Emergency Notifications

for College of San Mateo, Cañada College and Skyline College

Message from the Interim Chancellor: Cancellation of Classes and Transition to Online Education

Dear SMCCCD Faculty, Staff and Students: 

In consultation with the Board of Trustees, college presidents and other District leaders, I want to inform you of immediate circumstances relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) that will impact how we operate in the coming weeks. Currently, there are no confirmed Coronavirus exposures on our campuses. However, to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19, we are taking the following measures to allow for the continuation of teaching and learning during this extraordinary international event:

1)      SMCCCD is not closing. The District will transition to primarily online course delivery from March 17 to April 5.The college campuses and the District Office will remain open during this time.

2)      ALL face-to-face classes are canceled from Thursday, March 12, through Monday, March 16.  All online courses will continue as scheduled during this period.

3)      Faculty should use the period of March 12 through March 16 to transition their courses to an online or distance learning format.

When classes resume on Tuesday, March 17, they should be delivered online via Canvas, Zoom or other distance-learning modalities. Exceptions will be granted for courses that cannot be delivered online such as labs, performing arts, physical education, or other similar courses.  Those exemptions will be granted on a limited basis and must be approved through the District’s continuity planning team. Faculty will receive further guidance on this from their deans.

Courses that are already being delivered online will continue without interruption. Courses being taught offsite (such as dual enrollment courses in high schools) should continue face-to-face, unless the host location closes. In that case, instructors should switch to online course delivery. Middle College students will continue with their high school courses on our college sites unless directed otherwise by their school districts; their college courses will move to an online format.

For Faculty and Staff

It is my intention to allow for as much flexibility as possible regarding the continuation of courses. I encourage and trust our faculty to use their best professional judgement during this time. The goal is to ensure that students will continue to receive instruction and support. 

The District will transition to online learning as aggressively as possible. A team of campus deans and faculty has created a plan for this transition. The plan calls for:

·         The Learning Technology and Continuity Team and District ITS are launching an instructional technology and training website today. Faculty will receive a link to the site today in separate email. Campuses and offices will remain open for faculty, staff, and administration.  When at work, please exercise social distancing protocols prescribed by public health officials.

·         Libraries and tutoring spaces will remain open to support students.

For Students

Your faculty will communicate with you about how your course will transition to this new learning process.  Please check for communications from the District regularly via your email and at your respective college’s website and through Canvas.  College resources will continue to be available.

The District has refined its Pandemic Plan for COVID-19 and will adjust operating procedures and guidelines as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. The District’s Pandemic Plan is based upon the guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health. To date, we have made decisions in accordance with our Pandemic Plan. However, given recent developments concerning the scope and the spread of COVID-19, we have made the extraordinary decision to accelerate our efforts.  We encourage all students, faculty, staff and members of our broader community to follow public health guidance on good hygiene and avoiding situations that may put you at risk of contracting this virus.

Our leadership team is making decisions on the best information available, and this information changes often. I wanted to keep this email as short as possible. However, I am sure that many of you have more questions. Please monitor your email for additional updates and further instructions. Also, we encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with District announcements at

I know that this is an uncertain and stressful time for all. I ask that we all be kind and patient with one another, and that we remain flexible during this time.  I cannot thank you enough for all that you do for our students, our colleges and our District. 


Michael Claire
Interim Chancellor

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