Sequoyah County high school students concurrently enrolled at Carl Albert State College are having to learn new ways to complete their studies.
In a March 21 letter from CASC President Jay Falkner, the college announced newly updated campus guidelines to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. CASC will conduct all classes via distance-learning at least through the end of the current semester.
Sallisaw High School Principal Russell Tillery said Monday that CASC’s decision to employ distance-learning for the rest of the semester has forced the school to rethink its policies and procedures for the program, which allows high school students to earn college credit.
Tillery said the school has provided laptops for those students without computer access, and they will be available for students to check out as needed. “The tough part is that these guidelines are changing constantly,” Tillery said, and the school’s policies have to evolve as the outbreak unfolds.
Vian Public Schools Superintendent Victor Salcedo said Monday that CASC’s decision has not impacted his students as of yet, and Muldrow Superintendent Ron Flanagan noted that his school is making every effort to get its students up and running.
In the letter, CASC’s Falkner said, “As we have discussed over the last week, factors surrounding the coronavirus pandemic change daily, sometimes hourly. Given that the number of cases in Oklahoma is on the rise, and now the number of positive cases in Arkansas is increasing, we found ourselves faced with a difficult but necessary decision. Effective immediately, all Carl Albert instruction, for the remainder of the semester, will be conducted in a distance-learning format,” including high school students who are concurrently enrolled at CASC.
Falkner also outlined the following procedures:
-- All CASC residence halls will be closed, and students will be required to move out of their campus residence. Students living in campus housing will be notified of a scheduled time to arrive to move their personal belongings. The number of people allowed to help you move will be limited to one. You and one additional person is all that will be allowed to assist with the move-out process -- two people total.
-- On the Poteau campus, the library will be open for students to access computer and internet services to complete their assignments. However, social distancing will be practiced, and no more than 10 individuals will be allowed in the library at any given time to access this equipment.
-- On the Sallisaw campus, the Mitchell Library will be open for students to access computer and internet services to complete assignments. Social distancing will be practiced, and no more than 10 individuals will be allowed in the area at any given time.
-- Commencement services have been postponed, and the rescheduled date will be announced at a later time.
-- No one shall be allowed on campus unless authorized to be present. Campus police will regularly patrol the grounds.
-- Should any student feel they need to be evaluated by a physician, please contact the Office of Student Affairs. CASC works closely with the Health and Wellness Center, and the Center has agreed to evaluate students virtually should the need arise.
-- Services required for student educational operations will still be present on campus. These include Financial Aid, the Business Office, Admissions, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Telecommunications, Physical Plant and Human Resources. However, all buildings on campus will be locked at all times. These offices and services will only be available by appointment. Please call (918) 647-1200 (Poteau) or (918) 775-6977 (Sallisaw) to be routed to these offices for assistance or to make an appointment.
-- Faculty members will be conducting their duties during regular office hours either on campus or remotely. Please reach out to your instructor via email for assistance and support.
-- All campus events are canceled for the remainder of the semester except for commencement, which has been postponed.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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