September 21, 2013

Sterling, CO--No matter how much Northeastern Junior College would like to be back to business and learning as usual, it just isn’t going to happen. Today, the administration team made the decision to cancel classes for Monday and Tuesday, September 23-24. The city remains under a no flush, no food service order, expected to last through the weekend if not beyond.  Students are being asked to not return to campus until classes are resumed. The Bank of Colorado Event Center and the Monahan Library remain closed.

 Administrative, professional-technical and classified staff are to report to work per normal schedule beginning Monday morning. Even though classes are not running, the administration and student services, including Hays Student Service will be open 8 to 5 beginning Monday, September 23th.  These staffers will be inconvenienced with alternative outdoor facilities, but the day to day work of the institution must continue. The class schedule for Spring 2014 is being developed at this time and many on campus are involved with this process as well as other student services related operations.

The College is undergoing conversation on how to replace days lost due to this ongoing emergency situation. Northeastern is looking at various ways to make up these lost days academically and there are a number of options.  According to Barbara Baker, Director of Public Information and Marketing Services, “Students and parents can be assured that students will not be slighted on their academic product as a result of this emergency situation,” she said. “Even if we would be forced to lose another week of school, which we don’t expect to happen, there are several ways that we can make up these days without a whole lot of inconvenience to our students.” Some of the options that might be considered would include reducing the Thanksgiving break down to fewer days,  running classes on what is typically a day only for advising, perhaps using some of the days that are reserved for finals to be teaching days and modify the finals schedule. Many of the decisions regarding making up time are somewhat dictated by North Central Accreditation rules and regulations. Administration will be looking into all of these variables and working with faculty and students to establish a new timeline once classes resume.  It will be very important that students receive all of the hours required for completion of credits and a number of classes taught in the fall are pre-requisites for others classes yet to come in future semesters. 

Faculty on campus are being encouraged to communicate with their students regarding the status of class assignments or scheduled tests and the like. Students are encouraged to access their NJC assigned email accounts to retrieve this kind of information.

In today’s meeting, it was confirmed that 13 students have remained on campus throughout this entire no-flush situation, some from out of state or otherwise unable to travel home. Provisions have been made for these students, making sure they have food to prepare on their own in their buildings or rooms (health department regulations prevent others from preparing it for them), access to outdoor facilities, and the students have been transported out of town regularly to get access to locations where they can shower and clean up.

Local authorities continue to work to resolve the issues related to the sewer system. The water supply in Sterling remains totally safe and available, Residents simply cannot let anything go down the drain at this time. Residents are being asked to find other ways to dispose of gray and black water. Waste dump sites have been established. The amount of water that came down the South Platte River was of historical proportion and the problems it has created for the local municipality are some that were totally unexpected. Northeastern encourages those who are interested to follow the postings on facebook from the Logan County Office of Emergency Management and the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and to also access the following newspaper sites which also have updates

http://www.southplattesentinel.com/  South Platte Sentinel—a good display of pictures in this week’s paper regarding all of the flooding that happened in this area.

http://www.journal-advocate.com/   Sterling Journal Advocate—daily paper, posting frequent updates online.

If a student who lives on campus needs to access his or her room to retrieve necessary items before we are able to reopen, they should email David McNabb, Director of Residence Life at david.mcnabb@njc.edu.   The college’s main line will be back up and operating on Monday at 8 a.m. and will be answered by personnel able to answer any other questions.