It appears that Monday, Aug. 24, is the magic date across Plumas County, as that’s when students from kindergarten through high school, as well as Feather River College, begin their studies for the new school year.
Feather River College President Kevin Trutna outlined this week some of the measures that have been implemented as students prepare to return to online and on-campus classes.
The FRC campus opens Aug. 10 to students with safety protocols in place. Most offices should be open to students from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with virtual availability outside of those windows. Open computer labs will have extended hours to support students. Additionally, the college is conducting special sessions each day that students can access online. Topics such as housing and financial aid are being offered.
Returning staff and students will notice the addition of plexiglass in several locations, as well as new cleaning protocols. Trutna said that the college has an abundance of PPE, which he attributed to the college’s own purchases as well as a abundant supply from the state.
Students will be moving into the FRC dorms beginning Aug. 17 with priority given those who are flying in from out of the area. All students will be tested for COVID before they are allowed to move into the dorms.
Trutna said that the dorms — both those adjacent to the campus and those located in town — will house about 187 students. Strict social distancing and testing plans will be implemented and the current proposal is to allow one student per room per apartment, thereby reducing the housing capacity by approximately 25 percent. Priority will be given to those students who enroll in the on-campus classes, and some units will be held open to quarantine students if necessary.
Plumas District Hospital is developing a COVID testing program for all students enrolled in a class that meets on campus. The college will cover the cost of the initial test.
For student orientation during the week of Aug. 17, students will be assigned to one of several physically-distanced, small group, outdoor orientations. COVID testing will occur at the same time. Students also will be given face coverings, thermometers, and other safety equipment. A Safer Play app is being implemented to help students monitor symptoms before coming to campus every day.
Most classes will be held online, but some will be held on campus. Following is a breakdown:
- Lecture classes online
- Laboratory classes that lead directly to “essential worker” training as defined by the State of California will be offered in a hybrid format with on-campus laboratory instruction using proper safety protocols
- Hard-to-convert laboratory classes that do not lead to essential workforce training. The college is working with Plumas County Public Health for safe protocols and plans to offer these in a hybrid format, with proper safety requirements for on-campus instruction