This year, back to school will look incredibly different with the uncertainties of COVID creating many what-ifs and maybes for the start of 2020 school year. Will your children be going back in-person, with or without masks, virtual or even a hybrid of both?
There’s no question it’s stressful planning for so many unknowns. So, here are a few ways to help you and your family proactively prepare for “back to school” – whatever that may look like this year for your children.
Preparing for Back to School – Remote Learning
- Create a designated work-space in your home to help your little learners focus. Check out these awesome ideas for inspiration
- Make sure that all computers and programs are up to date and your Wi-Fi is working properly, providing the speed necessary to accommodate virtual learning
- Keep all necessary log-in information/assignment lists/etc. somewhere easily accessible
- Set and communicate a schedule with your children and stick to it. Try to keep school hours as normal as your own schedule allows
- Reduce distractions, but also remember that just like you, kids need breaks! Figure out a healthy balance
- Don’t teach – help! Remember that you don’t necessarily need to become the teacher, but the helper with learning, communicating and ensuring assignments are being completed
- Reach out to your children’s teachers if you have questions about expectations, processes or school work to better assure your kids stay on track
- Stay positive and flexible. This is a tough time for everyone and having a good attitude for your children is more important than ever
Preparing for Back to School – In Classroom Learning
- Do daily COVID checks before sending your child to school. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above, keep them home
- Contact the school to discuss safety protocols and who you should check in with if your child has symptoms
- Talk to the teachers about what safety measures are being taken in the classroom and what the learning will look like during this time
- Talk to your kids about safety protocols and send them to school prepared. Pack their bag with hand sanitizer, face coverings, their own designated water bottles, etc.
- Practice daily routines for after school such as washing hands, sanitizing and washing face coverings when they return home
- Plan transportation ahead of time. Will your child be taking the bus? Carpooling? Or will you be driving them? Take necessary safety measures for your specific situation
- Plan for the unexpected. Whether that be school closings, reopening, or the possibility of one of your children becoming infected, make a plan as to how you and your family will respond
Preparing for Back to School – A Hybrid Model
- Use the tips above for both remote and in classroom learning to assist you in planning for in-person versus remote learning days
Finally, be patient and flexible.
As schools continue to create safe and effective learning environments during the pandemic, things may change in their teaching delivery models. It’s key to be ready for both because things may change quickly based on local situations. Most importantly, focus on your own children to ensure their experience is as calm, safe and effective as can be. For more on planning for in-school learning, click here for a full checklist from the CDC