Adapt to Changes at School

Tips and Resources

The pandemic has required students, parents, and teachers to adapt to new school routines and ways of learning. Explore below for help keeping your child engaged academically and socially in the midst of these disruptions.

Tips

For Remote Learners

  1. Treat remote learning with the same respect as in-person attendance
  2. Make a dedicated school-at-home space where your child is most productive, i.e. the kitchen table instead of the couch
  3. Remove other electronics and distractions during learning time
  4. Find a study schedule that works for your child and stick to it. Include regular school- and screen-free breaks
  5. Explore new learning resources. These should support your curriculum, not replace it
  6. Encourage your kids to keep their camera on during class to help them stay engaged and keep lectures interactive
  7. Your child may have to use a few different applications, each with their own logins. Keep a list of login credentials
  8. Learn the digital platforms your child is using and be ready to troubleshoot connection issues. Reach out to the school if you have difficulty
  9. Communicate regularly with teachers
  10. Utilize virtual study groups

For In-person Learners

  1. Stay home if you have any symptoms concerning for COVID-19 infection
  2. Notify your school of any positive or pending COVID-19 tests so that they can do appropriate contact tracing
  3. Make sure to follow all hygiene and mask guidelines, both in and out of class
  4. Be ready to adapt to changing guidelines, as your school may need to adjust to remote instruction depending on the spread of the virus in the area and other factors
  5. Be patient with yourself and your child as you adapt to ongoing changes
  6. Send your child with their own supplies to reduce possible spread of the virus
  7. Encourage your child to help clean and disinfect surfaces in their classroom
  8. As is possible, minimize large group interaction
  9. Continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing during extracurricular activities and observe district testing guidelines

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Frequently Asked Questions: Adapting to Changes at School

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Q.

Should I send my child to school in-person?

A.

The answer to this question depends on several factors such as your child’s health, the health of those living at home, and your own work responsibilities and time commitments. For guidance in weighing the risks and benefits of available education options, visit the CDC School Decision-Making Tool.

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Q.

What precautions are schools putting in place to prevent viral transmission?

A.

In general, schools that are opening up during the pandemic are requiring all students and faculty to wear masks at all times and have implemented aggressive sanitation measures. Precautions vary by school district, especially in regard to distancing and crowd control. Visit your school district website to see what specific measures they have in place.

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Q.

How can I keep my child engaged during online lectures?

A.

The most important measures to keep your child engaged during online lectures start well before the lectures themselves; namely, with a good night’s sleep, a regular routine, regular meals, and exercise. It’s important to have a dedicated space for school work, preferably at a desk or table. Remove all distractions, especially electronic ones, and require your child to keep their camera on during lectures.

Q.

How can I make sure that my child is logging on to their virtual classes?

A.

Close communication with your child’s teacher will help you know if they are showing up and staying involved. Ask about the applications that your child is using for school, as many have the ability to send you information about your child’s activity.

Q.

Should time on screens for school count toward my child’s daily screen time limit?

A.

There is no single right answer to this question. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping to consistent limits on screen time, including educational media; however, with social distancing constraints, screen time can be a valuable and important tool for connection. For more help balancing flexibility with setting boundaries, check out this article by Child Mind Institute.

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Q.

I worry that my child is falling behind. How can I get them help?

A.

Work with your child as well as their teacher to figure out why they are struggling. If they are having a hard time understanding content, your child’s teacher or school may provide extra help or tutoring access. If distractions are a problem, explore the tips and resources above to learn how to set up an environment more conducive to learning.

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Q.

My child has special needs. How can I get them the support they need if they’re not at school?

A.

IEP accommodations can and should translate to a remote setting. Contact your school district to explore adaptations already in place. Check out this helpful guide by Understood.org.

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Q.

How can I support my child’s teachers?

A.

Engaging with your child’s teachers can show that you are supportive of their work and open a line of communication on how to best help your child learn.

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