March 11 2020
SMC Responds to Coronavirus
SMC Responds to Coronavirus, Most Classes to Move to Remote Learning Beginning March 18 (No Coronavirus Cases at SMC)
Most Classes to Transition to Remote Learning Environment Effective March 18, Large Gatherings & More Cancelled
SANTA MONICA, CA—In order to limit the potential transmission of COVID-19 (the 2019 novel coronavirus), Santa Monica College (SMC) will be temporarily transitioning most in-person classes to a remote learning environment, effective Wednesday, March 18. The college will use remote instruction tools such as Canvas, Zoom, and other platforms. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at SMC.
Classes will be canceled Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17 to allow time for faculty members, staff, and students to prepare for the transition to remote teaching. The college remains open for business and most campus operations will continue during this time. Certain classes that require in-person instruction—some, but not all laboratory, physical education, and performing arts courses—will continue to meet on campus as scheduled.
In addition, SMC has taken the following measures out of an abundance of caution for the wellbeing and health of its students, faculty and staff:
- Suspension of In-Person Classes and Activities at SMC Emeritus: In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding older adults being at high risk from COVID-19, Santa Monica College has temporarily suspended all classes at SMC Emeritus, the college’s program for older adults. This includes the suspension of all Emeritus-sponsored in-person activities both on- and off-campus. There will be no in-person classes until further notice; the SMC Emeritus office remains open for employees and is accessible for Emeritus students via telephone and email. Some classes will resume via remote methods.
- Cancelation of Spring Study-Abroad Trips: SMC has canceled study-abroad trips to Costa Rica, Helsinki, and Tallinn, in keeping with guidance from the CDC’s advisory on student foreign travel to higher educational institutions.
- Cancelation of Non-Essential Travel, Large Gatherings & Extra-Curricular Activities: Based on March 7 guidance from the California Department of Public Health to higher education institutions, the college has, effective today, canceled all large academic and student-focused gatherings and extra-curricular activities through the end of the Spring 2020 semester or until further notice. Athletic events will be conducted wherever possible without spectators. SMC sponsored and sanctioned non-essential travel has also been canceled until further notice.
“Santa Monica College has been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis constantly, ever since it first broke out,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. “The college has had to weigh a vast set of considerations—first and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our students and employees, but also upholding our educational mission of equity and open access in this time of uncertainty. These latest changes were carefully considered keeping all these factors in mind, and to ensure that no student would be left behind in the transition to remote learning modalities.”
SMC has undertaken enhanced cleaning and prevention measures these past few weeks. In addition, the college’s Emergency Operations Team developed a COVID-19 specific Infectious Disease Outbreak Plan; SMC’s Health Services Center provided education, flu shots, and more; and a communications campaign was rolled out including social media posts on COVID-19 prevention measures, and a dedicated webpage which serves as a one-stop shop for all things related to and impacted by the coronavirus: smc.edu/coronavirus. SMC has been in constant touch with local, state, and national public health agencies including the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the CDC. SMC also works in close coordination with our partners at the City of Santa Monica. Please visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus for city-specific information.