An update from Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis

RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update #3
(Effective March 16 through April 30, 2020)
March 12, 2020

As promised, hard on the heels of Coronavirus Update #2 comes the predicted Coronavirus Update #3. Yesterday the World Health Organization pronounced that Coronavirus 19 had reached pandemic proportions. In addition, the first Baltimore County patient tested positive for Coronavirus 19.

Therefore, I am announcing that all campus-based classes are suspended for one week as of March 16 through March 22. (Online courses will continue as scheduled.) Classes will resume in remote or alternative learning environments on March 23. This arrangement will be in place until April 30 as necessary. If conditions stabilize before April 30, we will resume a regular class schedule more quickly.

I want to emphasize that the college is not closing. Faculty will spend next week preparing for this transition, and all non-teaching staff will be in their usual positions to provide all services and supports to faculty as they prepare for this transition. The timeline for executing this strategy will unfold as follows:

  • The College will cancel all campus-based classes from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22 to prepare for transition to emergency remote or alternative teaching modes. Online classes will continue as scheduled.
  • Instructional faculty will use this week to prepare for emergency remote or alternative instructional modes. A full menu of college resources, training, and assistance will be made available for faculty and staff who need assistance in making this transition.
  • From March 23 to April 30 classes will be delivered remotely or through other alternative methods although some laboratories and discipline specific learning spaces will be available on the campuses to provide support for faculty and students.
  • During this period of time, necessary college meetings can and should of course continue although we encourage everyone to practice social distancing (no close contact; larger meetings in larger rooms) and frequent hand washing to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus if it is present.
  • As the college will remain open, faculty and students who do not have appropriate technology at home will have the option of coming to the campus to use college technology.
  • Class time missed during the transition week will be made up during final exam week as we did during “Snowmageddon!”

Overall, the impetus behind the strategy of moving into remote or alternative instructional delivery combines now with those outlined in the March 4 and March 11 coronavirus updates. Simply put, restricting travel, canceling or postponing events and moving most instruction off site will reduce the spread of infection. We cannot unilaterally stop this pandemic, but we can do our part to slow it down.

I appreciate and thank all of you for lending your shoulders to the wheel, especially faculty who must now transform their customary instructional models into viable new ones. This revamped delivery system will place a strain on all of us, but extreme times translate into extreme measures. I promise that we will return to normal as soon as external events enable us to do so. In the meantime, we pledge all of the assistance necessary to make the best of a taxing transitional situation.