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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Resources & Information 

CDC: Coronavirus 2019

COLO: Coronavirus 2019 in Colorado

Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy. Check these external links for more specific information on the Coronavirus.

CDC: Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Schools & Communities

CDC: Travel and Health Notices

COLO: Governor Polis Declares State of Emergency

COLO: Directs Insurers on COVID-19 Coverage

COLO: Rules on Paid Sick-Leave

COLO: Reducing Fear & Taking Care of Yourself

COLO: Preventing Community Spread

OTERO: Ongoing Health Department Updates

Remote Learning Student Q & A:

Classroom and Academic Support for Students

Students  who need Internet Access for Online Learning:

Spectrum Internet free for 60 days (New K-12 and College Student Households)

 

Coronavirus Questions & Answers

This section last updated March 26, 2020

What is Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Visit the CDC COVID-19 website for more information.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The following symptoms which range from mild to severe may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Fever
Cough
Shortness of breath
Visit the CDC COVID-19 Website for more information.

Who is at risk for contracting the virus?

As of March 6, according to the CDC:
For most individuals exposed to the virus, the immediate health risk is low.
Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness.
Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
Travelers returning from affected locations under CDC Level 3 Travel Health Advisory are at elevated risk of exposure.

Level 3 locations include:
China
Italy
Iran
South Korea

What should I do if I’m not feeling well?

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus and influenza are very similar. Students who are running a fever and have a mild-to-severe respiratory illness, with a cough, sore throat, and/or difficulty breathing, should call their health provider to set up an appointment to be seen by a physician or nurse practitioner as soon as possible.

 

What is the College doing to protect the campus community?

Otero Junior College is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation, and as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is taking action to address a potential future outbreak in the U.S. that could impact daily College operations, athletics, and other educational, personal, and business travel for students, faculty, and staff.

The College has convened its Emergency Management Operations Group and is planning for different scenarios in the event it becomes necessary to implement emergency operations. We are in communication with county and state health officials to monitor the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also working closely with the Colorado Community College System Emergency Management Office for guidance and updates.

Otero Junior College has been making numerous adjustments to our daily activities as we have responded to the mandates and recommendations associated with the Coronavirus. 

The OJC Cabinet and several college staff members are meeting regularly to further outline how Otero Junior College will move forward in what we are calling our Phase I response to this on-going situation.  We are preparing ourselves to cope with additional challenges, should they become necessary; however, I want to fully communicate to our College community the steps we have defined up to this point.

Spring Break Extended

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 the College administration made the decision to follow the recommendations of Colorado Community College System and extend our Spring Break an additional week, Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

The Learning Commons will be open for the full duration of Spring Break from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

If you need assistance while off campus, you can reach the Learning Commons by calling (719) 384-6882. Enjoy your Spring Break and take care! 

Remote Learning

  1. As of Monday, March 30, 2020, all instruction will move to remote learning formats that will include teaching and learning through Desire 2 Learn (D2L), WebEx and other electronic and digital platforms as appropriate.
    1. There are program exceptions:  These programs are held to unique standards with additional accrediting agencies that require alternative means to achieve hands-on requirements. The faculty of these programs will be informed of their status.
    Classroom and Academic Support for Students FAQ
  2. OJC faculty returned to campus on Monday, March 23 to utilize the extra time transitioning appropriate courses from in-person to remote instruction and exams, and implement risk reduction plans tailored specifically for Otero Junior College. 
    1. Faculty will spend the week of March 23 preparing and communicating with their students on the specifics of how their classes will be conducted. OJC faculty will utilize the extra time transitioning appropriate courses from in-person to remote instruction and exams, and implement risk reduction plans tailored specifically for Otero Junior College.
  3. The Learning Commons will remain fully operational with initial hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  4. Students who have technology needs or concerns about remote learning should contact the staff in the Learning Commons.
  5. Students receiving disability services will work through the disabilities coordinator and the faculty teaching their courses to achieve the most reasonable accommodations.
  6. Mental health services provided by Southeast Health Group will continue by phone or other remote technology.
  7. Remote learning will continue through the end of the semester.

Impact to Veterans: GI Bill of Rights

What is the impact, if any, to GI Bill® recipients when their schools either are closed or students have been directed to take classes online as a result of precautions taken due to COVID-19?

“VA has worked with Congress to preserve GI Bill benefits for impacted students during this difficult time. The President signed S.3503, which will give the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies. The new law allows for VA to continue to pay benefits regardless of the fact that the program has changed from resident training to online training. Also, students will continue to receive the same monthly housing allowance payments that they received for resident training until 12/21/20, or until the school resumes normal operations. VA is working to immediately implement the new changes to ensure students continue to receive their education benefits. What should GI Bill Students know? There is no action required from a student. VA has scheduled training sessions for next week with all VA approved schools to provide further guidance. We will work closely with schools to ensure enrollments are accurately certified and processed timely. We are committed to providing regular updates to our students and schools through the GI Bill website, email campaigns and VBA’s official social media accounts.”

Residence Life & Food Service

  1. There will be a limited number of students who are unable to leave campus and return home. Those students will be able to continue living in the residence halls and receiving food service. Those students may expect to be moved to only one of the residence halls so that deep cleaning of the other halls can be done. We still plan to provide housing and food service for students who want to stay on campus.
  2. Students who moved out of the residence halls prior to Spring Break will have their room and board charges pro-rated.
  3. Students who left personal items in the residence halls before leaving for Spring Break and are not planning to return will be allowed back in their rooms to collect their belongings.

See Residence Hall Checkout Letter

Student Employment

  1. Students currently employed on campus in work study positions (Colorado Need, Colorado No Need, as well as Federal work study) will continue to be paid based on their average number of hours worked each week, up to March 13. Student workers WILL NOT be allowed back on campus to work after March 20, 2020. Work study students will continue to be paid on a bi-weekly basis per their original award, but WILL NOT be working.

Enrollment for Summer and Fall Semester

  1. Enrollment for Summer and Fall Semesters is opened as planned on Monday, March 23, 2020.
  2. Students will receive communications about scheduling a phone advising session through Navigate.

Financial Holds

  1. Students who have financial holds due to money still owed for Spring Semester will be given a temporary override on their accounts that will allow them to register for Summer or Fall Semesters.
  2. Final payment dates will be communicated at a later date in order for students with bills to remain in the courses they have registered for.
  3. Students are encouraged to make the necessary arrangements to satisfy their financial obligations before the end of the term.

Students Needing to Pay Online (Instructions)

Campus Operations

  1. At this time, the College will remain open for business. OJC administration is continuing to prepare for the possibility of remote work for our staff where appropriate.
  2. Faculty and staff will maintain full access to all appropriate campus buildings.
  3. All other buildings will be locked to the general public.
  4. Buildings/Rooms open to students, faculty and staff will include:
    1. Macdonald Hall
    2. Wheeler Hall
    3. Life Science
    4. Learning Commons
    5. Student Services in McBride Hall
  5. Extensive cleaning will be conducted on all public spaces, classrooms, computers and computer labs, restrooms and residence halls on a regular basis.

Work Locations & Staffing

  1. Faculty will have access to their offices during this time period.
  2. Staff members are expected, at this time, to work on-campus.
    1. If a staff member has a health or other personal reason that they feel warrants the ability to work remotely, they must present that request in writing to their supervisor. The approval for that request will be made in agreement among the supervisor, the vice president of that department and the Human Resource Director.
  3. Some staff members whose jobs involved direct student contact may be asked to assist in departments that will need additional help due to the loss of student workers.
  4. Staff members whose jobs are otherwise impacted due to lack of students on campus may be asked to take on other duties as assigned.

Travel Restrictions

  1. We will be cancelling all student and staff travel with the exception of travel mandated by an accrediting agency.
  2. Other requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Limiting Visitors on Campus

All campus tours have been cancelled during the months of March and April.

Spring Campus Events

  1. All campus events have been cancelled until further notice:
    1. On-campus orientation dates are still being scheduled for June, but students will also be encouraged to complete the online orientation in case the on-campus events are not held.
  2. No campus tours will be arranged until further notice.
  3. All home and away athletic events have been cancelled, including OJC rodeo.
  4. Silver Sneakers and OJC Dance will be cancelled.
  5. Physical Education (PED) classes will be conducted via remote instruction where possible.
  6. The Otero Arts Festival will be conducted in an abbreviated format utilizing photography and video presentations and judging.
  7. No meetings or gatherings of OJC employees or students will be allowed over 50 people.
  8. When meetings are held, please be mindful of the social distancing recommendations.
  9. We need to limit guests to the campus, so please be considerate with visitors coming onto campus or into buildings.

Athletic Event Schedules

Following the recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NJCAA has made the difficult decision to cancel all upcoming basketball championships as well as spring competition, effective immediately.

“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the last few remaining rodeos in the spring season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play.

Commencement

  1. In-person commencement ceremonies will be cancelled.
    1. Students who have already paid for caps and gowns will receive a reimbursement. However, students are responsible for the costs associated with printing diplomas.
  2. We will be exploring alternative ways to conduct a commencement and recognize student achievement.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Campus

During the two weeks that students will be off campus, the OJC Physical Plant and Maintenance Department will work diligently to clean and disinfect laboratories, restrooms, floors, surfaces and other areas of public use.

What preventative actions can I take?

The best protection from the spread of any virus, including the flu and COVID-19, is through everyday preventive actions, including the following:

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• 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. Cough into your elbow if you do not have a tissue.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. This includes your cell phone.

If I become sick, will I be penalized if I don’t attend class?

As per CDC guidelines for institutes of higher education, students, staff, and faculty should not attend class or work when sick. We ask that you work with faculty individually to see how you might best continue to participate in classes, as you are able. We have asked faculty to provide flexibility and options for individuals who may be temporarily unable to attend class due to restrictions placed on them related to possible exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Personal Health

  1. If you do not feel well, do not come to work.
    1. When you submit your sick leave request, make a note in the comment section of why you are leaving work. The HR office will be able to track our incidents of sick leave with the possibility that administrative leave could be granted for that time at a later date.
  2. If you have staff that are not feeling well, send them home.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. Ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
  2. Minimizing risk – providing/practicing social distancing.
  3. Maintaining rigor and quality educational programs.
  4. Satisfying learning objectives and accreditation standards.
  5. Ensure access and equity for all students, particularly those who might not be comfortable with remote learning.
  6. Minimize disruption to the extent possible.

I have a question not answered here. Who should I contact?

There is no doubt that many of you will still have specific questions. If you are a student with specific questions about a class, I recommend you contact your faculty member. 

For questions concerning the residence halls or athletics, contact Dean of Students Gary Addington. 719-384-6859  |  gary.addington@ojc.edu

For questions concerning financial aid or your bill, contact Financial Aid Director Kelsey Barbee. 719-384-6985  |  kelsey.barbee@ojc.edu

For questions about getting registered for next semester, contact Coordinator of Learning Commons Hailey Wold.  719-384-6946  |  hailey.wold@ojc.edu

For employment and work questions, contact your supervisor or Director of Human Resources Carol Noll.  719-384-6824  |  carol.noll@ojc.edu

 

 

What is the College doing to protect the campus community?

Otero Junior College is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation, and as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is taking action to address a potential future outbreak in the U.S. that could impact daily College operations, athletics, and other educational, personal, and business travel for students, faculty, and staff.

The College has convened its Emergency Management Operations Group and is planning for different scenarios in the event it becomes necessary to implement emergency operations. We are in communication with county and state health officials to monitor the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also working closely with the Colorado Community College System Emergency Management Office for guidance and updates.

Otero Junior College is making numerous adjustments to our daily activities as we have responded to the mandates and recommendations associated with the Coronavirus. 

The OJC Cabinet and several college staff members continue meeting to further outline how Otero Junior College will move forward in what we are calling our Phase I response to this on-going situation.  We are preparing ourselves to cope with additional challenges, should they become necessary; however, I want to fully communicate to our College community the steps we have defined up to this point.

Spring Break Extended

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 the College administration made the decision to follow the recommendations of Colorado Community College System and extend our Spring Break an additional week, Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. Unless otherwise notified, students will not be expect back to campus until March 30.

OJC faculty returned to campus on Monday, March 23 to utilize the extra time transitioning appropriate courses from in-person to remote instruction and exams, and implement risk reduction plans tailored specifically for Otero Junior College.

As of March 12, the College intends to keep all offices open and the College will continue to operate within the remote instruction model if the situation is deemed necessary by March 27.

Monitoring Travel Plans

Prior to the release of students for Spring Break, residence hall students voluntarily completed a form indicating where they would be traveling over Spring Break. Faculty and staff also voluntarily submitted their travel plans to their supervisors and the Human Resource Direction.

Suspending Out-of-state Official Travel
In addition, all out-of-state official travel by faculty, staff and students has been suspended.

Limiting Visitors on Campus
All campus tours have been cancelled during the months of March and April.

Limiting Group Events on Campus
All large group events have been cancelled during the months of March and April.

Athletic Event Schedules

Following the recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NJCAA has made the difficult decision to cancel all upcoming basketball championships as well as spring competition, effective immediately.

“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the last few remaining rodeos in the spring season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Campus
During the two weeks that students will be off campus, the OJC Physical Plant and Maintenance Department will work diligently to clean and disinfect laboratories, restrooms, floors, surfaces and other areas of public use.

Campus Operations

  1. At this time, the College will remain open for business. OJC administration is continuing to prepare for the possibility of remote work for our staff where appropriate.
  2. Faculty and staff will maintain full access to all appropriate campus buildings.
  3. All other buildings will be locked to the general public.
  4. Buildings/Rooms open to students, faculty and staff will include:
    1. Macdonald Hall
    2. Wheeler Hall
    3. Life Science
    4. Learning Commons
    5. Student Services in McBride Hall
  5. Extensive cleaning will be conducted on all public spaces, classrooms, computers and computer labs, restrooms and residence halls on a regular basis.

Work Locations & Staffing

  1. Faculty will have access to their offices during this time period.
  2. Staff members are expected, at this time, to work on-campus.
    1. If a staff member has a health or other personal reason that they feel warrants the ability to work remotely, they must present that request in writing to their supervisor. The approval for that request will be made in agreement among the supervisor, the vice president of that department and the Human Resource Director.
  3. Some staff members whose jobs involved direct student contact may be asked to assist in departments that will need additional help due to the loss of student workers.
  4. Staff members whose jobs are otherwise impacted due to lack of students on campus may be asked to take on other duties as assigned

What preventative actions can I take?

The best protection from the spread of any virus, including the flu and COVID-19, is through everyday preventive actions, including the following:

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• 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. Cough into your elbow if you do not have a tissue.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. This includes your cell phone.

What should I do if I’m not feeling well?

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus and influenza are very similar. Faculty and staff who have a fever and have a mild-to-severe respiratory illness, with a cough, sore throat, and/or difficulty breathing, should set up an appointment to be seen by a physician or nurse practitioner as soon as possible.

I’m worried about a family member who has recently traveled and might have been exposed to coronavirus. What should I do?

Call your family physician.

How a COVID-19 outbreak could affect our workplace

Employees may be absent from work because they are ill, are caregivers for ill family members, are caregivers for children if schools or day care centers are closed, have at-risk people at home, such as immunocompromised family members or are afraid to come to work because of fear of possible exposure.

Reporting for Work

Employees are responsible for reporting to work per their regular schedule unless specifically directed to follow different instructions. The College’s existing paid time off and leave policies remain in place. If you are ill or are a primary caregiver for someone who is ill, sick leave and/or Family Medical Leave Act leave may apply. If these situations do not apply and an employee chooses not to report for work, you may use accrued paid time off as appropriate with approval from your supervisor. Please refer to the Employee Handbook for paid time off and leave policy information.

Information for Employees

Employees are responsible for reporting to work per their regular schedule unless specifically directed to follow different instructions. The College’s existing paid time off and leave policies remain in place. If you are ill or are a primary caregiver for someone who is ill, sick leave and/or Family Medical Leave Act leave may apply. If these situations do not apply and an employee chooses not to report for work, you may use accrued paid time off as appropriate with approval from your supervisor.

Guidance on Leave Requests/Time Off

Sick leave can be used for:

• your own illness
• illness of family members
• medical appointments
• self-quarantine based on exposure or symptoms
• medically required quarantine of yourself or those you care for

Annual leave can be used for:

• Vacation
• appointments that are not related to medical needs
• your child’s school/daycare being closed even though your child is healthy
• choosing to self-isolate if you don’t feel comfortable coming to work because you are high-risk and/or you are using self-isolation as a preventative measure

Administrative leave:

• May be granted at the discretion of the President based on circumstances.

If you are home and not sick, there is the potential (not guarantee) that you can work remotely and not use as many sick/annual leave hours. Please communicate with your supervisor and we will work to find remote options. When submitting leave requests, please be more detailed than usual in your comments regarding why you are out. I will be tracking absences and depending on individual circumstances or if the absence is related to COVID-19, leave may be changed.

We also want to ensure that employees are not negatively affected through payroll by something that may be out of your control. If you are being seen by a medical professional for any reason, please request documentation as this will help us keep track and verify different health issues among employees (i.e. different kinds of flu).

Please let me know as you have questions or want to discuss more specifically.

CAROL NOLL
Director of Human Resources

Information for Supervisors

Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick.

Identify key personnel in order to continue critical operating functions.

Consider options for conducting essential operations with a reduced/off campus workforce.

Take into consideration who your employees interact with and the need for social distancing.

Cross-training workers across different jobs in order to continue operations or deliver critical services.

Consider how to deliver services remotely if necessary.

Determine remote work expectations.

Identify roles and resources needed

Minimizing contact among employees, clients, and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing remote work if feasible.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are provided to you through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (C-SEAP).  This is at NO COST to you. 

This is a confidential program available to help you and your family members handle the stresses involved with everyday issues or the issues associated with COVID-19.

The services are accessible through toll-free phone calls and online access.  Please call C-SEAP at 303-866-4314 or visit www.colorado.gov/cseap if you want more information or services.  

Also, locally Southeast Health Group continues to offer services at 1-800-511-5446 or visit their website at www.southeasthealthgroup.org.

Take good care of yourself and your families.  You are OJC’s most important resource. 

Refer to Your MYOJC Employee Portal for all other Employment Related Questions.

 

Guidelines and advice for students, faculty, and staff.

In the interest of the safety and well-being of our campus community, students have been asked to submit a Spring Break Travel form to the Dean of Students.

Faculty and staff have been asked to communicate all personal travel plans during Spring Break to their supervisors and the Human Resources Director.

Faculty and Staff have also been asked to suspend all college-sponsored out-of-state travel and communicate all official in-state travel plans to their supervisors and the Human Resources Director.

I plan to travel for spring break. Is it OK to travel outside the US with the novel coronavirus travel restrictions?

The spread of COVID-19 seems to be accelerating, and cases have been reported on all continents except Antarctica. Accordingly, there are risks associated with traveling outside of the US, including being exposed and restricted from reentering the country.

If you choose to travel outside of the US, you should stay alert to all travel warnings, health notices, and advisories that are located on the US Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

It is critically important to be aware that these warnings may change without advance notice, as the COVID-19 situation in a particular location can change quickly.  Additionally, transportation options may be disrupted, including flight cancellations.

In an effort to promote the health and well being of our entire community, we ask students, faculty, staff, and visitors to be respectful and not travel to campus if they are ill or have traveled to any CDC-restricted area.

What about spring break travel within the US?

If you choose to travel, remember the essentials of illness prevention are critically important if you are in areas where large numbers of people are passing through, such as airline, train, and bus terminals. Avoid others who appear ill, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth.

Are there any other travel restrictions I should be aware of?

As the situation continues to develop, all travelers should check travel restrictions to countries outside the US. This information can be found at the State Department’s travel advisory site.

Implications for athletics departments and athletics events.

Athletic Spring Schedules

Following the recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NJCAA has made the difficult decision to cancel all upcoming basketball championships as well as spring competition, effective immediately. 

“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.” 

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play.

NIRA Spring Season Update - March 20, 2020

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the last few remaining rodeos in the spring season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a rodeo coach that has one of these few events, please cancel your event immediately.

It is heartbreaking for all of our athletes, coaches, and fans, but the health and safety of everyone is the most important at this time.

As of now, the 2020 College National Finals Rodeo is still planned for June 14-20 in Casper, Wyoming. A final decision will be made by May 14th, with the advisement of the CDC and the State of Wyoming and their Public Health Departments.

Please continue to be vigilant in your efforts to share proper safe social distancing and hand washing techniques in all of your gatherings.

Thank you all for your support of college rodeo during this unprecedented and very difficult time.

Message from Rodeo Coach Linsay Sumpter

Our team is devastated by the entire situation. They have been working extremely hard during our off time and we had high hopes for a successful spring season . Though we all know it is for everyone involved health and well being, the cancellation of our spring season has been a tough pill to swallow. We are hopeful that the 2020-21 season will continue the success of Otero Rodeo .

Compliance with NJCAA Guidelines

Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation. Along with the cancellation of competition, all on and off-campus recruiting for all sports will be halted until April 15 with further evaluation to be assessed at that point in time.

The NJCAA will explore the opportunity to expand allowable Letters of Intent for spring sports for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years under the recommendation of the NJCAA Eligibility Committee*.

*The eligibility committee will meet this Thursday, March 19 to review potential Letters of Intent increases. This information will be provided to membership following the meeting.

The NJCAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

Spring Break Travel for Out-of-Season Student Athletes

Prior to the release of students for Spring Break, non-season student athletes voluntarily completed a form indicating where they would be traveling over Spring Break.

Work Study Employment Information

In light of recent developments, I would like to pass along more detail on how our work study employees will be cared for after the announcement of changes in OJC’s schedule for Spring 2020.  Keep in mind, we are making decisions to keep our students, staff, and faculty safe and in accordance with what is allowable by the federal and state regulations. 

 With OJC extending Spring break through March 30 and then transitioning to remote instruction on March 30th, we recognize that it is important for our work study student employees to not arrive on campus to work their shifts. For this reason, after March 20, 2020, student work study employees will not be working on campus until further notice. We recognize that this is a hardship not only on our offices but, more importantly, on our students who rely on that income to continue to afford to go to school. For that reason, the US Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Education have authorized schools like ours to pay students for hoursnot worked. What this means is that students will continue to receive their bi-weekly paychecks but will not be working . This does not include students who have not yet started work study positions on campus.

 Given the abruptness of the change, we thought it best to make the next payroll as easy as possible on all of our students and staff. To this end, for start of the pay period March 21, all work study students who have already earned work study hours during the Spring 2020 semester will be compensated based on the average number of hours they worked per week over the course of the Spring 2020 semester.

For example, if a student worked 3 weeks in Spring 2020 and for those 3 weeks worked 12 hours, 10 hours, and 5 hours, their weekly pay will be for 9 hours per week until the end of the semester. This will allow students to continue to receive a paycheck while not putting themselves, their families, or our community further at risk.

 Your student work study will not be completing time sheets at this time. Our Financial Aid Office staff is working with Payroll to submit time records so that work study supervisors don’t have any additional burdens at this time.

 Students will get direct communication regarding this as well, but as their supervisor, please communicate with any students if you can. 

Thank you,

Kelsey Barbee

Director of Financial Aid / Student Services

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