SHIFT TO ONLINE SERVICES & ONLINE LEARNING TO HELP COMBAT SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS COVID-19
Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees President Andra Hoffman today announced that the Board unanimously approved several changes to the District’s schedule to help protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff against the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Effective immediately, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the following steps at its emergency meeting on March 14, including to:
Suspend all classes Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29.
Move the District’s Spring Break to run Monday, March 23 through Sunday, March 29 instead of the currently scheduled break, April 6-11.
Suspend in-person services at the colleges, March 16-28. During this time, there will be many offices at the colleges that will also be closed to the public and some staff will begin to work remotely throughout this period with supervisorial approval.
Begin remote learning (online education) and remote business operations on Monday, March 30 through the end of the spring semester.
“There is nothing more important to me and to my Board colleagues than the safety of our students, staff and faculty. This was a difficult decision to make, but it was the right one that provides protection and stability during these challenging times,” Board President Andra Hoffman said after the March 14 emergency board meeting. “As the largest community college district in the nation, we stand together in support of our students along with the Chancellor, the faculty and staff against one of the most serious health threats in our lifetimes.”
This action provides the District and its nine colleges two full weeks to transition to online education for as many disciplines and student services as possible, without impacting the academic schedule. This plan also alleviates the need for any additional instructional days. The changes impact about 150,000 students, faculty and staff for the Spring 2020 Semester. The colleges include Los Angeles City College, East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Los Angeles Valley College and West Los Angeles College.
The colleges and the District’s Office will remain open as much as possible during this time for continuity of operations. The previously announced plan for faculty professional development to transition to distance education will be expanded to the full week, March 16-20 instead of only two days. Student Health Centers and Child Development Centers will remain open next week to allow parents time to make childcare arrangements, but both will be closed during the new Spring Break, March 23-29. Police services will be available continuously.
“This global pandemic is serious; however, we have an important responsibility to provide for the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, while maintaining the integrity of our learning environments and the operational continuity of our large, complex organization,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
The Board’s emergency meeting was streamed live on Facebook with a feed provided by Los Angeles Pierce College’s award-winning student journalist Arielle Zolezzi, a staff reporter with the Roundup News at Los Angeles Pierce College. Ms. Zolezzi provided an important journalistic service to the LACCD community with live meeting coverage at a time when public access is being reduced under crowd-size guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the City of Los Angeles for social distancing and to limit attendance at large events.
“The situation is very fluid and may change over the coming days. These measures do not address courses and services that do not lend themselves to an online or remote learning format. There are still many outstanding questions, which we will try to address in the coming days and report on as new developments arise. I am confident that we will all be able to work together to get through the challenging days ahead,” said Angela Echeverri, District Academic Senate President.
All updated information will continue to be posted on the District’s website: www.laccd.edu/coronavirus. All of the colleges’ websites have links directing viewers to this same webpage for the same information.
Other measures already in place for LACCD include the suspension of all non-essential travel by District and College executives and deans. The travel restrictions are currently under review for expansion to all LACCD personnel and students.
Additional information is being posted to the District’s main social media accounts, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LACCD/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/laccd. Statewide information for the California Community College is at: https://www.cccco.edu/About-Us/Chancellors-Office/Divisions/Communications-and-Marketing/Novel-Coronavirus
Prevention and Hygiene recommendations from LACDPH continues to be: