Preseidents's Message: Dr Janet N. Spriggs, Forsyth Tech Community College, #Elevate

Good afternoon to my Forsyth Tech family,

First, let me share that I am thinking of you during this challenging and unsettling time. I know that people are worried about themselves, their loved ones, the economy, and our students. I am as well.

Please know, we are doing our best to ensure we are all safe and remain healthy. That means employing recommended social distancing strategies for all individuals and groups on campus and keeping as many people as we can off-campus.

Over the last 48 hours, our Emergency Operations Team (EOT) and our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) have been working to monitor the ever-changing situation and determine the best next steps. We have also developed plans to move as much of our college operations as possible to telework that can be done remotely. To that end, I am heartened by and extremely proud of the hard work our teams have done.

As planned, the college will reopen on Wednesday, March 18. However, we are following recommendations from our Governor and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and, to the greatest extent possible, we will be completing as much work as possible through telecommuting. By limiting the number of employees and/or students who need to be on-campus, we will substantially decrease everyone’s exposure. This protects all of us, and creates a safer environment for the employees who will continue to work on campus.

The college remains on an expanded spring break with the plan to resume classes remotely, (online, or in alternative formats), on Monday, March 30. Until then, the locations that will be open are:

  • Main Campus – 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • West Campus – 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Northwest Forsyth – 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
    • Only for BLET, electrical lineman, EMS and emergency services personnel (e.g., fire and rescue, police).

We recognize that many of you left on Friday not realizing that you would be telecommuting, so you may have equipment, materials, etc. that you need to pick from one of our campuses so you can work from home efficiently. Faculty and staff will be able to access their offices during the following times tomorrow and Thursday.

  • Grady Swisher Center – 9-11 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Mazie Woodruff Center – 12-2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Transportation Center – 8-11 a.m. on Wednesday
  • Stokes Center – 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Wednesday

Unfortunately, all jobs are not the same – some lend themselves to telework more than others, and some services and operations cannot be completed at a distance. If you are in a role that is unable to be done remotely, your supervisor should have contacted you, and the expectation is that you will report to work on Wednesday, although you may be asked to work at a different location and in a different capacity for the time being.  Let me reassure you, that we have dramatically reduced the number of people who will be on campus to keep us all safer and we will adhere to recommended meeting guidelines and social distancing practices.

During this challenging time, please know we will be flexible and understanding, and work with you to schedule leave as/if needed.

Please check the FAQs on our special website, which will have frequent updates on faculty support for teaching online classes and what the next steps will be for transitioning classes fully to remote instruction. For instance, our Center for Teaching and Learning will offer small support groups and face-to-face support. Please check the employees’ section of the FAQs for a schedule of those.

In closing…

Again, we understand that this is causing an enormous amount of stress and we ask that you have compassion to support and take care of each other.

I heard a quote yesterday from an author and I thought it aptly described our situation.

“Know that while this might last for a while, it will probably not last forever. Think marathon, not sprint but even marathons do eventually end. You stay sane by just running the mile you’re in.” -Laura Vanderkam

This situation is not normal, but we don’t yet know when we’ll be back to normal. Until then, let’s take it one day at a time, the best we can. Let’s just run the mile we are in. We are all in this together and will get through this challenge. Thank you and be safe!

Warm regards,

Janet