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COVID-19

April 3rd, 2020

April 3, 2020 – Message from President & CEO Dr. Mark Hoddenbagh

Dear Students:

I want to thank you, our valued students, for your cooperation, patience, and dedication during this difficult time. I’m confident that, like College staff, you are all doing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Government of Saskatchewan has extended its state of emergency for an additional two weeks, to April 15, as it can only declare a state of emergency for two weeks by provincial legislation. However, all indications at this time are that the state of emergency could last until the summer, and potentially longer. At this time it is impossible to determine when the state of emergency will be lifted, so College campuses will remain closed to students, the public, and most staff until further notice.

We are monitoring the situation and adjusting our pandemic response accordingly. We will continue to follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, our academic partners, and the provincial government regarding campus closures.

Our programs continue to be delivered through online instruction or alternate delivery methods. Specific information related to your program will be communicated to you by program staff and by our academic partners. Please note that programming decisions made by the College may be different from those of academic partners.

Since shop time and labs cannot be done online, this component is postponed while theory is delivered online. The practical hands-on experience will be rescheduled when the government advises it is safe to do so.

Parkland College expects students to act in ways that reflect our values of respect, integrity, excellence, and sustainability. Students are encouraged to review their student manual regarding student responsibilities and respectful learning environments. A lack of awareness will not excuse misconduct, so knowing what’s expected — and how Parkland College addresses issues if they arise — will help students to understand their rights and responsibilities. WebEx meetings and other video conferencing tools are being used daily for Parkland College to meet and connect with students. It is important to be respectful of everyone attending these virtual meetings. Do not take photos or video of any virtual meeting to share online.

As previously announced, Parkland College’s 2020 Graduation Ceremony has been postponed until further notice. We intend to reschedule this important event once public gatherings are permitted.

In the meantime, please continue to follow federal and provincial public health orders. Practice physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and stay home as much as possible.

And please be sure to take care of your mental health. Reach out regularly to your friends and family – by phone or online. As well, our counselling team is here to assist you. You can contact our counsellors during regular work hours by email, phone, or online. Mental health supports can also be accessed through the following links.

  • Emergency – Ambulance, Police, Fire – 911
  • Health Hotline – 811
  • Crisis Services and Suicide Prevention – 211
  • Mental Health Resources website for Parkland College Students- Mywellnessplan.ca, www.mywellnessplan.ca/parkland, www.inkblottherapy.com/parkland
  • www.AA.org
  • AAHelpline – 24 hour – Saskatoon 306-665-6727 and Regina 306-545-9300
  • SIGN Counselling – 306-786-1440
  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line – 24 hours 1-844-952-0434
  • COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca – email for public inquiries
  • Bell Let’s Talk – https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
  • eMentalHealth.ca – https://www.ementalhealth.ca/
  • Not Myself Today – https://notmyselftoday.ca/

Stay well and be safe. We will get through this together.

J. Mark A. Hoddenbagh, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Parkland College

March 26, 2020 – Student Loans/Provincial Training Allowance Update

For all programs, including those that are delayed or have moved to alternative delivery, here is a financial update:

Provincial Training Allowance (PTA) Information

Students who are currently receiving PTA funds will continue to receive these funds at the end of March as scheduled. Students can check their portal account for original disbursement details.

Student Loan Information

Students who are currently receiving Student Loan payments will continue to receive these funds through April as scheduled. Students can check their portal account for original disbursement details.

Students who are currently studying can continue to apply for Canada Student Loans. There will be no change to the application process. If a borrower wishes to apply for student financial assistance during the pause, they should apply through their Province or Territory of residence. Applications for Spring/Summer 2020 term are now available.

Student Loans Repayment Information

Provincial: Effective immediately, a six-month student loan repayment moratorium has been put in place, mirroring a similar federal provision. Student loan repayments will not be collected from borrowers or withdrawn from accounts for six months beginning March 30.
Students who are able and who wish to continue payments must contact the National Student Loan Service Center at 1-888-815-4514.

Federal: The Government of Canada has announced its plan to pause the repayment of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans. Effective March 30, 2020, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Counselling Services

We understand that this is a stressful time for students. Our counsellors are available to assist you via email, phone, and video calls. To inquire about our programs or to book an appointment, please contact Sophia Thomas at 306.786.2595 or email s.thomas@parklandcollege.sk.ca.

March 24, 2020 – Message from President & CEO Dr. Mark Hoddenbagh

With the deepest of gratitude that words cannot adequately express, I would like to thank each and every one of our staff who stepped up and worked so diligently to move from face-to-face to online or other forms of curriculum delivery in less than one week! And also, for quickly and efficiently moving to working from home. Planning and executing these two major moves were Herculean efforts.

The Next Two Weeks

For two weeks most of our staff will work from home, except for some essential services. I have returned safely to Manitoba so that I can be with my family at this stressful time.

We will continue communicating about College-wide issues on a regular basis through email and our website. Academic program information will be communicated to students by program staff.

Our brokers (i.e. U of S, U of R, Sask Polytech) are also sending messages to students. Students, please read these carefully, as other institutions’ messages may apply only to students at their campuses. Our staff will keep you up-to-date on information related to the program you are taking at Parkland College.

What Happens After these Two Weeks?

At this time, we do not know. We await direction from the provincial government and our partners. As the situation develops in Canada and Saskatchewan, we will keep apprised of the latest developments and communicate relevant information to our students and staff.

Reminders

There are many workers in our nation who are diligently employed keeping essential services running, such as health care, electricity, gas, groceries, and day care for essential workers. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers and thank them for their extraordinary service.

Practice social (or physical) distancing, wash your hands thoroughly, self-isolate if you are returning from outside the country or have been in contact with someone who may have the virus, and do what you can to help stop the transmission of the coronavirus.

And of course, please regularly review COVID-19 updates provided on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website.

J. Mark A. Hoddenbagh, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Parkland College

March 20, 2020 – Message to Students

On Wednesday, March 18, the Government of Saskatchewan declared a provincial State of Emergency due to COVID-19. Parkland College remains committed to keeping our communities healthy, safe, and informed during this time. We are taking every precaution to protect the well-being of students, faculty, staff, and partners.

Therefore, Parkland College campuses are now closed to students and the public until Sunday, April 5. However, Parkland College’s core services to support our students are continuing uninterrupted.

The Ministry of Advanced Education has given us the directive to transition to online or alternative delivery methods to provide a way for students to complete their programs during this pandemic. Face to face instruction will NOT be permitted until further notice.

Shop Time

Since shop time cannot be done online, this component will be postponed while theory is delivered online. This practical hands-on experience will be rescheduled when the government advises it is safe to do so.

Final Exams

How final exams will be administered has yet to be determined. More information on this will follow as the term progresses.

Lockers

We will be arranging times by program areas for students to pick up the contents from their lockers on Monday, March 23. Please come when you are assigned. Staff will be allowing students in with limited access to the building, adhering to recommended health precautions.

Counselling Services

Student counselling will continue to be available to you by email, phone, or online. Your counsellors will be connecting with you regularly and you can still contact them during regular work hours.

Please Note: Program specific information will be emailed by program coordinators.

We know COVID-19 is causing unusual and challenging times. Thank you for your patience, cooperation and the care you’ve demonstrated for yourselves and others in our community. We all can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if we each do our part and work together.

Stay safe and healthy. Good luck in continuing your studies.

March 19, 2020

Parkland College campuses will close to most staff, students, and the public as of 5:00 p.m. today, March 19. All staff working on campus will be sent home today by 5:00 p.m. In harmony with the Ministry of Advanced Education and other provincial post-secondary institutions across the province, Parkland College staff are to work remotely, with the exception of essential staff.

Campuses will be open only to staff who are providing critical services (i.e. Technology, Facilities, Finance) and faculty or administration staff who are needed to support online instruction.

Updated class and work schedule:

March 17-20: In-person classes are suspended.

March 23: Online courses will begin.

March 20 – April 3: Limited key services available at the Yorkton Main Campus ONLY.

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving. This plan is in place through April 3; however, changes may occur.

Click here to learn more about Saskatchewan’s provincial State of Emergency.

March 18, 2020

Parkland College continues to follow COVID-19 guidelines from both the province and the federal government. These guidelines are updated frequently in response to the rapidly evolving situation, and our approach in this situation will change as well. All measures Parkland College takes are to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our campuses and communities.

External Exams

Public sittings for external exams have been suspended and are not being scheduled at this time. Individuals who were scheduled to write exams at Parkland College have been notified. Public sittings will be reviewed as the situation evolves.

March 16, 2020 @ 8:30 PM

In partnership with the province’s other post-secondary educational institutions, Saskatchewan Regional Colleges are suspending all classes and programming for the remainder of this week.

In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Regional College programs will be offered online or through alternative delivery options where possible, effective March 23.

We appreciate that this is challenging time for students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to share information as soon as it becomes available. Please monitor this page for more details.

March 15, 2020

Cancellation of University of Saskatchewan Courses at Parkland College

University of Saskatchewan courses held at Parkland College are moving to remote delivery for the remainder of the term.

Please continue to monitor your USask email as the primary source of information for pertinent updates. Information can also be found on the USask website.

Cancellation of University of Regina Courses at Parkland College

University of Regina courses offered at Parkland College are moving to remote delivery, as well.

Please continue to monitor your URegina email as the primary source of information for pertinent updates. Information can also be found on the URegina website Home page; Student page; Staff page.

A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT & CEO DR. MARK HODDENBAGH

Parkland College is taking measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses and in the community to minimize any potential impact on our students, faculty, and employees.

Our management team has been working with public health officials and our partners to monitor the situation. Our focus is on the health and safety of our entire campus community.

As the situation is rapidly changing, please monitor our website for the most current information.

Classes / Closing Parkland College

Effective Friday, March 20, all Parkland College campuses will be closed to students and members of the public. Campuses will be open only to staff who are providing critical services or supporting online instruction.

Working from Home

In partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Parkland College staff are to work remotely, wherever possible. All staff will be paid regular wages during this time.

Illness and / or Quarantine

The College has no authority – nor is it currently recommended by health authorities – to mandate quarantine or self-isolation; however, we are asking anyone who is ill to stay at home.

Events

Non-essential College sponsored events will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Travel

Regular in-province travel to conduct business operations may continue. We encourage staff to seek alternatives to meeting face-to-face, such as using technology or videoconferencing. All out-of-province travel must be approved by Human Resources in advance. Currently approved out-of-province travel must be reviewed by Human Resources and may be cancelled if warranted. No College-funded travel is allowed to areas with travel advisories.

Protecting Yourself and Others

The College has implemented enhanced preventative measures including ensuring adequate supplies of cleaning and essential products and implementing stronger protocols/procedures for disinfecting and cleaning. We are conducting additional cleaning of common surfaces areas as required.

Posters are located at all campus locations detailing personal hygiene steps, as well as COVID-19 symptoms to watch for.

The best thing our students and staff can do right now is practice good hygiene to reduce the risk of infection such as:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

Please call Public Health 811 to receive advice about self-isolating.

Communications

We will continue to urge our students and employees to follow all health and safety protocols. We will update this website with new information as it becomes available. Questions should be directed to Malena Vroom, Health & Safety Manager, at m.vroom@parklandcollege.sk.ca.

In Conclusion

None of the above mentioned plans or actions are taken lightly. We are basing our planning and response on the guidelines and recommendations of government and medical officials with the expertise required to manage health issues such as COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation, put our plans into action, and provide updates as the situation changes. We are assessing our critical services to ensure minimum disruption as possible.

We know this is a challenging and stressful time, but please rest assured that our planning and response is done with the health and safety of our campus community as our top priority. Please join with me in working together to play a part in keeping ourselves and our community as healthy as possible.

J. Mark A. Hoddenbagh, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Parkland College

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