I sincerely hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones well.
As you can imagine, the task of dealing with the pandemic has been a learning exercise for all of us. Like you, St. Clair College and Ace Acumen Academy administration and staff have been constantly adapting, evolving and experimenting since the viral outbreak began in mid-March. Between government-issued directives, recommendations from public health agencies, and our own internal policy-and-procedural updates, our method of delivering academic and non-academic services to you has been changing constantly and dramatically.
I thought this was an appropriate time to update you on some of our work on current projects, and to provide you with our intentions for the Winter 2021 semester.
- Our Office of the Vice-President, Academic is currently in the process of surveying all faculty members, to obtain from them their schedules of major assessments during the remainder of this Fall semester. Those schedules will be passed along to both the College’s and Ace Acumen Academy’s I.T. Departments, to ensure support and optimal capacity is available when a substantial number of students are working on these major assignments and projects.
- During this semester and the next one – and for as long as we are operating in a chiefly on-line fashion – we will be engaging externally sourced I.T. support for our students free of charge. This engagement is through AlphaKOR. Further information and details will be forthcoming from the Academic Sector.
- Both our SportsPlex in Windsor and HealthPlex in Chatham have been loaned to the local health-care systems to provide them with extra space during the pandemic. That being the case, those facilities – including their fitness equipment – have been unavailable to you. The operations of these facilities at Ace Acumen Academy have been affected as well. We are, therefore, refunding you $50.00 ($25.00 per semester) which is the portion of your student fee associated with the use of that facility as part of your Acumen Athletics Operating Fee. This amount will be credited to your student account. Additional information regarding the Acumen Athletics Operating Fee can be found under the FAQ portion of the College’s website. Please note that the Saints Student Athletic Association, St. Clair College and Ace Acumen Academy continue to provide recreational activities that comply with the current public health regulations. We thank you for your support and patience as we assist our communities with the fight against COVID-19.
- It is the College’s intention, at this moment, to deliver the Winter 2021 semester in the same manner as the Fall 2020 semester: chiefly on-line, with essential labs, clinics and workshops taking place on campuses as identified (with ongoing requirements for mask-wearing, social-distancing and the wearing of personal protective equipment).
- It is both an individual and collective responsibility to continue to practice procedures to limit the transmission of COVID-19 – both in your personal lives and as a student when you are at school (mask-wearing, social-distancing, the wearing of PPE and other regulations as defined by Public Health). Please remember to stay at home if you are symptomatic.
- To allow for the participation in synchronous delivery, for students in need, the College will support the expense of a tablet/technology up to $500 through a reimbursement process. A further communication will be forthcoming with information on this process.
- Each and every one of us want to see this pandemic come to an end and for our normal lives and lifestyles – including those of our educational settings – to resume. That will happen ... eventually ... whether by mass-vaccination (when available) or otherwise. Until that day dawns, however, your health and safety remain St. Clair College’s paramount concern. That being the case, until we – our school, our community, our province, our nation – are given the “all clear” notification from public health officials, we will, we must, continue to operate in this chiefly on-line manner.
- Finally, to help you plan your schedule for the New Year, I can tell you that it is our intention to deliver the Winter 2021 semester in a 13-week timeframe, beginning with the first day of classes on January 18, 2021.
Other Winter Semester dates:
- Monday, March 15 to Friday, March 19, 2021 is March Break (no classes or labs will be scheduled).
- Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23, 2021 is Final Exam Week, with exams conducted during regularly scheduled class times (in most cases).
Finally, I and the entire St. Clair College and Ace Acumen Academy family of administrators, faculty members and support staff commend you for your efforts to-date during this semester. You are persevering in the pursuit of your educational dreams in the midst of truly trying and extraordinary circumstances. So, we not only commend you, we admire you immensely. None of us consider the current situation to be ideal in the least, but your adaptability and dedication has made this altered educational method quite effective. We hope that many of the topics outlined above will not only make your education even more effective but, also, easier and less stressful.
Continue to study and work hard ... but, most importantly, stay healthy and well. The entire St. Clair College and Ace Acumen Academy family eagerly looks forward to the day when we can all be together once again - free of the threat of the pandemic – enjoying face-to-face class-time, and the friendship and fun of our College’s atmosphere.
Patricia France, M.Ad.Ed.