COVID-19: Mandatory Remote Teaching
March 13, 2020
Dear FST Campus Community,
Peace and all good.
In the past month the depth and challenge of a worldwide pandemic have become very evident to all of us in the human community. As a community of faith, let us act responsibly by following the advice and practices of our medical professionals, help those who are suffering in any way we can, and above all bring to all our relationships a witness through prayer and practice, faith in an all-provident, forgiving, and loving God. I invite you to consider Matthew 8:23-27. Christ models for us peace and calm in the midst of a tumultuous storm. He called his disciples to trust him and have faith in difficult times. He did not abandon them, rather trust in Christ transformed the circumstances.
In our immediate context, civil leadership in San Diego and the state of California, Bishop Robert McElroy, and President James Harris of the University of San Diego have all taken extraordinary steps by limiting community gatherings, curtailing Church services, and cancelling university classes. We the administration at the Franciscan School of Theology join with them and with all of you in placing the needs of our community, particularly our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, uppermost in our actions and our prayers. With this letter, I would like to explain for you the educational path forward that our FST community will take in the coming months.
- All remaining classes in which students are enrolled will be conducted on-line. We are
providing the necessary tools both internally and through the University to make sure that those enrolled can finish their courses this semester and receive the appropriate credit. Faculty are able to use Blackboard Zoom capabilities or personal Zoom capabilities to conduct classes; they may be synchronous or asynchronous depending on faculty choice. You will be receiving notices from your faculty member.
- If any student has difficulty accessing the appropriate technological tools to participate
in the classes please notify both your faculty teacher, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Fr. Joseph Chinnici, O.F.M., and the Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Kimberly Renna. FST will make every effort to insure that every student has the appropriate access to on-line learning.
- President Harris in his note to the student community noted that all classes between
March 14-22 are cancelled. This has been done so as to give both faculty and students at USD time to adjust to the on-line learning methodologies. FST faculty, after canvassing the students and if all are capable of using the technology, are free to conduct on-line classes or cancel them during the period March 14-22. All classes however must be resumed March 23rd.The faculty at both Oceanside and San Diego will be provided with help in learning the methodologies; students requesting help may contact Sister Kathy Flood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- There will be no community gatherings at FST at the University of San Diego or
Oceanside, no liturgies, no meals, or other communal activities, lectures, special events, usually arranged by student services.
- Library access will be provided for students Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2-6 pm or by
appointment; outside of these times on-line data gathering systems may be used, or any student may contact the FST librarian, Mr. Carl Adkins (email@example.com) for help in locating and obtaining resources.
- The FST administration will be available for personal consultation either at the USD
campus location through appointment, phone call, or e-mail. Those located at the Oceanside campus may contact administrators either through phone call or e-mail or make a specific appointment.
- Commencement exercises are still scheduled for Old Mission San Luis Rey on May 23rd.
Further notices will be given about the commencement gathering depending on the public health situation in early May.
Our FST community and administrators are committed to assuring you of our support in your academic work. As we respond to the worldwide and local demands of this pandemic, let us move forward together not only with our academic tools but with the faith, hope, and charity for our brothers and sisters throughout the world and here at home. May the Lord bless and keep you.
Fr. Garrett Galvin, O.F.M.
Franciscan School of Theology