The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Planning the reopening of Los Rios Community College campuses

The covered hallway leading to Mohr and Lillard Hall. (photo: Tiffany Madson/[email protected])

The week before the beginning of the spring 2021 semester, all four Los Rios colleges held listening sessions to collect feedback from employees and students about the eventual reopening of the campuses.

The LRCCD reopening planning team, created to help make decisions regarding the return to campuses, oversaw the listening sessions. The team consists of leaders from the four Los Rios main campuses, including City College Vice President of Student Services Davin Brown, American River College Vice President of Instruction Frank Kobayashi, Folsom Lake College Vice President of Instruction Monica Pactol, and Cosumnes River College Vice President of Administration Theresa Tena.

The data collected in these sessions will help inform the conditions and timeline of a return to on-ground instruction, according to Jason Newman, president of the Los Rios Community College District’s Federation of Teachers. The Los Rios district has not yet announced when the main campuses and 10 satellite campuses will reopen.

Newman said that the most important consideration during the planning process is the safety of students who will eventually tread the halls of the campuses and their satellites.

“Students are the most important part of the college,” said Newman. “They need to know what the conditions are for their education in the fall semester. The district is trying very hard to meet the needs of students as well as employees, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”

Newman acknowledged that providing answers to some of the concerns brought forth hasn’t been an easy task this early in the planning process. At this stage, with information gathered from the listening sessions, he said the district is in the process of trying to answer those questions in ongoing meetings that will continue throughout the semester.

According to a newsletter from the City College Public Information Office, “Broad input from all stakeholders will be a critical and essential part of this planning process. This includes student feedback, which will help inform faculty to make better decisions.”

Newman said he is hopeful that, with COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out and with the right precautions put in place, California community colleges will begin to see some in-person instruction as early as summer and no later than fall.

Though the fall 2021 class schedule will be delayed by at least two weeks, it is now expected to be live on the City College website by April 5, according to a statement from the Los Rios Chancellor’s Office. Most summer classes will be taught remotely with limited exceptions for programs that require on-ground instruction such as the Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant and nursing programs.

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“There are some deadlines and due dates coming up. We are in that ‘wait and see’ process,” said Newman.

At a recent student media teleconference California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley discussed a variety of topics, including the eventual reopening of all 116 colleges. .

“We are paying very close attention to our public health officials in California to help us figure out how and when to reopen,” said Oakley.

Oakley added that the decision to reopen will be determined by individual college districts as they work with regional public health officials. If on-ground courses are offered in the fall, Oakley said that they will be offered using physical distancing guidelines.

“Colleges throughout California will continue to offer remote instruction well beyond this pandemic,” Oakley said, noting the important role remote instruction plays in maintaining the safety of students. “It won’t be what you would see as a normal semester, but it will be the beginning of getting back to some sort of normalcy.”

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