The start of the 2020 school year looks remarkably different than any other year and it has forced parents, students and educators to prepare in unusual ways. The back-to-school season always brings a new set of challenges and, with the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is no exception.
The universal obstacles that accompany this new school year are daunting for many, but we’re sharing how to get a smooth start to the the school year, whether it’s in-person or virtual with these tips:
Tips for Classroom Learning
Classroom health and safety are focal points of most conversations and a leading concern of parents. Schools across the country are taking extreme precautions to safeguard their students’ health and there are several ways you can aid these efforts.
- Cloth Face Coverings – If your students are old enough, they are likely expected to wear a face mask throughout the day. If this is the case, ensure you have several face masks per student that can be regularly rotating between school and the laundry.
- Hand Hygiene – Obviously, regular hand-washing should be a familiar habit for all students! However, now is the perfect time to emphasize the importance of hand washing after visiting the restroom, eating, sneezing, coughing or adjusting a face covering. Encourage your children to carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently throughout the day, especially if they move in and out of classrooms.
- Temperature Checks – Monitoring your children’s health has never been more paramount. It might seem extreme, but starting every single day with a temperature check is a necessary precaution. If the temperature is even the slightest bit high, generally 100.4 F or greater is considered a fever, contact the school and let your child complete coursework from home until they reach an acceptable temperature.
Tips for Virtual Learning
If your children are learning from home, this will likely be a huge adjustment for the whole family. However, you can ensure a smoother transition with the following steps.
- Establish a Routine – Start the new academic year on the right foot with a routine! Emulating the structure of a traditional school day, with a set schedule and plenty of carved out breaks, will help both parents and students stay on the right track.
- Dedicate a Space – Students, who’ve grown accustomed to a designated learning area, are desperately craving a space to call their own. Find a quiet, well-lit space able to morph into the new at-home classroom. If you’re able, let your kids take ownership of the space and help pick out a desk or maybe even a new wall color!
- Organize – Now that your kids have a dedicated study space, it’s time to get organized. Give all school supplies a designated space and ensure everything is in the correct place at the end of the day. In a decluttered environment, students will have more time to dedicate to their studies if they know where everything is and don’t have to waste time searching for a misplaced object.
Now that you’re armed with tips, you can tackle the back-to-school stress with a strategic game plan. The new school year will be here before we know it – stay safe and have a successful school year!