Past Updates

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Past Updates

Message from President masthead

Welcome to Fall Quarter!

Message from President Amy Morrison

Hello LWTech Lions!

President Amy MorrisonI 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:

  • Attesting to the type and dates of the COVID19 vaccine you have received OR
  • Attesting that you have a medical exemption OR
  • Attesting that you have a sincerely held religious exemption

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.

Student Support Services

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.

Technology Support

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.

Campus Amenities

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!

Amy

Sent to the LWTech College Community

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.

Vaccine Deadlines

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:

  1. Your SID
  2. Your PIN
  3. Type of vaccine you received or if you are filing for a medical or sincerely held religious belief exemption
  4. Date of first vaccine
  5. Date of second vaccine (if not the Johnson & Johnson)
Operating and Office Hours for Fall Quarter

Campus operation hours for fall quarter are:

  • Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, closed

Department office hours for fall quarter are:

Student Services and Basic Education for Adults Intake:

  • Monday (virtual only)
  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (in person and virtual)
  • Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (in person and virtual) and 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (virtual only)
  • Thursday (virtual only)
  • Friday, closed for LionsLink work

Finance Office:

  • Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cashier:

  • Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, closed for LionsLink work

Instruction:

  • Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday, closed for LionsLink work

Human Resources/Payroll:

  • Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Foundation:

  • Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Communications and Marketing:

  • Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Office of Institutional Research and Grants:

  • Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in person (virtual from 7:30am to 4:30 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in person (virtual from 7:30am to 4:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in person (virtual from 7:30am to 4:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in person (virtual from 7:30am to 4:30 p.m.)
  • Friday, closed for LionsLink work

IT Helpdesk:

  • Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:

  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

President’s Office:

  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Stopwatch Espresso Stand:

  • Hours to be announced soon

Chef City Grill:

  • Closed

Bakery:

  • Hours to be announced soon; open to students and employees only

Fitness Center:

  • Closed

Early Learning Center:

  • Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Library:

Open to students and employees only

  • Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bookstore:

  • Information to come

Fall Quarter Q&A

A few of you have asked questions about expectations for Fall quarter. Below are those questions and the answers from Executive Cabinet:

Question 1:

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.

Question 2:

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.

Question 3:

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.

Question 4:

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.

Question 5:

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.

Question 6:

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.

Question 6:

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.

Amy

Sent to LWTech College Employees

Plans for Fall Quarter as a Vaccinated Campus

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.

Vaccine Deadlines

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.

Door Monitoring, Campus Access, and Operating Hours

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.

Masking and Social Distancing

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.

COVID Exposure Protocols

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.

  1. If someone was determined to be within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes of someone who tested positive, they will be contacted directly by the COVID Supervisor.
  2. If a classroom or entire work area is affected due to someone testing positive for COVID, an email will be sent to college employees.

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.

Updated HVAC System

Two upgrades have been made throughout the entire campus:

  1. The air filters have been replaced with filters that trap viruses.
  2. The recirculation of air has been eliminated or reduced to a minimum, while the exhaust of used air and replacement with fresh air has been maximized.

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.

Campus Custodial Plans

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:

  • Doors and hardware
  • Light switches
  • Tables, chairs, counter surfaces
  • Podiums
  • Monitors, keyboards, mice (see additional clarification below)
  • Sinks, faucets
  • Kiosks
  • Handrails
  • Water fountains
  • Elevator push buttons and doors
  • ADA push buttons
  • Vending machines

Custodians will conduct a two-part cleaning and disinfecting process:

  • Wiping down surfaces with a microfiber cloth and a neutral cleaner
  • Spraying surfaces with a neutral disinfectant and left to air dry

This two-part process will occur:

  • In classrooms, labs, and conference rooms at the end of the day
  • In restrooms and in common areas throughout campus, daily while campus is occupied, on a rotating basis

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:

  • Regulatory requirements  
  • Programmatic requirements as part of curriculum
  • Programmatic and or high value equipment 

Updates in Instruction

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.

Updates in Student Services

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.

Amy 

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.

What We Know Now:

  • Students and employees coming to campus must be vaccinated, with exemptions allowed. This includes legally-required medical exemptions, as well as religious or philosophical exemptions.
  • Employees will be required to complete the online survey regarding their vaccination or exemption status by September 17.
  • Students will be required to complete the online survey vaccination or exemption status by September 24.
  • Colleges must record the vaccination status of students who are taking in-person classes.
  • We will require masking in all public areas and large group settings whether vaccinated or not. We will have more information on the specifics of where you can be on campus without a mask in early September.
  • As a campus that requires vaccinations, we are no longer required to maintain 3-foot physical social distancing.
  • We will no longer have door monitors. However, online daily health attestations may still be required before students, faculty and staff come to campus.

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.

Amy

Good Morning:

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.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Morning:

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.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Updated April 2, 2020 

Good Morning:

This week, I would like to sincerely express my gratitude for the incredible amount of thoughtful and diligent work that has taken place in the past month to ensure that our LWTech community is healthy and safe during this pandemic. While these are not normal times, starting next week I will resume emailing weekly updates through, Amy’s Update. Please be assured that I will continue to update you immediately, via email, and on the website, if there are COVID-19 updates that you should know about pertaining to our campus.

Spring Quarter Update

Our teams in Instruction and Student Services, led by vice presidents Dr. Suzanne Ames and Dr. Ruby Hayden have redesigned how best to deliver classes and support students, in countless ways. I am so appreciative and amazed by how much work, collaboration, and innovation has taken place over the past month.

Spring quarter classes will begin next Tuesday, April 7, and will be delivered entirely online. For some classes that normally require significant face-to-face instruction, the lecture component will take place online during spring quarter, and the lab time will be offered summer quarter.

Faculty continue to be creative and innovative in the ways they will be delivering online lectures, including providing video demonstrations. Faculty will be in contact with their students through each Canvas course, no later than April 7. Just to be clear, due to health and safety concerns, no face-to-face, in-person instruction will be delivered spring quarter.

Our teams in Student Services will continue to provide the same incredible support to students online, as they’ve done in-person.

Continued Support for EvergreenHealth

I’d like to thank Anthony Bowers and our team in Campus Public Safety, in partnership with Facilities, and our Allied Health division led by Dean Dr. Aparna Sen, for pulling together a second donation of PPE to our local hospital and industry partner, EvergreenHealth.

IMage of PPE on cart

Final Thoughts during this “Spring Break”

As our students and faculty are on spring break, we all know that this “break” looks very different in so many ways this year. Instead of spending time physically with family and friends, traveling near and far, or working, they are home planning for what the next few months will look like, in ways they may have never thought imaginable. I continue to be incredibly grateful to our students and faculty for remaining so flexible and dedicated during this unprecedented time.

We are on the right path forward through this crisis. We, together, have created an equitable learning and working environment for our students, and each other. We will get through this crisis together and we will be stronger than ever. Not only are our students relying upon us to keep them on a successful educational path, our many neighbors who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic will need us to be ready this fall to help them navigate their pathway forward as well.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me, any time. My next college-wide communication will be next week, inAmy’s Update, unless there are new developments, in which case I will update you immediately. 

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, and please stay in touch.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Morning:

First, I want to share with you the great news that all of our students and colleagues who were exposed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak at Life Care Center of Kirkland are out of self-quarantine, and doing well. I’m incredibly thankful that they are all doing well.

As you know, on Monday evening, Governor Inslee issued a statewide order to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” March 25 through April 6. In his order, he outlined who and what was considered essential during this time. I thought it would be helpful if I outlined the specifics, as they relate to higher education, and more specifically, LWTech.

LWTech will continue to serve students online during this this two week period. As you know, students and faculty are currently on a much deserved spring break.

Faculty return on April 6. Spring quarter classes will start April 7, with all classes online for the first week. Starting the second week, some classes will stay online for the remainder of the quarter, some will be hybrid with the on-campus portion occurring later in the quarter, and some classes some will be held on campus starting on April 13 with social distancing, per the Governor’s executive order. We will communicate this plan to all students in the coming days, and of course, please remain flexible as the situation could change. 

Also, with the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy order,” there will not be in-person testing until after April 6. We know this will impact some of our programs. We will have more information about this in the coming days. If you need to submit any documents to admissions, registration, financial aid, or workforce development, we have secure online document upload options. Just let us know, and we can talk you through the process over the phone. You can reach our Student Services team at (425) 739-8104.

I know this is continues to be an incredibly stressful time for our college community. Not only are you having to make adjustments at work, you’re also making adjustments at home. Even with all of this change, the robust work of the college continues. So many of you have been working diligently to prepare for Spring quarter as we are starting to shift to how we work and deliver online instruction beginning April 7.

Our teams in Instruction and Student Services have been incredibly creative and innovative with designing equitable ways for our students to move to online instruction, and advising, for Spring quarter. We are also looking at how to move the normal business of the college to an online/remote format, including scheduling a Zoom All-Staff meeting once Spring quarter gets underway, and the team in Institutional Research is working on getting out this year’s employee survey. We will have more on both of those activities and others soon.

Our community of belonging is strong, and we are resilient. I, along with Executive Cabinet are here for you, and as I’ve said before, we have your backs, and the Board of Trustees stands firmly in support of our college. Thank you for your patience as we, together, create an equitable learning and working environment for our students, and each other.

Finally, I’d like to thank Dr. Aparna Sen and Dr. Lauren Cline for gathering and delivering a substantial PPE donation from our Nursing program to EvergreenHealth yesterday. As you know there is a tremendous shortage. I’m so grateful that we were able to do this for our hospital and industry partner.

Photo of donated supplies such as masks and gloves on a cart.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me, any time. My next college-wide communication will be next week, unless there are new developments, in which case I will update you immediately.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other,

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Afternoon: 

Today marks the end of Winter quarter. The last three weeks have been unprecedented for our college and our community. None of us could have predicted that we would be at the epicenter, and ground zero, of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

You all have hung in there with us as we’ve navigated these unchartered waters, together. Thank you.

To our extraordinarily strong students

I am so incredibly proud of you. All of us at LWTech have always known how hard you work, the effort you put into your studies, and the time and dedication you devote to your programs. Your persistence and perseverance to finish out Winter quarter strong, under the veil of unknowns and changing circumstances, reiterates that you are the future. You have remained steadfast in your path to reach your educational goals. You hung in there with us as we determined what would be the best and safest way for you to finish Winter quarter. You asked good questions, and you were patient, as we, college administrators and faculty, found the best, and right, solution for you, so you could wrap up the quarter successfully. And, in the middle of all of this, you also found time to help each other, and encourage us. You are stronger than maybe you even knew.

To my colleagues

I am so honored and humbled to walk beside you each day as your president. Every single department within the college has come together to make sure our students were able to finish the quarter. You exude our innovative, collaborative, inclusive, and respectful core values. You have been creative in ways that maybe you didn’t even know were possible. There truly aren’t enough words for me to say how incredibly proud I am to be a part of this LWTech family with you.

LWTech has always been a family, and now, it’s even more apparent that our community of belonging is rock solid.

The spirit of generosity at LWTech is strong

I want to again thank our dedicated ASG leaders who so thoughtfully reallocated $26,000, to help support our COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund, that was spearheaded by generous donors James Kinsella and Robert McNeal, through the LWTech Foundation. The leadership of our ASG Board and their support of their peers is truly inspiring. 

I also want to acknowledge and thank all of my colleagues who have so generously donated the equivalent of thousands of dollars in shared leave time to our Emergency Shared Leave Pool. 

Stay safe and well

For those of you going into Spring break, I hope you will be able to take a moment to breathe, and reflect on all you have accomplished, not just over the past three weeks, but all along your educational journey.

While you’re on break, college administrators, Executive Cabinet, and I, will continue our work preparing for Spring quarter. As of today, Spring quarter will begin on Monday, April 6th for faculty, and Tuesday April 7th will be the first day of online instruction for students.

I know these are uncertain times for all of us. I want you to know that I am 100-percent certain of our resolve and strength as a college community.

As I mentioned in my message earlier this week, I’m going to begin posting messages weekly rather than daily, unless, of course, there’s new information. I will of course share that with you as I learn it.

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,

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Morning:

I sometimes have to remind myself that it’s been just three weeks since we found ourselves at the epicenter of the US coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. I’m amazed at what we’ve learned, and how quickly we’ve all adjusted to what is our, “for now,” new normal (for example, I am writing this update from my kitchen table). I know this is a very stressful time and so many people are rising to the challenge, helping family members, neighbors, and in many cases strangers.

Now is also the time to remember our college value of inclusion which is why I am sharing with you information that King County Public Health produced to help dispel misinformation that can be damaging and hurtful to members of our college community, and the community at-large.

  • COVID-19 doesn't recognize race, nationality or ethnicity. While it may have originated in China, it is not a Chinese disease. Viruses don’t discriminate. Having Chinese ancestry-or any other ancestry does not make a person more vulnerable to the illness.
  • Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill. People wear masks for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution and for cultural and social reasons.
  • People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
  • You can interrupt the stigmas surrounding coronavirus. Avoid spreading misinformation. Share accurate information through reputable resources like King County Public Health, the CDC, and the Washington State Department of Health.
  • Speak up if you hear, see, or read misinformation or harassment. Gently correct the false information, remind the speaker; prejudiced language and actions make us all feel less safe. If a serious harassment occurs, consider reporting it. You can report it.
  • Show compassion and support for those most closely impacted.

Since the outbreak began, there has been an increase in in bias and harassment against Asian Americans and immigrants in the community. As I mentioned above, COVID-19 recognizes no nationality, ethnicity, or race.

In our actions and spoken word, it’s clear that our Community of Belonging is as strong as ever. I’m so proud of our innovative, inclusive, collaborative, and respectful community, and how we’ve come together, during this very trying time, in full support of our students and each other.

I want to speak directly to the undocumented members of our community, and the undocumented students who are a particularly vulnerable population that might be worried about consequences of seeking medical care. We want to reassure you, and college employees who serve these students, if you need to access medical assistance, please contact the Public Health Department. This is not considered a public benefit or a form of public assistance as described under the new changes to the public charge rule. There is no foreseen negative impact to future immigration applications.

I know that our community is united and supportive of one another, and the community at-large, and that is what LWTech is built on.

Finally, I want to end my message today once talking again about the importance of self-care. These are extremely stressful times for all of us. Now is the time to connect and check-in with each other. Have your meetings on Zoom if you can, so you can see each other. Check in on family and friends. Take time to do something for yourself during the day. Teleworking, while necessary, can be stressful. Be sure you take breaks. It’s easy to forget to do that when you work from home.

I want to again share with you the mental health resources we have available to our college community. 

For our students, if you are feeling anxiety about the coronavirus, we are offering counseling appointments in-person, via phone, and through Zoom meeting. If you are interested in making an appointment, please contact Katie Peacock, Director of Student Development at (425) 739-8362.

For our faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program has additional Coronavirus information. You can login to the EAP Work/Life Resources website, using Org Code: LWIT. EAP counselors are also available for confidential support and can reached at 877-313-4455.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other,

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Morning: 

Over the past several weeks, I shared with you the unwavering support of our Board of Trustees. Today, I want to share more about them, their role at the college, and a message they have for our LWTech community. 

First, a little about them. Our Board of Trustees is comprised of five community leaders, who are appointed by the Governor, to serve up to two five-year terms. Their role is to provide leadership through policy governance of the college. They are volunteer Trustees, and are steadfast leaders and advocates for our students, faculty, and staff.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in our community, I have been in continuous communication with them, and they have been available to me and our Executive Cabinet, without hesitation. 

I am extremely thankful for their support, not just during this crisis, but throughout the year. 

With that, I want to share this note from our Trustees to our LWTech community:

Dear LWTech Community:

On behalf of the Lake Washington Institute of Technology Board of Trustees, I would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for all you are doing for our students, and each other, during this very challenging and difficult time. We have been in daily contact with Dr. Morrison since the onset of this health crisis, as we will continue to be. 

These are indeed unprecedented times for our college, the community, and our country. Our college continues to lead the country in how community and technical colleges are responding to the needs of students, faculty and staff, through the steady leadership of Dr. Morrison, Executive Cabinet, and each and every one of you.

We are not surprised that you all have come together the way you have for our students and each other. This is at the core of who the LWTech is as a community.

The Trustees and I have your back and fully support everything you are doing to ensure that students are able to continue in their programs.

We are so proud to be a part of the LWTech community, alongside you. 

Please take care of yourselves, and know how much the Board of Trustees and I appreciate all you are doing.

Be well and take care,

Laura Wildfong
Chair, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Board of Trustees

Thank you Trustees for your incredible support of this amazing LWTech community. We are incredibly appreciative of all you do for LWTech.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, 

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Afternoon:

Today marks the final day that I will be working from the Emergency Operations Center in Kirkland, where our Public Information Officer, Leslie Shattuck and I have been working since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Kirkland, three weeks ago. A special thanks once again to City of Kirkland leadership during this emergency. 

Last Friday, the Governor outlined, more specifically, the parameters around social distancing, which he reinforced again yesterday.

With that said, now is the time for me and Leslie to transition to teleworking from home, so we are modeling the behavior the Governor is asking of Washingtonians. I have asked college leadership, including Executive Cabinet, along with all of you, to do the same, with the exception of a few on-campus core personnel. 

We take the Governor’s orders very seriously, and we are strictly following the Emergency Proclamation he issued last Friday, March 13th, which specifically outlined parameters for higher education.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our number one priority.

Access to the campus is extremely limited. As we wrap-up Winter quarter, there are a small number of students and faculty in our Prof-Tech programs who need to be in labs to meet the requirements for their programs. They are doing so in small groups, under ten people, using social distancing protocols outlined by the Governor, and disinfecting on the way in and way out of the labs, with access only to their lab environment, and the nearest restrooms.

No one is allowed on campus without the express permission of their supervisor and Executive Cabinet representative. We will continue remote operations until April 27th. During this time, I will assume faculty and staff are teleworking, engaged in professional development, and/or taking leave. I sincerely hope that you and your family and friends stay healthy.

Over these past three weeks, it has become abundantly clear to me just how strong our Community of Belonging is. I’ve seen our college community donate money to our Student Emergency Fund, including our ASG leaders who allocated $26,000 to help students during this difficult time, and I’ve seen my colleagues donate the equivalent of thousands of dollars in shared leave time to our Emergency Shared Leave Pool.

I, along with Cabinet and college leadership have received numerous kind and generous messages from students, colleagues, and members of our community. While I haven’t been able to thank every one of you personally, I want you to know that your thoughtfulness has kept us buoyed through this unprecedented time. We appreciate your generosity of spirit so much!

And I truly can’t thank our Trustees enough for having all of our backs as we navigate these unchartered waters together.

Next week, as we move to Spring break, I will be moving away from daily messages and into weekly updates. Of course if we receive any new information, I will immediately update you.

Finally, to our students, thank you for hanging in there and finishing out Winter quarter. I know how incredibly stressful this has been for you. You are strong, determined, and you will reach your educational goals. We are here to support you every step of the way.

To my colleagues, you amaze me each day with your thoughtfulness, innovative spirit, and support of each other. I’m honored and humbled to be your colleague.

We will get through this, together.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, and I will continue to keep you posted.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Afternoon:

This is finals week at LWTech for Winter quarter, which under normal circumstances is a stressful time for our students. We are in unprecedented and uncharted times. I want you to know that all of us at the college are here to support you, and we stand beside you. If you need anything this week, reach out to your instructors, or the staff in Student Services. We are here to help you. We will get through this. You are strong, resilient, and you will persevere. I along with Executive Cabinet have your back.

Online Tutoring During Finals

Students, if you need tutoring during remote learning for during finals week, we are offering online support through Supplemental Instruction (SI). We have three Canvas sites for SI, designed to give you opportunities to get help in your classes.

  • SI for Math, including MATH 087, 098, 099, and 099x and MATH& 141, 142, and 151
  • SI for Writing, including ENGL 093 and 099 and ENGL& 101 and PSYC& 100
  • SI for Computing and Software Development, all courses

Please email Jeff Troy (jeff.troy@lwtech.edu) and let us know which of the three sites they would like to join.

The Learning Lab is also providing limited tutoring services. These services are by appointment only. Students should email Tien Do at tien.do@lwtech.edu to schedule a 1-hour virtual appointment via Zoom (Students MUST use their LWTech email address to schedule).

Update on Nursing and Physical Therapist Assistant Students

Now, I want to share some good news with you! Over the weekend, most of the Nursing and Physical Therapist Assistant students and faculty who were exposed to COVID-19 at the Life Care Center of Kirkland and EvergreenHealth have come out of King County Public Health recommended self-quarantine, and they are doing well. We anticipate the remainder of our students and faculty in self-quarantine will be coming out this week. We continue to be in regular communication with them, and are providing as many resources as we can during this time.

Thank You Associated Student Government Leaders

I would like to thank our ASG leaders, who last week called a special Board meeting discuss how they could financially support their peers during the COVID-19 crisis. In their meeting, they voted to allocate $26,000 to the Student Emergency Grant, for use for the remainder of this academic year. Thank you ASG Board, for your thoughtful leadership during this difficult time for students.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Update

I want to share the information we learned Friday from The Department of Social Health Services. “The Department of Social and Health Services is planning to exempt all TANF families from mandatory participation requirements during the declared state of emergency related to COVID-19. For this to take effect, an emergency rule must be filed and they are aiming for it to take effect March 16th. This will allow our student parents in WorkFirst to stay home with their children during K-12 school closures and not worry about meeting participation requirements to sustain their TANF assistance.” Our Workforce Development team will certainly support students who are able to continue with their education during this time.

Financial Assistance for Washington State

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has launched a website that includes a variety of financial resources. It’s a great resource on a number of financial areas.

Mental Health Resources

I want to again share with you the mental health resources we have available to our college community.

For students, if you are feeling anxiety about the coronavirus, we are offering counseling appointments in- via phone, and through Zoom. If you are interested in making an appointment, please contact Katie Peacock, Director of Student Development at (425) 739-8362. Our counseling page on the website also has many resources list, including ones specific to COVID-19.

For our faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program has additional Coronavirus information. You can login to the EAP Work/Life Resources website, using Org Code: LWIT. EAP counselors are also available for confidential support and can reached at 877-313-4455. 

Rest assured that our Community of Belonging is closer and stronger than ever. And I continue to be so humbled and appreciative the amazing community we’ve built together.

Executive Cabinet and I continue to speak via conference call daily. I will continue to keep you posted with any new developments. 

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, and I will continue to keep you posted.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Afternoon:

A short time ago, I, along with the presidents of our community and technical colleges and universities, were on a conference call with Governor Inslee regarding the continuum of instruction for our state’s colleges and universities. He issued an emergency proclamation a short while ago. Effective Monday, March 16, all colleges and universities will transition to online instruction through April 27. Through discussions with us, and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, he has agreed to allow classes that cannot be offered online, such as those in our Prof-Tech programs, to continue with social distancing. He is also allowing essential campus operations to continue. We are incredibly grateful for the Governor’s thoughtful approach, during this time.

Our teams in Instruction and Student Services have already prepared for this possibility, and are already in contact with students. I would like to thank them, and our faculty, for wrapping up Winter quarter with the best possible outcome, during this unprecedented time. Students, please check Canvas and your LWTech emails regularly for the latest information on classes and student support services.

I will continue to keep you updated if things change.

Now, I want to share some news from campus today, where I along with a handful of folks from the college, were there to hand-out technology to students, faculty and staff. The distribution of equipment was thoughtfully procured and orchestrated by our Facilities, Campus Public Safety, IT, Instruction, and Student Services teams. I could not be more proud of how this college community continues to come together during this extremely challenging time. Thank you to everyone who helped distributing technology today.

 Image of tents at LWTech with staff handing out tablets Image of tents at LWTech with staff handing out tablets

If you are a student who does not have internet access, a smartphone, or any form of a tablet or computer, and were unable to come to campus today, please call (425) 739-8100, then press 8 and then 8535 to leave a message to be added to the waitlist for tablets. I also ask that if you know students who don’t have internet access, and may not see this email, that you please share the information in this email.

Finally, I want to end my message today talking about self-care. These are extremely stressful times for all of us. The fear and anxiety of the unknown, and the things we can’t control can feel overwhelming. Typically, this would be the time when we would gather with our friends, family, and co-workers, and be with our communities of faith. Check on each other. Email, call, and text. If you have the technology, FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. Take time to do something for yourself, whether it’s stretching, cooking, reading a book, watching a movie, listening to a podcast, walking, or a napping. Do whatever it is that provides you the space to pause, and take a deep breath. Give yourself the permission and grace for self-care. Know that I, along with our Board of Trustees, and Executive Cabinet, are here, right alongside you.

I want to again share with you the mental health resources we have available to our college community.

For our students, if you are feeling anxiety about the coronavirus, we are offering counseling appointments in-person, via phone, and through Zoom meeting. If you are interested in making an appointment, please contact Katie Peacock, Director of Student Development at (425) 739-8362.

For our faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program has additional Coronavirus information. You can login to the EAP Work/Life Resources website, using Org Code: LWIT. EAP counselors are also available for confidential support and can reached at 877-313-4455.

My next message will be on Monday, unless there are any new developments, in which case, I will be in touch as they happen. 

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Afternoon: 

Governor Inslee just finished announcing that he’s ordering all K-12 schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties to close by the end of the day on Monday, March 16th through April 27th. Executive Cabinet and I continue to look at what the remainder of Winter quarter and Spring quarter will look like for the college. We will continue to update you. Please stay tuned.

Now, I want to update you on several areas from around the college regarding technology, books, and facilities: 

Tablet Distribution for Students

After a shipment delay, we now have a limited number of basic tablets with cellular data, for students who do not have internet access, a smartphone, or any form of a tablet or computer.

We will be distributing tablets tomorrow, Friday, March 13th from 11 am. to 1 p.m. in the Upper West Parking Lot. 

For those students who qualify, based on the criteria I mentioned above. Here’s what you need to do tomorrow when you get to campus:

What to expect when you get to campus:

  1. Please drive to the Upper West Parking Lot, where you will see two stations. One will have tablets for the students who meet the criteria, and one will have webcams for those students who have been directed specifically by their faculty regarding webcams.
  2. You will need to bring your LWTech Student ID card with you. If you don’t have your Student ID card, please bring your ID number, and another piece of photo identification with you. If you are not able to attend this event, please call (425) 739-8100, then press 8 and then 8535 to leave a message to be added to the waitlist for tablets. We realize there are students who need software, tools and other technology to complete your classes. We are working on a plan to purchase and distribute this equipment.

If we run out of tablets, students will be able to add their name to the waitlist for when we receive the next shipment of tablets. 

*If you know students who don’t have internet access, and may not see this email, I ask that you please share the information in this email.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our IT team who have been working tirelessly, and around the clock, on acquiring and deploying technology for our students, faculty and staff.

Checked-Out Library Items

I received an update from the team in the Library Learning Commons that I want to share with you regarding checked out items. LWTech students and employees who have checked-out items will not be charged for returning their items late, after the quarter has ended. All late fees from these items will be waived. Additionally, all email notifications from the library system have been temporarily disabled. Please keep the books, movies, and technology checked-out to you, until further notice, and plan on returning them when the campus re-opens. If you do not plan on returning to LWTech in Spring quarter, or are unable to physically return your items after this quarter, please email library@lwtech.edu as soon as possible.

Returning Winter Quarter Rented Books

If you need to return your rented Winter quarter books to the bookstore, the bookstore has set-up for students to return winter quarter rented textbooks while the campus is closed. Specifics can be found on the college bookstore website.

Vandalism on Campus

Overnight, our campus, along with several areas throughout Kirkland, were hit with vandalism. I’ve been in direct communication with the Kirkland Police Chief, and they are investigating as we speak. I want to say that we are responding quickly, and this will not detour our focus of the work at-hand. 

Facilities Update

Our facilities team continues to disinfect the campus, specifically areas on campus where there have been people who have needed to be on campus with clearance from Executive Cabinet. They are also deep cleaning areas throughout the campus. Thank you again to our hard working Facilities team. 

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, and I will continue to keep you posted.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Good Afternoon:

Earlier today, Governor Inslee held a press conference where he announced that he is issuing an emergency proclamation for King, Snohomish and Pierce counties to restrict public gatherings for more than 250 people, and restrictions and guidelines for groups with fewer than 250 people. I encourage you to check the Washington State Department of Public Health website for the latest information. We are monitoring these changes hourly, and are trying to make sure that our college community is up to date, as these guidelines continue to change.

At this time, we are not changing the direction for the college that we’ve taken, thus far.

Update as of Today

First, I want our students, faculty, and staff who have been asked to self-quarantine to know that our thoughts are with you during this very stressful time. Behind the scenes we are doing our level best to meet your needs and locate resources for you. I continue to reach out daily to Public Health Officials, and City of Kirkland leadership; including, representatives from the EMS, Fire and Police departments on your behalf. They have been incredibly generous with their willingness to share with me, what they know, when they know it. I am also in direct contact with the King County Public Health liaison, who is also at the Emergency Operations Center in Kirkland. He is keeping me up-to-date as updated guidelines come online. 

Second, to our students and employee community, a heartfelt thanks for your patience and support as we all navigate these unchartered waters. This emergency is a global pandemic, and as our Governor said, we are ahead of the rest of the country, and the tip of the spear here. Unfortunately, this virus has spread widely, and is affecting many other colleges and universities, as we have seen this week. 

Third, I want to take a moment to thank administration and faculty for working so closely together to transition a thriving institute of technology, that prides ourselves on hands-on learning, to a thriving institute that operates remotely, to make sure students successfully complete winter quarter, and soon spring quarter.

If ever there was a time to practice one of our four connectionspracticing paradox—now would be the time. So let’s apply practicing paradox with each other.

We are setting a very high bar for ourselves, and our system, to mobilize the necessary technology needed, on such a quick and widespread scale. I encourage you to show yourselves and each other grace, as this is such a stressful time for our community, for ourselves and our families. And yet, here is the paradox, as we navigate through these unchartered watersmistakes will take place. I want you to know that I have your back during this time, and I want you to do the same as we model patience and understanding for each other, and our students, as we keep them moving toward their educational goals.

Tablets for Students

For students, as you saw in Canvas this morning, there has been a delay in the shipment in the Tablets. I will update you on a new distribution date as soon as I have it. That information could come as early as tomorrow morning. Thank you to our hard working IT and library staff who are preparing to make sure employees, and our most at-risk students, have the technology they need to work and learn during this time. As I mentioned in my March 9th message, the college is making available a limited number of basic tablets with cellular data, for students who do not have internet access, a smartphone, or any form of a tablet or computer. If you qualify, based on that criteria, staff will be handing out a limited number of tablets.

Returning Winter Quarter Rented Books

If you need to return your rented books to the bookstore, the bookstore has set-up for students to return winter quarter rented textbooks while the campus is closed. Specifics can be found on the college bookstore website.

News from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange)

Yesterday, we learned, that in response to the potential growth of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) announced a limited-time special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance. This special enrollment period will run through April 8th, and will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through Washington Health Plan Finder. So, if you live in Washington, and you don’t have health insurance, you have the opportunity to enroll at this time. We have posted the link to our website. You can also call 1-855-923-4633 or TTY (Text Telephone): 1-855-627-9604.

Behind the Scenes Update

I want to share some of the work that’s been going on behind the scenes since February 29th

Executive Cabinet and I have been meeting daily, and they have been working around the clock with their teams to ensure that we are serving our students, faculty and staff, with as little disruption as possible. I am so proud to work with this team of dedicated administrators.

Together, Executive Cabinet and I have been diligently trying to answer questions, for which no one has the answers. 

On behalf of our executive team, we want to thank so many of you who have been working diligently on behalf of students. You’ve worked to set-up fundraising for impacted students through the LWTech Foundation; worked with faculty to ensure students can reach their learning outcomes and receive their financial aid; taken care of our campus— disinfecting every surface; looked out for the safety of the college campus; designed plans for our faculty and staff to have access to a shared leave pool; procuring and deploying tablets, computers, hardware and software so students and employees can work remotely so we minimize the impact to our employees; and communicated messages to our students, faculty, staff, and the media nearly 24 hours a day. 

We are not alone. Our community and technical college system is now engaged and working together, with support from the State Board. Our congressional leaders, the Governor’s office, and local and state officials have been advocating on our behalf. We are all in this health crisis together.

I would like to extend a special thank you to the City of Kirkland for allowing us to be adjacent to their Emergency Operations Center, where our Public Information Officer, Leslie Shattuck and I have been working for almost two weeks. They have welcomed us with open arms, checked on us, provided us with information, and fed us. This support from the city has been critical to the success of our continuity of operations.

And while information may continue to change, know that I am in regular contact with city, county, and state officials on a regular basis.

We are focused on ensuring that we have continuity of instruction for our students, and that our employees have as little disruption as possible, all while making sure that the health and well-being of our LWTech community is at the forefront.

Student Emergency Matching Fund

I want to extend a special thank you to the LWTech Foundation and our incredibly generous donors James Kinsella and Robert McNeal who have given $25,000 to set-up a special Student Emergency Matching Fund during this crisis. For more information about how you can help, visit the LWTech Foundation page on the website.

Finally, I want you to reiterate that I, along with Executive Cabinet, continue to have your back, and the Board of Trustees has all of our backs.

I will continue to keep you posted with any new developments.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other, and I will continue to keep you posted.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

I want to thank you again for your continued patience as Executive Cabinet and I work with our teams to find an equitable solution for moving our operations to remote learning for our students, and teleworking for our faculty and staff.

In our actions and spoken word, it’s clear that our Community of Belonging is as strong as ever. Executive Cabinet and I don’t take that for granted. We don’t know when this emergency will end, but I want you to know that we will continue to work every day to see us through to a successful conclusion. I’m so proud of our innovative, inclusive, collaborative, and respectful community, and how we’ve come together, during this very trying time, in full support of our students and each other. Coronavirus recognizes no nationality, ethnicity, or race. While some in the larger community may be facing bias due to the origin of COVID-19, I know that our community is united and supportive of one another, and the community at-large, and that is what LWTech is built on.

I continue to work with City of Kirkland leaders to learn about what the procedures will be for our folks who will soon be exiting quarantine. The Public Health Department and CDC are not clear yet on these protocols. I’m hoping for updated clarification any time.

I, along with City of Kirkland leaders, are in regular communication with the Governor’s office, as he determines next steps. Governor Inslee will be making another announcement tomorrow. We will have an update following his press conference.

There are many areas to update you on in Instruction and Student Services. Here’s where we are as of today:

An Update from Instruction

Dr. Suzanne Ames, Vice President of Instruction sent the Instructional plan, that she and the Deans have been working so diligently on, to faculty last night. This is the plan for how classes will be taught for the remainder of Winter quarter. Faculty are in the process of communicating this plan to their students today. All classes that can fully finish by March 20 will do so. For those that need some face-to-face lab time, that will happen the week of April 6 for some programs and the weeks of April 6 and 13 for some programs in the Schools of Manufacturing and Transportation. Those face-to-face schedules, post-tests and final examinations are in development collaboratively with the faculty and Deans.

An Update from Student Services

We are aware that some groups in our student body will be more negatively impacted by this plan. Below is the latest information from Student Services:

Financial Aid and Veteran Services

  • The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has several stringent regulations for us to follow and so far they have been slow to respond to requests for guidance on how to accommodate our unique situation. I am working closely with the Executive Director for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and with members of the U.S. Congress, to get the VA to relax their rules. If they resist, the LWTech Foundation is committed to supporting those students with extensive aid to close the gap.
  • Students may submit requested documents via secure upload on our Financial Aid page on the website or by dropping them off in person at the library drop-box.
  • Staff are available to meeting with students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom.
  • Veteran orientations will be offered by Zoom
  • We are working on how our student employees can receive financial assistance during this time, through meaningful work that they can do online or on campus, or through the Student Emergency Fund. We will have more information on this soon.

Financial Aid Page

Veteran Services Page

Enrollment Services

  • Staff are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom.
  • Students who are concerned about their ability to learn online can withdraw from any of their classes that now require online participation, and receive a full refund. The withdrawal process requires faculty’s verification of the student's last date of attendance. Faculty need to work directly with those students on the necessary paperwork.
  • Faculty do have an option to give students an incomplete for a grade and develop a plan for them to complete the learning outcomes in Spring quarter. Students, please work closely with your faculty as incompletes will negatively impact a student receiving financial aid. 

Enrollment Services Page

Assessment (placement testing)

  • We are offering placement testing via Zoom, and will reopen with limited ability to test students on campus, soon.
  • Staff are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom.

Assessment Center Page

Advising and Disability Support Services

  • Students with questions related to disability accommodations can email Mony Loeum, Assistant Director of Disability Support Services.
  • Navigators are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom.

Advising Page

Disability Support Services Page

Outreach & Recruiting

  • Staff are working on maintaining relationships with off campus partners virtually and have created plans for creative recruiting during the closure, and once we return to campus.

TRIO

  • Staff are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom.
  • Tutoring is available via Zoom and will be extended through the end of the quarter, as needed. 

TRIO Page

Workforce Development

  • Staff are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom
  • Staff are working at maintaining partnerships with our community partners via email/phone.
  • Prospective students will be able to go through the intake process over the phone to ensure faster access to funding and support service. 

Workforce Development Page

Employment Resource Center

  • Staff are working via phone, email, and Zoom to do resume reviews, job search assistance, etc.
  • Zoom presentations for classes are available
  • Creating online presentations for students to access at any time
  • Staff are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom 

Employment Resource Center Page

Student Programs

  • Staff are available to assist students and faculty via phone, email, and Zoom
  • ASG will be meeting later this week via a Zoom meeting.

Student Programs Page

Early Learning Center

  • Staff will stay in touch with their families on a daily basis
  • All payments for the month of March have been refunded to parents

Early Learning Center Page

I will continue to keep you posted as we learn more. For now, please keep checking Canvas and your emails for the most current information regarding equipment and class structure. 

Be well, take care of each other, and take care of yourselves,

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

I want to thank you again for your patience as our faculty and staff have been working around the clock, and through the weekend, to come up with an equitable solution for moving our operations to remote learning for our students, and teleworking for our faculty and staff. 

Here’s where we are as of today, and what you can expect to hear in the coming days.

Students

Our teams in Instruction and Student Services will be sending specific information regarding your classes, and next steps in the next two days. This includes steps for programs that include hands-on instruction. This also includes information for students who receive financial aid and are work study students. Please be sure to check Canvas and your LWTech email at least daily for those messages; specific details are changing rapidly.

Thursday, March 12th the college is making available a limited number of basic tablets with cellular data, for students who do not have internet access, a smartphone, or any form of a tablet or computer. If you qualify, based on that criteria, staff will be handing out a limited number of tablets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If tablets run out, students will be able to add their name to the waitlist for when we receive the next shipment of tablets. We are extremely appreciative of T-Mobile for making these tablets available at a substantially discounted price. 

On Thursday, please go to the tent that will be set-up in the West parking lot. Staff will be there to check out tablets. You will need to bring your LWTech Student ID card with you. If you don’t have your Student ID card, please bring your ID number, and another piece of photo identification with you. If you are not able to attend this event, please call (425) 739-8100, then press 8 and then 8535 to leave a message to be added to the waitlist for tablets. We realize there are students who need software, tools and other technology to complete your classes. We are working on a plan to purchase and distribute this equipment.

If you know students who don’t have internet access, and may not see this email, I ask that you please share the information in this email.

We are also working with the Bookstore on how you will be able to return your books from Winter quarter. For textbooks rented for the current Winter quarter, you can ship your rental books back at no charge. You should have received an email from "Follett" over the past few days reminding you about returning your rental books. Within that email, there was a link for printing a free shipping label and packing list that can be used. Please visit the Bookstore on our website for details.

Faculty and Staff

For our faculty and staff, your Dean and Supervisor should have been in touch with you regarding technology equipment support. If you haven’t been in contact with them, and you have a need for technology equipment support, please reach out to them. The college is working hard to secure laptops for those who have made previous arrangements with their Dean and/or Supervisor. More information is coming on the distribution of this technology.

I will continue to keep you posted as we learn more. For now, please keep checking Canvas and your emails for the most current information regarding equipment and class structure.

Be well, take care of each other, and take care of yourselves, 

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Lake Washington Institute of Technology is moving to remote operations until the end of the quarter, March 20, 2020 to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Our number one priority has, and will continue to be, the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.

Students

Instruction is working around the clock with our faculty, and the teams in Student Services and IT, to develop a plan to ensure that you stay successful in your classes, and are able to reach your educational goals.

Faculty and Staff

Executive Cabinet is working around the clock on your plan for remote operations. Additionally, we are working on options for those who cannot telework, using your existing leave. We will be asking the college community to consider contributing to a shared leave pool for employees who cannot telework, and/or for those who run out of leave.

Both plans will be shared with you early next week. 

Mental Health Resources

We recognize that this is a stressful time for all of you. I want to share some resources with you.

For our students, if you are feeling anxiety about the coronavirus, we are offering counseling appointments in-person, via phone, and through Zoom meeting. If you are interested in making an appointment, please contact Katie Peacock, Director of Student Development at (425) 739-8362.

For our faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program has additional Coronavirus information. You can login to the EAP Work/Life Resources website, using Org Code: LWIT. EAP counselors are also available for confidential support and can reached at 877-313-4455.

Help for Students: Additional Emergency Funds

Finally, I want to share some uplifting news with all of you. A special thanks to the LWTech Foundation and our incredibly generous donors James Kinsella and Robert McNeal have given $25,000 to set-up a special Student Emergency Matching Fund during this crisis. For more information about how you can help, visit the LWTech Foundation web page, or click on the DONATE button on this page.

 

In times like this we are tested. It is apparent to me that this is bringing out the best in us, as we continue our college operations with compassion and innovation, during this unprecedented this time.

I am incredibly appreciative of the kind messages, and the very generous community support of our students and college, during this time.

I will update you about the plans for remote operations on Monday. If there is any new information over the weekend, I will provide an update sooner.

Stay well, take care of each other, and take care of yourselves,

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

A Video Message from Dr. Amy Morrison

I have just learned that a member of our faculty who has been self-quarantined has tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution we are closing the college as of 5:30 p.m. this evening. We will remain closed through the weekend. We made this decision swiftly, to continue disinfecting the college while no students, faculty and staff were on campus, and to provide us time to get a clear sense of who could have been exposed.

As you know, this continues to be a very fast-moving situation. We continue to be in regular contact with the CDC and King County Public Health.

Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, which is why we have made the decision to immediately to close the college through the weekend.

Students, please be in contact with your instructors, and faculty and staff, please be in touch with your supervisors, as we work through this together.

We also learned at the same time that one of our students who was tested is negative for COVID-19.

I will continue to keep you posted with any updates as I learn them. 

As a reminder, for the latest, accurate information, please visit our website and social media accounts

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

A Message to the LWTech Community:

I was very pleased to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus this morning. Our Facilities team have done an outstanding job disinfecting the college campus over the past three days, and are continuing to do so on an ongoing basis. 

We currently have 22 students and faculty affected, and self-quarantined, through guidance from King County Public Health. Faculty and college administrators continue to be in regular communication with them.

As of this morning, we know that a handful of them have exhibited some of the symptoms that King County Public Health has shared with the public. Fortunately, they are reporting to us that they are all doing well. We know that one of them has been tested, we do not know the outcome of that test. Please keep them in your thoughts during this stressful time. 

We are asking students, faculty and staff to remain home if they are feeling ill, or if they need to care for someone who is feeling ill. This is a lower threshold than we normally have, but we are in extraordinary times.

As a reminder, if you are concerned about flu-like systems, 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:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water

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.

I will continue to keep you posted with any updates. As a reminder, for the latest, accurate information, please visit our website and social media accounts.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

I want to take this opportunity to provide you with an update as we prepare to open campus tomorrow morning. Earlier today, Executive Cabinet and I, along with representatives from our campus Facilities and Public Safety teams, convened to finalize our plan for reopening campus. I want to share with you the latest information, and what students, faculty and staff can expect when they return.

First, I want to let you know that there is no change to the number of students impacted and self-quarantined, that I shared with you yesterday. There are still a total of 22 students and faculty affected: 17 are Nursing students, one is a Physical Therapy Assistant student, and there are four faculty members. Faculty and college administrators continue to be in regular communication with those students and faculty who were affected. None of these individuals are experiencing the severe symptoms you are hearing about on the news.

Here’s what students, faculty and staff can expect when they return to campus tomorrow:

Preparing the Campus

For the past three days our Facilities team has been disinfecting the campus per CDC disinfecting protocols, using chemicals that are EPA approved for COVID-19, and using chemicals approved by the Public Health Department. They have disinfected all bathrooms, classrooms, labs, common areas, and offices, including touch points, such as flat surfaces, chairs, tabletops, knobs, handles, railings, buttons, and the legs and arms of furniture.

Tomorrow, when our campus reopens, there will be disinfecting carts, with disinfecting supplies, in open offices that work for COVID-19 so that people can spend as much time as they want wiping down their areas again, as another level of protection. Additionally, the Facilities team will go through all areas of the campus, wiping down the touch point areas listed above, on a continual basis.

Your Health

As you know, LWTech has approached this situation with an abundance of caution. To that end, we are asking students, faculty and staff to remain home if they are feeling ill, or if they need to care for someone who is feeling ill. This is a lower threshold than we normally have, but we are in extraordinary times. Faculty are being informed of my request and are prepared to work with students and their classes if they are sick or caring for someone who is sick.

As a reminder, if you are concerned about flu-like systems, 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:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water

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.

I will continue to keep you posted with any updates. As a reminder, for the latest, accurate information, please visit our website and social media accounts.

I look forward to seeing you on campus tomorrow.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Late this morning, I received official instructions from King County Public Health. Based on CDC recommendations, the students and faculty who were at the Life Care Center of Kirkland last week, should now self-quarantine at home for 14 days from their last exposure at the Center.

Faculty and college administrators continue to be in regular communication with those students and faculty who were affected. 

Currently, we have a total of 22 students and faculty affected: 17 Nursing students, one Physical Therapy Assistant student, and four faculty members who are in self-quarantine. Of those nursing students, one was at EvergreenHealth in clinicals, and one of the faculty members had been to the Life Care Center of Kirkland to visit a family member, unrelated to college activities.

The Public Health department believes the risk to the campus community is low. Anyone living with, or who has come in contact with, our students and faculty who were exposed at the Life Care Center in Kirkland are not at risk, according to the CDC. They say “CDC does not recommend testing, symptom monitoring or special management for people exposed to asymptomatic people with potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2 (such as in a household), i.e., ‘contacts of contacts;’ these people are not considered exposed to SARS-CoV-2.” For more information, visit the CDC website.

Again as an abundance of caution, our Facilities team has been disinfecting and cleaning the campus since Sunday, and will continue to do so until we reopen, which we anticipate doing on Wednesday, March 4th.

I will continue to keep you posted with any updates. As a reminder, for the latest, accurate information, please visit our website and social media accounts.

I look forward to seeing you on campus tomorrow.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

A short time ago, I was able to speak with the communicable disease nurse at King County Public Health. They are giving us guidance on self-monitoring for those students and faculty who were at the Life Care Center in Kirkland. We are waiting for additional instructions, and for any additional actions that need to be taken, and we will have an update tomorrow.

We have been advised that there is a low risk to the greater college community, even if students may have come in contact with students or faculty who were at Life Care, last week.

I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are top of mind as we work our way through this emergency. 

For all accurate information, please go to our website and social media accounts which is where we will be providing updates.

I look forward to seeing you on campus tomorrow.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Earlier this morning, I convened the members of Executive Cabinet, as well as facilities and security, as we wait to officially receive guidance from King County Public Health regarding how to best support our faculty and students who were at Life Care Center of Kirkland last week, and our college community as a whole.

Executive Cabinet and I have made the decision, with support from the Board to Trustees, out of an abundance of caution, to close the LWTech campus tomorrow, March 2nd and Tuesday, March 3rd to continue disinfecting and cleaning the campus.

In addition to closing the campus tomorrow and Tuesday, we are also canceling all large community and college events for the week. This includes the annual Open House scheduled for Thursday, and the employee Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion professional development training and In-Service on Friday.

Students, faculty and staff have been notified.

I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are top of mind as we work our way through this emergency.

For all accurate information, please go to our website and social media accounts which is where we will be providing updates.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Late this morning, we were contacted by a member of our Nursing faculty that they, along with approximately 16 Nursing students, were at Life Care Center of Kirkland late last week. As reported today, there have been confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 at the Center.

Our faculty have been in contact with those students, as well as college administration. Currently, the college is awaiting guidance from King County Public Health in order to provide information and guidance to our faculty and students.

The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our priority, so as a precautionary measure, we are disinfecting the college campus tomorrow.

We will provide more information tomorrow, after speaking with public health officials.

Dr. Amy Morrison 
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Late Saturday morning, February 29, we were contacted by a member of our Nursing faculty that they, along with approximately 16 Nursing students, were at Life Care Center of Kirkland late last week. As reported today, there have been confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 at the Center.

Our faculty have been in contact with those students, as well as college administration. Currently, the college is awaiting guidance from King County Public Health in order to provide information and guidance to our faculty and students. 

The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our priority, so as a precautionary measure, we are disinfecting the college campus tomorrow.

College leadership have been in communication with the Mayor, City Manager, and the manager of the office of Emergency Management from City of Kirkland, as well as leadership at EvergreenHealth. We will continue to provide any updates to this page.

LWTech is also reviewing and updating our emergency management plans at this time. Our existing emergency management plans already provide a roadmap for how LWTech will respond with the highest focus on keeping our students, faculty and staff safe.

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