Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.

This past spring, a group of operational leaders looked at the feasibility of offering instruction outdoors. They looked at a variety of factors, including access to restrooms and Wi-Fi, wheelchair accessibility and protection from the weather. It became clear that offering instruction outdoors on a regular basis was not practicable.

More recently, another group was formed to look at a different approach. The Joint Academic Senate and Administration Working Group on Outdoor Space for Instructional Activities (PDF) has been charged with looking at other approaches, focused on smaller-scale, intermittent instructional activities. These activities are meant to complement remote instruction and eventually may also complement in-person indoor instruction. The hope is that the use of outdoor spaces will enable us to start very limited in-person instruction sooner, in order to improve instructional outcomes now and also to gain information that will be useful in returning to larger-scale in-person instruction as it becomes possible. The group has developed a proposal for very small pilot programs to take place before the Thanksgiving break.

The proposal is being reviewed by UHS and the Berkeley public health officer for consideration. If approved, the pilot will inform future proposals to expand in-person instructional activities in the spring should public health conditions allow.