BTC Continues to Prepare for Fall Semester

July 31, 2020

On July 30, Governor Evers announced a new emergency order mandating facemasks to be worn indoors. This mandate changes little at BTC since we continue to operate in Stage 5 of our reopening plan that requires everyone to be masked.  Since facemasks are required at all Blackhawk locations, the only change will be for employees in open workspaces or cubicles. If not alone in such an area, employees will be required to wear a mask at all times. The only exceptions to the mask order are for those alone in their office or a non-shared workspace or when eating in the Commons. If individuals do not have a mask, they are available at campus entrances. In addition to facemasks, we continue to require physical distancing and have placed many reminders throughout our campuses.

Your safety and well-being remain our top concern. As such, even though the College continues to operate in Stage 5, we are developing plans to revert to Stage 4, if needed. Blackhawk faculty and staff are essential employees who are critical in transforming the lives of our students. We recognize that many of our students, faculty, and staff have questions about COVID-19 and the college’s response – especially where teaching and learning are concerned.

The Incident Command Team, the Emergency Preparedness Committee, and the College Leadership Team continue to monitor local, state, federal, and CDC guidelines to make informed decisions regarding our students and employees. All of us must be ready to step back to Stage 4, at a moment’s notice, if circumstances demand. To help us navigate this situation, we have been working to help address some of the questions you may have:

  • Incident Command leaders will be scheduled to visit Divisions in Academic Affairs for Q&A sessions. More information will come through your Deans and Directors.
  • A Return to Campus Guidebook is in development and will be sent out to all employees next week. This guide contains helpful information about the College’s COVID-19 response, FAQs, return to work guidance, campus safety protocols, and more.

This week marks an important milestone for all of us at Blackhawk – our first-ever virtual commencement. When the pandemic hit last spring, we still had hopes that we would be able to host an in-person celebration. Unfortunately, COVID-19 remains a threat in our community and large gatherings are still not possible. Our students have overcome so much, and we are grateful to have the technology to still celebrate them. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s virtual ceremony and hope you will be able to tune in via, Facebook, or YouTube.

Dr. Tracy Pierner
President, Blackhawk Technical College
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