Kaskaskia College is proceeding as planned for the start of school for Monday, August 17th. The decision of Clinton County schools to delay the start of their semesters impacts the K-12 system only. The College is prepared and has made all of the appropriate adjustments as recommended by the State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The College has been in constant contact with local health department officials and have shared our plans with them
It is important to note that while the College is a school, we are structurally and procedurally different from the K-12 schools system, particularly in the following ways:
- The college is a commuter campus and have minimal issues with student busing/transportation. The entire K-12 system relies heavily on mass transit/bussing to and from their individual schools. Student bussing represents a significant challenge, as multiple buses are needed to maintain the safe distances as recommended by the state. The college does not have this problem – on any given day, less than 20 students commute to and from the College using South Central Transit (SCT).
- The college also is very fortunate to have the space and staff needed to retrofit and customize our classrooms to meet the IDPH guidelines. Every classroom that we have has already been transitioned to reflect the social distancing guidelines, as well as additional precautions to include plexiglass barriers, sanitation stations and around the clock disinfection are all in place. In short, every class room meets the State of Illinois guidelines. Schedules have been set up to include sanitation in between and after classes. Additionally, all heavy traffic areas have been retrofitted with plexiglass barriers for additional protection.
- Another significant difference between KC and the K-12 system is a serving of meals during lunch time. As indicated above, the majority of our student populations are commuters. The cafeteria is open and we are ready to serve students/staff who may need to eat on campus , however we have all necessary precautions in place to serve food, and we have the space needed to spread out. KC does not have the massive single lunch hours that the K-12 system has to deal with. We have taken significant precautions in the cafeteria to serve our students and staff, including the elimination of all self-serve capabilities and increased signage that reinforces social distancing, additional sanitation stations and have removed seating to meet the social distancing guidelines. Unfortunately, due to State requirements from ISBE, K-12 schools have much more rigid daily scheduled and do not have the schedule flexibility that the we have.
Please note the safety of our students and staff is one of our top priorities – so is your education. Many of the upcoming semesters courses have already been moved to either fully online, online/face to face blended, or a flexible hybrid course. Traffic on campus will be significantly lighter due to the shift of many courses to online and/or hybrid formats. Additionally all lecture based courses will finish there course work remotely after the Thanksgiving holiday, and only the students who have labs to be completed will be on campus after the holiday. This step will greatly mitigate any type of future spike we may see due to large family gatherings that occur over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In closing, we will continue to enforce all of the IDPH and local county health department guidelines and will continue to keep our public and student populations updated.
Take Care -
George M. Evans, MA