WVC moves classes online, suspends large on-campus events

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WENATCHEE – Wenatchee Valley College leadership made the decision to move the majority of classes online through the end of the academic year and to suspend all on-campus events involving more than 20 people. This decision affects both the Wenatchee and Omak campuses. At this time, neither WVC campus will close and most offices will remain open and operational.

WVC instructors on both campuses are being asked to suspend all face-to-face finals next week and make preparations for online finals. Final exams begin March 18 and winter quarter ends on March 20.

The decision was made following Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement that all K-12 schools in Washington State would be closed through April 24. Governor Inslee did indicate that essential operations at Washington state colleges should continue. WVC President Dr. Jim Richardson sent an announcement to WVC campuses and partners on March 13 announcing the changes.

“To limit exposure and maximize social distancing, WVC instruction will be moved online through the remainder of the current academic year wherever possible including classes, advising, and student support to maintain instruction and service to help our students graduate on time,” he wrote “Computer labs, the library, labs, and other services will configure to maximize social distancing and gather fewer than 20 people at a time, based upon guidance of state and local departments of health.”

Instruction for spring quarter will not begin until April 13 – a week later than the original end of spring break on April 6. Instructors will spend the week of April 6 preparing instruction to be done remotely.

Some programs, like automotive technology and welding, require in-person access to work labs and equipment. These programs will be allowed to meet on campus, but social distancing and sanitization precautions will be taken to limit how many students are in the room at a time and to ensure good hygiene. In addition, clinical visits for allied health students, including nursing, will continue as scheduled until further notice.

This is in accordance with the governor’s announcement today, where he acknowledged that some programs could not be moved entirely online.

At this time, graduation will still take place on June 19 for Wenatchee campus and June 20 for the Omak campus. Other than the later start date of April 13, there are no plans to change the spring academic calendar.

WVC is currently working with employees and supervisors to allow for telecommuting when possible and to ensure staffing remains safe while allowing for the continued operation of college services.

“We will continue to work closely with health experts, government and educational partners to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for the impacts and implications that COVID-19 may have,” wrote Richardson. “The health and safety of our students, staff and community continues to be our top priority.

More information will be posted as it becomes available at wvc.edu/PublicHealth. Please send any questions about WVC’s response to COVID-19 to publichealth@wvc.edu.