April 11, 2020 12:30 p.m.
Following is information that may be helpful.
Pass/No Pass Grading OPTION
Students who are currently still enrolled in their Spring 2020 classes may elect to change their grading mode to Pass/No Pass by completing a form, which will be electronically routed to Admissions & Records and processed by our office.
Even though the deadline has passed, Executive Order 2020-02 suspended the title 5, section 55022 requirement that students select the “pass or no pass” grading option prior to the 30% mark of the term. This means that Admissions & Records will honor all Spring 2020 pass no pass requests that come in through the end of the semester.
This grading option for classes during the COVID19 crisis will not negatively impact GPA, financial aid eligibility, nor will it affect their ability to graduate or successfully complete most VC programs. Students should consult with an academic counselor about how a pass/no pass grade may affect them, including their possible transfer goals.
Excused Withdrawals (EW) and Refunds due to Extraordinary Conditions
Student who have already dropped a class on or after March 9th, are eligible to request a withdrawal due to extraordinary conditions, by completing the district wide form that will be made available in their portal. Excused Withdrawals will not negatively impact GPA, financial aid eligibility, or transfer.
Students may select to receive a transcript notation of Excused Withdrawal (EW) and a refund of their enrollment fees or no transcript notation (a complete drop) and a refund of their enrollment fees. By the student selecting a Withdrawal Due to Extraordinary Circumstance, their previous drop will be removed and replaced with the type of drop the student requests on their form. Students will have until May 14th, 2021 to opt in to this withdrawal option.
Students who are currently still enrolled in their Spring 2020 classes may to request a withdrawal due to extraordinary conditions, by completing the district wide form that will be made available in their portal. Excused Withdrawals will not negatively impact GPA, financial aid eligibility, or transfer.
All students currently still enrolled may select this option, even if the withdrawal deadline for their class has passed. Students may select to receive a transcript notation of Excused Withdrawal (EW) and a refund of their enrollment fees or no transcript notation (a complete drop) and a refund of their enrollment fees. Students will have until May 14th, 2021 to opt in to this withdrawal option.
April 1, 2020 5:08 p.m.
Good Evening VC Pirates,
I am the Administrator on Campus (AOC) today, so I get to submit the campus update today. We are all doing our part to flatten the curve and practice social distancing. As of 4:15pm, the County is now reporting 160 cases. The VC Emergency page now has a County Dashboard that mirrors the John Hopkins site. Currently, the County is reporting five deaths. This is devastating news and a reminder to stay close and communicate to your loved ones. Attached to this email, you will see the email that our VC students received this morning outlining a lot of information regarding assistance and student services that can be achieved remotely. Here are a few highlights:
Laptop Lending: The 500 Chromebooks were supposed to arrive today, but there is trouble in the transport, so we are eagerly awaiting their arrival. These laptops are intended to assist students in gaining access to Internet and basic software technology. We have created a list of students receiving Financial Aid who will be emailed for priority (762 students so far, yet not all may request one). After this list has been exhausted, we will open the laptop lending to the next tier of recipients who demonstrated need. If your students have questions, the Financial Aid Office is available to assist students remotely. Students can receive services through the Financial Aid webpage, email@example.com, and (805) 289-6369. Students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, can visit Ventura College Student Emergency Grant (VCSEG) to see if they are eligible for additional assistance.
Zoom Bombing and the Student Code of Conduct: The campus has received notification that some of our classes are experiencing “Zoom Bombing”. Zoom Bombing occurs when unauthorized users join classroom sessions and meetings and post and state inappropriate images and remarks. We are not allowed to bring guests to classes in person, and we are not allowed to invite members of the public into our Zoom classrooms either. We asked that students not share the Zoom classroom meeting invitations to others who are not enrolled in the class. It is important to understand that the action of Zoom Bombing or sharing the class link with other so they can enter your Zoom classroom is a violation of the college student Code of Conduct and will be reported to the Dean of Student Services / Conduct Officer for investigation; relevant sanctions will be applied to students engaging in this behavior.
FREE Google Phone Number: We know that some of you have student workers or colleagues who would rather not use their personal phone to contact students. We learned that anyone can get a Google Phone number from their google account and it’s FREE. This might be a good solution for those of us who may experience trouble with Skype for Business. https://www.dailydot.com/debug/google-voice-number/
- on your computer, go to voice.google.com.
- Sign in to your Google Account.
- Search by city or area code for a number. Voice doesn't offer 1-800 numbers. ...
- Next to the number you want, click Select.
On a personal note: Working remotely has proven to be a huge adjustment, not only for me but for my entire family. Dropping off groceries at my parent’s doorstep a couple of times a week without a hug or kiss on the cheek has been heartbreaking. At home, I now share our home office with my wife, who is the faculty chair for the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at CLU. I have learned to negotiate time for my meetings in between her class schedule, department meetings, office hours, and doctoral defenses occurring using Zoom. During my meetings, you may see my son popping his head in and out of the office to steal my phone or soda. For those of you who don’t know, our son Diego is a non-verbal autistic sixth grader who is categorized “Twice-Exceptional” because he is Autistic and in Honor’s classes. Diego uses a letterboard and iPad to communicate, and since the closure of schools, Mom and Dad have become his communication partners (scribe) while we home school his classes online. My wife and I have divided the class periods, so on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work with Diego on History and Science. I have to admit, times like these remind me that my son got his brains from his mother. Yesterday, Diego and I studied how India adopted Buddhism in History and I learned a ton about the Protein Molecule Structure in Science. Although, I cherish the time at home with my family, navigating my roles as parent, husband, son, teacher, and administrator leaves me feeling like I am playing a big game of TWISTER. During the day, I need to remember to be present and prioritize what is important. I know parents of older children who remind me that the time is quickly approaching when my son will think me too “un-cool” to be around. This reality puts that in perspective for me.
Stay well, stay informed, and stay at home,
“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”- Steve Maraboli
Damien A. Peña, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs
March 31, 2020 6:52 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
As I reflect on the past few weeks, my thoughts are of turbulence, wind, and lightening thunderstorms of information all related to the Coronavirus. Our Pirate Ship has been sailing at a wind-knot speed of TOO FAST.
As March is ending and Ventura College is scheduled for Spring Break next week, I want to encourage everyone to slow down, pace yourself, and regroup. For faculty, I hope you are able to really take the time off during the week as much as possible. For administrators and classified professionals, I would like for us to use this time to catch up on our current work projects versus starting new ones. Also, I am a proponent and plan to postpone or cancel as many meetings as possible. For our health and endurance, it is important we take this week to regroup and de-stress (as much as possible).
Next week, I will not plan to send out campus updates to help facilitate your ability to separate from work and COVID, just a bit. If anything important does come up, I will break my email silence, but I really hope that it will not be necessary.
The COVID update from Ventura County today is as follows:
- 2,987 people tested
- 149 total positive cases
- 23 new cases
- 27 recovered cases
- 30 ever hospitalized
- 117 under active quarantine
- 5 deaths
I wanted to thank the over 40-Pirate employees that greeted me on Zoom during my Koffee with Kim event today. It was fabulous to hear familiar voices and see everyone’s faces. This isolation part is difficult!!! During our discussion, I had mentioned that I would attached a copy of a letter Vice President Peña and Vice President Kalfsbeek-Goetz are writing for students. The letter will be ready tomorrow for distribution.
Tomorrow is another opportunity for us to come together for our second Captain’s Chat of the spring semester. See details on how to access the event below. During our Captain’s Chat, you will learn how to read Banner Budget Reports, preview ideas for new VC logos, and hear updates related to our campus response to COVID. Also, I hope to have plenty of time for questions and answers.
Topic: Captain's Chat for 4/1 at 2:00 pm
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/322402301
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16699006833,322402301# or +13462487799,322402301#
Or Telephone: Dial: +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 322 402 301
Unfortunately, the COVID journey is anticipated to span several months. It will test all of us and our tolerance of uncertainty and tumultuous voyages.
I ask you to take care of yourself to be able to maintain your sea legs as we endure this in the long run.Stay safe, stay strong, and stay healthy,
March 30, 2020 8:08 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
It is hard to believe the world is turned upside down right now I am looking out of my Ventura College office window at the beautiful green trees, grounds, and flowers. Also, there is a very popular Frisbee golf goal that is being used by someone viewable from my office. Yet, I do know there is a real, invisible threat which is causing everyone on the Pirate ship angst as we navigate these turbulent waters.
Inquiries and requests for further information have been made related to the one positive student case on campus. As mentioned in an earlier update, Ventura College was notified on March 26 about this student. We are fortunate because she is only taking a single class that she last visited on (3/10), which was almost 3 weeks ago. In retracing her steps and speaking with the student, we know that she had no additional interactions with others on campus related to instruction or student services. I recognize this news is understandably concerning to all employees and students. At this point though, it is extremely unlikely she transmitted the virus to others at VC, as they would have exhibited symptoms by now. As always, your health and safety remain paramount to me and Ventura College. We will continue to keep you informed of any new information. Also, I wish the best for this student and hope she has a speedy recovery.
The news in Ventura County continues to be concerning with a total of 126 positive COVID cases (17 new cases, 16 recovered cases, and 106 active cases) and 4 deaths. The White House announced yesterday that social distancing guidelines will continue through April 30 with Covid-19 deaths probably peaking in the next two weeks. For all of these reasons, Ventura College and our District have been proactive in supporting social distancing. The message is work reiterating:
- Stay and work from home if not designated as an essential employee
- Maintain Social Distancing of 6 feet when necessary if you leave your home
- Avoid contact with others outside your household
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Cough into your sleeve and/or cover your sneeze with a tissue
- Touching your face or eyes
- Visiting the doctor, clinic, or hospital unless you are sick (call first)
- Shaking hands
- Stockpiling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed for first line responders and health care providers
Instruction, student services, and operations continue moving forward at Ventura College to ensure continuity of education for our students. I applaud everyone for your efforts to make this happen. Even though this is a challenging time for all, we are rising to the occasion and demonstrating the strength of our institution.
Lastly, I have attached an article forwarded to me by Sandy Melton (thank you), Nursing Director and faculty, which includes exceptional materials related to “Coping with Coronavirus.” Although faculty members are the target audience, the content is applicable to all. The first segment is titled “Shock, Fear, and Fatalism: as Coronavirus Prompts Colleges to Close, Students Grapple with Uncertainty.” I hope you find the information helpful in understanding the context of our students’ new reality and how to better support them.
Thank you again for your service and dedication, Kim
March 27, 2020 5:46 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
Today, the County is reporting 61 cases – which is the same as yesterday. I don’t know what that means in a clinical or statistical manner, but I am going to take it as a positive sign that the efforts of everyone to help flatten the curve is working. Unfortunately, we are now at 2 reported deaths. My heart, as I’m sure yours, goes out to the family and friends of this individual. I hope they find some comfort in the coming days from the memories of their loved one.
Several people have been sharing their feelings with me over this last week. Many of the feelings are what you would expect – fear, anger, frustration, boredom. But, others have expressed thankfulness, joy and even peace. These are the ones that I reflect on at the end of the day on what I can learn from their sharing. Several people have shared that having to stay home has allowed them to slow things down a little and connect with their spouse or children in a different way. There are many stories of neighbors and strangers exhibiting acts of kindness. I call my parents every night and my mother always has a story for me. Her favorite stories (yes, she tends to repeat herself) are 1) when the checkout clerk at the store got her the last package of toilet paper that had been hidden away when my mom joked with her that they were going to have to start using the newspaper and 2) when she heard a noise, looked outside and saw her neighbor cleaning her windows. She always focuses on the goodness in the person who has reached out to her that day. It can be a scary, difficult time. We have been through a lot already as a community over the last several years. But, I am uplifted and encouraged everyday by the spirit displayed by people. We are Ventura College strong and we will weather this storm too!
Have a safe and relaxing weekend,
Cathy Bojorquez, VP Business & Administrative Services
March 26, 2020 7:54 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
Today, I am the administrator on duty, which allows me the opportunity to send out the daily update message for the campus. After working from home all day yesterday, it was nice to come to our campus which has become my home away from home. Yet, with most of my day spent in solitude, I had to wonder … if an orange-clad pirate wanders the halls, but there’s no one there to see them, are they really orange at all?
Regrettably, COVID-19 cases continue to increase in our county. Yesterday, Ventura County reported 50 positive cases. Today, the county is reporting a 22% increase with 61 cases – there continues to be only 1 reported death. Please continue to maintain social distancing and Stay Well at Home, unless you have been designated as an “essential” employee who is needed to maintain base operations on campus. VC will continue to work to try to reduce the number of individuals on campus for everyone’s protection. If you absolutely must come to campus to pick something up, please contact your supervisor to make arrangements.
Today we learned that a Ventura College student recently tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first and only known confirmed case of COVID-19 at Ventura College and the second within the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD). This student last visited our campus on Tuesday, March 10th, which was 16 days ago - past the recommended quarantine period. VC Public Health is aware of her case and has been in contact with the student who is feeling better while being quarantined at home. All of us at Ventura College wish this student a swift recovery.
I have been planning a trip to visit my parents in Joshua Tree this coming weekend, but as they are both over 70 and with health issues that could be compromised if we unknowingly introduced the virus to them, I sadly had to postpone our family get-together. I suppose many of you are making similar choices in your lives too. #_I_STAY_HOME_FOR_MY_PARENTS
On an upbeat note, I kept busy today:
- On my daily Distance Education Zoom meeting with the DE3 + Dan. As you all have learned, our three Instructional Designers (Ali, Sharon, and Matt) and their Dean Dan Kumpf have been working non-stop to ensure all of us, and our students, are as ready as possible to study and teach online through summer. Their work with training has been supported heavily by the tireless efforts of four faculty members: Eric Martinsen, Meg Phelps, Asher Sund, and Araceli Trujillo.
- Discussing with Deans via Zoom our summer online schedule planning and exploring how we can offer as many classes as possible with scheduled ZOOM sessions for students who still want to “go to class with my professors.”
- I also enjoyed working on Zoom with the Student Equity Plan (SEP) taskforce; today was our 4th meeting, and I believe we are making solid progress.
- In the afternoon, I staffed a Webcam distribution table, and met for the first time several dedicated VC faculty members. We of course remained 6+ feet apart, and all webcam boxes were sanitized beforehand. As the new VP on campus, I enjoyed meeting colleagues like Don Villafana, Mike McCain, Bruce Reinauer, Sumita Lall, Bob Reiner, and James Vega + others. It was also nice to connect again with Gabby Wood, Lisa Anderson, Veronoca Allen, and Hafez Alawdi to name a few. I look forward to sharing a coffee with each of them and many more when this crisis is behind us.
I am also excited to share that Blair Gilbertson and Ali Olson-Pacheco created a website for students, much like the faculty/staff Campus Continuity site: “Keep Teaching ~ Continue Serving.” The student site “Keep Studying ~ Continue Learning” is easy to access by clicking on the black “student help” pirate box from our home page. On this site, students can learn how to access classes and MANY services online. There is also a comprehensive FAQ section based on the many questions we have been receiving from students and families over the past couple weeks. Please do share this with students!
When I started this message, I wondered if I would not have enough to say. Clearly, I underestimated myself!
Be well and stay safe,
Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs
Accreditation Liaison Officer, Chief Instructional Officer
March 25, 2020 7:11 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
Today was my first day working from home and it was busy with 6 virtual meetings starting at 8:30 am and ending at 6:45 pm. At one point, I burst out in laughter as my Sykpe picture “poped up” for the third time, because I really look very different working from home...yikes.
I was reminded of the Jetson’s Video Phone mask. Hope this provides a little levity to your day. Do not post the second picture anywhere.……it’s our little secret. Rather limit the posting please, because I know we will be placing this on our VCCCD Alert page.
At this point, the college is starting to develop our routines and making the best of this challenging situations. We have received offers from about 40 instructional faculty who have the experience and knowledge to train others on Canvas and related tools. THANK YOU!!!!
Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases have increased considerably. Yesterday, Ventura County reported 39 positive cases. Today, they are reporting 50 cases and only 7 people hospitalized. Eight hundred and eight (808) people have been tested in our county. Please continue to maintain social distancing and stay and work from home; unless you have been designated as essential employees. VC is and will continue to work to try to reduce the number of individuals on campus for everyone’s protection.
I have received questions related to migration to the new Web site. VC can continue to make website additions and/or changes for now. The District is planning a second migration of information before the full transition is complete. Patti Blair from our District Office will send out additional information in the near future related to this subject.
Two upcoming events will continue virtually next week. I will ask Andrea to send out calendar invitations to everyone. We will most likely use Zoom with Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz’s help. She is the expert and I am the novice with this technology. Thanks Jennifer!
- Koffee with Kim at 3 pm on March 31
- Captain’s Chat at 2 pm on April 1- this event will mainly focus on COVID-19 updates with a brief discussion on the budget and reading Banner reports. I will try to leave plenty of time for questions.
The last thing that I want to make you aware of is the increase in Phishing as a result of everyone increasing their use of online tools. Be wary of opening emails and responding to requests from individuals you do not know. If you do receive an unusual request during these unusual times, please take the time to confirm the sender’s authenticity by calling them or sending them an email.
Stay health, safe, and Pirate strong,
March 24, 2020 6:06 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
During trying times, I always try to find some humor. For employees of a certain “seasoned” age, our idea of “ZOOM” did not involve online conference calls/presentations but was https://youtu.be/3PoEv-5yMW8. Obviously, TV shows in the 70’s were very exciting (wink).
To try to stay current with the latest information, I attended an Office of Emergency Services (OES) meeting conducted by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office this evening. Discussions involved updates from county fire, EMS/healthcare, law enforcement, city management, county agencies, and others. A common dialogue included protocols for use and conservation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). EMS reported about 30% of their ambulance calls require PPE and that there is a shortage in our healthcare system. The County of Ventura is encouraging organizations to donate new, unused PPE to assist healthcare providers, health care facilities, and first responders serving our community on the frontline during this crisis. Ventura College and the other colleges in the District are inventorying their supplies to determine what extras PPE we may have to spare. Discussions related to education involved the announcement of the one positive student case at Moorpark College that I referenced yesterday and a new case of a teacher from an Oxnard elementary school. Ventura College employees and students continue to have no reported positive cases at this time.
I asked about the current number of COVID cases in the county but they were not able to report those figures around 4:45 pm today. They said they would be posted on www.vcemergency.com soon. Hopefully, I will have those figures before I complete my update…..6:00 pm and no update. Stay tuned for tomorrow.
Related to faculty training for virtual student instruction and services, the MOU between AFT and VCCCD was signed allowing for paid training, up to five (5) hours, and for paid mentoring by certified CANVAS Instructors. See attached MOU for details.
Lastly, I have included an email communication from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office with many useful resources.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face! Kim
Kimberly Hoffmans, RN, EdD
President Ventura College
March 24, 2020 9:35 a.m.
Dear Ventura College Student Pirates,
Your VC Pirate Crew is very impressed with our student body. Many of you have transitioned to the remote and online environment very well. We realize some of you need a bit more time to get the hang of this new mode of delivery, we understand and are committed to all that we can to help you succeed. You are our #1 priority!
Here is some important information for VC Students:
- Do not drop classes just yet!
- The State Chancellor’s office has provided guidance on how we can help students with Extenuating Circumstances Withdrawals (EWs) and refunds if you decide you cannot complete classes this term due to issues related to the COVID-19 crisis. We expect to have details for you this or next week.
- Campus events for March through May have been cancelled.
- We have had to cancel campus-based events to respect social distancing and Shelter at Home orders. All events for theater/music, scholarship awards, guest speakers, art gallery events, festivals, etc. are cancelled or postponed. We are especially saddened to have to cancel the May graduation ceremony. STUDENTS CAN STILL GRADUATE, we just will not be able to have the graduation ceremony this May, as originally planned.
- Virtually-hosted events: We are working on plans to host some virtual events with our students and the Pirate Crew. Please stay tuned so we can tell you which events we can offer online and how you can participate!
- Every Thursday is Pirate Pride Day. We wear Orange and Black and show off our Ventura College spirit. Please post pictures of yourselves in VC colors on social media on Thursdays this Spring and tag them: #VCPiratePride so we can all still celebrate together!
- Students in Critical Infrastructure Sectors programs: Nursing, EMT, Paramedics, and Police Science.
- Please be patient with us a little longer as we work with the Chancellor and the office of Public Heath regarding re-starting clinicals/practica/in-person training. As soon as we have information, we will let your faculty and YOU know!
- Loaner ChromeBooks are on the way.
- We are happy to share that the college has secured several 2-in-1 ChromeBooks that we can loan out to students who otherwise cannot access / afford a device to use to study online. As soon as we receive the ChromeBooks, we will let you know how you can apply to borrow one for school.
Thank you all for your patience, perseverance, and passion for school and Ventura College.
Stay Safe and Be Well
Your VC Executive Team
- Kim Hoffmans, President
- Cathy Bojorquez, VP Business Services
- Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz, VP Academic Affairs
- Damien Peña, VP Student Affairs
March 23, 2020 6:38 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
I hope you were able to have a relaxing weekend. After our crazy week, it was nice to be lazy and binge watch a few shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Also, my couch time equated to eating too much…ugh to the COVID-19-pounds. Seriously, I really hope you, my Pirate Family, are staying safe and healthy during this turbulent period. If anyone can weather this storm, it is our VC Pirate Crew!
As you are probably aware, Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) is now reporting 35 COVID-19 cases and one death of a person who was in their 70’s with underlying health conditions. This solemn announcement cannot underscore the importance of following the recommended social distancing and stay-at-home order. Additionally, the District learned this weekend that a Moorpark College student tested positive for the virus. Fortunately, the student has not been on the MC campus for over 14 days and potentially exposed individuals at MC are not reporting signs and symptoms. VCPH indicates that if a person in contact with the student has not developed symptoms yet, it is unlikely that they will at this point. Ventura College employees and students continue to have no reported positive cases at this time.
I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to our IT Department and Instructional Design Team:
- Grant Jones
- Jordan Goebel
- Joshua Goodman
- Krishna Juarez
- Rhonda Lillie
- Andy Lucas
- Michael Oxford
- Brian Ruiz
- Ali Olson-Pacheco
- Sharon Oxford
- Matthew Moore
They have worked long hours all last week and this past weekend. IT has refurbished several of our laptops in order to update them into good working order and distribute them to Pirates to perform essential functions of their jobs virtually. The Instructional Designers have been training and assisting faculty and staff to teach and provide services remotely. VC is very fortunate to have such an amazing team of experts to assist us!
I realized the employees above are not alone and that there are many others who have also worked long hours to move instruction and services online. Thank you very much for your time and dedication!
The District has received some direction from the State regarding withdrawals for extenuating circumstances and refunds for students. We hope to have information regarding the processes that we will follow for implementation soon. In the meantime, please do not drop your students and encourage them to stay enrolled until we have all the details. Ultimately, our intent is to best serve students and avoid negatively impacting their records and finances.
To maintain campus continuity and comply with the Stay-At-Home Order, the VC Executive Team is rotating their presence on campus as follows:
- Monday- Kim Hoffmans, Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz, Cathy Bojorquez, Damien Peña
- Tuesday- Kim Hoffmans
- Wednesday- Damien Peña
- Thursday- Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz
- Friday- Cathy Bojorquez
All of us, regardless of our working location, will continue to try to serve Ventura College and our students to the best of our ability. I know all Pirate Employees are striving to achieve the same. Thank you!!! We understand that moving to remote instruction, operations and services is difficult and uncomfortable. We appreciate your efforts to stretch your skills and think creatively as you serve our students and one another.
Best wishes, stay safe, and stay VC strong, Kim
Kimberly Hoffmans, RN, EdD
President Ventura College
March 20, 2020 5:19 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
Your patience, professionalism, flexibility, and dedication to the continuity of education are very much appreciated. Last night’s announcement by the Governor has accelerated our plans to have employees work remotely. At this time and until the emergency is over, Ventura College campus offices are closed to the public and instruction, student services, and operations are to be offered virtually to the extent possible.
Currently in Ventura County nineteen (19) positive COVID cases have been identified. The distribution of cases in our cities can be found at vcemergency.com. Also on the same site, you can view a video from Dr. Levin released today with further details regarding the pandemic in our county. Attached are current Ventura County Public Health news releases in English and Spanish. There continues to be no reported or confirmed cases involving Ventura College employees or students at this time.0
To further combat the spread of COVID-19, Ventura County Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin, has issued a “Stay Well at Home” emergency order – ordering all residents of the County of Ventura to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. The order is effective March 20, 2020, at 11:59 pm through April 20, 2020, 11:59 pm.
Purchasing of technology or other equipment must be approved. I realize that employees, as they are transitioning their work and instruction to a virtual format, may have technology and/or equipment needs. Please communicate your needs to you supervisor. I will ask supervisors to work with their Vice Presidents to address these situations as they arise. If you (as an individual) have already purchased any item(s), please communicate this to your supervisor to obtain the necessary retroactive permission. You will need to provide them with receipts. The normal purchasing deadline has been extended to April 27 for Ventura College.
Full and Part Time Employees
All employees are expected to work remotely under the direction of your supervisor. Please note that some employees identified as “essential” may be working on campus. Employee payroll will not be interrupted. More information on how to code your time sheets will be forthcoming.
Student Workers and Provisional Workers
Student Workers and Provisional employees will continue to be paid using time sheets regardless of funding through April 10. If there is work they can do remotely, supervisors are asked to coordinate and supervise assignments to the best of their ability remotely.
Professional Experts will only be paid for work completed and approved by the appropriate Dean and Vice President. Payroll will be based on submitted timesheets.
Our campus is happy to share that in the coming days we will be able to loan out 2-and-1 Chrome Books to our students who demonstrate access or financial need. These devices should assist students in successfully completing their remote courses as well as access remote student services. More information will be provided in the near future.
Stay strong and thank you for your patience and continued service to our students.
Best wishes and try to enjoy your weekend, Kim
Kimberly Hoffmans, RN, EdD
President Ventura College
March 19, 2020 9:07 p.m.
As you are probably aware, Governor Newsom has issued a "stay home order' for the State of California. As governmental employees, we are designated in the category of disaster employees. This means that some of us may need to continue reporting for work as "designated essential" employees. Chancellor Gillespie will be sending out a message shortly with details related to next steps for our colleges to try to maintain continuity of instruction and services while protecting employees and students.
If you are already working remotely, please continue in that fashion. For others, I am suggesting that we use tomorrow to gather our necessary work supplies to reduce the number of employees on campus even further by Saturday.
The Exec Team is meeting in the morning following a State Chancellor's Webinar related to COVID-19 to determine who are needed as designated essential employee and we will contact those individuals.
Tomorrow, we will provide everyone with additional details. Stay strong and thank you for your patience and continued service to our students.
Best wishes and good night, Kim
Kimberly Hoffmans, RN, EdD
President Ventura College
March 18, 2020 5:30 p.m.
Dear Pirate Crew,
As I was contemplating my daily COVID -19 update in the early afternoon, I thought that I would be able to report no new news. Unfortunately, the situation in Ventura County has changed. Around 2:30 pm today, the college received notice that Ventura County Public Health has identified 1 positive case and 10 presumptive positive cases. Five (5) of the presumptive cases are from unidentified sources of exposure, which means we now have community (person-to-person) transmission in our county.
According to the California Department of Public Health definitions, the college has officially entered into Phase II of our “Main Campus and VC East Campus Operation and Educational Emergency Plan for Presenting the Spread of Infectious Diseases” (attached). The good news is that we have already moved toward implementation of this phase.
The importance of decreasing the spread of COVID-19 cannot be stressed enough. Please continue to:
- Maintain social distancing
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and/or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- Avoid touching your eyes, and avoiding shaking hands.
- Stay home when sick
- Seek medical care if symptomatic with fever or breathing difficulties
- Clean college spaces and frequently touched surfaces. A big thank you to our Custodial Classified Professionals!
- Move forward with remote/virtual delivery of instruction and, as much as possible, student services and operations.
On another note, we are asking faculty and students to not drop their classes due to the possible negative impact related to financial aid, The VC Promise, and/or athletic eligibility. The state and federal government are developing processes and solutions to help us assist our students.
Best wishes, stay safe, and stay strong,
March 17, 2020 3:26 p.m.
Subject line: Basic Needs COVID-19
Dear VC Student,
Ventura College along with other colleges and universities across the United States and around the world are working to keep their students, faculty, and staff healthy, safe, and educated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ventura College Basic Needs Office staff is dedicated to helping you achieve your academic goals by helping address some of your basic needs during this time of need.
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, and through April 10, 2020, the campus will be closed to students. However, we can assist you remotely with the majority of our services. You can reach us by phone at (805) 289-6583, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and through our Canvas Page.
VC Food Pantry: The Basic Needs office is providing food for members of the VC campus from 11am-1pm (Monday-Thursday) in the BSC building. There will be premade bags of staple groceries available on a first come-first serve basis as supplies last. For the most recent updates on Pantry hours and food availability, please check our website at https://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student-services/basic-needs/pantry.
CalFresh: We can assist students in applying for CalFresh benefits which were formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). CalFresh can add to your food budget by helping you put healthy and nutritious food on the table. Check out our website at www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student-services/basic-needs/calfresh to see if you are eligible.
Housing: If you are a student at Ventura College and in need of housing or a suitable place to live; we may be able to assist you. Please fill out the Housing Referral Request form and submit by email or through the Basic Needs Office Canvas Page.
Bus Transportation: Ventura College students are able to ride the bus by presenting their Ventura College Student ID card. Simply present your card and ride free anywhere VCTC rides. Please visit the VCTC website for up to the minute information and bus schedule at https://www.goventura.org/.
Internet Use: Comcast/Spectrum is offering free internet for 2 months for students who cannot afford internet.
Comcast announced Thursday it will be increasing speeds for the Internet Essentials program, and making the program free to new customers for two months, amid the coronavirus outbreak. For more information on Comcast’s 'Internet Essentials' package free for low-income customers for 60 days, please visit https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19. Students, as your classes go online, please contact Comcast/Spectrum to see if you qualify for free internet.
Meals for children ages 2 – 18 years old: School meal service will still be widely available in Ventura County while schools are closed due to the coronavirus from March 16-20, 2020. Please visit the Ventura County Office of Education for additional information https://www.vcoe.org/comida.
Ventura College Student Emergency Grant (VCSEG): The Ventura College Financial Aid Office administers the Ventura College Student Emergency Grant. This grant is to support students facing temporary financial hardship because of an emergency or crisis situation. Students must meet the criteria as outlined on our webpage. For additional information and application, visit the Ventura College Student Emergency Grant webpage or call the Financial Aid Office at (805) 289-6369. Funds are limited and students must have financial need.
Health & Wellness Resources: For online Health and Wellness Resources please visit Wellness Central https://cvc.edu/wellness/.
If you have any additional questions about the Basic Needs Office, please email email@example.com, call 805-289-6583, or visit our website at https://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student-services/basic-needs.
We look forward to assisting you with all your Basic Needs.
Ventura College Basic Needs Office
March 16, 2020 6:20 p.m.
Subject line: March-16-2020 COVID-update
Good Afternoon Pirate Crew:
First, I want to thank each of you for remaining professional and supporting our VC Mission to “transform students’ lives, develop human potential, create an informed citizenry, and serve as the educational and cultural heart of our community.” This is a continuously evolving situation and I appreciate your flexibility and patience during this time.
Ventura County reports no community (person-to-person) transmission of COVID-19. Currently, 149 people have been tested and 144 are negative. There continues to be one positive confirmed case and four presumptive positive cases that are waiting for CDC confirmation. Again, the district and the college are being proactive in our response as we have zero presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 cases at any of our VCCCD locations. The campus is still in the process of implementing Phase II of our Operational and Educational Emergency Plan as a proactive measure to prevent transmission of the virus and protect our employees and students.
If you have not done so already, please review the email from the Chancellor sent at 1:43 pm today. You can find it on VCCCD Alerts. Students and the general public will not have access to on-site services college or district beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through April 10, 2020 (end of spring break). However, the colleges and District Office remain operational so that students and the general public can obtain information and assistance by email, phone, and other virtual methods of communication. Important notes about instruction, student services and operations:
- All instruction will remain remote/online through the Spring and Summer semesters.
- Student Services will transition to remote modes of delivery as soon as possible.
- Business and Operational services will transition to remote modes of delivery to the extent possible.
- Departments need to work with their supervisors to determine how services can be delivered remotely.
- Student, Business and Operational Services will remain remote at least through April 10th when the district will reassess the situation.
Employees 65 and older, as well as others vulnerable to COVID-19 are recommended to self-isolate and not be at the colleges or District Office per the Governor’s March 15th announcement. These employees should make arrangements with their supervisors to work remotely.
Please note that campus events that cannot be held virtually are in the process of being cancelled or postponed. You will be updated with specific information as these occur. All meetings of groups over 10 should be conducted virtually. Meetings with less than ten people should employ social distancing practices.
- Please visit the Campus Continuity site for information on how you can keep teaching and continue serving our students.
- We are exploring ways to support our students who have limited access to technology and internet such as free internet access provided to low income individuals through Comcast/Spectrum. Additional resources will be communicated as they become available.
- If you encounter a student who is experiencing financial hardship, please have them fill out the VC Student Emergency Grant application. For questions, refer them to the Financial Aid Office to speak remotely to a Specialist. The Financial Aid website has a new ChatBot feature to answer students in both English and Spanish in realtime.
- The Basic Needs office is providing food for members of the VC campus from 11am-1pm (Monday-Thursday) in the BSC building. There will be premade bags of staple groceries available on a first come-first serve basis as supplies last.
- Faculty and Classified Professionals can utilize the Early Alert function in Starfish to communicate concerns related to students. The Starfish Website has tutorials on how to best use the tool. Students may have critical questions regarding whether or not to drop some classes, their educational plan, or how this situation is impacting their financial aid. A Starfish Referral can help to ensure these students don’t slip through the cracks. For example:
- A student disengages when their class goes online.
- A student expresses that they are unable to access a device or the internet to study remotely.
- A student expresses anxiety about COVID-19.
Thank you again for your service to our students and your patience as we work through the complicated logistics.
Best Wishes and Stay Safe,
March 16, 2020 5:33 p.m.
Subject line: An update regarding Child Development Centers at VCCCD campuses
Dear CDC families at Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura colleges,
The Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) has made the difficult decision to temporarily close our Child Development Centers (CDC) on the Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura colleges. The CDCs at our campuses will be closed from Tuesday, March 17th through Friday, April 10th. In making this decision, we weighed the many needs of our community as well as our responsibilities to the public health of Ventura County residents. To be clear, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at any of our facilities and we view these closures as a responsible way to help limit the spread of coronavirus in our region. We will continue to monitor this situation and confer with local officials and public health organizations in the weeks ahead.
We understand this is a challenging time for everyone and apologize for the inconvenience this decision may create for your families. Please know that we reluctantly came to this decision with the goal of protecting your children’s health and safety. We understand there will be many questions still. Please know that we are addressing them as quickly as we can and please feel free to contact our facilities directly.
Here are several resources that may be useful during this period:
- How Working Parents Can Prepare for Coronavirus Closures
- Support for Families as Students Stay Home During Coronavirus Pandemic
- Psychology of a Crisis
- Talking to Children about COVID 19
- The Sesame Street in Communities Staying Healthy page for stories, videos, and interactive activities that promote healthy habits for kids in an age-appropriate format.
- Center for Disease Control
- Ventura County Health Care Agency
Thank you for your understanding and support as we all work to keep our community healthy and safe. Please be safe and we’ll be in touch with updates before Friday, April 10th.
Child Development Centers at Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura Colleges
March 13, 2020 - A Message from President Hoffmans
Dear Ventura College Student,
The VC campus is planning for the event of a partial or full campus closure, to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID19) should it be determined that our students will be better served by limited contact with others on our campus. Therefore, VC aims to provide instructional and student service continuity by offering temporary, remote instruction and student services for you.
Temporary, Continuous Instruction and Student Services
The VC campus is working to ensure all classes and services can be offered applying social distancing measures, or remotely through telephone, email and our learning management system: CANVAS. We will also offer access to ConferZOOM which will allow you to meet with a professor, staff member, or your entire class through this video-conferencing system in several instances.
Contact a VC Pirate for Help
Do you need to learn how to use the tools to access classes and services online?
Please contact our DE Student Support Desk at (805) 289-6452 ׀ VCDEStudentHelp@vcccd.edu. Or the 24-hour Canvas Tech Support line at: (844) 303-4505.
Do you need access to technology or reliable internet?
The college intends to maintain computer labs at the main campus (“The Beach” in the LRC) and at East Campus throughout the time in which the campus is engaging in social distancing. For more information, please contact our Student Affairs office at (805) 289-6464 or by email at vcstudent firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an East Campus or Dual enrollment student, who should you contact for help?
Please contact our East Campus office at (805) 525-7136 or by email at email@example.com.
Need help asking for class accommodations due to personal or family illness?
Please contact our office of Academic Affairs and Student Learning at (805) 289-6464or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should students do now?
- Track the campus website for news updates to stay up to date on if the campus is partially or fully moving classes and services to remote or distance modes of delivery.
- Check your VCCCD emails daily!!! This is the primary way your professors and the college will communicate with you.
- Contact your instructors to learn what you need to do to stay up to date in your classes. We do not plan to cancel classes for several days or weeks, we plan to offer classes and services continuously and remotely if needed.
- Download the CANVAS app and the ConferZOOM app on their phones and other devices immediately, so you can access your classes and campus resources from home and work. For help contact the DE Student Support Desk.
- Never studied online? Complete an Online/DE Student Orientation – just click here!
- Ask for help when needed. Please do not hide, avoid your classes, or procrastinate. We are committed to your success and we will help you in any way possible! Our offices listed above are staffed to help you.
Thank you for your commitment to your schooling and future careers, and to Ventura College. Please know that your success is what we VC Pirates work for every day. We are confident that we will successfully get through this Coronavirus / COVID19 crisis together.
With sincerest support to you all from your VC Executive Team,
- Kim Hoffmans, President
- Cathy Bojorquez, VPBAS
- Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz, VPAA
- Damien Peña, VPSS