Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, LWTech is offering a combination of online and on-campus classes for Fall quarter. This decision was made for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. The College is relying on guidance from the Office of the Governor, Washington State Public Health, King County Public Health, and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Learn more how Student Services is supporting students during this time.
September 26, 2021
Message from President Amy Morrison
Hello LWTech Lions!
I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to LWTech! All of us at the college are so glad you’re here! Your commitment to getting your education is inspiring, and we are here to support you, every step along the way.
Your health and safety are our priority. Being that we’re still in the midst of the COVID pandemic, LWTech is what the Governor is calling a “vaccinated campus.”
On Friday August 27, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee updated the requirements for higher education. The most relevant proclamations are Proclamation 12.5 and Proclamation 12-14.1. Based on these proclamations, LWTech, like all other public colleges in King County, will be requiring vaccines for employees and students as well as tracking the vaccination status of all enrolled students who come to campus.
If you plan to come to campus for any reason (attending classes or accessing other services), you must use this link in order to attest to your vaccination status. If you haven’t already done so please complete this process as soon as possible.
When you go to the link you have the options of:
If you attest to a medical exemption, a college employee will send you a form that must be filled out by your healthcare provider. Please return the form promptly so it can be reviewed as part of your exemption request. Approval or denial will be communicated in writing to your student email address.
If you attest a sincerely held religious belief has led to your exemption, a college employee will review your request and an approval or denial will be communicated in writing to your student email address.
You can read more about how to plan for your visit to campus on our website.
Advising, Assessment, Counseling, Disability Services, Financial Aid, Enrollment Services, TRIO, Veteran’s Services, High School Programs, and WorkForce Development are open and available on campus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All of these offices are also scheduling online appointments over Zoom Monday - Thursday. Be sure to check out our website for specific department office hours. All of us at LWTech are here to support you. Be sure to reach out to your advisor, faculty, or a member of our staff if you need assistance during the quarter.
As in previous quarters, the college has technology available for students to borrow, including basic tablets with internet access, laptops, and webcams. To learn more, visit our website where you can submit your technology request. We also have tutoring available to you in the Learning Lab, which is now located in the Library in room T217.
I’m also happy to share that our library and bookstore, the Stopwatch Espresso stand, and our student-run Bakery will all be open this quarter.
Finally, I wish you a successful Fall quarter! We are so glad you’re here! Take care, and I look forward to seeing you on campus!
September 15, 2021
Good Afternoon Colleagues:
As I mentioned in my message last week, LWTech is following the Governor’s vaccine proclamation for higher education and mandate, and will be a vaccinated campus for Fall quarter. The college will be open and providing classes and services on campus and online. The Governor has made it clear that the purpose of the proclamation and mandate is to ensure that no unvaccinated people are on state agency property, unless they have received an accommodation based on a medical or sincerely held religious belief exemption. We take this mandate seriously. We have been negotiating with our unions as we develop the 2021-2022 COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, which will be brought to the Board of Trustees in October. We are working transparently and in good faith on behalf of all employees to be sure that our campus is safe.
All college employees and volunteers (including student employees) must complete the LWTech COVID-19 Self Attestation. This is required for all employees and volunteers, whether you are attesting to the vaccination or filing a medical or religious exemption. Just because a request for an exemption has been made, it does not automatically mean that an accommodation will be made. These will be granted on a case-by-case basis following an interactive process with Human Resources and your Supervisor. The deadline for completing the attestation is the end of the day on Friday, September 24th.
NEW: During my remarks on Monday’s Opening Day, there will be an opportunity for you to do your self-attestation if you haven’t done so already. Please have the following information with you on Monday:
Campus operation hours for fall quarter are:
Department office hours for fall quarter are:
Student Services and Basic Education for Adults Intake:
Communications and Marketing:
Office of Institutional Research and Grants:
Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:
Stopwatch Espresso Stand:
Chef City Grill:
Early Learning Center:
Open to students and employees only
A few of you have asked questions about expectations for Fall quarter. Below are those questions and the answers from Executive Cabinet:
Q: What is the consensus on what our day-to-day schedule will look like? Do we have the ability to flex, especially with those that have children (especially children that cannot be vaccinated)?
A: During the entire pandemic we have demonstrated our understanding that you have needs and that things may come up, like taking care of an ill loved one, daycare issues, children in school who may have a need to quarantine, or you’re not feeling well. Employees should work with their supervisors and Human Resources when seeking a flexible schedule. Also, anyone who is going to be teleworking Fall quarter will need to fill out, and turn in, an approved telework agreement. Please work with your supervisor to get your form.
Q: Is there some kind of plan in how we can make flexing more equitable?
A: Cabinet has been transparent and clear that we are not putting absolutes around teleworking because people have different positions, and those positions have different requirements. We understand that departments operate differently and have different needs based on the services they provide. Each Cabinet member will continue to work with their teams for the best path forward for the demands of their jobs.
Q: Is there sensitivity around how we are to discuss our schedules with our colleagues?
A: Teams should share their schedules with their co-workers as needed. I’ve noted department schedules, above.
Q: How will the meetings work when some folks are working on campus and others are teleworking?
A: Meetings can be held in hybrid format, like the Board of Trustees meeting was this past Monday. Our IT team has done an outstanding job outfitting classrooms and conference rooms with updated technology, with more upgrades coming later this fall so that some employees can participate in person and others can remote into the meeting.
Q: If we are working a hybrid schedule, what is the expectation for technology (second monitors, etc.)?
A: This will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with your supervisor. If you recall from when we began remote operations, employees were expected to get supplemental technology to telework, and not take home their office equipment and furniture, unless they received approval from their supervisor. If you need technology, please speak with your supervisor. This does not guarantee that there will be equipment available, however. There is an equipment request form on the back of the telework agreement.
Q: There is a lot of anxiety about being around many folks all at once (especially with rising cases). Is there something in place to help ease some of those anxieties? What is the expectation about how we can manage people’s feelings after so many months of being isolated? What happens if individuals have a hard time adjusting to coming back, even after several weeks of trying? How do we address those kinds of issues?
A: As we are with Opening Week, we are giving employees the choice to remote-in or participate in person, when possible. We will continue that expectation. All college meetings will have a remote option. We are reopening in as much of a safe and healthy way as possible, and we recognize that this has been a difficult 18+ months for all of us. We hope that by being a vaccinated campus and by limiting visitors this will help alleviate some anxiety folks may be feeling. This has been a difficult time for many of us. Please stay in communication with your supervisor. If you are struggling or would like to speak to a mental health expert, please take advantage of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This is a confidential program.
Q: What happens if there’s a Covid outbreak on campus? How quickly will we pivot online? What will determine that?
A: We have a very seasoned COVID Supervisor in Dr. Suzanne Ames, who will inform the college community when we have a positive case on campus. As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we will monitor closely and make decisions as we go. If a broader outbreak occurs beyond one-off cases, the campus community will be notified by me or Dr. Ames.
I’ll talk more about fall quarter expectations in my Opening Week remarks on Monday.
Finally, next week, I’ll return to my weekly Amy’s Update communication.
Please stay safe, take care of yourselves, and each other.
Sent to LWTech College Employees
Good Afternoon Colleagues:
As I mentioned earlier this summer, Executive Cabinet and I were planning to meet after Labor Day to finalize plans for Fall quarter. Yesterday, we held an all-day retreat where we put our plan in place, in accordance with Governor Inslee’s proclamation for higher education. First and foremost, the college will be open and providing classes and services on campus and online fall quarter. I’ll share more specifics about what that looks like below, next week in Amy’s Update, and Opening Day.
Per the proclamation and mandate, the requirements for state employees and students differ slightly from each other; however, one requirement that is the same for both groups is that the Governor has removed the vaccine requirement exemption for philosophical reasons. The only vaccine exemptions will be for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs.
Per Meena Park’s recent email, all college employees, and volunteers (including student employees) must complete the LWTech COVID-19 Self Attestation. This is required for all employees and volunteers, whether you are attesting to the vaccination or filing a medical or religious exemption. The deadline for doing this is the end of the day on Friday, September 24th.
Technically there are no deadlines for students imposed by the Governor’s mandate, but the intent was clear that students should be vaccinated or have exemptions approved before Fall quarter. Based on when we notified students, that would not give them enough time to go out and get the vaccine, therefore we’ll be flexible. The Attestation link is currently live under the student toolbox on our website. We may prevent students from registering for Winter 2022 classes if they have not finished the attestation/vaccination process by late October.
As a vaccinated campus, and with self-attestation, we will no longer have door monitors and limited access to campus. Building doors that were open pre-COVID will once again be open during regular business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. We will be sharing plans for Saturdays in the coming days. With that said, there will be some changes to when specific offices will be open for in-person support. Next week in Amy’s Update, I’ll be sharing more information about updated office hours.
Masks are required indoors at all times unless you are alone in an office with a door that can be closed. Masks will need to be worn if you are in a cubicle area. This is a new change. Previously, we said that if everyone in a meeting was vaccinated masks could be removed. Now, masks must be worn indoors at all times due to the severity of the Delta variant.
Per the Governor’s guidance, LWTech’s status as a vaccinated campus removes any physical distancing requirements. The college’s upgraded HVAC system and the vaccine mandates are eliminating the requirement for physical distancing.
If you don’t feel comfortable meeting with more than one person in your office, please feel free to schedule time in a conference room or use other public areas of the college.
The college continues to have contact tracing, although it looks slightly different. If you have been exposed to COVID and have tested positive, you will need to contact the COVID supervisor at 425-403-6228. At that time, they will assess the type of notifications that must occur.
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of any contagious illness should remain home and work with their supervisor to see if working from home is possible. Individuals with an illness (contagious or not) experiencing symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to work remotely should use sick leave.
Two upgrades have been made throughout the entire campus:
Throughout campus, CO2 levels are monitored by automatic sensors. While CO2 is not COVID, it is an indication of breath. The sensors’ set points have been decreased by 30 to 40% to automatically open the fresh air damper. Less CO2 means more fresh air is brought in. We adjusted the minimum sensor setpoint of the fresh air dampers to allow as much fresh air as possible and reduce recirculated air. Even with few occupants in a room there is fresh air circulating.
We upgraded all the filters on our rooftop units to Merv 13 filters. Merv 13 filters sift out 85% of COVID particles. All filters in interior spaces were upgraded to Merv 10. These are not quite as good as Merv 13, but they still filter COVID and other viruses. The air the HVAC system is delivering throughout the entire campus is filtered by these two filters.
We have changed the temperature levels across campus to allow more fresh air for longer. This fresh outside air may be colder or hotter than normal, meaning spaces may be slightly colder or hotter than normal, but with fresh air.
The custodial team will regularly clean high-touch areas using CDC-approved supplies. Cleaning supplies will be available for individuals to wipe down areas in classrooms and offices.
Custodial team emphasis will be placed on:
Custodians will conduct a two-part cleaning and disinfecting process:
This two-part process will occur:
Sanitation of individual office areas will be the responsibility of the employee occupant. Proper sanitation will be the responsibility of instructional programs where there are:
There is one change to the previously published class schedule. Some English Language Learner (ELL) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes will be moved online. Faculty will receive a letter mailed to their home that includes information about Opening Week and classroom COVID protocols for Fall quarter.
As mentioned above, there will be some changes to in-person support hours in Student Services. I’ll share out that information next week. We’ll be providing a balance of in-person and virtual support to students and hours will be clearly posted on department webpages.
As I mentioned above, I’ll have more information next week in Amy’s Update as we continue to finalize plans for fall. As we’ve done during the pandemic thus far, we will remain nimble and flexible if/when more information becomes available. I, along with our Trustees and the members of Cabinet, are incredibly proud of your continued support of our students and each other.
Please stay safe, take care of yourselves, and each other.
Sent to the LWTech College Community
As I mentioned in my most recent Amy’s Update, Executive Cabinet and I continue to discuss plans for Fall quarter on campus. Since our last correspondence, we have learned that the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) will provide a simple technology solution for students and employees to provide self-attestation information to the college. With this technology solution, our primary concern regarding the burden of managing a vaccine requirement to our existing staff has been removed, and with that, Executive Cabinet and I have made the final decision that LWTech will now require vaccines for faculty, staff, and students for Fall quarter.
While we are in the process of working through the details of what this will look like, I want to share with you what we know now. We will have more information in early September.
We will continue to keep a close eye on any changes to from the Governor’s Office, and updates coming from the Department of Health and Labor and Industries; as well as the Department of Health guidance to K12 schools given our high school programs.
While we would like to be able to have everything in place now for Fall quarter, realistically, that won’t happen until after Labor Day due a variety of factors. Executive Cabinet and I will continue to update you with any changes. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or your Executive Cabinet representative.
Finally, as a reminder, Amy’s Update is on an abbreviated summer schedule. The next issue will be out after Labor Day.
Please stay safe, take care of yourselves, and each other.
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Inslee extended the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation until May 4. When the college moved to remote operations a few weeks ago, the plan was to hopefully return to campus on April 27th.
With the extension of Governor’s proclamation, and classes being delivered online for Spring quarter, we are extending remote operations for the college until the end of Spring quarter.
Our teams in Instruction and Student Services will continue to provide the same incredible support to students, as they’ve done in-person.
Faculty, additional information is forthcoming this afternoon from the vice president for instruction.
A general instructional update will be provided later today for students and specific course information will be provided via Canvas early next week.
I am extremely proud of the creative and innovative ways all of you, our faculty and staff, have come together to serve our students remotely.
Thank you all for hanging in there with us. It means so much. We will get through this, together.
Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, and please stay in touch.
Dr. Amy Morrison
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our priority. If we need to close the college we will do so. Everyone’s health and safety is our highest priority.
Unlike our local decision making with weather-related closures, our President will follow the advice and direction from King County Public Health, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and state officials.
If we have suspended operations, you will be notified through our FlashAlert and Omnilert systems that send out calls, emails and text messages. Now is a great time to make sure that your notification settings are correct.
Human coronavirus is most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Symptoms of coronavirus may include:
If you have traveled to/from any of the countries with travel alerts or outbreaks, and have symptoms, contact a healthcare provider.
If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, please follow instructions provided by the Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The CDC recommends everyday prevention measures, including:
Stay home when you are sick. Do not report to work or attend classes if you are ill. Instructors, consider providing students with ways to complete work from home. This is good advice no matter what illness is going around. If you are concerned about your flu-like illness, call your health care provider for advice and share any travel history. Stay home, rest, and stay hydrated.
To prevent the spread of any respiratory diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you:
The proper way to wash your hands is for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
Keep some basic supplies at home. The US Department of Homeland Security recommends that people should keep some basic supplies at home in case they get sick or in case it is difficult to get supplies at a store. Here is what they are recommending:
Make a plan now for how you, your household and your neighbors might need to adapt, rely on each other if there is a significant outbreak. Here are some things that could occur:
The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions please call 1 (800) 525-0127 and press #.
LWTech will update this page when any relevant developments occur. This page was last updated on September 21, 2021, 10 a.m.
To report your COVID-19 positive diagnosis, please contact the LWTech COVID-19 supervisor at (425) 403-6228 or by email at CovidSupervisor@lwtech.edu.
Please give to LWTech Foundation's newly created Student Emergency Fund specifically for LWTech students directly impacted by COVID-19.
Spearheaded by LWTech donors James Kinsella and Robert McNeal.
LWTech students can apply for the Student Emergency Grant, by filling out the application below.
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