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COVID-19 Updates for NPS Faculty, Students and Staff

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President’s Update: Spring Quarter, Resources and Next Virtual Town-Hall 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Team NPS,

We are in the midst of battle against a viral enemy—one that involves every servicemember, every citizen of our country and much of the world. We are side-by-side in this fight here at NPS and in the communities where we live united by a common goal to defeat the Coronavirus. We will win, but it will take time and adapting to new norms. We all must do our part and many are going above and beyond the call of duty.

Last week was a remarkable effort by everyone as we settled into Spring Quarter in full distance learning (DL) format and telework. This is challenging and certainly not ideal, but you and the staff at Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC) and ITACS are doing a superb job executing our education mission and doing so with safety and public health as our priority. Let me share a few stats that provide insight into how much we did (and are doing) together.

  • Teaching on Zoom:

Date

Meetings

Participants

30-Mar

370

4,014

31-Mar

250

3,302

1-Apr

229

2,589

2-Apr

210

2,594

3-Apr

174

1,244

Week 1 total:

1,233

13,743

 

  • Staff work on Microsoft Teams
    • 1,000 users/day
    • 350 active Teams on campus—Staff/Faculty/Students
    • 4th V-Town Hall on Teams, ~1000 viewers

You climbed a mountain—well done, and keep up the good work!

Spring Quarter in DL: Last week, after careful deliberation and study, I decided that NPS will remain in DL modality and telework, with limited exceptions, for the remainder of the Spring quarter. A determination on the June Graduation ceremony is TBD. There were several factors in making this decision to include the DOD Stop Movement order and Monterey county schools closing, but the primary driver remains the preservation of the health and welfare of our people, including your families. We must continue to take prudent action to minimize the risk of COVID-19 to you and the surrounding communities where we live. It also allows us all to plan ahead for what we need to do professionally and make adjustments at home. I appreciate all your patience, dedication, and flexibility as we work this together.

Face Coverings: Yesterday, the Chief of Staff (COS) sent an All-Hands e-mail describing what we are doing to comply with higher guidance and with recommendations from the CDC for face coverings. Please read it. From our base commander, CAPT Wiley, you must wear a face covering coming on the base. To further reduce risks of unknowing transmission to other people, we require face masks on campus when transiting to/from buildings, and when you cannot maintain the required minimum six feet of social distancing. In short, unless you are by yourself—just wear it.

DL Survey: DL allows us to keep our education mission on track. DL adds important capability and capacity for NPS to deliver education to students who cannot come here fulltime and low residency programs will be an important part of our future. In fact, the NPS TLC is sending surveys to faculty and students asking how the DL experience is going, its impacts to you and your learning, what is/isn’t going well, and what we can do to improve our DL. ITACS adjusted ZOOM, for example, to make sessions more secure and your feedback will help us to refine options and services going forward. Learn more ZOOM tips here: https://wiki.nps.edu/display/SakaiCLE/Sakai+CLE+-+Collaborate+-+Zoom

TLC DL resources for all educators: https://nps.edu/web/tlc/tlc-resources

That said, I am well aware that DL is no substitute for the interpersonal dynamic of in-class learning with NPS faculty. Our students’ shared military experience adds richness and essential context to discussions in and outside of class. The diversity of thought we gain from our interservice, interagency, and international colleagues is another of the many intangible factors that define the student-learning experience on campus that can’t be digitized.

Bravo Zulu’s: In my last All-Hands email, I drew your attention to our COVID Response BZ Shout-Out submission form. We posted them all here.

Keep it coming. We also have many terrific volunteer efforts going on to help our families and neighbors in our community. One such effort is LT Meagan Way and our PA Team captured the story, which you can read at the below link: https://nps.edu/-/nps-student-helps-connect-military-families-with-her-camera

It is important to recognize and appreciate these extra efforts, so please take a moment to recognize someone you know who helped you in work or studies, or is volunteering to make to make a difference in town.

COS sent a reminder to participate in the Command Climate Survey, open through 13 April, which is also very important and provides very helpful feedback. Please take time to share your thoughts.

Finally, please note our next Virtual Town-Hall will be Tuesday, 14 April at 1500. Please keep your advance questions coming on the internal wiki: https://wiki.nps.edu/x/MLTuRQ. Calendar invite here: (click to download and open with Outlook)

In the battle waged thus far, we have reduced our enemy’s capability to spread. We armed ourselves with knowledge and are taking actions together to defeat the threat. I am confident we will prevail and come through this stronger as a campus, as a community, and as a nation.

Take care this week. Study well, work hard, and stay safe!

With great respect,

Ann E. Rondeau, Ed.D.
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
President, Naval Postgraduate School

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What Can I Do to Be Prepared?

Practice Prevention
First and foremost, practice prevention! From washing your hands to staying home when you are sick. Check out the NPS Safety Office COVID-19 website for the latest resources at every level.

Get Your Telework Agreement in Place
Let’s be prepared, as individuals and as an institution. See the COS’ bulk message here on how to do it, and these best practices for employees. For Supervisors, see these instructions on how to change employee’s eligibility for telework.

Register with the Emergency Alert System
AtHoc can help you get information quickly, but you have to be sure your contact info is up to date. Check out AtHoc Wiki page for all the info.