COVID-19 Related Absences
When a student is diagnosed with COVID-19 or faculty is made aware, please refer them to the Office of Student Life (OSL). OSL will verify their absence/circumstances with the appropriate documentation and send official communication to faculty regarding their absences.
Working with a student through a COVID-19 related absence is required as a University Excused Absence in order to help our campus community through the pandemic. For further details please review the guidance from Provost Taber. When a student provides documentation to the Office of Student Life instructors will be notified and shall provide the opportunity to either make up or excuse any missed assignments, activities, and/or attendance-specific points that contribute to the course grade.
Students in isolation have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and are unable to attend in-person classes. Different accommodations may be appropriate depending on the severity of their symptoms.
Isolation - Asymptomatic:
Asymptomatic means the student has received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis but is not currently exhibiting symptoms. These students are unable to attend classes in person to prevent community spread.
A helpful accommodation for those students would be the ability to participate in the class remotely, via Zoom or another medium, while still keeping up with class content and assigned deadlines. A remote option will allow students to continue coursework while allowing them to follow critical medical guidance to prevent community spread. These students will likely need fewer accommodations, although flexibility on deadlines for in person class components would be appropriate, within a reasonable amount of time when they have been cleared to return to classes.
Isolation - Exhibiting Symptoms:
Students in isolation have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and depending on the severity of their symptoms may need additional accommodations or flexibility.
For students who may be quarantined and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, similar remote accommodations would be helpful, but additional support will likely be needed. Flexibility on deadlines might be appropriate for work that can be done individually at their own pace. Other accommodations can be provided at the discretion of the professor, depending on how their course is structured. For example, an assignment of an alternate project may be appropriate if a student is absent during a section that focuses on a group project so the student can complete work individually. Another example might be allowing a student to take an alternate version of an exam at a later time if they are ill during the regularly assigned exam. In larger classes, it may be more appropriate to allow a student who is unable to take an exam drop the score and replace it with an average of other exam scores, or to double weight the points of another exam.
In many courses, if a student’s health has caused them to be out for several weeks, it may not be feasible for them to continue in the course and finish it at the same time as other students, especially if the courses require a significant amount of group work, lab work, or is being delivered in a non-standard time frame. If there are few requirements left for the student to complete the course, faculty may consider allow the student to take an incomplete, and work with them to set the terms for completing the course in a timely manner when the student has recovered. If there is still significant amount of work to be completed to satisfactorily complete the course, faculty would be encouraged to communicate with the Office of Student Life, who can assess the student’s situation further and can advocate for other outcomes, like a withdrawal.
Students who are quarantined may still be able to participate remotely but may have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, or may be waiting on test results. They may or may not be exhibiting symptoms, but have been advised to quarantine to prevent possibly community spread.
A helpful accommodation for those students would be the ability to participate in the class remotely, via Zoom or another medium, while still keeping up with class content and assigned deadlines.
A remote option will allow students to continue coursework while allowing them to follow critical medical guidance to prevent community spread. These students will likely need fewer accommodations, although flexibility on deadlines for in person class components would be appropriate, within a reasonable amount of time when they have been cleared to return to classes. If students are quarantined and have serious symptoms, please refer to guidance under the Isolation: Exhibiting Symptoms section.
Working Toward Solutions
Here is a list of possible options to work with students diagnosed or impacted by COVID-19. This list is not exhaustive.
- Attend online only during this time
- Extra time to submit assignments
- Rescheduling exams or quizzes
- Viewing a recorded lecture
- Drop a missed exam score and replace with an average of other exams
- If an absence extends over 14 days direct the student to meet with Student Life