After months of planning and preparation, school districts across the United States are gearing up to reopen. With that said, parents have to decide for themselves whether or not it’s okay for their kids to return. In most but not all cases, schools have made provisions to allow students to continue their studies from home.
The following highlights five things parents to consider before sending their kids back to school during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak:
Is your child ready?
The sudden closure of schools last year and the reintroduction of classes via video chat have left many students caught off guard and confused. Many have only recently gotten used to the concept of video lessons, so it can be a lot to ask to have them once again switch back to another system. Talk to your child candidly about the prospect of returning to get a better sense of whether or not they’re ready and willing to return.
Furthermore, parents need to ensure their children will follow the recommended safety guidelines put forth by school officials. Let them know how important it is to wash their hands and keep their hands away from their faces. Moms and dads should also help their kids stop finger sucking, nose picking, nail-biting, and similarly unhygienic bad habits. Lastly, make sure children correctly wear their face masks at all times.
Has the school done enough?
There are thousands of school districts in the U.S., and each one has its own reopening plan. With this in mind, parents need to carefully look over the protocols in place to decide if the district is doing enough to keep students and faculty safe.
Don’t be afraid to step up and ask questions if necessary. The input of concerned parents can contribute to better precautionary measures getting taken. On the other hand, voicing your concerns can reassure you that all appropriate measures are taken.
What happens if someone tests positive?
It’s probably only a matter of time until a student or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19. What’s the plan when it does?
Some school districts will immediately initiate shutdown procedures and ask students, teachers, and administrators to self-quarantine. Others might carry on business as usual until a cluster of cases pops up. Concerned parents should find out how their child’s school district plans to respond to positive cases as the semester unfolds.
Will public health guidelines be enforced?
The federal government is not enforcing pandemic guidelines on America’s schools. That means the precautions taken by individual districts can vary from highly effective to practically useless.
It’s a question of whether or not they’re following the guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Compare the school’s plans with those laid forth by public health experts to determine whether or not they’re taking adequate precautions or simply placating concerned parents.
Is it worth the risk?
Deciding whether or not it’s safe for kids to return to school is ultimately up to their parents. Moms and dads need to take a step back and assess the situation before committing to one or the other.
While much credit goes to all the teachers out there who’ve managed to make online learning work on the fly, there’s certainly something to be said for the interaction and hands-on aspects of traditional classrooms that are lost. That means parents might want to second-guess pulling their children out of school simply from an abundance of caution. However, if it doesn’t seem safe, then it’s not worth the risk.
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