WVC moves classes online, suspends large on-campus events

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WENATCHEE — Wenatchee Valley College leadership says it will move the majority of classes online through the end of the academic year and suspend all on-campus events involving more than 20 people.

This decision, affecting both the Wenatchee and Omak campuses, comes after Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency order Friday to close all K-12 classrooms and restrict activity on state college campuses in light of the spreading novel coronavirus.

Neither WVC campus will close, administrators said, and most offices will remain open and operational. WVC instructors on both campuses are being asked to suspend all face-to-face finals next week and make preparations for online finals. Final exams begin March 18 and winter quarter ends on March 20.

“To limit exposure and maximize social distancing, WVC instruction will be moved online through the remainder of the current academic year wherever possible including classes, advising, and student support to maintain instruction and service to help our students graduate on time,”
WVC President Jim Richardson wrote in an announcement to the campuses. “Computer labs, the library, labs, and other services will configure to maximize social distancing and gather fewer than 20 people at a time, based upon guidance of state and local departments of health.”

Instruction for spring quarter will not begin until April 13 – a week later than the original end of spring break on April 6. Instructors will spend the week of April 6 preparing instruction to be done remotely.

Some programs, like automotive technology and welding, will meet on campus with social distancing and sanitization precautions will be taken. Clinical visits for allied health students, including nursing, will continue as scheduled until further notice.

Graduation remains scheduled for June 19 for Wenatchee campus and June 20 for the Omak campus.

“We will continue to work closely with health experts, government and educational partners to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for the impacts and implications that COVID-19 may have,” wrote Richardson. “The health and safety of our students, staff and community continues to be our top priority.”