Some schools are already back in session, both virtual and in-person classes, whereas other schools are preparing to re-open. Per the CDC recommendations, here is how schools and other educational facilities can prepare for re-opening.
- Prepare for cases of COVID-19 in communities. It is inevitable to predict how many, when, or where COVID-19 cases may appear, but school should be prepared for them. Preparations should include communications, response teams, and alternative teaching options to optimize the continued learning for students without compromising students’ well-being.
- Develop strategies for decision-making regarding school operations. Should another outbreak occur or other event that significantly impacts school efficiencies, educators and management should develop well-rounded strategies for making decisions regarding school operations.
- Establish consistent communications with families, students, staff, and partners. The best thing to do in times of crisis is to ensure there is a reliable communication process in place. The last thing you would want is a worried parent being the last to know that a crisis has occurred at their child’s school.
Whether its K-12 or college-level educational facilities, it is imperative to seek state and public health agency recommendations on best practices for re-opening.
Impact on Parents and Caregivers
COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken a toll on working parents and caregivers. Working parents rely on childcare, but since COVID-19, many working parents are experiencing disruptions in their daily work routines with displaced children. Employees who take care of an elderly or disabled loved one has also been impacted by COVID-19 with an uptick in mental health issues.
How Employers Can Help
Employers may have already implemented steps to help alleviate working parents, but here are some quick tips for assisting parents with children going back to school post-COVID.
- Stay informed on new laws. Like most laws and regulations, those related to COVID should be monitored closely to ensure both company compliance and employee safety. For example, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides specific leave laws that employers should at minimum understand.
- Update company policies. With new laws, it is important to modify company policies to reflect changes pertinent to employee management. Other company policy updates may include remote work, flexible schedule, and other accommodating workplace policies.
- Invest in resources. Other resources might include mental health services, employee assistance programs, and wellness initiatives to ensure the safety and well-being of employees.
If you’re looking for alternative ways to assist working parents with back to school post-COVID issues, contact Human Capital. We specialize in the education industry and can provide industry best practices. Our HR specialists can provide assistance with legal HR compliance, developing and revising employee handbooks, and other HR needs as your business may require or request.