Many parents are asking themselves how they personally can assist in keeping their families safe and healthy when they return to school. The fear of returning back into a confined classroom setting and a packed cafeteria alone would make any parents, teachers, or administrators nervous.
There are however several actions that communities operating a school or even an after-school program can take when children return in September.
Here are a few steps many other schools are implementing that can help prevent the spread of infections.
· Students should be symptom-free when returning to school. Have each child bring in a new physical form.
· Social Distancing by far has seemed to be the trend everywhere we go. There have been recent discussions that even 3 feet apart have the same benefits.
· Students should always wear some type of face-covering which does not hinder their breathing.
· Students should also spend time as much time outdoors as possible. Steady washing of the hands is vital, because it may not be possible to guarantee the 3-6 feet at all times.
· Teachers with younger age children should try to remind students not to touch their mouth or nose.
· Teachers should be the only ones that move between classrooms.
· Lunch should be held at their desks or in the same classroom setting.
· Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater should not be allowed to attend school.
· Holding AM/PM sessions for students. This will help with having more room and fewer students in the building at once.
· All parishes should follow the CDC guidelines regarding disinfecting and sanitizing classrooms and common areas.
As an administrator and educator for over 25 years, it is my opinion that any student that has a high-risk medical condition should continue distance learning.
Most importantly however I highly recommend that Schools prepare to close again and switch to distance learning if there is a spike in the COVID-19 reported cases.
Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic will definitely be a challenge for many of our Day Schools and Afternoon/Saturday programs however, putting a plan in place can help parents feel more comfortable and help keep our children safe.