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Planning a Safe Return

Planning for a healthy and safe return to our campuses.

Overview

Since March 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented and rapid transition of all classes and services to the online environment.

Though there are still many questions about how long we will operate predominantly online, we must plan for our eventual return to campus now. We plan to be prepared to return to campus for fall 2021, with the recognition that we don't yet know if that will be possible. This page is designed to transparently share and catalog those discussions.

March 1 Reopening Planning Report

Based on engagement with key stakeholders – including the board of trustees and labor and senate partners as appropriate – the Los Rios Reopening Planning Team submitted a refined report titled, A Framework for Reopening In-Person Instruction, Student Services, and Administrative Services. The report outlines a detailed and specific framework and plan for reopening to the chancellor and college presidents.

The Los Rios Reopening Planning Team also released an initial Reopening Planning Report in January 2021 after gathering feedback at Flex Week Reopening Plan Listening Sessions, through this website, and in other campus- and district-wide discussions.

As public health information evolves and vaccination rates increase, our planning parameters can and will change.

Input and Feedback Form

Provide input and feedback on the reopening report or the reopening planning process in general. All submissions will be publicly visible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the Los Rios colleges offer classes online or in person in fall 2021?

The fall 2021 schedule will include a mixture of both online and in-person classes (more in-person classes than we offered in spring 2021, but substantially fewer than usual). The principal factor in our ability to offer more in-person classes is whether or not social distancing requirements are in place in our region when classes begin this Fall. If so, bringing more classes back on-campus would dramatically reduce access to our colleges for thousands of students in our region. If and when social distancing requirements are eased, opportunities to bring more classes and services back in-person are significantly greater.

In-person offerings will include:

  • Allied Health Programs – Classes in Allied Health programs that were in-person in fall 2020/spring 2021 will again be scheduled to be in person.
  • "Impossible-to-Convert/Complete" Programs – A total of 27 programs that we have been entirely or mostly unable to offer at all in the past year. These programs will proceed in person regardless of the status of social distancing requirements, with significant safety planning to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are safe.
  • "Difficult-to-Convert" Programs/Courses – Classes in "Difficult-to-Convert" areas such as hard science labs, ESL, the arts, and affinity cohort programs like Umoja, Puente, and TRIO. If social distancing is required in the weeks leading up to the start of the fall term, then these courses will all be reverted to online classes.
  • Additional in-person Math and English Classes – A substantial number of new math/statistics/quantitative reasoning and English (ENGWR only) courses (these are additional classes above what is already planned for the schedule) in support of our districtwide focus on equity and completion. These classes will proceed in-person regardless of the status of social distancing requirements, again with significant safety planning.

Is Los Rios reopening its campuses for summer 2021?

The summer 2021 semester will again be predominantly online with only limited exceptions for some impossible-to-convert programs and very limited on campus activities ("impossible-to-convert" programs include only programs that have not been offered online at all since the onset of the pandemic).

This includes programs training first responders and students in other allied health fields critical to our regional COVID-19 response efforts, as well as the potential for some impossible-to-convert career education programs that have been in hibernation since the onset of the pandemic. Of course, any possibility of offering in-person classes is contingent on public health conditions and having thorough safety plans in place.

If Los Rios can’t offer everything on campus in fall 2021, then how will it decide which classes or services to prioritize?

As we look at expanding in-person offerings, the first priority is to resume impossible to convert classes and programs (such as classes and programs that have been in complete hibernation since the move to remote operations) and students who may have been able to complete some classes, but have not been able to complete all the necessary coursework to make progress towards completing their program. Getting these students back engaged and moving towards their degree or certificate is the top priority.

The next priority is programs and classes that have been particularly difficult to convert to online, classes where critical aspects of the curriculum have had to be altered or skipped, and specific math and English classes critical to students' academic success.

What student services will be available in person for fall 2021?

We don't yet know what services will be availabe in person. Public health conditions are evolving rapidly, and we hope to expand in-person student services as much as possible in the fall term while keeping our students, faculty, and staff health and maintaining all appropriate safety precautions. We expect to know more about what services will be available in person in the months leading up to the start of the fall semester.

Can students use a campus computer to apply for and enroll in classes?

Campus computer labs are not yet open for student use. Call (916) 286-3777 for application and enrollment help.

Are students required to come to campus to complete forms or processes when on-campus operations resume?

No, during the COVID closure, nearly all of our documents and processes were moved online. Following the COVID closure, we will maintain these services and processes online for your convenience.

Will there be in-person events and workshops?

The majority of events and workshops will continue to be offered virtually, until the appropriate health and district officials determine that it is safe to gather. Continue to monitor the our website and your email for updates.

Will students be able to print on campus?

Printing on campus will be very limited, if available at all.

Can students come to campus for tutoring?

Most tutoring will continue to occur virtually. Some academic support programs may offer limited in-person tutoring by request only. See specific program pages for instructions.

Is the library open for studying, to check out books, or to meet with a librarian?

Librarians are available for online appointments with students. Visit the library website to chat or make an appointment. Students can request books and pick them up via a safe and socially-distanced method. The library is not physically open for studying.

What is the process to "ready" a building? What types of inspection, testing, and replacement of equipment will occur – daily, weekly, and monthly – before the start of fall 2021?

COVID mitigation measures to prepare our facilities primarily involve building ventilation and air filtration systems, but Facilities Management (FM) would also do a full HVAC system functions test and inspection for each building prior to occupancy (as outlined in Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19).

Before the pandemic, we already regularly performed these system checks throughout the year, typically coinciding with filter replacements (every four months). Now, we will perform additional checks before reopening facilities. These checks help ensure systems are performing the necessary CDC/ASHRAE recommended air exchanges and sufficient outside fresh air is being pulled into the buildings.

Before reopening a facility, we will also verify that we can remotely communicate with the building's HVAC controls through the District's Energy Management System (EMS). Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.

When will all buildings have air filtration equivalent to N95 masks?

All buildings that are currently occupied have MERV-13 filters, the industry standard for COVID-19 mitigation. MERV-13 filters are recommended because they can trap smaller particles, including viruses, and are equivalent to N95 masks with regards to protection and air quality.

In the event a building's HVAC system cannot accommodate the MERV-13 filters, we are performing additional building "flushing" two hours prior and two hours after occupancy as recommended by CDC/ASHRAE for these situations. As more buildings open to accommodate more people coming on to campus, we will perform HVAC system checks and filter changes prior to occupancy.

Buildings are being prioritized in the order they will be occupied with the goal of all buildings being ready (with system checks and filter replacements complete) no later than July 31, 2021, so we are prepared for whatever on-campus activities take place in the fall. Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.