Dear RCCD student,
The safe return of students and personnel to our community college campuses is a top concern for the leadership of the Riverside Community College District (RCCD) and its colleges. The campuses have been closed since March 16, 2020 and instruction has been offered online since that time.
In May, a Safe Return Taskforce was formed from the leadership of Moreno Valley College, Norco College and Riverside City College along with faculty, staff, students and administrators throughout the District. This taskforce was charged with developing recommendations for restoring on-site operations while ensuring the safety of students and employees.
The recommendations of the taskforce have been organized into phases that correspond to each academic term and are compliant with the
California Resilience Roadmap: Stages 1-4 and specific county health department directives. The recommendations also consider the unique environments and educational programs of each college.
The colleges are currently in Phase A (CA Stage 2) for the summer term that started on June 22 and finishes on July 31, 2020. During this phase the campuses remain closed, instruction is online, and the guidelines of social distancing, personal protection (washing/sanitizing hands, wearing masks and gloves), and thorough cleaning of facilities, are being followed.
Phase B (CA Accelerated Stage 2) recommendations for the fall term: August 24 to December 16, 2020 are similar to those for the summer term, with additional preparations being made for the upcoming winter term. Some District and college personnel are on campuses and in offices providing limited essential services that cannot be offered online or off-campus.
Courses from the previous Spring and Summer (2020) that required face-to-face labs, skills development, and testing will be reconvened for special sessions to help students complete course requirements in the summer and fall. These sessions will be offered while following the CA Stage 2 guidelines. Instructors will communicate with students via college emails to schedule the completion of these courses.
We are prioritizing the restoration of educational programming and organizational functions that are in line with or directly connected to Essential Sectors of the California Economy as defined in Governor Newsom's order dated March 19 and refined in April 2020. Courses and programs that prepare students for jobs in essential sectors will be taught in hybrid format with lectures online and clinical/labs to be conducted in-person.
Phase C (CA Stages 2 - 3) recommendations for the winter term: January 4 to February 11, 2021 are structured so that most courses will continue with online instruction, while some courses may be offered in a hybrid format if they require face-to-face labs, skills development, and testing. The recommendations will be further developed as the conditions and status of the COVID-19 pandemic are better understood, closer to the term’s start date.
Phase D (CA Stage 3) recommendations for the spring term: February 16 to June 11, 2021 are based on the assumption that the state has reached Stage 3 of the California Resilience Roadmap and the county health directives will allow the reopening of college campuses. It is anticipated that a traditional course schedule will be published with some courses returning to campus while others continue in an online or hybrid mode. State guidelines of social distancing, personal protection (washing/sanitizing hands, wearing masks and gloves), and thorough cleaning of facilities, will continue to be followed until CA Stage 4 is reached and those guidelines and directives are lifted at the conclusion of the Stay Home Order.
As the recommendations evolve and plans are finalized, announcements will be made on the District and college websites. RCCD’s
COVID-19 Information web page will continue to be updated with communications and resources. A new
SAFE RETURN web page will also be accessible with updated recommendations and information as it becomes available and as each new term begins.
Throughout the different phases of reopening and stages of the pandemic, students will continue to have equitable access to essential student services either online, or when necessary on campus. Financial Aid, Counseling, Tutoring, and special programs are still available in this evolving environment and will continue with limited interruptions. Students are able to continue their education and prepare for graduation during this pandemic. Our teachers and staff are committed to helping each of our students to progress and succeed.
I appreciate the extra effort that everyone is contributing to help us through the COVID-19 pandemic. The taskforce has done a good job of researching the problems ahead, and proposing recommendations that are cautious and yet determined. It will take patience and resilience to realize our goals and objectives, but I have confidence that we will be able to return to our wonderful campuses in the future, when it is safe to do so.
Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D.