Coronavirus Updates: President Gonzales addresses upcoming board meeting, resuming classes

Coronavirus Updates: President Gonzales addresses upcoming board meeting, resuming classes

Board Meeting

In light of the evolving situation with COVID-19, and social distancing recommendations, Mr. Flores, Board Chair and President Gonzales reviewed the board agenda and have decided to postpone the scheduled meeting on March 19th until April 16th. The board is receiving updates from administration on a regular basis as we transition to an online/remote format. Should the need arise for a special meeting, the meeting will be in compliance with the social distancing recommendations, posting requirements and utilize telecommunications.

Campus Update

Our leadership team worked throughout spring break to prepare our college’s precautionary response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Our strategy has been one of proactive actions, we assessed the current situation and forecasted to the best of our abilities where we anticipated the situation to be in 5-10 days in the future. In that regard, before any employee was allowed to report to work on Monday, March 16, they were asked to fill out travel forms indicating where, and when they had traveled over spring break. We had individuals that traveled to CDC designated Level 3 countries, had close contact with someone who had traveled to those countries, and they are on self-quarantine as per CDC guidance for 14 days.

In addition, we asked any individual that went on a cruise or traveled through an airport during spring break to stay home 7 days, and if no symptoms could return to work. Both sets of employees are being compensated for working from home this week. As of today, we have no known COVID-19 cases in the SWTJC community.

Our faculty has been busy moving all academic courses to online or remote learning, we are about to begin to transition all dual credit courses online. Our technical programs pose a unique challenge and we are working with each of the faculty in those programs to identify alternatives, we will update the program-specific format going forward for these programs in the coming days. Our outlook is to finish the remainder of this term through an online/remote learning format. Beginning on Monday, March 23 all academic classes will resume, see Canvas for specifics. For technical programs, each of your faculty will contact you directly.

Our leadership team have moved to virtual meetings and are not meeting face to face, this will prepare us in the event that team members must work from home or stricter social distancing policies that may be forthcoming.

I feel good about our current response and expect we will be ready to resume online/remote learning on Monday, March 23rd.

I continue to have daily briefings from the Texas Department of Health, Texas Association of Community College Presidents, and local leaders.

As of right now, there are no confirmed cases in Uvalde, reports of a case in Medina county, and two pending tests in Maverick county.

I will keep providing updates as the situation evolves.

Dr. Hector Gonzales

Southwest Texas Junior College
2401 Garner Field Road
Uvalde, TX 78801