Dear Members of the Anna Maria Community,
I would like to begin by expressing my sincere thanks for your patience during this unprecedented time. Senior management at Anna Maria has been working closely with the Department of Public Health, medical experts, guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and adhering to instructions from government on both the state and federal levels. Based on the best available information from the public health community, we are at a pivotal moment with respect to both the spread of the COVID-19 virus and our ability as a college to take proactive, rather than reactive, steps.
In this letter, I will update you on the following topics:
· Online learning for the remainder of the academic year
· Cancellation of all campus events through the end of the semester
· Financial considerations for reimbursements
· Guidelines for working remotely for faculty and staff
I had hoped that we could complete the semester in our regular classes and in-person community, but for reasons that are increasingly apparent, I am very sorry to say that this course of action is no longer possible. This is why I have made the difficult decision to finish out the spring semester with remote instruction.
Beginning Monday, March 23rd, all classroom instruction will be moved online. The faculty have been hard at work to ensure that the transition from classroom to online learning is as seamless as possible. I ask the students to please check your email regularly for updates from your professors as there will be many updates relative to technology support, advising and registration. All offices within Student Life will be available remotely throughout the semester, including the Student Success Center, the Counseling Center, and the Career Center. Also, the Student Life Office will be sending out messages encouraging students to stay connected with all of these services and to participate in online activities.
To the students, I fully understand your deep disappointment at having your academic and social experience here on the Anna Maria campus end so abruptly. The guest lectures, drama productions, concerts, athletic games, and student-led events that are a highlight of the spring will be missed by many; however, there was no choice but to cancel all campus events through the end of the semester. The College will evaluate the situation as it relates to all Commencement activities as decisions associated with COVID-19 are made. Safeguarding the health and safety of the entire Anna Maria community is top priority.
With regard to reimbursement to students for room and/or board, the College is developing a process to address refunds. I ask that you allow time to finalize the work involved and if you have any questions, please reach out to the Student Account Office at 508.849.3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To faculty and staff, while the students will be attending classes online, it is important to note that Anna Maria College remains open as there is much work to do. We find ourselves in a situation that is, quite literally, beyond our control. I understand that the solutions we are offering place extra demands on all members of our community. However, I am confident that we will resolve the issues we face together.
There are many circumstances that have or will continue to present themselves for the employees and that will inform personal decisions for minimizing risk of exposure. Please consult your supervisor if you wish to explore flexible work options.
In closing, I want to recognize and thank the members of this wonderful community for their seriousness of purpose, generosity of spirit, and commitment to addressing this time of great challenge. I appreciate your hard work and solidarity as we address the current complexities.
Mary Lou Retelle
President of Anna Maria College