COVID-19 General District Updates
Click on any accordion box to view the update and related information.
We are looking forward with a great deal of optimism and anticipation as we plan the return to in-person instruction and student services (as safely allowed by pandemic guidelines) for Fall Quarter 2021. The increase in vaccinations along with our continued adherence to COVID-19 protocols and procedures will offer a safe environment for everyone to teach, learn, and grow. You can return with confidence.
We will share more information as it becomes available. To assist, we’ve developed a “Welcome Back” website. It will provide updates and new information about our return.
A Phased Approach
Our return will start in 2021 Summer Term and will be a phased approach with strong adherence to state-mandated health and safety protocols and best practices. These protocols and procedures will remain in place and gradually be revised until they are no longer needed.
Levels May Vary by College
The levels of in-person instruction and services will vary at each campus due to building capacity, staffing, and resources. This is in addition to the in-person instruction and services we are already offering.
Prioritizing Student Needs
As we turn to summer and fall 2021, those courses where students face more challenges or need more assistance will return to in-person instruction first. We will also consider courses that serve as perquisites or “gateway courses” for subsequent courses. Similarly, we will explore ways to offer in-person services along with remote services.
We appreciate everyone’s adaptability and hard work over the past year. Moving forward, we will make every effort to keep our employees and students safe as we work together to fulfill our educational mission.
As we look ahead with optimism that progress is being made in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing a quick spring update and looking ahead at what a return to campus may look like in summer and fall.
Spring Quarter 2021
Seattle Colleges will continue to operate remotely for Spring Quarter 2021 with some limited in-person instruction following established health and safety protocols.
Returning in Summer and Fall
As more people become vaccinated and cases and hospitalizations decline, we aim to offer more in-person instruction and services to students in Summer and Fall Quarters. This will be a phased approach; defining how it will roll out will be a priority during Spring Quarter.
We are preparing and actively working to keep everyone safe. Our strong adherence to the protocols and best practices below enabled Seattle Colleges to operate limited in-person education and specialized training for hundreds of students while avoiding community spread on our campuses.
- Infection Control Program (ICP)
The ICP is a group of policies and procedures that guide COVID-19 infection prevention and control issues on our campuses. The ICP complies with the Washington State Stay-Home, Stay Healthy mandate and Safe Start Plan for Reopening.
- Weekly COVID-19 Health and Safety (H&S) Training
All students and employees must participate in an initial COVID-19 H&S training on or before the first day of returning to campus. Follow-up training is required on a weekly basis for all employees and students working and studying on campus.
- Wellness Screening Prior to Campus Entry
Each day before campus entry, anyone planning to enter one of our campuses conducts a wellness screening check to determine if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms are present, individuals are asked to stay home.
- Daily Check-in and Check-Out at Established Locations
Anyone entering and leaving a campus is expected to check in and out by completing a form at established entry/exit points. This limits access and aids in contact tracing if needed.
- Best Practices of Prevention While on Campus
While on campus, employees and students are expected to follow best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. These include:
- Maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from other people.
- Wearing a well-fitting, multi-layer mask that fully covers the mouth and nose.
- Practicing good respiratory etiquette by coughing or sneezing into the inside of the elbow (with mask on) – not the hands.
- Washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching one’s face or mask.
- Contact Tracing
Seattle Colleges employs trained contact tracers who work directly with Public Health of Seattle and King County to respond immediately to reports of confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 within the college community. They confidentially notify any individual identified as having had direct contact with a confirmed case report.
- Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection
We are committed to providing safe and effective disinfection materials for campus employees to wipe down their space before and after work and periodically throughout the day. We have increased the cleaning and disinfection frequency of high-touch points in common spaces and follow-up with a thorough cleaning and disinfection activity at the end of each day. Each campus has a trained disinfection response team that promptly activates in the event of a confirmed case report (if they are found to have been on-campus while asymptomatic but infectious).
- Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Return to School and Work (RTW) Committee
Seattle Colleges’ ERT includes the chancellor and three college presidents as well as other administrative leaders. The ERT meets twice each week to address COVID-19 issues and planning. The RTW Committee, with representation from all campuses, meets weekly to discuss COVID-19 issues, implement responses, and facilitate communication and consistent adherence to protocols and best practices. These groups are involved in the planning of the phased rollout for on-campus activities.
- Return to School and Work (RTW) Health and Safety Planning
An approved program-specific health and safety plan is required for all college programs that are planning to return to regular on-campus activities. These plans detail how the program will meet ICP standards and best practices of prevention established by federal, state, and local public health COVID-19 guidelines.
- Seattle Colleges Health and Safety (H&S) Team
Seattle Colleges' districtwide H&S Team works with each college to address COVID-19 related issues and concerns. These employees provide expertise and training, evaluate and approve RTW plans, and help connect to local and state entities related to COVID-19 health and safety services.
Seattle Colleges will continue to prepare and adapt plans as the circumstances evolve. The situation with COVID-19 will change, and it may change quickly. These protocols and procedures will remain in place and gradually be revised until they are no longer needed. We look forward to that day. In the meantime, our top priorities are the health and safety of our employees and our students as they pursue their academic goals.
We want your feedback. Please take part in a short districtwide survey related to Summer activities:
Dear Seattle Colleges Community,
Happy New Year and welcome back! As we begin Winter Quarter 2021, there is reason to be optimistic. With the approval and distribution of safe vaccines for COVID-19, we are beginning a new phase in fighting the pandemic.
I trust that Winter Break gave you a bit of rest and renewal. As I reflect on how we met the challenges of 2020 and what we must do to continue to adapt, modify, and move forward, I feel comforted and hopeful. I know we can continue to serve our students and community to the best of our abilities.
Continue Your Diligence and Care
We all need to continue to be diligent, careful, and attentive to our protocols and training throughout Winter Quarter. We’ve demonstrated we can do this, and we need to reaffirm to ourselves that we can do this for a while longer.
- Keep wearing facemasks, social distancing, washing hands, and avoiding large groups.
- Remind yourself what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 or begin exhibiting symptoms.
- Continue learning more, and stay informed.
If we all continue to observe safety protocols and give our best to our studies and work, we will get there.
Thank you all for your dedication, patience, and best efforts as we look forward to a better year.
Shouan Pan, Chancellor
A new smartphone app that alerts users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 was launched in Washington state last week.
Downloading and using the Washington Exposure Notifications app (aka WA Notify) is voluntary and completely private. It works without sharing any personal information. It doesn’t know or track who you are or where you go.
If you have a smartphone, we encourage you to consider using WA Notify. And please remember to notify Seattle Colleges' Health and Safety (H&S) Team if this app alerts you that you may have been exposed.
More information about when to contact H&S is below. To learn more about WA Notify, go to wanotify.org.
We appreciate your patience and diligence in working to keep everyone safe.
When to contact Seattle Colleges' Health and Safety (H&S) Team
You need to contact H&S if:
- you have COVID-like symptoms and you were on-campus within 48 hours before symptoms started.
- you have been in direct contact (closer than 6 feet) with someone who:
- has tested positive for COVID-19
- has COVID-like symptoms
- became ill within 48 hours after your direct contact
- you live with someone who has COVID-19 or has COVID-like symptoms.
- you have been tested or are seeking testing for COVID-19 because you may have been exposed.
- you have been instructed by a healthcare provider, public health professional, or contact tracer to quarantine.
- your situation is complicated and you are confused.
How to contact H&S:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- call: 206-934-5522 or 206-934-3210 - Leave a message and await a callback.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Washington and across the country, it is more important than ever to make sure we are following safety protocols and best practices to help reduce the spread of this virus.
If You Visit Campus
If you visit any campus, it is very important you fill out the Campus Access Form before and after your visit. Filling out the form – both before and after your visit– provides Health and Safety staff with the information they need for thorough contact tracing.
If You Don’t Feel Well
If you are not feeling well and believe you have COVID-19 or if you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, please stay at home and make arrangements to get tested.
If You Test Positive or Come into Contact
If you test positive for COVID-19 or you come in direct contact (less than 6 feet) with someone who has COVID-19, please immediately notify HealthandSafety@seattlecolleges.edu and provide the following information:
- Name, phone number, email address
- If you have been directed by a healthcare professional to self-isolate but have not been tested
- Date when your symptoms first began
- If you appeared on campus (and which campus) within 48-hours before or while symptoms began
You will be contacted by Health and Safety. This personal health information does not need to be reported to your instructor and/or supervisor.
If You Are Asked to Quarantine
Employees, if you are asked to quarantine by a doctor or by Health and Safety, there are COVID sick leave options available outside of your own sick leave. Resources on Inside Seattle Colleges include COVID-19 Leave Guidance (for Classified Staff) and the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) - Overview. Please contact your campus HR for more information and guidance on how to record your time.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Please note that higher education is exempt from the COVID-19 restrictions Governor Inslee issued today (11/15/20). Our status remains the same, and we will continue our current protocols and remote operations.
Stay safe and healthy.
Seattle Colleges—Central, North, and South—will continue remote operations for Winter Quarter 2021. Registration for the quarter begins November 2, and classes start January 4, 2021. Please note, South Seattle College has announced plans to continue with primarily remote operations through the end of Spring Quarter 2021.
We will continue offering most instruction and services remotely, with some hybrid and limited face-to-face instruction that observes the public health and hygiene best practices outlined in the Infection Control Program (ICP).
We ask that you continue observing best practices such as social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and limiting close contact with others to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Health professionals also recommend getting a flu vaccination as we are entering influenza season.
Employees are asked to work remotely wherever possible. Access to buildings on our campuses will remain limited. Any students, faculty, and staff who arrive at a campus for authorized purposes should follow the designated procedures and safety training requirements.
Employees should contact their supervisor if they have any questions, or Human Resources if they require accommodation due to health concerns. Students with questions should contact their instructors or the designated student services offices at their college.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and diligence in working to keep everyone safe.
Resources and updates for specific colleges may be found by following the respective links:
With the election day coming in a few days, the college presidents and I wanted to pause to reaffirm our values and the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity for all individuals, particularly the underserved in our community.
We encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote in what many are calling the most consequential election in recent memory. That said, and regardless of the outcome, we remain steadfast in our commitment to:
- Accessibility for all learners and partners
- Collaboration through open communication and commitment to working together
- Fiscal sustainability for long-term viability and excellence in service and operations
- Growth and engagement of faculty and staff through professional development
- Innovation in instruction, student services, operations, and organizational culture
- Integrity by adhering to the highest standards of ethics and public stewardship
We recognize that in the remaining days leading up to and after the election, there may also be activities near or on our college campuses. While we respect the spirit of activism behind these activities, we want to encourage everyone to live our values and follow the public health guidelines we are taking to minimize COVID-19 on campus.
Equally important, we hope we can do so in a way that promotes understanding, civility, and public safety. We want to inspire unity and dialogue. To do so, we need to conduct ourselves in a manner that is consistent with respect for one another.
All our colleges are hosting election-related activities. We encourage you to participate. Check your college website for more info. And, as a reminder, gatherings on campus are prohibited unless approved through the return-to-work process via the return-to-school-and-work (RTW) safety plan form.
Seattle Colleges will rise to this challenge—as we always do.
Be safe and well.
Shouan Pan, Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
Chemene Crawford, Interim President, North Seattle College
Sheila Edwards Lange, President, Seattle Central College
Rosannette Rimando-Chareunsap, President, South Seattle College
Higher education, effective Aug. 1, now has its own set of guidelines and compliance standards, separate from K-12 education and other businesses and industries, according to Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington state's Safe Start phased reopening plan.
Our districtwide Health and Safety Team has incorporated this information into the latest version of our official Infection Control Plan(ICP). The ICP guides the decision-making of the Emergency Response Team—including the chancellor, college presidents, leadership teams, and working groups—as they plan for Fall Quarter and beyond.
Fall Quarter 2020
Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of employees and students. As Fall Quarter nears on Tuesday, Sept. 29, we will continue to serve thousands of students with most instruction offered remotely, and some hybrid and limited face-to-face offerings—all observing public health and hygiene best practices outlined in the ICP.
Most employees will continue to work remotely wherever possible. Access to campus buildings will remain limited and by appointment or approval. Any students, faculty, and staff who arrive at a campus for authorized purposes should follow the appropriate procedures and safety training requirements. Employees should contact their supervisor if they have any questions, or Human Resources if they require accommodation due to health concerns.
While we strive to make consistent policy and procedure decisions across our district, our colleges—North, Central, and South—have different programs and levels of resources.
College presidents, vice presidents, and deans are working to make decisions that fit their colleges and programs best while providing student services efficiently in ways that resources and health and safety guidelines allow.
Information about each college’s program and student services offerings is available at the college’s COVID-19 informational website:
- Central: Student Services | Campus Entry Procedures and COVID-19 Updates
- North: Student Services | Campus Entry Procedures | COVID-19 Updates
- South: Student Services | Campus Entry Procedures | COVID-19 Updates
- Districtwide COVID-19 Updates
We are grateful for the technology that allows us to continue to engage with one another and pursue our collective mission of delivering great instruction and service to our students. Thanks as always for your patience and diligence in working to keep everyone safe.
Seattle Colleges is planning to begin phasing more in-person instruction and activities for fall 2020. Details of which courses are currently planned to be offered in person / on-line / hybrid are reflected in each college’s class schedule.
Modifications to normal operating procedures will likely be required to address necessary health and safety considerations for students, faculty, and staff. Seattle Colleges continues to consult with public health experts to ensure the transition is made as smoothly and safely as possible. More information on the specific modifications will be announced throughout the summer.
Listed below are key dates for fall quarter.
September 29 – Fall quarter begins
October 5 – Last day to add/register – South
October 12 – Last day to add/register – North and Central
December 17 – Fall quarter ends
This afternoon, Friday, May 29, Governor Inslee gave an update of his Safe Start phased approach to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s announcement does not change current operations at our Seattle Colleges locations or our plans for summer quarter.
Authorized employees and students enrolled in certain instructional programs or those seeking services by appointment are being admitted to our college campuses in accordance with public health and social distancing guidelines. All other instruction and services are continuing through remote operations, and campuses remain closed to the public until further notice.
Students with questions should contact their instructors. Employees with questions should contact their supervisors.
We appreciate your patience and diligence in working to keep everyone safe.
Reference: Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” phased approach to recovery
Beginning Monday, May 18, authorized employees and students enrolled in certain instructional programs or seeking services by appointment will be admitted to our college campuses:
- Students will be notified by their faculty members or service staff.
- Employees will be notified by their deans or supervisors.
All other instruction and services will continue remote operations, and campuses will remain closed to the public.
Maintaining Public Health Guidelines
Seattle Colleges is opening its physical locations in compliance with all public health guidelines. Those authorized to enter campus are asked to follow the processes, actions, and procedures below:
Take your temperature at home—Please take your temperature at home each time you plan to come to campus. If you have a fever of 100.4° F or above or do not feel well, remain at home.
Wear a face mask—You need to wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose. If possible, please bring your own. We have a limited supply on hand for those who do not have one.
Check in and check out daily at established locations—Everyone entering and leaving a campus will be expected to check in and check out by completing a form (Students | Employees) at established entry/exit points. Click to view the locations at Central | North | South.
Take the required health and safety training—You will be expected to complete health and safety training that details recommended social distancing and hygiene best practices.
Students will be required to complete the training in their classes with their instructors on the first day of class.
Employees are required to complete the training before returning to campus or on their first day at campus. Employees can register to take the training online or view a prerecorded video on Canvas. Anyone without a Canvas account may email email@example.com to receive one.
If you have additional questions, students should ask their instructors, employees should ask their supervisors.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and diligence in working to keep everyone safe.
Seattle Colleges is hoping to resume in-person instruction for the fall quarter. However, in light of the ongoing uncertainty, we will remain flexible to ensure compliance with public health guidance.
Listed below you will find key dates for the fall quarter. Please note that the dates for fall registration have not changed.
Fall registration for returning students
Fall registration for new students
Fall quarter begins
Last day to add/register – South
Last day to add/register – North and Central
Fall quarter ends
Today (Friday, May 1), Gov. Inslee extended his statewide stay-at-home order through May 31. Seattle Colleges will continue to operate remotely and offer online and alternative modes of instruction.
There remains a possibility that limited face-to-face instruction for some professional/technical programs may begin earlier. If offered, that instruction will be in accordance with public health and social distancing guidelines.
More information to come as it is available.
Summer quarter will begin as scheduled on Monday, June 29, primarily through online and alternative modes of instruction. Programs requiring labs, face-to-face, and hands-on instruction, if offered, will be in accordance with public health and social distancing guidelines.
Summer registration for returning students will open May 18. It will open May 26 for new students.
Refer to the academic calendar for additional information.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things. But it doesn't change the exceptional achievements of our Class of 2020.
In years past, we have used our commencement ceremony to award degrees and celebrate our graduates. This year will be slightly different, but our passion and enthusiasm remain.
Uncertainty around the current pandemic has led us to cancel the June 25 in-person commencement ceremony. However, we are working with student leaders to evaluate options and alternatives to show love, appreciation, and admiration to graduates.
Make no mistake, we are determined to celebrate the Class of 2020 in a manner fitting of our students' hard work and perseverance. Graduates should apply for graduation in the normal manner.
Although things are different from what we had planned, we encourage everyone to keep looking forward, remain hopeful, and show compassion and understanding for those in need.
Stay home, stay healthy, and an early "Congratulations!" to the Class of 2020 from all of us at Seattle Colleges.
Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
Acting President, North Seattle College
Sheila Edwards Lange
President, Seattle Central College
President, South Seattle College
Spring Quarter 2020 will be different from anything we could have imagined. To help you in your preparations, we are summarizing the changes and adaptations made to ensure Seattle Colleges is in compliance with governmental and public health orders. College websites will have specific information.
We Are Continuing Remote Operations
- Based on Gov. Inslee’s extended order, there will be no in-person student services or classes until May 5.
- Seattle Colleges will continue remote operations until further notice.
- Students have been notified that the majority of academic programs and student services for spring quarter are online for the entire quarter, starting Monday, April 13.
- Refer to the college websites for specific details on student services and classes at your respective college:
Thank You for Your Hard Work and Resilience
These are unique times, but your hard work and resilience are making a difference. We are all working together to keep our community safe and provide our students with a quality education experience. Thank you, once again, for your patience and dedication
Dear Seattle Colleges Community,
Since my last communication with you, we have all witnessed the disruptive effects of COVID-19. While trying to make sense of presidential and gubernatorial orders, CDC guidelines, stock-market crashes, talks of local and federal stimulus measures, and dizzying media coverages, if you are like me, you have probably felt a little overwhelmed, fearful, and frightened.
However, it is my belief that goodwill, common sense, and communication will guide us through this uncharted territory.
In the midst of unprecedented uncertainty and fluidity, we must remain solidly grounded in our institution’s mission and our enduring values (accessibility, collaboration, diversity, inclusion, and equity, fiscal sustainability, growth, innovation, and integrity).
We had to adapt very fast the last couple of weeks. Despite this, we have pulled together as an institution.
Here are some of our collective actions and responses:
- Faculty have led the way in moving the last two weeks of Winter Quarter classes online (except those that cannot be offered online).
- Students have been notified that the majority of academic programs for Spring Quarter will be offered online for the entire quarter, starting April 13. Faculty will use the week of April 6 to plan and prepare. Academic administrators are finding ways to support faculty; student services staff and administrators are strategizing the best ways to support students during remote operations.
- A districtwide Emergency Response Team conducts daily phone calls to strategize cross-system responses and provide policy-level guidance. At the same time, Seattle Colleges’ senior leadership team members are engaged with local, county, and state officials.
- College presidents and their leadership teams have implemented college-specific plans and provided information and resources in support of campus-based programs.
- We are increasing our supplies of disinfectant and protection equipment for frontline personnel who are actively cleaning buildings and classrooms.
- We are working to secure IT supplies and equipment for faculty, staff, and students who need them for teaching, learning, and administrative services. The IT staff continues to share useful resources and tips for teaching remotely and telecommuting.
- HR staff are developing training and learning modules for non-instructional staff to use while working from home. Useful resources on ergonomics have also been shared for staff working remotely.
- Seattle Colleges Foundation has launched an Emergency Fund Campaign to support students who are in desperate need of financial assistance. The goal is to raise $500,000. I encourage you to make a donation at a level you feel comfortable.
The COVID-19 virus has been very disruptive, and it is keeping us apart, but we must NOT allow it to threaten our community. I ask all of us to remain united while staying temporarily apart. Our future is tied together, and we will weather this crisis together.
We are facing a real test. This will demand patience, resilience, kindness, generosity, and sacrifice from us—collectively and individually. Hearing the words, seeing the actions, and feeling the spirit of our faculty, staff, and administrators across the system the last two weeks, I am confident that Seattle Colleges will remain strong. For sure, we will go through some rough waters, but we will survive, and we will thrive on the other end.
Allow me to express my heartfelt appreciation to every Seattle Colleges faculty and staff member for the remarkable amount of collaborative spirit, patience, and resilience you have displayed.
Let us stay connected; let us stay safe; let us stay healthy.
Shouan Pan, Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
In compliance with Gov. Inslee’s Stay-at-Home order, Seattle Colleges is closed to the public and operating only essential services at physical locations until midnight April 6. Supervisors will contact employees needed to operate these services.
Seattle Colleges will provide more information about operation and working conditions beyond April 7 as it becomes available.
Plans for Spring Quarter 2020 remain, with the following modifications:
- We will announce a new date for opening core student services—such as bookstore, registration, financial aid, admissions, and cashiering—soon. Remote (online, phone, etc.) services remain available.
- The Spring 2020 Academic Calendar has been adjusted:
- April 6 – Tuition due date (originally March 9)
- April 13 – SPRING QUARTER BEGINS
- April 17 – Last day to withdraw with 100 percent refund (less processing fee). Last day to add/register (South)
- April 24 – Last day to add/register—instructor permission required (Central and North). Last day to change audit/credit status without instructor permission.
- April 29 – Last day to withdraw without a "W" appearing on transcript.
- May 2 – Last day to withdraw with 50 percent refund.
- May 13 – Development Day
- May 29 – Last day to change/audit credit status—instructor permission required. Last day to withdraw (no refund)
- June 19 – SPRING QUARTER ENDS
Seattle Colleges remains committed to helping our students achieve their academic goals. We are balancing this with the need to keep our students and employees healthy and safe. This may require more modification to these plans. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
In the meantime, stay home and stay healthy.
Seattle Colleges will start spring quarter classes Monday, April 13, and offer instruction through online and alternative modes for the entire quarter, except for those programs requiring labs, face-to-face, and hands-on instruction due to regulatory or accreditation requirements. The colleges will have limited on-site services. (See the college websites for more details: North, Central, South.)
The Seattle Colleges leadership team, under consultation with faculty leadership and with the current guidance from our state and health officials, has developed a plan for Spring Quarter 2020 that will allow students to continue to make academic progress and achieve their educational goals.
Spring Quarter classes will start April 13 primarily through online and alternative modes of instruction where possible. Programs requiring labs, face-to-face, and hands-on instruction will also begin April 13 at all campuses and locations. (See the college websites for more details.)
Students, faculty, and staff should prepare for online and alternative modes of instruction for the entire quarter, except for those noted.
This decision is in keeping with Gov. Inslee’s March 13 announcement calling for colleges and universities to transition to online and alternative modes of instruction through April 26. It also follows his guidance to observe social distancing and hygienic best practices for courses required to meet in person due to regulatory or accreditation requirements.
Following are the adjustments that will be made to Spring Quarter 2020.
Beginning March 30
The following in-person services will be available on a limited basis for those who cannot access these resources online:
- Admissions and Registration
- Financial Aid
- Other services may be added
- Academic Advising: schedule appointments from your college advising website.
- Faculty will use April 6-10 to prepare and adapt their classes for online and alternative modalities.
- Classes originally scheduled to begin Monday, April 6, will instead start on Monday, April 13.
Beginning April 13
- Spring Quarter 2020 will begin for students on Monday, April 13.
- Classes that cannot be offered online due to regulatory or accreditation requirements will meet in person while observing social distancing and hygienic best practices.
- Students will receive information from their instructors about how to proceed with their respective courses.
April 27 and beyond
- The end of Spring Quarter 2020, June 19, will remain as scheduled.
- Faculty instruction will adapt as circumstances allow.
We appreciate your resilience and hard work as we adjust to these temporary measures for Spring Quarter. We believe these changes will allow us to protect our community while continuing to serve our students as they work to complete their education.
Today, Gov. Inslee called for colleges and universities to transition to online instruction, effective Monday, March 16, through Sunday, April 26. Classes that cannot be offered online due to regulatory or accreditation requirements may continue with social distancing, and core campus operations can continue.
This is aligned with our current planned operations for Winter Quarter and up to March 30. Employees are expected to work remotely, where possible, and remain readily available. Human Resources will follow up with additional information.
We know you are also thinking ahead to Spring Quarter and likely have many questions about it in light of Gov. Inslee’s comments today. The Seattle Colleges leadership team is meeting to determine the best way to provide instruction for Spring Quarter, which begins April 6. More information about Spring Quarter will be provided next week.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Seattle Colleges will move to remote operations on Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. All facilities will cease on-site operations except in the case of instructional programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements.
Courses are continuing using alternative modes, where possible. Employees are expected to work remotely, where possible, and remain readily available. Please contact your supervisor for more details.
Seattle Colleges will resume operations March 30, pending guidance from public health officials. Seattle Colleges plans to begin Spring Quarter April 6 as scheduled.
Telecommuting, Human Resources, and Information Technology (IT)
- Employees should check their email for a districtwide message from Human Resources detailing the policy and procedures for telecommuting and follow up accordingly with their supervisor. Refer to procedures for Policy 447 on Telecommuting.
- Employees with questions should contact their supervisor.
- IT is working to meet and support the technology needs of employees moving to remote operations/telecommuting. Refer to the IT website for more information.
- IT info for staff and faculty direct link: itservices.seattlecolleges.edu/it-info-staff-faculty
- In addition to working via telecommuting, employees will be encouraged to take the opportunity to complete online training modules for such initiatives as ctcLink. A website with links to online training opportunities is being developed and will be shared when complete.
We are following the recommendations of public health experts and the request of elected officials in making this decision. Gov. Inslee’s event announcement reinforced social distancing strategies, and Public Health of Seattle & King County has encouraged employers to enable as many employees as possible to telecommute—all in order to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Governor Calls for Cancellation of Events of 250 or More People
Today Gov. Jay Inslee announced new community strategies and social distancing plans to minimize COVID-19 exposure. Effective immediately and through March 31, 2020, unless extended, events taking place in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties bringing together more than 250 people are prohibited. This order applies to gatherings for social, spiritual, and recreational activities.
- Governor’s proclamation
- New limits on large gatherings, other emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19
Seattle Public Schools Close for Minimum of Two Weeks
Seattle Public Schools announced today that beginning Thursday, March 12, all school activities, including instruction, child care, health services, enrichment, and events, are canceled for a minimum of 14 days and until further notice.
Your Work Is Appreciated
Dear Seattle Colleges Community,
With reports of the global and local spread of COVID-19, we are writing to express our sincere appreciation of your resilience and ask for your continued support and engagement.
Despite the reality and severity of this situation, we are buoyed by your response. Each day, as new challenges emerge, you demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, empathy, and resilience.
College and district leaders are meeting daily—often more than once—to stay on top of this situation. The health, safety, and well-being of our community are a top concern as we keep equity and fairness at the forefront of our decisions.
We thank the members of our districtwide and college emergency response teams; our health, safety, and security officers; and the custodial staff at all of our facilities for their tireless work and steadfast commitment.
We also appreciate our faculty, who are working hard to move to alternative teaching modalities. This is no small task, and their dedication to our students is evident.
Our student services and other administrative staff members across the district are showing great dedication as they work to serve students and meet the challenges of the day.
And finally, thanks to our students for their patience and concern as we continue to work to meet their needs in this extraordinary circumstance.
We will continue to manage this unique situation—and the resulting disruptions—with our best short- and long-term interests in mind. During this challenging time, let’s stay healthy and supportive and work wisely.
Thank you for your calm and patience. With care, concern, and thoughtful leadership, we will get through this together.
Steve Hill, Chair, Board of Trustees, and Shouan Pan, Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
Today, as districtwide preparations were made to move class instruction to alternative modes, we received unfortunate news: South Seattle College has received confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case.
South’s main campus will now transition to remote operations starting Tuesday, March 10. It will keep this status through Winter Quarter (March 25). During this time, the main campus in West Seattle will be closed. Students will continue with online/alternative instruction, and employees will work remotely where possible. Cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been established and will begin on Tuesday.
Information gathered so far indicates limited exposure to one classroom in the University Center Building (UNI) from the student who was attending an evening class.
Details About South’s Remote Operations
- Students should avoid the West Seattle campus from March 10 to March 25. Students should contact their instructors for information on their courses.
- Staff and faculty may come to campus on Tuesday, March 10, to consult with their supervisor and gather necessary supplies for remote work.
- Georgetown Campus, NewHolly Learning Center classrooms, and the Harbor Island Training Center will remain open (with possible alternative modes of instruction in place) at this time.
- More info at southseattle.edu/coronavirus.
Please keep everyone at South in your thoughts.
To ensure you receive vital notices, please make sure your contact information, including alternative contact information, is up to date in the Seattle Colleges Alerts system at www.getrave.com/login/seattlecolleges. Also, continue to watch your Seattle Colleges email and the Seattle Colleges COVID-19 website at www.seattlecolleges.edu/coronavirus.
Each college will also post regular updates specific to their campuses.
To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Seattle Colleges locations.
Beginning Monday, March 9, Seattle Colleges is moving from in-person classroom instruction to the appropriate alternative modality for each class, when and where possible. This includes satellite locations and will continue through the end of the Winter Quarter (March 25). The move is in accordance with the COVID-19 recommendations from Public Health — Seattle and King County to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.
Classroom and instructional staff will make local decisions about which modes to employ for each particular course. Colleges and instructors will send more detailed information soon.
No Classes Monday, March 9, for Faculty Prep; Instructional Resources, Business and Student Services Remain Open
There will be no classes on Monday, March 9. Instead, faculty and staff will use the day to adapt their coursework to the alternative formats and communicate with students. Classes will resume Tuesday, March 10, reflecting the instructional changes.
All student and business services will remain open and maintain regular business hours and students are welcome on campus to use the services as necessary.
Students should contact their instructors with any course-related questions or concerns about having access to appropriate technology.
Moving instruction to alternative modes will help minimize the number of people physically on campus and help maintain the “social distancing” prescribed by health officials.
If a member of the Seattle Colleges community tests positive for COVID-19, district operations will be reassessed.
- Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees at any Seattle Colleges locations. All colleges (Central, North, and South), specialty training centers (Georgetown, Health Education Center, Maritime, NewHolly, Wood Technology), and district offices in Siegal Center remain open.
- Seattle & King County Public Health is not recommending that schools proactively close unless they have a confirmed case of COVID-19. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at any of our colleges, we will work with Public Health officials to determine the best measures, including potential closure of one or more of our colleges or specialty training centers.
- Given the rise in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in King County, Seattle Colleges Emergency Response Team (ERT) had decided to elevate Seattle Colleges to Level 2 on the following scale:
- Level 1: Planning period
- Level 2: Elevated risk with minimal hazard to students/staff—current level
- Level 3: Pandemic imminent
- Level 4: Campus closes
- Seattle Colleges’ ERT – which includes the chancellor, the three college presidents, the vice chancellor for academics and student success, human resources and operations, health and safety, and communications professionals – continues to meet on a daily basis to assess the situation, establish priorities, and coordinate leadership and planning to respond to the issues at hand.
- Seattle Colleges’ ERT will meet again today, Friday, March 6, at 4:30 p.m. Further communication may occur after that meeting. The ERT is also scheduled to meet on Sunday, March 8.
Externally Hosted Events with More Than 50 Attendees Will Be Cancelled Through the Month of March
- Seattle Colleges’ ERT has decided to cancel all externally hosted events expecting more than 50 attendees at all of our colleges and centers for the month of March. This is to minimize any potential risks of exposure to our communities and to those external groups and the public who would attend.
- The colleges will contact those external groups and work with them.
- Many external groups had already decided to cancel or postpone their events.
- Decisions about internal events or events hosted by the colleges themselves will be determined on a case-by-case basis by each college. Notification of any cancellation of internal events will be given by each college.
Seattle Colleges’ ERT has adopted action plans for two possible scenarios. Other scenarios may be considered as well.
Scenario 1: Students or employees who are not ill and do not have symptoms but have had close contact with a person with lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 will be asked to go home immediately and quarantined for 14 days, per Seattle & King County Public Health guidelines. Public Health makes the decision if a student or employee requires quarantine. Seattle Colleges will work with Seattle & King County Public Health on any related issues.
Scenario 2: While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Seattle Colleges locations, we are prepared for all possibilities. In the event of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Seattle Colleges employee or student who has been in attendance at one of our sites, we will work with Public Health officials to determine the best measures, including potential closure of one or more of our colleges or specialty training centers. Events at that college or specialty training center also will be canceled so we can activate disinfecting protocols. Closure communication will be sent to students and employees via Seattle Colleges Alerts and email. We will work with Seattle & King County Public Health to determine the length of the school closure based on the unique circumstances of the case.
What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms but haven't been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (from Seattle & King County Public Health)
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These can be symptoms of other respiratory illnesses as well as COVID-19.
- If you are in a high-risk category and have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for advice. If you are at risk for serious illness, your health care provider may arrange a test for COVID-19.
- If you do not have a highrisk condition and your symptoms are mild, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Do not go out when you are sick, practice excellent hygiene, and wear a face mask when you are around other people if you can.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Avoid sharing personal household items. Clean your hands often. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, like doorknobs often.
- Monitor your symptoms and call your health care provider if symptoms worsen.
- Stay home and avoid others for 72 hours after your fever goes down and symptoms get better.
Contact Information for COVID-19 Concerns and Questions
- For general concerns and questions about COVID-19, call the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 800-525-0127.
- If you are in King County and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, or if you're a health care provider with questions about COVID-19, contact the King County novel coronavirus call center: 206-477-3977. The call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees at any Seattle Colleges locations. All colleges and district offices in Siegal Center remain open.
Students and employees, if you have a confirmed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), you should notify your supervisor or instructor that you will be absent. King County will notify Seattle Colleges about any positive tests.
If You Show Symptoms…
If you show symptoms or have concerns, contact the King County novel coronavirus call center: 206-477-3977. Their call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT.
The associated symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, and shortness of breath—are common to many other respiratory diseases. It is not uncommon for people to get sick this time of year, and these symptoms do not automatically mean a person has COVID-19. However, given the situation, it is a best practice to remain at home if you are not feeling well and to go home if you begin to feel sick.
- If you are not feeling well, especially if you have fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory issues, you should not come to class or work.
- If you begin to feel symptoms while already on campus, make arrangements to get home as soon as possible.
- Employees should notify their supervisors that they will be absent.
- Students should notify their instructors that they will be absent.
- Contact your health care provider. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
- Continue to monitor your symptoms.
- If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you notice a colleague or student exhibiting signs of illness:
- It is appropriate to ask how they are feeling and encourage them to head home immediately if they are showing symptoms described above.
- Do not stigmatize people who are sick or assume anyone who coughs or sneezes has COVID-19.
Are Seattle Colleges, North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, or South Seattle College closing?
Seattle Colleges’ Emergency Response Team (ERT) – which includes the chancellor, the three college presidents, the vice chancellor for academics and student success, human resources and operations, health and safety, and communications professionals – continues to meet on a daily basis to assess the situation, establish priorities, and coordinate leadership and planning to respond to the issues at hand.
- Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees at any Seattle Colleges locations. All colleges and district offices in Siegal Center remain open.
- Seattle & King County Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at any of our colleges, we will work with them to determine the best measures including potential closure of the school.
- The ERT will discuss if Seattle Colleges should move to Level 2 on the following scale:
- Level 1: Planning period—current level
- Level 2: Elevated risk with minimal hazard to students/staff
- Level 3: Pandemic imminent
- Level 4: Campus closes
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Custodial teams at each of the colleges are working to prioritize and increase the frequency of wiping down and disinfecting door handles, handrails, and other “high touch” surfaces.
- Please note, however, that with current custodial staffing, this new priority may result in other tasks not being completed as frequently as usual.
- Seattle Colleges’ Health and Safety Team is working to determine if additional cleaning and disinfecting products can be made available to employees who are interested in using them in their areas. Each college will follow up with their employees as this is confirmed.
- Seattle & King County Public Health has recommended, but not required, that organizations “consider postponing events and gathering” that bring larger groups of people together.
- Seattle Colleges’ Emergency Response Team (ERT) continues to discuss how they wish to proceed.
- At this time, each college is looking at scheduled events for March and contacting event planners to determine if they want to proceed with those events.
- Announcements will be forthcoming.
- Seattle Colleges follows CDC guidelines for travel.
- If you, as an employee, have scheduled a trip for Seattle Colleges business, contact your supervisor and discuss your options.
- If you are sick, you should not travel.
- If you are returning to the U.S. from out of the country, you will want to monitor your health, look for symptoms, and consider self-quarantine at home.
No Confirmed Cases at Seattle Colleges
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees at any Seattle Colleges locations.
Seattle Colleges Emergency Response Team (ERT)
The Seattle Colleges ERT – which includes the chancellor, the three college presidents, the vice chancellor for academics and student success, health and safety and communications professionals, and others – continues to meet daily at 4 p.m.
Current Risk Level
The Seattle Colleges ERT has determined that Seattle Colleges remains at Level 1, Planning, on the following scale:
Level 1: Planning period—current level
Level 2: Elevated risk with minimal hazard to students/staff
Level 3: Pandemic imminent
Level 4: Campus closes
Working to Increase Frequency of Disinfecting “High Touch” Surfaces
The health of our students, employees, and guests is a top priority. Custodial teams at each of the colleges are working to prioritize and increase the frequency of wiping down and disinfecting door handles, handrails, and other “high touch” surfaces. Please note, however, that with current custodial staffing, this new priority may result in other tasks not being completed as frequently as usual.
Hand Sanitizers and Handwashing
With the rise in awareness of preventing COVID-19, across the U.S., hand soaps, hand sanitizers, and other disinfecting products are in high demand. Some vendors’ stocks are being depleted, and some products are on back order. Where possible, our colleges are making hand sanitizer available for everyone to use.
While hand sanitizers are a convenient option, good handwashing hygiene is still among the best ways to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. This is especially true for COVID-19 given how it is believed to be transmitted. For more information on handwashing, visit CDC’s handwashing website: www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
No Confirmed Cases at Seattle Colleges
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees at any Seattle Colleges locations. Additionally, no Seattle Colleges nursing students have had learning experiences at Life Care Center in Kirkland or at Evergreen Health, where patients had exposure to COVID-19. At this time Seattle & King County Public Health is not recommending widespread school closures or cancellation of activities at schools.
Seattle Colleges is following its existing protocols and procedures for health emergencies. This includes:
- Working closely with local, state, and federal officials.
- Activating our Emergency Response Team and incident command process.
- Communicating information as it becomes available.
Current Risk Level
The Emergency Response Team – which includes the chancellor, the three college presidents, the vice chancellor for academics and student success, health and safety and communications professionals, and others – has reviewed the disaster preparedness plan and has determined that Seattle Colleges is at Level 1, Planning, on the following scale:
- Level 1: Planning period—current level
- Level 2: Elevated risk with minimal hazard to students/staff
- Level 3: Pandemic imminent
- Level 4: Campus closes
This team has instituted a daily meeting regarding COVID-19 planning and related issues.
Today at an 11 a.m. press conference, Seattle & King County Public Health announced four new COVID-19 cases, bringing the overall total in King County to 14.
On Saturday, February 29, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, allowing resources to be used in preparing for and dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Seattle Colleges Alerts
Students, faculty, and staff, you are highly encouraged to make sure your contact information is correct and current for Seattle Colleges Alerts at www.getrave.com/login/seattlecolleges. Seattle Colleges Alerts is the official emergency notification system used by Seattle Colleges.