Staff COVID-19 Resource Guide

Resource Guide for Staff for COVID-19 Changes to the Academic Plan

In an effort to continue appropriate communication with our students, we also offer a Student Resource Guide. Please assist this communication by making suggestions! (Go here if you’re looking for ways to help others in our SSU community or have ideas.) 

In-person courses are scheduled to continue remotely from Tuesday, March 24 through the end of the spring semester. Residence halls, dining services, and the Student Health Center continue to serve students. See the Library’s Continuity Plan for their services. Dining services is providing “take away” meals. Other campus supports and services for students and faculty are operating remotely.

General Information on Coronavirus:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/

https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/selfcare.asp 

1. Working remotely

All staff are encouraged to work remotely. This will be a new and possibly challenging shift for many of us! 

Low-cost Internet: Because the campus remains open, on-campus internet is available. Additionally, several cable companies are offering free internet during this time. Here are their Covid-related web pages: include Cox, Charter, Comcast, Xfinity, and AT&T

Sonoma State’s IT helpdesk is available to assist with teaching and learning during this time in addition to providing technical support. The helpdesk can be reached by phone 707.664.4357 or by email helpdesk@sonoma.edu.

The Chancellor’s Office recently released this Temporary Paid Administrative Leave Provisions during the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) memo. The memo details the provision of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave for all benefits-eligible employees, academic student employees, and non-represented student assistants to be used for COVID-related absences starting today, March 23rd, through December 31, 2020. Note that hourly intermittent staff are not included in this memo. 

2. Wellness Communication with Students and Colleagues

A. Safety 

Sonoma State will be using NomaCares as a central website for campus community members who are impacted and need assistance. NomaCares email: nomacares@sonoma.edu.

As you communicate with colleagues or students, please first inquire about their health and wellbeing. People are experiencing this pandemic in very different ways. Please be sensitive to these feelings and encourage those in need to contact NomaCares, even if they are not sure their situation merits it. Let them know that all NomaCares requests are treated sensitively and confidentially. We can provide some reassurance and some help.

Student Affairs staff will work with Academic Affairs staff to manage student issues. Faculty questions will be referred to Faculty Affairs and staff questions will be referred to Human Resources. 

B. Physical or Mental Health 

Watch for signs that people are experiencing physical or mental health concerns as a result of the changes to the campus and coursework caused by the pandemic. If you or your colleagues need help, please contact Human Resources for our Employee Assistance Program. Students should be referred to the Student Health Center or to Counseling and Psychological Services. You may also contact NomaCares at nomacares@sonoma.edu to let us know about students who need assistance.

C. Travel

Only essential travel is permitted at this time. In general, Sonoma State University encourages students, faculty, and staff to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State recommendations for travel. The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 interactive map provides up to date information for your consideration. 

2. Academic Communication with Students

Please assist our remote accessibility by ensuring forms used by your office are available online (not just in hardcopy). Any forms requiring signatures should be transferred to Adobe Sign. Please do not deviate from Adobe Sign as you transfer departmental forms to be available virtually. SSU’s IT department has vetted Adobe Sign for security and accessibility. Students and faculty can sign forms using mobile devices, Chromebooks, and computers. 

Many of our students are worried about their classes and are seeking guidance and communication. Faculty members will develop different plans for managing their classes as the situation evolves. You should encourage students to communicate with faculty as soon as possible regarding changes in dates and assignments. 

When classes resume in either remote or face-to-face modalities, we will still need to support students who may be experiencing difficulties related to the pandemic. Remember that students may not want to share their experiences of fears in front of other students. You can remind students about campus resources available to support them. Here are a few links to share:

NomaCares email: nomacares@sonoma.edu

Counseling and Psychological Services

Student Health Center

Advising Central 

Financial Aid

Faculty are navigating an unprecedented teaching situation, they may reach out with questions. March 12, 13 and 23 classes were cancelled in order to provide faculty who do not teach online the chance to prepare to teach classes remotely. The remainder of the semester will be taught remotely. The IT helpdesk@sonoma.edu is available to assist. There are many resources posted to the Faculty Center website and also many workshops running to help faculty adapt to this new situation. Faculty can also be referred to the Faculty Resources page.

3.  Academic Deadlines and Processes

A. Academic Calendar for Spring 2020 

SSU’s spring 2020 Commencement and cultural celebrations have been postponed. 

Some deadlines have been extended, for example:

  • Credit/No Credit -  Students may petition to change their grade-mode from letter-graded to CR/NC after the semester has ended. This option is available now through June 5th 2020 at 5:00pm and only applies to courses taken in the Spring 2020 semester. To make this request, use the Special Circumstances for Spring 2020 form on the Registrar’s website. For more information, see our guide to Academic Grading, Withdrawal, Refunds, and Financial Issues
  • Course Repeats - The campus policy on course repeats ordinarily permits a student to repeat a course in which they earned a C- or below once for “grade replacement” and again for “grade averaging” in the same grade mode, up to a total of 16 units. The temporary modifications for Spring 2020 are the following:
    • Students who are repeating a course in Spring 2020 that they previously took for a letter grade may use a CR earned in Spring 2020 for “grade replacement.”

    • Students who earn either a CR or a NC grade in Spring 2020 may subsequently repeat the course for a letter grade. 

    • Students who are currently repeating a course in Spring 2020 for “grade replacement” may choose to take the course a third time in a future semester for “grade replacement.”

    • Units earned for a repeated course in Spring 2020 are excluded from the 16 unit maximum for “grade replacement.”

  • Withdrawing - Between May 9, 2020, and December 4, 2020, students who have explored and exhausted all other options, may petition to retroactively withdraw from one or more classes after the last day of instruction. To make this request, use the Special Circumstances for Spring 2020 form on the Registrar’s website. For more information, see our guide to Academic Grading, Withdrawal, Refunds, and Financial Issues.

The policy change can be found here: Temporary modifications to University Policies, Credit/No Credit Policy, Withdrawal from Courses, Academic Probation, Disqualification, and Progress.

If you have concerns about a student, please contact nomacares@sonoma.edu and provide the student’s full name and student ID if you have it. For graduate students, you may also contact the Office of Graduate Studies at graduate.studies@sonoma.edu

B.  Course Adjustments

There may be major adjustments made by faculty to their courses this semester. Please urge students to check in with their instructors via email and through Canvas for updates. Faculty are referred to a separate Faculty Resources page.