February 7, 2022
It is heartening to see that COVID numbers in BC continue to trend downward, and that public health officials are beginning to express hope for the future. The return to on-campus instruction seems to be another hopeful sign that we are moving closer to a new normal. We recognize that the shift to face-to-face instruction may be challenging or unsettling to some, and ask that you continue to be patient and respectful of people’s comfort levels during this transitional time.
The Faculty of Education offers best wishes to the many members of our community who recently celebrated the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Tiger is said to bring with it the attributes of bravery, confidence and strong will—qualities that we can all draw upon at this time. A new year also represents the renewal of energy, and a transition from the rain and dark of our BC winter to the warmth and light of spring. May this sense of renewal and optimism bolster us as we work together to support our students through the remainder of this term.
Rapid antigen testing
In the last Bulletin, we mentioned that the university is making available rapid testing for symptomatic students, faculty and staff on both campuses, beginning today. You will be asked to show your UBC ID card. Locations and times of the kit distribution centres may change from day to day, so I recommend that you double-check the information before you go.
The university has purchased medical-grade masks for all students, staff and faculty members who are on campus. We expect these to be delivered to the Faculty of Education early this week. The Dean’s Office will be making arrangements for distribution to all units very shortly. In the mean time, please familiarize yourself with UBC’s mask wearing guidance.
Faculty members and staff are asked to follow all university-level guidance about on-campus work, including performing a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19. If you do experience COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and discuss with your unit head or direct supervisor whether to take a sick day or work remotely.
January 28, 2022
As you have no doubt seen, Wednesday’s broadcast email confirmed that in-person instruction for the majority of programs will resume on February 7, 2022. The Faculty of Education confirms that, in line with UBC’s direction, Faculty of Education programs that are normally offered face-to-face will return to that modality as of February 7, 2022.
We are mindful that the Provincial Health Officer is encouraging postsecondary institutions to return to face-to-face instruction to support student mental health as well as to ensure that students are able to participate in structured activities that are shown to be low risk in terms of transmission.
Please continue to refer to the Faculty’s COVID-19 Updates page and to the Educational Technology Support page for information and support. Please also familiarize yourself with the University’s guidance on research activities during COVID-19, the teaching resources available through CTLT and the fitness and movement advice offered by UBC Recreation.
Planning for a return to campus
Beginning February 7, faculty and staff are expected to resume on-campus work at the same levels as prior to the winter break. Staff will resume work according to the remote work arrangement they made with their supervisors during Winter Term 1.
Please follow all university-level guidance about on-campus work, including performing a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19. Faculty and staff who experience COVID-19 symptoms are asked to stay home and discuss with their unit head or direct supervisor whether to take a sick day or work remotely.
Masks or face coverings while on campus
As a reminder, masks or face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces by everyone age 5 and older, including lobbies, hallways, public bathrooms, classrooms, and laboratories. Please take a moment to review UBC’s policy on mask-wearing, including the exemptions that are permitted for certain persons. The Faculty will continue to share reminders about mask-wearing on our digital signage system and through social media.
Masks are necessary to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, with medical grade masks and respirators providing better protection when worn properly. UBC strongly recommends the use of medical grade masks as a face covering when possible.
UBC will be providing a supply of medical grade masks to all students, faculty, and staff starting February 7. We will provide you with more information on where to obtain a mask as soon as it is available.
Testing on both campuses
There are two testing programs operating at UBC:
- The Required COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program, which is a requirement for those who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or have not disclosed their vaccination status. More.
- The Rapid Antigen Testing Kit Distribution Program, which will provide kits to students, staff and faculty who display symptoms of COVID-19. A UBC identification card is necessary to obtain a kit, which will be available at the University Commons outside the AMS Nest beginning February 7 (Vancouver campus) and outdoors at the northeast corner of the Commons Building (Okanagan campus). More for the Vancouver campus and more for the Okanagan campus.
Safety guidance for working on campus
Other university-level guidance
UBC Vancouver has collated an extensive FAQ on COVID-related protocols and guidelines on teaching and learning, research, commuting to campus, building safety and more. Information on building cleaning protocols is also available.
An information summary has also been collated for the Okanagan campus.
We remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of everyone in our Faculty of Education community. While it will no doubt feel challenging for some faculty, staff and students to return to campus on February 7, we feel confident that we can accomplish this transition safely and with minimal disruption to operations and student learning.
January 14, 2022
Following UBC’s announcement of an extension of the online learning period to February 6 for most programs, leadership in the Faculty of Education conferred to determine the appropriate direction for the Bachelor of Education program.
After consultation with students and colleagues in the Faculty of Education, and remaining mindful of the health and safety of our community, we have decided to continue classes in the Bachelor of Education program in an online format, through February 6. At this time, we expect all classes to return to in-person instruction on February 7.
This decision also applies to all credit and non-credit courses and programs in the Faculty of Education—all will remain online until February 6, resuming in-person delivery on February 7. The additional period of online learning gives us more time to understand the nature and impact of the Omicron variant and how it may affect our Faculty of Education community.
We are in the process of developing additional supports for Vancouver campus instructors who are preparing Teacher Candidates for their practicum experiences, which will commence in February for secondary TCs and in March for elementary and middle years TCs.
We offer sincere thanks, once again, for your flexibility and support during this transitional period.
January 13, 2022
On January 12, the university announced that the majority of programs would continue online until February 7. Within the Faculty of Education, we are presently working through the implications of this announcement for our programs on both campuses, which could impact dates for return to campus for different kinds of instruction. You will be advised of any changes on Friday, January 14 by the close of business.
The Faculty of Education offers sincere thanks to faculty, sessional faculty, instructors, staff and students, for their flexibility and resourcefulness during this initial part of the term.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Staff in the Educational Technology Support (ETS) unit are fully available for instructional support. You may reach ETS by email or by phone at 604.822.6333. ETS staff are happy to connect with instructors via Zoom to provide any support needed.
The messaging sent out on January 7 shared that ETS has created a suite of asynchronous activity templates that can be used during instructor absence. To augment that information, ETS will host a workshop on asynchronous activities on Thursday, January 27 at 1:00 pm. You may register for the workshop through the ETS events page.
GUIDANCE FOR THOSE WORKING ON CAMPUS (BOTH CAMPUSES)
All faculty and staff who are on campus are reminded to review and abide by the UBC COVID-19 campus rules, which include conducting a daily health self-assessment.
GUIDANCE ON EXPOSURES AND SELF-ISOLATING (BOTH CAMPUSES)
UBC has advised the campus community to follow the guidelines outlined by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). The site contains detailed information about where to be vaccinated as well as guidance on testing and what to do if you have COVID.
To summarize some key information for those who think they may have COVID, the BCCDC advises:
- If you have mild symptoms and are fully vaccinated, you do not need a test. Stay home and away from others for five days, and then you can go about your business as long as you’re feeling better and you no longer have a fever or symptoms.
- If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need a test.
- If you feel unwell and are unsure about your symptoms, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED
If you are concerned about a potential exposure or have symptoms, the best thing to do is to complete the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool and follow the directions given. The assessment may direct you to be tested for COVID-19, in which case it will provide location options where you can be tested.
IF YOU HAVE COVID
We sincerely hope that all of you are remaining well and safe. However, if you have COVID, please review the BCCDC advice before planning your return to work. The information on this page covers how to report your positive test, how to self-isolate, when to end your self-isolation, how to manage your symptoms, and how and when to notify your close contacts.
TESTING ON THE VANCOUVER CAMPUS
The bulletin dated January 4 stated that UBC intended to open a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing facility for symptomatic people in Ponderosa Commons North some time this month. We have since been advised that the Public Health authorities recently changed their testing guidance and PCR confirmatory testing is only available to select groups within the province.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is hosting a Rapid Antigen Testing distribution centre in the Life Sciences Building. The centre aims to be open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm seven days a week; however, given staffing pressures within VCH, open hours and days may vary. Please check their website for full details.
TESTING OFF THE VANCOUVER CAMPUS
A complete list of VCH testing sites is available on the BCCDC website.
We all hope that this Omicron wave will subside soon. In the meantime, stay safe and well and continue to uphold one another in your studies and work.
January 4, 2022
We hope that all of you enjoyed a safe and restful winter break. In conjunction with our return to campus today, the Faculty of Education wants to reassure you about the plans and supports we have in place for the start of Winter Term 2. While the new year may not be unfolding as we wish, we ask that you continue to show patience and support for one another as we navigate these few weeks of online teaching and learning.
ONLINE TEACHING AND LEARNING
With the Omicron variant causing continuing concern, UBC has implemented online program delivery for a precautionary period from now until January 24, 2022. The Faculty of Education’s programs, in alignment with UBC’s guidance, are also being offered online during the precautionary period. If you missed the messaging that my office sent out on December 22, please take a moment to read it now. Ensure you monitor your emails and other forms of communication related to your program and coursework.
PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND VISITORS TO THE FACULTY
While instruction is presently being delivered online, all administrative, research and scholarly functions, including the Education Library, continue to operate in person under UBC’s safety plans. Many of our students are on campus and may visit our offices looking for assistance. Please ensure that all student- and public-facing units have staff available to assist, or provide information about how staff can be contacted, for those who are visiting campus in person.
SUPPORTS FOR INSTRUCTORS
We encourage all instructors teaching in our Vancouver-based programs, including WKTEP and NITEP field centres, to utilize the supports and services offered by our Educational Technology Support (ETS) unit. This week, ETS is offering two drop-in sessions that will provide an orientation to Canvas and to using Zoom in the classroom. The sessions are offered on Wednesday, January 5 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm and on Thursday, January 6 from 10:00 to 12:00 noon. One-on-one consultations are also available by appointment.
FACULTY OF EDUCATION COVID UPDATES
We invite you to remain abreast of the Faculty of Education’s COVID response by reading the weekly bulletin and regularly checking our COVID-19 page.
COVID TESTING: VANCOUVER CAMPUS
Vancouver Coastal Health is hosting a Rapid Antigen Testing distribution centre in the Life Sciences Building daily until January 6, 2022. There is a possibility that its operation will be extended past that date. Please check their website for full details.
On January 10, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing facility will open in PCN 1215, across from the mandatory rapid testing clinic. Our understanding is that those who are symptomatic will need to make an appointment to access the testing facility. We will provide you with more information as soon as we have it.
The mandatory rapid testing program continues for those who have not been fully vaccinated or who have not declared their vaccination status. More information:
COVID TESTING: OKANAGAN CAMPUS
The mandatory rapid testing program continues for those who have not been fully vaccinated or who have not declared their vaccination status. More information:
UBC’s COVID-19 INFORMATION
Additional COVID-19 related information may be found at:
Please know that your wellbeing and safety are very important to the Faculty and to UBC’s leadership. We are monitoring public health guidelines closely and will continue to keep you informed of any changes to our situation.
Stay safe and stay well, and all the best for the new year.
December 22, 2021
Planning for 2021-22 Winter Session, Term 2
UBC has announced a shift in instruction for Winter Term 2 to online delivery from the beginning of term until January 24, 2022. This precautionary period of time in an online mode will allow the Faculty of Education to provide equitable access to learning for all students in light of the current uncertainties.
All instruction for Faculty of Education credit and non-credit courses on the Vancouver, Okanagan and Nelson campuses will proceed via online delivery from the beginning of Winter Term 2 until January 24, 2022. This modality will apply to all undergraduate and graduate programs; Bachelor of Education programs, including NITEP and WKTEP; certificate and diploma programs; and graduate and undergraduate programs in the School of Kinesiology.
Please be aware of the following dates for Winter Term 2:
- January 4, 2022
Professional programs (BEd, WKTEP, NITEP field centres) commence instruction online until January 24, 2022. As schools are remaining open, BEd students should plan to participate in an in-person practicum.
- January 10, 2022
Kinesiology programs and all graduate programs (including certificate and diploma programs) commence instruction online until January 24, 2022.