Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Returning Safely to Teaching, Learning, and Serving
January 28, 2022
Thanks to the employees who participated in this morning’s Information Session. We became aware early in the presentation that the Zoom account that facilitated the session was restricted to 300 attendees. We apologize for this and share the link to the session in its entirety: COVID Info – Westchester Community College (sunywcc.edu). You may also submit any questions via that link, and we will address them in our follow-up FAQ.
We thank representatives from the Westchester County Department of Health, Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler and Dr. Dial Hewlett, Infectious Disease Specialist, who provided a national and local update on the COVID-19 virus and the Omicron variant. We are optimistic that the precautions we are following will allow us to continue to be on campus to provide the teaching, learning, and in-person support that so many of our students want and need.
The Pandemic Response Team, which has been meeting regularly since February 2020, will continue its work to update the college community and to share information and data on how we can best protect ourselves, our loved ones, students, and the college community. As we return to campus this Monday, January 31, please be sure to always wear your mask when you are in any college building, whether on the main campus or at any of our extension locations.
Key points to keep in mind:
- Two percent (2%) of students returning to campus this semester have religious or medical exemption status and must test weekly.
- We have arranged for a COVID testing center on campus (7 days/week) for the remainder of the spring semester as follows:Week of January 31 Physical Education Building WCC Students only
Beginning February 7 Technology Building Lounge WCC employees & studentsCollege identification must be presented prior to testing. Additional information will be shared collegewide.
- Masks are required in all college buildings. Safe distance should also be practiced in- and outdoors.
HR Issues & Remote Work Policy
- For information on the College’s Remote Work Policy, check here: Human Resources – Westchester Community College (sunywcc.edu)
- Human Resources is available to answer questions about leave time policies related to COVID exposures and positive cases.
Continued Q&A and Updates
- PRT will respond to all questions and comments that were submitted either before or during the Information Session and will share with the college community once complete.
- PRT will continue to schedule Information Sessions for our college community.
Resources for Students & Employees
Federal pandemic relief funds continue to be available for students through the American Rescue Plan. Information is here. Please share this with students.
The Department of Mental Health & Counseling Services will continue to provide mental health support to students and employees and will provide two employee support group meetings in February, facilitated by Project Hope. Please watch your email for links to the February 9 and 17 sessions.
This stage of our reemergence is fluid and may be messy at times, requiring us to continuously think creatively to best serve students and advance the college mission. Since the start of the pandemic and our pivot to remote operations, we have been working to return to campus and in-person teaching, learning, and services to best meet student and community needs. With the health and safety of all members of our college community a top priority, we remain focused on academic continuity and doing all we can to advance mission-driven work of teaching, learning, and serving.
We each have a role in student success and in the success of Westchester Community College. Together, we must face the challenge of reversing significant enrollment declines by keeping current students on track toward their academic goals and attracting new students committed to academic goals and career pursuits.
In closing, I look forward to seeing all of you over the spring semester. I know you will join me in helping all members of the college community who are returning to our worksites thrive in our safe and welcoming environment.
Be safe as we prepare for winter weather this weekend. I know our Physical Plant team will be diligent in preparing the campus for our return on Monday!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles