March 15, 2020
All SMC Classes to Go Remote, Student Services Closed March 16-17
Dear SMC Colleagues and Students:
This is an urgent update on changes to Santa Monica College classes, student support services and campus operations, because of the COVID-19 (the 2019 novel coronavirus) outbreak in Los Angeles County. There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus at SMC. Please be sure to read this memo through—several pieces of information here replaces/updates prior communications:
All Classes to Migrate to Remote Environment: No In-Person Classes
On March 11, we announced that most SMC classes would transition to a temporary remote learning environment beginning Wednesday, March 18. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff, Santa Monica College will now be moving all classes to a remote environment wherever possible. This may include several of the courses that would normally require in-person instruction, such as performing arts, lab, and physical education.
SMC’s Academic Affairs is finalizing a list of classes that will have to be cancelled
because of this move. We anticipate very few class cancellations. You will be able
to access the list of cancelled classes on smc.edu/coronavirus around 1 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, March 14. Students enrolled in a class that absolutely must be cancelled will receive notification
via SMC email by end of the business day, Monday, March 16. We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this may cause, but
hope that it is understood given the challenging circumstances. Your wellbeing is Santa Monica College’s highest priority.
All Student Support Services/Offices Closed Monday, March 16 – Tuesday, March 1
Another update to the March 11 memo: all Santa Monica College student support and other services will be unavailable to students Monday, March 16 – Tuesday, March 17 (The Student Services Center will be closed). During these two days, student services faculty, counselors, and staff are going to prepare to move most services to a remotely accessible environment beginning Wednesday, March 18.
The Student Services Center will reopen on Wednesday, March 18. You will be receiving further information on how to access most support services remotely before then. Starting March 18, limited in-person services will be provided only by the following areas: DSPS, Health Center, Admissions, Financial Aid, International Education, Tutoring, Cashier's, Bookstore and the Library. More and updated information on hours of operation is coming soon.
Faculty, Classified Staff, Managers & Administrators: Monday, March 16 – Tuesday, March 17
Faculty, managers, and administrators will continue work as announced previously to migrate coursework and services to a remote environment, where possible, to ensure a smooth transition for SMC students by Wednesday, March 18. Classified staff: your managers will meet with you to discuss and complete a business continuity plan, which must be completed to prevent the disruption of college operations.
All faculty, classified staff, managers, and administrators should report for work as usual, unless you are ill. Please look for further information from Human Resources, Academic Affairs, your department chairs, and immediate supervisors. If you are ill or display any of the COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home. Refer to the FAQ on this SMC webpage for questions you may have about absences, sick leave, and more.
SMC All-Campuses Access Restrictions | Until Further Notice
To limit any potential COVID-19 outbreak on our campuses, Santa Monica College is implementing “limited access”. While students who absolutely need to use the in-person support services described under the first heading are welcome to do so, they (and college employees assisting them) will be encouraged/instructed to practice social distancing and to take all personal preventive measures. The college upholds its commitment to equity and access to the fullest extent possible. SMC’s facilities and custodial teams will continue to perform heightened cleaning of surfaces that are touched regularly, and ensure that soap and hand sanitizer stations remain filled. The general public and community members will be discouraged from entering any of SMC’s campuses via a press release and community outreach. This limited access to SMC’s campuses and facilities will remain in place until further notice.
Athletic Events Postponed Indefinitely
In addition to the previously announced cancellation of Spring 2020 Study Abroad trips, nonessential travel, extra-curricular events and large gatherings, and the suspension of in-person classes and activities at SMC Emeritus (the program for older adults), SMC is also postponing all athletics events and team practice indefinitely, effective immediately. This action follows a March 12 announcement from the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). The CCCAA Board of Directors will be seeking to minimize the academic impact on student athletes.
I know that this is a stressful time. Take all the precautions as advised by public health authorities to keep yourselves and others healthy. Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands! SMC will be sharing some tips on how you can manage anxiety and stress, and stay connected with those you care about (plus your instructors and counselors!) in the next day or so.
Students: Santa Monica College is here for you. We will do everything we can to help keep you on track in meeting your goals, to assure a seamless transition to a remote environment, and to assist you in any way possible within these current, temporary limitations.
Faculty, Staff, Managers, and Administrators: I remain deeply grateful for your understanding, flexibility, and collegial contributions during this challenging time.
Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.