PUHI — The first day of spring semester classes at the Kaua‘i Community College remains Jan. 10, with a full return to scheduled course delivery starting Jan. 24.
The notice of spring semester start comes with the advisory from the University of Hawai‘i that the 10 campuses of the UH system will temporarily move many spring 2022 in-person courses to an online delivery for the first two weeks of the semester because of the record surge of COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i due to the highly-contagious omicron variant.
“Kaua‘i Community College has long planned to provide instruction to students safely in the event of circumstances that might pose health and safety issues,” said KCC Chancellor Joseph Daisy. “Our faculty have experience with the safety protocols required for face-to-face delivery of instruction, including the wearing of masks and social distancing.”
UH joins dozens of other colleges and universities across the country that are temporarily moving courses online to start the spring semester, states a release from UH.
“Unfortunately, we have been here before,” said the chancellor. “Fortunately, we are prepared. College courses have been modified to be delivered online, face-to-face or partially online and partially face-to-face.”
UH President David Lassner made the announcement that only courses that can be “effectively taught online” will be impacted.
Many lab sections, clinical experiences, career and technical education shop courses and studios will continue to be taught safely in-person and include physical distancing, wearing masks indoors, daily health screenings and other measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Each campus will determine which courses will be moved online based on considerations, including COVID-19 conditions in the area, density of student populations in classrooms, number of students who will be traveling back to campus, and instructional needs to keep all students on track to graduate.
“Those courses running face-to-face, such as many of our CTE (career and technical education) courses, require in-person instruction,” Daisy said. “They will run as regularly scheduled. Faculty for those courses offered as hybrid may offer the first two weeks of the spring semester instruction online.”
Students and employees are encouraged to monitor announcements from campus leaders for campus-specific information.
“We are not changing course modalities, but merely making this adjustment to maximize the safety of our campuses, including those who may be returning from another island or farther,” Lassner said. “We are disappointed to take this action, but believe it is appropriate to protect the health and safety of our students and employees.”
UH campuses will remain open during this two-week period into the spring semester, including residence halls at UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo on Hawai‘i Island. On-campus services will also remain available during normally scheduled hours.
“Kaua‘i Community College is not anticipating any significant impact as a result of this advisory,” Daisy said. “The college will carefully monitor conditions on campus and adjust plans accordingly.”
Lassner also urged everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as soon as they are eligible, typically six months following the final dose. He said there are plans underway to make booster shots part of the UH vaccination requirement for students and employees.
Effective Jan. 3, all UH students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated or have a university-approved medical or religious exemption. Those with approved exemptions are required to regularly submit proof of a negative test to the LumiSight UH daily-health-check app. Students who are 100% online are the only ones excepted from the vaccine requirement.
To be on a UH campus, one must receive an all-clear from the LumiSight UH app, meaning one has to have verified vaccination information or have an approved exemption and a verified negative test result when completing the daily health screening.
Everyone is required to wear face masks when indoors, and near other people when outdoors.
Source: The Garden Island