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COVID-19 Updates

Updates from President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt

Recent updates appear first.

2021

We have been informed by KFL&A Public Health that an SLC student in Kingston has tested positive for COVID-19. The health unit is conducting contact tracing for the student and anyone they were in contact with who is deemed at risk is being informed.

The student was last on the Kingston campus on April 6. They have not been on campus since, and the college will continue to practice elevated health and safety protocols intended to help stop the spread of infection.

Updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online. Any student who is directed to quarantine or is suspected of being exposed to COVID-19 is asked to contact the SLC Campus Health Centre at SLC extension 5521 to notify them of your status.

Our website includes additional information related to COVID-19 protocols, resources, and testing centres. I hope any individuals who are now self-isolating have a speedy recovery, and if you have questions or concerns, I am available, as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca (inbox monitored by the college communications team).

Please join me folks in wishing our student well during their recovery.

Today’s announcement by the Ontario government outlining a four-week state of emergency and stay-at-home order is one we must all respect. These measures are in place to protect community health and slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants while vaccine distribution continues. We would like to clarify what the announcement today means for SLC students.

Important: If you have been learning via alternative delivery, your term will proceed as planned. If you have been coming to campus for in-person components of your program, those will also proceed as planned and any changes (such as class size) will be communicated with you directly by your program or faculty. These on campus and in-person elements can proceed as planned because they are deemed essential for Ontario’s economy, pandemic recovery, and/or health care sector and workforce. Any placements or clinical labs that are impacted by today’s announcement will be messaged to students directly. Please check your Blackboard and SLC email for updates. If you do not receive specific notice of changes you can proceed with things as planned.

I know this is difficult, everyone. We have been in this for longer than any of us thought possible, however we can see a future where the virus is controlled, and its impact is reduced. We must continue to do everything possible to ensure the virus does not spread, which in turn will reduce strain on our health care system and essential workers. The best way to do that is to limit unnecessary travel, follow guidelines for social interactions, and respect public health advice around wearing a mask and getting tested.

I will end this message with a list of resources, because help and information is available to anyone who needs it. Remember to email covid@sl.on.ca with questions, or visit any of the links below.

SLC COVID-19 resources and protocols

Details of the Ontario government announcement

Online resources and supports for SLC students

I hope everyone had a rejuvenating long weekend and a meaningful holiday for those who celebrate Easter, and the last few days of Passover. I am excited to be in a new month that signals growth, renewal, and the coming of spring (which for me also means much-anticipated bike rides). 

I am also hopeful that the new lockdown status will help restore our province to safer levels, and I thank our communities for observing the public health guidelines and increased restrictions. We must continue doing our part to keep our communities safe, and that means staying home, avoiding non-essential travel, and wearing a mask. Please ensure you are informed about the current lockdown restrictions.

This update comes as it has been two weeks since we announced our intention to increase on-campus activity and classes this fall. September is still five months away, and we should remember to not let today’s pandemic status impact how we look to the future. Ontario will progress with vaccinations and lowering case numbers, and we intend to increase activity on our campuses as the need for physical distancing is removed in the coming months. As we have been doing, we will always consult and take direction from our local public health offices and our Ministry to ensure we keep everyone safe.

Our preliminary planning has focused on two key areas: Our Students and Our People, and the important questions and lessons learned from the past 14 months. For our students, we are assessing opportunities within our academic division and programs to continue to best meet the needs of current students while attracting future students to SLC. For our employees, we are discussing what the future of work will look like, as aligned with our values, and how we can best equip people for success.

We have set up an email at ourwayforward@sl.on.ca, and I encourage everyone to send their ideas, questions, and feedback to that inbox, which will be monitored by my office. We may not have all the answers or information yet, but we are working toward a plan that will address needs and concerns, and I welcome everyone’s thoughts.

Take care and wishing everyone a wonderful week!

This message is the start of an ongoing conversation as we plan for our Fall 2021 semester. We intend to return to primarily face-to-face delivery and to restore in-person campus services where possible for September across our three campuses. Please note that increasing the number of people and services on our campuses is dependent on whether public health still requires physical distancing.

I realize that present circumstances mean face-to-face is not possible, but in five months we will be navigating different circumstances. Vaccine rollout will have continued, we will have made plans for our campuses and programs that apply lessons learned from the past year. Our planning and decisions will continue to incorporate public health and provincial Ministry requirements and guidelines.

I am thrilled at the prospect of returning to our campuses and seeing more students, faculty, and staff in person, and I am eager to see how our plans progress in the coming months. We will be guided by our values, ensuring that our decisions consider everyone equally. This is not a time for “we’ve always done it this way,” but rather an opportunity to innovate where possible and to continue helping our students achieve their academic goals.

I know you will have questions, and while we don’t have all the answers right now, we’ll provide updates along the way, and be available for discussion and feedback as plans take shape.

If you have feedback, suggestions, or comments that you would like to share as it relates to our Fall planning, please email ourwayforward@sl.on.ca (this address will be available later today). This address is monitored by Kristen Bullock from my office, who will compile the emails received and share them with our relevant planning team(s).  Then as we are able to, we will answer questions that come in and ensure our community is equipped with the information and details required to move forward.

Folks, it was just over a year ago that we closed our campuses in response to the pandemic. As we now prepare for the Fall, I want to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work navigating these unprecedented times.  Although we are not out of the woods yet, we can now see the light and I look forward to gathering back on our campuses with our students, faculty, staff, and our community partners where we all belong.

We have been informed by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) that an SLC student in Cornwall has tested positive for COVID-19. EOHU has conducted contact tracing for the student and anyone they were in contact with who is deemed at risk is being informed.

The student was on placement and tested positive March 16. They have not been on campus since, and while at placement were in an environment where personal protective equipment was being used. EOHU feels there is minimal risk of community spread associated with this positive case.

I would like to remind our community that unless an individual is contacted directly by Public Health, you do not need to worry that you have been exposed. We continue to practice elevated health and safety protocols on campus to help stop the spread of infection.

At this time, I want to remind everyone we all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 – by wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. We can also avoid unessential travel outside the region and limit contact with those outside of your household as further measures to stay healthy.

Updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online. Any student who is directed to quarantine or is suspected of being exposed to COVID-19 is asked to contact the SLC Campus Health Centre at SLC extension 5521 to notify them of your status.

Our website also includes additional information related to COVID-19 protocols, resources, and testing centres. I hope anyone who is now self-isolating has a speedy recovery, and if you have questions or concerns, I am available, as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca (inbox monitored by the college communications team).

Please everyone, join me in wishing our student well during their recovery where we look forward to welcoming them back to their program when they are well and able to do so.

This morning, Canada’s federal government announced that March 11 will be a national day of observance to mark the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, one year ago.

The pandemic has had a monumental and devastating impact on the world, and we have all felt that impact in one way or another – there is no way to sugarcoat that reality. While I cannot overstate how our world and people’s lives have been forever changed by loss, I believe we have much to be grateful for.

I am grateful for the sacrifices our front-line health care and essential workers have made to preserve the health and stability of our communities. I know many of those people working the front lines are SLC students, graduates, or family members of our employees and I recognize that their contributions have been key to us being able to function over this past year.

I am grateful to our students and our employees for adapting and displaying a level of commitment that can only be described as inspiring. People truly came together to support each other. In the early days of the pandemic, we saw contributions of PPE, medical equipment, and 3-D printers for making face shields donated to our community partners who needed supplies. To me, that showed what our people are made of, and what we do at SLC.

I am also grateful to our local and provincial public health agencies, who have been generous with their time and insight, guiding our response and preparations to keep our shared communities healthy. They were always strong partners of our College, and this pandemic has shown them to be integral to our success.

As we pause to mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, we must also pay respect to those who have lost their lives or loved ones to the illness. The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt around the world, across all parts of society, and we haven’t put it all behind us yet. But as we progress towards vaccination and continue following guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus, we will get through to the other side.

SLC information about COVID protocols and procedures can be found here.

Take care everyone.

We have been informed by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) that two SLC students in Cornwall have tested positive for COVID-19. We understand that the cases are not related. EOHU has conducted contact tracing for the students and anyone they were in contact who is deemed at risk is being informed.

The students were last on campus on March 4 and were socially distanced while in an environment where personal protective equipment was being used. EOHU feels there is minimal risk to others who were on campus at the same time.

I would like to remind our community that unless an individual is contacted directly by Public Health, you do not need to worry that you have been exposed. We continue to practice elevated health and safety protocols on campus to help stop the spread of infection.

At this time, I want to remind everyone to stay vigilant in observing the health and safety measures designed to help us all. We all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 – by wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. We can also avoid unessential travel outside the region and limit contact with those outside of your household as further measures to stay healthy.

Updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online. Any student who is directed to quarantine or is suspected of being exposed to COVID-19 is asked to contact the SLC Campus Health Centre at SLC extension 5521 to notify them of your status.

Our website also includes additional information related to COVID-19 protocols, resources, and testing centres. I hope the individuals who are now self-isolating have a speedy recovery, and if you have questions or concerns, I am available, as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca

Folks, please join me in wishing our students well during their recovery.

We are already halfway through the term, which I find hard to believe. I hope more spring weather is around the corner – it has been great to see the sunshine lately.

Since the lockdown was lifted early last month, SLC teams have been working to expand access to important campus services for our students. Services will be offered in keeping with public health guidelines and will need to be booked ahead of time as part of the new requirements for operating.

This message will provide you with details on services that are available now, and includes specifics on how to access campus, book time with/in a service area, and who to ask if you have any questions.

Important Note: Prior to booking an appointment and accessing campus, students are required to complete the health and safety training, the student code of conduct agreement, and complete the daily health screening self-assessment on the SLC Safe App. Details about coming to campus and links.

Library (Tricampus)

The library is now offering contactless book pickup, book returns, and scanning services. More information on how to access these services. Please remember library resources are also available digitally.

Individual study space (Tricampus)

Current students will soon be able to book time for independent study space in the library. Entry is by appointment only and group study is not allowed at this time. Please note stacks, computers, and printers remain closed. View availability and book your study time.

Kingston Indigenous Centre 

Beginning March 12, the Kingston Indigenous Centre will be open and staffed on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome to speak with the Indigenous Student Advisor. Other services include individual use of the indoor ventilated smudge space, "smudge-to-go" bundles for at-home use, craft kits to-go, and computer lab use for two students at a time for one-hour time slots (must be booked in advance). Contact the Indigenous Student Advisor, Jessie at jpengelly@sl.on.ca. Book a virtual appointment.

Brockville Weight and Cardio Room

Only students with a booked time will be permitted to enter the weight and cardio area, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Students must present a valid student ID card. Book space and learn more about the COVID measures being taken at the weight and cardio room.

Kingston Fitness Centre

The SHAC is open to students only (no St. Lawrence staff or YMCA member use for now) Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (with daily deep cleaning taking place in between).  The space is closed Saturday and Sundays. Group fitness classes and personal training programming remain postponed. Lockers and showers will not be available. Students can use lockers that are located on the 1st Floor Green Wing, behind the cafeteria (lockers: 1288 to 1187). Masks are to be always worn, except while using cardio equipment. Students must present and swipe a valid student ID card to enter.

I want to thank all the teams who have worked hard these last few weeks to get our campuses ready for this expanded access for our students. You have demonstrated flexibility and consideration in working to make expanded access to campus services for our students a reality, and as we continue to work through the changing requirements and reality of the pandemic, I am thankful we are doing so as a team and a community.

St. Lawrence College (SLC) has confirmed that its spring/summer 2021 semester program delivery will continue as a mix of alternate delivery and in-person classes. Priority for on-campus delivery will continue to be health sciences programs and programs involving applied components such as labs and other hands-on simulations.

For students and employees who are required to be on campus for in-person delivery, SLC has public health measures in place to ensure physical distancing, including signage throughout campus, PPE where required, and health screening for people accessing their buildings. 

A decision about the fall semester is yet to be confirmed. "We hope to learn more about whether it will be possible to host larger numbers on our campuses for the Fall 2021 semester in the coming months," said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO, St. Lawrence College. "We remain committed to providing a learning experience that equips every student to succeed, whether that is virtually or in-person. I am proud and inspired by our students, who continue to work towards achieving their academic goals and who have adapted during a global pandemic. Our faculty and staff have done an incredible job of teaching and supporting our students through this challenging time – the SLC team works together to ensure our students come first."

We have been informed by KFL&A Public Health that two SLC students in Kingston have tested positive for COVID-19. We understand that the cases are not related. KFL&A Public Health has conducted contact tracing for the students and anyone they have been in contact with who are deemed high risk is being informed.

One of the students lives in residence and is now self-isolating. Our SLC residence team will work closely with KFL&A Public Health’s guidance to support any student who is self-isolating in residence and increased cleaning has been conducted in the residence building as a precautionary measure. The other student was last on campus early in the week of February 15.

I would like to remind our community that unless an individual is contacted directly by KFL&A Public Health, you do not need to worry that you have been exposed. We continue to practice elevated health and safety protocols on campus to help stop the spread of infection.

At this time, I want to remind everyone to stay vigilant in observing the health and safety measures designed to help us all. We all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 – by wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. As Kingston is now in the Green – Prevent level of the provincial COVID response framework, we can also avoid unessential travel outside the region and limit contact with those outside of your household as further measures to stay healthy.

If you have questions or concerns, I am available, as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca. Updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online. Our website also includes additional information related to COVID-19 protocols, resources, and testing centres.

We have been informed by KFL&A Public Health that an SLC employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is self-isolating and was last on the Kingston campus the week of February 8th. Following established protocols, SLC continues to work closely with KFL&A Public Health, who are investigating and conducting contact tracing.

Please note that unless contacted directly by KFLA Public Health, you do not need to consider yourself exposed.

At this time, I want to remind everyone to stay vigilant in observing the health and safety measures designed to help us all. We all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. This includes wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. Please take your time in reading and answering the health screening questions in our SLC Safe app (which can be downloaded at the Apple Store or Google Play). And most importantly, if you feel ill, stay home and do not come to campus.

If you have questions or concerns, I am available, as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca. Updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online. Our website also includes additional information related to COVID-19 protocols, resources, and testing centres.

Please everyone, join me in wishing our colleague well during their recovery.

Beginning today, parts of Ontario are moving back into stages of the COVID-19 response framework after the lockdown and state of emergency.  Effective February 10th, Kingston is in “Green – Prevent” status, with Brockville and Cornwall slated to leave lockdown as early as February 16th which will be confirmed by the province.

Please review the following details about what the end of lockdown means for SLC and note that I will be communicating a similar message to our students at each of our campuses as to what this step forward means for them.

Our Campuses

To start, we will need the next few days to prepare our Kingston campus buildings for increased levels of activity and daily cleaning that will be required. Tuesday, February 16th will be the first day campus operations in Kingston will begin returning to pre-lockdown levels. Similar work at our Brockville and Cornwall campuses will follow once an end-of-lockdown date is confirmed by government.

Our Employees

As was the case during the fall semester prior to the lockdown, most of our SLC employees tri-campus will continue to work remotely (off-campus).

Those in Kingston who were previously required to come to campus because their roles directly support or interact with students will be able to return as early as Tuesday, February 16th. If you are such an employee, please work with your manager to confirm the specific details for your return-to-campus.

Our Students

All SLC students will be informed that for the most part, the Winter 2021 semester will continue as is.

In a few cases there will be changes to Kingston-based programs where in-person labs on campus can reconvene as they were operating prior to the lockdown and now that some labs can hold more students while still being physically distanced.

All students with changes to their program delivery will be contacted directly via email by the end of this week.  Should you receive questions from students wondering whether they will be returning to campus, please have them check their blackboard account.

Other On-Campus Activity

We will now be working with our teams on increasing students’ access to campus services, on-campus supports, and increased cafeteria offerings at our Kingston campus, with similar planning to follow in Brockville and Cornwall once these areas of the province move to green-prevent status.

In addition, our SLC Event and Banquet Services team in Kingston may begin their work offering space rentals to the wider community. Such offerings, if they occur, will not interrupt on-campus programs or campus operations and will meet all public health guidelines around social distancing and indoor gatherings.

Safety, Safety, Safety

Please take note of the requirements for any member of our SLC community who requires to access our campuses.

  1. For those whose roles directly support students who are also on campus in a regular, on-campus fashion, please ensure you work with your manager on your return-to-campus plan and schedule
  2. Complete the tutorial so you are informed about the health and safety protocols
  3. Complete the health screening app each time you come to campus. This is key, it helps with contact tracing in case of a positive case

While people who have already completed the return to campus training do not need to repeat it, I want to stress the importance of respecting the health and safety protocols that protect us all.

I continue to be very proud of our collective efforts to prioritize safety and stay connected and focused on our students and their success. Thank you for your efforts and please continue to stay safe.

This message, while specifically for our Kingston community, is being sent to all SLC employees and students as it contains important reminders for us all.

KFL&A Public Health has received the first lab confirmed B.1.1.7 case, a new, more easily transmissible variant of COVID-19 that was first found in the United Kingdom. KFL&A Public Health news release

KFL&A Public Health is recommending anyone who has travelled outside of the region (i.e., beyond Hastings, Prince Edward, Leeds, Grenville, or Lanark counties), has had visitors from outside the region, or has moved to the region in the last 14 days to consider voluntary, asymptomatic testing for COVID-19.

Anyone in the Brockville or Cornwall areas who has recently hosted visitors from outside their region, or who has travelled beyond their community, should also consider their possible exposure and consider being tested.

In addition to encouraging anyone who falls into the above noted categories to consider being tested, I am asking all people (students, staff, and faculty) who have travelled to Kingston from outside the KFL&A, Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, and Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark region, or who have recently hosted visitors from outside the region, to self-isolate for 14 days. This is in keeping with KFLA Public Health’s recommendations.

We want to make sure our community is kept informed and safe. We continue to follow KFLA Public Health’s guidance, including these new recommendations to protect our community from the spread of this new COVID-19 variant.

The announcement yesterday that Ontario is again entering a state of emergency effective tomorrow is hard news to hear. I know people are feeling stressed and that the pandemic has put added strain on everyone. I am hopeful these measures will get the public health situation under control, and I would like to thank our SLC community for doing so well these past few months, not just at adapting, but also helping stop the spread of the virus.

The restrictions announced yesterday do not change things for our College. We will continue to only have essential employees on campus, and the majority of our people will continue to perform their roles remotely, as they have been for several months.

Important: I must reiterate my message to staff from earlier this week - only people required to teach a program currently running an in-person component are to be on campus. They, along with a select few other essential employees, are protected by the health and safety measures currently in place at the College. Anyone who had prior access to campus, who is not now needed in a program delivery capacity is to avoid coming to campus. If you are not sure whether you should travel to campus for a work-related reason, please speak to your supervisor.

Our students will continue learning via alternate delivery methods, except those in programs pre-approved by the government to have on-campus components. We will be messaging our students today to inform them that anyone enrolled in a winter 2021 semester program with on-campus, in-placement activity will only be notified if their class, lab, or placement is impacted by the current State of Emergency order. Otherwise, all activity will proceed as previously noted.

This is a stressful and confusing time but I can assure everyone that we are working closely with our Ministry and local public health authorities to ensure we continue to protect the health of our community. I will provide updates as more information is available and will remind folks of the information on our website and the covid@sl.on.ca inbox, where you can direct anyone who has questions.

For your convenience, a summary of the state of emergency stay-at-home order is included below. **

Be safe everyone and thank you for your efforts and support of one another.

State of emergency stay-at-home order highlights:

** The province has issued a stay-at-home order effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., which will require everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. The province says it is enacting the following measures:

  • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions
  • People are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can't physically distance more than two metres
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m.
  • The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey
  • Health care services, including dental offices, physiotherapy and chiropractors, can remain open

I’m pleased to see everyone working together to prepare for the winter semester. I know that the news that elementary schools will be online until at least January 25 puts a lot of extra pressure on our colleagues and students with school-aged children. It also indicates the severity of Ontario’s COVID-19 numbers and situation, which is obviously a concern to us all.

Employees who need support navigating their daily logistics, please speak with your manager and/or HR. We know that families are under a lot of stress right now, and we will be as flexible as possible to support you. I also want to reiterate to our academic teams that students are not to be penalized for having health or family challenges during the lockdown. If they face penalties, students may feel compelled to attend in-person classes while ill, which compromises the health of our community.

I want to share details regarding college operations during the lockdown, specifically, who may be on campus. These restrictions will be in place for the duration of the lockdown. We need to ensure that we follow all provincial and local health guidelines to maintain a safe environment for everyone.

To that end, only essential employees should be on campus ( ie - those directly supporting on-campus program delivery):

  • Professors teaching in person
  • Lab technicians
  • Operational staff deemed essential (facilities, IT and any others approved by HR)

Important: Employees previously approved to go to campus in one-off situations should not be going to campus during lockdown. If you are unsure of your requirement to go to campus, please reach out to your direct supervisor.

For those required to come to campus, the following information will prepare you to do so. Anyone entering the college or an enclosed SLC worksite location, after having their manager’s approval:

  • Must complete mandatory COVID-19 Health and Safety Training through HR
  • Must complete an online screening each time they come to campus through the SLC Safe app. Once the self-assessment screening is completed, a verification "badge" will be provided and needs to be shown to Security upon arrival
  • Are required to complete onsite tracking to assist public health in the event that a positive case is reported.

Please refer to the following resource guide to answer commonly asked questions and provide resources to support your students.

As the pandemic continues, I want to remind everyone to stay the course, follow all public health guidelines, including avoiding non-essential travel outside our immediate region. Let’s remember our duty to help our entire community reduce the spread of infection so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel get brighter.

Welcome back, everyone!

I hope you enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating holiday. As I always say, a new year provides a sense of optimism and hope and this year is no different. I am excited to continue working together supporting our students and each other to make sure that 2021 is good for us all.

As the pandemic continues, I want to remind everyone to respect the conditions of our current provincial lockdown and to follow public health regulations enacted to help everyone stay safe and healthy. Protocols such as wearing a mask or face covering, washing your hands, and not going to work or class if you are ill, continue to be in place. Additionally, we are recommending anyone who travelled outside the Eastern Ontario region for the holiday limit interactions with others for 14 days upon their return to our community.

Additional quarantine requirements for anyone who left Canada

Reminder: Most classes for winter semester begin the week of January 18. Please familiarize yourself with program delivery details, FAQs, and COVID protocols on our website here. Students will be emailed program-specific details in the coming days and SLC will provide updates via email and social media as we get closer to the start of winter term. I am confident that with our great team and our dedicated students, we can successfully navigate these changing circumstances.

This will be an important year for our College, as we continue the conversation and work around equity, diversity, and inclusion. The SLC EDI Belonging Task Force will be guiding work to ensure our value of belonging is experienced by everyone in our community. In the latter part of January and early February, the Task Force will undertake an EDI needs assessment to gain a better understanding of the current state of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging at SLC. We have a shared and collective responsibility at SLC to participate in and amplify the work of the Task Force. Specific ways this will occur include an Equity Census and Courageous Conversation listening tours. Please stay tuned for more information on these upcoming initiatives.

In closing, I ask everyone to continue to stay connected, be healthy, and continue working as a team. Together we will continue to accomplish amazing things in 2021!

2020

We have been informed by KFL&A Public Health that a student in our Kingston residence has tested positive for COVID-19. The student is self-isolating. Following established protocols, SLC continues to work closely with KFL&A Public Health, who are investigating and conducting contact tracing.

Please note that unless contacted by KFLA Public Health, you do not need to consider yourself exposed. Please also note that KFLA Public Health has determined there is minimal risk of exposure to others living in residence.

At this time, I want to remind everyone to stay vigilant in observing the health and safety measures designed to help us all. We all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 – by wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. Please honestly answer the health screening questions in our SLC Safe app, and if you feel ill, stay home and do not come to campus.

If you have questions or concerns, I am available, as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca. Updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online. Our website also includes additional information related to COVID-19 protocols, resources, and testing centres.

Please join me in wishing our student well during their recovery.

We are beginning to look ahead to the new year, and you will be seeing more information shared on college channels to help prepare everyone for the winter semester. Students who have questions can now direct them to the form found here, and responses will be shared on social media, URSLC, and will be used to update the student FAQ.

I want to assure our community that we continue to work as a team to protect the health and safety of our students, our employees, and our campuses. The information below is intended to help people understand what measures will be in place when we return in January.

Please note that these suggestions are relevant to everyone, and not just those students who have on-campus components to their program.

People travelling outside of Canada over the holiday:

  • Any students who elect to travel outside of Canada for the holiday will be required to adhere to Canadian guidelines for quarantine upon their return. Please factor these requirements into your plans.
  • Any employees who elect to travel outside of Canada for the holiday are also subject to the federal government guidelines for quarantine. Should those requirements impact your role, please speak with your manager.

People leaving the SLC region over the holiday:

  • Everyone is strongly encouraged to minimize contacts, adhere to mask wearing, and practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette as much as possible over the holiday, and for 14 days upon returning to Kingston, Brockville, or Cornwall in January.
  • We all must do our part to avoid community spread of Covid-19. Please plan accordingly to help ensure our communities remain as virus-free as possible.

Students arriving in Canada for the first time in January:

  • Students from outside Canada who are joining SLC for the first time in January are required to participate in the college’s approved quarantine plan. Once finished quarantine, they will begin their program whatever way it is being delivered. More information on what is required of new international students can be found here.

SLC continues to monitor public health guidelines and we will update our community should requirements change for the start of the new year. I would like to point out that certain programs will have additional requirements based on their close ties to healthcare or clinical settings and students are required to follow any program-specific instructions they are given by their faculty.

In closing, I want students, staff, and faculty to be aware of the supports and resources that are available, should anyone need them now or over the holidays:

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, however you celebrate. It’s been a long year, and we have worked hard. Everyone deserves this time to unplug, recharge, and rest. I look forward to connecting with you all in 2021!

St. Lawrence College (SLC) announced today that its COVID-19 readiness plan has been approved by the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and has been shared with the college’s three local public health partners in Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall. With this approval, SLC can once again welcome eligible international students who are currently outside the country.  

“We’re thrilled to once again be able to welcome international students to our communities with this approval,” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO, St. Lawrence College. “The health and safety of our students has always been our number one priority and our COVID-19 readiness plan reflects how we continue to support our students while keeping our communities safe. We appreciate the collaboration between our Ministry and the Canadian government, and of course the support and guidance of our local public health units has been incredible during the pandemic.” 

SLC’s COVID-19 readiness plan outlines how the College will manage the mandatory supervised 14-day quarantine period for international students, including arranging where they will be in quarantine, transportation details, and ensuring they get the items they need while in isolation, including food, medications, and access to student supports.  

Government of Canada travel restriction changes will allow more international students who wish to travel to Canada for the purpose of continuing and/or pursuing their studies to enter the country. Asymptomatic international students may travel to Canada if they meet the following requirements:

  • They must be in possession of a valid study permit or letter of introduction
  • They must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a Government-approved COVID-19 readiness plan

For more information stlawrencecollege.ca/international

We have received news that a second student in a program running on the Kingston campus has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is believed to be unrelated to the first, however it is under investigation by Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health.

In order to respect the privacy and maintain confidentiality of our student’s medical information, I can only confirm they were on our campus on November 12 and sought a COVID-19 test because they felt ill. The College has taken recommended precautions and extensive cleaning of spaces where the student may have been were conducted.

Following established protocols, SLC continues to work closely with the KFL&A Public Health. Not everyone who was on campus last week needs to fear they have been exposed to the virus. Individuals who were in close contact with the affected person and are deemed at risk are being notified by KFL&A Public Health directly.

At this time, I want to remind everyone to stay vigilant in observing the health and safety measures designed to help us all. We all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 – by wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. Please honestly answer the health screening questions in our SLC Safe app, and if you feel ill, stay home and do not come to campus.

Finally, I would like to remind students to confirm their information is up to date in their student record and that it is important to complete the health screening app and attendance for each day they are on campus. This ensures our records are current if we need to contact you. Students will not be penalized for missing classes related to illness during these unprecedented times.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, I am available as is the SLC COVID-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca. A reminder that updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online.

Although I have no formal announcements to make today, I wanted to take a moment to connect with our SLC community and share a few thoughts as we prepare to wrap up our week.

I first want to thank our tri-campus community of students, faculty, and staff for taking a moment on Wednesday to show respect for those who have, or currently serve in the Canadian Forces. I was pleased to hear from folks who found new ways of honouring our military heroes from their homes and want to thank those who shared stories with me about family members, friends, and loved ones who selflessly fought for our country.

I also want to acknowledge that tomorrow is Diwali! Diwali is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, and is a most welcome and timely antidote to the uncertainty that surrounds us. This is a special moment and celebration for members of the SLC community from India and around the world. Let us be reminded that there is light ahead, and there is hope in our unity and perseverance. Warmest greetings to everyone in the SLC community celebrating Diwali!

And finally, given we are seeing COVID cases rise across many areas of the country, I want to remind folks to stay vigilant. Please continue to practice social distancing, limit exposure to those outside your bubble of family and friends, and practice safe habits like regular hand washing and wearing a mask. Thank you to our teams for their dedicated service in ensuring folks on our campus are safe, and to all of you for respecting the health and safety of one another. We can and will get through this together.

Have a great weekend folks!

I’m writing to provide an update on campus activity for the morning of Friday, November 13. Anyone coming to campus may see increased cleaning protocols taking place and some learning spaces will be closed until the cleaning has been completed.

We are exercising precautions and ask that people please continue to respect the health and safety guidelines of coming to campus, which include wearing a mask and not coming to class or work if you suspect you are ill. Please note that anyone who was scheduled to use a space that is being cleaned right now has been informed if the cleaning will delay their access. Unless specifically informed otherwise, this cleaning does not mean anyone planning to come to campus today needs to change their plans.

I would like to remind our community of the importance of continuing to respect the precautions that are in place. I would also remind people that information and guidelines can be found on the SLC website, and questions can be sent to covid@sl.on.ca.

We have received news that a student in a program running on the Kingston campus has tested positive for COVID-19.

In order to respect the privacy and maintain confidentiality of our student’s medical information, I can only confirm they were last on our campus the week of November 2. Their contraction of COVID-19 is being followed-up on by public health.

Following established protocols, SLC continues to work closely with the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit (KFL&A Public Health). Individuals who have been in close contact with the affected person and are deemed at risk are being notified by KHL&A Public Health directly.

At this time, I want to remind everyone to stay vigilant in observing the health and safety measures designed to help us all. We all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 – by wearing a mask or use a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands. Please honestly answer the health screening questions in our SLC Safe app and if you feel ill, stay home and do not come to campus. Students will not be penalized for missing classes related to illness during these unprecedented times.

If anyone has any questions or concerns I am available as is the SLC Covid-19 response team at covid@sl.on.ca. A reminder that updates and information about reporting any suspected illness can be found online.

Please join me in wishing our student well during their recovery.

St. Lawrence College has undertaken the process to become a Designated Learning Institute. The Ontario Government has approved our plan and the Federal Government will reflect this shortly. For questions about living and studying at one of our beautiful campuses, and to learn how we support our students and graduates, click here.

St. Lawrence College has undertaken the process to become a Designated Learning Institute and our approval is expected shortly. For questions about living and studying at one of our beautiful campuses, and to learn how we support our students and graduates, click here.

St. Lawrence College (SLC) was informed that a student from the Brockville campus tested positive for COVID-19. 

Following established protocols, SLC is working closely with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit in Brockville. Individuals who have been in close contact with the affected person and are deemed at risk are being notified by public health directly.  

Please visit the SLC website for updates and resources. Individuals with further questions or concerns can email covid@sl.on.ca

As you were all made aware, last week we were informed by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit that two students on our Cornwall campus tested positive for COVID-19. Our best wishes are with them for a speedy recovery so they can resume their studies.

Response to these cases was timely and professional, from both the health unit and SLC. I want to thank everyone involved in making sure our students are supported as classes and lab schedules are adjusted, and those who were contacted by public health take the time required to self-isolate, and keep themselves, and the community, healthy. To reiterate, only those who were contacted by public health need to be following their specific instructions.

For students with questions regarding labs, please contact your faculty directly. As well, students will NOT be penalized should their studies be interrupted due to illness. Please, do not come to campus if you are ill. Click here for COVID-19 information on our website, which also includes a link to the Ontario self-assessment tool.

As we now head into Thanksgiving weekend and for some, a break week, I am imploring everyone once again to listen to advice of public health officials and our provincial government, who are now asking people to stick to family unit bubbles. This will reduce the possibility of bringing COVID-19 back to our campuses and community.

We also announced last week that winter semester will continue as started with in the fall, as a mix of in-person and alternate delivery. Click here for an FAQ that will be updated as more details are confirmed.

I want to remind folks of the extensive things students can benefit from, while their programs are delivered via alternative methods. Events and activities are continuing via the URSLC app, support and resources are available via student health, and academic advice and guidance can be found via Student Success Facilitators. Click here to learn how to access these services and more.

SLC continues to provide our students with outstanding education and support you as you work toward your education. I can assure our students that the work you are doing now, to earn a credential and achieve your academic goals will serve you well in the coming months, and your studies will be key to helping connect you with a rewarding career.

I will close with an exciting development that I shared with our employees yesterday during our College Conversations event in that we have filled the position of Senior Advisor of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. SLC’s very own Ekta Singh, Professor in our School of Business will take on this important role beginning next month.  I look forward to sharing you details about Ekta’s background, the work she will do leading our Belonging Task Force, how you can get involved and other updates pertaining to our college’s commitments in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion in a special communication that will be shared tomorrow.

I encourage our community to continue supporting each other and I hope everyone has a safe and rejuvenating long weekend!

St. Lawrence College (SLC) was informed that a second student from the Cornwall campus tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to the case reported on Tuesday, September 29.

The student is isolating at their home and their contraction of COVID-19 is suspected to have taken place outside of the Cornwall community. They were last on the Cornwall campus on Wednesday, September 23. 

Following established protocols, SLC is working closely with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) in Cornwall, who has initiated contact tracing. Individuals who have been in close contact with the affected person and are deemed at risk will be notified by EOHU directly. SLC has performed extensive cleaning to ensure any affected areas on campus are sanitized and safe for students.

Please visit the SLC website for updates and resources. Individuals with further questions or concerns can email covid@sl.on.ca

St. Lawrence College (SLC) has confirmed that its winter 2021 semester program delivery will continue as it started in the fall, which is a mix of alternate delivery and in-person classes. Priority for on-campus delivery will be health sciences programs and programs involving applied components such as labs and other hands-on simulations. More details can be found here.

“Our faculty and support staff teams have been working hard this fall to meet our students’ needs for quality program delivery and access to the supports they need,” according to SLC President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt. “I'm proud of the work they’ve been doing in ensuring our students have everything they need to succeed in an alternate delivery format.”

For students and employees who are required to be on campus for in-person delivery, SLC has public health measures in place to ensure everyone can maintain physical distancing with signage throughout campus, has the PPE required, and that campuses remain safe. Anyone accessing campus must also complete detailed health and safety training.

“While we all want to be back on campus and in the classroom, our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, employees, and our communities,” Vollebregt said. “We remain committed to providing a learning experience that equips every student to succeed, whether that is virtually, or in-person.”

St. Lawrence College (SLC) was informed that a student on the Cornwall campus tested positive for COVID-19. 

Following established protocols, SLC is working closely with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) in Cornwall, who has initiated contact tracing. Individuals who have been in close contact with the affected person and are deemed at risk will be notified by EOHU directly.

The student is isolating at home. The student was last on the Cornwall campus on Wednesday, September 23. SLC has performed extensive cleaning to ensure any affected areas on campus are sanitized and safe for students.

“The College will offer support to our student who has tested positive for COVID-19, as well as any other students who the EOHU determine may be impacted or at risk,” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO at St. Lawrence College. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our campus community and the communities we serve. I urge anyone who feels ill to stay home and not come to campus.”

The Medical Officer of Health and CEO of the EOHU, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says, “The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is satisfied with all of the precautions taken by St. Lawrence College. We are working closely with the college to identify and contact individuals who may have had high risk exposure with the case to provide direction, support, and follow up."

Please visit the SLC website for updates and resources. Individuals with further questions or concerns can email covid@sl.on.ca.

Welcome to my first weekly update for September, and my last of this kind. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been sending weekly communications to our college community to share information regarding how the pandemic is affecting our operations, and to thank the tremendous efforts of everyone for staying engaged with SLC.

Now that we’re starting the fall term and a new academic year, I want to remind our students to frequently check your student portal, Blackboard, and the college website for news and updates. I will of course still be in touch as needed to share other timely or important information, but on a less formal schedule. I appreciate all of you for staying in touch with me since our world shifted in March.

I have filmed a welcome video for our community, and am pleased to share it with you here.

As you will see, I am confident this will be a great year at SLC. Over the last several months we’ve adapted to new ways of doing things, and we continue to evolve. Going forward, our strategic plan, SLC in Five, will continue to guide us, and we are committed to furthering the important work of equity, diversity, and inclusion while remaining engaged with our communities, both regionally, nationally, and internationally.

To our new and returning students, and our employees - Your health and safety continue to be our number one priority. I hope you will remember that all teams at SLC, from the academic schools, student services including health and wellness, student success, and more, and the college leadership team are here for questions and feedback at any time.

As I say in the welcome video, the start of a new school year is a time to grow and a time to connect. I wish all new and returning students a smooth start to the fall semester!

It’s the last week of August and I am starting to have that “back-to-school" feeling! Our plans and preparations for the 2020-2021 academic year are in full swing, and I can’t wait to welcome both our new and returning students to what is sure to be a tremendous year.

As you all know, we have been taking direction and following the leads of our Kingston, Cornwall and Brockville public health units since the winter term. They have and continue to be a tremendous source of support and information for us during the pandemic and I want to acknowledge their hard work and all of the ways they are working to keep our communities safe.

Important Information for our Students:

First off, I am pleased to share that each of our Kingston, Cornwall and Brockville Public Health Offices have drafted open letters to all post-secondary students in our tri-campus community areas. These letters contain important and helpful information and reminders for the fall semester.

I encourage each and every one of you to read these important letters - Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall. They will be posted on each of the Public Health office webpages and on SLC social media channels in the days to follow. The health and safety of our students remain our number one priority. I strongly encourage you all to heed the advice of our Public Health leaders.

Secondly, all SLC students should now know how your program is being delivered this fall whether that be remotely, on campus, or a combination of the two. Please confirm you can access Blackboard, slc.me, and your student engagement app, UR SLC which will guide you through the semester.

In addition, please continue to visit our SLC Fall Semester webpage here where we will post important information for the fall including a helpful FAQ to answer your most pressing questions.

Students with on-campus program components will need to complete the tutorial and student conduct agreement that were emailed to you. You’ll also find them here and it will save you time to be prepared and informed about the health and safety measures in place on campus.

To our Employees:

I want to thank you for continued flexibility and adaptability. The welcome back videos I have seen for various programs are fantastic and truly motivating. I’m heartened to see the many different and innovative ways the SLC team continues to put students first.

Please note that you will soon receive an invitation to join our next virtual Town Hall on September 2nd, so please watch your email for those details and the link to join. I hope all of our faculty and staff will join this Town Hall where we will virtually kick off another academic year as a team!

I hope everyone enjoys the last weeks of summer and is feeling as excited as I am for the new school year.

I have an exciting announcement today, as we continue to act on our commitment to create a campus and community where everyone feels they belong and are respected.  I have recorded today’s message by video as well and should you prefer to view it in that format, please visit the link here.

We are recruiting to fill a new six-month contract position for a Senior Advisor, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. This advisor will be responsible for facilitating the development and implementation of SLC’s plan for Belonging, Diversity, and Inclusion, and supporting programs and resources to create and foster a diverse and inclusive environment. We don’t think the work will all be finished in six months, but this position will help us create a structured plan for the future. I will be emailing SLC employees the full position description today as it is an internal posting.

I would like to recognize the tremendous work being done by our international, recruiting, and student services teams right now, as they support individual students and their specific circumstances and needs. We are hopeful that the coming weeks will have more clarity and information for international students, and we continue to reach out to new and returning domestic students to address their questions and offer support. Every conversation and interaction we have right now is key to helping students connect with us, and our goal is to continue attracting students to our region and our college from around the world. We are inspired by the dedication and energy our students bring to our campuses and our communities, and I am thankful our teams are ready and available in virtual format for anyone needing support.

As fall nears, we all have a collective responsibility to behave in accordance with public health and government protocols to keep our communities healthy. This means, primarily, that we are not to gather in groups of more than 10 people, and to self-isolate and seek medical advice if you feel unwell. Provincial and public health officials have been incredible partners through these past few months, and I encourage people to follow their local health unit on social media or in the news, to stay informed on how best we can all do our part to keep our community healthy.

Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our shared SLC community healthy and positive. I am inspired every day by our students and our team, and I am confident we will continue working together to ensure the coming weeks are productive ones.

By my count, this is the twentieth weekly update email I have sent since COVID-19 arrived and changed everything! That really made me pause to realize we have been operating in new and very different ways for over twenty weeks. Those weeks have been defined for me by the incredible team effort SLC staff, faculty, and contractors have put forth, to help our college continue to operate, and by the resilience and dedication shown by our students to continue meeting their academic goals.

At a provincial level we continue to collaborate as a sector, working on how we will be measured, how we can access increased supports and opportunities for our students, and how we can help our economy recover. We have always been a community of colleges in Ontario, and that strength of connection is helping us move quickly and evaluate options, which includes supporting conversations at a federal level to benefit international students.

Closer to home our campuses are hosting students, staff, and faculty starting this week, to finish programming that was interrupted back in March. Campuses prepared to re-open with the input of provincial health and safety experts and our Joint Health and Safety Committees, and there are several steps required to access the buildings that protect our students and our community. If you are confirmed as attending class on campus in August, please ensure you have completed the required training and steps which are outlined in a tutorial found here: https://view.genial.ly/5f0dfec5beeb6d0d6ca02887 (copy and paste the link into your browser for best results).

I know with the announcements about elementary and secondary schools in September, that people’s planning and scheduling is becoming complex. I would like to assure our team that the SLC HR department is working very hard to provide guidelines that can help people explore options that are best for them and their families. We will be sharing more information on that this week beginning with SLC managers tomorrow.

I encourage folks to continue to stay connected, reading things like SLC email and staff newsletter, HR weekly emails, and if you use it, following SLC on social media. We are working diligently to provide support, answers, and information, and I would ask that anyone who does have a question, remember that the person helping them is doing their best, under unusual circumstances to provide the same level and care and service SLC is known for. Let’s continue to be kind and respect each other, as we continue to progress and work together.

At long last, I’m so excited to be welcoming the “stranded students” and those employees supporting them back on campus starting August 4th. While it’s a small number, and for a brief time, it will be an important step forward for all of us as a college. The “summer pilot” will teach us a lot about the coming fall semester and give a hint about how things will look when we have even more people back.

To that end, we’ve posted important Health and Safety information for returning students and employees on our website, in addition to refreshed information about student services available. Please take a moment to review this information found here.

Last week we also went public with our plans to open Residence in the fall. We will offer priority housing to those students with on-campus classes and will be operating at about half capacity in Brockville and Cornwall, and ¾ capacity in Kingston. Students will all have single rooms, their own washroom, and there will be restrictions in place for visitors and activities to ensure physical distancing. I appreciate the hard work our Residence folks have been doing over the summer to plan and prepare to house our students with a fulfilling campus life experience, albeit different than other years.

A reminder to anyone with questions that our teams are here to help!

Current students can use the engagement app UR SLC to stay informed and connect with other students, and are encouraged to follow SLC on social media as an added way of receiving timely updates – but the most important channel will continue to be your student email so please keep checking that.

Important Note: At SLC, we correspond with our students directly to protect privacy and ensure the information people need is at hand – unless granted permission, we are not able to provide parents or guardians with information related to individual student files. I encourage students to keep their support networks informed about the information SLC is providing, to reassure them of the work being done to protect the health and safety of our campuses and community.  Anyone interested in following SLC’s journey through the pandemic can always visit our public-facing website where we post regular updates, news and information. That page can be found here.

Have a great rest of the week, everyone and enjoy the upcoming, well-deserved, long weekend!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the beautiful summer weather that we are having!

August 4th is fast approaching, and we are looking forward to welcoming our “stranded students” back to finish their labs and hands-on work for their program requirements during the Summer Pilot. We also look forward to welcoming employees who will be supporting those students and we are sharing information with those coming back on the return to campus procedures.  

Please note - Students and employees who are required to return to campus have been contacted individually. If you have not been contacted, you will be working and studying remotely until further notice.  

I want to thank our HR, Facilities, and Joint Health and Safety committees for the considerable work they have been doing in recent weeks to prepare our campuses and employees for the limited return to campus.  

One of the main things we’re asking folks to do to prepare to return to campus is to download the SLC Safe app, as this app will be used as a self-assessment tool for anyone coming to campus. All SLC-issued phones have the app pre-loaded, if you don’t have an SLC phone, you can download the app to any device. If you’re unable to do so, Security will be equipped with an iPad so you can complete the self-assessment upon arrival to campus. 

Coming up on August 20, the School of Business is launching the NEXT webinars series which brings together business leaders from Canada and around the world to examine the business landscape post-COVID-19 and how best to prepare. As well, our Online and Continuing Education Fall 2020 program will be available soon. I always look forward to seeing the course offerings and opportunities for life-long learning for our communities.  

I’m so proud that our Class of 2020 Valedictorians, President’s List and donor and faculty award winners were announced last week in the newsletter. If you haven’t done so already, check out our impressive graduates and watch for our Valedictorian profiles and their inspiring stories soon.  

Finally, I want to share my feelings on the fall semester coming up, and that “back-to-school" excitement I think we all share. While at the risk of overstating this, we all know this won’t be business as usual at SLC, or in any facets of our lives. I do know, however, that the hope and promise of a new school year is still there, and I look forward to the energy and the possibilities that this brings.  

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer heat! I personally love it.

It seems now more than ever that the importance of education cannot be underestimated. That is why the work our faculty and staff are doing to make sure our students can achieve their academic goals is so important. I very much appreciate your continued efforts to make the SLC experience exceptional despite our present circumstances.

Today I want to share updates on the progress we’re making on welcoming our “stranded” graduating students back on campus. As a reminder, our government has defined ‘stranded students’ as those who were not able to complete on-campus lab work when COVID-19 hit and they require access to our campus labs and shops to complete the remaining components of their studies and graduate.

We will also be welcoming limited numbers of employees back who will be directly supporting those students; I will clarify what “essential” means in this context.

Also, without stealing any thunder from our Marketing folks, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to hint at the new brand campaign the college will be launching this week.

For students returning to campus in August:

  • Work continues to prepare our campus for program delivery in the new model of physical distancing.
  • “Stranded” students required to come back in August to complete course work to graduate will be contacted this week. Please check your SLC email.
  • For students joining us in the fall, please review information to equip and prepare you here.
  • Information is being finalized for employees and students returning to campus and will be shared shortly. This information includes protocols around pre-screening, physical distancing on campus, mask requirements, and more.

An important reminder: Our college campuses remain CLOSED to everyone other than those who are preparing to return this August.

“Essential” employees for phased return to campus:

  • We all want to be back on campus, I appreciate that, however, this September will be unlike all others.
  • I would like to clarify that unless you are specifically needed on campus to prepare facilities, deliver and/or support programming, or if you provide an essential campus service, you will continue to work remotely until further notice.
  • The August limited return will teach us a lot and confirm how we will proceed as the pandemic evolves.
  • The province continues to open with the full understanding that folks need time to plan and map logistics like childcare and other life and home situations. We will continue to consider that in planning for upcoming semesters.

New SLC brand campaign launch

After more than a year of work, and an unforeseen delay to the launch because of COVID-19, the new brand campaign will begin rolling out this week. As we all know we need to be well-positioned as a college to continue helping students and to take on the challenges of tomorrow. That’s why I am so excited about the launch of our new brand campaign. It is an investment in our future and will position SLC in the post-secondary sector for years to come. This week’s newsletter is dedicated to the launch with an in-depth Q & A with Stew Clark, our Director of Marketing and Recruitment.

Employees, don’t miss it in your inbox Thursday morning and students, watch for materials to begin appearing on public channels. It will make us all even prouder to be SLC!

There is no formal update to deliver today however I wanted to reach out to simply say thank you for your hard work and dedication and that I hope you enjoy the wonderful start to summer. Happy Canada Day folks and if you’d prefer to check out my informal message in video format, click here.

Please keep an eye out on your email over the summer as I look forward to sharing continued updates and important messages with you.

Stay safe and well everyone!

Summer is officially here and I know many of us are looking forward to the holiday next week where we will celebrate Canada Day. During these next several weeks I hope each of you will take some down time to enjoy the warm weather. Everyone is working very hard and taking time to rest and recharge is important.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have begun to make announcements as to how we will slowly re-open and welcome folks back to our campuses. Our teams are working diligently and in-line with government mandates to ensure safety protocols and proper PPE will be available for those scheduled to return. As our plans are finalized, we will share them with you.

I am now pleased to share a few new updates:

Summer Pilot

The first phase of our campus re-opening is our Summer Pilot. As recently announced, this phase will involve bringing what government is calling “stranded students” back to college campuses beginning in August. As a reminder, ‘stranded students’ are those who were not able to complete on-campus lab work when COVID-19 hit in March. These students require access to our campus labs and shops to complete the remaining components of their studies where they can then graduate from their programs.

For our Summer Pilot phase, these stranded students and any essential staff and faculty who will directly support them will come back to campus. If you are among these groups, please note that you will be contacted individually to receive detailed instructions, plans, and safety training in advance of your return. We understand that you will likely have many questions and we will ensure to answer them before your return to campus.

Important: All other students and employees not contacted individually regarding the Summer Pilot should assume they will be working and studying remotely for the duration of the Summer Pilot phase. As our next phase and subsequent phases unfold, we will share with you when other groups of students and employees can expect to return to campus.

Fall Semester Delivery

Plans for our fall delivery have taken shape, and we hope to welcome back roughly 20-25% of our student body into programs with a heavy lab component. In other words, we will begin by bringing students back whose programs are more difficult to run through alternative delivery given the hands-on need to use lab equipment, machines of other technologies only offered on campus.

Our teams are finalizing details for each of all SLC programs for Fall 2020 and you can find information pertaining to each program here.

For our new and returning students, we know that many campus services and facilities, such as the fitness centres won’t be available this fall. We will be offering many other opportunities to engage and create a vibrant student community, and I encourage everyone to download the free URSLC app in order to be notified of activities such as orientation. For those who do not use a smartphone or prefer to have this information on your computer, please log into slc.me, click on the UR SLC button and log in using your SLC credentials to access all of this information.

In closing and as our communities and local businesses slowly re-open, I encourage everyone to pay close attention to public health guidelines around widening your bubble of contacts. Please continue to practice responsible social distancing and avoid large gatherings. Let’s all do our part so that one day we can gather together again on our campuses where we all belong.

This week’s update focuses on our current financial position. As you are seeing and reading, Colleges and Universities across the province and country, are struggling financially due to the ongoing pandemic. It is important that everyone understands the severe impacts that COVID-19 has had on our operation, and the ways in which we are working to tackle these impacts head on while remaining true to our college values.

On June 9, 2020 we presented the 2020-2021 annual operating budget to the college’s Board of Governors where it was approved. The budget brought to the Board of Governors is a responsible one, as it recognizes the importance we place on our people and the role that St. Lawrence College plays in the economic growth and sustainability of our local communities. In essence, it addresses the issues of today while protecting and investing for tomorrow.

As I’ve noted, the financial impacts of COVID-19 have been significant in all sectors including the higher education sector. Over the last several years, we have worked diligently to ensure to position ourselves as a financially strong college. In doing so, I am proud to say that SLC is currently in the best financial position our college has been in since our inception 53 years ago.

Over the past eight years, SLC has gone from a deficit position to having over $20 million in accumulated surpluses, and approximately $60 million in Cash and Short-Term Investments and Net Assets or Equity of close to $60 million. As I have said many times, if you have a strong balance sheet and cash in the bank, you can take advantage of opportunities when they arise, and you can weather unforeseen storms when they hit. And COVID-19 is one incredible storm.

After a complex review of the financial impacts of COVID-19 on our operation, we presented a budget that reflects a deficit of $(2.690) Million which will be covered with our reserves (as Ontario Colleges are forbidden by government to run a deficit budget). I want to thank our finance team and budget managers from across the organization for working hard to reduce operating expenses and identify cost effective methods of operating as we work remotely. I also want to thank Megan Sheppard, our Sr. VP of Corporate Services, and our entire senior team for prioritizing our college values of students first, teamwork, innovation, integrity and belonging when deliberating over our budget options and scenarios. The pandemic will end, and when it does, I am proud to say we will be well positioned to continue to move forward as a leader in higher education while remaining true to our core values.

Lastly, as we head into year two of our Strategic Plan, SLC in Five, I would like to remind everyone to visit www.slcinfive.ca for insight on our strategic directions, multi-year objectives, and plans for the coming years. We will continue to work together using this plan to guide our decisions and enhance the ways we support our students and how they will achieve their academic goals.

We will come out of this time stronger and together. Thank you for your continued support and care for one another.

I am pleased to confirm that specific information is now available as to how each of our programs will be offered for the fall semester.

We all know the fall semester will not unfold the way it has in the past, but a simple fact remains – September is the beginning of a new school year, and with that comes incredible opportunities, fresh energy, and growth.

The information outlined below applies to first-year students as well as students in their second, third, or final year. Please note that if you are a student who was deferred from the spring/summer semester intake to the fall semester, our team will be communicating with you directly with regard to what comes next for you.

These plans and delivery methods apply to the fall semester only, meaning that they apply to September through December 2020. It should not be assumed that these plans will also apply to courses running in January 2021. While none of us can predict the future, we don’t expect physical distancing measures to last forever, so I encourage everyone to embrace the fall semester as a chance to start or continue programs and learning, and work towards achieving your academic goals. I promise that once information pertaining to the winter 2021 semester is available, that we will share it with you.

Important:

You can see the list of programs, and how they will be delivered this fall by clicking here.

We have prepared an FAQ to address questions students are likely to have. You can find it here and I encourage you to read it carefully.

More information and details will be shared in the next few weeks as work progresses to get ready for September. I am proud of our teams working to support our students and prepare our college for this temporary way of operating. I can assure you the education, courses, and supports are the same high quality SLC is known for, and our teams are ready to continue supporting our students in achieving their academic goals.

Please remember to check your SLC email often, as we will be sharing more information including tips and reminders as we get closer to September. We have come a long way together since March and we will continue through this time together.

In these ever-changing times, the power and value of education cannot be underestimated. I can assure you that we will provide a quality educational experience in the fall for you. You will learn new skills in a welcoming environment that is supportive and inspiring.

I am writing to ensure you have heard today’s exciting news. Our Minister has announced Ontario’s post-secondary institutions can re-open campuses in July in order to offer a small number of programs and in-person training, specifically to help students who had their programs interrupted in March. I’m pleased to be sharing what this will mean for our college and can assure you more detail will be shared in coming days.

Campus activity in the summer is being considered a “pilot” made up of two key elements:

The first, and most important, is helping our students. The government has asked that this pilot focus on completing course work in programs that support essential front-line and high labour-market demand areas like nursing, personal support work, engineering, trades, childcare, research, and other critical professions. These are some of the programs that were interrupted in March.

The second aspect to the pilot is that it will allow us as a college to test our ability to deliver programming with physical distancing measures in place.

Planning for a return to campus has been underway for several weeks, however being ready to open, even for a small number of people will require a few more weeks of preparation. The college is restocking supplies, setting up for physical distancing, and will be contacting students in specific programs to support their planning and understanding of what this means.

I would like to remind our employees that this does not mean everyone is returning to campus on July 2. Only the specific faculty delivering programs and core essential staff will be in our buildings for this pilot and that will not be until preparations are complete. The rest of our team will continue to work remotely until further notice.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing information regarding requirements for physical distancing, pre-screening and assessments, and what PPE may be required in various areas. We will also be confirming more details about what date summer programming will begin. I encourage people to stay on top of messages being sent, and information being shared as we can all do our part to help our students and each other navigate these confusing times.

In closing I want to state clearly that our top priority is people’s health and safety. We will not have people on campus until our environment is fully prepared, which we are doing with the guidance of public health and joint health and safety. I am pleased to know we are approved to begin helping students in specific programs complete their course requirements and this is the first step towards helping all SLC students continue achieving their academic goals.

I promise that we will share more information soon.

These updates are intended to keep people informed on our progress as we plan for a return to campus, however recent events have me needing to pause for a moment and reflect.

June is a month dedicated to celebrating diversity and recognizing the challenges faced by many.

Between it being Pride and Indigenous History month, I am reminded how SLC’s value of Belonging embodies our commitment to embrace diversity and honour people's history and traditions. This is more important now than ever.

I am saddened by what I see happening in our world today. On top of a global pandemic where people fear for their health and livelihoods, we see just how poorly we have done as a society at eliminating prejudice and discrimination. I know we are committed as a college to continuing to address this and improve, and I am thankful for the many incredible people who are committed to doing their part and to helping others too. Unfortunately, there is still much to do.

Last night on Instagram, our college was tagged in a video depicting people partying and screaming the lyrics of a song which includes racial slurs and offensive language. This morning I shared a statement confirming that the behaviour shown is extremely disappointing and falls outside of what is deemed acceptable by SLC and society. I can confirm that we will be following up on this situation and using it not just to discuss our college values and responsibilities, but our combined role and impact in society as well.

As I said in the statement, I am thankful many individuals took action and spoke up. I feel like if recent events have shown us anything, it is that we all play a role in helping make real change happen. We can help each other, help our peers, and help our families learn, understand, and commit to being part of a new way forward.

We can and must do better.

First off, I want to thank our staff and faculty who joined us for College Conversations this past Tuesday! We had an impressive 461 folks join us and many great questions were submitted. If I have not yet addressed your question, please watch upcoming internal newsletters for my response.

A quick tip for everyone if you haven’t done so yet - check out ExperienceSLC.ca. For those of you who are not familiar, this is a new microsite that has been prepared to offer prospective students and their families a chance to learn about all of SLC’s programs, supports and services from their very own homes. I am so impressed by the content provided on the page and the insight it gives into our programs and student experience. In addition, this site has recently been updated to include information for international students in addition to the inclusion serving as the home base for a series of free continuing education workshops that start next week. These workshops are open to everyone and offer a range of fantastic general interest topics that could give you or someone you know a shot of motivation to try something new!

For our current students - SLC has launched a live chat feature designed to help SLC students connect directly with Student Services to get assistance and insight on how best to navigate the supports available. The chat feature is answered Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 4:00pm and it can be found on the SLC website on the Student Services page. I am so proud of the hard work and commitment I am witnessing from everyone at SLC as we come together to innovate and ensure our students have what they need to succeed.

To the graduating Class of 2020 - On my early morning bike ride today, I was thinking of you and I must admit, was saddened as today would have been the first of our spring convocations. Today, our grads and their families would have been in Brockville where Dean Doug Roughton, our faculty, staff and volunteers and I would have been both excited and nervous as convocation is the most important day of the year for you and us. Having said that, I’m incredibly impressed with the creative work that our convocation team has done to ensure that you, our graduating students, still feel the sense of pride and accomplishment that you deserve. I cannot wait to personally congratulate each and every one of you when you cross the stage next spring when we celebrate the class of 2020 together. In the meantime, please note that we will continue to post plans and updates as to how we will celebrate you, the Class of 2020 on our dedicated webpage which can be found here.

Beginning next week, I will be sending one mid-week update message each week. I am committed to continuing to keep our community updated but am also aware people are busy and we all get a lot of email. Once a week updates will keep our channel open, hopefully without overwhelming people’s inboxes. And of course if additional information is required to be shared, I will certainly do so as required.

And finally, as our province continues to slowly re-open and our teams continue to work hard planning and preparing for upcoming semesters, I would like to again thank everyone for their patience and dedication. We are getting through these times together, and while our work is not yet finished, I am so proud of the work we continue to do to support our students, each other and communities. Thank you!

I’m happy to be sharing another update to end the week. We continue to consult and collaborate with our colleagues at the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and both Provincial and local Health Authorities to establish guidelines for operating through these times, planning for the summer, fall and beyond. We’re united in our commitment to providing a quality education in a safe and supportive environment for all of our students and employees.

With the start of our Spring/Summer semester underway, our teams are now focused on planning for the summer and how the college will operate having students back on campus who need to complete labs and applied components of their programs. As I’ve been saying all along, we will work with our partners in public health to ensure everyone’s health and safety is protected. I will continue to share plans as to how we will get folks back on our campuses as they are finalized.

For our faculty and staff - I’m looking forward to connecting via Teams with all of you at our next College Conversations which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday May 26th at 10:00am. An invitation was sent to your email and if you did not receive one, please email communications@sl.on.ca to ensure you receive your invite.

While this was a short week, it was certainly a full one. It now seems like spring is really here and I hope you all have the chance to enjoy some fresh air this weekend. Many stores are back open, and while that is exciting news for our local merchants, please remember that physical distancing is still required. I want everyone to stay healthy and safe while businesses take the first steps at opening to the public.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

I am pleased to share with you my Friday update below. If you would prefer to view it in video form, please click here.

I hope you all get the opportunity to enjoy the long weekend! I know I plan on using my time this weekend to be outside as much as possible (and yes even if it’s raining) doing some walks or bikes rides, relaxing, having fun and sharing some laughs with my family. I truly believe that the fresh air, exercise, smiles and laughter is the best thing for our physical and mental health.

I know I’ve been saying this for these last few weeks, but it bears repeating: the dedication and hard work of every single one of you during the pandemic continues to inspire me. Thank you again for making me #proudtobeslc

It’s been another busy week, as a lot of information was shared about our plans for the fall semester. This was the start of an ongoing conversation between us all and updates will continue to be shared with you as plans are finalized. Please be sure to check your SLC email, follow SLC on our social media platforms and keep returning to our dedicated COVID page here.

For our students who started the spring/summer semester this week – We are here to help you achieve your academic and career goals. Please remember that we offer many supports to aid in your success whether they related to academics to IT to health and wellness. Please reach out if you need assistance at any stage and for a list of all supports in place, visit our Student Support page here.

For our students who are graduating this year - Plans to celebrate the Class of 2020 are also taking shape and information is now live on the SLC website. Please make sure to register to receive your Celebration Box as a start to our celebration of your achievements, the link will be shared soon. More details are coming so please stay tuned.

For our students requiring access to campus to complete outstanding program components – We know you are anxious to finish outstanding lab and other hands-on practical work. As I mentioned in my note on Wednesday, we are developing a plan to re-open our campuses and I promise that getting you back to finish is a top priority for all of us.

For students looking forward to the fall - We are excited to welcome you, and promise your student experience will reflect what we value as a college: putting students first, practicing teamwork in all that we do, ensuring everyone feels they belong, and operating with integrity and innovation. As I mentioned earlier this week, we are working hard to confirm plans for the fall and for each of your programs and I promise to continue to share important details with you.

In closing, I am being optimistic, and see the gradual re-opening of the province as a sign that we are making progress. I remain grateful for each and every one of you, and want to remind you to keep up the good work of keeping yourselves, your families, and community healthy and safe.

Have a great long weekend everyone!

I want to start this note by welcoming our students who are starting their spring/summer semester today! While I understand you’d rather be on campus with your classmates and faculty, I also know that a lot of hard work and planning has gone into delivering this semester for you. Your support teams are here, as always, so please reach out if you need any assistance. Make sure you continue to visit the student FAQ pages, and the COVID-19 information pages as information there is updated regularly to answer your questions.

As we start a new week, I would like to remind SLC staff and faculty to nominate any deserving colleagues for an SLC Employee Award. Nominations are due by May 29 and recipients will be honoured in June. It is always good to recognize others who make a positive difference and I encourage people to take this opportunity to nominate someone. If you have any questions, please email ODLearning@sl.on.ca.

As we all look to the future, I know everyone is anxious to hear about our plans for the fall 2020 semester. Please know that various teams are working hard and are planning for a range of scenarios. Our community will be informed shortly, and it will be an ongoing conversation as more details are confirmed in coming weeks. I know we will work together as a college and a community to ensure we provide a safe and productive learning experience for our students.

And finally, I ask faculty and staff to watch your email for an invitation to the next College Conversations virtual town hall which will take place on May 26 at 10:00am. It was terrific to connect with so many staff and faculty at our last virtual town hall, and I look forward to connecting again and continuing the conversation.

Have a great week folks and stay safe!

Happy Friday! I hope you haven’t put your winter jacket away yet as we head into a bit of a chilly weekend. Let’s hope it doesn’t last too long.

Today I have an important update for our graduates! I am pleased to confirm that we have some details regarding the Class of 2020 and plans to mark your accomplishments and celebrate. The team in the Registrar’s Office have created a web page at stlawrencecollege.ca/classof2020 with information that will be updated as details are confirmed. This page includes an FAQ specifically designed to answer questions from our graduating students. It also includes information how to receive your credential and when graduates will be able to celebrate convocation in a meaningful way with faculty and your families.

For our staff and faculty - Save the Date! The next College Conversations with staff and faculty is coming on Tuesday, May 26th at 10:00am. You will receive an email invitation next week for your calendar. I look forward to connecting with you all again and hope we can have as many of us together as before.

In closing, Premier Ford has been indicating, cautiously, how the province will start to gradually reopen in the upcoming weeks. I want to thank everyone for respecting the advice of public health and staying home, staying safe, observing physical distancing and taking a measured approach which has helped keep our communities healthy. Let’s keep it up!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the warmth and the sun.

I am thrilled to see such positive responses to our news last week about the new name for SLC’s varsity teams. The new name unifies our three campuses under one identity: St. Lawrence Surge. We’ve heard from former athletes, coaches, and athletes sharing their excitement about the new brand. Make sure you watch the launch video and be introduced to the SLC Surge, visit the SLC athletics web page and social media on Twitter @SLCSurge, and Instagram @SLC Surge.

We recently had news from the provincial government about the gradual return and loosening of some measures for the province of Ontario. For us in the college sector, that means our teams are mapping how and when we can return to campus. In the meantime, for the most part, staff and faculty are working remotely, and classes continue via alternate delivery for our spring/summer semester. I continue to be impressed by how our students and teams have adapted and come together. I love seeing our values of innovation, teamwork, and putting students first being demonstrated by so many.

We are also continuing to plan for a proper celebration for our Class of 2020 and I look forward to sharing details as those plans solidify. This will be a big week for announcements and progress, so please stay tuned and continue to monitor our website for updates.

Finally, a reminder that this is Canadian Mental Health week. Now more than ever is a good time to reach out if you need help, or to suggest some supports to anyone you know is struggling. SLC supports for students are listed here, staff and faculty can find resources through Employee and Family Assistance, found here. I hope anyone who could use some help feels free to speak up and seek support.

Let’s make this a great week where we continue to work together, support each other, and connect.

I am pleased to share today’s video in plain text below or through a video which you can check out here.

It’s hard to believe we are now into the month of May, still in isolation away from each other, and that our spring/summer semester is about to start. I want to thank our faculty and staff who are hard at work getting courses ready for alternative delivery starting May 11, and I appreciate all your efforts to create a positive and fulsome learning experience for our students.

We had exciting news last night as SLC Athletics unveiled the new team name and branding for St. Lawrence College - the result of a months-long consultative and creative process. We can’t wait to welcome the St. Lawrence Surge to our courts and fields and I am so proud of everyone involved from Athletics to alumni to our student governments and our marketing and graphic design teams. I really look forward to cheering our teams on! The name and branding of Surge is an important homage to the waterway that unites us – the St. Lawrence River. Just like the river with its strength, power, and historical importance to our communities, I am thrilled that our tri-campus college teams are now united under this one name. You can check out the exciting launch video here.

In closing, I know that everyone is getting anxious to learn what the fall will bring and I promise to share a plan with you very soon. As I have continued to state, we are taking our direction from our Ministry and the experts in our public health offices to ensure to put your safety first. We remain committed to our students in helping them achieve their academic goals and we will continue to do so both now and in the future.

So, until further notice, I hope you will each do your part to stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home. Have a great weekend folks!

What a glorious Saturday we had! I hope you all found time to enjoy some sunshine, rest and relaxation. Some of our municipal conservation area trails opened again, and that is certainly welcome news for hikers and cyclists wanting to get outdoors into nature while maintaining physical distancing.

We heard the news on Friday that Ontario’s K-12 public schools will be closed until the end of May. I know school closures present struggles for those folks with young children who are balancing homeschooling with their full-time jobs and working at home. We’re all in this together, and we will continue to be flexible with all our faculty and staff who are being particularly challenged with competing demands right now.

While this news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, we’re also grateful to hear that the provincial government will unveil its plan for gradual reopening of businesses and perhaps partially easing some physical distancing requirements. We know this is a welcome sign to our local businesses, and I feel we can be confident our government is acting cautiously, weighing carefully public health concerns with the need to start up the economy again.

In one of the biggest innovative pivots for the college, this week SLC will be offering its first virtual program showcase, hosted at ExperienceSLC. I want to thank again the hardworking teams in Marketing and Recruitment who created this digital experience for our applicants who are seeking detailed program information to help them make a decision about where to attend post-secondary.

Thank you also to our faculty and student services staff who created program presentations and are taking their expertise online to answer questions and engage with applicants. This is a critical time in our recruitment cycle and being there to answer questions and show prospective students everything SLC has to offer is why we’re here. The beauty of this format is that it will live beyond this week, available “on demand” for anyone in Canada and around the world, showing them why they should come to SLC.

May 11th is just around the corner, as our spring/summer semester begins. I know our faculty are hard at work to bring their semesters to the digital space for delivery. Thank you again for your ability to adapt in a short window. I want to remind you that the student FAQ on the website is live and updated frequently with new information as it becomes available.

In this week’s newsletter I’ll be answering more questions from our College Conversations. Thanks to everyone who shared feedback and asked questions. I am always so happy to engage with you all and connect as a community.

Here's to a great week and remember: stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home.

Welcome to the weekend!  Let’s hope some warmer weather is coming our way so we can retire our winter jackets. To those in our community celebrating Ramadan, I wish you Ramadan Mubarak.

I am going to break down today’s updates and news into categories so folks can focus on what matters most to them.  If you prefer to review today’s update in video form you can do so here.

Here we go…

Financial Aid and Support for our students

There was big news this week from government in terms of providing financial aid supports and reliefs to post-secondary students!

We are pleased with the federal government’s announcement of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, as well as changes and enhancements to Canada Student Grants and Loan programs that will help our students obtain financial and employment assistance to enter the workforce and continue their studies.

For our international students, we were pleased to see that beginning immediately, the government has removed the restriction limiting international students’ ability to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while attending classes.  Lifting this ban will allow many of our students the ability to apply for more hours of work in essential service fields such as health care and supply/food chains thus assisting with covering their living costs. Details on this can be found here.

More details will be released in the coming days about how students can access these benefits, and we will be sure to communicate this information to our student community.

An important reminder that SLC also has its own Hardship Bursary, to apply for financial assistance. You will find information about it on the all students, domestic and international open for SLC website.

Spring/Summer Semester

Our work to support students and to provide quality education continues. In fact, as we gear up for the spring/summer semester using alternate delivery, SLC staff and faculty are showing incredible flexibility, resiliency, and dedication to provide our students with the best possible learning experience.

Fall Semester Status

I’m aware that the biggest issue on everyone’s mind right now is what will happen in the fall 2020. 

Please be assured that we are planning for every scenario and that those details will be shared as soon as possible. Our top priority is, and always will be the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. For us here at SLC, our decisions with regard to the fall semester will be guided by provincial status, and the recommendations of our public health experts.

SLC Program Showcase (or…the NEW Open House)

As a final note, April 27th to 30th is our Program Showcase, a first for SLC, as we take our traditional spring Open House online at  ExperienceSLC.ca. Although I will miss seeing our Open House volunteers and prospective students and their families in the halls, I am so pleased we have found a way to showcase our incredible college and our world-class programs in this new way!. Shout out to the Recruitment and Marketing teams who have worked incredibly hard in a short window of time to bring this showcase to prospective students, and to the faculty and staff offering program and information sessions. 

As always folks, I miss you all.  Please continue to maintain your social distancing by staying home and staying well!

Hello folks, I hope your weekend at home was rejuvenating and restful. I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel hopeful about the world getting back to “normal”, whatever that may mean in our own lives. We don’t know when this crisis will end, but we do know that it will. Until then, let’s keep adhering to the advice of our experts in public health and practice social distancing.

Some of you may be seeing all kinds of “inspirational” messages on social media about using this time to learn a new language, write the next great Canadian novel, or get into the best shape of your life in your home gym or outside in the yard. Rather than feel inspired, some of you may feel annoyed by those feel-good types of messages.

What I’d like to share with you are just a few helpful things that I’ve found to break up the day at home, maintain wellness, and keep up with my usual level of fitness. First, I like to work in some fitness every day. That may mean a bike ride in the morning, a walk at lunchtime, and some stretching throughout the day. It’s so important to get up from your desk at regular intervals. Next, I’m an avid reader, as many of you know, and I recently started using my Kindle again to access online books. Personally, my wife Theresa is really pleased about this as my book obsession has taken over the loft with all of the books I’ve purchased over the years! In past notes I’ve shared that we have great resources from all of our local libraries. I was so happy to hear that some of you used this tip to access their latest reads.

As a friendly reminder, here are links to navigate to in order to check out local libraries in KingstonBrockville and Cornwall. If you must have a real new book in your hands, please support your locally-owned bookstore for purchases. Here in Kingston, Novel Idea offers contactless purchasing and either curbside pick-up or free delivery. In Brockville, there is Book Trader and in Cornwall, Red Cart Books. Both of these shops are closed on Monday so I wasn’t able to find out if they offer curbside pick-up as well, however a quick phone call tomorrow morning will determine that. Let’s try as best we can to support our local merchants in this tough economy.

I want to also suggest that we stay in touch with each other, outside of work-related calls and online meetings. Update each other on how you’re doing at home, send me a picture of your cat, dog or pet fish. If you’re one of the unlucky ones, I may share a clip of my latest guitar strumming exploits with you. I say unlucky because I’m not a good guitar player by any stretch of the definition however it helps me to unwind and makes me smile.

I want to hear from you still as if we’re meeting in our halls. I really miss that connection as I’m sure many of you do. Hard work continues as our faculty and staff prepare for the spring/summer semester, and our students continue to bravely navigate new territory as they continue their studies.

I’m happy to see the URSLC app updates have begun again as the app is an important way to help students engage with each other. If you’re speaking with a student, make sure they have it downloaded on their device. For more information on the app, please click here or download the app from the app store or google play.

Thank you for continued dedication and caring – watch for this week’s newsletter where more questions from College Conversations will be answered. As always, you make me #proudtobeSLC

I am pleased to share with you today’s update. It can viewed in plain text below or in video format by clicking here.

Welcome to another “alternate” Friday. Today is the end of the winter semester, a big deal for a lot of us. Our commitment to our students was to help you finish your term, and for some of you, graduate from your program. This health crisis will become a story you will all tell in the future, as it has changed the course of the global story and shaped your time at SLC. I know it hasn’t been easy, but your faculty, our staff, and your family and peers are all extremely proud of you.

It was a busy week at SLC with our first ever virtual College Conversations event for our faculty and staff. You all know how much I enjoy talking to everyone in person, but I was thrilled with the results of the Microsoft Teams platform to make the connection. We broke an attendance record with 520 people tuning in! Thanks to everyone who took the time to connect and ask questions in the online chat. If I didn’t get to your question, we’ll be addressing more in an upcoming issue of the college newsletter. You should have received an email with a link to the event recording and a feedback form to submit more questions until April 29. If you didn’t get that, please email communications@sl.on.ca.

As you may have read in the newsletter, SLC continues to support our communities in any way we can. We are working with the Brockville General Hospital staff who are using our residence as a safe place to isolate from having treated patients thus keeping their families safe. In Cornwall, we have loaned the hospital beds from our simulation labs, and in Kingston, you may have seen that we also donated lab supplies to help in the production of hand sanitizer. I want to thank our SLC staff for the coordination work it takes to arrange these donations and loans. No small feat.

As a quick confirmation, with the state of emergency in Ontario now extended, we have cancelled events on our campuses through to the end of August 2020. It’s difficult to do and share this with you, but it will allow us to focus on student programs and hopefully prepare to return in the fall.

Whether you’re finishing your program, continuing into next semester online, or are a valued member of the SLC staff and faculty teams, please stay connected to SLC, as a lot is happening. Plans are progressing to celebrate the Class of 2020, and how we’re supporting students whose programs are continuing this spring and summer. We are also planning for fall, as much as we can, with the information before us now. This is an ever-changing situation as you all know so please keep checking your email, follow SLC on social media, read the newsletter, and stay in touch!

I am pleased to share with you today’s update. It is available in video form by clicking here otherwise the plain text is below.

I want to wish all of you a wonderful long weekend and whether you’re celebrating Easter, Passover, or just enjoying the promise of spring, I hope you all have a chance to unwind. Let’s remember at the end of this week, we’re one week closer to being out of this challenging time and back to normal.

As we work and study remotely away from campus, let’s take some time to acknowledge and thank those who continue to leave home to go into work each day. The store clerks, truck drivers and delivery staff who are making sure our essential needs like food and gas are available for purchase. The security and housekeeping teams keeping our essential service businesses open and safe. And of course those who face more personal risk head on such as nurses, paramedics, firefighters, personal support workers and medical lab technicians – many of whom were our students not long ago. These folks are out there, caring for those who need it. Let’s take care of them by staying home and continuing to observe physical distancing. That's how we can give back to our communities at this critical time.

For our employees - Next week on Wednesday, April 15th at 10:00am we will be holding our first virtual College Conversations event. I hope you all plan to “be there” where I look forward to sharing updates, answering your questions, and hearing your feedback.

For our students – I continue to be impressed and proud of your ability to adapt to our ever-changing circumstance. Your efforts to continue on with your studies through alternative means will not always be easy however our faculty and student support staff are here to help you however we can. You can do this!

And finally, please know that each of you are in my thoughts. I miss your faces, I miss our conversations and I miss seeing you in the halls. Please look after yourselves and your families so we can get back to our beautiful campuses soon.

I hope everyone had a chance to rest and recharge over the weekend. It was great to see the sun come out!

I’m starting this week with another update, and this is exciting because we are starting to plan ahead as best we can with a feeling of optimism.

In the Admissions and Recruitment world, our teams have been conducting virtual advising appointments with incoming students who will be joining us in the fall, and calls are taking place with students who have offers. In fact, over 3,400 future SLC students have been called by our recruiting team, to answer questions and discuss details about our programs.

As well, we are starting to plan for how best to celebrate the Class of 2020. While we won’t be able to hold our usual Convocation ceremonies, we remain proud of our graduates and their achievements in completing their programs. More information on those plans will be shared as they unfold.

On April 15 we will host our first ever virtual College Conversations event for staff and faculty; you should have received the calendar invitation that was sent last Friday. If you didn’t receive it, please contact IT to make sure you’re on the AllNotes distribution list. I’m looking forward to “connecting” and sharing updates. Please note while this is something I love doing in person, the virtual world will have to suffice for now.

This is a short work week with Good Friday and the Easter weekend coming up. I know many will be celebrating the holidays, and in this era of physical distancing, it will definitely feel strange to not gather in the usual ways with our loved ones. I hope we can all enjoy the time in spite of this and remember our collective responsibility to each other and our communities.

As always, I continue to be proud of the ways SLC and the whole college sector is helping community and supporting students. As of late last week, colleges in Ontario had donated over 300,000 items to health care organizations to protect their teams on the frontlines of patient care. It goes without saying that SLC will continue to help and contribute in any way we can.

Hello folks, If you would rather watch a video of today’s message, you can find it here. It’s not a perfect “take” but like many of you, I am new to creating my own videos. I miss Mike Kusters and the incredible student team at SPARK that usually guide me through this! A written message is also included below where I share the links that are mentioned.

Another work week is ending, in what is feeling more and more like an alternate universe. This time is made even more challenging because none of us know how or when this is going to end. But folks, it will end, and we will come through this collective experience stronger and together. My deepest hope is that everyone continues to do their part, social distancing to ensure we flatten the curve of the pandemic.

We had to make some tough decisions this week. In a message sent a few days ago, we confirmed we will not be welcoming the expected number of new students for the upcoming spring and summer semesters. No date is known for when we can re-open our campuses for in-person classes, and decisions on international travel restrictions hang in the balance, therefore only returning students and programs already offered online, such as ECE will run for spring/summer.

For our Students - We have updated the FAQ, as well as a list of programs to clarify what those of you who are returning can expect. You’ll find it on the SLC website. Please remember your Student Success Facilitators are available remotely, and you are still able to access their services which include academic counselling and advising.

For people in our community with school-age kids - We know the K-12 school closures are making it extra stressful as you are trying to work and/or study. We will be as flexible as possible to make things workable for students and staff as home/work life schedules are worked out and people do their best between now and when schools re-open.

To help with people’s planning, HR will be sharing tips next week around planning your day when you have school-aged children, and we’d love for you to share any tips about what’s working for you in terms of self-care, maintaining connections with friends, family, and colleagues. You can send tips to our communications or HR team. I was so heartened to read Jimmy’s story out of Cornwall in this week’s Our College News. His experience as an international student adjusting to alternate learning was inspiring, largely due to his positive outlook.

Thank you once again for the resiliency and cooperation the entire SLC community is showing. I have never been more #proudtobeslc!

As I mentioned last week, we have begun looking ahead and assessing what these unusual times will mean for future semesters. Due to the uncertainty surrounding how long we will be observing social distancing, we have made some decisions regarding the upcoming spring/summer 2020 semester.

Please note that in addition to what you will read below, we are putting together an FAQ that will contain more information and details. It will be shared with you by the end of this week. I would like to remind students, if you haven’t already, to remember the list of supports for students found here.

Decision 1 - Programs running between May and August 2020 will take place via alternate (off-campus, virtual) delivery.

We cannot commit to hosting students back on our campus at a set time, as we don’t know when the COVID-19 situation will improve. This means a return to in-person, on-campus program delivery will not occur throughout the spring and summer months. I know we are all looking forward to things returning to normal, however we are making this decision in the best interest of our students to allow everyone time to prepare accordingly.

Decision 2 - Programs occurring throughout the spring and summer months will only consist of returning students or new students taking programs that were already being offered online.

We will not actively recruit new students to join us for programs taking place between May-August. Any programs already designed to be delivered on-line (like ECE) will continue to accept new students. To provide some perspective, we had projected approximately 1,500 students for the May semester. By having no new intake, we expect to have just over 1,100.

This is largely due to the fact so much is undetermined related to international students and travel. The May semester has historically been a large one for us to host a new cohort of international students, and we cannot guarantee anyone signing up for a new program in May could join us and receive the kind of educational experience we promise our students. Therefore, no new intake will occur in May and any students with a current offer will have their acceptance deferred to the next available intake. We will continue to engage with our international students to ensure that whenever they begin their studies, they have up-to-date information.

Decision 3 - The May semester will begin on May 11 and end on July 31. Grades will be due August 10.

The deadline to post Winter semester grades was extended to April 28, in recognition of our current extenuating circumstances. Starting the spring semester on May 11 still provides faculty and staff with two weeks to prepare for the new term.

I know this is a lot of information to take in, and that you will have questions about specific program and situations.

Please note that information has been prepared that lists each program and clarifies what these decisions mean. That table and an FAQ will be shared by the end of this week.

Please note this information does not apply to apprenticeship programs, as they are handled separately from our regular full-time programs. We will communicate directly with apprenticeship students and employees with specific information.

As we continue to adjust to the current circumstances, I want you to know that we are keeping you and your success in sharp focus. Ensuring we do everything possible to help our current students succeed in finishing the year, graduating from programs, while ensuring incoming students have an optimal experience demonstrates how we are living our SLC values.

For anyone who would prefer this content in a video, click here.

Here we are at week three of this new world none of us could have imagined just a short time ago. I want to take this opportunity to talk about the different ways we can look after ourselves and support each other.

Our HR department is sending regular emails to staff and faculty with tips and tricks about working from home, taking care of your mental health, getting enough physical activity, and more. Watch for these updates on Mondays and Wednesdays. We appreciate their efforts to stay in touch with the SLC community in this supportive and informative way.

One of the things I’m finding helpful is to take breaks from the constant stream of bad news. If you’re not sure what to do for a digital/news break I can suggest your local public library. With the library branches closed, you can get digital books and other library resources online. In addition to libraries, now is a great time to explore podcasts, many of which are free.

We’re all having a lot of Skype meetings these days and I'd like to suggest where possible that people use the video function over voice. It’s ok to be dressed down, and I know pets and children are making some cameos which is perfect! My cat Hermann just thinks I am talking to myself. Seeing each other “live” brings increased energy and connection to our conversations.

Speaking of conversations, we are working on making the next College Conversations an online event. Watch for news about format and dates in the coming days. This is just one of the ways we’re using available technology and adapting as we go.

I’d like to remind all staff of the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) which provides support for mental health, financial planning, counselling and more. There is also the Therapy Assistance Online app (TAO) for all staff and students, offering a wide range of mental health supports.

As always, please reach out to me anytime with comments, suggestions, or general feedback. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again, whenever that may be. In the meantime, stay safe, everyone.

As we reach the end the first week of alternate delivery, I am inspired how everyone has handled a staggering amount of change in a short amount of time. I wanted to provide an update for our students, staff, and faculty as this week has been a busy one.

Other large initiatives are continuing as we help our community through these unusual times. We donated three ventilators to local hospitals, in addition to a large number of gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and personal protective equipment (PPE). We also loaned eight 3D printers to produce mask components for a joint initiative with Queen’s University. We will continue to do whatever we can, to help our communities through this crisis and we have more supplies being donated as we speak - all with a goal to help protect our frontline healthcare workers, many of whom are our own graduates.

At our college, planning has now shifted to looking ahead while continuing to assist folks with technological issues around connectivity and adjusting to remote work. We have decided to extend the cancellation date of events to the end of April. This means any events booked on or off our campuses with external guests attending, or internal gatherings planned between now and May 1, 2020 will not occur.

An email was sent yesterday to SLC faculty asking them to follow-up with students who haven’t been in touch and to have Student Success Facilitators reach out to them.

Students, if you’ve not been in touch with your faculty, please reach out and let them know how you are managing. We are making sure you still have access to supports and services. Please visit the website for resources and contact information.

Staff and Faculty, please make sure you are connecting with each other and within your network for support. These are unusual times and making sure we stay connected can help.

As we continue to work with our local public health experts, and receive announcements from provincial and federal governments, I will continue to share updates. Please remember the information listed here including an FAQ for current and prospective students. Any other questions can be sent to covid@sl.on.ca.

In closing I would like to encourage folks to connect, to stay positive, and to continue to practice good social distancing. In short, stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home.

As we head into week two of these most unusual times, I hope you were able to rest somewhat this weekend. I’m proud of our faculty who were working hard to adapt to delivering their curriculum via alternate means starting today. I’m also proud of our staff who are supporting students and college functions while working remotely. I have a few updates for our college leaders and managers.

First, the “This is SLC” newsletter will return this week after a brief hiatus. The newsletter is an important way to stay in touch with our tri-campus community. Look for this week’s issue in your inboxes on Thursday and please share news stories here for an upcoming issue. Stories of innovation, teamwork, putting students first, and adaptability would be great to share.

To help you and your teams support our students, an FAQ for students is live on our website. This answers questions for current, international, and graduating students. The FAQ is a live document and will be updated as needed, and as more questions and answers emerge.

On the provincial front, Colleges Ontario and the Ministry are organizing colleges and conversations to best represent the needs of our students. Lobbying for funding to help with IT constraints and navigating financial strain, and other issues is ongoing, and SLC is working with our college counterparts to deliver consistent messages about addressing the needs of our students during these challenging times. I will continue to update everyone as these conversations evolve.

As you’ve no doubt heard, all levels of government and public health officials are issuing strong messages to those returning from March Break. The message is clear: You must observe strict quarantine and self-isolation for 14 days after returning to Canada from abroad in order to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. I trust everyone in our community will abide by these instructions and share with everyone you know. To this end, I’d like to remind you that access to our campuses is now prohibited, with permission granted only to those already approved as being essential. Requests from non-essential staff to access campus from this point forward will be declined as we ensure we properly practice social distancing.

If you or your team have any questions related to COVID-19, email covid@sl.on.ca and the communications team will connect you with the information you need. As we continue to navigate these times, remember to help support each other and check-in with your colleagues, everyone is doing their best as we transition to working remotely. I will provide updates as new information or decisions become available, which might not be daily. In the meantime, I am here for any questions or if you want to connect.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home.

The past 10 days have been challenging for all of us to navigate on a professional level, and indeed personally as well. As we prioritize the health and safety of our loved ones and ensure we do our part to reduce the possible spread of infection, an incredible amount of work has been done to ensure our students can successfully complete their semester.

As the entire college sector moves toward delivering the balance of the winter semester off campus, I want to acknowledge our SLC faculty and the team in the Academic division, who have worked unbelievably hard to facilitate these uncharted waters. I’m continually inspired by everyone’s hard work, dedication and commitment to our students.

As you will recall, we took this week to figure out an alternate method of program delivery. I can confirm that off-campus delivery will remain in effect to the end of the term. The information you will receive about your programs has been planned and organized as efficiently as possible. These plans are now starting to be communicated to students.

Starting at noon tomorrow, Saturday March 21st, students will begin seeing the plans for alternate program delivery on Blackboard course pages.

The new plans take effect Monday, March 23rd. If you visit Blackboard and don’t see an updated plan for a particular course, then it is possible no changes were necessary.

For specific questions related to your courses, please contact your faculty member using your SLC email or through Blackboard.

For questions related to your Program of Study, please contact your Program Coordinator, using your SLC email.

As a general reminder, access to SLC campuses continues to be restricted. Students, non-essential staff, and members of the general public are not to come to campus until further notice. Student services and academic support continue to be offered remotely or virtually; you will find information about accessing these services here.

Please remember SLC-specific updates about COVID-19 are being posted here. We ask our community to continue to abide by government and public health directives to self-isolate when necessary, and practice social distancing for the health of yourself, your family, and your community.

We have all been navigating new circumstances this week. I know I speak for our staff, faculty, and partners when I say we are pulling for our students as they take on completing course work in new ways. Thank you for continued patience and empathy while we help each other.

I want to touch base with some important reminders for yourselves, your teams, and our students.

It’s critical for everyone at this time to read their SLC email, as this is the single most important way we are staying in touch with our college community. While we are continually updating the website and social media, email is the most immediate method of communication. If you know of anyone on your team(s) who are NOT receiving SLC emails sent to ALLNOTES, please ensure they contact ITS@sl.on.ca to be added to the distribution list.

This is especially important for our students: please do what you can to help ensure students are checking their SLC email and that they are reading their messages. I cannot stress this enough. Information will be coming tomorrow about alternate program delivery and it will be important for everyone to be informed and ready going into next week.

I would like to remind everyone that if you are meeting with your peers or teams during this time, please use remote options to dial in or connect via Skype as your first option. If you must meet in person, ensure appropriate social distancing can occur, also remember that multiple groups will not meet in the same room one after the other. Please also remember that campus access is restricted to essential staff only.

IT is dealing with large volume of requests right now, and they are doing an amazing job. Let’s help reduce their load where possible, and if you are having IT issues, please check the How to Service Guide on our website first for help.

A final note for today, to help our community stay aligned. As expected, our students are incredibly disappointed the spring convocation events will not continue as planned. I want to assure everyone - and we are telling our students this too - that we will work on a plan to celebrate students and their achievements.

Stay healthy, stay safe, stay in touch.

I firstly want to thank everyone for continued patience as we work through this evolving situation. I am writing with important updates and reminders for SLC students. Our staff and faculty are copied here to keep our community on the same page.

Students – you will be receiving information this week about how to complete winter semester coursework. As you all know, classes were cancelled March 16 to 20, and alternate program delivery is being used starting March 23. There will be no in-person classes happening next week, please do not come to campus, or attend placement. I need to stress the importance of checking your SLC email regularly for updates and I would like to ask you to remind your friends and classmates to do the same.

In these stressful times the health and safety of our students, employees, and communities remains our top priority. To this end, I encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing and good infection prevention. Wash your hands, stay home if you are ill or suspect you could have been exposed to COVID-19, and remember there are resources to help people who need support.

1. I want to make sure everyone has information about Student Services that are still available on a modified, virtual basis. The student information page for COVID-19 information is updated, and you can find it here.

2. A resource guide for students is on the website to help you answer common IT questions. This “how to” guide can be found on the SLC website here.

3. This is a stressful time, and college resources continue to be available to students requiring counselling. For other resources, Good2Talk is available for 24-hour assistance on the phone or via text message at 1-866-925-5454/Text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Updates about COVID-19 are available on our website. Please check back frequently, as we will continue to have new developments to share with our community. You can also stay updated via SLC social media channels: Twitter @whatsinsideslc, Facebook @stlawrencecollege.ca, and Instagram @stlawrencecollege.

I have a final announcement which I regret having to make. Our traditional Spring convocation ceremonies will not take place this year. When I consider the extent and expected length of the COVID-19 situation and our responsibility to observe social distancing, it is simply not feasible for us to hold an event of this scale and magnitude in a few short months. I am sorry.

If you have questions about COVID-19 please contact covid@sl.on.ca.

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, St. Lawrence College (SLC) was informed of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our Cornwall campus community. This individual was diagnosed at a local hospital, treated, and is at home under self-isolation. Upon receiving this news, SLC took extreme preventative measures to ensure our campus community including students, staff, and faculty were not exposed.

These preventative measures included restricting access to campus until further notice to determine the extent of possible exposure. Elevated infection prevention protocols were undertaken, which included thoroughly cleaning communal spaces and specific areas where the individual may have been.

We have been assured by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EHOU) that they have contacted anyone who was at risk for possible exposure. If you were not contacted by the EHOU, you had no direct risk of exposure to COVID-19 from the diagnosed person associated with the Cornwall campus.

SLC can confirm that the Cornwall campus cleaning protocols are complete. However, with the provincial state of emergency announced this morning, and federal requests to practice social distancing, limited access to our college campuses remains in place.

I would like to remind everyone, that effective today Tuesday, March 17, we will be limiting admittance to the campus to one entrance only, for short-term access. People coming to campus will sign-in with campus security. This tri-campus measure reduces pressure on our cleaning and security staff, who must be on campus, as well. We ask anyone needing things from their office or campus to get it prior to 4:00 p.m. today as going forward the expectation is that teams are working from home. These measures will be in place until further notice.

Please visit the St. Lawrence College COVID-19 webpage for updates.

I’m writing to update everyone of recent decisions at SLC in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.

In light of the recent directives from the federal government and public health for intensified social distancing, and to reduce pressure for our staff, effective immediately, we are asking people to work from home, starting Tuesday, March 17. We are informing students and members of the general public not to come to campus. This is a tri-campus decision intended to help our communities flatten the curve against the spread of this virus.

As well, starting Tuesday, March 17, we will be limiting admittance to our campuses to one entrance only, for short-term access. People coming to campus will sign-in with campus security. This will reduce pressure on our cleaning and security staff, who must be on campus, as well, this measure will allow for easier tracking by public health, should the need arise. We ask anyone needing things from their office or campus to get it prior to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. These measures will be in place until further notice.

Students living on campus in residence will be asked to go home. Residence staff are available to help students with decisions and planning. We understand that international and a few other students may need to remain in residence, and our residence management teams are prepared to ensure their needs are met.

The college has defined essential services as those required to support alternate delivery of academic programs and keep basic operating functions happening. Unless your manager confirms you perform an essential service, you will be asked to work from home. Essential services that will continue during this time (but that may be conducted from off-campus where possible) are payroll, HR (excluding organizational development), custodial, IT, security, and facility management services.

All student placements are suspended pending further notice. We are doing our part to limit interactions in the community and alleviate pressure on organizations who are trying to make their own plans. Information will be shared with students in coming days about how their course requirements will be met.

We continue to work on alternate delivery methods that will allow our students to finish the winter semester. Faculty will be contacting their students and classes to inform them of new delivery plans. I would ask students to wait to hear from their faculty, as they are currently working very hard to ensure learning outcomes are met and new methods of course delivery are confirmed. I ask everyone to monitor their email and/or Blackboard for updates, as well as college social media accounts.

In addition to the federal travel advisory asking people to self-isolate after returning to Canada, we are asking members of our community with someone in their household who just got back to Canada to also self-isolate for the prescribed 14 days. This additional precaution is in recognition of the importance of family units, and to alleviate pressure for people.

We have a dedicated and professional team working around the clock to respond to this global pandemic. I cannot thank them enough for their work, and I also want to thank the entire SLC community for your patience as we figure this unprecedented situation out, at times minute to minute. Please watch for future correspondence regarding future events such as convocation.

As always, please refer to our website for updates.

I would like to assure our community we are responding accordingly and are taking an abundance of caution. The decision to close was made to ensure appropriate social distancing could occur within our campus community and allow extra cleaning protocols to take place. I appreciate the care and consideration being shown for our students and community partners.

While the COVID-19 situation is new territory for us as a college, campus, and community I am confident in the team working on this, and know we are being diligent as we look at the multiple factors. As everyone knows, we had already begun to limit events and travel in order to do our part as responsible community citizens. We continue to act in the best interest of our students and staff.

A member of the SLC Cornwall campus community has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a recent trip to the United States. They were diagnosed at a local hospital, treated, and are at home under self-isolation. 

Effective immediately, the Cornwall campus of St. Lawrence College is closed. This means no employees, students, or members of the community are to access the campus. We are taking the appropriate precautionary measures and will let our community know when campus opens again. 

Please note SLC students from the Cornwall campus in all programs are instructed to not attend placement until further notice. This is an additional precautionary measure while staff who support our students during placement are not on campus. 

SLC would like to assure our community we are responding accordingly and are taking an abundance of caution. We continue to work with the local public health authorities, and appreciate the care and consideration being shown for our students and community partners.

I wanted to provide an update as there have been several recent developments related to COVID-19. Firstly, I appreciate the care and consideration being shown within our community for our students and colleagues and I thank everyone for their input to date.

This morning several decisions were confirmed at the provincial level with respect to COVID-19 and college academic operations. While the risk to our community remains low with no active cases at this time and no community spread, St. Lawrence College will suspend in-person classes effective Monday, March 16th for one week. We will move to alternate program delivery and I will elaborate on this below.

Please note our college campuses, residences, and services remain open during this time. Cancelling in-person classes is a measure to further reduce large gatherings and possible exposure/spread of infection. This, in addition to the cancelling of campus events hosting external guests, will permit campus operations to proceed in an environment that is as safe as possible. By remaining open we continue to support our students who depend on things like the computers and internet we provide to continue their studies, and who require access to things like campus health, counselling, or food services.

I am providing some detail about academic operations but wish to assure everyone more information will be coming shortly from leaders within the academic division.

• All in-person classes will be suspended from March 16-20 to allow time for faculty to move classes to an alternative delivery. We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this unprecedented, evolving situation.

• Details about placements, labs, and options for practical instruction will be shared in coming days. Please watch your student email for updates.

As new developments emerge, I encourage everyone to visit the dedicated SLC COVID-19 webpage for updated information and remember the simple things we can all do to help prevent the spread of infection. These include proper handwashing, cough etiquette, and ensuring if you are ill with cold or flu symptoms, that you stay home.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remain our top priority. We will continue to work closely with our public health experts and provincial counterparts to navigate this global situation. Lastly, with elementary and secondary schools closed for the next three weeks we recognize people are dealing with added pressures. We will be providing regular updates and communications in coming days to help people know what options are available to them.

St. Lawrence College (SLC) continues to closely monitor the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

The college has initiated its emergency management plan process and is in regular communication with local public health officials. We will continue to update this site as new information becomes available. We encourage everyone to check this site frequently for new information.

Kingston: KFL&A Public Health
Brockville: Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Cornwall: Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Current information on the status of the COVID-19 virus can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

Now that our fall semester has started, I wanted to share an important reminder about our college community’s health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For students with in-person classes or labs who are required to come to campus: you must stay home if you feel ill or develop any symptoms of COVID-19. Students with an illness or COVID-19 symptoms must NOT come to campus or attend any in-person classes or labs.  This has been conveyed to your professors and a doctor’s note is not required.  This is the advice we have received from our local Public Health authorities.

Reporting Procedure

Any student or employee who suspects they have COVID-19 or who has been tested for COVID-19 must follow the College’s reporting procedures.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person. Symptoms may also vary in different age groups. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:

  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • Feeling feverish
  • Chills
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • Feeling very unwell

St. Lawrence College continues to work closely with public health during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of our College community and the communities we serve. However, we rely on every individual in our College community to do their part to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. I urge all students and employees to take care of themselves and their peers during this critical time, and please stay home if you feel ill.