Fleming College has announced it will begin the fall semester using online and alternative delivery Sept. 8.

In a press release, it said the college’s Fleming Safe plan will ensure that students can complete the learning outcomes required in their programs while maintaining the highest possible safety standards in compliance with all government and public health directives.

“Our Fall semester will be delivered through alternate models as we prepare for multiple scenarios for our campuses and classrooms to create the utmost in safe learning environments,” said college president Maureen Adamson.

She added they’ll follow guidelines from public health and the province, and their delivery decisions will be focused on the health and safety of everyone in the community.

“The plan allows flexibility to react to the loosening of health and safety restrictions by being ready to begin face-to-face, applied learning responsibly and appropriately,” Adamson said. “We do not anticipate that all health and safety restrictions will be lifted all at once – we are ready to respond swiftly to advance student success effectively given the circumstances that will present themselves.”

She said Fleming will work with community partners to re-establish field placements, field trips, clinical placements and other applied learning opportunities aligned with health and safety directives.

At the outset of COVID-19, the college established task teams to develop a response to the pandemic. Teams assigned to academic programming and facilities protocols are now assembling detailed plans for the return to classes in September. Alongside planning for the return to class and access to campus facilities this fall, the college is also assessing how students will safely access residence, food services and athletics. Decisions addressing these broader college services and programs will be shared in the near future.

The Haliburton School of Art and Design does not have a residence or athletics program but does provide a food service.

“I want to thank our students for their patience,” Adamson said. “We are taking these steps to provide as much certainty as we can for students and their families at this point in time. In keeping with our guiding principle of ‘safety first’, we are dedicated to moving forward and mitigating any risk of recurrence. I also want to thank our Fleming employees for their incredible resilience and dedication to our students and our communities.”

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