Novel coronavirus information

December 22, 2021

Instructional guidance for the first week of winter quarter (Message to UW faculty and academic personnel)

This message was sent to instructors and academic support staff on all three UW campuses. 

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing with instructional guidance to follow up on the message sent earlier regarding the first week of winter quarter. To foster a successful transition to winter quarter, most courses will be offered remotely the first week. This will reduce potential disruptions to courses by allowing extra time for people to get boosters, to get post-travel tests and to monitor for symptoms. We look forward to resuming largely in-person courses on Monday, Jan. 10.

We recognize that some classes — such as practicums and clinical training — cannot move to remote instruction. Furthermore, some classes can be offered remotely, but are more aligned with being offered in-person, including introductory chemistry or biology labs, design studios and performing arts. Therefore, we are providing the following instructions for the first week of winter quarter:

  • Courses where instruction is primarily lecture- or discussion-based will be remote the first week of the quarter.
  • Practicums, clinical training and similar courses will continue to meet in person.
  • If you are teaching a lab course and believe it is important that you offer the first week in person, you may do so as long as students who are unable to attend in person have an option to participate remotely.

We urge you to communicate as quickly as possible to your students whether instruction for your course will be online or in-person the first week of the quarter. Please update your syllabi with your plans and notify your students using Canvas, email or other means you have established for communicating with your students. Feel free to consult with your deans, chairs and associate deans for ideas and support.

During the first week of winter quarter students will continue to have in-person access to libraries, student services, informal learning spaces and computer labs. Loaner laptops and computing resources are available for students at Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell.

For nearly two years we have had to adjust our instruction in response to the virus, and we wish we didn’t have to do so again. Fortunately, we now have more tools to combat the virus, with vaccines, boosters, testing and masking. And we have the technology and experience to leverage various instructional modalities so we can continue to give our students the best possible UW education. Thank you for your efforts in preparation for winter quarter.


Mark A. Richards
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences

Philip J. Reid
Vice Provost for Academic and Student Affairs
Professor of Chemistry

Chris Laws
Chair, Faculty Senate
Teaching Professor, UW College of Arts & Sciences