Back to School! What to Expect with Returning to School

Disruption to schools could continue to November, MPs told - BBC News

With the craziness that has become our daily lives, we have all surrendered our sense of normalcy. The kids all god an early and longer than average summer. But with school just around the corner, what are the plans for the fall? How long are we planning on keeping kids at home? What choices do we have.

This article is going to go over some of the back to school basics that the country has faced and also some options that we have as parents to do what we can for our little ones. Please note, this may not apply to your specific school districts plans and is a general overview.

Traditional Back to School- Public School

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The option to go back to school like a normal year is a unicorn among all of this. Schools are reluctant to let all the kids come back as if it were a normal year. However, there are options to get the kids back into the classroom, even if it is in limited doses.

Capacity Limits

Many schools have offered the option to have kids back in class on a varied scheduled to accommodate a limited capacity. In doing this, they have offered a 25 or 50% capacity option. This is a hybrid structure to get the best of both worlds.

  • Kids can be split into groups (A&B or A,B,C&D) to facilitate the lower capacity. This offers an option for the schools to have less kids in the building, more time for cleaning and a day for children in need to get the extra attention.
    • Some schools have even mentioned splitting the day and having AM and PM kids to keep them apart and numbers down.
  • This also affects their bus routes and the transportation to and from the school.

Parents and children also have the option for 100% virtual classrooms where kids don’t have to go to the campus. The school will provide all the materials and virtual classrooms for the students. This is an alternative to private home school since the school will still provide the curriculum.

New Safety Rules

Where to Get Face Masks for Seattle-Area Kids | ParentMap
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In addition to staggered schooling and limited capacities, schools have also stated their ideas for keeping kids separated and germs to themselves!

  • Screens or curtains have been suggested to go around the desks. Keeping kids apart and their germs from spreading around the room.
  • No lunch or recess time! Kids will eat and learn at their desks. Teachers would switch classrooms rather than have students shifting from room to room. And sadly, no recess/gym to limit exposure and encourage distancing.
  • Masks are required by kids in some areas.

The kids have to get used to this new idea of school. While some of these may be a bit extreme, schools have the choice to use some or all of these guidelines and recommendations.

Private Schools

Private Schools
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Whereas public schools have these guidelines they MUST obey, private schools have a little more wiggle room. They can choose which protocols to use, the days, the safety rules and even the capacity suggestions that have been stated. And while they may not all be the stereotypical skirt and polo or Catholic based, there are A TON of great private schools in the area.

Some private schools are following the rules like public, but many have stated they are going their own way. With some doing screenings at the door, mask/no mask, and a variety of options, they offer a great opportunity for parents to help choose the rules their kids will be subject to.

Some example of private schools and school types for ideas are:

  • Montessori
  • Christian Schools
  • Church schools/preschools
  • Community Schools or
  • Private Academies

Contacting each of these may offer you different options in your community to give your kid a more traditional or less sterile learning environment.

Homeschooling

What is homeschooling? And should I be doing that with my kid ...
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This option is always a choice for parents who feel as though they want to do things their way. Homeschooling allows the parents to teach kids at home privately and the rules above do not apply. While this may not be an option for all, it is a great choice for some to be able to take their kid’s education into their own hands.

Wrapping Up

There is a lot in the air right now as COVID terrorizes our nation. With that said, there are still choices for parents who want to make sure their kids don’t suffer from the epidemic and their education doesn’t lack. While there are a lot of things to think about, with basic hygiene and common sense, you can make an informed decision for your kids.

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