A note to our students

Like everyone else, we’re concerned about coronavirus and are doing our best to sort out the best response to it. This is what we’ve come up with so far.  We would welcome your feedback and additional ideas.

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  1. When concerns started being raised about the virus, we decided it was better to proactive instead of waiting. So we cancelled all of our March classes and rescheduled them. 
  2. Our classes meet on the U.W. campus. They also cancelled their classes, and have been doing a major disinfecting and cleaning. They’ll be reopening at the end of March.
  3. Our plan (at this point) is to resume offering classes on the University of Washington campus after they reopen. But as always, we’ll follow health authorities’ recommendations. If they recommend that even very small meetings (and small classes) be cancelled or postponed, we’ll postpone again.
  4. One reason we like holding classes on the U.W. campus is that they’re very aware of, and careful about, cleaning and sanitation. On top of their usual (already high quality) cleaning, they’re doing a major cleaning of the entire campus at the moment. They are disinfecting every classroom on the campus, cleaning literally every surface, every door knob and table and whiteboard before they reopen in April.
  5. We’ll also be going over a few minutes early for our classes on class days to wipe down the tables with Clorox wipes before students come in.
  6. Health departments have recommended smaller meetings so that the students or participants can sit further apart –– i.e., social distancing. We had the same idea and have lowered our class sizes to give students more elbow room.
  7. Most classes are now set at 10 students maximum instead of 20 so students can have their own space for learning, several feet away from others.
  8. We’re reminding sick students that it’s fine to stay home if they need to. Remember that you’ll never lose your tuition if you do this; you can make up a class session in another month or quarter without ever paying more.
  9. We’ve changed our acting class exercises to ones in which people can interact without touching. (i.e., characters in scenes waving or nodding to each other instead of shaking hands.) And we’re encouraging students to do fist-bumps or elbow touches instead of hugs or handshakes when they greet each other before class.
  10. We’ll will also be working on developing “distance learning” versions of some of our classes.  This is still a few months off, but is something we’re figuring out as an adjunct to our in-person class offerings.
  11. We would love to hear additional suggestions. Feel free to email us if you have any, and we’ll consider them.

About Nils Osmar

Nils Osmar was born in Alaska, and grew up in a wilderness area on the southern coast. He now lives in Seattle. He has made his living in the arts for over thirty years, working as a writer, visual artist, teacher, and filmmaker. He currently teaches through the University of Washington's ASUW Experimental College. He is the Director of an independent educational program, Classesandworkshops.com, which offers courses in visual, written and performing arts in Seattle, Washington.