March 16, 2020
From Chancellor Marvin Martinez
I trust this email finds you well. This is a difficult time for all of us and it is normal to experience anxiety
and concern. To help ease your feelings a bit, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, the risk
of infection to the public in Orange County is believed to be low, and there remains zero reported cases of
COVID-19 in our district.
This is the first of upcoming weekly updates that I will provide to inform you of activities that are
happening in our district as we continue offering instruction, support, and services while keeping the day-today
business of the district running as smoothly as possible. Should information arise during the week, I
will send you an update.
As you know, last week we made the decision to suspend face-to-face convening of instruction and student
support services through Tuesday, March 17 in order to give everyone time to prepare for our transition to
temporary remote instruction and alternative service delivery platforms, which will begin on Wednesday,
March 18 and last through Friday, April 24. We are doing this to minimize the number of people on campus
at any given time and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to assess this timeline and will
update you if anything changes.
We are Open
It is important that there be no confusion that the colleges and district remain open. In all communication, I
ask that we please not use the term “soft closure”. Our colleges are open as we transition to temporary
remote instruction and alternative service delivery platforms.
We have had several questions about working on campus, at home, and when to use leave. Our colleges and
district office are open and all employees are expected to report to work. Should you not come to work;
below are the current scenarios that shall be in place for the next two weeks beginning March 16,
2020 – March 27, 2020. Please be advised that the COVID-19 situation is changing on a daily basis, so
this may change. We will update you with any changes.
- If you are a full or part-time employee and you stay home, you must use sick leave, personal
necessity leave, or vacation. If you have no available sick leave, personal necessity leave or vacation
time available, the District will pay for it, however you must use leave first.
- Employees 65 and older are not required to stay home, but you may stay home and work. Please
discuss this with your supervisor. If you stay home because you are ill or have a documented
medical necessity, you must use sick leave, if you choose to stay home to take care of another family
member, you can take personal necessity leave or vacation.
- If an employee does not have accrued leave balances, the district will ensure no loss of pay during
this two-week period.
- Student workers will continue to be paid for the next two weeks regardless if there is work for them
to do or not.
We are putting a number of these precautions in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our
students, employees and community safe. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must tell your
All in person meetings should be cancelled or postponed. If you feel compelled to have meetings, please
follow federal guidelines of no more than 10 people in attendance, use social distancing of at least six feet
apart, or conduct the meeting using technologies such as Zoom Calls/Video, Teleconferencing, Skype
Business or other methods.
Effective immediately, all travel is suspended for all employees until further notice.
I want to reiterate from last week’s message, we understand that not all classes can be transitioned to a
virtual environment. Our college teams are working diligently to assess which classes are still able to meet
in a face-to-face format while adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
California Department of Public Health, and the Orange County Health Care Agency guidelines.
I want to thank our faculty for working together and serving as mentors to each other to ensure that the
quality of education will not suffer as we move to new platforms. They are sharing resources and
undergoing extensive training to move their classes to virtual platforms Canvas and Zoom.
Per the Governor’s recommendation of those age 65+ to self-isolate, our Continuing Education program is
suspending all older adult classes until further notice. They are also working with offsite facilities to ensure
strict adherence to CDC guidelines as they transition to temporary remote instruction.
Counselors are undergoing training on Cranium Café, which will allow them to conduct and schedule
appointments with students.
Both colleges are assessing space for the appropriate social distance allowance and the conduct of business
should students come to campus and need assistance.
Health & Wellness Centers at both colleges are open for business as usual. They are looking into the feasibility of using TeleDoc and TeleMentalHealth to serve students in a virtual environment.
DSPS and other special programs such as TRiO are fluid right now. DSPS is moving to closed captioning
and exploring all other accommodations that can be offered under current circumstances. Both campuses are
making all the efforts to be consistent between the two colleges as much as possible.
The SCC Food Pantry is exploring other options to meet the nutrition and basic needs of students, such as moving to pre-made bags with non-perishable food items and placing them in several departments around the campus, and at SAC the Don’s Corner (Farmers Market) will continue to be offered this month. No student will be turned away.
The colleges have received new guidelines for international students, which include taking just one 3-unit online class per semester. Our Vice Presidents are working on this to see how they can help these vulnerable students, under a tight deadline.
We have received word that Veterans will be reimbursed 100% of their educational for online/remote courses. In the past they were reimbursed 50% for taking online courses.
One thing I have noticed through this challenge, our district office, colleges, faculty, staff, and students have
come together in a way we have not experienced before. I am receiving multiple daily inquiries from these
groups asking what they can do to help and I am proud to say that the majority of the offers to help are
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you to each and everyone of you for all you are doing for our
students. We will get through this together.
Return to Coronavirus home page