Parents and guardians can make a tremendous difference in how well their children transition to in-person learning. The following ten tips for parents/guardians transitioning students to in-person learning might prove helpful as everyone returns to school.
Masks – Masks come in various shapes, sizes, and colours. Before school begins, help your children to find a mask that they like and that feels comfortable for them. Also, teach them how to put on, take off, and store a mask safely. Where possible, please ensure your child has one or more extra masks in a clean container or bag labelled with their name that they bring with them to school, just in case their mask becomes lost or compromised during the day.
COVID-19 Symptoms – It is critical that you, as a parent, check your children’s health every morning before sending them to school. Please follow and abide by our board’s Student Screening Tool for School Attendance on a daily basis.
Personal and Emergency Contact Information – Please ensure that your child’s school has your most current contact information (i.e., home phone, cell phone, email) so that we may send you important information and updates. Equally, please ensure that your child’s school has correct emergency contact information, in case we are unable to reach you.
Personal Supplies – One way to prevent the transmission of the virus is to have students bring and use their own materials (e.g., pens, crayons, laptops), rather than sharing board-owned supplies among cohorted groups of students.
Water Bottles – Although schools’ water fountains will continue to be accessible to students, they will only be used to fill water bottles, not to drink water by mouth. To help reduce the risk of transmission, please send your children to school with a water bottle that they can refill throughout the school day.
Food – Since school microwaves and cafeteria services will be unavailable for the foreseeable future, and since visitors to schools will be severely limited, please ensure your children come to school with their own nutritious lunches. Discourage your children from sharing food with other students.
Hand Hygiene – One of the best ways we can all reduce the risk of transmitting the virus is to practice positive hand hygiene. Emphasize why it is important to wash and sanitize your hands frequently, and help your children to establish good hand hygiene practices (e.g., wash hands before and after meals).
School Drop-Off and Pick-Up – If you drop off or pick up your children from school, please help your children to understand that you will not be able to walk them into or out of the school building, as you might have before COVID-19 began.
Backpacks – Wherever possible, please ensure that whatever your child needs for the day is able to fit into his/her backpack (e.g., lunch, snacks, masks).
Cohorting – Encourage your children to socialize only with the other students in their class cohorts and to maintain a safe physical distance from others, wherever possible.