Updated: Riverside City College begins to feel effects of COVID-19

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By Erik Galicia and Leo Cabral

Update: March 14, 2:17 p.m.

The Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees will be holding a special Board meeting today at 6:30 p.m.

The Board is scheduled to discuss the next course of action after Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser’s order to close all schools in the county from March 16 through April 3.

The order to close Riverside County schools was released on March 13.

The Board Special meeting agenda is available here. Comments from the public will be heard at the beginning of the meeting.

This story is developing.

Breaking: March 13, 3:52 p.m.

An official email from Riverside Community College District states that all face-to-face classes will be suspended March 16-17.

On March 18 all RCCD courses will be held in online format.

This email supersedes previous announcements.

Official photo graphic from and RCCD email sent out at 3:27 p.m. on Friday, March 13. All RCCD courses are to be held online starting March 18.

This story is developing.

Breaking: March 12, 9:42 p.m.

The district just emailed its plan to prepare to transition to online learning.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I want to reassure the RCCD community that leadership is doing everything we can to ensure your safety. Your health and well-being is my top priority.

RCCD is continuing to work with Norco, Moreno Valley and Riverside City colleges leadership to make the best decisions for our institutions and the academic mission. As we prepare for a shift of many of our courses to remote/online instruction, we will continue to provide updates and details as they become available.

The transition to online/remote learning will occur in three Phases:

Phase 1:

Starting Monday, March 23, most RCCD courses will be taught in a remote/on-line learning format. RCCD students and faculty can find helpful guides to assist them at RCCD COVID-19. This schedule will remain in effect until further notice.

The hands-on labs, performance and studio classes, kinesiology activities, and career technical education skills based portion of courses will remain on site at this time.

All classes will be cancelled Friday, March 20 to prepare for this transition.

Phase 2:

We will continue to transition courses March 24 through April 6 in the STEM, Fine and Performing Arts and Career Technical Education disciplines as appropriate. There will be some exceptions for courses that do not lend well to an online format. These courses will remain on site at this time.

Phase 3:

Some courses cannot be held remotely. The District is committed to student education and these courses will be rescheduled at a later date if needed.

Riverside Community College District offices and colleges are not closing. College facilities will remain open, and operations will continue.

Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D.
Riverside Community College District

The rapid announcements from the Riverside Community College District have had faculty and students in a state of confusion. With a set date, some are ready to do what they have to for the transition.

“It’s really sad but what can we do?,” said Mathematics instructor Mary Legner. “It’s pretty scary. We haven’t lived through this before. The last time (we) had a pandemic was 1918. We’re just gonna have to deal with it. We’re gonna postpone quizzes for a while, at least until we get everything figured out. We’re not on vacation. We’re just gonna have to make it work.”

Legner told her students to bring a laptop to class next week if they have one. Then she can make sure students can get into canvas and start planning. She also said class may continue on Zoom on the same days/times as regularly scheduled class. She said she would try to post videos to help students study math from their computers.

“It’s good that they’re trying to continue our education,” said Salvador Martinez, a student at RCC. “It’ll be a new experience for many of us and a hard transition but it’s good that they’re taking precautions.”

This story is developing.

Updated March 12, 12:46 p.m.

The California Community College Athletic Association Men’s and Women’s Basketball State Championship Tournament has been cancelled due to growing coronavirus concerns.

Eight men’s and eight women’s teams were scheduled to begin competition today and Friday at Golden Eagle Arena according to the CCCAA website.

At 10:13 a.m. the RCC men’s basketball team tweeted a photo of the team on their way to San Francisco.


This story is developing.

The spread of coronavirus has prompted the California Community College Athletic Association to substantially limit public access to events.

According to a press release, only teams and essential staff will be permitted to attend the basketball state championship tournaments this weekend. 

Riverside City College’s men’s team is set to play the City College of San Francisco in Coalinga on Friday. 

“Our kids will have an opportunity to win a state championship and compete at the highest level in community college men’s basketball,” said Jim Wooldridge, RCC athletic director. “That’s the most important thing.”

Although he called the decision to limit game attendance unfortunate, Wooldridge expressed support and understanding for the protective measure.

“We certainly understand the cautiousness that we have to take at this point,” Wooldridge said.

With the number of infections rising and UC Riverside’s March 10 announcement that classes will shift to online, some students are concerned that RCC will soon follow suit.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” RCC President Gregory Anderson said. “I don’t think anybody should be surprised if it happens.”

Anderson said that neither the state nor the county has recommended that RCC close the campus, but that students should be checking their official RCCD emails often.

A March 11 email urged RCCD faculty to immediately begin planning to continue instruction online. 

“We are asking all faculty who have not completed Canvas training to do so by March 18,” the email read. “Please start to communicate now with students.”

According to Anderson, the switch would be temporary and flexible enough to accomodate classes that are difficult to cover online.

“We’re taking it hour by hour,” Anderson said.

Stephen Peltz contributed to this story.

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