The Impact of Fires on our Community

Dear divisional colleagues,

The many fires across the state, and particularly the fires in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, are causing distress, dislocations, and loss for many of our staff and students. In the last 48 hours, I have heard from many of you. We have team members throughout our division who are impacted by fires and the ongoing pandemic, even as we continue to operate and support students in the remote environment. 

I am deeply grateful for your good work, care and professionalism. I know how hard all of you continue to work to support our students. At the same time, please be mindful that your physical and emotional needs also matter. These intersecting crises will require sustained attention to our well-being so that we can care for our families, colleagues and students. 

Please let me, your unit head or your supervisor know if you need additional support during this extraordinary time. As a reminder, paid administrative leave may be requested for any lost work time due to the crisis, and impacted staff are encouraged to engage resources such as the Employee Assistance Program which can provide counseling and support.

The core of our division’s mission is to create an environment where students feel they belong and are supported. We will continue to do this while being in community with one another in these most challenging of times. I am in awe of this team’s capacity to do just that. Thank you for all that you do.

With gratitude and respect, 

Jennifer