July 27, 2020
Several weeks ago, I assured those of you with school-age children or dependents that we were monitoring and accounting for the local public school districts’ (Larimer, Thompson, Weld) schedules and preparing to create flexible options for our own employees and students when the time came for the parents among you to return to work while your children or dependents return to school.
As of today, all three districts have announced preliminary but comprehensive plans for the school year. I appreciate the challenge faced by our colleagues in our local school districts, who are managing the incredibly complex task of planning public education for literally tens of thousands of students across 13 grades, while prioritizing public safety guidance, equity, access and accessibility issues. I know that many of you are grateful to have some clarity about what the public-school year will look like for your families. I also know we are all grateful to the dedicated teachers, staff, and administrators who have spent their summer preparing for the upcoming semester and who will take this uncharted journey with your children and dependents.
And yet I am also deeply sympathetic to our faculty, staff and students who, as parents, have recently received the plans from local school districts and are focused on first deciphering them (because they are complex) and then on working these new logistics into your family schedules. You are looking at either entirely online learning or a hybrid schedule, at school start dates delayed by as much as two weeks, and at limited transportation and before- and after-school care options.
As your employer and your university, CSU is here to help. We already have compiled childcare resources – and in Spanish Recursos para el Cuidado de Niños (PDF). We are also working on guidelines for supervisors regarding flexibility for employees who are also parents or guardians of school-age children and on similar guidelines for faculty who may have student-parents in their courses. And we will be surveying all our employees later this week to find out more about what you need.
Finally, I remind you that you have leave options available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides employees up to 12 weeks of leave to care for school-age children who cannot attend school as the result of COVID. This leave is, in part, designed to help alleviate scheduling conflicts as you plan for your child’s return to school or, or plan for homeschooling your child or children.
We will figure this out—for all of you—together!