Contributed by Brandi Fitch
Another school year is about to begin again, and whether we like it or not, COVID-19 is still managing to linger enough to keep community members concerned. While many children will be back to school in person full time, many will also still be learning virtually full or part time. No matter what options your school provides, there are many ways to make sure that your child stays safe while enjoying the upcoming school year.
If you have the option to send your child back to school for in-person classes and are struggling to make a decision, consider the following:
- Does your child’s school have the necessary resources to open effectively?
- Is your child able to wear a mask/cloth covering for a long period of time? Does the school allow this?
- Are you satisfied with how the school is addressing concerns and questions from parents/caregivers?
- Are you comfortable with the school’s plan if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
- Find a checklist to plan for in-person classes here.
Additional guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools can be found here.
The most important thing a parent or caregiver can do is stay in communication with your child’s school and keep up to date with any changes the school may have. If you are facing technology issues, looking for additional resources to support at-home learning, having trouble finding supervision for your child at home while you work, or if your child is having trouble completing assignments, be sure to reach out to your school to discuss what options are available!
Don’t forget to check in with your school district to learn about their school re-opening and safety plan!
If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, be sure that they stay home from school and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care. Staying home when sick with COVID-19 is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of schools and prevent spread to others. Parents and caregivers can find more information on what to do if their child has symptoms of COVID-19 here.
Be sure to clean and disinfect your child’s school supplies frequently as a precaution. It is also important to teach and reinforce preventative actions with your child so they can be better prepared at school. This includes washing their hands, wearing a mask when necessary, avoiding close contact with others, and covering coughs and sneezes. Find more information from the CDC here.
All of these changes from COVID-19 can put a lot of stress on your child’s shoulders. It is important to make sure that they are adjusting accordingly by the resilience that you nurture them with. This can help them to continue coping with other difficulties they may face throughout life. Be sure to:
- Connect with family and friends to provide a strong support system
- Take a break from the constant stream of daily activities and projects
- Lead by example and practice self-care by showing your child the importance of taking time to eat healthy, exercise, rest, and participate in activities that you enjoy
- Build self-worth by acknowledging how your child has handled hardships in the past
More information on building resiliency can be found here.
Parents and caregivers can find COVID-19 Parental Resource kits here for all age groups. Resources include door hanger reminders, activity books, board games, DIY soap and masks activities, preparedness plans and books, and social media graphics.