Hello Forsyth Tech faculty and staff;
Happy Memorial Day! In speaking of America’s democracy, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” Today is a day we have set aside to remember, and to honor the military men and women who bravely served our country and gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, while in service.
At this time in our history, we are also especially grateful for the other American heroes serving on the front lines of this pandemic — our healthcare professionals, first responders and the many other essential workers who have worked hard during the COVID-19 crisis.
As we launch summer term on Wednesday, May 27, we will continue to offer curriculum classes remotely for now. Summer classes will not be offered on campus right away as we strategically and cautiously reintroduce face-to-face instruction. I know we are all looking forward to the day when we will be able to return to in-person classes, but our first priority remains the health and safety of all of you and our students, so our re-entry to classroom instruction will remain a careful and thoughtful process.
If you or your students need more information about any of our updates related to how we are handling the COVID-19 situation, please check out the Health Alert page on our website. Further updates are below. Thank you for taking the time to read!
Moving in to Phase II of “Return to a Brave New Normal”
We continue to follow precautionary steps to keep us all safe, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing and using proper handwashing protocols. As you may have heard, the Governor is continuing the phased approach to re-entry across the state. The restrictions are relaxing, but we are still proceeding cautiously.
As we wrap up our Phase I of “Return to Brave New Normal,” the main change for us is that we are bringing more staff and faculty back to campus, as needed. We will inform those employees who will be returning to campus and during this second phase and we are working to ensure no more than 40 percent of employees will be on-campus at any given time. Employees who have work that is effectively completed via telecommuting will continue to work remotely either in part or in total to allow more people with jobs that need to be done on campus to return.
Plan for Re-Entry for Employees
“Our Human Resources department has developed an FAQ for re-entry to work as we move through Phase 2 of the governor’s recommended approach beginning May 26, 2020. Phase 2, again beginning tomorrow, May 26, will allow for up to 40% of staff in each division to return to campus.
We are grateful for the two months of emergency leave pay available during the pandemic as we moved all learning, student, and business services to remote operations. However, emergency leave pay ended on May 22, with the beginning of the Governor’s Phase 2. We are working to ensure that the employees who return to campus first, are employees whose work cannot effectively be done remotely. If you cannot return to campus because of a personal situation as a result of COVID-19 or because there is no work for your position at this time, work with your Supervisor to identify the best option for you. Your supervisor is prepared to help you through this transition. Refer to the attached document which addresses frequently asked questions by employees. Should details change we will provide updates on the website. If a question is not addressed, please contact Human Resources.”
You may find the full document attached and linked on the Health Alert page. This should be used by all employees to address frequently asked questions. Should details change in the future, we will provide updates on the website. If a question is not addressed, please contact Human Resources.
Important Dates for This Week
Welcome to summer 2020! Here is the schedule for this week as we begin summer classes. As more staff and faculty move back to campus, the majority of our students will continue to access their classes and services remotely.
Key dates this week:
· May 27 – First day of summer classes.
· May 27 & 28 – Virtual Drop/Add Registration for Summer 2020 – 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Students may call in that day to be registered remotely using 336-734-7195. Watch Techlink for more information next week.
Travel Form Required for Employees Traveling Abroad
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, maintaining health and well-being of our employees remains a top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, Forsyth Tech is requiring employees who travel to any international location to complete the Travel Form before they depart the country.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Armstrong, Environmental Services Coordinator.
If you have not picked up your mask, we will have those on campus when you return. You may pick up in HR on Main Campus – Allman, or check with your manager. Masks will also available be available at Northwest Forsyth Center and West Campus. While employees are not required to wear masks, they are strongly encouraged.
Next Facebook Live –
I have been enjoying engaging with our students and with so many of you in the Facebook Live sessions each week. While we do not have Facebook Live scheduled for this week, I look forward to continuing these engagement opportunities with our next FB Live on June 4 at 2:00 PM. I am working on a welcome back video to start the summer semester and that will be released soon. Please join me if you can – I look forward to talking with you and answering your questions.
You have the strength
As we celebrate Memorial Day and begin the first week of Summer Semester, I will leave you with one last thought for the week:
“A hero is someone who has given his life to something bigger than oneself.” — Joseph Campbell
Over the past weeks and months of the pandemic, we have witnessed countless examples of heroism around our country and throughout the world, and all of you have also been heroes. In the midst of an unprecedented crisis in our lifetimes, we stuck together and as I wrote in this Op Ed opinion piece last week in the Winston-Salem Journal, “we demonstrated our resilience, and our commitment to our students and the communities we serve.”
I will end my message with this final excerpt from the Journal Op Ed:
“Community colleges provide hope and opportunity and that has never been more evident than right now. During the past month, I’ve seen incredible care, compassion and courage. I’ve talked with students who could have dropped out because of incredible obstacles, but because of the work we have done together, they still have hope and are persevering. We have transformed teaching, learning, and service in ways I never imagined, especially from a distance.
We don’t know when COVID-19 will finally be over. At Forsyth Tech, we no longer worry about getting back to “normal” – instead, we are calmly, courageously, confidently, and compassionately embracing our brave new normal, and focusing on helping our communities recover and thrive once again.”
I am grateful to all of our Forsyth Tech Heroes. Stay safe and stay well!
Have a great Memorial Day!
Dr. Janet N. Spriggs
Forsyth Technical Community College