San Mateo County Opens Public COVID-19 Testing Site at College of San Mateo

San Mateo County 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.

Additional Details:

  • You must remain in your vehicle at all times.
  • Portable restrooms will be available for your use.
  • The test is no-cost to you but your insurance will be billed if available (please have your insurance information ready).

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.

For information on all testing locations in San Mateo County, see www.smcgov.org/testing.

For information on the San Mateo County Community College District response to COVID-19, see covid-19.smccd.edu.

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

For Students: How to change your grading options this semester

We are more than halfway through the Fall 2020 semester and would like to remind you that you have the ability to change grading options on courses until the last day of the course. You can use WebSMART to do the following:

  • Withdraw from a course with an “EW-Excused Withdrawal”
  • Change the Grading Option from Letter Grade to Pass/No Pass or Vice Versa

To determine how these options will affect your educational goal, financial aid, and/or transfer status, please meet with a counselor BEFORE making any change.

Keep in mind that we are not giving “F” grades for Fall 2020, due to the extraordinary hardship students are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instread, anyone not passing a class will receive an “NP” grade, which does not have an impact on your GPA.

Please be aware that these options will be available up to the last day of instruction for the class, before the week of final exams. You can find the last date for your specific course on WebSchedule by clicking on the course and scrolling down to “critical dates for this course.”  You can also locate the specific dates for your course on WebSMART by going into the Student Services tab and under Registration. Your schedule will appear with the Important Dates.

You also have up to a year after the course ends to request a withdrawal: just fill out the online request form and send to your college Admissions & Records office.

Thank you,
Admissions and Records

Contact Us:
Cañada College Counseling Center
College of San Mateo Counseling Center
Skyline College Counseling Center

Or visit the Virtual Campus

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.

Free Drive-Up Wi-Fi Now Available for SMCCCD Students

The San Mateo County Community College District now offers free Wi-Fi access for students at all three campuses. The new “Drive-Up Wi-Fi” service allows students to park in a specially designated parking lot on the campus of their choice, where they can access Wi-Fi to attend online classes or do schoolwork.

The program was made possible by an all-District team of staff and administrators who have been working to design a system that provides convenient student Wi-Fi access while maintaining District health and safety requirements during the pandemic.

Reservations are required. Students can pick the campus most convenient to them, fill out the Eventbrite reservation form, print or download their Eventbrite ticket, and follow the instructions. Restrooms are available. Students have in/out privileges for the Drive-Up Wi-Fi lot between 6am – 8pm.

Drive-Up Wi-Fi Website/Reservations

Student Drive-Up Wi-Fi Hours
Cañada College:
Monday – Friday, 6 am – 8 pm

College of San Mateo:
Monday – Saturday (except Fridays), 6 am – 8 pm

Skyline College:
Monday – Friday (except Wednesdays), 6 am – 8 pm

Student Drive-Up Wi-Fi Rules

  • Review COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if you are sick 
  • Make a reservation on Eventbrite and bring your ticket to campus
  • Check in at the Public Safety Access Point
  • Drive to the Wi-Fi lot and park in any space with a GREEN cone
  • Only members of the same household in each vehicle
  • All vehicle occupants must remain in the vehicle except to use restrooms
  • Read and follow all rules on your Eventbrite ticket
  • Abide by the Student Code of Ethics

For more information, please see the District Drive-Up Wi-Fi website.  

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.

STUDENTS: What to Do in Case of Power Shutoffs

PG&E may do Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) this week. Here is what students should do if you lose power.

Online classes will continue as scheduled, as long as your instructor has power, but you should have a plan for how to reach your instructor if you lose power. Your instructor will make arrangements for you to make up assignments or other requirements once power is restored.

Face-to-Face Classes
In the event of a power shutdown on a campus, face-to-face classes will be canceled. The District will notify students of any campus closures.

What to Do in Advance of a PSPS

  • Make sure your professor has your cell phone number.
  • Make sure your Canvas notifications are set to “daily” and announcements to “immediately.”
  • Charge your phone and devices in advance.

What to Do if You Lose Power

  • Email or text your instructor to let them know.
  • Check in with your classmates and friends to make sure they are okay.

Above all, please take care of yourself and others who are experiencing hardships due to a power shutoff.

Monitor updates at emergency.smccd.info.

Graduates Will Receive Congratulatory Email Messages, Celebration Materials

Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College will be emailing the Class of 2020 a virtual congratulations package. Having postponed commencement exercises until it is safe for mass gatherings, we will want to congratulate all the District’s graduates. Each graduate will receive:

  • Congratulations video from the college president in full regalia
  • Downloadable/printable lawn sign and social media filters 
  • Grads will be encouraged to post a photo on social media, which we will feed into a commencement photo grid “live feed” on college commencement pages 
  • Reminder that they will be invited to participate in a ceremony in the future, once gatherings are safe 

The District will also run a two-page congratulations ad in the San Mateo Daily Journal, listing the name of each graduate. Congratulations messages will go out soon!

How To Request an Excused Withdrawal

Due to the crisis caused by the pandemic, California community college students are allowed to request an Excused Withdrawal (EW) for up to a year after the end of their courses for Spring 2020. Simply download this Extenuating Circumstances Form and send it to your college’s admissions office.

Cañada Admissions
CSM Admissions
Skyline Admissions

On the form, please indicate the reason “Covid-19.” You do not need a teacher signature or other information.

Federal CARES Act Emergency Funding for Students

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $5.6 million to the San Mateo County Community College District. The District will be using 75% of these funds to provide direct emergency cash grants to our students to assist with expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.The District will be investing the remaining 25% of the funding in faculty and staff professional development and technology needs related to the transition to remote teaching and learning. See funding breakdown below:

What are the student eligibility requirements for the grant?
Students who have Pell grant funding have already been notified that they will receive a CARES Act grant. The college financial aid offices are currently identifying other students to receive these grants. Those students will be notified as they are identified.

The CARES Act allows funding according to these criteria:

  • Students who are enrolled in 6-12+ units
  • U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
  • Students with valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Male students registered with the Selective Service
  • Students with a high school diploma or GED
  • Students in programs leading to a degree or certificate

How much in emergency funds can students expect?

  • Pell Grant Students
    • 6-11 Units: $800/student
    • 12 + Units: $1,100/student
  • Non Pell Grant Students
    • 6-11 Units: $500/student
    • 12 + Units: $650/student

What can the money be used for?

  • Students can use the CARES grant to pay for food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, transportation, and childcare.

How do students apply?

  • Pell Grant students do not need to apply. Students will receive a notification from the college financial aid offices.
  • Non-Pell Grant students will be emailed a notification from their college if they are eligible to receive CARES Act funds. This email will instruct them to complete an application form that the financial aid offices will use to confirm their eligibility. After financial aid reviews the form, the student’s eligibility status will update under the student’s financial aid status in WebSmart. 

When will the funds be dispersed?

  • Funds are being disbursed via the District’s financial aid partner, BankMobile, beginning May 20. In light of college funding timeline and prioritization of funds, not all students will receive awarding at the same time.
  • 67% of the available student allocation will be disbursed to students in the spring; 33% will be disbursed in the fall semester.

What should I tell students about this?

  • There is no need to identify or communicate with students who may be receiving this funding. The college financial aid offices are identifying and directly notifying students who qualify.

What about students who were left out of the CARES Act?
Unfortunately, the CARES Act left out some of our most vulnerable student groups such as undocumented students. In an effort to address the shortfall in the CARES Act, the District and the San Mateo County Community College Foundation (SMCCCF) have created an Undocumented Student Fund in support of these critical members of our campus communities. The fund makes more than $160,000 available for emergency scholarships to over 500 undocumented students in the District. All undocumented students, regardless of unit load, GPA, or other criteria, will be awarded $322.

To support the Undocumented Student Fund, please give online.

More information will be forthcoming about plans for the professional development and technology funding. Please watch your District communications for updates.