President’s Message To All Students – February 12, 2021
I hope you’ve all been encouraged by the recent news from the provincial government and our regional Health Unit too, regarding the somewhat reduced incidence rate of the COVID-19 pandemic. This welcome trend, if it continues, will allow Ontario to switch from its province-wide “grey-zone” stay-at-home-order to a region-by-region easing of some restrictions. For the College, that means that many administrators and support staff who have been working from home for the past several months will be able to return to their on-campus offices. Beyond that, however, very little will be changing from your perspective as a student.
Until the pandemic is more fully brought under control, it is our intention to complete this Winter semester under the existing format of online lectures, coupled with health-and-safety-regulated on-campus attendance for essential labs, workshops and clinics. The continuation of this hybrid academic delivery method is for your well-being. Protecting your health, as always, has been and remains the College’s paramount concern.
The Spring/Summer semester (for those programs that operate during those seasons) will also be delivered in this online or hybrid manner. Because the interaction between teacher-and-student, and student-to-student, is so rightfully ingrained in the “college experience”, we understand that this primarily online format is not ideal. But, obviously, it has been necessary given the dire circumstances caused by the pandemic. Your exceptionally admirable adaptability, resilience and persistence to-date has made this unusual educational state-of-affairs both workable and successful. For that commitment, I thank you.
As continuing health-and-safety regulations and procedures are followed, and as anti-viral vaccinations are made more widely available, the College awaits the day – as do you – when we can more fully emerge from the pandemic and return to all aspects of our formerly “normal” lives. In the educational aspect of your life, that will mean a return to the “conventional” St. Clair experience such as in-person class attendance, access to on-campus services and activities, and socializing with classmates.
I hope the scenario of “back-to-school, live and in-person” will be a reality at the outset of the Fall 2021 semester in September. Out of the necessity of having to protect our St. Clair community, we’ve had to keep one another at an “electronic arm’s length” for the past year and we’ll have to keep doing that for now. But we all share the opinion that the last thing that the postsecondary experience should be is “remote”. It should be face-to-face, highly communicative, personal and personable, enriching and enjoyable. Like you, I am hopeful to see that wonderful atmosphere restored at St. Clair by late-Summer.
Until then, dear Saints, continue to study hard and stay well.
Patricia France, M.Ad.Ed.
We would like to remind you that if you have not completed the following exercise, you will not be able to access your courses via Blackboard on Monday, January 18, 2021.
If not already completed, you MUST complete the following immediately:
Every student will be required to read and acknowledge their understanding of the College’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and their commitment to comply with the College’s Health and Safety policies and protocols. In addition, you will be asked to further acknowledge your understanding of your role as a “Saint” by adhering to rules of academic integrity.
You will need to access My St. Clair portal and the Student Information System (SIS) to read the required documentation. The path is as follows:
Main Menu > Self-Service > Code of Student Rights
Please note that both acknowledgements are required in order to gain access to Blackboard to participate in your registered classes. If you have not received your account activation information to access the portal, are having trouble logging in, or need to reset your password, please contact the IT Help Desk at https://www.stclaircollege.ca/it-services.
Pursuant to the Premier of Ontario’s announcement yesterday that the entire province will be in lockdown effective December 26th, 2020 to January 25th, 2021, we would like to confirm that our plans for the January 2021 semester will continue as planned and as previously communicated. There is no need to revise St. Clair’s plan as it was developed based on the assumption that we would be in lockdown and is compliant with the required regulations.
All programs with a regulatory body will commence classes on January 11, 2021, and the remaining programs will begin classes on January 18th, 2021. Please check our website for your program start date.
All face-to-face delivery has been altered to meet the provincial mandate. Majority of programs schedules have been uploaded to your SIS account. Some schedules are being finalized and will be posted by Thursday, December 24th, 2020.
Apprenticeship students will be receiving an individual communication detailing the status of your program delivery.
Vice President, Academic
I have two impactful items to communicate regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic and delivery of face-to-face classes at all St. Clair College campuses.
Due to the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Windsor-Essex region over the past few weeks, the Public Health Unit has classified the region as a "Red (Control) Level", effective November 30, 2020. The Chatham-Kent region has remained at a "Yellow (Protect) Level" classification.
As you may be aware, other regions in the Province of Ontario have been declared as a "Grey (Lockdown) Level".
The level classification is determined by reviewing the number of daily COVID-19 cases in a region. A "Grey (Lockdown) Level" is an area where there are high numbers of COVID-19 cases and hence, provides the virus a greater chance of spreading among humans.
The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) has advised colleges on protocols related to the number of people allowed in a classroom or lab, depending on the level classification:
- Grey (Lockdown) Level - maximum of 10
- Red (Control) Level - maximum of 50
- Orange (Restrict) Level - maximum of 50
- Yellow (Protect) Level - maximum of 50
Student Travel from Grey (Lockdown) Level Areas
Provincial COVID-19 guidelines have advised against travel from a Grey (Lockdown) Level area to any other areas. Placement agencies are also declining students who reside in Grey (Lockdown) Level areas from attending their facilities. Hence, effective Monday, December 7, 2020, St. Clair College will not allow any students to attend classes at the Windsor or Chatham campuses if they reside in a Grey (Lockdown) Level area for the remainder of this Fall 2020 semester. The College's daily screening questionnaire will be revised to reflect this change. This will be revisited for the Winter 2021 semester taking into consideration direction from Public Health and/or the Province at that time.
For all students impacted by this change, the College will find a mutual resolution to complete the semester. Students should contact the School Chair to arrange.
Completion of Face-to-Face Courses for Fall 2020 Semester
As per the College's posted schedule, the last day of classes for Fall 2020 is Friday, December 11, 2020. Final exams are scheduled to commence on Monday, December 14, 2020, and end Friday, December 18, 2020. Please note that schedules to complete the semester, including final exams, will remain the same, as long as the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions maintain Yellow (Protect) Level or Red (Control) Level status, as classified by the Public Health Unit.
However, should the areas' statuses change to Grey (Lockdown) Level, changes must be implemented to allow our students to complete the Fall semester.
St. Clair College faculty and administrators have completed a plan for every face-to-face course currently being delivered. You will be receiving communication from your faculty should the status move to Grey (Lockdown) Level.
Please be aware that the maximum number of people allowed in a classroom or lab setting in Grey (Lockdown) Level is ten (10).
With only two weeks remaining in the Fall 2020 semester (including exam week), should the region move into a Grey (Lockdown) Level, the following options are currently being reviewed for all face-to-face classes:
- Where possible, shift classes/labs to online delivery, including final exams.
- Split classes and/or labs that have more than nine (9) students into smaller sections. Students will complete the outcomes of the course during the week of December 7, 2020, and conduct the final exam the week of December 14, 2020.
- For non-accredited programs, faculty will provide a grade up to the date of the last day of class for students who have completed 80% of the course material successfully.
- For students with current averages below 50% (or below 60% for Health Sciences programs) and/or their class/lab attendance is below 60%, and would like an opportunity to improve their grades, option 2) from above will be made available. This option will also be available for any student who chooses to improve their grade to complete the semester.
Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Students
Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship students will be receiving a separate communication from the Dean, School of Engineering Technologies, Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades.
Vice President, Academic