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Red River College implements Study Week for students in response to COVID-19

March 13, 2020

In order to reduce the number of people on campus and help protect students, faculty and staff, Red River College is implementing a Study Week for students, effective end of the day today and extending through all of next week.

This Study Week for students will allow the College to undertake several critical functions:

  • Reduce the overall number of people on campus, in accordance with public health recommendations to increase social distancing and reduce both the size and frequency of crowds and gatherings.
  • Review College programs and services, and plan for alternative delivery models for when classes resume, including increasing online learning. Not all programs can be fully delivered online, but increasing online or alternative methods of delivery where possible will help RRC manage the return to classes.
  • Determine which staff can work remotely without impacting the College’s core operations.
  • Perform a deep clean of campus facilities – an operation that is scheduled for next week and will be easier to conduct with fewer people on site.

“One of the key recommendations from public health is to reduce the number of people at gatherings — and this includes our campuses,” says Dr. Christine Watson, interim president and CEO of RRC. “Study Week for students will allow us to immediately reduce our numbers and allow staff and faculty to focus on developing plans for alternative delivery when classes resume.

“We recognize that many programs cannot be delivered remotely. However, the goal is about limiting and reducing personal contact, so there are changes we can make that will reduce this contact overall while ensuring students are able to complete their studies.”

During Study Week, the campus will be closed to students and the public. Only those visitors doing approved business with the College (such as contractors and vendors) will have access. Senior Leadership and RRC’s Incident Management Team will continue to monitor the situation in consultation with public health authorities and may extend Study Week if that is deemed necessary.

Students are encouraged to use Study Week to work on assignments, prepare for upcoming course assessments and exams, utilize online resources and other avenues to research and complete academic term papers, and hold web-based team meetings to work on and complete assigned projects.

This step announced today by RRC is in addition to other recent measures including the suspension of all international and domestic travel outside of Manitoba; cancelling of all College events and large gatherings; and restricting the number of meetings to only those that are essential to core operations.

“The health and safety of our students, staff and faculty are paramount, so we are trying to find creative ways to operate in a fluid, rapidly-changing environment. As public health authorities note, social distancing practices are a vital part of preventing the spread of COVID-19 so this step is also about RRC doing its part for the community at large.”

Watson said as news and information regarding COVID-19 continues to unfold, the College will continue to ensure that staff, faculty and students are informed and that RRC takes the necessary steps to help reduce the transmission of the virus.

The latest information will always be available at rrc.ca/coronavirus