Roadmap for Reopening: Preparing the Learning Environment

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources

This Saturday, August 1, 2020, we will begin to implement Phase 2 operations. Valencia has a plan to support employees who are returning to an on-site work location, ensuring a safe, smooth and successful transition.

As shared in previous updates, we formed four interdisciplinary task forces to carefully plan and prepare for the phased reopening of the College. One of the task forces, Preparing the Learning Environment, crafted recommendations and considerations on how students and faculty will experience the campus, classroom, co-curricular experiences and learning, and developed a plan for specialized learning spaces like labs, learning support and co-curricular spaces.

To prepare our returning employees, the College is implementing the following suggestions from the Preparing the Learning Environment task force:

Scheduling

  • A location-specific schedule for classes is being developed that facilitates staggered start times, avoidance of classroom usage in close proximity to another or clustered around the same restroom at the same start/end times.
  • Appropriate course caps for classes are being determined based on learning activities, the size of the space and the layout/furniture.
  • Most classes will be separated by at least 45 minutes to provide sufficient time for our custodians to clean each classroom and laboratory between each class meeting. All programs, classes and facilities have been carefully planned to allow ample time so that appropriate cleaning protocols are applied to provide a clean and healthy environment for the next class.
  • Employee schedules are carefully arranged to minimize arriving and leaving at the same time. Back up faculty/instructors and staff are trained and available should an employee be unable to work due to illness.

In All Learning Environments

  • Anyone attending class must wear masks, utilize additional personal protective equipment as appropriate and maintain recommended physical distancing guidelines.
  • Faculty should feel empowered to enforce face coverings and physical distancing in their classrooms, just as they would any other classroom behavior. If individuals refuse to comply, the administrator on duty at the location will provide an additional opportunity to comply and may require the individuals to review training on mask wearing and health/safety. If necessary, the individuals who refuse to comply will be asked to leave the campus.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant in spray bottles, as well as paper towels will be available in each activated classroom and laboratory. Disinfectant wipes will be available where disinfectant spray cannot be used.
  • Facilities management will determine occupancy limits in classrooms and laboratories. Facilities capacity will be set by the number of individuals who can be physically distanced by six feet within the room. Classes are being scheduled with limited numbers and classroom space is being selected and set up to ensure proper physical distance.
  • Appropriate course caps for classes will be based on learning activities, the size of the space and the layout/furniture present in that space.
  • All common-use items will be removed from classrooms and laboratories including markers, erasers, etc. Faculty will be provided a personal set of classroom supplies to be carried to and from the classroom setting.

In the Laboratory

Although special protocols have always been in place for our laboratories to protect everyone’s health and safety, in addition to our standard protocols and those listed in the above section, the following additional laboratory protocols will be enforced during Phase 2:

  • In addition to standard lab PPE, gloves will be required when students need to touch common surfaces. They must be put on prior to entering the laboratory, and they must be deposited into the trash receptacles inside the lab prior to exiting.
  • Face masks covering the nose and mouth must be worn at all times in the lab, and physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
  • Single-use face masks are recommended for microbiology labs and disposed of before exiting the lab.
  • All reusable PPE will be disinfected between sections. For example, a two-step process will be used for cleaning a set of goggles. First, the student disinfects with the 70% isopropyl alcohol-based product provided. Second, the goggles will be passed under an ultraviolet light stored in the lab.
  • Lab inventories will accommodate students having their own individual glassware and equipment whenever possible.
  • All surfaces will be disinfected before and after each section by lab staff.
  • Only essential lab equipment will be used. Non-essential items, such as printers, will be removed from the lab to reduce the items and surfaces that need to be sanitized.

For more information on Phase 2, visit the Roadmap for Reopening website, which has been updated to include a “Guide for Returning to the Workplace.” In this resource, you’ll find details on health, safety and facilities preparations; steps for the daily health assessment and illness reporting protocols; information and expectations for the on-campus experience, including what to bring to campus and what not to bring to campus; required personal protective equipment; cleaning protocols and what is accessible on campus.

For questions or additional information, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at HR4U@valenciacollege.edu, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

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