As UCSB prepares to operate under remote instruction through the end of April due to the potential impacts of coronavirus, Santa Barbara City College has announced that it is in the process of obtaining approval to move in-person courses to an online format.
In a statement issued to the News-Press, college spokeswoman Luz Reyes-Martin said that City College is working closely with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, which as of Tuesday night was not recommending that the college move all its in-person instruction online because there are no current confirmed local cases of coronavirus.
“For the last several weeks, we have been reviewing our emergency plans,” Ms. Reyes-Martin said. “Part of those plans includes being prepared to offer in-person instruction in an online format.
“Different from a UC institution, California Community Colleges must obtain approval from the State Chancellor’s Office to move in-person courses to an online format. We are in the process of obtaining that approval.”
Some classes are ready to move online and those could begin to be offered on a remote status as early as Thursday, Ms. Reyes-Martin said.
“We will escalate our response as the circumstances warrant,” she said.
Westmont to resume as normal following Spring Recess
Westmont College began Spring Recess on Monday and will not resume classes until next week. Scott Craig, manager of media relations for the school, told the News-Press via email that Westmont is “well aware and informed” about the virus and is following the daily updates.
“Monitoring and assessing the situation remains a high priority for us so we can best protect and ensure the health and well-being of our community,” Mr. Craig said. “This week, while students are on break, has been a good time to review and update our plans. We’ve asked students to report on their travel and to provide a reentry plan should they need to be quarantined.
“As of today, our plan is to resume classes as normal when students and faculty return on March 16. Our plan will be flexible and responsive as the situation changes,” Mr. Craig said.
Last week before going on break, the college distributed information about the virus to its students, including what is currently known and the possibility of quarantine and travel restrictions.
SB Unified: ‘No reason’ to close at this time
Health officials met with county education leaders on Tuesday and reiterated there is “no reason for K-12 schools to close at this time” due to the coronavirus.
With no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, K-12 public schools in Santa Barbara County will continue to follow the recommendations of the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the county department of Public Health, Superintendent Cary Matsuoka said in a letter issued to district parents Tuesday night.
“Some institutions of higher learning and independent schools have decided or are considering, on their own, to move to online learning or to close their campuses,” Mr. Matsuoka said. “We will continue to work closely with our community partners to evaluate conditions which might lead to the need for a closure.”
District officials are in the process of reviewing all planned school field trips and recommending, in some cases, to cancel or reschedule, officials said.
In addition, district officials will work to continue to implement measures suggested by the Department of Public Health, which include disinfecting commonly shared surfaces, encouraging hand washing, providing hand sanitizer where there is no sink and soap, and reminding everyone to cover their coughs and stay home when sick.
“As we learn more, we will communicate all updates with our families and staff through our website, Parentsquare and other communication channels,” Mr. Matsuoka said.