With an emphasis on the health and safety of students, staff and faculty, Valencia College has released new information on the current operation of its Winter Park campus and a phased reopening plan for Fall 2020 in the wake of COVID-19. The reopening aligns with best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as state and local health agencies. The college is also following guidelines from its planning partner, Orlando Health.
Though plans are not yet finalized, the current plan offers most of the college’s Fall 2020 courses online with registration now open to all students. Face-to-face and mixed-mode courses (classes where some traditional face-to-face instruction is substituted for online learning) are being offered for courses that cannot be offered completely online. The college’s four-phase approach to resume normal operations is being officially referred to as The Roadmap for Reopening.
Under Phase 1, from March to July 31, a majority of the campus’s operations moved online, including teaching, learning, student affairs and learning support. Custodial, maintenance, grounds, security and on-campus store workers have continued to operate on campus while practicing physical distancing.
Phase 2 begins August 1 and is presumed to last until at least December 31. Most of Valencia’s operations will remain online, but some programs, services and departments will resume in-person operation. These include academic and continuing education programs where on-site demonstrations and experiences are necessary for program completion and departments that are needed to prepare faculty for the following phases and wider-scale opening.
During Phase 3, while vulnerable students and faculty who need to remain physically distanced will continue remote activity, additional on-site areas will reopen. All campuses and facilities will be open for regular hours of operation, and non-essential events and gatherings will be considered for approval by campus leadership.
In Phase 4 of Valencia’s reopening, the campus will resume full business operations. All departments, programs, services, facilities and campuses will be fully operational and no enhanced safety measures will be needed to protect the health of students and faculty.
In conjunction with the phased reopening, Valencia is implementing four interdisciplinary taskforces to aid in planning the safe return of students and faculty to campus. Each taskforce contributed to the considerations and regulations concerning the phases for The Roadmap for Reopening.
Currently, Valencia is requiring students, faculty and staff to complete the CDC’s COVID-19 self-checker before coming to campus in addition to wearing face masks, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others, and encouraging frequent hand sanitizing. The college will be releasing additional details as the situation evolves.