January 29, 2023

Transition of Covid mandates for Spring ’23

Colleagues,

I trust by now that you are aware that as of the beginning of the spring semester, the college will pivot away from some of the current Covid mandates that are now in place. Montgomery College was the last institution of higher education in Maryland to require masks in the classrooms while many other colleges and universities eliminated their mask mandate, some just days before the semester started.

However, as of October / November, the health metrics used across the county to access trends and risks seemed to show that the time was at hand to make this transition. We asked that any changes to these policies take place AFTER the fall semester as to limit disruption to the classrooms and we appreciate that this was heard and heeded.  

But of course, decisions like this are not easy. It is quite difficult to appease everyone and almost impossible to address the needs / concerns of all 500+ faculty. This is where we can come in and help.

We have asked the college to continue to be as flexible as possible for those with documented medical concerns or fall into a high-risk category. They have agreed to do so on a case-by-case basis and when prudent based on scheduling parameters and the needs of students.

If you meet the aforementioned criteria and after conversations with your Chair and your supervisor, an agreeable solution to your accommodation request is still unsatisfactory, please reach out to us. The college may not be able to honor every accommodation request, but alternative options to address these concerns are being explored and again will be considered whenever possible.

However, please note that ADA guidelines in the workplace are in place to protect the employee. Therefore, unfortunately they are not applicable for concerns related to other family members or those living in the home. This is not to say that options for these considerations are not entirely void of any conversation, but it does mean that the legal implications and college obligations in this regard are clear. Still, your well-being and that of those close to you is still very much a priority. 

So please work with your Chair and Dean when possible and should you feel the need to contact us for help, do not hesitate to do so.

Stay safe and reach out when you need us.

Best,

Tito

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