SMCCCD is ready to welcome all students back fully in-person

It has been 20 months since the last time the District has held full-time in-person classes

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Andrea Sto. Domingo

A movie poster for the premiere of in-person sessions.

The spring 2022 semester is ready to welcome back all students fully in person. All three campuses are set to transition back into in-person classes and services starting spring 2022, with rules that every student must follow.

Every student must be fully vaccinated in order to participate in in-person classes and services. Students won’t need to bring in their vaccination cards, instead they will have to verify that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 on the WebSmart home page.

Log into Websmart and go to the student services tab and click on the COVID-19 vaccination link at the very top of the page. Then students will need to select fully vaccinated and snap a picture of their vaccination card. Students should get an approved or declined email within a day or two when they have submitted.

Every employee, student or visitor entering the campus is required to wear face coverings in an indoor public setting. If you have misplaced your mask, you can ask any campus facility and one would be provided to you.

Campus employees will help keep the students safe by cleaning and disinfecting heavily student-populated areas at least once a day. Areas such as the classrooms, workrooms, and conference rooms, etc. Heavily interacted surfaces such as elevator buttons, and door handles.

The District advises that students should stay at home if they are feeling sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Both Jonathan Zaragoza and Samay Tandel, who are Skyline College students, explained how safe they feel going back to classes in person after months of going online.

“I do feel safe because as long as everyone is taking the safety precautions necessary then there shouldn’t really be a problem,” Zaragoza said.

“I feel safe going back to in-person classes. I think with the vaccine and mask (mandate) in place most students feel safe attending classes in person,” Tandel said.

In-person services and classes can help get more students involved in campus clubs. The transition to online learning was tough for the clubs because they weren’t able to meet in person and needed to have their meetings online.

The expectation is that classrooms will be filled with students having their professors right in front of them to ask any questions they may have.

“We are able to get help face to face instead of waiting for an email from a professor. We will also be able to interact with our classmates instead of doing independent work most of the time,” Zaragoza said.

Some students prefer to learn in-person more than online because they are visually looking at their professors and not at a computer screen.

“Some pros of going back to school is being able to learn visually and having less distractions,” Tandel said. “Some students are visual learners and they learn better by experience and having to stay focused in class.”

Online learning presented challenges for professors as well. Professor Lindsey Ayotte explained the challenges she had while teaching remotely.

“It has been challenging as an instructor to create a sense of community in asynchronous courses. I also feel like I’m working three times more teaching online than I did when face to face,” Professor Lindsey Ayotte said. “I will say that the pandemic has challenged me to re-examine and re-imagine the way I teach.”

The transition from learning online to in-person learning can be difficult but the district is doing its best to ensure everyone feels safe.

“I am looking forward to the transition back to campus and looking forward to interacting with humans and not tiny blank black zoom boxes on a screen,” Ayotte said. “I think the district is doing their best to ensure a safe return.”

Students of the district can look forward to next semester’s plan towards bringing the community back together on their campuses.