Rosedale Technical College Safe Open Plan: Covid-19 Response
Revised: June 8, 2020
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The mission of Rosedale Technical College is centered around helping our students to be successful in their careers in the trades. Being successful encompasses a variety of skills, including technical know-how, communication, problem solving, and safety, among others. Safety is incorporated into classes throughout all programs, because there is always some inherent risk in working with electricity or any kind of machinery. As we move forward into the new normal of incorporating Covid-19 pandemic response into our daily lives, it is imperative that skilled trades workers understand how to keep safe and healthy while working extensively with their hands.
It is the nature of skilled trades workers to want to stay busy. We like to work. We enjoy using our knowledge and effort to solve problems, to help others, to make a difference, and to make a living. So, because of the need to work combined with the need to stay safe, this Safe Open Plan is critically important to outline the enhanced safety procedures designed to help get our students and employees back to campus in a responsible and productive manner.
The Safe Open Planning Committee includes Dennis Wilke, Dave Sladky, John Litwin, Kara Chan, Craig Rosati, Jen Cox, Kim Bell, Angela Stansfield, Sean Barrett, Brian Mullen, Mark Martin and Debbie Bier. This team, along with input from many other faculty and staff members and best practices learned from various outside sources including the CDC, Federal and PA Departments of Education, and discussions with colleagues at other schools, has created this plan as a working document to help our college move forward. We expect this plan may be improved and updated at any time, based on new information or new conditions.
The essence of this plan is to maximize productivity while minimizing risk. We have incorporated a variety of safety precautions in the way we expect to operate going forward. Specific procedures and details by functional area are described in the following pages. The changes include accommodating distance between people, cleaning procedures, scheduling revisions, physical partitions and the use of distance education where possible.
Our plan is dynamic and therefore is open to revision as conditions change and information is uncovered. The Safe Open Planning Team will be continuously assessing the effectiveness of the Safe Open Plan, and we will make improvements as necessary.
Note: This plan has been revised to reflect operations procedures with Allegheny County under the Green Phase. If the county were to revert back to the Yellow Phase, some of these procedures will change to reflect that change.
Table of Contents
- Guiding Principles
- Alignment with Regulatory Bodies
Section 1. General Facility, Safety, Cleaning and Egress
- PPE and Cleaning Supplies
- Intensified Cleaning Activities
- Egress Safety
- Work Schedules
Section 2. Education
- Tool Rooms & Equipment
- Truck Driving
- Other Programs
- General Education
Section 3. Student Services
- Academic Support
- Career Services
Section 4. Administrative Areas
- Financial Aid
- Education Outreach
- Employee Break Areas
Section 5. Cafeteria
- Food Service
A. Guiding Principles
- Even though no set of safety precautions can ever be 100% foolproof in preventing every instance of possible contamination, having a set of robust safety procedures will be beneficial to our students, employees and guests. We do not need to be 100% perfect in order to make a positive difference!
- Our procedures can, will and must evolve over time. They entire Rosedale community should always be looking for ways to minimize risk. Suggestions for improvement can be reported to the Manager of Educational Operations, Dave Sladky, or any school official.
- Respect for others is the unwavering standard. We will not dismiss the concerns of others, and we will respect others who may be either more or less safety conscious than ourselves.
- Self reporting of illness or symptoms is essential. We must protect the student or employee from feeling any sort of stigma associated with self reporting a condition.
- Everyone is expected to report any situation where they believe there is a safety risk. However, there must be no confrontations of any other individuals. The proper procedure is to report the potentially unsafe situation to the Manager of Educational Operations or another school official.
B. Alignment with Regulatory Bodies
- In any case where a governing body has a mandated safety policy that differs from the policy in this plan, we will follow the more restrictive parameters.
- In any case where a governing body has suggested a safety policy that differs from the policy in this plan, we will follow the policy in this plan.
- This plan will be continuously revised and improved over time. The currently updated policy will be available through the Manager of Educational Operations or the President.
Section 1. General Facility, Safety, Cleaning and Egress
A. PPE and Cleaning Supplies:
- Supplies on site include: disposable masks, fabric face coverings, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, surface cleaner, disinfectant wipes, and other typical cleaning materials.
- Anyone entering the building will be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose. The mask must be worn when in the presence of other people inside the building, allowing for reasonable exceptions. Any individual who is unable to wear a mask due to a disability or health condition must sign a self-certification document and agree to be extra cautious about maintaining proper safe distancing and observing all other hygiene protocols. No medical documentation will be required. Extra cautious safe distancing may include assigned seats in classrooms.
- Exceptions to face covering may be allowed for communication purposes and eating and drinking where appropriate. Individuals may choose to use their own PPE (face coverings or gloves), or they may choose to use items the college will provide. Face coverings must completely cover an individual’s mouth and nose. Any reasonable face covering may be acceptable, but the college reserves the right to identify inappropriate coverings.
B. Intensified Cleaning Activities:
- Door handles and other frequently touched surfaces will be wiped with disinfectant at least 4 times per day.
- Furniture that comes in contact with more than 1 person, and any other such shared hard surfaces, must be wiped with disinfectant at least 2 times per day.
- Shop and lab equipment surfaces which are touched by hands will be wiped with disinfectant at least 2 times per day.
- Restroom surfaces, water fountains and sinks will be cleaned with disinfectant at least 5 times per day.
- An external janitorial service has been contacted to potentially help support our own staff.
C. Egress Safety
- Hand sanitizer dispensers installed at all entrances and exit doors.
- Entrance and exit doors will be consolidated to limit egress to only those doors which will be monitored by staff. In the Chosky Building, the front door, the main student entrance door and the door next to the garage entry will be used for entry. In the Wilke Building, the Welding area door and the door near the CDL classroom will be used for entry. Student entrance doors will be unlocked during normal entry and exit hours and during normal break times, otherwise they will be locked. Exit doors will be always accessible to leave the buildings.
- Garage doors will often be open in order to promote ventilation and air circulation.
- Disposable masks will be available for guests at the front entrance. Masks for students will be available at the tool rooms and other locations.
- All students, faculty and staff will be asked to self-certify adherence to the following conditions: free of Covid-19 infection, no virus induced fever over 100.4F degrees, no contact with an infected person in the past 14 days.
- The cafeteria seating, walking pattern and procedures have been modified and are described in Section 5.
- Any individual exhibiting symptoms of contagious illness, including a fever above 100.4F or any other viral related symptom like shortness of breath or cough, must not come on campus. Individuals who believe they have recently been in close contact with an infected person are urged to self-quarantine until confident of being free from illness themselves.
- Any individual becoming ill while on campus should excuse themselves immediately and will be sent home. The college will be as lenient as possible for time missed due to Covid-19.
- The Manager of Educational Operations, Dave Sladky, or the President, Dennis Wilke, must be notified of any individual who is or has been on campus while infected with Covid-19 or any communicable disease. Contact info for Dave Sladky is firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-400-5606 and for Dennis Wilke is email@example.com or 412-760-7633. The main office phone is 412-521-6200.
- Any areas on campus visited by an infected person will be closed off and ventilated. After the recommended 24 hour waiting period, the area will be comprehensively cleaned and disinfected.
- Individuals found to be ill with Covid-19 or any communicable disease while on campus but whom are unable to leave the building immediately for any reason will be quarantined in a private room until arrangements are made for them to leave campus.
- Persons who had come in contact with an infected person while on campus, within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes, will be notified of possible exposure and asked to remain off campus until tested as virus free, cleared by their doctor, or symptom free for 14 days.
- We will coordinate with local public health officials to communicate necessary information about any Covid-19 activity on campus.
E. Work Schedules
- Where possible, the college will support work-from-home activities as much as possible. In certain administrative roles, it may be acceptable to spend a significant amount of time working remotely. This will be important both for the comfort level of the employee and also to help reduce the number of people on campus.
- Staggered shifts may also make sense for certain administrative areas as well. On a case by case basis, departments may choose to spread the work flow over a longer day in order to limit the number of staff members in the area at any one time.
Section 2. Education
- While most classes will be conducted on campus, the school may continue to use distance education where it makes sense. Theory classes for technical courses may be conducted using distance education, as well as general education courses and any other activities that do not require hands-on instruction or practice.
- Laptop computers and other technology resources will be available for student use. We expect to be able to loan computers to students and assist with any home internet needs.
- Once back on campus, groups of students will be limited in size where possible.
- Safe distancing between students will be implemented. Classroom furniture will be set up in such a way to keep a separation between student desks and chairs in the classroom. Larger classes may be moved to larger rooms to accommodate the proper distancing. The recommendation of 6 feet separation will be observed in most cases, though some exceptions may be allowed.
- Masks will be worn in classroom group settings, with reasonable exceptions allowed. For example, in order to be clearly understood, an instructor or a student may temporarily remove their mask to speak. Also, exceptions are allowed for eating and drinking where appropriate. Individuals may choose to use their own PPE (face coverings/gloves), or they may choose to use items the college will provide. Face coverings must completely cover an individual’s mouth and nose. Any reasonable face covering may be acceptable.
- Any individual who is unable to wear a mask due to a disability or health condition must sign a self-certification document and agree to be extra cautious about maintaining proper safe distancing and observing all other hygiene protocols. No medical documentation will be required. Note: Extra cautious safe distancing may include assigned seats in classrooms.
- Safe distancing will be used in shop and lab areas, to the extent possible. Students observing other students or instructors working on equipment should be kept a safe distance away. In some cases, students will need to get closer to see something relating to the equipment in order to facilitate the learning process, and these exceptions are allowable, but masks and safety glasses should be worn.
- The school will implement a phased restart for classes. Some Truck Driving students will return on June 1st, most continuing students will return on June 9th, and new students starting in General Education courses may return on June 22nd. We will monitor the need for any other schedule changes. If necessary, we may implement a staggered schedule to help limit the number of people in the buildings. Class hours will begin as normal, but may be modified in order to make sure students have enough time to practice skills and apply their learning in the hands-on environment.
- Office equipment used by the Education and Student Services department such as copier machines and other business devices will be cleaned hourly by administrative personnel and our janitorial or maintenance staff.
- We will minimize the need to share classrooms between daytime and evening sessions where possible. If shared classrooms are used, they will be cleaned and sanitized between shifts. Cleaning will include doors, furniture and other touched surfaces.
- Clipboards will no longer be used for students to sign in. Instructors will record attendance.
- Classroom/shop doors will be propped open at least at normal start, end and break times.
B. Tool Rooms & Equipment
- Tool room windows where students interact with tool room staff have been modified to protect both students and staff. Clear plastic dividers will be used, sanitizer will be available, and the use of masks will be required. It is possible that masks might need to be temporarily removed in order to properly communicate, and such exceptions are allowed.
- Tool rooms will be stocked with cleaning materials, and items must be wiped with disinfectant prior to being handed out and also upon return. Items include tools, safety glasses, bottles of fluid, and other items borrowed by students or staff. Maintenance staff will sanitize the tool room and equipment at the end of each school day.
- Tool rooms may be used as the holder of masks and gloves and any other PPE to be available for student to obtain. We may stock those items at other places on campus too. Students will be able to obtain sanitizer from the tool room to use on equipment they will use in the shop if desired.
- All paperwork for vehicles brought into the building will be issued by the tool room coordinator, and all vehicles coming into the shop/lab will be sanitized by the student before it may enter the building. The areas to be sanitized are but are not limited to the interior, to include the seat, steering wheel, door handles, and any area of the vehicle the student or students are working on. These areas will also be sanitized by the student after the vehicle is done being serviced and returned to the customer.
- All vehicles will have a floor, seat and steering wheel cover used at all times.
C. Truck Driving
- CDL vehicles will be sanitized by Instructors at each student change, while also doing a complete cleaning before the start and at the end of each session. Steering wheel, seats, door handles, and controls should be of high priority.
- The number of people inside the cab of a CDL training vehicle will be minimized. We will default to 1 student and 1 instructor as the primary on-the-road training procedure. We may allow an additional student in the cab in certain cases, to balance the educational needs with safe distancing policies. Masks will be used when in a vehicle with other people, allowing for exceptions necessary to allow for proper safe communication.
- We may incorporate streaming or recorded video in the cab of the on-the-road driving experience in order to facilitate training.
- Welding is likely the inherently safest of all of our programs. The welding students are in self-contained booths for the vast majority of the day. There is a professional ventilation system constantly exhausting air from the lab area. Students are typically wearing full hoods while in the welding lab, covering their facial area.
- Instructors will wear facial coverings while in the student booth area to coach the students.
- Classroom procedures will follow the guidelines written in Section 2.A. above.
- Welding students will use the entrance door next to the Welding lab for egress. Welding instructors will assist in the cleaning and monitoring of this entrance door.
E. Other Programs
- Students in Automotive, Collision Repair, Diesel, HVAC, Electrical, and Industrial Technician programs will follow the general safety guidelines described in Section 2.A. above for classroom and lab areas, including the sanitizing of tools and equipment, safe distancing, possible schedule changes, and other considerations.
- We expect our courses starting in May 2020 to begin with asynchronous distance education, since much of the first two weeks of a course is generally theoretical. As we anticipate the ability to welcome students back to campus in safe numbers by early June, we expect to be able to offer in-person hands-on instruction. We will assess the hands-on education needs compared to the student population to determine any potential need for staggering of the shop schedules.
- We will work with individual students to provide additional hands-on learning time, potentially before or after normal class hours, during our summer break, or other times.
- Instructors in these programs will have access to cleaning supplies, and we expect our instructors and students to assist the maintenance staff in helping to continuously disinfect certain lab equipment as necessary
F. General Education
- Students in their General Education classes will follow the general safety guidelines described in Section 2.A. above for classroom areas.
- We expect our General Education courses starting in May 2020 to begin with asynchronous distance education. This will be similar to the training methods used in April 2020, but we are planning to use a new learning platform that will include a mobile “app” and a new Learning Management System for better service for our students.
- The classes starting in May 2020 will remain in distance education mode through the initial 4 weeks of the term. Students will have the option to return to in-person instruction on June 22nd, or they may choose to finish the term via distance education. The Director of Education and the General Education instructors will monitor the situation and make the necessary schedule changes as appropriate.
Section 3. Student Services
A. Academic Services
- We will continue to offer tutoring, study skills help, approved make-up work, and other academic services. The Student Success Center will continue to be the main space used for academic services, though we may use additional space if necessary to accommodate the safe distancing requirements.
- We will also make video and phone conferencing available to offer services in a safe manner where applicable.
- Furniture and computer stations in the Student Success Center will be adapted to meet our safe distancing requirements.
- Students adversely affected in their studies due to the Covid-19 situation may request additional academic support, and we will attempt to find a solution to help each individual student. Such services may include technological assistance for distance education, additional student advising, additional time to complete work if necessary and other considerations as applicable.
B. Career Services
- We will continue to offer job placement and career planning services to all students and alumni. The Student Success Center and the nearby offices will be used primarily for any in person communications, though we may use other locations for larger meetings.
- Career Services conversations will follow our general safety guidelines for the wearing of masks and safe distancing.
- We will also potentially use video and audio phone conferencing to assist with job placement of current students and graduates.
- We have launched the online platform called “Handshake” to provide an electronic opportunity for students to interact with employers and find job opportunities.
- Additional career services resources may be available via our book partners.
C. Student Events
- Large student events will be postponed, modified or canceled while we are still under the pandemic threat. We will assess the situation and take guidance from our local, state and federal government, as well as the CDC and other resources, in order to determine when conditions are appropriate for large gatherings.
- Some events that will be modified include the upcoming Graduation Ceremony, originally scheduled on June 19, 2020, and the Summer Picnic, originally scheduled for June 30, 2020. We are developing alternative ways to celebrate each of these events, and more details will come in the near future.
- Student field trips will be suspended at least through June. We will continuously assess the safety of trips like this, and we expect to reopen the possibility for field trips in the future.
- Employer visits to campus will likely be modified to be virtual events, with video conferencing technology to help connect employers to our students.
- For students in the Penn Commons housing facility, we will work with the management of that facility to communicate any safety policies specific to that building. Questions can be directed to Amy Banks, Admissions Rep/Housing Coordinator, or any Student Services Coordinator personnel.
Section 4. Administrative Areas
A. Reception Area
- Any persons in the administrative areas will adhere to safety procedures for the entire facility such as the wearing of masks to cover the mouth and nose and safe distancing.
- Safety items, including a sanitizer dispenser at the front door and a clear plastic shield at the reception desk, have been installed. Other items may be installed in the future.
- Lobby chairs are being rearranged to allow for safe distancing while in the waiting area.
- Cleaning procedures for the Administrative areas are described in Section 1.B.
- Procedures will be adopted to eliminate the shared use of office items such as pens, pencils, and other supplies.
- Copier machines and other business machines will be cleaned hourly by administrative personnel and our janitorial or maintenance staff.
B. Financial Aid
- We recognize that there is still a need for in-person financial aid meetings with students and their families. We will take several precautions in these cases. Masks will be worn during meetings, with exceptions allowed when necessary for safe communication. Pens, keyboards, furniture, and any other shared surface will be wiped with disinfectant prior to and after use.
- Where possible, internal Financial Aid staff meetings and interactions will conform to safe distancing procedures. Conference rooms may be used as appropriate.
- Plexiglass dividers have been installed to enhance the safety measures as needed.
- Where possible, financial aid services may be offered via video or audio phone conferencing technology.
- Procedures will be in place to eliminate the need for more than 1 current student to be waiting their turn for financial aid services. We will use appointment setting to minimize the need for waiting in our lobby area.
- The front office conference room will be available and set up to handle financial aid appointments requiring extra safe distancing. This will be for larger groups and by request.
- Admissions procedures have been revised to allow for remote tours of the campus facilities to qualify as part of our admissions process. Video tours are able to meet the requirements for new applicants to take a campus tour prior to enrolling.
- Admissions requirements for proof of high school graduation or equivalent have been revised during this time of pandemic. Per our accreditor, ACCSC, and the Federal Department of Education, we are able to use alternate means to demonstrate proof of graduation other than the official transcript that we typically require. The form of documentation can vary based on the individual situation, but in all cases must reasonably prove the completion of a high school program or equivalent.
- Our Wonderlic general knowledge assessment is able to be completed remotely via online tools. The use of this online version is acceptable during this time of pandemic to demonstrate the skill level necessary to meet our admissions standards.
- We recognize that there may still be a need for in-person admissions meetings with students and their families. We will take several precautions in these cases. Masks will be worn during meetings, with exceptions allowed when necessary for safe communication. Pens, keyboards, furniture, and any other shared surface will be wiped with disinfectant prior to and after use.
- If safety glasses are loaned to guests for a tour, they must be disinfected before and after each use. New glasses taken from a factory sealed bag need not be cleaned prior to use.
- Where possible, internal Admissions staff meetings and interactions will conform to safe distancing procedures. Conference rooms may be used as appropriate.
- Plexiglass dividers have been installed to enhance the safety measures as needed.
- Some future start dates have changed due to the temporary suspension of on-campus activities. The catalog has been updated to reflect any changes. As of now, we are continuing to use the original schedule for student breaks and holidays.
- The front office conference room will be available and set up to handle admissions appointments requiring extra safe distancing. This will be for larger groups and by request.
D. Education Outreach
- Since all secondary schools in PA have canceled in person classes for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, our Outreach staff are no longer traveling to high schools to speak with prospective students. We anticipate that visits to schools may resume in September 2020. When visits resume, our Outreach staff will comply with necessary safety guidelines in place at that time and for each school property they may be visiting.
- We have implemented the ability to do virtual tours and open house events via video conferencing and social media technology. While hosting a virtual tour or event, our staff will adhere to proper safety guidelines. Masks will not necessarily be able to be worn during these video sessions due to the need to clearly communicate across the video technology platform. In those cases, our Outreach staff will structure and schedule the tour so as to avoid close contact with any other persons in the building.
E. Employee Break Areas
- Employee break areas will adhere to our general safety guidelines, including frequent disinfectant and cleaning as described in Section 1. Also, employees will keep a safe distance away from each other where possible. Furniture will be reconfigured to assist with the efforts to maintain safe distancing.
- Employees will have access to disinfectant wipes or cleaners, and they will be asked to clean surfaces before and after use.
Section 5. Cafeteria
- The cafeteria seating, walking pattern and procedures have been modified. There will be distance between seating area chairs, though individuals who wish to sit closer to one another will be allowed to do so. Furniture is being changed to support safe distancing, including removing large tables and adding more small tables and setting up chairs to keep proper distance between diners.
- The doors going to the Shoebox additional seating area will be propped open during cafeteria operations hours to eliminate the need to touch door handles.
- The seating changes will apply both to the Steel Toe Café in the Chosky Building as well as the Market C student break area in the Wilke Building.
B. Food Service
- The Steel Toe Café food line will run in one direction, with an entrance and exit gate on either side. The one-way traffic will be enforced by signage, staff support and by keeping the exit gate open just enough to allow one person to pass through.
- Special order items will be limited or unavailable, depending on the crowd level and time of day. The procedures for special orders will be monitored for effectiveness and may be modified from time to time in order to promote safety both in getting food and by reducing the need to wait in a line.
- There will be no shared utensils, as extra items like pickles and tomatoes will be either served to the diner or provided in single serving cups/plates.
- Any surfaces which are frequently touched will be cleaned with disinfectant at least hourly while the Café is open, and vending machines will be cleaned throughout the school day.
- The Café manager will develop more “grab and go” items which will be prepared and offered in to go containers in order to minimize the need to wait in line.
- The payment process will be modified to minimize the risk of germ transmission. Daytime students will be required to use meal plan accounts to eliminate the handling of cash or credit card transactions in the café line. Students will be able to use cash, credit card, or student account balances to load funds onto their student meal account. There will be a finance representative in the cafeteria during most meal times to accept cash and credit payments on a Café meal plan. Evening students will be permitted to use any form of payment for now, but we will monitor the effect on waiting time in lines.
- Market C surfaces such as microwaves, coffee machine, payment station, refrigerator handles, and other frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned on a frequent basis with extra cleaning during break times. The janitorial staff will determine the frequency and adjust the schedule as necessary. Hand sanitizer has been installed in Market C as well.
C. Lunch Schedule
- We may adjust the lunch schedules as necessary to minimize lines at the Café and the number of people in the seating area. If we are using a staggered school day schedule, the need to stagger lunches may not be necessary due to less students in the building. If we have a full building of students, we may choose to separate lunch times to allow for cleaning between lunch shifts and to minimize the number of diners.