Selkirk College has a COVID-19 Task Group Committee in place that has been coordinating the evolving response since this global health emergency came to light. Taking direction and guidance from the B.C. Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, and Interior Health, the college continues to work towards the best outcome for students and staff during this challenging time.
On this page you find information and resources to help you understand the steps taken to this point, the current status of learning on our campuses and the latest updates from college leadership.
Curtailment of On-Campus Services and Access: March 23
Dear Selkirk College Students & Employees.
With the increasing urgency for all Canadians to practice physical distancing and with much of our courses now moved to alternative delivery, access for employees and students to Selkirk College campuses and learning centres will be substantially reduced by Tuesday, March 24 at 2:00 pm. This will allow students and employees time tomorrow to retrieve any work related items.
Information for Students
To remove personal and study-related items from lockers, students can access the campuses until 2:00 pm, Tuesday, March 24. When accessing the campus, you MUST practice physical distancing and hand sanitizing. Directions for accessing each building will be through the main entrances on Tuesday morning. Please follow all signs and directions.
After 2 pm on March 24, all service areas on campuses and at learning centres will be closed to students and the public except those listed below.
In terms of essential services, the following areas only at Selkirk College will remain in operation under newly adapted practices:.
1. The on-campus housing facilities at Castlegar Campus and Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus will remain in operation and will be reconfigured as deep cleaning of vacated rooms and spreading out the remaining residents is undertaken this week.
2. Remaining work is being done to ensure as much as is possible to equip those students without personal computers with the capacity to continue their studies in alternative format. This may begin with very limited access to one selected computer lab at the Castlegar Campus and one lab at the Patenaude Building at Tenth Street Campus in Nelson. However, this last form of limited student access will conclude by no later than Thursday, March 26, at 12:00 pm.
3. Services such as Cafeteria, Bookstore, Libraries will close to students and the public by March 24 at 2 pm.
4. As alternative delivery for courses and programs gets underway this week, school chairs, your faculty and instructors will provide you with additional information for assignments, assessment and final examinations.
5. Student Services, Counselling, and other supports for your learning are now also available in alternative formats. These services can be accessed from our main website at www.selkirk.ca
Information for Staff
We are working at capacity to equip as many employees at all our sites with the option to work remotely particularly with a view to maintaining basic business continuity and asset protection. It is important that those employees who are able to work from home, do so after 2 pm on March 24, if they haven’t made those arrangements already.
Employees working in areas not described below, and not assigned alternative duties by their supervisor, and not able to work remotely through technology should also remain home, and observe physical distance protocols described below. In all cases, close contact with your supervisor through email or phone for further information is imperative. The general email address HR@selkirk.ca is also an important communication line to please use.
Along with the essential services listed above in the student section, only these additional areas at Selkirk College will remain in operation under newly adapted practices after 2 pm March 24.
1. There will be restricted access for minimal staffing in Finance, Human Resources, Maintenance for essential items, Custodial, specific IT functions, and specific administrative functions will be maintained at the Castlegar Campus.
2. Services such as Cafeterias, Bookstore, Libraries will close to students and the public by the tomorrow at 2 pm. Food services staff will need to take some additional time to deep clean the kitchens and eating areas.
3. For all other employees making the shift to working remotely, please take all materials required to work from home with you tomorrow. For those still requiring technology for you to work remotely who have not received it such as at our smaller learning centres, we are working on solutions and will be in touch directly.
4. As alternative delivery for courses and programs gets underway this week, school chairs, faculty and instructors will be provided with additional guidance and educational principles, along with considerations for alternatives for student assessment and final examinations.
5. For employees with young families who will be shifting to the added work of home schooling and daytime care for children, we will continue to work on solutions to accommodations in this regard and encourage you to discuss options with your supervisor and Human Resources.
As a final reminder, when accessing the campuses or learning centres on Tuesday to collect work items, you MUST practice physical distancing and use hand sanitizing or washing stations. All of us must continue to increase our efforts to help mitigate the spread of this virus.
Thank you all very much for your dedication and commitment to Selkirk College and our community. We will continue to monitor the situation daily as information becomes available and directions change. Please reference email, web and social media for updated information. And I will be in further touch.
With my thanks,
President, Selkirk College
Student Update for Students: March 19
Good Afternoon Selkirk College Students.
Selkirk College continues to respond to the fast-changing COVID-19 pandemic situation while following the directive from the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. We appreciate the patience of all students as we prepare to move learning to alternative delivery methods starting on March 23.
You will have already started to receive communication about your course work for the remainder of the Winter Semester from your instructors and individual schools. This disruption is difficult, but our goal remains to provide the best tools possible to get students through the Winter Semester and current course work. Alternative delivery and assessment approaches will help us reach this goal, but we continue to stress that your own personal responsibility to completing the work under these circumstances is vital.
We understand that what happens in our classrooms is only one aspect of your education at Selkirk College. At this time we would like to provide you with the latest information on how this situation is impacting other areas of the college and let you know what is available.
This information focuses on the task immediately before us all with respect to completing current course work and how college services are being impacted. Spring and summer schedules/services are also being worked on by Selkirk College, but you should expect a similar disruption in this regard.
Once again, we remind students that if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to self-isolate. The Selkirk College Healthy Campus team has provided an additional resource that deals with taking care of your mental health and you can find it here.
At this time, empathy, compassion and flexibility are more important than ever. Thank you for your continued understanding.
Angus Graeme, Selkirk College President & CEO
Update Temporary Adjournment of Classes: March 16
Good Evening Students and Employees of Selkirk College.
I appreciate everyone’s patience and suggestions as our teams have worked over the weekend and today developing responses to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Providing daily updates is important as our understanding of the COVID-19 transmission and effective mitigation continues to evolve.
Effective March 17 until March 20, all classes at all Selkirk College campuses and learning centres are temporarily adjourned to meet today’s new directive from the Provincial Health Officer that prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people.
The adjournment of classes will also provide additional time for instructors and the Education Division to prepare for moving the remainder of the Winter Semester courses and assessment for program completion to alternative delivery methods. Classes will resume under these new or revised methods commencing March 23.
We remain committed to ensuring students in all programs can complete learning outcomes and final assessment. Deans, School Chairs, the E-learning team, Campus Management, and IT Services will continue to develop strategies and actions to support instructors. Students will receive information in the coming days as to what format and schedule their respective classes will resume. Students are asked to monitor their email closely over the coming days for these instructions.
It is important to note that the adjournment of classes will mean that campuses and learning centres will remain open to provide essential and some student support services.
Important services and next steps are listed here:
Students will receive email updates from their specific program as the week progresses. Please note, this does not mean classes are canceled for the rest of the semester. Students will be expected to complete the required course work under the revised delivery of instruction.
Please also refer to earlier communications to remind yourself of additional strategies to mitigate the transmission and infection with COVID-19.
Angus Graeme, Selkirk College President & CEO
Letter from President Angus Graeme: March 15
Dear Students and Employees at Selkirk College.
As part of the planning and actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Selkirk College has been planning for the effective and achievable ways of enhancing social distancing protocols already in place and prescribed by the Provincial Health Office. This includes working this week to transition and implement, where feasible and appropriate, alternative modes of instruction and evaluation for the rest of Winter Semester to enhance social distance protocols and the safety of the community.
Larger post-secondary institutions in the metropolitan centres of British Columbia with lecture venues in excess of 250 students in the same lecture auditorium have necessarily moved more quickly to widespread distance delivery. We will similarly be moving in this direction, but in an approach over the coming week to accommodate our diverse program mix and teaching methodology.
Selkirk College offers a significant range of courses, labs, shops, studio, practica, and offers continuing education and workforce training courses all over the region. Given the wide range of courses and delivery methods at Selkirk College, it will take a few days to effectively set out and implement these changes.
I ask everyone for patience and cooperation with each other as we make the necessary adjustment in the coming days. The Education Division will take until end of day Friday, March 20 to plan the transition of their curriculum delivery to alternative modes of instruction in preparation for transition on Monday, March 23. The Education Division is working closely with IT and e-learning staff to prepare for this. For programs where there is no alternative to face-to-face, other strategies are being developed.
Planning for moving to alternative modes of instruction began last week. The Deans and Chairs will continue to work with instructors, departments and program areas to develop innovative ways to accommodate alternative methods of instruction and evaluation. Students will be informed of any implemented changes affecting them through their School Chairs and instructors.
In the meantime, and at this point, classes will continue as scheduled on Monday, March 16 unless students learn otherwise from their school. Our campuses and learning centres will remain open with services remaining in place for tomorrow. However, the situation continues to evolve, so I ask that everyone please check the Selkirk College website or Selkirk College social media sites for current information.
The COVID-19 Task Committee at Selkirk College continues to monitor the situation in the region and provide recommendations to me and to the various groups working on specific responses.
We continue to receive excellent guidance from the Provincial Health Office and are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, & Training. Currently we have received no instructions from the Provincial Health Officer to close our campuses and facilities. Interior Health is reiterating that the risk of infection in this region remains low.
At the time of this communication, there are no diagnosed or documented cases of COVID-19 at Selkirk College among students and employees.
To this point Selkirk College has:
Providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for students and employees is a focus for our deliberations and decision-making in this quickly evolving situation. We also want to ensure that students receive the education and evaluation that will deliver the learning outcomes they are expecting.
My thanks to all the Selkirk College community, students, families, employees and the wider community. Thanks to all of you who have sent me notes and emails of concern and suggestions. I have always been inspired by the way Selkirk College comes together in times of challenge and I appreciate that this situation continues to bring out the best in people.
Angus Graeme, Selkirk College President & CEO
Selkirk College COVID-19 Response FAQs: March 15
Q: What information is Selkirk College using to make decisions about its response to COVID-19?
A: Selkirk College is following the guidance of the BC Provincial Health Officer, the Provincial Ministry of Health, are working with the Provincial Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, the Interior Health Authority and other authorized agencies in both our region and across Canada.
Q: Why has Selkirk College not closed?
A: The Provincial Health Officer is not recommending the closure of any post-secondary institution at this time. From the moment COVID-19 came to the attention of the world earlier this year, Selkirk College began planning for how to coordinate a response based on both the best-case and the worst-case scenarios. Over the last few weeks, College leadership, faculty and staff have been working behind the scenes to prepare for any eventuality. As this situation has progressed over the last few weeks, we have taken measures with both action and information aimed at reducing risk and staying healthy.
Q: Why has Selkirk College’s response been different than other post-secondary institutions across B.C. and Canada?
A: Selkirk College delivers a diversity of programs on its campuses throughout the West Kootenay and Boundary region. What is consistent on our campuses is that our class sizes are small relative to many other colleges and universities in the province. Based on the March 13 directive by the Provincial Health Officer, we are continuing with delivery of our programs on all campuses for the week of March 16. However, we are now turning attention to enhancing social distancing protocols over and above recommended strategies. It is important to note that the risk of infection in the Interior Health region of British Columbia remains low at this time.
In terms of the delivery of classes, like many other post-secondary institutions in the province, we have put an increased focus on the transition away from face-to-face instruction to alternative methods of instruction where possible. This transition will look different depending on the type of program. For instance, trades programs based on the Silver King Campus in Nelson require a different approach than those in the School of University Arts & Sciences on the Castlegar Campus.
Q: If my schedule is interrupted over the coming weeks, does that impact my marks?
A: No. Selkirk College instructors are working on potential alternatives to assessment that will not disadvantage students.
Q: If the schedule is interrupted, will that affect my ability to graduate or proceed on my academic pathway?
A: No. Selkirk College is committed to completing the Winter Semester, but with possible alternative approaches to delivery and final assessment.
Q: What does this mean for Selkirk College starting in September 2020?
A: No interruption to Fall 2020 semester intakes is anticipated.
Q: Will Convocation 2020 (graduation) proceed as planned?
A: At this time, it is still premature to make this decision. Our intent is to celebrate this important milestone on April 28 as scheduled. Should there be a change to the timing of this event, students and the community will be immediately notified. If you pay or have paid your Convocation 2020 fees and the event is canceled, you will receive a full refund for those particular fees.
Q: I’m having a hard time with this and it is impacting my mental health. What resources are suggested?
A: This is a very difficult time and it is understandable that there is a heightened sense of anxiety. You should contact Selkirk College’s Counselling Services to make an appointment. You can find more information at: http://www.selkirk.ca/services/student-support-services/counselling-services
Q: Where should I seek further information?
A: There are a number of trusted agencies which are doing an excellent job of providing the latest information about COVID-19 and have extensive resources available. We suggest you visit the following websites for information that is relevant and reputable:
We appreciate the care and attention all students and staff are taking with the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds across British Columbia. If you have any further general questions about COVID-19 please contact Selkirk College Communications Coordinator Bob Hall at email@example.com.
Statement on Class Continuation: March 14
Selkirk College continues its planning and preparation for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in line with Provincial Government leadership. As of March 14, the Provincial Health Officer is not recommending the closure of any post-secondary institution at this particular time. As we continue to stress proper personal health and prevention action, classes at all our campuses continue.
Following the lead of the provincial Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer, Selkirk College has:
Selkirk College will continue to update as required through social media and our website.
Letter to Students: March 12
The COVID 19 (novel coronavirus) situation continues to be a high priority in British Columbia and around the world. Over the past few weeks, Selkirk College has been closely monitoring and planning for any potential response should it be necessary.
It is understandable that this is a time of heightened anxiety for everyone. We cannot change what happens with COVID-19, we can only prepare to deal with it. The most effective way to deal with this virus is to take personal responsibly towards recommended steps that will help lessen the spread.
Here are some ways to reduce your risk of infection:
We understand that this is a very busy time in the Winter Semester where students need to be on the top of their workload. That said, one way to stop the spread of this virus is to not come to class or common areas if you have associated symptoms that include fever, cough or having a hard time breathing. Instructors in all programs are aware of potential disruption to a student’s semester should they take these precautions and will work with you to ensure missed class time does not result in missed assignments/tests.
On March 10, Provincial Minister of Health Adrian Dix and BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a joint update about COVID-19 that included suggestions for social distancing. Since that time, it is a term being actively used in this province and elsewhere. With notable transmission of the virus still minimal in our region, we are taking a cautious approach to social distancing as we maintain our daily routines at Selkirk College. At this point, we are recommending the following actions to incorporate social distancing on our campuses:
On March 13, the Provincial Government enacted two additional reccomendations that impact Selkirk College. The first is that public gatherings of more than 250 peiple will no longer proceed which has resulted in several Selkirk College events over the coming weeks being canceled. The second is travel recommendations in British Columbia that impacts anybody who travels outside of the country, including the United States. If you have traveled beyond Canadian borders, you are being asked to self-isloate for 14 days.
If you would like to seek further information about COVID 19, please make sure that you are relying upon credible sources. Government agencies at all levels have been conducing the same process of preparation as Selkirk College. Below are a few trusted websites that provide excellent information and updates:
If you have any questions about COVID-19 as it relates to Selkirk College, please contact Vice President of College Services Kerry Clarke via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Staying healthy and active is just as important as ever. Unfortunately, all Selkirk College gymnasiums and campus recreation programming will continue to be closed for the remainder of the Winter Semester to ensure social distancing recommendations from the Provincial Government. There are plenty of other ways to get exercise in a less formal setting and we encourage all students to continue to be active. Simply going for a walk in the fresh air is a great start!
- Access to computer labs on our Castlegar Campus and Silver King Campus is available in a limited capacity. Our Building Services team continues a heightened cleaning routine on common touch areas and the labs will be limited to 10 students at one time and a maximum of two hours a station, depending on demand. The labs will remain open during regular operating hours.
- The Castlegar Campus Library is open during regularly scheduled hours, but we encourage students who use the facility to maintain the two-metre social distancing protocol. Updated library hours are available here.
- The cafeterias on the Castlegar Campus and Silver King Campus will continue to provide limited services that include sandwiches and baked goods. The cafeteria on the Tenth Street Campus is partially operated by students, so it has been closed in accordance with the adjournment of classes.
- All events and gatherings of more than 50 people have been cancelled for the remainder of the Winter Semester.
- Those learners currently living in Student Housing facilities are welcome to stay in their units until the end of the Winter Semester or their program length. There are new restrictions on activity within Student Housing, but no students are being forced to leave early.
- Selkirk College is cancelling the in-person Convocation 2020 ceremony scheduled for the Castlegar Campus on April 28. Graduating students have already received notification of this development and we are currently investigating alternative options to marking this important milestone.
- Counselling Services will continue to be offered to students, however, the service will move the phone or videoconferencing to ensure social distancing. If you have an appointment already booked, you will contacted about the change. If you need to make an appointment, please continue to book through the usual means at your campus.
- The college’s Nurse Practitioner has moved to online appointments only. Please call 1.250.231.0909.
- The Administration Building on the Castlegar Campus, Registrar’s Office and cashier are open, but limiting the number of students who enter the building at one time.
- Libraries will remain open, but social distance protocols of 1 meter will be observed;
- Cafeterias will remain open, but available seating limited to 50 at a time and spread widely;
- Computer labs will remain open, will observe social distance minimums, and have increased cleaning;
- The gymnasiums at Castlegar and Nelson’s Mary Hall will temporarily close until Friday for deep cleaning and to give time for staff to develop scheduling to limit facility attendees to less than 50 at any time. Once resumption of classes takes place students will be given the priority to use gym facilities;
- The residences will remain in operation with current hygiene and social distancing protocols in place, and limiting gatherings in social areas to a minimum;
- The Registrar’s Office and Enrolment Services will remain open with social distance protocols being observed; and
- Counselling Services will remain open for in-person counselling, but will move to online/phone counselling as soon as possible. Future appointments will be contacted with directions.
- Cancelled all events that involve more than 250 people for March and April. A decision for late-April graduation ceremonies will be confirmed this week;
- Restricted international travel including to the United States;
- Requirement of a 14-day self isolation of all in-bound international travel (including the US) of students and employees;
- Implementation of additional cleaning at all our campuses and facilities;
- Developed a self-isolation protocol for the on campus housing at Castlegar and Nelson;
- Increased hand sanitation stations at campuses;
- Implemented site-specific decisions (and will continue to) on a daily basis;
- Distributed information about recommended measures to help avoid infection.
- Canceled all events where 250 or more people attend. This includes the Top Chef event scheduled for March 19 at the Tenth Street Campus in Nelson.
- Encouraged all students and staff to restrict travel outside of Canada, including the United States. The Provincial Government has asked that anybody who travels to the United States or elsewhere beyond our Canadian borders self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Do not share drinks, food, smoking materials, eating utensils, etc.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Encouraging both students and staff to avoid unnecessary contact with others by abandoning or adjusting actions like handshakes.
- Scheduled events on all campuses will continue with enhanced messaging provided to encourage prevention measures, primarily hand washing and staying home if you have symptoms.
- Planned field trips will continue as scheduled unless otherwise indicated by your instructor.
- Regular classes are not being interrupted as we continue to strive towards the end of the Winter Semester without increased measures that would impact the schedule.
- World Health Organization