SJCC prepares to reopen in the fall of 2021

Administration devises a plan for the return of faculty and students


Photo courtesy of San Jose City College

Data collected from the conducted survey demonstrates the worries and comfortability members of the school have

The college is planning to partially reopen the campus and in-person classes in the fall, SJCC President Rowena Tomaneng said in a virtual town hall meeting Thursday, March 18.

“We have activated the ERTs (Emergency Response Teams),” Tomaneng said. “We’re going to be holding joint meetings twice a month, so that way all of the different units and all of the areas have the same information and can talk to each other in terms of some of the complexities that are already emerging as we plan for a partial return in the fall.”

The SJCC administration is prioritizing which classes will be the first to return.

“The top priority courses are the ones that need campus resources, such as HVAC, athletics, art, CTE,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Pratt said.

In-person lectures can be permitted depending on which tier the county is in, according to the presentation slides. Currently, Santa Clara county is in the red tier, meaning lectures are limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, depending on whichever is fewer.

“Hopefully very shortly we’ll be at the yellow tier where we can be at 50% capacity with no total limitations,” Vice President of Administrative Services Christopher Hawken said.

In-person classes will be offered online or other alternate formats through the summer term. They are trying to target 50% in-person offerings for fall 2021, Chancellor Byron Breland wrote in a districtwide email.

Campus closures are still active, the projected return is in the fall as well.

According to a research survey conducted by SJCC, 43% of students were not comfortable returning, 31% were, 25% were neutral and 1% did not respond.

According to the report, 47% of students preferred mostly online classes, while 31% preferred a mix of synchronous and asynchronous classes.

In regards to the athletic programs at SJCC, many student athletes have spent a good amount of time away from competing, but progress has been made in that department as well.

“The CCCAA (California Community College Athletics association) recently approved implementation of a contingency plan, rescheduling all the state sponsored inter-collegiate competition to the spring,” Dean of Athletics Lamel Harris said.

Some of the sports teams will not go back to official play but that isn’t the case for all.

“The schools’ fall/winter sports opted out of competition and will be seeking scrimmage opportunities,” Harris said.

Although the fall/winter sports have opted out, the spring sports have opted in.

“Spring athletics will have a modified schedule after opting in for competition; the teams are now awaiting approved schedules from their sport associations,” Harris said.

“I would like to congratulate the SJCC Times and classes alike,” Pratt said, “for still functioning during this difficult time.”