Past Updates

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Past Updates

Message from President masthead

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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