The following message was distributed to all Conestoga employees on behalf of President John Tibbits on July 2.
As we move into the traditional summer vacation period, I understand that many of you are looking ahead to September and wondering what to expect as we continue to live and work in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Ontario and Canada’s other provinces have seen some easing of pandemic-related restrictions in recent weeks, public health experts continue to warn that the danger has not passed, and that we must remain vigilant in order to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across our communities.
For the last several weeks, Conestoga’s academic teams have been working in close collaboration with the college’s Executive Pandemic Planning Committee, developing plans to support students who were unable to complete their Winter and Spring 2020 semesters as well as to deliver the best possible learning experience for Fall 2020.
Beginning in mid-July, we will open a limited number of campus facilities to support learning activities that cannot be completed remotely. These facilities will operate under strict health and safety guidelines that include physical distancing plans, hygiene measures and enhanced cleaning regimes in accordance with public health recommendations.
The safety and well-being of everyone across our college community remains our top priority. Only those people who are required to be on-campus will be granted access to Conestoga buildings and facilities. A pre-approval and screening process for campus access is now in place and will apply to all students, employees and visitors.
Most college programs and services will continue to be delivered remotely in Fall 2020, with some campus facilities such as labs, studios and shops open for the delivery of essential course elements that cannot be completed by distance.
At this time, most employees will be expected to continue working from home, reporting to campus only when required to do so in order to support essential learning activities and campus functions. Your manager will provide details regarding the expectations for your role. We will continue to work on plans for the safe and gradual return to campus for employees and will provide more information in the weeks ahead.
I’d like to express my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the development of Conestoga’s plans and processes as we move forward in these uncertain times. I am confident that we are well positioned to keep our community safe and help our students experience the best that we can offer given the circumstances we face.
We will continue to monitor public health guidance and look forward to returning to in-person operations as soon as circumstances permit.
John Tibbits, President