As schools reopen, here are a few handy tips for parents preparing for their child’s in-person school sessions.
The first day of school is always a stressful one. Not to mention, the looming pressure of your child contracting Covid-19. In the current atmosphere, schools are trying out different teaching methods. While some are experimenting with the hybrid teaching model, which is a mix of online and in-person teaching, others are continuing with the online learning mode alone. However, some schools are returning entirely to in-person teaching. Though effective, in-person classes right now can be nerve-wracking owing to the fear of contracting the virus. With multiple aspects to consider, from social distancing to hygiene protocols, you might be hesitant about sending your kid back to school in the middle of a pandemic. But, if you have no choice, don’t worry. We, at SchoolBasix, have curated a list of essential tips to keep those stress levels in control:
Tip 1: Practice prevention with your child
Schools may be reopening, but that does not indicate that the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Before sending your children off to school, inform them of the various precautions they need to exercise . From washing their hands properly with soap to always keeping their face mask on, ensure that your child is fully equipped for safety.
In addition to that, children have a habit of touching random surfaces and playing with their face. Given that, explain to them the importance of practicing hygiene. Remind them to sanitize their hands frequently and avoid physical contact with their friends and multiple surfaces.
Also, go over the concepts of social distancing and no contact with them. When you put together the back-to-school supplies list for your kids, remember to include the must-haves: sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizers and face masks. You can swap the surgical masks some antiviral, water-resistant cloth masks now available in the market. Furthermore, make sure to remind them not to touch their face in light of the virus spread.
Tip 2: Carefully go over the school’s Covid-19 guidelines
Even though educating your child about Covid-19 protocols is necessary, it is not enough. Parents must also factor in the school’s back-to-school safety Covid guidelines. Enquire about the precautions that the school staff, including the teachers, janitors, security personnel and others, will be taking.
The school must also have safety provisions in place for the canteen, the lockers, school buses and student seating. Ideally, schools will adopt a lunch system wherein the students will eat individually at their tables. When it comes to group projects and sports, too, schools may either choose to completely discard these activities or make them virtual. As you pore over their guidelines, ascertain that their hygiene protocols include frequent sanitization of the surfaces, such as chairs, tables, the blackboard, doorknobs, gates and the like.
Another aspect to pay due attention to is the bathrooms. Shared by all students, it can become a spot responsible for the spread of viruses. Ask the authorities about the changes they plan on implementing in the bathroom to maintain the health and hygiene of the children. Also, be aware of the school’s protocol if a student tests positive for the virus.
Tip 3: Schedule regular health checkups
As children return to schools, there are chances that they will be exposed to illnesses. And since their bodies are familiar with a healthy atmosphere at home, their immune system may face difficulty in keeping up with the new environment. That’s why we suggest scheduling regular health checkups for your child. Seek advice from your paediatricians and ensure that your kids are up-to-date on their immunizations. When it comes to packing their meals for school, too, be sure to include immunity-boosting foods and nutritious drinks.
Among the key back-to-school safety tips for parents is prioritizing their child’s health stands top of the list. It also includes providing constant emotional support to your children. Furthermore, be more vigilant than usual and keep an eye out for any Covid-19 symptoms that your child may display as he/she returns to school.
Tip 4: Pay heed to your child’s concerns
Though it is a stressful time for you as a parent, it is an equally stressful time for your child. Unfamiliar with the changes taking place, they may get overwhelmed while at school. Plus, excited to see their friends after a long time, they may forgo the social distancing norms, putting themselves at risk.
So, sit down with them and have a proper conversation about safety during Covid-19. Also, discuss the changes that they can expect at school. Listen carefully and respectfully to any concerns they may have about returning to physical schooling. As young kids are not very expressive, voluntarily ask them questions to understand how they feel about this new system. If your child has disabilities, breathing problems or any other underlying conditions, address the problems they may have and inform their teachers of the same. All in all, try and make this transition as comfortable and stress-free for the children as possible.
Tip 5: Listen to your gut
Now that you have your school supply list and safety hacks in place; take some time to ruminate over matters by yourself. One thing you can always count on for calculated advice is your gut. Nothing comes close to the parental instinct when it comes to a child’s safety. So, trust yourself and make decisions accordingly. Explain the back-to-school safety tips to your child and make a list of any questions you may have for the school authorities.
Still unsure about sending your kid back to school? You can consider alternatives such as virtual learning, hybrid models or even homeschooling. Essentially, take steps that feel right and safe for you and your child.
Peer learning is essential to the formative years of children. However, owing to Covid-19, students have had to stay home and away from their classmates. Now, as schools are reopening and students are heading back to normalcy, refer to our back-to-school safety tips to allay your anxiety. For more directions and guidelines, read the other articles on our SchoolBasix website!