Chancellor Judy C. Miner sent the following message via email to Foothill-De Anza district employees.
March 11, 2020
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we carefully plan our responses to the ever-changing COVID-19 outbreak. The needs of our students and employees are always at the center of our decision-making, and we have taken the time to balance issues of safety with the need for continuity of instruction. Foothill, De Anza, and Central Services will continue to remain open, but the colleges will move from face-to-face instruction that is lecture only to alternative methods starting on Monday, March 16. The colleges will send information to students regarding the ways in which they may complete their classes for this quarter without coming to campus.
We will continue with alternate methods for the last two weeks of the current quarter, March 16-27, and into the start of the spring quarter, which begins April 6. Being on the quarter system may actually allow students a more seamless transition from face-to-face to alternate instructional methods.
Moving to remote instructional modalities for lecture-only classes is consistent with the advice of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the County of Santa Clara Department of Public Health, which both confirmed in calls today that they have no particular recommendations but leave this decision to the district at this time. We are fortunate that as of today, March 11, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at either campus, the Sunnyvale Center, or in Central Services.
The details of how we proceed operationally will largely be determined at the colleges, so please direct your questions to your immediate supervisor. Faculty at off-campus apprenticeship sites should check with the local supervisor to determine what is being done at that location. The colleges have been planning diligently for this transition over several weeks and are working hard to expand support systems for faculty and students who may need assistance with teaching and learning online.
There is no single one-size-fits-all solution for alternative methods of instruction, and we will all do our best to tailor individual solutions to the specific needs of students and faculty. To finish out the quarter, alternative methods will be put into action for instruction and interaction with students, including online, email, and Zoom, or some other combination of creative approaches. As you know, Foothill-De Anza has one of the most extensive offerings of online instruction in California, and many of our students and faculty are quite familiar with this mode of instruction.
As is being done at UC Berkeley, there will be some number of activity, studio, and laboratory classes in which instructors and students may choose to continue face-to-face to finish the quarter. In those cases, we urge instructors to be highly responsive to the needs and concerns of students and students to talk with their instructors about concerns and needs they may have. We also encourage faculty who have their own concerns to speak with their dean.
Since this is not a closure, most classified professionals won’t experience any disruption in work at this time. However, it is likely that some classified professionals and non-instructional faculty may have their work modified by the move away from face-to-face instruction, for example, in instructional support and counseling services. In that case, the colleges will provide detailed guidance regarding any adjustment to duties that might be needed. The district Office of Human Resources has provided some guidance here.
Making these changes is an enormously complex undertaking, but we are confident that we will have a successful transition as the district and colleges have been planning intensively for this. We have been working closely with faculty leaders, and we deeply appreciate their flexibility, ingenuity, and support in tackling this unprecedented challenge. We especially want to express our thanks to the large number of faculty who already prepared for the transition to alternative methods and are assisting colleagues who have less experience.
We will continue to update you as the situation evolves, and thank you for your patience and support during an extremely challenging time. We especially appreciate your encouragement to allow for adequate time to plan for a successful transition to alternate methods while simultaneously preserving continuity of instruction for students.
Judy C. Miner, Ed.D.
Thuy Thi Nguyen
Foothill College President
Christina G. Espinosa-Pieb
Interim De Anza College President