Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employee Email Messages

Monday, April 6, 2020

6:10 PM

Dear San Jacinto College employees,

I hope all of you had a nice weekend and are wrapping up your Monday. The message we are receiving from health department authorities at the local, state, and national levels is that we should be prepared to hear about the worst of this terrible virus over the next two weeks. Please be diligent and follow all CDC guidelines.  If ever there was time to “hunker down,” this is it!  I want to remind you that we have many resources available to employees and students on our coronavirus website. I encourage you to use them as needed and to remind our students of the options available to them.

I have a few updates for you today.

  • Due to the changing situation and the need to be diligent in social distancing and protecting yourself and others from this virus, we are moving to much tighter controls on access to our campuses.  Tomorrow, April 7, 2020, will be the last day for employees to pick up laptops from the College.  To request access to College facilities, you must complete the forms on the website under Forms for Employees and be approved by your leader and SLT member to come onto the campus.
  • The CDC has recently made a recommendation advising all persons to wear a face mask when out in public or away from their homes. New data show that persons who are asymptomatic (not outwardly displaying symptoms of the disease) are unknowingly exposing others.  In light of this new information, those employees who may have close contact with others while on campus will need to have face masks. One will be made available to them as part of a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit, which also includes a few pairs of disposable gloves, safety glasses, and a t-shirt.  Kits may be requested using the Resource Request Form.
  • We will continue to make limited Wi-Fi available in the parking lots outside of the ILC buildings on each campus. The Wi-Fi is available for San Jacinto College students and employees only. If you plan to utilize the Wi-Fi on campus, you MUST complete the pre-screening questionnaire for EACH DAY you will be on campus. You will need to enter campus through the designated campus entry point, show your San Jacinto College employee ID, and access the Wi-Fi (signed in to SJC Secure) while in your personal vehicle in the designated area. The Wi-Fi lots will remain available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. To support social distancing and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please do not travel to campus with multiple people in your vehicle.
  • Earlier today, Dr. Laurel Williamson sent an email to faculty related to grading policies.  For consistency, let me quote her email here for you.

“One of the most frequently asked questions during the past two weeks has been about grading procedures.  As you know, some colleges and universities are going to a Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/No Credit Reported (NCR) system.  Most are doing this as a student option.  

The Strategic Leadership Team and the Deans Council have discussed this at length, it has been a discussion at TACC and THECB, and the chancellor has discussed it with the Faculty Senate executive officers.  Some community colleges are choosing this option.  However, we are going to continue our current grading procedures at San Jacinto College.  We trust our faculty to make the decisions about grades that accurately address student learning.  A faculty member’s letter grade is much more meaningful than a generic pass or fail.  

In addition, we are concerned about what this will mean in terms of transferability of our courses.  The universities say they will accept the credit, but they will not assure us that these pass/fail courses will count toward major courses or toward degrees.  We have worked very hard to ensure that our credits transfer and count.  We cannot put our students’ courses at risk in this way.  For a university to use pass/fail will work for their students, but it is the transfer student who will be at risk.  Another concern about the pass/fail system is how it will affect our veteran and financial aid students.  Dallas Community College District, Lone Star Community College, and El Paso Community College are colleges which will not use pass/fail.  Austin Community College plans to use the pass/fail option.  

I believe we all understand that this is a time to be patient and flexible, but San Jacinto College is known for its high standards.  We believe in supporting students in all ways possible, but we also believe in the rigor and integrity of our courses.” 

I know this is a lot of information, but I want to make sure you are kept up-to-date with what is happening at the College. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our area and provide updates through SJC AlertMe, the College website, and our official social media accounts.  To end with a positive note, please remember that Friday is a holiday for the College, so I hope you are able to enjoy the three-day weekend.

Best,

 

BH

Dear San Jacinto College employees,

I hope you and your families are healthy and safe, and you’re finding your way in this altered operations period. My continued thanks for helping our students during this transition so that they can complete this semester. I want to remind you that we have many resources available to employees and students on our coronavirus website. I encourage you to use them as needed, and to remind our students of the options available to them.

I have a few updates for you today.

  • We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Service Awards Banquet that was scheduled for May. While there will not be a formal banquet, recipients will still receive their service award and gift packet. More information will be provided to recipients once we return to campus. 
  • The Food Markets on each campus are open and available to students. An appointment is preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted. More information and links to make an appointment are available on the Food Market web page. We are limited to what food and supplies we receive from our partners at the Houston Food Bank, but we want our students to know that this resource is available if they need it.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has published a notice regarding employee rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This Act addresses paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave as it relates to COVID-19. Please visit the Employee Resources web page for more information on this Act.
  • We are working with HCC, Lone Star College and TX/RX labs to produce face shields for the local health care workforce. I want to thank Dr. Christopher Wild (Department Chair, Physical Sciences, South), Professor William Buel (Engineering Design Graphics, South), Professor Scott Vlasek (Construction Managements, North), Mrs. Clarissa Belbas (CPET Director), Mr. Jeff Robison (Lab Supervisor, South), Mr. Tanner Cates (student worker), and Mr. Jose Amieva (student worker) for their work in coordinating these efforts. We will have about 25 3D printers making these face shields to help those on the front lines fighting this disease. You can view a video of the setup on the College’s YouTube channel.
  • We are launching the San Jac Cares initiative to reach out to our students to let them know that we are here for them and that we care about them. I hope you will volunteer some of your time to participate in this program. If you are interested in participating, please let your leader know so they can provide your name to Dr. Allatia Harris and Yessenia Jimenez.

I know this is a lot of information, but I want to make sure you are kept up-to-date with what is happening at the College. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our area and provide updates through SJC AlertMe, the College website, and our official social media accounts.

Best,
BH

Dear San Jacinto College Employees,

Dr. Williamson just sent a message to all employees related to the extension of the Harris County Stay Home, Work Safe Order extension to April 30, 2020 (below).  Her email primarily addressed faculty and changes we need to make to our planning around our technical programs (copy of her email is below). 

I want to be sure to address any questions you may have as to what this means to all employees.  It means that we will continue in our altered operations status through April 30, 2020.  We will continue to work remotely and instruction will continue online.  The exceptions to the online instruction were addressed in Dr. Williamson’s email.

You may have seen in the news that Congress passed the CARES Act and it was signed into law last Friday by the President.  This stimulus package includes $12.558 billion in funding for all of higher education across the country.  We are digging into the bill and will continue to work through what can apply to San Jacinto College and our students.  We will provide more details on that later.

I want to keep this short today, but I do hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.  As always, for information about our operations, please visit our website at https://www.sanjac.edu/coronavirus.  

Best,

BH


Tuesday, March 31, 2020
4:10 pm

Good afternoon.  I hope that each of you and your family and friends are doing well and that you are taking every precaution possible during the COVID-19 crisis.  As we have said previously, the situation changes daily, and today we heard that the Stay Home – Work Safe order has been extended through 30 April.  We feel, in light of this and our concern over personal interaction even in small groups (10 or fewer), we must change our plans for students and how we deliver instruction.  Even were we able to have the small-group classes, there will be students and employees who will not be able to participate because of risk factors or illness.  We all need to be cautious.

Most of our general education courses will continue online as planned, adhering to our original schedules for all parts of term.  However, it is not possible to begin the applied labs and skills demonstrations that we had planned to begin 6 April through small-group classes.  Not being able to begin at this time means that we must push these courses beyond the original end-of-term dates into May and June.  Thank you to the instructional leaders, the faculty, and the professional development and IT staff who have spent two weeks planning for this roll-out.  These plans will be incredibly valuable as we re-group and think about how we will proceed now, so this has not been time wasted.  Also, for all faculty, I hope that re-thinking your courses has generated creative ideas that you will continue to use beyond the COVID-19 restrictions.  You may have found a better way of teaching and engaging students or designing lab work or testing that you will incorporate into instruction once we return to normal conditions.

Extending courses beyond the scheduled end-of-term date means we must design how this will be done most efficiently and most effectively for students, while still maintaining academic standards and course integrity.  This will need to be done on a program-by-program basis, because some programs may be able to continue online instruction and do competency-based hands-on testing at the end.  Others will not be able to continue online instruction because skills are built sequentially and must be demonstrated before the next learning objective is addressed.  Some programs may need four weeks to complete instruction, while others may need two weeks.  Designing these program extensions will become the work for technical faculty.  The instructional deans and department chairs will lead and coordinate this work.  Van Wigginton, as the chair of the Deans Council, will oversee planning and implementation strategies and timelines.

I understand that we are pioneers, experiencing fundamental changes to our professional and personal environments.  As with all pioneers, we are learning as we go.  This learning will make us stronger and ultimately will benefit our future students.  We will be better thinkers, leaders, teachers, people.  I also know this is very difficult and challenging right now, and I want to thank each of you for the incredible positive attitudes and absolute commitment to our work and to our students that you have evinced from the very beginning of the crisis.  Every gauntlet that has been thrown down, we have picked up and met the challenge.  We will continue to do so, with patience and a collaborative spirit.

More details on the planning and design work will be communicated soon. 

Be well.

Laurel

Dear San Jacinto College employees,

What an unprecedented few weeks!  I know these last several weeks have been crazy for all of us. I hope you are safe and well.  As we start the third week of our altered operations and second week of online instruction, I want to thank you for your patience as we worked through so many details to get this semester back on track.  I am hearing that the online courses and support services are going well, and I know you are the reason for that.

As we continue under altered operations with the Harris County Stay Home, Work Safe Order in place, here are a few updates for you.  As always, for information about our operations, please visit our website at https://www.sanjac.edu/coronavirus.  

  • Provost Search: The posting process for the Provost search closed on Tuesday, March 17. We had 134 candidates apply to this posting, and we are very pleased with the recruitment efforts that yielded this result. The next step in the process is the formation of the selection committee which will be chaired by Dr. Laurel Williamson. Van Wigginton will be serving as co-chair. Prior to the COVID-19 situation and the need to work remotely, there was a plan and hiring timeline that had been previously communicated. Due to the change in circumstances, we will be preparing an alternate plan that encompasses remote screening and interviewing. Once the modified plan is finalized, further updates will be communicated college-wide.
  • Medical Equipment: We were able to help our clinical affiliate Methodist Hospital Baytown Campus by loaning them three respirators from our respiratory care program to assist during this shortage. In addition, we conducted a supply transfer to Harris County Public Health on Saturday, consisting of latex and nitrile gloves, surgical and N-95 masks, safety glasses, disposable wipes, gowns, hand sanitizer, and alcohol prep pads.
  • Student Emergency Funding:  The San Jacinto College Foundation Board has designated $200,000 in funding for student emergencies. Below is an update on the number of students we have been able to help thus far.  We are also working on getting students computers and more information is coming on that.
    • Total Student Requests           180
    • Opportunity Awards                800
    • Committed Awards                 (180)
    • Total Remaining Awards      620

Finally, Martha Robertson and Michelle Cantu-Wilson have been attending various information sessions to hear what other colleges and universities are doing in their transitions to online learning and to find out if there is something we can add to what we already have in place.  They learned that many other colleges have their technology and instructional systems outsourced to different vendors. Having our system contained within Blackboard is proving to be an advantage. In one information session, there was an exasperating and confusing chat with many links to different instructional design resources. This is not something I want for our faculty - for you all to be scrambling to find resources. Our team deserves a great deal of praise for what they do.  So, thank you to Rob Stanicic and Niki Whiteside and the ITS and Instructional Design teams!  And a special thank you to our faculty who have made this unique challenge into a tremendous opportunity.  Thanks to CETL for managing information on resources and professional development. We appreciate that we do not have the additional chaos that other institutions seem to be having. 

During these past couple of weeks, I have been telling myself and others that as we are going through the COVID-19 situation, we are going to learn many things that will make us stronger as a student-centered college. I also know that we will learn a few things that we don’t want to experience again! But as we start this new week in these altered operations, I want to encourage you to continue the good work you are doing!  Thank you again for your continued patience and your amazing “can-do” attitudes. It’s a privilege being a part of San Jacinto College!

Best,
BH

Good afternoon!

Last evening I received a call from Marie Flickinger, the Chair of our College Board of Trustees, requesting to send a note to all of the San Jacinto College employees.  Please see the attached letter.  I think this note says it better than any items that I could cover in an update. 

Have a great week-end and thanks for everything!

Best,
BH
 

Message from the Board of Trustees to employees

Dear San Jacinto College students and employees,

As you are aware, the COVID-19 situation in our region and across the country has been fluid. New details have been emerging daily, and today is no different. Harris County announced this morning that the county will be under a Stay Home - Work Safe Order beginning at 11:59 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, March 24, and will be in place through April 3.

This is what the Harris County Stay Home - Work Safe Order means for San Jacinto College:

  • All College facilities remain closed unless otherwise noted. No visitors and no students other than those notified by their faculty, or other San Jacinto College administrator, are allowed.
  • All on-campus activities will take place as scheduled to allow for the facilitation of online course delivery. This includes equipment and supplies pick-up and document drop-off, as well as food markets. These activities are allowed by appointment only.
  • Online classes for students and remote work for employees will continue as planned under the College’s altered operations plan.
  • At this time, we are looking at April 6 as a possible start date for on-site instruction for labs and technical courses, as well as training offered through the Continuing and Professional Development Division. Students will be notified directly by faculty or an administrator regarding on-site instruction.

If you live in Harris County, or a surrounding county that has issued a similar order, we encourage you to follow the instructions to stay home. We understand that these are challenging times for all of us, but we are working closely with our local elected leaders and health department authorities to make the best decisions for our College community.

Starting Thursday, March 26, at 8 a.m., Student Success Center tutors will become available for online tutoring. Students will be able to schedule an appointment online through TutorTrac. Instructions for scheduling an appointment can be viewed here.

In addition, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the May commencement ceremony that was scheduled for Friday, May 15. We are exploring different options, and when a new date or other arrangements have been made, we will make an announcement and contact graduate candidates.

We know you are receiving a lot of information from many different sources. We have created a website specifically for San Jacinto College students and employees as it relates to this altered operations period during COVID-19. Please take time to review the site as well as the frequently asked questions (FAQs), as we are updating these daily to address your questions. You can bookmark the site, or access it directly from the College website homepage.

Thank you again for your continued patience. We are here for you and we will get through this together!

Good Afternoon San Jacinto College Employees:

I hope you were able to wind down a bit and enjoy the weekend. I know you may feel overwhelmed by emails and updates, but this is a very unusual period for us. I am trying to address questions about our operations as the situation continues to evolve, and it is evolving every day.  We have developed a website with information specific for employees.  Please take time to review the site as well as the frequently asked questions (FAQ) as that is how we are addressing questions.  You can bookmark the site or access it directly from the College website homepage.

We are making every effort to encourage our students to stay enrolled and not give up on this semester.  They are already halfway through the term, so I hope you will also encourage students to stay with us.

As we move into this new scenario, I know it is a very stressful period for all of you. We are all facing concerns about our families and our own personal health. Managing stress and isolation is a reality that needs to be addressed as we practice self-care and obtain support through various services. For employees under the College’s health plans, there are medical and mental health appointments that are available through virtual visits. Additionally, full-time employees and family members within the same household have access to the Employee Assistance Program. For more information regarding these employee resources, visit the San Jacinto College Coronavirus website – Healthcare and Emotional Support.

We made a great deal of progress last week, and I appreciate all employees pitching in and doing what was necessary to get our students back in classes in an online format today.

A few updates for you for today:

  1. As of our last update on Friday afternoon, no student or employee has been confirmed with COVID-19. 
  2. All San Jacinto College facilities are available only to essential employees who have been contacted by their leader to come in.  If you are an essential employee, your leader will let you know what responsibilities you have.  Students may enter only as scheduled using the process described herein, on an extremely limited basis.  Please note that ALL requests for access to any area of the campus by either employees or students MUST go through your Administrative Dean and then be coordinated by Ali Shah, Emergency Management Director. Under no circumstances should you show up on campus without going through these steps.  This is due to the need to follow CDC guidelines for screening and sanitization.
  3. San Jacinto College will remain in this altered operations period until the Federal, State, and Local Authorities change the status of the COVID-19 situation.
  4. The College Bookstores are fulfilling online orders for book requests and shipping books directly to students.  For more information, visit the San Jacinto College Coronavirus website – bookstore update web page.
  5. Students Services are now fully online.  Visit the San Jacinto College Coronavirus website - student resources web page for more information.
  6. Our Libraries have availability online for resources, except for the Paralegal Program.  For more information, visit the San Jacinto College Coronavirus website – library resources web page.
  7. We will continue to pay employees throughout the altered operations period.  Complete information and instructions for payroll can be found on the San Jacinto College Coronavirus website – payroll procedures web page.
  8. I sent out helpful tips for working remotely as that is new to most of us.  We created a complete list of resources and as more resources become available, we will post them. You can get more information on the San Jacinto College Coronavirus website – working remotely web page.

Again, I know this is an unprecedented time for all of us.  I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to think about and analyze all the details.  We will get through this together!

Best,

BH

Good Afternoon San Jacinto College Employees,

As of the end of today, most of you will be moving to working remotely during the College’s altered operations.  We are providing many resources as guides, videos, etc., and I ask that you use these resources and others you identify to assist with getting you accustomed to the unique aspects of working remotely.  We understand that this is a change for many of us, me included, and our comfort levels will vary. I think we will learn some things that we will wish we would have learned earlier, but then there will probably be other things that we don’t want to experience again.

We understand the unique nature of this COVID-19 event, especially as many are juggling additional responsibilities that have shifted to us as parents and caretakers at home.  At San Jacinto College, we are trying to ensure that we are open for business remotely during our standard operating hours, but those working hours vary in so many ways, including by instructional area and support area.   Please recognize that seeking to understand and being open minded are important guiding principles for us during this time of uncertainty, and I hope you see that our actions over this past week have directly aligned with our San Jacinto College Values.

Through this COVID-19 event, we are asking employees to be flexible and to work with their leaders to meet the needs of our students, fellow employees, and our community.  We are in a very fortunate position at San Jacinto College.  We will continue to receive pay plus we can reallocate funds to provide for appropriate additional support for employees and students. And we have resources that will sustain into the future.  Even with these resources, we must continue to be responsible to our taxpayers by performing work commensurate with the pay we are scheduled to receive. 

I want to remind you that we are requesting any San Jacinto College employee (who has not already submitted a form) who traveled on or after March 6, 2020 to a CDC classified Level 2 or 3 country, has traveled on a cruise, or has traveled to an area within the U.S. or outside of the U.S. known to have high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, to complete this form to be sent to Human Resources.  Prior to the employee being cleared to work, a member of the HR Benefits team will contact them for follow up and discussion of next steps. Because the areas both within the United States and throughout the world are changing rapidly, please visit this site to view the latest information. Level 2 and 3 countries are defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additionally, I ask employees to notify us of any new changes in your health conditions affecting your ability to be available for work. Those notifications should be sent by email to HRBenefits@sjcd.edu.

Please know that College administration and the Office of Emergency Management are in frequent contact with health department authorities and will continue to follow recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We will assess any new information as it becomes available, and make informed decisions based on the facts received from local health department authorities.

As a reminder, WHO and CDC prevention guidelines include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw any used tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
  • If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

Other resources can be found online at:

Best,

BH

Good Afternoon San Jacinto College Employees,

Last evening, the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees held a special and emergency Board meeting in order to receive an update on our COVID-19 preparedness and altered operation efforts. The attached presentation was reviewed with the Board, and the members met with legal counsel to review a resolution providing delegation of authority and accountability expectations during the COVID-19 emergency situation. 

The Board was most complimentary and supportive of the College’s preparedness efforts.  Each Board member wanted our employees and students to know that they are proud of your work, commitment, and focus during this uncertain time.  They wanted me to express their sincere thanks and gratitude!

The Board understands that these are unprecedented times and that San Jacinto College has five strategic objectives:

  1. To protect the health and safety of our students and employees
  2. To be prepared by Monday, March 23, 2020, to begin completing the spring 2020 semester through online, hybrid, and alternate classwork, depending on the type of course, and make up one week of lost instruction time
  3. To keep students on track for completion
  4. To enable the majority of the College employees to work remotely, while continuing to provide necessary services, with the remainder (a small portion) of our employees working on site
  5. To retain full-time and part-time employees, reduce turnover, increase morale, help employees focus on work, and facilitate future return to normal operations

Keeping these objectives as the anchor, I want to explain the College’s plans about payroll and compensation during this period of altered operations.  First, the College is committed to payroll being processed on the regular distribution schedule.  The majority of our payroll is processed electronically directly to employees’ bank accounts, which allows for on-time delivery.  Payroll that is processed using paper checks will have to be mailed to employees after Friday, March 20, 2020, and I am concerned about future delays in receipt due to possible disruptions or delays within the mail service.  I strongly encourage all employees who are not currently having their payroll deposited directly into their bank account to go by the District Payroll Office at 4620 Fairmont Parkway, A-2.111 between now and noon on Friday, March 20, 2020, to complete the appropriate paperwork to transition to direct deposit. 

Second, compensation during this altered operations period is intended to provide employees with their normal base compensation as described below. However, in order for that to occur, employees MUST be Available for Work. 

The definition of Available for Work is as follows:

  1. Working onsite – These employees will include select areas such as police, safety/emergency, maintenance, lab support, etc.  These areas will be specifically requested and approved by a Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) member.
  2. Working remotely – Employees must be responsive to calls, texts, and instant messages within one hour of contact; review and respond to emails; work with leader for assignments and project completion and accountability; and available for regular check-ins with leadership.
  3. Availability to respond – Employees must be able to arrive onsite within two hours of being contacted to report. SLT approval is required prior to leadership directing an employee to report onsite.

Based on the understanding that all employees will meet the requirements of the Available for Work expectation, please note the following details regarding compensation based on employee classification (At this time, all compensation decisions are through the spring 2020 semester only):

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

Full-time exempt – Employees will be paid their regular monthly salary if they are available for work. If not available for work, employees must use personal or vacation leave time. Sick leave can be used under the sick leave provisions indicated in the current procedure.

Full-time non-exempt staff – Employees will be paid a minimum of 40 hours if they are available for work. No internet access may make someone “not available for work” unless remote work has been preauthorized by the leader and internet access is not essential. Employees must be responsive to any emails, texts, and assignments.  If not available for work, employees must use personal or vacation leave time. Sick leave can be used under the sick leave provisions indicated in the current procedure.

Overtime will be paid when worked and must be authorized by the leader. Overtime will be restricted to those departments that have an absolute need to work, such as police and ITS. These employees will receive specific direction from their leadership informing them that overtime work is approved.

PART-TIME FACULTY

Part-time faculty paid by the course – These employees will continue to be paid for current courses being taught. Per normal practices, courses that do not make will not be paid.

Part-time faculty paid via timesheet submission (credit courses) – These employees will submit a timesheet for processing pay as the work is performed.

Part-time faculty paid via timesheet (non-credit courses) – These employees will submit a timesheet for processing pay as the work is performed.

PART-TIME STAFF

The following compensation provisions apply to part-time staff, including work study, through this spring semester. 

Part-time staff (non-work study) – These employees will be paid a minimum of 15 hours per week for anyone who was paid for the pay cycle from February 24 through March 8 (pay date March 18) and is available for work. If assigned hours worked exceed 15 hours per week, they will be paid for all hours worked.

Part-time Work Study – These employees will be paid a minimum of 15 hours per week for anyone who was paid for the pay cycle from February 24 through March 8 (pay date March 18) and is available for work.

Part-time staff, including work study, will not receive 15 hours pay for spring break week.

Payroll will be communicating the details for entering time in web-time entry for non-exempt employees and leave reporting for exempt employees. For non-exempt employees, continue to enter normal work hours or appropriate leave time (personal, vacation, or sick) for this week. The instructions Payroll will be sending tomorrow will be effective starting on Monday, March 23, 2020.

We are working towards phasing the rest of the employees to working remotely by the end of the day on Thursday (tomorrow). As employees are identified who can begin working remotely, they will be released to do so after receiving any required equipment such as laptop or personal hot spot. Attached are guides for employees who are new to working remotely and for leaders who will now be leading a remote team. Your leadership will notify you if you are considered essential personnel and are required to remain onsite such as police, facilities, ITS, and Office of Emergency Management.

I know we are all wondering when will we go back to normal?  That is an unknown.  We will continue to reassess daily, but I don’t suspect there will be significant changes in our decisions over the next few weeks.  From an instructional standpoint, we want to complete this spring semester on time, and we should be on track to do that through online, hybrid, and alternate classwork.  Moving forward, I am hopeful that the mini and summer sessions will be back on track with our normal operating plans, but we will continue to evaluate those.  

In closing, I appreciate the Board’s support of this payroll and compensation plan.  That support is a direct reflection of their love for San Jacinto College and their appreciation of and trust in you, our employees.  I am proud of the work that each of you are doing now and what you will continue to do during this COVID-19 altered operation period. We don’t have all of the answers.  We may not be 100% right on our answers, but we are making decisions with compassion and concern for our employees and our students.  We will adjust and change course as the circumstances change.  Please continue to send your questions to COVID-19@sjcd.edu so we can continue to keep our FAQs current.

Stay well!

BH

Printable PDFs - Response To COVID-19 | Leading A Remote Team  |  Working Remotely

Dear San Jacinto College Employees:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to each of you!

I want to provide you a few updates as of today (Tuesday, March 17, 2020):

  1. The Child Care Centers at North and Central Campuses will continue to operate for faculty and staff clients through the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  We understand that this will create a difficulty for some employees who have been using the centers, but we ask that you focus the remainder of today and tomorrow on finalizing your remote working capabilities and assignments.  The employees of the Child Care Centers will focus the rest of the week on preparing the facilities and operations for closure along with finalizing their remote working capabilities.
  2. We are working towards phasing the rest of the employees to working remotely throughout the remainder of this week. As employees are identified who can begin working remotely, they will be released to do so after receiving any required equipment such as laptop or personal hot spot. Attached are guides for employees who are new to working remotely and for leaders who will now be leading a remote team.

    We are still continuing to identify areas that will need continued onsite support such as labs with small groups in technical areas, police, facilities, custodial staff, and Office of Emergency Management.

  3. The remainder of this email is dedicated to addressing technology needs and requirements for employees. Please read the information below which explains how equipment and software will be distributed. Additionally, a technology survey has been sent to students in order to try to address their needs.

Another update will be sent tomorrow regarding employee compensation and other pertinent information.

Thank you again for your support and commitment this week!  I appreciate each of you!

Best, 
BH

Printable PDFs - Leading A Remote Team  |  Working Remotely


TECHNOLOGY NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES

Who receives a laptop?

We have compiled a list of laptops required for employees from survey results issued yesterday, as well as tickets received by our helpdesk.

If you have not responded to this survey, please do so ASAP by completing the survey here

Laptops will be distributed to full and part-time faculty and staff that do not have access to a computing device at home or require a laptop to perform essential and secured support and administrative services.

For those with a personal computer at home, we are kindly requesting that you use your computer so that we can provide available laptops to those in need, including students.

How will I be contacted & where do I go?

For those employees in need of a laptop:

  • We will contact each employee individually by email if they are being issued a laptop.
  • We have distribution stations set up at each ILC Open Lab that will be open between 8AM and 10PM tomorrow.
  • Employees will be required to log-in, test, and sign a form acknowledging receipt of the laptop.

What’s included in the remote working software package?

The following software will be provided to support remote working needs:

  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Pulse Secure (VPN) app – provides secure connection back to the College’s network, needed for G, H, & P drive access, Banner, and soft phone use
  • Microsoft Teams app – used for collaboration
  • Zoom app – for video conferencing

Please note: Cell-phone headsets with an audio jack can be used with conferencing software on a computer.

Is the remote working software already installed on my College issued laptop?

  • All new laptops issued this week will have the software installed.
  • All currently issued laptops will have the software automatically downloaded when connected to the College’s network either on premises or via VPN.
  • Personal computers will require software to be installed. All necessary software can be downloaded directly via the links provided here:

Where do I get support?

  • For assistance, please contact Tech Support by

Good Afternoon San Jacinto College Employees:

It has been a whirlwind these past couple of days, but we will get through this situation together.  I want to say thank you to all of the employees who have been working today to address the College’s normal operations and our business and instructional continuity plans.  I keep receiving reports about everyone’s “can do attitudes.”  Thank you for your support in these efforts!  I know we all have a lot of questions, and I encourage you to keep forwarding those questions to your leaders and to COVID-19@sjcd.edu

I apologize that I didn’t make today’s anticipated 3:00 p.m. communication timeline. There are so many moving pieces and parts that I don’t believe that a daily communication at 3:00 p.m. to be workable.  I will try to provide regular updates, but due to late meetings tomorrow, the next communication will not occur until Wednesday.

A focus for today was developing the framework for the instructional continuity plans that need to get us through this semester.  The provosts, department chairs, deans, staff, other administrators, and Faculty Senate Executive Leadership had a very productive day in reaching our goal to be prepared by Monday, March 23, 2020, to begin completing the spring semester through online, hybrid, and alternate classwork, depending on the actual course.

Here are updates from today’s meetings:

  • Instructional planning meetings were held on each campus for instructional deans, instructional department chairs, and support staff.  Discussions began about how to make the conversion to online instruction in order to be ready to move forward Monday, March 23, 2020, with all classes. The meeting included the discussion of ideas for helping faculty and students during the conversion and with implementation, identification of current and needed resources, and alternate instructional methodologies for applied courses and for students with no internet access. Questions were recorded and are being considered. Because this is a unique situation, we do not have immediate answers to some of the questions, but we are working hard to find answers. From reports of the meetings, it is evident that we are committed, as a College, to continue to serve students to the best of our abilities and to make the needed changes to do so. 
  • Tomorrow we had planned for faculty to return to work; however, this morning’s meeting indicated that many faculty can work remotely and continue to prepare. Faculty who are needed as mentors for other faculty or who are involved in some of the alternate options for class instruction which cannot be delivered online will be asked to come into work for limited periods of time.  This will be done, taking all precautions necessary to limit the size groups and to sanitize public areas. We are reviewing our ability to ask students for a self-disclosure statement regarding travel and illness.   Further communications to full-time faculty are going out today.  

Additional updates for today are: 

  • We received a letter from the NJCAA closing out this season’s athletics competitions. I know this is disappointing news for all of you, and especially to our softball and baseball teams. I want to personally thank our coaches and student-athletes for their dedicated work. 
  • I understand that questions related to compensation are extremely important. Compensation is a complex issue that will be addressed over the next few days. We are still working through various components as it relates to pay for all employees, full-time and part-time. I plan to review the recommendations with the Board of Trustees tomorrow.  I will provide an update later this week as the compensation details are reviewed and finalized. 
  • All full and part-time faculty and staff are to complete a survey in the following link by no later than 12 p.m. tomorrow, March 17, 2020.  https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=QP1OUf6OFU-BnzTlas8VYnsLqu9OiPFKjALmz0G2qqRUNkU1M1dSMDFVNUVOUzFRN1dNMzNSMUVJQS4uThe Information Technology Department (IT) is working to ensure that all full and part-time faculty and staff have the tools necessary to support remote instruction and work. The information gathered from this survey is crucial for planning distribution of computers, software, support, and other tools. 
  • We are continuing to ask staff to make themselves available in person this week in order to support the various activities of the College. As part of this week’s efforts, we will also work with staff to determine your remote working requirements and the necessary support.  For many of our employees working remotely is a change, and we want to make sure that you have adequate support.  Please collaborate with your leader on the best transition plan.   
  • For part-time staff, your leaders will contact you for work assignments as they become available.  We appreciate your patience in monitoring the changing status.
  • For part-time faculty, you should be contacted by Wednesday with departmental information and instructions.  

We are requesting that any San Jacinto College employee (who has not already submitted a form) who traveled on or after March 3, 2020to a CDC classified Level 2 or 3 country, has traveled on a cruise, or has traveled to an area within the U.S. or outside of the U.S. known to have high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, to complete this formto be sent to Human Resources. Prior to the employee returning to work, a member of the HR Benefits team will contact them for follow up and discussion of next steps. Because the areas both within the United States and throughout the world are changing rapidly, please visit this site to view the latest information. Level 2 and 3 countries are defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please know that College administration and the Office of Emergency Management are in frequent contact with health department authorities and will continue to follow recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We will assess any new information as it becomes available, and make informed decisions based on the facts received from local health department authorities.

As a reminder, WHO and CDC prevention guidelines include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw any used tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
  • If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

Other resources can be found online at:

Best,

BH

Good Evening San Jacinto College Employees:

As we continue working through the planning process to deal with this unprecedented situation, I want to make you aware of our goal for this week. It is our goal to be prepared by Monday, March 23, 2020, to begin completing the full semester through online, hybrid, and alternate classwork, depending on the actual course. We also need to keep in mind that we have already lost one instructional week that we need to make up.  

We ask that you please continue to be patient and flexible as we work through all the complex issues surrounding this semester. It is like no other that any of us has experienced! 

Hearing from faculty and staff with concerns related to large group meetings, we agree that we need to limit the size of group meetings and are working toward a plan to make that happen.  

Knowing that this is a constantly changing situation, please see below the plan for the week as we have it at this point:

  • Even though we previously announced that full-time faculty and part-time staff (including student workers) should report to work tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2020, we have changed those plans to allow for instructional and student services leadership to meet. Full-time faculty must be available via email, text, or phone for questions that arise. 
  • For part-time faculty, your instructional leader will be in touch with you this week (anticipated by Wednesday) to work through your schedules and courses.
  • Faculty will have access to the campuses tomorrow, even though faculty are not required to report to their offices. This allows access to instructional resources and staff, as well as the libraries, for ongoing development, planning, and training for the semester.
  • Provosts, Deans, Department Chairs, and Student Services leadership along with the three Faculty Senate Executive Officers and other selected staffwill meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow, in the Kaleidoscope Room on each campus, to develop the framework and details for the instructional and student services plans required for semester completion.  Communications to full-time faculty will be sent by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020, with information for full-time faculty to come in this week to work through the details of the instructional and student services plans including addressing support and professional development requirements.  Our faculty have developed outstanding instructional recovery plans before, but this semester is very unusual. We need to make sure that all faculty have the support and resources they need to conduct their instruction remotely which is a key component of the on-campus planning meetings.
  • Full-time staff will report at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 16th (tomorrow) and should come prepared to work with your leader in supporting operational continuity efforts.  As part of your work on Monday and Tuesday, we ask that you assess what normal activities need to be completed, determine what work can be performed remotely, and consider what projects need to be completed throughout the semester. If you and your leader determine working remotely is feasible, then we need to understand if you need equipment and what additional support is required. If working remotely is not feasible for your particular position or job, then we will try to identify work for you in other areas of the College.  It is critical for our staff to be a part of the solution in this unusual situation, so we need you to help us identify the work that needs accomplished and what is required to accomplish that work throughout the College.  
  • Every position and employee at the College is important.  Please be prepared to work on tasks that may be outside your normal job duties.  Additionally, all employees need to assist us in capturing questions that should be addressed as we are crafting FAQs (frequently asked questions).  We plan to use the questions and responses to update the online Chat Bot.  Please send questions you are hearing to COVID-19@sjcd.eduso we can create and update the FAQs and the Chat Bot on the website.
  • For employees with school age children, we understand that schools in the area are closed this week. We are asking staffto make every effort to find alternate care for your children so that you may report to work tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2020. We are asking facultyto make every effort to find alternate care for your children so that you may report to work on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.  If you are unable to report to work, you should immediately contact your leader. You should not bring your children to work.

As a reminder, any San Jacinto College employee who has traveled or plans to travel either domestically or to CDC classified Level 2 and Level 3 countries, has traveled on or plans to travel on a cruise, or has traveled to an area within the U.S. or outside of the U.S. known to have high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, is asked to complete this form to be sent to Human Resources. At this time, high concentrations of COVID-19 cases are affecting the following domestics states: California, Washington, and New York. Employees who submit forms to the HR Benefits team should not physically return to work until a member of the Benefits team contacts them for follow up or discussion of next steps.

This is an evolving situation.  We will continue to be engaged with the various constituents at the national, state, and local levels.  In a situation like this, all of us need to understand that changes to plans will occur, and sometimes without much notice. We will continue to provide regular communications.   We anticipate future communications will be provided on a daily basis at 3:00 p.m. 

I encourage each of you to continue to follow the prevention guidelines recommended by the CDC and WHO, which include washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.

Thank you for your commitment to San Jacinto College and our students! We will work through this unusual time together.

Other resources can be found online at:

Best,
BH

Dear San Jacinto College employees,

We are facing an unprecedented time as the entire country is feeling the challenges associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Your safety, and that of our students and community, remains our top priority. I am also thankful that there are no reported cases by San Jacinto College employees and students.

On Friday afternoon, we participated in a call with the Governor’s Office, and I want to share a key takeaway from this call:

This is a novel disease, meaning that no one on the planet has immunity. The idea in the U.S. is to prevent the total number of people who will eventually get the disease, and more importantly to slow the spread of the disease - to spread out the people who will eventually get the virus over a long period of time such as 18 months, rather than all at once. This will prevent overwhelming the demand on our health care services, and it will also will keep the workforce working and able to meet the general population’s demands, aiding the economy of our region and state.

I have heard similar messages over the weekend from many of our federal, state, and local leaders. This is a dynamic and changing situation in our country and our community. The Strategic Leadership Team (SLT), Office of Emergency Management, and other leaders throughout the College have been meeting in order to prepare for the next steps and challenges. We continue to monitor and participate in the many avenues of information and resources to help guide our decisions. 

Two new elements to highlight in our preparation include:

Employees with underlying health conditions who need to request working from home on Monday, March 16, 2020, should send an email to HRBenefits@sjcd.edu.

If you believe you have had an exposure to COVID-19, please complete this form to be sent to Human Resources.

Another change that has occurred is that the child care facilities on the Central and North Campuses will be open for faculty and staff clients only. Steps have been taken to make sure the facilities are safe for children, including disinfection, and increased routine cleaning and sanitization of touch points. The same guidelines should apply for child care center children as apply for employees – if the family has traveled or if anyone in the family is sick, then children should not come to the Center. In addition, the Child Care Centers are requesting that if faculty or staff are planning to bring their child in this week to please email the Center.

As a reminder, any San Jacinto College employee who has traveled or plans to travel to either domestically or to CDC classified Level 2 and Level 3 countries, has traveled on or plans to travel on a cruise, or has traveled to an area within the U.S. or outside of the U.S. known to have high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, is asked to complete this form to be sent to Human Resources. At this time, high concentrations of COVID-19 cases are affecting the following domestics states: California, Washington, and New York. Employees who submit forms to the HR Benefits team should not physically return to work until a member of the Benefits team contacts them for follow up or discussion of next steps.

This afternoon, the SLT will meet at the District Administrative Building to work through several items regarding our preparation and next steps.  Following that meeting, another communication will be made to the San Jacinto College employees by 7:30 p.m. tonight.

I know this is a confusing and scary time, but I encourage us not to overreact and be paralyzed by fear. I also encourage each of you to follow the prevention guidelines recommended by the CDC and WHO, which include washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.

Thank you for your commitment to San Jacinto College and our students! We will work through this unusual time together.

Other resources can be found online at:

Best,
BH