Is the thought of sending your children back to school causing you fear?
Back to school preparation is usually filled with anticipation of making new friends, shopping for new clothes, reuniting with old friends, and exploring new classes and extracurricular activities.
This new school year is a little different. Many parents are finding themselves unsure of what steps to take. Those families that have the option, are considering making the switch from sending their child out to the school building, to possibly homeschooling or having their child attend school virtually. One thing is for sure, this fall there are challenges to be faced that are out of the norm.
Some teachers are retiring early or considering a change of career. Teachers who are higher in age are said to be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Many have found it difficult to try and teach their students virtually because some did not have the necessary tools to learn from home, much less the self-discipline for distance learning.
School administrators are having to explore new ways of conducting learning and realizing that they may have no option but to adjust to new ideas each time an option does not succeed.
The goal for all is to provide an environment where both the students and staff feel safe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools space desks six feet apart; seat only one child per row on school buses; discourage students from sharing toys, books, or sports equipment; close communal spaces, such as cafeterias and playgrounds, and create staggered drop-off and pick-up schedules to limit contact between large groups of students and parents.
One resource that the CDC has provided school administrators is the K-12 Readiness and Planning Tool to protect students, staff, and communities. This helpful resource can be found here.
Afterschool activities and sporting events may be on hold this school year and parents should prepare their children for this change. Encouraging children to be open to change will help set the tone for their expectations.
A few changes that are easy to implement and adapt to are:
- Rather than students flooding the hallways to move to their next class, have the teachers move between classrooms, greatly reducing students from being in close proximity to each other. This will also allow the student to keep the same desk which prevents sharing surfaces.
- Allow students to eat lunch at their desks or in small groups outdoors, instead of crowded cafeterias.
- Leave classroom doors open to help reduce the need to touch surfaces, such as doorknobs.
- Only allow small groups outside at once.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
— Albert Einstein
Encourage your child to share their anxieties and fears with you and find ways to help them overcome them. If they are required to wear a mask, start having them practice weeks before school resumes. Sometimes teaching a child to count to ten while breathing slowly will help them refocus. Don’t dismiss their concerns, but allow them to trust that they can come to you and find answers and solutions that will help build their courage.
What are your concerns? What ideas have you implemented that you’d like to share with others?
Comment below to help the Impact community as we face the same concerns and challenges together!
If you have health care questions or concerns about COVID-19 and Sharing, call us today: 855-378-6777.