Tips for Hybrid (Partial In-Person) Learning
As we move toward Hybrid Leanring, here are some tips to help ease the transition for students and parents.
- Mask Fit - Make sure your child has plenty of masks that fit well and are comfortable. They should fit snugly, cover the nose and mouth, have 2–3 layers, not have valves, and be washable or disposable.
- Labeling - Put your child's name on their masks with permanent marker.
- Practice Mask Wearing - While most of us have grown accustomed to wearing a mask for a quick trip to the grocery store, wearing a mask for an extended period may take some getting used to, regardless of age. During these next few weeks, have your child wear a mask at home for the same amount of time they would be wearing it at school.
- Monitor and Re-Direct - While your child practices wearing their mask for an extended period, take this time to supervise their behaviors. Are they constantly touching their mask or trying to readjust? If they are reaching for their face, remind them to sanitize their hands prior to fixing their mask.
- Pack an Extra Mask - Anything can happen at school (i.e., sneeze, mask accidentally falls on the floor, dropping it.). “Packing an extra mask ensures your child will continue to be safe, even when accidents happen.”
- After School Game Plans Are Key - Where will kids put dirty masks that need to be laundered? The CDC recommends we launder our masks daily. Consider the mask as a new extension of your child’s uniform or school attire.
- See the Mask Wearing Tips flyer for more ideas/tips to help prepare your child to wear their mask to school.
Return to Routines
During the pandemic families and students may have developed a schedule and routine that looks very different then the schedule and routine that they used to have a year ago. As we prepare for Hybrid Learning it is a good time to start re-establishing routines that align with the new Hybrid Learning schedule. Here are some tips that will hopefully help in this effort.
- Re-establish bedtime and mealtime routines - Plan to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast). Prepare your child for this change by talking with your child about the benefits of school routines.
- Focus on the positives - It’s important to start the transition back to school by focusing on the positives; being able to see their friends and teachers, excitement around a new daily routine and the opportunity to learn new things.
- Build safety into the daily routine - Start talking to your children now about the new protocols, explain some of the changes they will see at school, such as needing to wear a mask and following new distance rules. You can help children identify their role in staying safe such as avoiding touching their face, coughing or sneezing into their elbow, washing their hands or using hand-sanitizer frequently.
- Stay informed and connected - Monitor emails from your school closely to stay up to date on safety protocol changes and potential changes to school schedules. Stay connected to your child’s teacher, know how your child is coping with the new safety protocols and if you need to reinforce any additional structure or learning at home.
- What You Can Do Before Each School Day?
- Leave extra time to do a quick symptoms check. If anyone in your house has any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones, don't send your kids to school.
- Keep clean masks by the door. Get in the habit of grabbing a mask when putting on shoes so you don't forget.
- What You Can Do After Each School Day?
- Have children wash their hands. This is one of the most important things you can do.
- Have children take off and leave shoes by the door. You might also have kids change into clean clothes.
- Put anything they brought back from school in a place that is not near where you eat.
- Put washable masks in a chosen dirty laundry spot or put them into the washer.
As we return to school Hand Washing will be something students need to do often. These tips will help you help your child understand why it is so important to wash their hands and the proper way to do it
- Show Kids How Germs Can Be Transmitted - Using glitter or flour is a great way to teach your child visually how easily germs are spread. Place a little glitter on your child’s hand and have them go do a task or chore that has them touching many surfaces, like a door handle, table, iPad, remote control, game controller, hairbrush or toothbrush. Have them do this for 30 seconds to a minute. When time is up, show them the glitter found on all the surfaces they touched and explain that the glitter represents how easily germs spread.
- Encourage proper hygiene - Encourage hand washing often, have some fun with it by singing a song or telling some jokes while they wash. The website Wash Your Lyrics (https://washyourlyrics.com/) can turn popular songs into Hand Washing Songs.
- Sharing is Not Caring in The COVID-19 Era - While we all encourage sharing and inclusivity, remind your child that sharing school supplies or anything else is not a good idea right now. Remind your child to maintain physical distance while at school. Even if a friend looks like they need a hug, kind words are just as wonderful.
- When to Wash - The CDC recommends washing hands:
- Before and After: eating food, caring for someone at home who is sick, treating a cut or wound.
- After: touching your eyes, nose or mouth, touching your face mask, when entering or leaving a public place, touching a surface frequently touched (door handle, table, etc.), using the toilet, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, touching an animal, touching garbage.
- Before, After and During: food preparation.
Want more information, go to the CDC Handwashing Saves Lives Website
- Watch this Video: How to “Wash Your Hands”
- Watch this Video: How to Wash Your Hands – “Washy Wash”
- Watch this Video: When to Wash Your Hands - “Time to Wash Your Hands”
Parents and children may be experiencing greater levels of anxiety and stress tackling the transition back to school. While levels of anxiety and stress may be high, parents play an influential role in helping children cope. Hopefully these tips will help encourage a positive back-to-school transition and help to reduce you and your child’s anxiety.
- Have honest and open discussions. It’s important to have honest, factual and open conversations with your child about COVID-19 and its implications for returning to school; considering your child’s age and maturity level. Talk about how things might change, such as:
- The schedule for Hybrid Learning will look different then the one they are used to.
- School will look and feel different then it did a year ago.
- Gently explain the new school protocols and why they may not receive a welcoming hug from their teacher or a high-five from a friend.
- Listen. Take the time to understand what your child is feeling anxious about.
- After spending many long months at home, children may feel nervous about going back to school and being apart from family. Have conversations about going back to school and try to develop tools for your child to feel connected to home, such as writing a loving note that they can take with them to school.
- Let your children know you care. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.
- Reinforce your child’s ability to cope. Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own (breathing exercises, thinking about a happy memory or counting). Maintain open lines of communication with the school.
- Reinforce the positive. Remind your child or teen of the good things about school. And follow up at the end of the day to see how things went.
- Creative activities, such as playing and drawing can help children and teens express and communicate any negative feelings they may be experiencing in a safe and supportive environment. This helps children find positive ways to express difficult feelings such as anger, fear or sadness.
- Routines can be tremendously helpful. Keep the same bedtime and mealtimes.
- Be available. Your children may react to changes in the school in various ways. Be ready for some behavior changes — such as acting out in younger children and quietness in teens. Remember that pillow time before bed is a good time to listen to your child recount events and feelings from the day.
Here are articles that the tips above were taken from:
“5 Tips for a Successful Return to In-Person School During COVID-19”
“Ten Tips Every Parent Needs to Know For In-person Learning”
“10 COVID-19 Back to School Tips”
“How to help kids feel less anxious about returning to in-person classes”
“Coronavirus (COVID-19) and School: In-Person Learning”
“Tackling the Transition: Back to School Guide for Parents & Students”