RECAST | Inclement Weather – teaching remotely

From: Academic Deans <>
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2020 11:58 AM

Dear colleagues, 

Following up on John Carmichael’s email about contingency planning for inclement weather, we wanted to offer some specific guidelines for those of you providing direct instruction to students. Many of you are primarily working at home, but come to campus occasionally to teach in your offices, especially when your own internet access is unreliable. We appreciate the extra level of commitment and energy everyone is exerting to ensure that you can continue to teach our extraordinary students.   

That said, the personal safety of employees and students is primary. No one should be putting themselves in danger to teach or attend class. If conditions present danger to you or students, suspend synchronous learning until it is safe to resume.  

Typically, if the power is out or campus paths are too icy, the College cancels classes and suspends operations.  The Tacoma campus typically follows the Tacoma School District’s determinations for closure. This year, as John noted, we may be able to continue remote operations—including teaching–under those conditions, if we’re able to maintain access to network services.  

That said, it’s crucial for every course or program to have its own contingency plan. You are the expert when it comes to your own working conditions and your students’ learning conditions. If Canvas, email, etc. are unavailable, a phone tree or text chain can be useful. 

To aid in planning for a weather event, Computing and Communications has created a page with information on computing resources during power and internet outages.   

Here are some basic reminders as you are developing that plan. To get started, consider this advice from the LTC.  

If you are working remotely, make a plan for a power outage at home. If the power outage is not widespread, the college may continue to operate. Create a contingency plan. For example, provide students in advance with projects they can work on if you become unavailable. For instance, you can ask them to move on to next week’s reading or writing assignment, build a concept map, work on a project, do some reflective writing, practice a skill. 

If you are working on campus in your office, make a contingency plan in case the physical campus is closed due to weather. For example, provide instructions to students in advance if you cannot reach them, locate a secondary broadband source; etc. 

If your students lose powercreate a plan with them in advance about how they will communicate with you, whether you will expect them to make up missed class sessions, and what kinds of alternate work are available.  

If you lose power some of you may be able to work at the College, if your campus is open, your workspace is accessible, and you are not in self-isolation or quarantine. 

  • Scenario in which your campus is in Limited Hybrid Operation: follow these standard precautions and the more detailed guidance in the Campus Safety PlanSolo Worker Plan, and COVID-19 Safety Canvas Training, including daily submission of the Health Verification Form (HVF). Keep your phone or other device charged so that you can access my.evergreen and submit the HVF, ask your Dean to enter the information for you, or as a last result use a paper HVF upon arrival.  If you have not completed the COVID-19 Safety Canvas Training, you will need to work remotely until you have, and then request access via Prior to coming to campus, alert the deans via  
  • Scenario in which your campus is in fully Remote Operations, your building is closed, or you are self-isolating, etc: create a contingency plan in the event that power fails at home and you do not have access to campus buildings. Communicate in advance with your students about how to create continuity in their learning, how to ask questions and receive responses, etc.


Your Academic Deans  

The Evergreen State College is open; find updated information at www.evergreen.eduWe are working remotely in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  
In addition, the following academic administration offices will be working reduced hours on Fridays due to lower staffing levels. Our available hours are Monday through Thursday from 8-12/1-5 and on Friday from 8-12:

Deans Area
Institutional Research
Academic Budget Office
Provost’s Office

We are checking our individual and office emails during these hours and our office phone messages daily. We apologize for any delays in responding.

You may also like...