For back to school this year, is your child going back to the classroom or staying at home and learning remotely? Either way, back to school during Covid-19 equals a lot of changes for your child and the entire family! I've put together a checklist to help you prepare for back to school 2020.
Remember things are changing every day, so keep an eye out for notifications from your school and the department of education (DOE).
Identify a space in your home free of distractions, noise, and clutter for learning and doing homework. This could be a quiet, well-lit place in your dining room or bedroom.
A dedicated table or desk just for the student is ideal, where they can set up their computer, pens, pencils, etc.
If several kids are sharing a workspace, headphones are a must.
Do your child’s PC/laptop/iPad and accessories work? Do you need to upgrade your internet package to cover children and parents all online at the same time?
Create a schedule with your child and commit to sticking with it. Structure and routine can greatly help your child from falling behind with assignments. The school should give you a schedule, but if not, you can structure something that works for the entire family.
Allow time in the schedule for outdoor breaks, even if it’s a simple walk around the block.
Have all links and apps ready to go before school starts, like Google classroom, Zoom etc. If your school has a tech team or ‘troubleshooting’ help desk, have their info ready in case you can’t log on. If you have a device borrowed from the DOE, you can use their tech support service.
In Person Learning at School
Do you have a thermometer to check your child’s temperature each day? The CDC says a temp of 100.4F or higher is too high and the child is not fit to be at school.
Face masks and hand sanitizer….lots and lots of both. As we all know your child will lose both on the first day, so have plenty of spares. Also, it could be handy to have your child’s name on their mask to save any mixups in the classroom.
Before school starts have a conversation with your child about the importance of washing your hands thoroughly and not touching other people’s schoolwork, toys, books, snacks, etc. Kids are quick to forget the new ‘rules’ once they get together with friends.
Make sure all regular vaccinations are up to date and most schools require or highly suggest a child has the flu shot when they become available later in the year.
Be prepared for in-class learning to pivot to to remote at any given time!
These are unprecedented times for all of us, so do no stress if the Zoom call does not work or if your child can't find the new assignment on google classroom. Parents and teachers must all have patients and understanding that we are all navigating this new way of schooling together.