Months later, and COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared. Rather, Americans are attempting to find a way to live life with a virus that still remains quite elusive. School re-entrance, for example, is a major concern. Parents want their children to have routines and lessons. After all, too much downtime could lead to a backward slide, socially and academically. Teachers want to see their students, picking back up with work as best as possible. In the middle lies a concerning question: what does that really look like? As kids head back, be prepared for the following changes.
1. Desk Protectors
Additional research shows that viral particles are likely to spread within close proximity, particularly while indoors. To allow students to speak and not spread germs, many institutions have decided to purchase acrylic sneeze guards. Made of plexiglass, these sturdy barriers block dispersed germs from moving directly into someone else’s path. The devices have already been highly noticed within retail and grocery stores, safeguarding clerks at the checkout. Now, they’re getting installed to the front of desks for added security.
2. Personal Supplies
Previously, classrooms requested supplies for the group, dumping items into buckets for communal use. Now, it’s about individual focus. Label everything. Your child should have a pencil box with his or her own crayons, writing utensils, scissors and glue. Don’t share this year. The focus here is to minimize contact.
3. Limited Group Work
The Centers for Disease Control emphasizes that everyone, no matter where you are, should remain 6 feet apart, if possible. This request alters the concept of cooperative learning. Partner assignments and group rotations are going to be difficult. To limit exposure, these activities may see a reduction. Instead, expect to see more tasks at the desk. Some instructors may turn to a whiteboard or interactive technology that can be utilized at the seats. Various games permit engagement with more of an individual basis.
4. Mask Policies
Along with keeping distant, it is highly encouraged that people wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. In school, that can be very hard. Teenagers thrive on being together. Kindergartners may not fathom why they can’t hang out with their buds. For these difficult situations, masks act as a safeguard, stopping viral disbursement. Expect to pack several. At some point, it’s going to get dropped or lost. Have extras in a clean, clear bag, easily located within a backpack.
There is no certainty in life. COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. For those heading back to school, have some patience and simply embrace the new norm.