Campus News

COVID-19 Information

Latest update: 11:15 a.m., April 2, 2020

The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority, which is why we have made changes. We have shifted our academic course to alternate online delivery models to finish the Winter 2020 semester. Shifting to an alternate delivery model is a proactive step to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The Lethbridge College campus remains open and accessible to students.

This is not a decision that was made lightly. While no cases of COVID-19 have been linked to our campus, we want to take proactive steps to help during this time. We know that these are unprecedented times. And we know that many of you are feeling stressed and anxious about how this global pandemic is affecting our homes, communities and the entire world. We continue to follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Government of Alberta.

We will update this page whenever new information arises. See the FAQs below for any information you need about this outbreak and its effect on Lethbridge College.

 


Messages from our Executive Leadership Team

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 31, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 31, 2020:

Good afternoon colleagues,

We have hit the end of March, a month truly unlike any we have ever experienced before on our campus – or in our world. The world we knew on March 1 feels like a distant memory, and I want to once again thank you and recognize what we have done as a college this month. It hasn’t been easy. Times have been stressful, uncertain and scary. But I thank each and every one of you for being exceptional professionals who have come together to ensure the success of our students, and for also being inspiring people who have supported each other in countless ways.

I want to update you on a few items, beginning with our budget. Our work as an institution has us close to meeting our expenditures target, and I thank CLC for their hard work, even when it means making the toughest of decisions. But we are still looking at a deficit budget due to uncertainties in our revenues – many due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In the short term, revenues from services such as Residence and the Bookstore have been affected, while our longer term outlook around both international and domestic tuition is an unknown. These are challenges. The Executive Leadership Team will continue to work to address these challenges, but for the time being we will pause finalizing the budget as the government has extended the deadline for our mandate agreements to be submitted to May 31.

I have been connecting with colleagues from around the province nearly every day, including a meeting with the Minister of Advanced Education on Friday. Our post-secondary community is committed to working together to help navigate the challenges we all face.

While there are challenges, there are also great successes. We continue to serve our students both on- and off-campus. Having our students successfully complete this semester is a priority and I thank all of you for making this a reality. We have already seen remarkable innovation and flexibility in how faculty, staff and students have responded to the move of classes off campus, and I’ve encouraged CLC to explore how these innovations can help shape how we offer education in the future.

At the same time, the health and wellness of our entire community, as well as our role in helping to flatten the curve during this pandemic, are top priorities. I am very aware of the seriousness of this pandemic, and I want to stress the importance of our role in keeping everyone safe. We have moved as many people off-campus as possible, working in a distributed teams model. Those who remain on campus serve vital roles in student support and applied research, along with key services – for example, members from payroll, security, facilities maintenance and Human Resources, among others, remain on site. We are also working closely with contractors to allow infrastructure projects to continue. This is important both for our long-term future and as a way to continue supporting the local businesses and people who make up our community. We are ensuring that everyone who is on our campus is practicing proper social distancing and hygiene techniques. 

The campus is still accessible for those who need to be at work if it has been cleared by your supervisor, but everyone should limit their time on campus wherever possible and you should absolutely not come to campus if you are sick. We need to work together to ensure everyone’s safety.

Please continue to follow the recommendations made by the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, take care of your own physical and mental health, and work together to create community, even as we work apart.

Thank you for all that you do,

Paula

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 25, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 25, 2020:

Today we mark one week since our first classes were delivered remotely. This is a milestone worth celebrating, as it again shows our versatility and belief in doing whatever we can to support our students. It has also brought out the caring and compassion across the college, as we have all found support within our own community as we transition to this new model. Thank you all for putting our students first, while maintaining our sense of a caring community!

I want to give a special thank you to the technology gurus in both Information Technology Services and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation. Nearly everyone I have talked to in the past week – students and employees alike – has used technology this week they had never previously used. Our colleagues in ITS and CTLI have not only made sure this technology is available to each of us, but they have also spent countless amounts of time training, troubleshooting and helping each of us navigate this new frontier. Thank you.

Now that some pieces have settled down, with classes transitioning online and many employees working from home, I want to shift some of our focus to supporting our broader community. We know that everyone is in this together as we all work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The federal government asked post-secondary institutions how they can help, and I indicated that we have both medical supplies and 3D printing capabilities that could be of use during this pandemic. I have also reached out to Alberta Health Services on a local level to see if they have identified any gaps where our people or resources could be of use. If you know of other areas where we can help, please let me know!

On Friday morning, I will join our Board Chair, Michael Marcotte, along with other Presidents and Board Chairs from across the province in a meeting with the Minister of Advanced Education to discuss how the budget expectations of the Government of Alberta are affecting our institutions in light of the COVID-19 response. These are unprecedented times and I know that all of our institutions are feeling pressure from many angles, so I expect this to be a frank and open discussion. I will report back to our campus community after this meeting on Friday.

Lastly, I know this has been a period of time unlike any that we’ve ever experienced. Many of us thrive on walking into the office and seeing friendly faces and catching up with our friends, colleagues and students. But I’ve been amazed and energized by seeing how our dispersed teams are bringing us together in a whole new way. Video chats mean welcoming people into our homes and keeping a personal connection, and I encourage each of you to use these features to stay connected as often as possible. This is necessary to both our work and our wellbeing. It makes me proud to see how you have all worked together to keep these connections thriving.

As always, continue to check out lethbridgecollege.ca/COVID-19 for updated information, and continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

Paula  

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 23, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 23, 2020:

It seems hard to believe that it was only one week ago that we suspended in-person classes. The effort that it took from across campus to make this a reality was exceptional, and I can’t say thank you enough to the faculty who moved quickly to make this a reality, and to all the staff, managers and leaders who supported them and continue to do so.

I am continuing to monitor information coming from both the provincial and federal governments to keep abreast of the ever-changing public health guidelines and directives and how they affect post-secondary education.

I am fully aware of the Prime Minister’s urging to all Canadians to stay home where possible, and I am encouraging everyone who can work from home to do so.

Our direction from the provincial government has been to keep the campus open to support students with completing their term, so we will keep services in place. But, having as few people on campus as possible will help improve the safety of those who do need to be here. I am asking supervisors to work with your employees to determine who absolutely needs to be on campus, and who can work from home, and to make those changes as soon as possible.

I encourage all meetings to be done via telephone, Microsoft Teams or other technologies that we have licenses for. There is an expectation that supervisors and employees will be in regular contact during this time of working in dispersed teams. 

I know this will not be an easy transition for many of us. In typical times, there is such great energy and joy being on campus, and we all benefit from the easy collaboration and community-building that happens here. But as we know, these are not typical times. However, despite changing working locations, I still encourage each of you to find ways to connect and support each other for as long as this situation lasts.

Your health and safety continue to be my paramount concern, so please, whether you are working remotely or are one of the few who will still be coming to campus, please follow all the safe practices and advice of Alberta Health Services.

We will also be asking as many students as possible to leave our Residence, as this is the one of the ways we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our Residence will stay open to provide housing for those who have no other housing options, and we are working closely with our students to help them navigate this transition.

I spoke with the Deputy Minister for Advanced Education today to update him about our situation. I told him of our need to focus on the present and create an environment that provides as much safety as possible for our students and employees. We also spoke of the great work that Lethbridge College is doing in programming and applied research and what future opportunities exist as our world is transformed. It is good to remember our bigger mission and vision remain to guide us – and we are committed to them even as we respond to this ongoing health crisis.

Thank you for the amazing work you do, and will continue to do, every during these extraordinary times. Please continue to take good care of yourself and each other.

Paula

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 20, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 20, 2020:

As we head into the weekend after a week like no other we have ever experienced at Lethbridge College, I want to pause to give a heartfelt thank you to every one of you.

What a difference a week makes. Less than seven days ago we decided to pivot on a dime, with the health and safety of our campus community front of mind, and move nearly all of our programming online. This was a monumental undertaking and I hope that each of you is able to take pride in the way you have shown your flexibility, adaptability and creativity to make this a reality.

Students, we know it is not easy to give up your routines and learn in a brand new environment, but you have shown that you are capable of making this change and thriving. Thank you for adapting so well, and know that all of us are here – some of us still on campus, all of us available to you online – to support you.

To our faculty, chairs, Deans, Associate Deans and everyone in our academic centres, thank you for your efforts in completely shifting to a new teaching style. Your commitment to the success of our students is not surprising, but the lengths you have gone to ensure our students can finish their semesters as planned is admirable.

And to our staff members throughout the institution, thank you for supporting our every need. Thank you for solving problems, creating pathways and finding innovative ways to do business in a world that feels like it’s changing by the second. And I’d like to offer a special acknowledgement to our unsung heroes in places like Caretaking and Food Services, whose contributions have ensured that our campus is able to remain open and able to support students and the entire campus community.

This week may have been long. It likely felt emotional, uncertain and confusing. But we made it – together.  

As we hit the weekend, please take some time for your mental wellbeing. We are inundated with information, and I am always trying to keep up with the latest from the Government of Alberta and what I need to know for our post-secondary community. While it’s important to stay informed, it’s just as important to recognize your own limits and the need to unplug. This weekend, I intend to spend time catching up with my family, and getting outside to do some fat biking and running – while practicing good social distancing techniques! I urge you to take this time of social distancing to spend time with your own families in your homes, reach out to loved ones who live away or connect with your friends by phone or Facetime to make sure you stay close to those who matter most in your lives.

Again, if you need more support, don’t hesitate to contact Shepell Counselling Services, available 24/7: 

    • Students: Online or 1-855-649-8641 
    • Employees: Online or 1-800-387-4765  

Take care of yourselves and have a great weekend. I’ll be back in touch – and we’ll all be back working to support our students – on Monday. 

Paula  

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 19, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 19, 2020:

Good afternoon,

First, let me say a huge thank you to all of you for your patience as we have collectively focused on making the transition to alternative delivery of our programs a successful one for our students. Led by our faculty, who have been at the centre of the transition, the entire campus community has put an incredible amount of work into this effort. I know the students appreciate your work!

Around campus, we have been working on the elements of our business continuity plans that will begin to address the many questions you have about the campus being open, services continuing for students and what the requirements for being on campus will be. I can assure you that your health and safety are a priority, as is our collective responsibility in helping to “flatten the curve” in Alberta and beyond. 

At this time, we need to balance two responsibilities – keeping services accessible for students, and the health and safety of our campus community.

The Executive Leadership Team has met to consider this balance, while acknowledging the feelings and questions of many around campus about whether they should still be here. We received updated health information from the province and reviewed the City of Lethbridge’s announcement about declaring a State of Local Emergency. While the city’s declaration mainly allows it to access additional resources, it also goes to show the heightened state of this crisis.

Today, I am sharing with employees a newly developed guide to working off-campus. Thank you to Coreen Roth, Line Gagne and the Human Resources team for working to create this document so quickly.

Our campus needs to remain open to support students, but we recognize that not every employee needs to still be working on campus. So, we are asking all CLC members and their managers to consider what a mix of on-campus and distributed team members working off-site looks like in their respective areas. This could include potentially changing the hours of our on-campus services. 

We hope to transition in an orderly way to a mix of on-campus and distributed teams beginning Monday. We will continue to monitor updates from Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta and follow their guidance. 

The Executive Leadership Team has also issued a new document to managers and supervisors outlining leave guidelines. In these uncertain times, there are many reasons that people may be away from work, and this document will help to give some clarity on how we approach these situations.

As long as we continue to adhere to strong hygiene recommendations such as frequent hand washing, frequent cleaning of work stations, staying home if you are sick and social distancing practices, we believe it is safe to have a reduced number of people working on campus. We will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services to gather the latest information. We recognize that it is not possible for everyone to work from home, so we ask that everyone be respectful and caring for each other as we focus on these safety measures. 

And please be sure to take care of your mental health in these high-stress times by using our Shepell Counselling resources:

  •  

    Shepell Counselling Services 24/7:   
    • Employees: Online or 1-800-387-4765
    • Students: Online or 1-855-649-8641
  • On-campus Wellness Services in CE1380 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday)

On a separate note – the LCSA Food Bank is still open to students by appointment only. We have already heard that demand is rising as many students have lost their part time jobs. If you are able to chip in and contribute, please do so at the LCSA office. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. next week.

Thank you and continue to check lethbridgecollege.ca/COVID-19 for updates.

Paula

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 17, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 17, 2020:

Good afternoon,

I wanted to give you an update as the Government of Alberta has now declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We recognize that these are unprecedented times. And we know that every person is doing their best to manage this situation and the many ways it affects each of us in our day-to-day lives. Our Emergency Operations Centre is meeting daily to make sure all relevant information is shared in a timely manner.

Our job as a college is to support our learners as they shift to alternate online delivery tomorrow. While carefully following guidelines provided by Alberta Health Services, our campus remains open and services will continue to be provided on an on-going basis. Please continue to practice strong hygiene and social distancing to keep our campus as safe as possible.

Coreen Roth, Vice President – People and Planning, is working on criteria for employees should we need to shift to a model that includes people working from home, and she will share that in the coming days. If you are not able to make it to work, be sure to alert your supervisor.

In the meantime, thank you for everything you have done to support our college during this time. I’ve always believed that our people – employees and students – are our strongest asset and this continues to be proved every day.

I know this is a stressful time, so once again, I encourage you to seek out mental health support if needed:

  • On-campus Wellness Services in CE1380 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday)
  • Shepell Counselling Services 24/7:   
    • Students: Online or 1-855-649-8641
    • Employees: Online or 1-800-387-4765

Continue to check our COVID-19 information page for all updates.

Take care of yourselves and each other,


Paula

President and CEO

Message from Dr. Samantha Lenci - March 17, 2020

A message from Dr. Samantha Lenci, Lethbridge College Provost and Vice President - Academic, sent on March 17, 2020:

Good afternoon,

First, let me join Paula in adding my thanks to everyone for your cooperation and expertise during these unprecedented times. We are making changes in a very short time span, and I appreciate how all of you are dedicated to making sure that our institution’s core mandate of teaching and learning can continue.

To our Faculty, Deans, Student Affairs and Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation colleagues – thank you for being open to new ideas and ways of thinking and making sure that we can continue to deliver instruction to our students. To our college staff members – thank you for supporting our transition as we work to support students. And to our students – thank you for being willing to try something new, and for all of your feedback and suggestions as we get set to resume classes off campus tomorrow in our new environment.

I also wanted to reach out to all of you as we begin a shift to alternate online course delivery. Many faculty members have designed their courses in Canvas for years and some began that process last week. Regardless of when you started, I know you are ready to get students through the next few weeks.

Our academic teams have done an excellent job of contacting students directly about next steps, but here are a few key reminders:

Support for students:

Canvas will be your go-to resource for your classes. Your instructors will reach out with information specific to your courses.

For support, The Hive, which is an online learning community that is accessible from within all Canvas Courses, provides up-to-date information about important dates, events, resources and services. The Hive also provides live chat support and easy access to learning support from the Library, ITS Help Desk, the eLearning Café, Accessibility Services, Testing Services, Career and Academic Advising and Wellness Services, among others.

At this point, the Lethbridge College campus remains open, along with student services and supports. Students who need support in transitioning to an online learning environment can contact the CTLI Digital Learning Team at 403-320-3202 ext. 5522 or visit them in person in the Library. There is also 24/7 Canvas support accessible from the Canvas Help menu. 

Expectations for exams and assignments:

From this point forward, group exams and labs are cancelled face-to-face and alternate ways of assessment are being determined. Many faculty members have already been in touch about how students will be assessed for the rest of the semester. Normally we do not change assignments or deviate from the course outlines but in this case we must. If you have a special accommodation for writing an exam (using our assessment centre) then you can still arrange an appointment with Testing Services, but let your instructor know. We must meet the objectives of the courses so not all solutions will be the same.

Apprenticeship:

Our Dean of Trades is currently working with AIT (the governing body) on solutions for our students. We understand this takes time and they are currently reviewing those recommendations with intentions to have an answer to us by the end of the week. The Dean and Faculty members will be in touch once we have heard the Minister’s decision.

Final exams:

We will NOT be having final exams on campus. Faculty members will be finding alternative ways to complete the courses. Exams can occur on Canvas but some faculty members may choose an alternate assignment or an aggregated mark based on completion of at least 80% of the course outcomes. Please be patient as it takes time to develop these alternatives. Faculty will be in touch!

On-campus expectations:

Faculty will be on campus as Lethbridge College is not closed we are merely teaching in an alternate delivery pattern. Students can use the Learning Commons and Testing Centre. Computer labs are open (please check with faculty on specific labs) for individual work as long as students are using social distancing techniques. Faculty are also available for meetings, again using social distance techniques.

Clinical, Practicum, and Directed Field Studies:

This is a complex time and as each placement is different, students need to check with their faculty member as to how the placements are working. Some will be cancelled and some will continue but they could be cancelled as time progresses. The site coordinator and faculty will be in touch with students regarding their placements.

Support for faculty:

Many of you have already contacted CTLI’s Digital Learning Team, but it’s worth reiterating that they are there to support you. The team is located in the Library and is offering drop-in support or can be contacted via email.

There is more information about online learning on the college’s COVID-19 information page. Please keep checking Canvas and your college email in the days and weeks to come for important updates. And if you have any questions, please ask your instructors or supervisors.

Thank you for your great work as we get ready to finish this semester strong,

 

Sam
Provost and Vice President - Academic

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 16, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 16, 2020:

Good afternoon,

As the dust has settled after an eventful day yesterday, I wanted to touch base with all of you as we are underway in our new reality.

Thank you to each and every one of you, all of our students and employees, who have understood why we made the decision to postpone classes for two days in anticipation of a shift to alternate online delivery methods beginning on Wednesday. We have already seen examples of people coming together to collaborate and work towards making this the best experience possible for our students. Faculty members and support services are working together to prepare for alternate course delivery. Meanwhile, our staff members are doing great work in keeping our business running during this crucial time.

I do want to stress the need for patience and facts during this time. Everyone is working very hard to make this transition as smooth as possible. Already today, our Executive Leadership Team, College Leadership Council and Emergency Operations Centre teams have all met, along with many other centre and department meetings across campus.

Everyone is trying their best to make sure that our students are prepared to succeed.

I know there are many questions from both employees and students, and that is understandable. But please know that every question is not immediately answerable and trust that our experts are working towards solutions. Answers will come, but a little patience will go a long way.

During this time, Dr. Samantha Lenci, Provost and Vice President Academic, is leading our teams responsible for academic transition and success. Coreen Roth, Vice President People and Planning, is leading all employee-related concerns. And Simon Griffiths, Vice President Corporate Services and CFO, is leading all operational concerns.

Let’s please also focus on facts. We continue to follow the lead of Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta, led by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw. I have watched Dr. Hinshaw’s daily updates and find her calmness and leadership inspirational and comforting during these unprecedented times. We trust that the information coming from the province is factual and we urge everyone to stick to what we know – passing along speculation and rumours will only work to divide us.

There are many questions and challenges during this time, but trust that we will get through it.

We are trying to answer as many questions as possible on our information page lethbridgecollege.ca/COVID-19, so please check there for updates. Thank you for continuing to do your part by practising good hygiene, and please stay home if you are sick, even if your symptoms don’t appear to be COVID related.

With gratitude for all you are doing during these difficult times,

Paula

Message from Dr. Paula Burns - March 15, 2020

A message from Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, sent on March 15, 2020:

Hello colleagues and students,

As we head into a new week, I wanted you to hear from me directly about the college’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

First, I want to give a large thank you to our campus community. To our Facilities team for going above and beyond in cleaning, to our faculty for being flexible and prepared to switch to alternative teaching methods, to our staff for continuing to do the good work they are doing to remain committed to leading and transforming education in Alberta, and to our students who remain dedicated and committed to their education even in the midst of uncertain times – thank you all.

Your health and safety are our top priority, which is why we are making changes. Classes are suspended on Monday and Tuesday, and we will shift to alternate, online delivery models beginning Wednesday. Practicums, placements, field trips and labs are also suspended for Monday and Tuesday.

The Lethbridge College campus and all of our support services and resources will remain open and accessible to students, and employees will continue to work on-site. But shifting to an alternate delivery model is a proactive step that we can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

This is not a decision we have made lightly. While no cases of COVID-19 have been linked to our campus, we want to take proactive steps to help during this time. We know that these are unprecedented times. And we know that many of you are feeling stressed and anxious about how this global pandemic is affecting our homes, communities and the entire world. We continue to follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Government of Alberta, who say it is not necessary to close post-secondary institutions, but we chose to make this decision out of a tremendous amount of caution and care for our campus community.

This is a scenario we have been preparing for and we trust our incredible faculty to guide our students through the rest of this semester.

Students, we will email you and provide more information through Canvas before end of day Tuesday with information that you need to know to begin alternate delivery on Wednesday. Instructors, you will continue to work with your Deans and Associate Deans to put these plans into action.

I urge everyone to take care of their mental health in these high-stress times by using our Shepell Counselling resources:

  • Shepell Counselling Services 24/7:   
    • Students: Online or 1-855-649-8641
    • Employees: Online or 1-800-387-4765
  • On-campus Wellness Services in CE1380 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday)

For everything else you need to know, visit our COVID-19 information page.

For now, please continue to take recommended steps including washing your hands and staying home if you feel sick. If you need further accommodations, please speak to your instructors or supervisors.

Thank you and continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

Paula

 

Follow-up from Dr. Paula Burns at 8 p.m., following increased provincial announcements regarding the closure of K-12 schools and day cares, as well as cancellation of all in-person post-secondary classes in the province.

Good evening,

As we work through the information in a rapidly changing environment in light of new Government of Alberta announcements made on Sunday afternoon, there are a couple of points we wanted to clarify.

First, all scheduled on-campus student classes, labs and exams are cancelled for Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17.

In other words, anything students had scheduled on-campus for their classes over the next two days will not take place. We will shift to alternate course delivery beginning on Wednesday, March 18. If a student had an individual exam scheduled in the Testing Centre on Monday or Tuesday, it is now cancelled, and the Testing Centre will be in touch with additional instructions for students.

However, our on-campus student resources remain open. If you need to access the Library, Learning Café, Wellness Centre, Student Affairs or other resources, you can still come to campus. Aside from choosing to access these student services, no students are required to come to campus.

Second, employees who need to stay home while addressing childcare concerns in this new environment can do so on Monday.

We recognize that these are unprecedented times and the cancellation of K-12 classes and closure of daycares presents a unique challenge to parents. With this announcement coming with such short notice, we know parents will need time to figure out solutions.

If you are unable to be at work tomorrow please be in touch with your supervisor.  This is a crucial time for our business continuity as we deal with a new reality of delivering alternate curriculum methods starting Wednesday – and all the moving pieces that go with that.

If we all work together and understand each other’s unique situations, then we will make it through all of this stronger than before. 

Thank you for your commitment to Lethbridge College and your understanding during these times.

Please continue to check lethbridgecollege.ca/covid-19 for additional information.

Paula

 

Current conditions

Have there been cases of COVID-19 linked to Lethbridge College?

There have been no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to any member of the Lethbridge College community at this time.

What is the current COVID-19 situation in Alberta?

As of March 17, the Government of Alberta has declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The government and Alberta Health Services are assessing the risks associated with COVID-19 in the province and providing daily updates.

You can learn more about the current state of COVID-19 cases in Alberta and Canada on the Government of Alberta website.

How do students access mental health supports?

All students have access to 24/7 mental health supports through Shepell Counselling Services.

Free, remote mental health and well-being support is provided via Shepell Student Support. To access this support:

  • Call 1-855-649-8641 (or 001-416-380-6578 if outside Canada or the USA - call charges apply)
     
  • Visit mystudentsupport.com
     
  • Download the free My SSP app from your device's App store
    • Real-time chat and telephonic consults are available 24/7 via the app.
    • After downloading the app, ensure your profile is up to date and that you have allowed push notifications as a way of staying in touch with relevant support.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can call the Distress Line of Southwestern Alberta at 403-327-7905 or 1-888-787-2880.

Please note that given this time of heightened concern, call and chat volume may be high and wait times may be longer than usual. Shepell Student Support appreciates your patience and understanding.

How do employees access mental health supports?

All employees have access to 24/7 mental health supports through Shepell Counselling Services.

Free, remote mental health and well-being support is provided via Shepell's Employee and Family Assistance Program. To access this support:

  • Call 1-800-387-4765
     
  • Visit workhealthlife.com
     
  • Download the free My EAP app from your device's App store
    • Real-time chat and telephonic consults are available 24/7 via the app.
    • After downloading the app, ensure your profile is up to date and that you have allowed push notifications as a way of staying in touch with relevant support.
    • The app helps employees to access and book counselling services including 24/7 counselling, financial advice and more.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can call the Distress Line of Southwestern Alberta at 403-327-7905 or 1-888-787-2880.

Please note that given this time of heightened concern, call and chat volume may be high and wait times may be longer than usual. Shepell Employee and Family Assistance Program appreciates your patience and understanding.

 

College operations

Are classes on-going at Lethbridge College?

As of Wednesday, March 18, all classes have been shifted to alternate online methods.

There is no requirement for any student to come to campus, although many on-campus services remain open for students who choose to access them.

See the "Online learning supports" section below for more details on alternate online course delivery.

 

Is the Lethbridge College campus still open?

The Lethbridge College campus is open, but face-to-face classes are suspended, with all classes now shifted to alternate online delivery.

Support services, such as the Buchanan Library, Wellness Services, Student Affairs and the Lethbridge College Students' Association offices remain open and accessible to students. All other services remain accessible through phone, email or live chat. Note that the college's Fitness Centre, Val Matteotti Gymnasium and squash courts are closed indefinitely.

The Lethbridge College Students' Association Office remains open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The LCSA Food Bank is available by appointment only. Contact the LCSA to access the Food Bank.

All employees who are able to work from home have been urged to do so. Only employees who are unable to work from home, or who are needed to keep student services running should remain working on campus.

What are the operating hours of the campus?

The college has changed it hours for accessing buildings on campus.

All exterior doors will be locked at 6 p.m. on weekdays, except for the Centre Core main doors, which will close at 10 p.m. For access after 10 p.m., please use the intercom. Doors open at 5 a.m. weekdays but this is subject to change as conditions warrant.

On weekends and holidays, if you need to access campus, please use the main doors only. All other exterior doors will be locked on weekends. This practice will remain in effect until further notice.

Security may ask for your college identification in order to access campus.

The Buchanan Library is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday and is closed on weekends.

Are Residence buildings still open?

As of March 24, all Residence students who are able to move out have been asked to do so as soon as possible in a proactive move to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Residence buildings remain open for those who are unable to return home.

 

Message from Dr. Paula Burns sent to Residence students, March 24:

We appreciate how the Residence experience enhances your educational journey while making our campus community even more vibrant. We thank you for choosing Lethbridge College and for being a key part of our engaged campus population.

At this time, however, that experience has to become secondary to the health and safety of everyone on campus. So, today I am asking that if you are able to move out Residence and return home, that you please do so as soon as you are able to make arrangements.

Our leadership team is evaluating the on-going COVID-19 situation on a daily basis, and we are making decisions that align with provincial and federal guidelines, as well as what we feel is best for our campus community.

Over the weekend, I reflected on how important it is for everyone to take as many preventive measures as possible. The more people do to change their behaviour in support of lessening the spread of COVID-19, the better for everyone. It is our responsibility to help prevent spread. 

Students who are living in Residence will be supported throughout the process, and our excellent Residence team is here to help. Residence will remain open to serve those who have no other place to live.

Those who are able to leave will receive a refund for April residence fees.

If you have further questions, please contact:

I’d also like to extend special thanks to our entire Residence team for the great work they have done all year long, and especially during these last difficult weeks. Please continue to look to them for support, as they will continue to be here for you as we work through this unprecedented new challenge.

Please take care of yourselves and be kind each other as we work through this transition.

Paula

What happens if I have an exam scheduled in the Testing Centre?

If you have an exam scheduled for the Testing Centre contact them at 403-328-3368 or testing.services@lethbridgecollege.ca to check on the status of your exam.

 
Are college-related events continuing?

Lethbridge College has cancelled or postponed all events for the foreseeable future. Messages will be sent once events resume.

Questions about specific events should be directed towards the event organizers.

Convocation, scheduled for Friday, April 24 at the Enmax Centre has been cancelled. Please see the next section for further information.

All Lethbridge College Students' Association social, awareness, recreation activities and club events have been cancelled and The Cave social space is closed. Students can receive refunds for activities they’ve paid for by contacting the LCSA at lcsa@lethbridgecollege.ca or 403-320-3373.

Is Convocation still happening?

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and with recommendations from provincial health officials, we have made the difficult and disappointing – but also necessary – decision to cancel Convocation. We value the health and safety of our students, staff and community, and we want to do all we can to support ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the disease.

We are working to find other ways to celebrate our graduates, and we will be in touch in the weeks ahead with more details about that.

Key points:

  • The event will not be rescheduled, however, we are looking into ways 2020 convocates can participate in the May 2021 ceremony.
     
  • Those who have applied and paid the fee to Convocate will receive a refund.
    • It will not be an immediate refund as we are still working out the process, and we thank students for their patience as we set up a system to make sure everyone is reimbursed.
    • We will contact students via email with more details. Please remind your students to continue checking their college email regularly.
       
  • Student credentials are expected to be mailed in June.

"I know that for many of us, Convocation is one of the very best days of the year, and it will be hard to not feel the energy and excitement that starts with the sound of the first bagpipe note and continues to the moment the last name is announced. But just as our community is about more than what happens in the physical classrooms, so too are we about more than a ceremony. We are still so very proud of the discipline, commitment, flexibility and dedication our students have shown in completing their programs, and we will celebrate them wherever we are on April 24. It is a pleasure and an honour to be part of their educational journey – and nothing has changed about that."
-Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email convocation@lethbridgecollege.ca.

Can I still come for a campus tour?

Campus tours have been suspended through April 30. At this point, campus tour bookings are still being accepted for May 1 and beyond.

Is the fitness centre still open?

The college's Fitness Centre, Val Matteotti Gymnasium and squash courts are closed indefinitely.

If you need to retrieve items from your change room locker, please email ada.larson@lethbridgecollege.ca

What happens if I have college-related travel planned?

All college-related international travel has been cancelled and banned until further notice. This includes both student and employee trips.

Scheduled travel within Canada can continue at this point, although employees should alert supervisors if they are traveling, particularly if they are getting on an airplane.

All future college-related travel needs approval from a member of the Executive Leadership Team prior to booking.

Has the college taken steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19?

The college regularly cleans and disinfects all areas of the college but has increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-traffic areas on campus in response to the outbreak.

Specifically:

  • Caretaking has increased hand sanitizers all over the campus and increased disinfecting high-touch surfaces. The team will continue to ensure spaces are cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • The caretaking team is using only disinfectant solution on all surfaces, including glass and any type of flooring.
  • Hand-pumped sanitizers are in all the washrooms.
  • Pedestal hand sanitizers are stationed at busy entrances in the college.
  • In addition, the caretaking team has amplified disinfecting with an electrostatic sprayer that is being used in most public areas around the institution. 

All students and employees are urged to practice proper hygiene techniques. Students and employees should remain home if they feel ill.

 

Learning supports

Support for students *** UPDATED April 2

All classes have moved to an alternate online delivery.

There are a few important reminders for all students:

  • Instructors should be your first point of contact for any class-related questions.
     
  • Canvas will be your go-to resource for your classes. Your instructors will provide information specific to your courses.
  • For support, The Hive, which is an online learning community that is accessible from within all Canvas Courses, provides up-to-date information about important dates, events, resources and services. The Hive also provides live chat support and easy access to learning support from the Library, ITS Help Desk, the eLearning Café, Accessibility Services, Testing Services, Career and Academic Advising and Wellness Services, among others.

  • At this point, the Lethbridge College campus remains open. Students who need support in transitioning to an online learning environment can contact the CTLI Digital Learning Team at 403-320-3202 ext. 5522 or visit them in person in the Library. There is also 24/7 Canvas support accessible from the Canvas Help menu. 

Our Student Affairs team has put together these tips to support your success:
 

April 2 video message:

 

 

March 27 video message:

 

How do students access services?

All of our services are available to students through online chat, email and telephone options. Services that are still available in-person on campus are marked below. Click on the following services to learn more and access contact information:
 

Support for faculty members

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation’s Digital Learning Team is the lead on-campus support. The team is located in the Library and is offering drop-in support or can be contacted via email.

What is Canvas and how do I access it?

Canvas is an online Learning Management System (LMS) created by Instructure that allows instructors to connect with students in a virtual environment with everything from announcements, discussion boards, content pages, web-lectures and assessment tools.

Lethbridge College has used this system since 2014 with very high satisfaction rates from faculty and students.

All students and faculty can access Canvas from the Lethbridge College Webpage. Because Lethbridge College uses a single sign-on, all students and instructors are already set up and courses they are registered in are available to them.

If you need support in accessing or using Canvas, contact the Digital Learning Team at 403-320-3202 ext. 5522 or by email at digital.learning@lethbridgecollege.ca.

Further Canvas support is available through:

What are the expectations for exams and assignments?

From this point forward, face-to-face group exams and labs are cancelled and alternate ways of assessment are being determined. Many faculty members have already been in touch about how students will be assessed for the rest of the semester. Normally, we do not change assignments or deviate from the course outlines but in this case we must. If you have a special accommodation for writing an exam (using our assessment centre) then you can still arrange an appointment with Testing Services, but let your instructor know. We must meet the objectives of the courses so not all solutions will be the same.

What does online learning mean for apprenticeship students?

As of March 18, we have received an update from Apprenticeship and Industry Training Alberta.

In brief, all apprenticeship courses that began March 2 have been cancelled. That includes all periods of our Plumbing, Heavy Equipment Technician, Carpentry, Welding and Automotive Service Technician programs. It also includes all periods of Electrician, except for the fourth period that is just finishing.

Weekly Apprenticeship Training System (WATS), Parts Technician, Cooks and Baker programs will continue in an online format. Fourth-year Electrician will also be completed online as all labs are finished and just testing is still needing to be completed.

Refunds or a monetary transfer to upcoming courses will happen at a later date. Apprentices can come pick up their personal belongings from the college at their earliest convenience.

 

Message from Apprenticeship and Industry Training Alberta:

Apprentices who started classroom instruction on or after March 2, 2020:

  • Classroom instruction for registered apprentices will be cancelled for any sessions that started on or after March 2, 2020.
  • Priority will be given to affected apprentices seeking to re-register for classes in the 2020/21 academic year.
  • Institutions will provide refunds to apprentices who started classroom instruction on or after March 2, 2020, in accordance with their institution’s policy.

 

Apprentices who started classroom instruction before March 2, 2020:

  • Apprentices who started classroom instruction before March 2, 2020, will be advised by their post-secondary institution on whether or not their classroom training will be considered complete or if distance learning will be available.
  • Distance delivery will begin the week of March 23.
  • Apprentices who complete the program and are in good academic standing will not be required to write the provincial theory exam or complete a practical assessment.

 

Messages for all stakeholders:

  • The Government of Alberta is taking these unprecedented steps as part of an overall strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • Advanced Education has been working with eleven post-secondary institutions who deliver classroom learning to determine the best course of action that will help protect the health of apprentices, instructors and staff.
  • We are adhering to these core principles: promotion of public health and safety; exercising an abundance of caution; maintaining academic integrity; and progression of apprentices through classroom education.
  • The attendance policy will be suspended during this time to eliminate any confusion about program cancellation or apprentice suspension.
  • All Apprenticeship and Industry Training exams being written at an AIT office will be suspended until April 1.
  • All practical assessments will be suspended until the fall.
  • Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services offices will suspend counter-services until further notice to protect the health of AIT staff and clients. Services will continue to be provided online and through the AIT Information Line: 1-800-248-4823.
  • AIT Officers will be temporarily suspending site visits until further notice.
  • Information gathering and follow up on compliance activity will be done by telephone or targeted site visits.
  • It’s important that everyone support social distancing in situations where there is client interaction, including apprentices, employers, other employees and GOA staff.
  • Strategies to mitigate suspensions and closures are currently underway.
  • Updates will be posted on tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
What do international students need to know? *** NEW March 30

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The content below is not a substitute for legal health and immigration advice. It is for information purposes only and can change without notice. Please keep checking the web links provided below for up-to-date information on special measures put in place by Alberta Health Care / COVID-19 specific and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) web page on IRCC Coronovirus Special Measures.

If you have a question that is not answered on this site, please email international@lethbridgecollege.ca.


HEALTH AND WELLNESS


IMMIGRATION-RELATED

The content below is not a substitute for legal immigration advice. It is for information purposes only and can change without notice. Please keep checking the website Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on special measures to help international students, temporary and permanent residents, and applicants affected by COVID-19.

  • While completing studies online, can I increase the number of hours of work or does it remain 20 hours/week?
    • No. Even though courses are online for the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester, this is still a regularly scheduled semester. During a regularly scheduled semester, eligible students who are registered full-time (9 credits) can only work off-campus for up to 20 hours/week.
    • Refer to the IRCC website on working off campus as an international student and study permits: off campus work.
       
  • Will my online coursework affect eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program?
  • Will I need a letter from Lethbridge College regarding my online studies for the remainder of this semester?  
    • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has advised that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect PGWP eligibility.
    • If a student is unable to complete full-time studies due to reasons related to COVID-19, a letter of explanation will be provided by the Registrar’s Office when applying for a study permit extension.
    • When you request documents from the Registrar’s Office for extending your study permit or applying for your PGWP, they will provide a letter of explanation regarding part-time study and COVID-19. If you were required to study part-time, then you will require the letter and you can include it in your application; if you were not required to study part-time as a result of COVID-19 you can simply dispose of the letter and not include it with your application.
    • The Registrar’s Office is available to assist students by email at registration@lethbridgecollege.ca and will provide the necessary documents electronically to accompany an application.
       
  • I am in my final term of study and I just received an email that my credential will be mailed to me in June. I need to apply for my Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) before then. What should I do?
    • Students do not require a parchment in order to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. Once final grades are submitted to the Registrar’s Office, students can request a confirmation of graduation letter and transcripts, which will indicate graduation. These two documents submitted to the PGWP application will confirm successful completion of the program of study. Here is a list of the Registrar’s Office important dates and deadlines.
    • Refer to IRCC’s webpage on work in Canada after you graduate: about the process
    • For students whose study permit will expire before receving marks, there are two options:
    • apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer, or
    • leave Canada and apply for your PGWP
    • Keep checking Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on special measures to help international students, temporary and permanent residents, and applicants affected by COVID-19.
       
  • What happens if I cannot finish my practicum or other Work Integrated Learning placement? Do I need to apply for an updated co-op work permit if the dates change?
    • An extension to a co-op work permit is only required if the co-op work permit expires before the scheduled co-op term finishes.
    • Refer to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for information on work as a co-op student or intern.
       
  • I would like to take online classes in the Spring (May) Semester. Is this possible?
    • Please contact an Academic Advisor to discuss the options for the Spring Semester. The Spring/Summer term is considered a regularly scheduled break; it is not mandatory for current international students to take courses during this term. During a scheduled break, eligible students with a valid study permit can stay in Canada without taking courses in the spring/summer term.
    • Refer to the IRCC Help Centre for other questions.
       
  • My Study Permit will expire in the next few weeks, and I may not be able to retrieve all the required documents (transcript, etc.) for my application. What do I do?
    • International students who are currently in Canada can apply to extend their status online if they need to extend their status. An international student who has applied to extend their status is allowed to remain in Canada until a decision is made on their new application, even if their initial status expires while they are waiting for that decision. This is called implied status. They should not travel to a port of entry (POE) to apply directly to a border services officer. Travelling to a POE from inside Canada for the purpose of getting immigration services is not considered essential travel and they will not receive these services.
    • Please refer to the IRCC for special measures to help international students, temporary and permanent residents, and applicants affected by COVID-19.
    • The Registrar’s Office is available to assist students by email at registration@lethbridgecollege.ca and can provide the necessary documents electronically to accompany an application.
Are practicums and placements still on-going?

This is a complex time and as each placement is different, students need to check with their faculty member as to how the placements are working. Some will be cancelled and some will continue but they could be cancelled as time progresses. The site coordinator and faculty will be in touch with students regarding their placements.

 

Working from home employee information

Are Lethbridge College employees working from home?

As of March 23, all Lethbridge College employees who can work from home have been urged to do so. Employees continuing to work on-site include those whose work makes it unable for them to work from home and those who are needed to maintain services for students.

From President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns:

Our direction from the provincial government has been to keep the campus open to support students with completing their term, so we will keep services in place. But, having as few people on campus as possible will help improve the safety of those who do need to be here. I am asking supervisors to work with your employees to determine who absolutely needs to be on campus, and who can work from home, and to make those changes as soon as possible.

What are the college's working remotely guidelines?

Lethbridge College Guide to Working Remotely

March 18, 2020

 

Overview

This guide will provide direction and suggestions for employees and supervisors regarding working from home during Lethbridge College’s response to COVID-19. Where work permits, supervisors and employees should consider if they are able to reasonably and appropriately conduct their work remotely (e.g. from home).

For Supervisors

Working remotely may be necessary to minimize the risks of community transmission of COVID-19. If an employee has been directed to self-isolate in accordance with Alberta Health Services guidelines and they are not ill or if they are medically at-risk (those who have medical conditions that place them at a higher risk), they may be directed to work from home or in a remote work environment. Review the following guidelines to determine how to work remotely in your unit.

A. Determine if Working Remotely is Possible or Required

  • Review the work assigned to your employees to determine which functions, duties and activities may be appropriately performed from a remote work location. Depending on the nature of the duties, you may be able to temporarily modify duties and limit remote work to critical and essential functions that can be performed online, via telephone or video conference, or other methods. If regular duties are not able to be performed, but alternative duties can be (e.g. develop a training manual), you may assign alternative work and reassess during the remote work situation.
  • NOTE: If your employee is ill and required to self-isolate, they will not be required to work remotely until their health enables them to do so.

B. Arrange Necessary Equipment, Supplies and Systems

  • Determine what equipment, access and supplies your employees may need to work remotely. If your employees do not have the appropriate technology (e.g. computer/laptop/tablet, video camera, telephone, etc.), contact IT to see what options are available, or assign other duties that don’t require that equipment. Ensure that your employees know how to access the College’s Microsoft applications remotely and how to use video conferencing tools. Ensure employees who require access to systems such as Ellucian Colleague System (HR, ST, CF, CORE, UT, WebAdvisor, Retention Alert, Instant Enrolment) understand how to access to the College’s virtual private network (VPN) if necessary.

C. Share Procedure Manuals, Documents and Information

  • If your employees who are working remotely will require procedure manuals, templates, documents or other information that isn’t readily available from a remote location, consider moving the required information to a SharePoint Drive. Consider scanning paper documents to electronic format for easy sharing if necessary.

D. Establish Communication Channels

  • Ensure that your employees know how to reach you via email, phone, cell, text or other method. Develop a contact list to share among your employees if required. Ensure that employees know how to use Microsoft Teams or other meeting tools to enable team communication when necessary.
  • When employees are working remotely, you will need to check in with them on a regular basis to assign work, review progress, monitor outcomes and ensure their health and well-being. Establish a protocol early as to who will contact who at what frequency to ensure ongoing communication as necessary.
  • Ensure your employees continually monitor the College’s website for important communication and announcements.

E. Access and Keys

  • If your employees are working remotely, ensure that you have the required access to locked cabinets, rooms, etc., while those employees are away. Access may be difficult to arrange if key personnel are not at the College when you need them and a filing cabinet key is at home with the employee.

F. Maintain a List

  • Keep a list of all your employees and whether they are or are not working remotely so that you can ensure you maintain continuous contact. Keep a log of when people began working remotely either due to self-isolation or other reasons. You may be asked to provide this to OHS if necessary.

For Employees

Working remotely may be necessary to minimize the risks of community transmission of COVID-19. If you have been directed to self-isolate in accordance with Alberta Health Services guidelines and are not ill, you may be directed to work from home or in a remote work environment. Review the following guidelines to determine if and how to work remotely.

A. Determine if Working Remotely is Possible and/or Required

  • Talk to your supervisor
    • Contact your direct supervisor to discuss your eligibility to work remotely. Eligibility will be determined based on the nature of the work performed, whether it can be completed remotely in a safe and healthy manner, whether appropriate tools and resources are available, and whether the College’s campus remain open.
       
  • Alternative Work
    • Based on operational needs, your supervisor may authorize remote work or working from home. If your regular duties are not conducive to working remotely, your supervisor may assign other duties as necessary.
       
  • Self-Isolation
    • If you have been directed to self-isolate for 14 days and are not sick, you will be directed to work from home. If you are able to fulfill all or most of your normal duties remotely, continue to do that work. If your regular duties are not conducive to working remotely, your supervisor may assign other duties as necessary. If you are sick and unable to work, you will be focused on your health and recovery, and will not be required to work during your illness.

B. How to Prepare

  • Understand relevant policies
    • As a member of Lethbridge College’s community, you are entrusted with using and managing the information technology resources responsibly, respectfully and in a manner that reflects high ethical standards, mutual respect, and civility, in accordance with the College’s Information Technology Security Policy and Procedures
  • Determine what files and applications you may need
    • The files and applications you’ll need to access remotely can vary depending on the nature of your work. Identify where your needed files are located (e.g. on a network shared drive or on an Office 365 Drive) and ensure that you will be able to access them remotely.
    • Identify and confirm the applications that you will require to work from home. Make a list of the applications and identify how to access them. Many common applications such as Microsoft 365 which includes email, Calendar and SharePoint can be accessed using only a web browser on any computer, tablet or phone. There are some work applications, such as Ellucian Colleague that will require a secure connection to the campus network. For these applications, you may require VPN to connect to them. Not all college employees will have access to VPN.
       
  • Gather everything else you’ll need to be productive
    • If you will be using video conferencing tools, think about any additional hardware you may require. Does your computer have a built-in microphone and speaker? Do you need a headset for your phone? Are there additional things like power adapters that you’ll need to bring home from the office? Can you access your voicemail through your email?
       
  • Determine if equipment and/or supplies are needed
    • Determine if there are special supplies or equipment that might be needed when working remotely. Speak to your supervisor about those needs.
       
  • Ensure privacy and security
    • When working remotely, ensure you follow the College’s policies and procedures for ensuring the privacy and security of information. If you have a dedicated work space (e.g. home office), use that to conduct your business, answer phone calls, video conference, etc.
       
  • Test your equipment now
    • Don’t forget to do a test-run to make sure your equipment and applications work as expected. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact your IT Help Desk at 403-320-3333 via email or on Teams at helpdesk@lethbridgecollege.ca

C. Working Hours and Expectations

  • Unless otherwise directed by your supervisor, if working remotely, you will be expected to work your regularly scheduled hours. Confirm with your supervisor if you need to adjust your start and end time. If you need to work longer than your regular shift, your supervisor must pre-authorize overtime. Your direct supervisor will set expectations, assign work and track measurable outcomes.
  • Depending on your role and reasons for working remotely, your supervisor may, at times, require you to physically report to work to meet operational needs.

D. Communicating with your Team and/or Supervisor

  • The ability to communicate and be responsive while working remotely is expected. Direct supervisors will set expectations around response times and preferred mode of communication. Ensure that you know the contact information for your supervisor and other key members of your team. Establish your necessary contact lists so that you will have them when needed.

E. Working Safely and Healthy

  • When working remotely, employees should factor their well-being into their home work environment. If you are not used to working remotely, you may experience challenges adjusting to a different environment. Loneliness or isolation can occur if you are working alone, or it may be hard to focus if there are other stimuli around you in your home environment. Follow these tips when appropriate:
    • Connect virtually with your colleagues and others
    • Build physical movement into your work day. Take regular breaks (five minutes of every hour) to look away from your computer and move about.
    • Choose a location in your home that has limited distractions and ample lighting
    • Maintain good posture where you sit
    • Ensure a safe working environment within your home
    • Stay consistent with your eating, sleeping and exercise routine as appropriate
    • If you have peripheral devices such as an external keyboard, mouse, headphones and/or monitor(s), connect them to increase your comfort
    • Maintain boundaries to prevent overwork – unplug at the end of the day

F. Childcare / Dependent Obligations

  • Because of COVID-19, remote work may be necessary if you are not able to arrange alternative child care while K-12 schools, daycare centres and other child care centres are closed. Staff must exhaust all options for alternative childcare if possible. However, discuss with your supervisor if work from home arrangements are appropriate and can be accommodated.
  • If your child or dependent is ill and needs you to care for them, contact your supervisor and discuss appropriate working from home arrangements. Depending on the need, you may discuss alternative duties, modified work, alternative schedules, leave with pay or other arrangements to balance the needs of childcare/dependent care and work.

G. Working Remotely Checklist

  • Use a Lethbridge College laptop if you have one. Alternatively, use your own Windows or Mac personal computer (or tablet).
  • Identify the applications you need to access from your home.
  • Install any additional applications that you need on your computer.
  • Test all of your applications to verify that they work.
  • If you need specialized software or applications, contact the IT Help Desk for instructions.
    • Contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions.

H. Working Remotely Timeline

  • Working remotely is a temporary solution to manage the community health risks with the COVID-19 pandemic. The College is working closely with Alberta Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer to implement measures as necessary. This temporary solution may be rescinded or concluded if:
    • There are no longer reasonable grounds for this arrangement
    • The health isolation time limit set by AHS has changed or expired
    • The employee becomes ill and is unable to reasonably work
    • Expectations and/or measurable outcomes are not being achieved
What are some frequently asked questions about working remotely?

Employee FAQ

This is in effect from March 23, 2020 on a go forward basis and will be updated as needed.

This applies to all Lethbridge College employees and follows the respective collective agreements/terms and conditions of employment of each employee group.


Working remotely

  • Review the Working Remotely Guidelines.
  • Check-in with your supervisor regularly.
  • Check email and the college website for updates every day, even on weekends.

Pay and Leave

  • Pay will continue for all permanent staff who are ill, need to self-isolate as directed by Alberta Health Services or their doctor, and/or are working remotely.
  • Those who cannot report to work due to childcare issues, please see Managing Childcare section below.
  • Although the College is directing as many employees as possible to work remotely, the College remains open and the positions that can only be performed on campus have been identified. Those employees are still able to report to work at the direction of their supervisor and will continue to be paid. Should work not be available, employees will be required to use vacation, banked time, and/or be placed on temporary layoff.
  • If a decision is made to close the College, essential services will be identified and employees required to report to work on campus will be notified.
  • If a decision is made to close the College, those employees who are able to work from home will be required to do so. Those who are not will be required to use vacation, banked time and/or be placed on temporary layoff.
  • All remote work requires regular contact with your supervisor.

Feeling Ill

  • Employees experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms (or any illness) must stay home as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of any virus.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment on the Alberta Health Services website and follow the guidance provided.
  • If you are ill and directed to self-isolate, contact your supervisor to advise them that you will be absent from work due to illness. Stay in contact with your supervisor to provide updates. Please see Self-isolating section and follow the AHS Self isolation information sheet.
  • If AHS testing confirms that you have COVID-19 diagnosis, follow their instructions and advise your supervisor as required for general illness leave.
  • If you are off-campus due to illness of any kind and are not working remotely, you must complete an online leave request.
  • Your supervisor will fill out an absence report and submit to OH&S.

Self-isolating but not feeling ill

  • If you are directed to self-isolate, contact your supervisor to advise them that you will be absent. Stay in contact with your supervisor to provide updates.
  • You will be directed to work from home, if feasible. Speak to your supervisor to explore options for working from home at full or modified duties.
  • If you have already been working from home, advise your supervisor of your situation.
  • Follow the AHS Self-isolation information sheet.
  • Your supervisor will fill out an absence report and submit to OH&S.

What is social distancing?

Caring for someone with COVID-19

  • Stay home and take all reasonable precautions to protect yourself while you care for the person. Contact Health Link 811 for advice.
  • Contact your supervisor to advise them of the reason for your absence. If it is feasible, you may be directed to work from home fulfilling your own duties or alternate/modified duties. Discuss options with your supervisor.
  • Leave provisions as per the collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment (e.g., family illness leave) will be applied.
  • You may use vacation or banked time, request leave without pay or temporary layoff if the absence is for an extended period of time.
  • Employees without pay are encouraged to explore federal income support programs.

Managing Childcare

  • Consider all reasonable options for alternative childcare while daycares and schools are closed.
  • Discuss options with your supervisor for modified hours or duties, and if you are still working on campus, discuss working from home.
  • If you are unable to work due to childcare or other family or personal responsibilities, you may use vacation, banked time, or request leave without pay or temporary layoff.

Medical condition that increases risk

  • Speak with your supervisor to advise them of your concern. It is not necessary to disclose your medical condition to your supervisor.
  • Discuss alternatives to modify your work to decrease exposure. If modified duties are not appropriate, you will be expected to work from home if feasible.
  • Follow Alberta’s guidance on preventing and reducing the risk of infection.
  • Your supervisor will fill out an absence report and submit to OH&S.

Concerned about COVID-19 by coming to work

  • Contact your supervisor to discuss your concerns.
  • If there are reasonable grounds for health and safety concerns in the workplace, the issue will be investigated and steps will be taken to remedy the situation.
  • Protocols outlined in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act will be followed.

Colleague tests positive for COVID-19

  • Alberta Health Services will alert the appropriate people as quickly as possible if a confirmed COVID-19 case is identified.

Returning from travel outside of Canada

  • All individuals returning from travel outside of Canada after March 12th are required to self-isolate for 14 days. See Self-isolating but not ill section above. Follow the AHS Self-isolation information sheet.
  • If you are not sick, discuss options with your supervisor for working from home options.

Travelling outside of Canada

  • Please note that international travel is not recommended at this time.
  • Employees who are leaving Canada to travel on or after March 12, 2020 will be required to self-isolate upon return. Follow the AHS Self-isolation information sheet.
  • You must contact your supervisor to advise of your travel plans.
  • Upon return, if the employee can work from home they will be required to do so.
  • An employee unable to work from home will be placed on vacation leave or leave without pay.

College closure

  • Select facilities or offices at the College are closed.
    • Discuss work options with supervisor. If you can work from home, you will be required to do so. All remote work requires regular contact with your supervisor.
    • Employees may be redeployed to other locations or facilities.
    • If alternate duties can be done from home the supervisor may consider alternate/modified work.
    • Should work not be available, employees will be required to use vacation, banked time, and/or be placed on temporary layoff.
  • Full College closure
    • If a decision is made to close the College, essential services will be identified and employees required to report to work on campus will be notified. All remote work requires regular contact with your supervisor.
    • If a decision is made to close the College, those employees who are able to work from home will be required to do so. Those who are not will be required to use vacation, banked time and/or be placed on temporary layoff.
Where do I get technological help for working from home?

Information Technology Services and the Help Desk are available to help with any technology needs, and they will be available even if campus is closed. Contact the Help Desk through email or by calling ext. 3333 (on-campus) or 403-320-3333 (off-campus). You can also contact the Help Desk using Teams by searching for and initiating a chat with helpdesk@lethbridgecollege.ca.

Instructors have adapted their courses to be available online, using Canvas as the main delivery tool. Microsoft Teams is also available for collaborative purposes such as document editing, chat, phone and video conferencing.

Employees can take the following steps to be prepared to work from home on short notice:

  • If you have a work-issued laptop, get in the habit of bringing it and a power source home at the end of each day.
  • On a home or college computer, users can install the Microsoft Teams desktop app and sign-on to ensure uninterrupted communications with co-workers. This also will assist the ITS Help Desk with screen sharing and remote desktop access for potential troubleshooting.
  • Move necessary files from collaborative drives or local storage on desktop computers to cloud-based apps like a Microsoft OneDrive account or a Lethbridge College SharePoint site for easy remote access.
  • Colleague power users (i.e.; those who require Colleague WebUI) should request VPN connections on their college-owned laptops ASAP to ensure business continuity.
  • Think proactively about what you would need to work from home. Make plans to ensure that you have what you need and have tested everything for proper functionality.  

During this time, the college will be vulnerable, both physically and technically. Please be extra vigilant of opportunistic phishing attacks which may seek to take advantage of the uncertainty.

How do I connect to Microsoft Teams? *** NEW April 2

Microsoft Teams: Did You Know?

If you are working from home (or still coming onto campus), Microsoft Teams is a powerful communication and collaboration tool integrated with Office 365.

  • Teams is cloud-based, so it’ll work from anywhere on any device with an internet connection.
     
  • Staff, faculty, and students alike can use it immediately as part of the college’s global licensing.
    • Use it in a browser or download the app for a better experience on your computer, smartphone, and/or tablet.
    • IMPORTANT: be sure to set your chat and group notifications to something attention-grabbing from within the settings menu(s).
       
  • Users can video chat, voice chat, or simply send private, instant messages 1-on-1 or to a group.
    • Ad hoc group chats are limited to 100 participants, but pre-populated college teams are virtually unlimited.
    • Desktop screen-sharing and presenting is seamless.
       
  • Outlook emails and SharePoint files integrate natively for real-time collaboration.
     
  • It’s so simple and intuitive to use.
    • The ‘Help’ section within the app has a few short videos to get you started.
      • If you need more than the basics, this LinkedIn Learning course covers all you need to know.
      • Bonus: If you need assistance and can’t be on campus, the ITS Help Desk now offers chat support. Simply start a conversation with helpdesk@lethbridgecollege.ca on Teams today!
With K-12 schools and day cares closed I have to stay home to find child care solutions. What should I do?

Because of COVID-19, remote work may be necessary if you are not able to arrange alternative child care while K-12 schools, daycare centres and other child care centres are closed. Staff must exhaust all options for alternative childcare if possible. However, discuss with your supervisor if work from home arrangements are appropriate and can be accommodated.

If your child or dependent is ill and needs you to care for them, contact your supervisor and discuss appropriate working from home arrangements. Depending on the need, you may discuss alternative duties, modified work, alternative schedules, leave with pay or other arrangements to balance the needs of childcare/dependent care and work.

 

Health, wellness and prevention

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

According to Alberta Health Services, if you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing and have travelled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link 811.

If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link 811 first. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

What if I have had contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

According to Alberta Health Services, if you were in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days we recommend that you self-isolate and limit your contact with others for 14 days and call Health Link 811 for additional advice.

How do students access their benefit plans?

Gallivan and Associates Student Benefit Coordinator Ley Bodie will not be on campus for the remainder of the semester. All student benefit information is accessible at mystudentplan.ca/lethbridgecollege.

If students have any health and dental benefit questions, they can reach Ley by email at lethbridgeplan@mystudentplan.ca.

How can I help to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

According to Alberta Health Services, to help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19, you should:

  • Wash your hands often and well
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
  • When sick, cover your cough and sneezes and then wash your hands
Do I have to take extra precautions if I’ve been traveling?

Albertans who are currently travelling outside of the country are recommended to self-isolate on their return for 14 days, independent of the country they were visiting.

You can do this by following these guidelines, which include:

  • Avoid close contact with other people, especially those with chronic conditions, a compromised immune system, or seniors
  • Do not attend work, school, social events or any other public gatherings
  • Watch for symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath in yourself or family members
  • Call Health Link 811 at the first sign of symptoms. Call from home before going to a health care facility, unless severely ill.
  • If severely ill and in need of immediate medical attention call 911 and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

If you are unsure if you should be self-isolating, or if you have questions about how to do it, follow these guidelines or call Health Link 811.

Further information for travellers returning to work and school can be found on the Alberta COVID-19 website.

Departing Travellers

Albertans are NOT recommended to travel outside of the country at this time:

 

About COVID-19

What is novel coronavirus COVID-19?

According to Alberta Health Services, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Others cause illness in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

We encourage you to visit the Alberta Health Services website for more information about COVID-19.

How does it spread?

According to Alberta Health Services, COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or direct contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or with surfaces they have recently touched.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to Alberta Health Services, symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to those for influenza or other respiratory illnesses. They can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

The majority of cases have reported mild symptoms. Older adults and people with medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are more likely to become seriously ill.

Find more information on symptoms of COVID-19.

What are the differences between COVID-19 and influenza?

According to Alberta Health Services, in some ways, COVID-19 is similar to influenza (also known as the flu):

  • Both COVID-19 and the flu cause respiratory disease in people who get sick.
  • Both are spread the same way, via small droplets from the nose and mouth.
  • Neither one is spread through the air over long distances and times, unlike a disease like the measles.

However, there are some key differences between COVID-19 and the flu:

  • COVID-19 does not appear to transmit as efficiently as influenza. Only those with symptoms seem to be mainly spreading the disease. This means that when people with symptoms are isolated, controlling spread is possible.
  • We currently have no specific vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 causes severe disease in a higher percentage of cases than seasonal influenza. Estimates of mortality in COVID-19 cases depend on many things, but on average they range from about 1-2 deaths per 100 people infected. By comparison, seasonal influenza is deadly in about 1 in every 1000 who are infected.
  • Because COVID-19 can cause such a serious illness, it is critical to keep it from spreading by having people with a cough or fever stay home and away from others.

Find more information on symptoms of COVID-19.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

 

Do you have a question you don’t see here? Contact Frank Zappone or Paul Kingsmith.