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LACCD developing plans to open their campuses under the yellow tier

Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez released a statement anticipating the return of students in classrooms by the fall 2021 semester.

By Megan Reyes, Staff Writer

Two pairs of people walk through the main entrance of Valley College. Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Photo by Margarita Garushyan/The Valley Star)

LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez released a statement discussing the possible return of in-person learning, student support services and administrative functions for the fall 2021 semester.

According to the March 26 press release, county health officials expect Los Angeles County to move to the orange tier on April 5. They also estimate that the county could be in the yellow tier sometime before June. This may result in more in-person environments in vast areas of around the county as early as this summer.

The news release by the County of Los Angeles Public Health stated the county qualifies for the orange tier threshold.

The president of Valley College, Barry Gribbons, has commented on what the school would look like for the upcoming fall 2021 semester.

“We're actively working on the fall specific plans with the planning assumption that being in the yellow tier,” said Gribbons. “We know that requires colleges to operate at 50 percent capacity of different spaces. That can be achieved in a variety of different ways, so we're working with our faculty to determine how about our work.”

In order for the county to qualify for the yellow tier, countries must have fewer than one new case per 100,000 people daily and a COVID test possibility rate of less than 2 percent. In addition, indoor facilities such as restaurant dining and movie theaters may open at 50 percent capacity in contrast to the orange tier opening places at 25 percent capacity.

In the announcement by Rodriguez, he stated that using the district’s Re-Engagement Grid alongside with the state’s color-coded plans will help guide the nine community colleges in local decisions for their unique circumstances that correspond with the anticipated reopening changes.

The Re-Engagement Grid correlates to the precautions of what school measures have to take depending on what tier each county is in. It talks about the re-engagements of students and employees with the state health protocols. In each section, it shows the four color tiers: purple, red, orange and yellow. In the contents section, there are instruction, student support services and admin services depending on which tier the county is.

The activity courses section states how to implement the class instruction as well as the other services provided in the colleges. With the yellow tier being less restrictive, it implements 50 percent capacity for classrooms as well as PPE requirements, distancing and mandating sanitization in between uses.

Gribbons has also addressed the question regarding if specific or all classes would make a return to in-person instruction.

“I think that most departments would have classes, perhaps even all departments, would have classes in-person,” said Gribbons with dark brown hair. “You know there are many departments, they may have a blending of having some popular classes offered in-person and some classes offered online for students who prefer to take classes online.”

With more people getting vaccinated, there are more possibilities from schools to reopen at least 50 percent capacity for the upcoming fall 2021 semester.

“Our goal is to offer in person classes to complement online classes and meet the student needs” said Gribbons. “My expectation is that this will be substantially more in-person classes than we have had for the past year.”


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