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Updates from President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt:

Update March 30, 2020, 4:20 PM

Hello folks,

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.

Sincerely,

Glenn

p.s. I am pleased to share with how to connect with our local libraries in Kingston, Brockville and Cornwall. Please reach out to your home community library where they can assist you with signing up and getting a library card.

Update March 27, 2020, 12:15 PM

Hello folks,

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.

Thank you,

Glenn Vollebregt

Update March 23, 2020, 3:50 PM

Hello folks,

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.

Sincerely,

Glenn Vollebregt

Update March 20, 2020, 4:10 PM

Hi folks,

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.

Sincerely,

Glenn

Update March 19, 2020, 3:50 PM

Hello folks,

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.

Glenn Vollebregt

Update March 18, 2020, 3:44 PM

Hi Folks,

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.

Thank you,

Glenn Vollebregt

St. Lawrence College Cornwall Campus Update for Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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.

Update March 16, 2020, 2:00 PM

Hi Folks,

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.

Glenn Vollebregt

Update March 15, 2020, 3:57 PM

Update from President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt:

"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.”

Click here to read more

Update March 15, 2020, 11:30 AM

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.

Update on March 13, 2020, 12:47 PM

Update from President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt

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.

Sincerely,

Glenn Vollebregt

Update on March 12, 2020

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.