COVID-19 update 3.19.20 | COVID-19 Information | Naugatuck Valley Community College

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COVID-19

Up to date information on COVID-19:

 

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Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, in coordination with the Governor's office, have provided the following guidance to take every precaution to mitigate any potential impact on our campuses:

Messages to Community
McNeil-Coates, Beth E
/ Categories: COVID-19

COVID-19 update 3.19.20

Dear Members of the NVCC Family:  

 The first lines of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens sets the stage for my brief remarks today: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”  One understandably could argue that these are the “worst of times.” Yes, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the illnesses and deaths, the economic hardships, and the increasing uncertainties can make us sad and fearful. They are testing us internationally in ways most of us have not seen since previous world wars and major natural disasters.  

 However, we are seeing the “best of times” among those around us who demonstrate kindness, patience, and resilience during these challenging times. The calls for helping each other have been heard around the state and in our communities. Each day we hear about family helping family and neighbors helping neighbors, especially for our most vulnerable citizens.    

Here at NVCC, we are striving for the best of times amid this seemingly worst of times. Our faculty continue to prepare online classes so students can complete them on time, as conditions allow. Thanks to our technology experts, students have the internet tools to access the content and class interactions to benefit from the revised ways of teaching and learning. Web access to tutoring and academic advising will keep them on track toward their course responsibilities and graduation goals.    

As of this writing, both NVCC campuses are closed through the end of the spring semester.  However, NVCC staff are available by email and phone to address financial aid, records, payments, and other concerns. While we are on Spring Recess this week, our hard-working facilities staff are cleaning classrooms and buildings to maintain a healthy environment when campus-based classes and activities are cleared to resume. The NVCC Family on the Waterbury Campus and the Danbury Campus are taking care of our own.  

 On Tuesday, Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, issued directives to all 17 institutions in the system, designed to responsibly minimize exposure to the Coronavirus while also making sure that our students continue their studies this semester. Therefore, classes will resume online on Monday, March 23 and remain online through the end of the semester. We are preparing for continued academic success and students will receive further details about these classes shortly.  

As you are all aware, these are unprecedented times for higher education. I am working closely with my senior leadership team to consider ways in which we might be able to celebrate our wonderful students and their multitude of successes while complying with the guidance issued by President Ojakian and in keeping with the best practices recommended by the CDC. Please be patient as we work to plan the rest of the semester and how NVCC moves forward together.  

 Below you will find updates from the college units. Mil gracias to the unit leaders for providing us with the information. We will continue to update everyone as more information becomes available, please be on the lookout for further communications.  

In the meantime, NVCC Family Members, please follow state and national guidelines about social distancing and personal hygiene. Both are important ways to curb this unfortunate, quick-spreading virus outbreak. Conditions change almost daily, so we will be monitoring advisories and requirements from Governor Ned Lamont and the CSCU System Office. You’ll hear from us as further guidance is available. Please continue to check your college email frequently.  

 Until then, I leave you with the beautiful photo (attached) and quote shared by Christopher Tuccio, NVCC Associate Professor of Horticulture. While watering this petunia in the college greenhouse—a first bloom of spring—he was reminded of lines in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, (Section 44):   

  
“We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers,  

There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them….”  

 
We are looking still toward the best of times. Mil gracias y bendiciones to all NVCC Family Members.    

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.  

President  

Naugatuck Valley Community College 

 

A POEM IN HONOR OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH 

Entanglement 

We love what’s best in our beloved, what’s worst in them. 

You have to like what time does.  Each day I talk to the part 

of me that is my beloved from a tiny telephone in me.  

I communicate in the clicks and beeps of our abbreviated tongue. 

Love is a long trial, a wending, and an uneven effort. 

I hate the word faith, but that’s all there is. Only 

the last one standing knows the score. Think of the types  

of violence on a continuum, and toward the mildest 

end is love. I’m torn by you! I scream when my beloved  

pulls at our bond. I’m an alien host or we are two yous 

subsumed by a single body. They beloved says, You changed 

my brain; and I am at that mercy, which is meant  

as a warranty for longevity, but there is no real promise: 

you keep knowing each other and knowing each other.  

-Carmen Giménez Smith  

“Poem- Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye.” The New York Times Magazine, 1 Mar. 2020, p. 10. 

 

Academic Affairs 

First, welcome to our newest additions: Dr. Aimee Tiu Wu is our new Associate Director of ACE, and Tim Magee is our new Director of Bridge to College. Both have jumped in feet-first and at lightning speed are navigating this new, virtual environment with aplomb! 

Second, I want to draw attention to the concept of ako among the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, which refers to the ways in which teaching and learning are interrelated, that new knowledge emerges from shared learning experiences. While Academic Affairs has practiced this concept with students regularly, it takes on new meanings and heightened urgency as we all transition to an online environment. 

 Some courses are more challenging to transition to online, but I am happy to tell you that we have incredibly creative faculty and associate deans who are working with one another to brainstorm ways in which students will be able to complete their course outcomes successfully. They are supported by our librarians who are not only finding new online resources to use, but also figuring out some fun online activities for students, faculty, and staff (watch for a virtual book club and Women’s History Month Trivia!). ACE, through the leadership of Rob and Aimee, will continue to offer tutoring and mSI online (more to come on that!). Our Registrar’s office continues to address student inquiries, process graduation applications, and will soon be reminding you that mid-term grades will be due at the extended deadline of March 31. Tim is working closely with our Upward Bound coordinators to ensure they remain connected with their student cohorts in their respective high schools. And our non-credit division is putting in a lot of effort to help as many of our students complete their programs as possible. 

Finally, I offer a huge shout-out to Carrie Horvath and Lew Boyce who are (literally) working night and day to help faculty learn new technology and tools for online teaching and learning. They remain positive and patient as we lean on them more than ever before. Also huge thanks to the many faculty and staff who have offered their services via “train the trainers” for so many. 

One more thought from Academic Affairs: Kindess and joy are also contagious! 

Dr. Lisa Dresdner, Dean of Academic Affairs 

 

Administration 

The Administration Unit has been working hard to keep the operations of the College running as smoothly as possible.  Staff in the Maintenance Department have been following a deep cleaning and disinfection process for offices, classrooms, and common areas.  Mail is still being delivered to the campuses and we are working on a process that would distribute mail to various departments that must have access to deliveries (e.g., transcripts, invoices).   

Our accounting and purchasing departments will continue to create POs for purchases, is working with vendors to get them to submit invoices electronically and to cancel services that will not be needed for the rest of the semester. Of course, we will continue to pay bills!  

 By tomorrow, we expect to issue a procedure for faculty and staff to be given one last chance to retrieve items from their offices that may be needed for the remainder of the semester.  

Stay tuned. 

Dana Elm, Dean of Administration (Interim)  

 

Community Engagement 

An Evening with Legislators and Leaders (April)  had to be cancelled, but we will honor the purpose of the event. The audience will receive web-based updates. The state and municipal delegations from NVCC's 22-town service region will hear about our successes and suggestions for their continued support of the programs and services which respond to the needs of our shared constituencies. Our community leaders will learn about and comment upon our responsiveness in areas like workforce development, academic success, internationalization, and community engagement. 

Waldemar Kostrzewa, Dean of Community Engagement  

 

Danbury 

To say we are in challenging times, is an understatement. We have been faced with an unprecedented and unexpected change to how we "normally" go about our daily lives as a result of the COVID-19 virus. The health and safety of everyone who enters our campuses is our top priority. As a result, we will enact measures at the Danbury Campus that are in line with CDC guidelines regarding a safe and healthy learning environment. 

The measures will benefit all the people who walk through our doors once we are instructed to open. In the meantime, our Administrative staff will be available to assist you "virtually" and make certain that your needs are recognized and access to the support you deserve is unhindered.   

 Please email me or my staff for any questions, inquiries or concerns you may have as the semester continues. As your needs for support evolve, we will be prepared to guide you as best as we can.  

 Rest assured that our leadership, faculty and staff at the Waterbury and Danbury Campuses are staying true to our mission and vision of the college. 

 Thank you, 

Antonio 

Antonio Santiago, Dean, Danbury Campus 

 

 

Development 

The NVCC Foundation Honors Night scholarship process is underway and we continue to work diligently to ensure that students are awarded and recognized for their achievements. 

The NVCC President to President scholarship applications have been received and we are on track to award these scholarships to students.   

The following community Food Pantries will allow our students to access their services utilizing their NVCC student IDs: 

Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries (GWIM) 
770 East Main Street Waterbury 
Soup Kitchen 11am – 1pm (hot meal in to-go container) 
Food Pantry – Emergency Food bags available 

  Salvation Army of Waterbury 
74 Central Avenue
Monday - 9am – 10:45pm  
Wednesday – 9 am – 11am   
Thursday – 9am – 10:45am  

 St. Vincent DePaul 
327 Baldwin St 
203.757.0411
Food Pantry – Thursdays 1p – 2p (Food bag to go) 
Soup Kitchen – Daily 11a – 12:30p (hot meal to go container) 

 

Angela Chapman, Associate Dean of Development 

 

Human Resources 

Dear Colleagues, 

During this challenging time, the staff in HR/Payroll remain committed to ensuring continuity of services for all our employees at the College. We are all working remotely and are available by phone and email to provide guidance and answer whatever questions you may have.  

Please know that payroll has been processed for PPE 3/12/20 and below is guidance from CSCU Human Resources on how we are to move forward with coding our time on time sheets and in Core CT. Please also note that for the employees who do not have direct deposit, paper checks will be mailed directly from central payroll to the address on file. 

Currently, we are working on a process for supervisors and managers to track and report electronically the scheduled hours of part time staff working remotely.  We hope to have this process in place by the end of this week or the beginning of next week. 

 
CSCU Payroll Guidance: 
The following details basic teleworking principles as well as a guide on how to code COVID-19 related situations for payroll purposes. In addition, a FAQ is included to answer some frequently asked questions on payroll implications amidst the COVID-19 campus closures. 

Telework: 

All CSCU employees now teleworking with the exception of those employees designated as “Level 1” (formerly essential) and the following guidelines apply to those employees teleworking: 

  • Employees are expected to perform their roles to the best of their ability from home. 

  • Employees are expected to be available online via email or phone during their normally scheduled hours. 

  • For staff, supervisors should assign work to their employees that detail identifiable tasks that can be performed at home, with discernable, measurable outcomes. 

  • Employees are expected to actively monitor email and voicemails sent to email. 

  • Employees are expected to be available to return to their work site during normal 

  • working hours when requested by their manager. 

  • Employees can direct any questions on work assignments and requirements to their manager. This implies they should be in frequent contact with their supervisor for work assignments and other work-related needs. 
     

CODING PER OPM/DAS GUIDANCE: 

 How should an employee code COVID 19 related leaves or telework in CORE-CT? 

  • AUTHORIZED PAID LEAVE PURSUANT TO OR CAMPUS CLOSURES: LOPD, used in conjunction with override reason code PDC19 (see screenshot below at the end of the memorandum for an example of the use of the override reason code). However, once an employee is authorized to telework, they should follow coding for that purpose. 

  • TELEWORK: REGTC, used in conjunction with override reason code TCC19 
    Full-time faculty should code their time to REG from March 16-20 and then begin to use REGTC and the PDC19 override code. 

  • PERSONAL ILLNESS: Appropriate sick leave code and other accrual codes as necessary, used in conjunction with override reason code SCV19 

  • CAREGIVER OF A FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS SICK WITH COVID-19 (when not teleworking): Appropriate family sick leave code and other accrual codes as necessary, used in conjunction with override reason code SFC19 

  • SCHOOL, DAYCARE OR TRANSPORTATION CLOSURE (when not teleworking): Appropriate leave code, used in conjunction with override reason code BCC19 

 

GENERAL PAYROLL FAQs 

1. If an employee, EA, UA, or a student is scheduled to work but is teleworking, should they be paid? 
Yes, and it should be coded as REGTC with the appropriate override reason code (herein as PDC19). The reporting requirements for PTLs, ECLs and NCLs are covered by the terms and conditions set forth in the Notice of Appointment which include "the obligation to meet each scheduled class and to complete all assigned responsibilities, including rescheduled classes and makeup of work missed, where appropriate..." PTLs, ECLs and NCLs shall not be docked pay for failing to meet a class due to the College closing. 
 

2. An employee had scheduled a vacation prior to the recent campus closures, should they use their vacation time or the related COVID-19 payroll code? 
The employee shall code the time off as VAC. However for P-5 employees, when a shift (or portion thereof) is granted by the act of the Governor or their designee, an employee scheduled to be charged vacation or personal leave shall not be charged. However, if the employee had an entire workweek off for vacation/personal leave, then they should use VAC for the entire week. 
 

3. Our campus was forced to shut down to suspected COVID-19 exposure, how should the employees time be coded? 
Employees should be paid using the LOPD code for the length of the closure prior to teleworking. Employees should follow the telework protocol thereafter. 
 

4. It is a requirement that all employees, as able, should move to telework, how should we code that time? 
This should be treated as if they are working in a physical office location and should be coded as REG 3/16-3/20 and then REGTC after that. 
 

5. What if, at the present moment, we are unable to get the employee fully set up for telework, how should we code their time? 
This again should be treated as if they were working and coded as REGTC with the appropriate override reason code. 
 

6. If a Level 1 employee needs to work OT during this period, are they eligible? 
Yes. 
 

7. If an employee usually receives a paper paycheck, how will they now obtain their check? 
The Office of the State Comptroller will be mailing employee paychecks to the employee’s most current address on file until further notice. 

As always, please reach out to us with any questions. 

Stay Healthy! 

Kim Carolina, Kcarolina@nv.edu; 203-575-8056 
Jacquie Swanson, JSwanson@nv.edu; 203-575-8043 

Linda Pestretto-Demers, LPestretto@nv.edu; 203-596-8719 
Susan Wright, SWright@nv.edu; 203-575-8077 
Yolanda Crowder, YCrowder@nv.edu; 203-575-8267 
Kathleen Nicholson, KNicholson@nv.edu; 203-575-8145 
Brenda Bahme, BBahme@nv.edu; 203-596-8697 

 

Kim Carolina, Director of Human Resources  

 

Student Services 

As we continue to navigate the transition from in person to virtual support, the student services team remains creative, flexible and in good spirits as we identify ways to best support our students and colleagues.   

I share some of the highlights of our efforts; 
Admissions:   

  • New applications continue to be processed and students are being notified of any missing documents and their acceptance status. 

  • Allied Health select admissions application review process continues and is fully supported. 

  • Exploration has begun around virtual recruiting. 

CAPSS:   

  • Advisors have transitions to email and video advising and have contacted their advisees to share these opportunities with them and directions for setting up an advising appointment in this format. 

  • Exploration has begun around establishing an online open forum to discuss ways to support mental health needs. 

  • Advisors are putting together a list of resources to help students with such needs as: resetting passwords, connecting with transfer counselor from CSCU/other institutions, academic adjustment, etc. 

CJPCO: 

  • Exploration has begun around video workshops to support resume building/interviewing techniques, etc. 

  • Outreach continues to potential employers to support job opportunities for students. 

Financial Aid: 

  • FAFSA applications continue to be processed. 

  • Award letters are being sent to student. 

Marketing and Public Relations: 

  • Website is being updated regularly with important information from President De Filippis and the system office for all employees and students. 

  • Social media postings sharing beneficial information for students and employees continue. 

  • Exploration has begun to convert fall enrollment guides to virtual guides. 

Student Activities: 

  • Online newsletter is being created to keep students connected throughout the remainder of the semester. 

  • Exploration has begun to set up Microsoft Teams for clubs to keep them connected throughout the remainder of the semester. 

  • The student club budget for the new academic year is being created and will be approved before the end of this academic year with input from all clubs. 

Office of the Dean of Student Services: 

  • All student services team members are now meeting regularly via Microsoft Teams. 

  • With in-person commencement officially canceled for May, exploration has begun to identify other ways to celebrate the significant accomplishment of our students. 

  • Student forms necessary to support their transfer applications are being processed electronically. 
    We continue to focus on recruitment/retention and completion goals and even more mindful of supporting our students and colleagues during this time.   


Suggestions based on inquiry/input you may receive from students is most welcome.  Kindly email me with suggestions. 

Be well and stay healthy. 
Sarah Gager, Dean of Student Services 

 

NetID Password Expiration  

Until further notice, NetID passwords will not expire for 6 months. If yours was due to expire soon you now have another 3 months before a required change. This new policy took effect yesterday.  

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Precautions to Safeguard Yourself

Precautions to Safeguard Yourself

Hand washing:

All students, faculty, and staff can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases by regularly washing hands for at least 20 seconds. To learn more about proper hand washing, visit the CDC’s website page When and How to Wash Your Hands (CDC)

Other Precautions To Take:

In addition to frequent hand washing there are many other steps you can take to help prevent the spread of disease. These steps include:

  • Refrain from shaking hands, hugging, or kissing as a means of greeting.
  • Do not share food or beverages.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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