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Announcement From The School of Education Dean, Dr. Rachel Endo

Dear TCP Candidates:

I write to provide some updates as our community navigates the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak including information about how to negotiate field hours and placements.

First, while those of you taking courses will not meet in person through March 30 or until further notice, the School of Education at UW Tacoma offices and schools will remain in operations, meaning that most staff plan to be in their offices during regular business hours to continue serving you. However, there may be times where some faculty and staff may need to conduct advising and other non-course business by phone or using other remote technologies for their own safety. I thank you in advance for your understanding.

Second, I know many of you need guidance on your field placements. The School of Education at UW Tacoma is following the Professional Educators Standards Board guidelines, which may change in the coming days depending on the turn of events

Third, here is a recap of what to do under different scenarios. Please also regularly check the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction website, which is tracking district closures

  • If your school remains open, use your good judgement as you continue in your placement, especially in terms of modeling hygiene and social distancing. However, stay home if you are not feeling well, are in a high-risk category (have a compromised immune system, pregnant/think you may be pregnant, pre-existing health condition/s, over 60 years of age, etc.), were in close contact with someone who is/may have been infected, etc. Contact your field supervisor and mentor teacher each day when you will stay home to document your communication.
  • If your school is physically closed but is offering instructional continuity remotely like at UW, you may clock in approved field hours by participating in alternative delivery methods such as alternative locations, extended-day programming, and online instruction, as long as you are working under the supervision of a certified teacher.
  • If your school does close, monitor communication and the OSPI site to learn when it is safe to report back. Please immediately report your updated status to your field supervisor and Carey Kirkwood.

As not all districts are equipped to offer online/remote instruction in emergencies like this, they may be required by OSPI to extend their instruction past the original end date of the school year, similar to what happened last year in 2019 with the inclement weather. If the above situation is to occur, the UW Tacoma School of Education and our partner schools will work closely with you to fully support the completion of your hours in a timely manner with minimal disruptions including potentially offering “Incomplete” grades, if needed, to ensure all eligible students are able to maintain Financial Aid and full-time standing. We will explore different options that meet state requirements such as extended-day opportunities that will minimize delays to program completion. We will communicate more information once these options are finalized.

If you are planning to graduate in summer 2020 but find yourself having delays due to school closures, we will offer flexible options to allow you to complete all requirements without having disruptions to your time-line to program completion.

Questions about field hours and placements should be directed to Carey Kirkwood, Director of Field Placements & Partnerships, at cjkirk@uw.edu. We will aim to provide at least weekly communication as we learn of new developments. As this situation may rapidly change day by day, we ask that you continue to check Canvas and your UW e-mail.

I know this has been a challenging time and one where we are concerned about the health and well-being of our colleagues, loved ones, and neighbors. The School of Education faculty and staff are here to continue supporting all of you as our community is working through a very difficult time.

Stay healthy and safe,

Dr. Rachel Endo, Dean of School of Education

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