Date: March 14, 2020
RE: Northwest Tech COVID-19 Response #2
Over the last 72 hours, Northwest Tech administration conducted a survey of students, faculty and staff to analyze travel patterns and destinations over spring break. This was done to make an informed decision regarding the potential local impact of COVID-19 on and around our campus. After evaluating survey information, over a third of respondents (100+) are traveling to or through some of the most highly impacted areas of the country. Knowing this, the data fully supports the need for additional protective measures for the campus and community.
With this in mind, we have decided to extend spring break through March 27, 2020, for all Northwest Tech students. Beginning on March 30, we will transition to online instruction delivered through the college’s learning management system, Moodle. Faculty and staff will be expected to return to campus on March 23 – 27 to continue the implementation of online course delivery. The hours of operation will be 8:00am – 12:00pm (MT). Except for administration and other specifically designated employees, all other employees will not return to work until March 23.
Given the importance of face-to-face technical instruction to complete labs, clinicals, and shop work, we hope to resume traditional on-campus courses in the near future. For those students currently in the midst of clinical rotations, program faculty will document and consult with the clinical site and student to reach an appropriate course of action. We will continue to evaluate the situation through consultation with state and local agencies to determine a timeline for the resumption of on-campus classes.
Schedule of Operations
- March 16 – March 27: Spring Break (No classes or instruction)
- March 23 – March 27: Employees return to campus (8:00am – 12:00pm MT)
- March 30: Online instruction and standard employee hours resume
- We will remain with online instruction until further notice. We continue to evaluate conditions on a daily basis and will send notification when the situation changes.
Please be prepared to log into your Moodle account beginning March 30 to continue your coursework. Regularly monitor your student email accounts for communication from your instructors regarding internships, labs, and clinicals.
Gove County Location
Students attending the Gove County location in Quinter will follow the same guidelines as the campus in Goodland, with spring break now commencing from March 16 – March 27.
Campus Events & Community Meetings
Citing recommendations by the CDC as well as state and local health organizations, all on-campus events will be canceled or postponed until further notice. This includes college recruitment events as well as events hosted by outside organizations within campus facilities. While we greatly appreciate and encourage community engagement, for the safety of all involved, this will include meetings and lunches hosted on campus by local civic organizations in our dining facility.
At the time of this response, we will conduct tours of campus and programs on an individual basis only for prospective students. Prospective students may bring family members; however, we will allow no more than five individuals on a given tour. Visitors to campus will be screened through recommended methods provided by state and local health professionals. We ask guests to pay close attention to their health, and if they are not feeling well, or are exhibiting symptoms, we will work with them to reschedule the tour for a later date.
Effective immediately, access to all dormitories have been restricted. Those students who are currently living in the dorms, who have no other place to reside, will be allowed to remain in the dorms. Students who need access to their dorms and personal belongings will need to contact the Dean of Student Advancement, Jason Showalter, prior to arrival, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We continue to encourage students not to return to campus until face-to-face classes resume.
For those students already here, limited food service has been arranged and will begin on March 23. We recommend keeping travel around the community limited and only when necessary. The NT Food Pantry is available for students currently living on campus and in the community. A schedule for pantry dates and availability will be released soon. We want to take a moment to thank community members and employees whose donations to the pantry allowed us to have the resources to meet the need at this time.
Employees will return to work on a reduced schedule starting March 23 – March 27. During this time, instructors will be expected to finish developing course content to be delivered to students beginning on March 30. Resources will be available for faculty who need assistance with the creation of additional online course content. Employees who the CDC indicate are at-risk due to age, or medical necessity may contact their direct supervisor to request workplace modifications. Additional information for faculty and staff will be delivered through email soon.
Following the recent release of a statement from the NJCAA, Northwest Tech will adhere to the ruling that all athletic events be canceled through April 3, 2020. We will monitor both the NJCAA and KJCCC regarding the resumption and timeline of athletic competitions and do all we can to assist our student-athletes impacted by regular-season cancellations.
Beginning immediately, and until further notice, the Keirns Fitness Center and Mills Building will remain closed to anyone except Northwest Tech personnel.
We appreciate your patience as we work together through this challenging time. Many of these decisions are difficult, but we are making every effort to maintain continuity of services and make the impact as minimal as we can on our students and community. We will continue our due diligence and regularly evaluate federal, state, and local resources as part of a strategic and calculated decision-making process. Please continue to monitor college social media, press releases, and email for further updates. In the meantime, continue to follow CDC safety and hygiene recommendations. Be safe.
NJCAA COVID-19 website: https://www.njcaa.org/covid19
KDHE COVIDE-19 website: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm
KJCCC Conference website: https://www.kjccc.org/landing/index
CDC Risk Factors for Employees: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html