Cuesta College Faculty,

I want to begin by wishing everyone a good start for the Fall 2020 semester. Whether you’ve been working to get fully online classes developed and organized, creating plans for safe face-to-face instruction, or a mix of both, I know that you’ve put a great deal of thought and effort into your offerings for the semester. We begin the semester with about 100 classes operating with at least some face-to-face meetings, meaning that more than 90% of our schedule is entirely online.

I’ve been asked to share some information that will hopefully help to answer questions and concerns that you may have as we begin another semester of quality instruction (beginning with information for faculty in face-to-face classes):

Is my classroom safe for face-to-face instruction?

If you are teaching face-to-face, you can expect that your teaching space will be sanitized between each class meeting.  Custodial staff will place a “seal” of blue tape along the door after cleaning. If that seal is unbroken, you will know that nobody has been in the room since it was sanitized. Feel free to remove the tape when you arrive for each class, and that will signal to Custodial that the room has been used. We are working off of a room grid that lists every class meeting that occurs each week, and we would appreciate knowing if a class meeting will not occur (hopefully reducing the chance of “redundant sanitizing”). If you are teaching face-to-face, please help us keep the room grid up to date by emailing Emily in the Office of Instruction.

What if one of my face-to-face students self-identifies as having had a positive test?

Most importantly, help remind students of the need to self-quarantine. If a student has had a positive test, they should have received clear instructions from SLO County Public Health. Cuesta also receives information from Public Health about students and employees who test positive, so it will be likely that we’ve already been notified. Faculty who have concerns about a positive case in their class should email; at that point, your Dean and Chair can help you determine the degree of exposure and if you need to cancel future class meetings. Hopefully, your syllabus for the semester includes contingency plans if you need to move some or all meetings online. Please understand that positive case details will not (and should not) be shared with the College community as a whole; contact-tracing is managed on an individual basis.

Where are the open restrooms and temperature kiosks?

The college recognizes the need for better informational signage. We are in the process of creating updated campus maps that show the locations of open restrooms. Also, if a restroom is closed, the signage should direct you to the nearest open restroom.

In accordance with the daily 3-step self-check, we have installed a number of temperature check kiosks around the SLO and NCC campuses. We have tried to place these in areas that will have the most face-to-face instruction, and a few more are on the way. The location of the kiosks will also be added to the updated campus maps.

What buildings are open and where can I go to record/broadcast lectures?

At this time, the vast majority of the buildings at SLO and NCC remain closed (a list of the open buildings can be found in the Safe Reopening Plan Fall 2020). Please understand that this has little to do with saving money on utilities, and is much more about our ability to provide safe and sanitized spaces. The Custodial staff is stretched and challenged by the additional cleaning protocols, and it’s everything we can do to support the face-to-face instruction that we are providing. Also, while we have yet to have a COVID-19 exposure at any of our sites, it is important for us to know who has been on campus and where they’ve been in the event of an exposure. That’s why we can’t simply allow faculty to come in on their own time and “clean up after themselves."

We are trying to set up classrooms at SLO and NCC with enhanced AV capabilities, and are creating a system for faculty to reserve time in those rooms (with a cushion for sanitation in between reservations). Those rooms can be reserved by working with your Division Chair and sending an email to Mylea in the Office of Instruction. Right now, one classroom is available, and equipment for an additional four classrooms should be installed soon. As you might imagine, we’re not the only college trying to procure equipment for remote instruction in the midst of this pandemic.

Can I just work from my office?

Most faculty offices are in buildings that remain closed (see above). While faculty are certainly able to come into their office to pick up files, books and other materials, we ask that you not stay in a building that is closed (no HVAC and no restroom) for an extended period. As the pandemic has dragged on, IT has worked to obtain laptops with monitor kits that will duplicate your office setup and file access while working from home. Deans and Chairs will continue to assess the need for these setups, and we’ll distribute them as we are able.

If you have questions related to any of the information above, please don’t hesitate to contact me, your Dean or Division Chair.  Most importantly, thank you for all of your hard work and diligence in making this semester a safe and successful one for our students.

Wishing you continued good health and safety,

Dr. Jason Curtis

Assistant Superintendent / Vice President of Instruction