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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Government relief money excludes some students

The four COVID-19 response teams discussed short and long term goals for online education in an online Zoom meeting April 24. 

Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen said that many students, including those without documentation, are not eligible for the CARES Act. He said Pierce is exploring different funding sources to financially support students who are “being excluded.”

“That is the main focus right now on the district level,” Montevirgen said. 

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher reviewed an LACCD Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Report which outlined key plans for school, such as Cares Act support for some students and preservation of jobs. 

“[The report] gives the school crucial insight, such as trend lines that will eventually be a useful source when Pierce begins discussing reopening plans,” Schleicher said. 

Schleicher said the districts are discerning where every school stands with reopening.

“Each college is giving input, usually each day we have about 4 or 5 bullet points of things that have transpired so that the district can access those issues,” Schleicher said.  

Director of the Student Health Center Beth Benne began Team A’s update by stating that although premature, discussions regarding reopening the school occurred this past week. The Student Health Center is working to give “reasonable response to the concerns” that students have, said Benne.

“We are gathering resources to review what’s going on,” Benne said. 

Associate Vice President Bruce Rosky began Team B’s update by addressing mailroom procedures and offered a solution to some mailroom users. 

“We have worked with Team A to ensure that the safety concerns are addressed,” said Rosky. “The mailroom will be open for large volume mailroom users on Wednesday and if any mail comes to any individual they should be receiving an email from the mailroom staff indicating that they have received the mail.” 

The recipient would then tell the mailroom staff how they would like the mail to be dealt with after being given a list of options. 

Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger from Team C reviewed the topic of continuity in the fall 2020 semester if the Safer at Home guidelines continue. 

“We’ve been asked what the fall semester will look like if contingency plans were to remain remote, but we have a bit of time to plan so the fall 2020 production timeline is on pause right now,” Berger said. “I should also mention that the summer 2020 schedule went live today and is available online.” 

Public Relations Manager Doreen Clay from Team D said there was a district Chromebook scholarship available and that 3,000 students still have not responded to their emails in the LACCD portal and will not be able to receive the Chromebook until they provide their mailing address. 

“The students own the Chromebooks so that also means that there’s tech support from the district and so they need to contact the vendor,” said Clay. “I’ve posted that information on the student COVID page on social media.” 

Schleicher mentioned that there have not been any outbreaks in the EOC and they are following vital health guidelines. 

“We’ve pushed very hard to have very few people on campus for good reasons,” said Schleicher. “It is vital to be cautious during this period so that we can return to physical school safely and as soon as possible.” 

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