Tuesday, December 15, 2020
As we continued to prioritize the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students and preserve the continuity of learning, Valencia College planned a phased approach to reopening — the Roadmap for Reopening — following best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local health agencies, and our planning partner, Orlando Health.
A small work group called the “Conditions to Reopen” team, with feedback from nearly 500 Valencia College colleagues, created a Roadmap for Reopening plan that identified four phases of a gradual return to on-campus operations. Four interdisciplinary task forces were formed to develop detailed plans for preparing our facilities, our workforce, our workplace and our learning environment.
All details of the reopening process were shared on a new Roadmap for Reopening website.
We moved to Phase 2 of our reopening for the Fall 2020 term with the majority of our courses in an online modality, reserving face-to-face and mixed-mode sections for courses that were unable to be offered online.
Leading up to the fall semester, we rolled out a series of communications on topics such as cleaning and sanitization, preparing the learning environment, preparing our facilities and the workplace, preparing the workforce and illness reporting and contact tracing, which introduced Valencia College’s COVID-19 case manager and a daily health assessment.
While Valencia College planned our campus closures and reopening strategy, we received $29.3 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act — $27.6 million authorized through Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act and an additional $1.7 million through Section 18004(a)(2) of the CARES Act). More than $18.5 million of the funding received provided financial support to 24,169 eligible students who incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations caused by the coronavirus. The second half of the funding was designated for “institutional stabilization,” covering costs of converting to online in the Spring 2020 term and beyond, lost revenue and technology enhancements. We also awarded nearly $935,000 in Valencia Support Fund grants made available by the Valencia Foundation to 1,739 students who were ineligible under the federal guidelines for CARES Act Emergency Grants.