University of Washington Seattle campus -- UW Visual Asset Collection

Greetings College of Education Students,

Welcome to the new school year. Hopefully, you have enjoyed the warm days and cool nights of the early autumn season. With September upon us, it feels like the right time to restart our COVID-19-related communications so that you are well informed about how the University, and our College, are responding. As you can imagine, much planning has been taking place across the University and within the College in anticipation of the start of fall quarter. Just as we did when the pandemic first hit, you can rely on us to curate information that is timely and relevant for our community and provide links for those who want more details. Much more guidance is on its way from central UW, and the UW COVID-19 homepage remains a great source of information, but below are highlights from UW’s “Back to School” and “Back to Work” plans. Similarly, we encourage you to visit the College’s COVID-19 homepage for guidance closer to home.

What’s happening nationally as other colleges and universities are starting fall terms?

Reports of significant COVID-19 outbreaks at campuses across the country continue to populate the news cycle and the emerging picture is not good — colleges and universities are struggling to contain Covid-19 and enforce policies meant to prevent its spread. UW leadership has been closely monitoring our peers with an intent to learn and quickly adapt our plans and practices.

What is UW doing to maintain the safety of students, staff, and faculty?

  • Each UW unit has been required to complete a UW COVID-19 Prevention Plan
  • Over 90% of university-wide fall instruction will be delivered remotely
  • Everyone (students, staff, faculty, and visitors) are expected to wear face masks and observe physical distancing (at least 6 feet apart) when on campus
  • The UW is launching ramped up contact tracing and testing capacity, with more details forthcoming

Other helpful links:

 What do I need to do before coming to campus?

All faculty, staff, and student employees must complete the COVID-19 Safety Training: Back to the Workplace before or upon returning to work on-site at a University location

On each scheduled work day, faculty, staff and student employees who are expected to report to a UW work location must complete an attestation in Workday to confirm they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. The attestation should be completed before coming to work

What will Fall quarter look like in Miller Hall? 

A small number of College of Education classes (less than 10%) will have some in-person instruction component in Miller Hall for Autumn quarter. The in-person meetings have rooms reserved/assigned and we will coordinate staff presence in the building when courses are offered. There are one-hour gaps in-between room assignments in order to limit simultaneous room occupancy exchanges. Rooms with poor ventilation will not be used.

There will be a modest level of activity in the building - the facilities team at Miller Hall are still working out details and more information will be provided on September 9th

Though custodial support will be provided, it will be limited and focused on deep cleaning of classrooms and high traffic areas (e.g. restrooms). 

What guidance will I be given regarding expectations in the classroom and what to do in case someone refuses to wear a mask?

Everyone is required to wear a face-covering at all University locations. When indoors, in common areas and classrooms, masks will be worn in addition to physical distancing and practicing good hygiene. 

According to the UW face covering policy, all employees are expected to comply with the requirement as a condition of employment as well as the protection of others. Students are required to follow the requirements as well. 

When a student is not in compliance, a verbal request to comply will be made to persuade the student to wear the face covering and follow the Husky Pack Pledge. If they refuse to comply with the policy, the state regulations require the student to be sent home. Violations can be reported to the Student Conduct office or the Environmental Health and Safety Department.

How is the UW preparing for incoming international students and the visa requirements?

All international students have been provided with guidance on which courses they should register for in order to confirm that they are in a program with in-person options. In the COE, there are individual courses that have been identified by the program. In addition, we have also established two university-wide courses: one for graduate students (EDLPS 549B: SLN 32879) one for undergraduate students (LEAD 298a: SLN 23601). Both courses have discussion sections that will be held in-person.

Which College of Education classes are online or in-person?  How will students know?

Only a very small number of College of Education classes will have an in-person component for Autumn quarter -- less than 10%.  The best way to know is to look up classes in the UW Autumn Time Schedule or the COE courses database.  In-person classes will have building and room number listed in the Time Schedule, while online classes will not have a location listed and will have the words "Offered Via Remote Learning" in the description/comments.  Some online classes are being conducted synchronously, meaning that there are online class meetings at the times shown in the UW Time Schedule.  Other online classes are being conducted asynchronously, meaning that there are no scheduled class meetings, but students complete online learning activities at times that fit their schedule while also keeping pace with the instructor’s expectations. 

Where can I find additional information and resources related to COVID-19 and Autumn Quarter? 

The College of Education has compiled and published this web page* with information and resources specifically for our students.  The UW has similar information and resources here and here

I am concerned about childcare.  Are there any resources available for parents?

UW Human Resources continues to work with on-campus and community partners to enhance caregiving supports and to inform our community about them. Visit their childcare options and resources page for more information.  Note that a small number of these resources (i.e. UW CareLink) are restricted to UW employees -- which includes salaried student employees. 

I am experiencing emotional distress at this time.  What resources are available?

You are not alone in this.  Please remember that self-care is equally important to the care you provide for others in your life.  Keep your socio-emotional health as a priority as we re-engage with one another this fall. In addition to the videos by Jim Mazza provided on our coronavirus page, please read the Self-care Guide from Academic HR  and the new Husky Health and Wellbeing webpage that provides resources about coronavirus anxiety (including free use of the Sanvello app), mental health resources for BIPOC students, and general wellness resources including recreation, medical/dental, and safety.


With best wishes,


Marty Howell

Assistant Dean for Academic & Student Affairs

Mia Tuan


College of Education

University of Washington