our students, faculty, and staff’s health, safety, and well-being. I want to again thank our essential on-site employees who have been on our campuses since the pandemic began and for those who have recently returned to support our students.

COVID-19 continues to evolve, and I want to provide an update regarding our return to campus plans for the Fall 2020 semester. We had identified October 5 as the start of our next phase in transitioning back to fully in-person services and operations. While more employees will return at that time, we are continuing to adjust our timeline as it relates to a full return for all faculty and staff given the current safety conditions and following CDC and local health official guidelines.

  1. We continue to closely monitor local and national COVID-19 data and continue to reassess our phased approach as needed. We are seeing better numbers, and that is heartening. That said, we will be intentional about our return.

  2. Currently, each College has a limited number of in-person courses that are being offered this semester. All Fall 2020 courses will continue in their current scheduled modality throughout the remainder of the Fall semester.

  3. As conditions continue to improve in Maricopa County and the State, Colleges will begin as early as October 5 to cautiously expand the onsite services offered throughout the remainder of the semester.

  4. Each College is unique and offers different programs of study to communities with specific needs. As such, the timing for specific individuals or services to return may not be uniform across the District.

  5. Each College will publish and apply its developed Return-to-Campus Plan.

  6. District Office employees will work with their respective department leadership to determine when they will return to the office.

The bottom line is this:

We hope to have our community fully back on campus and in-person as soon as possible. Our decisions will depend upon the pandemic's course and its impact on our community, but we remain cautiously optimistic and as prepared as conditions allow. Your supervisors will remain in close communication with you as we are able to determine a specific date when it is safe for you and your team to transition back from virtual operations. For some employees that date will remain October 5, and for others, it may be further postponed as late as the Spring semester. There may be variation across our District, and we thank you for your patience as each College Leadership Team evaluates the need for individuals in specific areas to return to campus.

We will continuously monitor pandemic conditions locally and nationally, and implement CDC and state guidelines to successfully plan for our return. Faculty and staff will be notified at least three weeks in advance of the date they will be expected to return. If individual circumstances impact your return to campus, please work with your HR department to reconcile those specific situations.

The fall semester is off to a good start. Thank you for all that you do, and please continue to stay healthy and safe.