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

Good Evening Forsyth Tech Family,

Please see an important video message here:  Important COVID-19 Update – College Closed March 16 & 17

This video message provides an update and explains where we are right now, but in case you are unable to view that video, the highlights are below.

We are living in an unprecedented time in our lifetimes. The rapidly changing COVID-19 situation has caused enormous challenges for people across the world. It is also challenging us here in our community. It is our first goal and priority to keep you and your families safe.

We understand the impact the Governor’s Executive Order has for many of you with school age children and we also recognize and want to acknowledge the stress that this situation has created for all of us.

  • For students: The College continues to remain on an extended spring break beginning Monday, March 16, until Sunday, March 29. All curriculum classes (including online courses), except for BLET classes, electrical lineman and EMS training at Northwest Center, will essentially pause during this break, and due dates for assignments will be extended until after March 29.
  • For faculty and staff: We are PAUSING to make plans for a transition to a primarily remote working environment. Therefore, all campuses will be closed on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, except for specifically designated employees. If you are a designated employee, you will be contacted directly from your supervisor. Our goal is to use these two days to transition as much of our work as possible to remote instruction and telecommuting, and to develop our plans for moving forward with on-campus services and staggered work hours if necessary. We need designated employees to help with this critical transition planning.
  • This is being treated in the same way we would treat a closing due to inclement weather – full-time employees will not have to take leave and will be paid for the days we are closed.  We recognize the financial impact this has for our part-time employees and during this pause, as we work through our transition plans, we will do our best to develop ways to limit the financial impact for all, particularly our part-time employees.
  • Please stay informed by monitoring your email, and our College website and social media platforms. We will continue to communicate often with the most up-to-date information available at the time.

I believe this course of action is our best plan for now. Please remember, this is a rapidly changing situation, and in fact, in recognition of how quickly things can change, the System Office has setup a daily conference call for presidents, so we can continue to work together to find the best paths forward given the most current and prudent information. For those who will be working on campus after Tuesday, we will reduce the number of people physically on-campus to mitigate exposure, and we will promote and advance social distancing practices.

This pause will allow us to get ourselves in a situation where we can calmly and effectively continue to love and serve our students with excellence, while remaining a vital asset within our communities. I believe these next two pause/transition days will help us do that efficiently and effectively, but in truth, only in hindsight will we be able to evaluate our decisions. To that end, I want to share a quote from a school superintendent from yesterday, following the closing of all K-12 schools: “In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we underreacted or did too little.” Each of you and your families are our top priority, and if in hindsight, we have overreacted, I will be okay with that.

I will leave you with this from one of my favorite leadership gurus, Simon Sinek. I shared it on Social Media earlier today with this caption:  “We are truly in this #COVID19 crisis #together. If we recognize the power of coming TOGETHER and struggling through this TOGETHER, we can come out on the other end of this better off TOGETHER.”