Virtual learning to continue until the end of spring 2021

An email that was sent out district-wide Wednesday, Sept. 25 stated that the entire spring 2021 semester will be online for the San Mateo County Community College District.

Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College will continue to hold courses online, as well as provide most student services remotely, through the end of the Spring 2021 semester,” the email reads. “In-person instruction will continue for certain essential infrastructure sectors healthcare, emergency services, and transportation fields, as well as critical STEM labs in key transfer areas, and to meet licensing requirements for career education programs in order to train first responders and healthcare workers to address urgent community needs and to provide direct pathways to employment.”

A few weeks earlier, the University of California became the first in the state to announce the extension of completely virtual learning for the rest of the semester. This was revealed in a letter addressed to their campus community, where as a representative for the 10-campus public research university system said it does not have an update for 2021, according to EdSource.

University officials countrywide have been planning for the reopening of schools for months, but with the current surge in COVID-19 cases on college campuses, those plans are being delayed for an unknown period.

In a quarterly teleconference with Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley held on Sep. 25, he spoke to student journalists, asking students to plan to have instruction primarily online. 

“We want to give students and families with as much certainty as possible,” Oakley said. “If, for whatever reason, there is a change in what’s going on today in terms of the pandemic, and it’s possible to bring students back in the spring, that’s certainly a lot easier to do than to just transition back to online.”