Tips for Returning to School
As we the school year starts, here are some tips for students and parents.
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 than the one they are used to.
- School will look and feel different than 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 your teens. Remember that pillow time before bed is a good time to listen to your child recount events and feelings from the day.
Return to Routines
During summer it is easy to get away from the routine we have during the school year. As the school year begins, it is a great time to return to our routines and/or to create new ones. For example, everyone's schedule will be a little different this year as the school day will be starting earlier this year at Sunny Sands. School will now be starting at 7:45am and be ending at 2:35am (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and 12:10 on Wednesdays). 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 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.
- Did you sign up for ParentVue yet? If not, please sign up here: https://www.psusd.us/Page/7937
- New this year student's report cards and test scores will be sent out via ParentVue.
- What can you 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 can you 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 bring 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.
Here are articles that the tips above were taken from: