An update from Chancellor Stuart Van Horn on COVID-19 and the district's response
The following message is being sent on behalf of Dr. Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District:
West Hills colleagues,
As our organization continues to respond to the pandemic, additional steps were taken today in addition to those steps announced in Friday’s (March 27, 2020) communication. Since early March, we have planned for the long haul, capitalized on our agility, and mobilized a “new normal” infrastructure by seeking safety without sacrificing technology security. The current and previous steps to transition to fully remote operations and online delivery modalities over the past four weeks is impressive by any standard.
We have several unknowns ahead of us, to be sure. Our unwavering philosophy all month has been to preserve public health and the safety of our employees and students. Additional, important steps taken today are identified below. Please take a moment to review these and the updated timeline attachment to this communication.
- Effective March 31, 2020, we have extended the online delivery of classes through May 22, 2020.
- The May 22, 2020, date is specific to classes that may have finals through May 21 or 22, 2020. This does not apply to commencement.
- As of this writing, we have not cancelled commencement ceremonies. Every effort is being considered to preserve commencement ceremonies on May 21 and 22, 2020 at our colleges. Further information regarding commencement will be provided by mid-April.
- Effective March 31, 2020, all college/center/district office buildings are closed. All employees are to work remotely with the exception of essential, critical services staff. College presidents and district executive administrators are responsible for determining essential, critical services staff.
- Effective March 31, 2020, the remaining two child development centers (Coalinga and Lemoore) will close until further notice.
- All classified employees will continue to be paid and are expected to work remotely unless directed otherwise by their supervisor based on job assignment.
- Student resources (see list in attachment) will be available online via Zoom, phone, or by appointment in special circumstances only. If you have questions about essential, critical services staff or appointment in special circumstances, please discuss with your supervisor, college president, or district executive administrator.
- All events to be held at any West Hills site remain cancelled.
Over the past four weeks, I recognize my office has distributed numerous updates in an effort to be transparent and communicative with you. Change has happened quickly. Our collective responsiveness has been instrumental to mitigating impact on our students. I appreciate your continuing stamina and commitment to our students during this crisis.
I ask that you pause and think about any concerns, questions, or suggestions you have as we continue to operate in an era of uncertainty. Please remember the situation is extremely fluid and can change with very short notice. The best way to communicate your views is by completing and submitting this form.