In the weeks since classes started, I’ve enjoyed seeing more students on campus and am hearing from many of our faculty and staff about their excitement to have students back on our campuses.
When I wrote to you at the beginning of the semester, I told you about our COVID-19 Action Plan and how we regularly monitor information to make informed decisions in our response to COVID-19. As many of you know from the local and national news, the latest COVID-19 variant is increasingly spreading in our communities. In the last two weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 exposures that placed a number of students and instructors in quarantine.
We remain committed to the health and safety of all Lakehawks, so beginning on Monday, Sept. 13 we will begin implementing changes to limit exposure to COVID-19 and reduce our campus density.
To do this, we have asked instructors in face-to-face and hybrid courses to make modifications in their classes that best meet the needs of students in that course and discipline. Instructors will communicate with each of their courses about changes specific to that course. These changes will be phased in over the next week as instructors finalize plans for each course. Our hope is that this flexible approach allows us to maximize the student learning experience in each course, while keeping everyone safe and healthy.
Classroom technology upgrades are in progress to support instructors who will be teaching students both in classroom and via Zoom. Thank you to Wes Redman, the IT team, and everyone who has been instrumental in making that project happen on a short timeline.
Our campuses will remain open. Campus offices and student services will continue to be open with both on campus and virtual options. Students will still be coming to campus for labs, tests, Math Emporium, some class sessions, and to access support services. Hours of operation are posted on the College’s website at www.lssc.edu/hours.
In addition, we continue to ask all Lakehawks to #ProtectTheNest. The Protect the Nest campaign is our way to remind you take personal responsibility for your actions to protect the health and safety of everyone on our campuses.
We ask and encourage all students, employees, and others on our campuses to:
- Wear a mask when indoors or with other people
- Monitor for COVID-19 related symptoms
- Submit a COVID-19 Exposure Report if you test positive or were exposed
- Practice 6-foot physical distancing, especially when indoors
- Get a COVID-19 vaccination
I also want to remind you that the College has a robust contact tracing program in place that identifies COVID-19 exposures and acts quickly to communicate with and quarantine students and employees who may have been exposed. Note that not every positive case or exposure reported to the College will require notification of additional individuals if they weren’t exposed. Exposed individuals will always receive an email communication from one of the College’s contact tracers.
You can also review and find on-campus rooms that have been impacted by a COVID-19 exposure and the status of contact tracing and room sanitization through a real-time report available on the Employee Intranet (COVID-19 On-Campus Exposure Reports).
I want to thank you all for your continued dedication to keeping our campus community safe during this pandemic. I continue to be so impressed with how Lakehawks stick together and support one another.
Stan Sidor, Ed.D.
President, Lake-Sumter State College