Campus update: Survey on child care needs, resources for parents, alternative learning arrangements for students

Friday, July 24, 2020

Upcoming Survey on Child Care Needs During the Academic Year

On Friday, July 17, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation that school districts must reopen in some capacity at the start of the school year. This decision has prompted Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) to reconsider its earlier decision to hold classes virtually for K-12 students. As ICCSD and other area school districts continue to adjust and announce their plans for the 2020-2021 school year, there are many unprecedented challenges facing University of Iowa employees with children in the coming months.

Next week, the university will send a survey to non-UI Health Care employees who are parents or caregivers of school-aged children to better understand how families are approaching these challenges. Please participate in the survey if it applies to you so the university can determine how to best support employees during this time.

 

Existing Resources for Parents

The University of Iowa understands that disruptions and uncertainties surrounding child care and education cause added stress for our community. The UI is committed to working with employees and supervisors to determine how to best use flexible work arrangements and other available options to manage these concerns. Please speak with your supervisor and HR representative about your family’s unique situation, concerns, and ideas.

In the meantime, we encourage you to explore the various options University Human Resources currently has in place as you plan for the coming months, including:

  • Flexible work arrangements: Flexible work arrangements may provide the flexibility necessary for employees to balance the demands of home and work during this time. Visit hr.uiowa.edu/well-being/family-services/workplace-flexibility to learn more about types of flexibility supported by the UI.
  • Child care resources: Local child care providers are currently working to initiate plans to support families with school-aged children whose parent(s) who need to report to work during the school day. The Just-in-Time Child Care Resources web page will be updated regularly with information about available child care options for employees.
  • COVID-19 leave scenarios: The UI provides options for using paid leave accruals to care for children during school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit hr.uiowa.edu/administrative-services/covid-19-pay-practices and talk with your HR representative or supervisor about your options.

University Human Resources will share additional information and guidance in the coming weeks as the situation evolves and more information is gathered.

 

Temporary Alternative Learning Arrangements for Students with Vulnerability to COVID-19

Students who are medically vulnerable and at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, or who live with someone who is in a vulnerable population, may wish to seek a temporary alternative learning arrangement (TALA).

TALA requests will follow the process outlined below:

  • Student completes the request form: After logging in with their UI HawkID and password, students should answer the questions and upload supporting medical documentation to certify the underlying serious health condition(s). Medical documentation will be kept confidential.
  • Student Disability Services determines eligibility: Once the request has been processed, students will receive an email notifying them and their college of enrollment that their request is approved.
  • Temporary Alternative Learning Arrangement selection: After receiving the approval email from SDS, students should review their fall 2020 schedule, begin to make adjustments, and work with their college of enrollment, as needed, to identify possible options and solutions.

If you are a student who may need to request an adjustment due to other COVID-19 circumstances, please consider applying for the TALA and it will be routed to the appropriate office.

For additional information on types of temporary alternative learning arrangements and best practices for faculty and staff, see sds.studentlife.uiowa.edu/fall-2020/covid-19-temporary-learning-arrangements/.