Planning a Safe Return
Planning for a healthy and safe return to our campuses.
Since March 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic and public health conditions in our region have led to an unprecedented and rapid transition of all classes and college operations to online. Our students, faculty, and staff have been extraordinarily flexible and creative in managing the countless variables associated with this transition, and have mitigated the effects of these circumstances incredibly, given the circumstances.
While there still remain many questions about how long we will be operating predominantly online, we must plan for our eventual return to campus now. That planning will be collaborative and take many variables into account, including regional public health conditions, access to vaccinations, the needs of our students, instructional planning timelines, the physical readiness of our facilities, and many more. We plan to be prepared to return to campus for fall 2021, with the recognition that we don't yet know if that will be possible. This page is designed to transparently share and catalog those discussions, and to provide opportunities for all stakeholders to provide comments and feedback.
Reopening Planning Team Leadership
The planning for reopening must and will include input and feedback from all constituents and stakeholders. To reopen our colleges safely and effectively, and make sure our students' needs are met in that process, it is going to take a collective effort among administrators, faculty, and staff. The chancellor and our college presidents have asked four of our district's top leaders to spearhead the implementation of this effort.
Vice President, Student Services
Sacramento City College
Vice President, Instruction
American River College
Vice President, Instruction
Folsom Lake College
Vice President, Administration
Cosumnes River College
Key Upcoming Dates
Refined Reopening Report
February 28, 2021
Based on engagement with key stakeholders – including the board of trustees and labor and senate partners as appropriate – the Los Rios Reopening Planning Team will submit a refined report outlining a detailed and specific framework and plan for reopening to the chancellor and college presidents. Once it is complete, that plan will be shared here.
See the feedback we've received so far through our online feedback form. Note: you must be logged in to your Los Rios Google account to view this information.
On Monday, January 25, 2021, the decision was made to have Chancellor's Cabinet – which includes representatives from all of our Academic, Classified, and Student Senates, as well as all of our labor partners – serve as the steering committee for reopening.
- January 13, 2021: CRC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- January 14, 2021: ARC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- January 14, 2021: SCC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- January 15, 2021: FLC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- January 21, 2021: Reopening Plan: Student Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
Reopening Planning Report
Based on the feedback gathered at Flex Week Reopening Plan Listening Sessions, through this website, and in other campus- and district-wide discussions during January 2021, the Reopening Planning Team has provided an initial written report outlining assumptions, questions, and concerns for reopening. We welcome input and feedback on this report.
Input and Feedback Form
Provide input and feedback on the reopening report or the reopening planning process in general. All submissions will be publicly visible.
Frequently Asked Questions
We don't yet know what the fall 2021 semester will look like and we are planning for every possible scenario. Public health conditions and vaccination rates are rapidly changing and both will have a significant impact on our decisions about how much instructions and services to offer on-campus in fall 2021.
To give us more time to make informed decisions, we have delayed the publishing of the fall 2021 class schedule until at least April 5. As we near that date, if delaying the release further could provide more clarity for fall 2021, then we will consider that along with any possible other implications of further delay.
We are in an era of only complicated and hard decisions, often exasperated by the fact that we frequently have a little information to frame our decision-making. We are committed to working closely with all stakeholders and constituencies to solicit feedback on important decisions and communicate clearly about what is being decided and when.
To that end, we have already begun leveraging the Chancellor's Cabinet – which is designed explicitly to include voices of all constituent leaders from across our four colleges and the district (see Regulation R-3411: Participatory Governance) – as a steering committee for this decision-making process. Importantly, our labor partners are at the table as well, and we will continue to work with them directly on any items that are negotiable.
Though many of the decisions regarding reopening specific parts of our instructional, student services, or administrative operations will ultimately be made by the chancellor under the direction of our elected Board of Trustees, we must and will make those decisions based on the counsel of public health experts and feedback from students, faculty, and staff.
The summer 2021 semester will again be predominantly online with only limited exceptions for some impossible-to-convert programs and very limited on campus activities ("impossible-to-convert" programs include only programs that have not been offered online at all since the onset of the pandemic).
This includes programs training first responders and students in other allied health fields critical to our regional COVID-19 response efforts, as well as the potential for some impossible-to-convert career education programs that have been in hibernation since the onset of the pandemic. Of course, any possibility of offering on-ground classes is contingent on public health conditions and having thorough safety plans in place.
If we can’t offer everything on campus, then how will we decide which classes or services to prioritize?
When we are able to expand on-campus offerings, the first priority will be to resume impossible to convert classes and programs (such as classes and programs that have been in complete hibernation since the move to remote operations). Getting these students back engaged and moving towards their degree or certificate is the top priority.
After we are able to resume impossible-to-convert classes and programs, we will begin assessing the viability of transitioning other classes back to on-ground based on public health conditions, facility capacity, and student demand. There is no specific timetable for these specific discussions, but we continue to engage with constituent leaders through Chancellor’s Cabinet to ensure that we have broad feedback on this planning.
All Los Rios employees are currently eligible to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available to all Los Rios employees free of charge. Details on vaccine clinics for eligible childcare providers and educators can be found on the Sacramento County Vaccination Registration website. This website will be updated regularly as new appointments become available.
Unfortunately, being eligible for the vaccine does not mean that vaccination appointments are immediately available or that there are enough doses, but it is an important step towards getting Los Rios faculty, staff, and administrators immunized soon. Please see the important information from Sacramento County regarding eligibility and the process to schedule your appointment. Even though some of the links on the County's website don't specifically mention the availability of vaccines for education-sector employees yet, we expect the County and their partners to update this information when more appointments are available.
Notes from Sacramento County
Vaccine supply is very limited. There are currently hundreds of thousands of people eligible for vaccination in Sacramento County and it will likely take months to vaccinate all childcare providers and educators in Sacramento County. Do not post this information on social media or otherwise share it with friends, family, or others who are not currently eligible for vaccination. Doing so will further delay vaccination of eligible individuals. Appointments are required for vaccination and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are unable to schedule an appointment, then it is because they are full. Continue to check back for additional appointments, which will be added as new clinics are added.
What is the process to "ready" a building? What types of inspection, testing, and replacement of equipment will occur – daily, weekly, and monthly – before the start of fall 2021?
COVID mitigation measures to prepare our facilities primarily involve building ventilation and air filtration systems, but Facilities Management (FM) would also do a full HVAC system functions test and inspection for each building prior to occupancy (as outlined in Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19).
Before the pandemic, we already regularly performed these system checks throughout the year, typically coinciding with filter replacements (every four months). Now, we will perform additional checks before reopening facilities. These checks help ensure systems are performing the necessary CDC/ASHRAE recommended air exchanges and sufficient outside fresh air is being pulled into the buildings.
Before reopening a facility, we will also verify that we can remotely communicate with the building's HVAC controls through the District's Energy Management System (EMS). Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.
We use the CDC-recommended American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.
All buildings that are currently occupied have MERV-13 filters, the industry standard for COVID-19 mitigation. MERV-13 filters are recommended because they can trap smaller particles, including viruses, and are equivalent to N95 masks with regards to protection and air quality.
In the event a building's HVAC system cannot accommodate the MERV-13 filters, we are performing additional building "flushing" two hours prior and two hours after occupancy as recommended by CDC/ASHRAE for these situations. As more buildings open to accommodate more people coming on to campus, we will perform HVAC system checks and filter changes prior to occupancy.
Buildings are being prioritized in the order they will be occupied with the goal of all buildings being ready (with system checks and filter replacements complete) no later than July 31, 2021, so we are prepared for whatever on-campus activities take place in the fall. Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.
Cal OSHA regulations require that employers implement a site-specific, written COVID-19 prevention program to address COVID-19 health hazards, correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions, and provide face coverings. The program includes:
- Identifying and evaluating employee exposures to COVID-19 health hazards
- Implementing effective policies and procedures to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions (such as safe physical distancing, modifying the workplace, and staggering work schedules)
- Providing and ensuring workers wear face coverings to prevent exposure in the workplace
- Provide effective training and instruction to employees on how COVID-19 is spread, infection prevention techniques, and information regarding COVID-19-related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws
- Read the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards – What Employers Need to Know
Approved Safety Plans
Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) and Paramedic (PMED)
- Draft Plan and Guidelines for Resuming PMED and EMT Labs
- EMT Fall 2020 Schedule
- PMED Fall 2020 Schedules
- PMED Fall 2020 Schedule Synopsis
Funeral Services Education (FSE)
Northern California Regional Public Safety Training Authority (NCRPSTA)
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Fall 2020 Schedule
- Draft Plan and Guidelines for Resuming CNA Lab Classroom for Fall 2020
- Draft Plan and Guidelines for Resuming Clinical Placements for Fall 2020
- Draft Plan and Guidelines for Resuming Nursing Simulation and Skills Labs for Fall 2020
- Fall 2020 Nursing Lab Schedule
Respiratory Care (RC)
- Draft Plan and Guidelines for Resuming Respiratory Care Labs for Fall 2020
- RC Fall 2020 Lab Schedules
Sacramento Regional Public Safety Training Center (SRPSTC)
Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS)
Emergency Medical Technology (EMT)
Emergency Medical Technology (EMT)
Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)
Occupational Therapy Assisting (OTA)
Resources and Related Links
City, County, and State
- California Department of Industrial Relations: Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations to Protect Workers from COVID-19
- California Department of Industrial Relations: COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards FAQ
- California Department of Public Health: Blueprint for a Safer Economy
- Governor Newsom Unveils California's Safe Schools for All Plan
- Sacramento County COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases
- APLUS Campus Reopening Plans
- California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education
- CCCCO's Report of the Safe Campus Reopening Workgroup
- COVID-19 and the Racial Equity Implications of Reopening College and University Campuses by Shaun R. Harper
- Phillips Community College COVID-19 Reopening Plan
- Los Rios Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session (Zoom Recording)
- Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19
- ARC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- CRC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- FLC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- SCC Reopening Plan: Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- Reopening Plan: Student Listening Session (Zoom Recording)
- LRCEA Collective Bargaining Agreement
- LRCFT Collective Bargaining Agreement
- LRSA Collective Bargaining Agreement
- SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement