Reopening Task Force Update

Reopening Task Force Update

Reopen Task Force

Hello Students, Faculty, Staff and Administrators of RVCC:

This message is to reaffirm to you all that RVCC is opening this fall and our campus resources are here for you in every way.
 
Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, study, work and connect with each other. Although the Fall Semester may look different from past semesters, the College is committed to three key principles:

Safeguarding the health of our students, staff, and surrounding community.  

Ultimately, students, staff and the general public will only feel comfortable returning to in-person activities if our campus has taken appropriate safeguarding measures, and we are doing just that -- in accord with guidance from health professionals and requirements from the governor’s office.   The campus will have protocols in place to deal with: classroom seating and spacing; health screenings prior to entry; social distancing, including the wearing of face coverings and the use of area separations like plexiglass and curtains; a process for access to elevators, restrooms, entries and exits of buildings; as well as the cleaning and sanitization of campus facilities, especially high-use and touch areas.  The college will post its completed Reopening Plan on the college website once same has been accepted by the NJ Office of Higher Education, as it must be by governor’s order.

Supporting Student Learning.

RVCC’s main goal is to help our students move forward -- keeping their education on track and planning for their future.  Along these lines, the college will offer several teaching modalities in the fall to meet the needs of different learners and specific courses.  Some classes can meet in a remote or online setting; others, like labs and training classes, need in-person interaction.  Therefore, courses will include both on-campus and remote learning options.  Some classes will be available completely online, some in Remote/Synchronous format, some as Hybrids, and some in the traditional face-to-face environment. Please view this video for a more detailed explanation of course offerings, as well as how to understand which courses are offered in which modality.  RVCC’s plan ensures that students can continue their education with safe, flexible, supportive and high-quality instruction.  

Flexibility for all constituencies using the campus. 

Any return to campus must be flexible, balancing the health and safety of the entire RVCC community with the need to resume educational activities. To that end, campus resources and
services will be available both on-site and remotely. The college will have protocols in place to provide support services for students and staff in the following areas:  limiting the number of visitors to campus and the timing of classes; staggering staff schedules; offering academic and student services (such as registration, tutoring, career and mental/physical health counseling) with both remote and scheduled in-person appointments; using the library; providing dining services in a grab-n-go format; and monitoring and providing open gathering areas (appropriately distanced and safeguarded) for staff and student use. RVCC’s plan includes training and an opportunity for you to send your individual questions to us to be addressed by email reopening@raritanval.edu. Know that RVCC pledges to use collaboration and open communication to determine all policies and protocols for our Fall Reopening Plan.   
 
We hope this email will address many of your concerns and reassure you that the college is committed to your health and safety and also to meeting its educational and community goals.  We are in this together – and together, we will succeed.

RETURN TO CAMPUS FAQS

PERSONAL SAFETY:

How are COVID symptoms being monitored?
RVCC’s top priority is to safeguard the health of our students, staff and community. Protocols have been established with the expectation that everyone coming to campus takes their own health and the health of others seriously, and that the entire campus community has a part to play in our response to the challenges that a global pandemic presents.  All individuals will be screened before being allowed to enter the campus.  Temperatures will be taken at all entrances to the buildings.  Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek immediate medical attention and cannot return to campus until they are cleared by a healthcare provider.  Human Resources is working closely with local health officials to establish tracing protocols.

Will face coverings be required?
Yes, face coverings will be required on campus.  All students, employees and visitors are encouraged to wear their own mask or face shield.   A face covering will be provided for visitors to campus and for each employee or student who needs one prior to entering the building. 

What will Social Distancing look like?
The campus will be run accordance with CDC social distancing guidelines. There will be several noticeable physical changes to campus upon reopening, including plexi-glass dividers, clear curtains and designated gathering areas and 6-foot spacing for distancing while waiting in lines. 

What cleaning processes are in place?
The college has established enhanced cleaning, sanitation and disinfecting campus wide using EPA approved materials. Hand sanitizers will be located throughout campus and at the entry to all classes.  Alcohol and disinfectant wipes will be provided for all work areas and desks.  The college will be fogging all classrooms after each class.  Bathrooms are scheduled to be cleaned at least several times during the day with Kai-vac machines that completely clean all surfaces.

What should I do if I am immune-compromised?
Your health should always come first.  Students who are immunocompromised, or at high-risk for COVID-19, or have received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 and are thus unable to attend classes in-person will be advised and assisted by the registrar/advising staff to register for courses offered in alternative delivery formats such as online and remote/synchronous.  If the particular class needed is only offered in a face-to face format, advising staff and faculty will work to accommodate the student on a case-by-case basis. For students who present with COVID symptoms during the semester, reasonable accommodations will be made for that student to participate remotely via recording or streaming the class meeting online. All efforts will be made to assist students to complete the course and/or provide options to return to the course in a future semester.

INSTRUCTION:

When do fall classes start?
The college plans to begin classes for the fall semester on September 2, 2020 as scheduled.  

How are classes being taught?
The college has developed three modalities for instructions.  Online anytime (study from home on your own schedule, Remote classroom (learn from home at specific times), and Face-to-face (On campus classroom instruction).  See this video (https://rvcc.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=64905674-c156-4207-a4c4abe3014e3332) for more information.

What if I don’t have access to a computer or the internet?
The college is providing resources to students who need assistance in accessing their courses.  Students who are unable to access remote education because they do not have access to a computer or internet should reach out to the help desk.   Also, to provide greater accessibility, many internet providers are offering promotions to new and existing customers. For more detailed and accurate information, please contact your local internet providers.

Verizon - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/covid-response-customers
Xfinity - https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19;
Optimum - https://www.optimum.com/coronavirus;
Spectrum - https://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/covid-19-internet-offer-students/

What will physical classrooms look like?
RVCC will adhere to CDC guidelines, so faculty and students will be required to wear face masks/face coverings and will be properly distanced within classrooms or labs, using Plexiglas and other dividers. 

Will there be access to advising, counseling and other support services?
Students will have both virtual and in-person access to advising, counseling and other support services by appointment.  Students can schedule an appointment to speak with a counselor or academic advisor or financial aid officer. Email ACS@raritanval.edu or call 908-526-1200 x8336 to arrange a virtual appointment.

Will the library be open?
The RVCC library will be available to faculty and students for reference services, materials pick up and reserves scanning requests.  The library will be closed to the general public. 

When will the college open?
The college expects to open on August 17 to provide student services and conduct administrative activities.  Office staffing will be minimal without compromising productive and effective support.

CAMPUS LIFE:

Will student clubs meet? 
Clubs will meet virtually this fall.  Please contact student life for information on club activities this fall.  Contact student life

Will athletics and sporting events take place?
The college has, along with other members of our conference, suspended all athletics for the Fall 2020 semester. Outdoor individual physical conditioning  activities will be permitted.

Will the pool and fitness center be open?
The college has closed the pool and fitness center for the Fall 2020 semester

Will food service be available?
The Coffee Shop at the Welcome Center will have “Grab and Go” options for purchase.  There will be limited seating at the Welcome Center, the Sculpture garden and the Cafeteria.

What are the hours for the bookstore?
The bookstore will be open to the public pending the opening of the College to the public. Students are encouraged to order online to avoid coming to the store in person.

August 10-28: Online orders continue. No in-person order pick-up until 8/31.  Hours of operation: 10am-3pm.
August 31-September 18:  Online order pick up is available at the Pebble Beach doors (right next to the bookstore) 8am-10am and again 4pm-6pm.  In store shopping (with above precautions) 10am-4pm.  We will have these hours, customer demand depending, for the first two weeks of classes, ending 9/18.  
Starting September 21: We will be open to the public 10am-3pm. Online order pick up from 3pm-5pm out of the Pebble Beach doors until orders dwindle down.

FACILITIES: 

Are there any changes to the ventilation systems?
Several buildings on campus, by design, have 100% outside air being delivered to the spaces.  These include all science buildings, Phys Ed Building, several areas in Hunterdon and Somerset (they used to have science labs), automotive and cosmetology. In buildings that have recirculation air, we have made two changes.  Outside air dampers have been fully opened so that so that recirculated air is diluted with a maximum amount of fresh air.  In addition, the filters for these buildings have been replaced with MERV 13 filters that remove 90% of particles and considered effective against viruses.   In addition, every classroom will have a local air purifier placed in the room.  This self-contained unit has a HEPA filter and UVC light within the unit.  These units will run continuously. 

Will Covid-19 testing continue in the parking lots?
The county runs this testing. It is likely that testing will continue through the Fall. Currently the testing is one day a week and is conducted in lot 5.  Persons arriving for the test never leave their cars.

How will access to the campus buildings be conducted?
The campus will have 5 entry points to the buildings.  One at the main entrance to the Workforce building, one at the south end of the Arts building by the power plant, and three access points for the main campus buildings.  The 3 entry points for the main campus will be through the Events Center, the east entrance to Hunterdon by parking lot 8, and the west entrance to the Science building. All individuals will be screened before being allowed to enter the campus.  Temperatures will be taken at all entrances to the buildings.   All three of these entry points will allow access through the inner campus to the other buildings (West, Library, Somerset, College Center, Phys Ed).  The inner campus will be fenced in between the buildings so that occupants can move freely between the buildings and will not be required to go through checkpoints multiple times.   

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?:

email: reopening@raritanval.edu


 

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