COVID-19 Update: Message from President Michael Pawelke

Posted: March 14, 2020

Dear Briercrest Community,

Information updates and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are changing by the hour. One of the more significant recommendations of recent days is social distancing as an effective method for reducing the spread of the virus. 

The Government of Saskatchewan continues to provide valuable resources and direction to the province and we have been processing this counsel carefully, particularly their recommendation to disallow gatherings of over 250. Given Briercrest’s size and residential context, we have decided to suspend college classes for this semester effective immediately. The remainder of our courses for the semester will be delivered online beginning Thursday, March 19.

Presently, we are aware of one student who presents with symptoms of COVID-19. This student was to undergo testing for the virus today. The results of this test will not be available for 4 to 5 days and the student is presently in isolation off campus. We have concluded that the most vigilant, wise, and safe decision for our community at this time is for students to complete their education this term from home and practice safe social distancing from larger gatherings.

Briercrest College dormitories will be closed and food services will no longer be provided for college students after 7:00 pm Wednesday, March 18.

Educators in all three schools have already been preparing for the possibility of alternative educational delivery models and we are confident that students will be able to complete all programs of study. It is not expected that any on-campus college programs will resume this semester and we will determine the most suitable time for our graduation ceremony.

Dormitories for Briercrest Academy students will also be closing, however, we are currently in dialogue with Prairie South School Division on their decision whether or not to continue classes. Together, we are waiting for direction from the Ministry of Education.

Briercrest Seminary modular classes will move to an online delivery mode for the time being as well.

More information will be forthcoming, but we believe it is important to act decisively at this time in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. Our primary focus at all times remains the health, wellbeing, and safety of our educational community along with those who are most vulnerable to the effects of this virus.

Thank you for your patience and prayers. While our confidence remains resolutely on our God, we believe this is the most prudent decision.