COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — North Idaho College will be moving to remote learning for a two-week period starting Monday due to the rise of COVID cases, as reported by our news partner, Coeur d'Alene Press.
At the board meeting Wednesday evening, interim President Michael Sebaaly said the plan is to minimize the overall foot traffic to reduce the spread of illness on campus.
Laura Rumpler, NIC's chief communications officer, said the significant rise in COVID cases is putting a tremendous strain on the entire college community, and in order to keep students, faculty and staff safe they plan to reduce the number of face-to-face interactions through Feb. 4.
“This plan will allow for COVID infections to subside and for the continuous delivery of instruction and support services,” Rumpler said.
Rumpler said they will spend the next few days preparing for the rolling transition to allow faculty to meet with students one last time before they move to remote learning.
For classes that cannot pivot such as labs and activity courses, arrangements will be made to allow for physical distancing at all times, Rumpler said.
Dual credit courses taught in the high schools will adhere to school district protocols.
The NIC Children’s Center closed Saturday due to the number of staff and children who were absent with COVID. Rumpler said they hope to have a reduction in illness and enough staffing to reopen the center on Tuesday.
The college will also reduce the number of employees on campus through using staff rotations in offices and remote work to allow for additional physical distancing. Rumpler said this will allow them to protect the welfare of employees as well as ensure an on-campus presence of services.
Per trustee vacancy for Zone 5 following the resignation of former trustee Michael Barnes, the board of trustees voted unanimously to direct the administration to publicize the vacancy and request letters of interest be submitted by Feb. 9.
Letters of interest should be sent to the board of trustees through the president’s office.
There will be formal public interviews with candidates at the board meeting on Feb. 23. The interim trustee will be sworn in at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
The trustee Zone 5 position will be added to the ballot for the November 2022 election and the winner of the election will serve out the remainder of the term, which ends in 2024. The interim trustee may run in the election.
No update was given on the investigation on trustee residency requirements authorized at the December board meeting.
Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our news partner, click here.