FREE Public COVID-19 Testing Site Now Open Sundays-Thursdays at CSM

The San Mateo County Community College District, in partnership with San Mateo County Health, has launched a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the College of San Mateo campus. Located in upper Hillsdale Lot 1 at CSM, the site is open to the public and replaces the previous testing location at the San Mateo County Event Center.

Testing hours:
Sundays–Thursdays, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Through January 31, 2022

Testing location:
Upper Hillsdale Lot 1 at College of San Mateo
1700 West Hillsdale Drive, San Mateo CA 94402

The test is free but an appointment is required.

The tests are conducted with a nasal swab and results provided within 24–72 hours. The site has the capacity to test 1,000 people per day. Testing services are provided by OptumServe, the federal health business of Optum and UnitedHealth Group.


Special Hours for SMCCCD Employees and Students
Special time blocks have been reserved exclusively for San Mateo County Community College District students, staff, and faculty on Sundays–Thursdays from 10–11 am and 3–4 pm. These blocks will allow 96 District employees and students to be tested daily.

Additional Details:

  • San Mateo County community members must remain in their vehicles at all times.
  • Portable restrooms will be available for community members.
  • SMCCCD employees and students who are working at CSM or the District Office, or attending a class at CSM, may walk to testing site from their work/study locations.
  • SMCCCD employees and students must access testing site through Campus Access Point or Community Testing Access Point.

Make an appointment online:

  1. Visit the Logistics Health COVID-19 Testing website
  2. Select “California” from the dropdown menu
  3. Select “Get Started”
  4. Follow registration steps to create an account
  5. Log in to your account
  6. Choose a testing location
  7. Schedule an appointment
    Note: Appointments for children under 13 cannot be made online and must be made by calling the LHI Call Center.

Make an appointment by phone
Call the LHI Call Center at (888) 634-1123 to make an appointment by phone.

Getting Your COVID-19 Test

  1. Attend your scheduled testing appointment
  2. On-location staff will check you in
  3. Staff will conduct nasal swab test and send sample to the lab
  4. Notification will be provided when your results are ready and available on LHI.Care within 24-72 hours.

This information is also available on the District COVID-19 website.

Looking Back at 2020

In this extraordinary year, The San Mateo County Community College District has innovated and pivoted to continue serving our students. Faculty and staff set up their home offices, reached out to students, and adapted courses to online format. Students, once again, showed their resolve and resilience in moving to online education.

Our students were already facing significant challenges in terms of housing, transportation, access to food, financial security, and equity in the classroom. The pandemic has only intensified those challenges. In response, the District adapted some student basic needs supports and launched several new ones:

San Mateo County Community College District Emergency Food Distribution
The District partnered with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley to launch a Friday food distribution program at CSM. The program quickly reached its maximum capacity of serving 1,000 families per week. To date the program has distributed 1.2 million pounds of food, worth more than $2 million, to more than 27,000 families.

In September, Skyline College added a food distribution program on Wednesdays. To date the program has distributed 300,000 pounds of food, worth $537,000, to 7,500 families.

Emergency Food Card Program
Before the pandemic struck, the District had begun to distribute monthly vouchers for free groceries to students identified as having food insecurity challenges. With campuses closed, the vouchers are now distributed digitally. About 1,600 students have received more than $1 million in grocery vouchers to date. The District has funded another $1 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Housing
The District allocated and distributed $100,000 in emergency funding to students for housing during the pandemic and set up a case management system to assist students with housing needs. The District SparkPoint Centers have also built a partnership with United Way Bay Area to provide rental assistance to students. About 30 students received housing vouchers this fall worth $1,750 each.

Chromebook and Hotspot Distribution
Without access to campus computers and wifi, many students were left without the technology they needed to continue their studies. The District acquired hundreds of Chromebooks and wifi hotspots to loan to students. This fall, about 400 Chromebooks are on loan to students, as well as 422 hotspots, and 128 calculators.

Drive-Up WiFi
Students can now make reservations online for a parking space in designated wifi parking lots. Students work from their cars, and campus restroom facilities are available.

Telemedicine
Using secure HIPAA-compliant Zoom technology, the College Health Centers now offer free telemedicine appointments to students. The telemedicine clinics offer medical advice, tuberculosis screenings, lab orders, some prescription refills, evaluation and treatment of illnesses and injuries, and referrals to other providers.

Flu Shot Clinics
The Health Centers have partnered with San Mateo County Health to offer free flu shots to employees and students. Each campus hosted a drive-through flu shot clinic in November or December.

Face-to-Face Instruction
With the community in need of healthcare workers, first responders, and job training/retraining programs, the District began piloting face-to-face instructional programs in the summer. While instructors have been able to convert most courses to a fully online format, not all instruction can take place remotely. Thanks to big support efforts from Facilities, ITS, and Public Safety, classes that must meet face-to-face are now doing so.

As of this fall, more than 700 students are participating in some form of on-campus instruction as part of their curriculum. A sampling of these courses includes:

Cañada College:
Medical Assisting
Radiology Technology

College of San Mateo:
Dentistry
EMT
Fire Academy
Nursing

Skyline College:
Automotive Technology
Cosmetology
Surgery Technology
Respiratory Care
STEM labs

We Salute Our Essential Workers

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, certain categories of professionals have been designated “essential workers” for their role in maintaining the health and safety of the community. While most of our classified staff, faculty, and administrators work from home, these employees still come to work to keep campuses, buildings and technology running smoothly to support the District’s educational mission. With three college campuses and the District Office to support, and with the complexities of intensive sanitization and safety procedures, these teams are more essential than ever.

Facilities
The District Facilities team continues to work full time during the pandemic. Every classroom, lab, hallway, staircase, door handle and elevator associated with a face-to-face class must be sanitized every day in order to keep people safe. Approximately 85 groundskeepers, engineers and custodians are onsite every day.  Three facilities managers and three custodial supervisors, and a project coordinator oversee these operations. 

Prior to the pandemic, the Facilities custodians had already been certified hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting techniques by the Cleaning Management Institute. They have kept up to speed on Coronavirus sanitization techniques by participating in workshops through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). Teams also now use a specialized Clorox 360 electrostatic disinfecting machine.

The team also continues to maintain District physical assets, monitoring central boiler and chiller plants, monitoring critical life safety and building systems, and performing regular grounds keeping. 

Information Technology Services  
With most employees working remotely, and nearly all classes being taught online, technology is more important than ever. A team of 30 information technology professionals is on campus every day to support the District’s networks infrastructure, learning management systems, databases, business and records systems, communications systems, websites, and equipment. The team provides remote technical support for employees working from home, loans laptops and other equipment to employees and students, and has built the infrastructure to offer free Wi-Fi for students in the college parking lots.

Public Safety
The pandemic and its restrictions make safety, security, and controlling campus access of paramount importance. Access to the campuses and their buildings must be protected in order to offer food and technology distributions, face-to-face classes, and other high-priority campus operations. A team of 37 Public Safety employees makes this possible, working round-the-clock onsite at the three campuses.

Public Safety added six temporary employees to assist with staffing the campus access points, where people are screened for entry to the campuses. These employees work outside in summer heat, winter cold, rain and smoke, and have become experts at safely contacting and communicating with hundreds of people at our access points.

A grateful community member brought flowers to Officer Zorie Gomez, in appreciation of Officer Gomez’ cheerful and helpful disposition every week at the entrance of the District Emergency Food Distribution event.
A grateful community member brought flowers to Officer Zorie Gomez, in appreciation of Officer Gomez’ cheerful and helpful disposition every week at the entrance of the District Emergency Food Distribution event.

Public Safety has assigned several employees to assist with the facilitation of every food distribution event at Skyline and CSM since they began. Officers also assist with other campus operations like technology distributions and flu shot clinics.  

The Public Safety emergency manager and emergency management coordinator have taken a lead role in the startup and ongoing work of the District’s Emergency Operations Center.

José Nuñez Receives Leadership Achievement Award from California College Facility Coalition

At its annual conference in November, the California College Facility Coalition (CCFC) presented its Paul Holmes Facilities Leadership Achievement Award to Jose Nuñez, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Maintenance & Operations. The award is given each year to a state community college facilities leader who demonstrates a commitment and dedication to the organization’s mission and vision of enhancing facilities for the students of California’s community colleges.

In the awards presentation, Nuñez was recognized by his peers for his accomplishments at the District as well as his impact across the state. They cited his mentorship of many successful community college facilities professionals, his support of talent within his own organization, and for creating networks for sharing and problem-solving across districts. According to CCFC, Nuñez was the first to utilize the design-build project delivery method in Northern California and has been a leader in sustainability and the COVID-19 response. 

The District’s Facilities Planning, Maintenance and Operations team operates under a “Facilities Excellence” philosophy, and colleagues across the District are familiar with his “Team Work  =  One Team!” mantra.

Nuñez served 22 years with the U.S. Army, retiring as a major.  During his military career, Major Nuñez served in numerous infantry and foreign assignments around the world.

Daman Grewal Becomes District Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

After a comprehensive search process and final approval from the Board of Trustees, Daman Grewal was named District Chief Technology Officer (CTO).  The Chancellor announced the appointment to District employees on November 2.

Grewal oversees the District’s Information Technology Services (ITS) office, which includes 30 staff working at the three colleges and the District Office. He and his team are responsible for providing students and employees with business technology, learning management systems, databases, communications systems, websites, phone, computers, and many other essential tools for supporting the District’s educational mission. 

“Daman is a well-experienced professional with exceptional knowledge, skills and abilities to lead teams, build consensus, and provide sound guidance and advice and to facilitate processes that engage stakeholders from across the District,” Chancellor Claire said in his announcement. “I am confident that he will continue to serve the District well in his role as our Chief Technology Officer.”

Prior to joining the District as a contract employee with Strata Information Group in 2019, Grewal held many senior IT roles in higher education, including as Chief Information Technology Officer at City College of San Francisco, Chief Information Officer at the Cal State Maritime Academy, Director of Technical Services at Ohlone Community College District, and an IT Services Manager at Stanford University.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Delhi University (India) and an MBA from the University of Lincoln (England).

FREE Drive-Up Flu Shot Clinics for Students and Employees

In collaboration with SMCCCD District Nurses, San Mateo County Health is offering free flu shots for SMCCCD students, faculty, and staff. If you work or take classes at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, or Skyline College, you can get a free flu shot on Nov. 18, Dec. 2, and Dec. 9. See covid-19.smccd.edu/flushots for details.

San Mateo County Community College District Courses Remain Mainly Online for Spring 2021 Term

The three colleges of the San Mateo County Community College District – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College – will continue to hold courses in online and distance education modalities, as well as provide most student services remotely, through the end of the Spring 2021 semester. The San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees formally ratified the decision in their meeting on Sept. 23.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt higher education along with every other sector,” said SMCCCD Chancellor Mike Claire. “This decision allows our employees to plan ahead for a successful spring semester, and it lets students know what to expect. Staying online is the best way to keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy and safe.”

The Board’s decision was based on the recommendation of the Chancellor and supported by a recommendation from the District Academic Senate. Faculty, staff and students have expressed a need to have as much time as possible to plan for the spring term.

Most employees will also continue to work remotely through May 2021.

In-person instruction will continue for certain essential infrastructure sectors–healthcare, emergency services, and transportation fields, as well as critical STEM labs in key transfer areas, and to meet licensing requirements for career education programs–in order to train first responders and healthcare workers to address urgent community needs and to provide direct pathways to employment. Due to criteria set by the State that include requirements for social distancing, classroom/lab sanitization procedures, and other health precautions, the number of people at SMCCCD campuses will be kept at a minimum.

During summer 2020, Colleges provided a massive professional development program to train instructors in online education. Approximately 600 college faculty participated, as well as dual enrollment faculty, faculty instructors, and other support staff. The training program was supported by more than $1.4 million in Federal CARES Act funding as well as District funds.

The District has launched a number of programs to help students cope with the ongoing crisis. Drive-Up WiFi service is available six days a week to help students attend online classes and complete their schoolwork. In a partnership with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, the District now offers free food distribution on Wednesdays at Skyline College, and Fridays at College of San Mateo. The District is distributing more than $4.2 million in federal CARES Act funding to students to assist with financial challenges. The three Colleges have been distributing loaner Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots and other supplies to students. Healthcare services are available via telemedicine free of charge to students.

EMPLOYEES: What to Do in Case of Power Shutoffs

PG&E has announced the possibility of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) this week. Here is what the District is doing to prepare, as well as guidelines for what to do if you lose power.

In the event of a power shutoff, online classes and meetings should continue as scheduled, but you should have a plan for how to reach your dean or supervisor if you lose power. Let them know what is going on. Instructors, deans, and supervisors are asked to make every effort to be flexible and understanding with anyone who is unable teach, learn or work due to a power shutoff.

Online classes
Online classes will continue as scheduled in the event of a PSPS. For detailed guidance on handling a PSPS, please see the District Academic Senate Guidance Statement on Major Power Outages.

Offices and meetings
Employees working from home should continue to do so as long as they have power. All meetings will continue unless announced otherwise by the meeting host.

Campus Procedures
The District communicates daily with PG&E and will have advance notice of any planned outages at any District campus or the District Office. If/when PG&E notifies the District of an upcoming outage, the District may close the affected location as a safety precaution. In the event of a power shutdown on a campus, face-to-face classes and all other campus operations will be closed. Some essential employees may still be required to come to work to preserve campus safety and facilities.

The District will notify students and employees of any campus closures. Updates will be posted at emergency.smccd.info.

What to Do in Advance of a PSPS

  • Make sure your dean or supervisor has your cell phone number.
  • Instructors and offices should create a phone tree in order to contact people during a power shutdown.
  • If you live in an affected area, notify everyone at the beginning of your classes/meetings that you could lose power.
  • Charge your phone and devices in advance.

What to Do if You Lose Power

  • Email or text your dean or supervisor to let them know.
  • Instructors should notify students on Canvas and encourage students to check in with their classmates.
  • If you are a meeting host, call or text a colleague in the meeting to let them know you lost power and that the meeting will be rescheduled.
  • If you are a meeting participant, email or text the meeting host to let them know you lost power and make arrangements to follow up when you have power.

Above all, please take care of yourself and others who are experiencing hardships due to a power shutoff. Please use patience and flexibility to allow students to complete course requirements, and to allow employees to complete their work.

Monitor updates at emergency.smccd.info.

Working from Home Guidelines

The District’s goal is to ensure that all essential District operations are maintained during COVID-19 with most employees working remotely and a limited number on-site. Realizing that under these new operating parameters employees working remotely will have questions and needs regarding their new remote worksites, the District has prepared these guidelines.

Download this document as a printable PDF

Employee Work Expectations

We have asked supervisors to be accommodating, flexible, patient, and understanding, however employees are reminded of work expectations while working remotely.

  • Check District-related email, telephone, or other designated communication methods on a consistent basis as if the employee were working at their regularly assigned college/District work site.
  • Adhere to professionalism, productivity, performance, communication, timeliness of assignments, and responsiveness standards, and to comply with all District (as well as their program/department) policies and procedures.
  • Classified employees are expected to adhere to their assigned work schedule. Changes to the work schedule or requests for overtime require prior approval in accordance with the procedures established by their supervisor. Requests for sick, vacation, and other leaves of absence shall be made in accordance with established department/program procedures.

Safety Standards

  • The employee confirms that they have a suitable place to work remotely and that to the best of their knowledge the workplace is safe from conditions that could pose a hazard to health and safety or danger to District-owned equipment.
  • Comply with all District policies and standards for safeguarding and protecting any confidential business information, personally identifiable information, and all other sensitive information they possess. The employee shall ensure confidential, personally identifiable, and all other sensitive information discussed via any form of communication is conducted in a manner consistent with District policies and procedures and protects the information from unauthorized disclosure.

Ergonomics

Most remote worksite needs can be addressed by making adjustments to a workspace. See Working from Home ergonomics presentation. If these adjustments do not address workspace needs, an ergonomic assessment may be recommended. Prior to an ergonomic assessment, the following steps should be taken.

  • The employee shall discuss ergonomic needs to work remotely with their supervisor prior to having Human Resources assess the need.
  • The employee will need to complete the Working from Home Ergonomics Assessment Request Form. A Human Resources representative will contact the employee to conduct a virtual workplace assessment and determine the need.

Technology and Equipment

  • The employee and the supervisor shall determine the minimum equipment and software necessary for the employee to complete assignments from the remote worksite in a timely, efficient, and professional manner.
  • In determining which equipment (if any) shall be provided by the District/college, the Department/Division shall consider appropriateness and availability. If bringing office equipment home and/or ordering equipment is approved, the employee must complete the District Property Loan Agreement. Please note Facilities is not able to assist employees bringing office equipment home, and ITS is only able to support remote installations. The employee is required to return any District property upon request after working remotely is completed.
  • The Department/Division will maintain all equipment owned by the District. The employee will not perform maintenance or repairs on District-owned equipment.
  • The employee is responsible for service costs, maintenance, and repairs of employee-owned equipment.
  • Only District-owned software may be installed on District-owned equipment. The employee may not install or download any other software to District-owned equipment without supervisor approval.
  • The employee shall never purchase or rent equipment, services or supplies on the assumption the Department/Division shall reimburse for the cost. Department/Division prior approval must be obtained prior to any expense incurred. In general, the employee is responsible for ongoing operating costs, such as telephone (mobile and landline) service fees, mobile phone data plans, internet fees, utility costs, and equipment rental fees, however for expenses incurred to be able to complete assignments may be reimbursable if prior approval is obtained and expenses can be verified.
  • The Colleges/District Office will supply the employee with appropriate office supplies to complete assignments. The employee should check in with their supervisor on how to request office supplies.