Communications to Employees

COVID-19 Employee Newsletters

May 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020  |  Thursday, May 21, 2020  |  Thursday, May 14, 2020  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2020

April 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020  |  Friday, April 24, 2020  |  Tuesday, April 21, 2020  |  Friday, April 17, 2020  |  Tuesday, April 14, 2020  |  Friday, Apr. 10, 2020  |  Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2020  |  Friday, Apr. 3, 2020

March 2020

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020  |  Friday, Mar. 27, 2020  |  Monday, Mar. 23, 2020


COVID-19 Emails to Employees

See below for the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) communications from Maricopa Community Colleges to faculty and staff. Please continue to check back regularly for the most recent updates and advisories.

Dear Colleagues:

I hope this finds you coping well with our extraordinary circumstances. I know I’m already missing the human contact in the office. Since I’m such a podcast nerd, I thought I'd shareThe Happiness Lab with you; I’ve found it quite uplifting during this difficult time.

So, two key questions have arisen regardinglast week’s (3/18) faculty communique.

Who makes the decisions about course extensions? 

Individual faculty members are responsible for determining whether an extension is necessary.

As a faculty member, you are best able to determine the readiness of your students in each of your sections to meet the learning outcomes of the course you are now teaching in a remote learning format. That said, consultation with your Chair and their communication with your Dean/Vice President of Academic Affairs is vital to ensure well-informed decisions result in necessary system changes so students stay engaged, you are paid appropriately, and we finish this Spring semester strong.

For each section, individual faculty members may elect either to (a) end their class on May 8, or (b) extend their class by two weeks to May 23. So, for any class you choose NOT TO extend, the class will end May 8, with grades due May 11. For any class you choose TO extend, the class will end May 23, with grades due May 26. You may choose to extend none, some, or all of your sections. However, if you extend any of your sections, you will be on full accountability for the entire two weeks. As always, decisions about class extension should be based on the needs of students to reach the learning outcomes described in your course outline.

For each section, you must notify your students and your Chair no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, April 3 whether or not you are extending the semester to May 23. This is critical for your students to retain access to your course in Canvas and for you to be paid appropriately.

How will compensation issues be addressed?

Instructional Residential Faculty

Faculty extending their Spring 2020 section(s) by two weeks will be compensated at a prorated base salary for the two-week extension.

In accordance with RFP 5.1.1.3 and C.3.5, Instructional Residential Faculty who extend their classes to May 23 will be paid an additional 2/39 of their annual base salaries. This calculation is based on working two additional weeks beyond our standard 39-week contract.

During this two-week extension, Instructional Residential Faculty are contractually responsible for their full 30 hours of accountability per week.

Instructional Adjunct Faculty

IInstructional Adjunct Faculty extending their Spring 2020 section(s) by two weeks will be compensated for the two-week extension by a proration of the section(s) extended, based on this formula:

(Course Load) / (Weeks Course Originally Scheduled) x ($935 per load hour) x 2 Extra Weeks

Service Residential Faculty

Service Residential Faculty will be paid in accordance with RFP C.3.3 for hours worked beyond the end of the Spring semester (May 8).

Service Adjunct Faculty

Service Adjunct Faculty will be scheduled by their supervisor and paid accordingly for any hours worked beyond the end of the Spring semester (May 8).

Chairs, Program Directors, and other Faculty Supervisory Roles

A two-week extension of the semester requires some degree of extended supervision during this time. We are working through options that align with the RFP and College Plans and expect to have a decision no later than April 3.

Please contact your Chair or Dean/VPAA with any questions or concerns.

Be well,

Karla Fisher, Ph.D.
Provost

Dear Colleagues,

As we continue to navigate the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and local communities is our top priority. These past few weeks have been unlike anything we’ve experienced before. I am profoundly impressed with how our ten Colleges and District Office have pulled together to address this unprecedented situation. The speed with which our faculty and staff have adapted to deliver instruction and student support services remotely is a testament to the quality, commitment and talent of our Maricopa family. Based on the input of public health professionals, our faculty leadership, and members of the Chancellor’s Executive Committee, I have determined that in the interest of safety, we are canceling all Commencement and Convocation ceremonies planned for April and May 2020. We know this is extremely disappointing. This was not an easy decision to make, but we must put health and safety first, adhering to the direction from Governor Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health. We know that Commencement and Convocation celebrations are incredibly important milestones in the lives of our students, as is the opportunity to celebrate the success of our graduates with their families, friends and loved ones. While the ceremonies in May are canceled, we are exploring other options to bring together our graduates and their families in other venues when we can celebrate without health and safety concerns. We will continue to keep you informed of new developments and new actions as they are taken. Please continue to visit our site, maricopa.edu/coronavirus, as we update frequently with the latest information and advisories. Steven

Dear Colleagues,

We have learned that a member of our Maricopa College community has tested positive for COVID-19. We know this news may be distressing for our community, even if it does not come as a surprise given the rapid spread of this pandemic.

This is the first confirmed case we know of within our community. The student received the diagnosis yesterday, was contacted by their medical provider, and has since informed us. The student was traveling during spring break, and has not been on campus since their return. Individuals who may have interacted with the student prior to spring break will be contacted by the Dean of Students, and the college Administration and MCCCD Risk Management will continue to work through the appropriate reporting protocols with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and other Local and State Officials.

As a reminder, please be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

While we work continually to maintain the health and well-being of our community, we also must safeguard the privacy of the individual involved and allow them to focus on their health. Please respect their privacy and avoid speculation and rumors.

This news underscores the need for all of us to be vigilant in practicing social distancing and other measures to reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the virus.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another. We will keep you apprised of any further pertinent developments.

To help ensure the safety of our college community we have transitioned employees to a remote work environment starting today (Monday, March 23, 2020). Your safety is our number one priority, and in that spirit, all employees are to refrain from returning to the college until further notice. This includes refraining from coming back to campus to use your office space, classrooms, or other college resources. This is not only to ensure your safety, but the safety of the employees who have been asked to remain behind and provide essential operational services (College Police, Facilities, and IT).

Sincerely,
Steven

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We write to provide clarification on key instructional aspects of Interim Chancellor Gonzales’s announcement to all Maricopa Employees sent Tuesday, March 17. The clarifications below are based upon feedback provided to the administrative, staff, and faculty members of the Chancellor’s Executive Council (CEC) and were discussed and further refined during this morning’s CEC meeting.

Two-Week Delay in Resuming Face-to-Face and Hybrid Courses. We understand that many faculty are concerned about the potential implications of delaying the resumption of courses for an additional two weeks. We would like to provide the abbreviated rationale for how this compromise was achieved and also to clarify what this delay actually means in practice.

Important interests about faculty autonomy and pedagogical control had to be weighed against the exigencies of the crisis and their impact on our population of students. Our students possess varying access to reliable and stable internet connections, varying access to suitable equipment, and a non-uniform understanding of how Canvas or other instructional technologies function. They also vary in their understanding of how to access needed support, not to mention bearing the weight of additional personal and financial challenges. We needed to find a solution that accommodated these students and minimized confusion that multiple resumption dates would have entailed, while still providing for continuity of quality instruction focused on students’ educational goals. In addition, faculty have a wide range of experience teaching online and in alternative formats. In many cases, training, support, and time to convert materials will be required. The two-week delay was hammered out as a solution to balance all of those interests.

In practice, this compromise still allows faculty to make their online / alternative delivery format content and/or classes available as soon as they are ready, just as you can make your online courses go-live prior to the start of any regular semester. The keys are not to require student attendance prior to April 6, and to ensure that all assignment due dates are set based on the course officially resuming April 6. To be clear, if you are ready to proceed by Monday, March 23, then by all means make your class available early to avoid loss of momentum and to minimize disruption to learning. But do not officially resume your class before April 6. You are the best judge of how to balance between these competing demands, and your professional judgment will be supported.

Some courses may not be able to migrate to an alternative instructional mode, such as courses with required field experiences, service learning, student teaching, practicum, or clinical experiences. Please work with your Division/Department Chair to identify these courses and notify your Vice President of Academic Affairs to help generate options on how to best resolve this difficulty. Recognizing that each situation may require a customized solution, we do not have one consistent answer to address these situations.

Option for Two-Week Course Extension Beyond End of Spring Semester. Over the next two weeks, as you design, revise, and implement alternative delivery methods for your face-to-face and hybrid courses, please consider whether you and your students will need additional instructional time beyond the original end date of Spring Semester (May 8). If you believe that you and your students can successfully fulfill the course competencies and course objectives in a satisfactory way within the original semester timeline, then there is no need to extend the end date. Clearly notify your students of this on or before April 3. If you determine that you and your students will need the additional two weeks, you must inform your Division/Department Chair, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and your students no later than 4:00pm on Friday, April 3. Financial aid and immigration implications of an extension are being addressed. District leadership made a commitment to compensating faculty who, in the exercise of their professional judgment, determine that a two-week extension is necessary.

Getting Your Students Ready. This is a big transition for us, and it is a big transition for your students. Change can be unnerving and intimidating. Please reach out directly to the students in your classes soon, and as often as possible, to let them know what your plans are, what your expectations are for them engaging in the course between now and the official resumption of the semester on April 6, and that you are available for consultation to help them through this transition. Please consider offering increased flexibility for your students as they grapple with the vast array of challenges we all face.

Sincerely,
Steven & Members of Chancellor’s Executive Council

Good Evening Colleagues,

Given the rapidly changing conditions, and out of an abundance of caution, our District has been taking a number of actions related to the growing spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Arizona. I apologize in advance for the lengthy communication but there is a lot to share.

Working with College leadership input, I have made two decisions regarding District and College operations through Sunday, April 5, 2020: (1) all in-person/ hybrid classes will be temporarily suspended and (2) College and District operations will be shifted to allow for the majority of employees to work remotely. This decision is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, reduce the potential of people being infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.

All in-person and hybrid classes are suspended through Sunday, April 5, 2020. All current online classes will continue to be held as scheduled. Faculty are currently working on moving existing in-person and hybrid classes to alternative or online learning environments when appropriate for the remainder of the spring semester. We recognize that there are courses and learning experiences that cannot be delivered in an alternative learning format. We are currently identifying solutions, and unless further orders by local health authorities or other government officials mandate a different policy, we plan to implement those solutions beginning the week of April 6, 2020. We will keep you posted if circumstances or conditions change.

During this extended period, Maricopa faculty, staff, and administration are expected to work to prepare for academic continuity in an online environment. My expectation is that all employees will use the next two weeks to do this important work, which may involve new resources and additional training to increase our capacity to move to and support an online teaching environment.

Additionally, the Colleges and District Office is shifting the majority of operations to a remote-services model that maintains instructional and operational continuity while limiting the number of students, staff, and faculty who are on our sites. By Monday or sooner where possible, faculty and staff will be asked to continue their professional work through telecommuting, in consultation with their supervisor. Limited personnel will continue to provide critical in-person services on campus. College Presidents are identifying essential in-person personnel who will be needed at each campus. Visit https://district.maricopa.edu/information-technology/anywhere-computing to find support to help you work in a remote capacity. Unless further orders by local health authorities or other government officials mandate a different policy, we intend to end remote work on April 5, 2020.

In consultation with their supervisors or managers, employees will need to start the transition to working remotely. Although it is our hope that everyone will be able to return to campus on April 6th, please plan for the following:

  • Identify a plan with your supervisor to forward office phones to a cell phone or computer as appropriate.
  • Plan to have limited or no office access for a few weeks or until further notice. Materials needed to conduct remote work should be decided in consultation with your supervisor or manager.
  • Direct any questions you have that are related to this email to your supervisor, college leadership or human resources department.

Support for Transitioning from In-person and Hybrid Classes over the Next Two Weeks
If you teach a standard face-to-face class or hybrid class, please connect with your students to let them know how this two-week suspension will impact assignments, mid-terms, etc.

Support for Transition to Teaching Online
We recognize that faculty have a wide range of experience teaching online. We are working with the Office of the Provost, local college Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and with faculty that have strong experience in online teaching to curate resources and provide mentoring and support.

Learning Support for Students
As we transition to online learning, colleges will continue to provide student support services through remote models. The district office and colleges have identified some resources to support students in transitioning online, such as a list of internet/Wifi resources and extensive tutorial guides provided on the Canvas student homepage. We will continue to identify resources to share as we move forward.

Colleges will also provide faculty and staff with guidance in meeting ADA compliance requirements as instruction and services are moved online. Please connect with the Disability Resources and Services Center at your college if you have any questions.

Upcoming Events
Our colleges have canceled all student activities, including athletic games and practices, and have postponed college events during this time period. Future events, including convocations and graduations, will remain on the calendar for now. If you have an upcoming event within the next few weeks, particularly an event that would include people gathering in close proximity, please postpone until further notice.

Thank you for your continued support for our students, colleagues, and community. These are challenging times, and we are all working to balance two important priorities — (1) Protecting the health and well-being of our community, and (2) Continuing to provide high-quality learning experiences to our students so that they can make on-time progress toward their degrees and credentials and be prepared with the knowledge, skills, and understandings needed for their future academic and career pathways.

Please know that you are not in this alone! I recognize that this is a time of heightened anxiety for many in our community. If you, your students, and/or your colleagues need support, please let us know. We’re working every day to make sure we can address your needs. Please reach out to covid19@domail.maricopa.edu, so we can best answer your questions.

I am grateful for the professionalism, dedication, and compassion that our Maricopa community has demonstrated as we work through these challenges together. Please continue to check www.maricopa.edu/coronavirus-covid-19 for the most up-to-date information and advisories. You can expect follow-up communication to this message by tomorrow, and please know that a communication to Maricopa students will follow soon as well.

Thank you.
Steven

Dear Maricopa employees,

I know members of our Maricopa community have raised questions and comments regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To ensure our messaging and resources around COVID-19 are easily accessible, District Office Human Resources has assembled a FAQ document (attached).

Some of the questions answered in the FAQ include:

  1. What should MCCCD managers and supervisors communicate to MCCCD employees regarding travel during the outbreak of COVID-19?
  2. If I come to work and my supervisor sends me home, is that considered sick leave?
  3. Do the same leave policies apply to residential faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff?
  4. What steps should be taken if an employee becomes ill on or off duty with fever, cough, or other concerning symptoms?
  5. May MCCCD require an employee who has contracted COVID-19 or self-quarantined due to possible exposure to COVID-19 to provide a certification from a health care provider before returning to work?

Again, Spring Break has been extended for in-person classes from March 16 - March 20, 2020. Our Colleges and District Office, however, remain open for normal business. In the next few days, we will make decisions about whether to resume in-person classes after the extended Spring Break. We will notify the Maricopa community when the decision has been made.

Employees may have the ability to work from home, at the discretion of their supervisor or manager. Please direct any questions you have that are related to this email or the attached FAQ’s to your college leadership or human resources department.

To make sure that we are up to the challenge of supporting our students, our community, and each other through these challenging times, it is imperative that we take care of ourselves. Please practice self-care. It can be tempting to run on adrenaline as we move from crisis to crisis, but this is going to take stamina. Please watch out for yourselves and make sure that you take time away from the computer to refresh, unwind, and recharge. We need you to stay healthy!

Sincerely,
Steven

Dear Faculty:

On Wednesday, March 11, Governor Ducey announced astate of emergency in Arizona regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Out of concern for the health and well-being of everyone in our community, the Maricopa Community Colleges will cancel classes for students enrolled in classes that physically meet through Friday, March 20.

Students have been told that they should not physically report to campus/classes from now through Friday, March 20 and that they should watch email for further instructions. Classes currently being taught in hybrid or online formats will continue with their online components as scheduled (including the week of March 16-20). Also, all student activities and college events will be postponed during this time period. Students in dual enrollment classes should check with their high schools regarding attendance requirements.

Our highest priorities must be (1) public safety while also (2) ensuring students' academic momentum:

Instructional Residential Faculty are required to meet 30 hours of accountability as best determined by your division/department and are to be available as needed. Your focus should be on planning, and getting training if needed, to deliver alternative instruction beginning Monday, March 23rd.

Service Residential Faculty should continue to meet accountability in accordance with your normal schedules as our Libraries, Counseling services, and CTLs will continue to operate as usual.

Adjunct Faculty and Clock Hour Instructors are required to work on plans to deliver alternative instruction, as well as regularly checking-in with your supervisor. Adjunct, Clock Hour, and Lab Instructor pay will not be interrupted.

Chairs/Supervisors are asked to please schedule a mandatory department meeting on Tuesday (3/17) for all Residential and Adjunct Faculty...with a video or phone-in option for those who cannot or choose not to attend in person...to discuss how they will address academic continuity. Please wait until Tuesday to allow time for CEC and stakeholder groups to meet/discuss on Monday and share any additional information prior to your meetings.

Every class at MCCCD has a Canvas shell.Learn how to migrate instruction into Canvas.

For personal assistance, contact a Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) near you. Any CTL at any College can help you, regardless of where you are currently teaching for MCCCD.

Please continue to check your email and our website for timely updates:https://www.maricopa.edu/coronavirus-2019-nCoV.

If you have not done so already, be sure to sign up for RAVE emergency announcements athttps://www.getrave.com/login/maricopa-community

Thank you and be well,
Karla Fisher, Ph.D.
Provost

Dear Maricopa Employees,

The health and safety of our Maricopa community is of utmost importance. Furthermore, we know that college completion and success requires students, faculty and staff to have the safest learning and teaching and work environment we can provide. Out of an abundance of caution and following much discussion with our Governing Board, College Presidents, Provost, and Senior Staff, as well as a variety of other leaders representing our community, I have made the decision to extend Spring Break for our students by one week.

Maricopa faculty, staff and administration will report back to work on Monday, March 16 and use the week to prepare for academic continuity (whatever that may look like) for up to 2 weeks (possibly longer) in an online environment or alternative format. My expectation is that all employees return to their respective College to do this critical work, which may involve training and meetings to ensure that we are ready to move to an online/distance/alternative teaching and learning environment and to work remotely – if required at some point. All other district and college operations and services will continue as usual until further notice.

This decision is meant to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19 throughout our community and protect those who are more susceptible to severe illnesses and at the same time ensure legitimate opportunities for student academic progress leading to successful course completion.

Please note the following:

  • All in-person classes are suspended from March 16-20. This time is to be used for faculty and staff to prepare for the probable transition from in-person instruction to total online/distance instruction.
  • Classes currently taught via online/distance will continue as scheduled March 16 through the end of the semester.
  • It is also understood that certain courses (i.e. CTE, performance, lab-based, etc.) will require significant collaboratively derived solutions – all national best practices will be reviewed.
  • The entire Maricopa community will be notified no later than Friday, March 20 regarding how we will move forward to ensure students achieve the required learning outcomes for successful completion of their Spring 2020 classes.

Expanded CEC meetings will be held early next week to address questions arising from the possibility of closing colleges. You can expect additional communication.

This is a time of anxiety and uncertainty. Thank you for your patience and perseverance as we work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to take as many precautions as necessary in order to protect our community while maintaining our students’ academic momentum.

Please continue to check your work email and the new website dedicated to providing timely updates to internal and external communities: www.maricopa.edu/coronavirus-2019-nCoV.

If you have not done so already, be sure to sign up for RAVE emergency announcements at www.getrave.com/login/maricopa-community

Sincerely,
Steven

Dear Maricopa,

Despite the increasing severity of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak globally, at the time of this email on March 11, 2020, there are no reported cases of Coronavirus within the Maricopa community of students, faculty, and staff.

At this time, the Maricopa Community Colleges will remain open, and classes following our Spring Break schedule will resume next week. In the event of a College or campus closure, information will be shared immediately through email, Twitter, Facebook, and our website. All members of the Maricopa community are urged to sign up for Rave Alert to receive emergency text alerts. If you have already signed up, please log in to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

I understand the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has created anxiety, concern, and, in many cases, fear. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans, and we ask that you remain kind and respect one another, continuing to support our community.

MCCCD’s Continuity Response Team (CRT) continues to actively consult with the Maricopa County Public Health Department. We will provide regular updates and advisories on our website with current information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The health and well-being of the Maricopa community is our top priority. If you are feeling ill, please take care of yourself by following these recommendations from the CDC. Together, we will navigate through this time of uncertainty.

Please continue to check your emails for updates and, you can find ongoing information on our website: www.maricopa.edu/coronavirus-2019-nCoV

Sincerely,
Steven

Dear Colleagues,

Our District has been taking a number of actions related to the growing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. With community spread now established in the U.S., and with spring break and major holidays coming up shortly, we are intensifying our institutional response.

For our College communities, the current risk level associated with COVID-19 is low.

However, given the rapidly changing conditions, and out of an abundance of caution, we are making prudent choices to protect the health of our own community and the broader communities we belong to, without creating unnecessary disruptions to the normal pursuit of our educational mission.

At this time, the Elemental Cultural Arts Festival for 2020 has been canceled and while we truly admire the opportunity for students to show their artistry and their passion, we must respect the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and most importantly the community.

We will ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date on future event cancellations. In the event of a College or campus closure, information will be shared immediately through email, TwitterFacebook, and ourwebsite. All members of the Maricopa community are urged to sign up for Rave Alert to receive emergency text alerts. If you have already signed up, please log in to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

The health and well-being of the Maricopa community is our top priority. If you are feeling ill, please take care of yourself by following these recommendations from the CDC.

You can find ongoing and updated information on MCCCD’s response to coronavirus here: www.maricopa.edu/coronavirus-2019-nCoV

Sincerely,
The Office of Strategic Communications